Ware­hous­ing needs skilled man­power

With lots of de­vel­op­ment hap­pen­ing in ware­hous­ing in­dus­try, there is a dire need to have peo­ple with right skill set at the base of the pyra­mid ready, and then a lead­er­ship to strengthen the process and make it a suc­cess. Em­ployee recog­ni­tion is the need

Cargo Talk - - Front Page -

K.U. Thankachen, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Cen­tral Rail­side Ware­house Company

In­dia is blessed with huge hu­man re­sources and the majority of In­di­ans are be­tween the age group of 20-35 years. How­ever, there is a tremen­dous short­age of skilled man­power for ware­hous­ing and lo­gis­tics in­dus­try in this coun­try. It is a chal­lenge of get­ting the right kind of trained man­power. We can’t deny the fact that ware­hous­ing is an im­por­tant part of any sup­ply chain and lo­gis­tics in­dus­try as th­ese days it is be­ing driven by an in­crease in pro­duc­tion and or­gan­ised re­tail. How­ever, there is an acute short­fall of per­son­nel with ad­e­quate train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion in lo­gis­tics and ware­house sec­tor.

The gaps in skills are re­quired at all lev­els, from se­nior and mid­dle man­age­ment to the op­er­a­tional level. The in­dus­try gaps in good man­age­ment prac­tices are deeply set, as the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try it­self has still not emerged as an at­trac­tive sec­tor for pro­fes­sion­als. There is a lack of spe­cial­ized knowl­edge of prac­tices, and most work­ers have ba­sic in-house ex­pe­ri­ence-driven skills with no for­mal in­fra­struc­ture to im­part skills. Gaps in core tech­ni­cal skills arise from the un­or­gan­ised and frag­mented struc­ture in the in­dus­try. There ex­ist very few for­mal train­ing in­sti­tu­tions and prac­ti­cally none for op­er­a­tional train­ing in as­so­ci­ated ar­eas. Lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies, ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions and the gov­ern­ment will have to work to­gether to im­ple­ment a univer­sal cur­ricu­lum based on the skills re­quired by the mar­ket to­day.

G.Balaraju, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Sindhu Cargo

The ware­hous­ing ac­tiv­i­ties have moved up to the level of pro­vid­ing more value added ac­tiv­i­ties un­like a mere stor­age ac­tiv­ity in the past. Per­sons de­ployed for ware­house man­age­ment should be able to un­der­stand the sen­si­tiv­ity of prod­ucts stored as well as its stor­age re­quire­ment.

Thus we can say that skilled man­power is need of the hour which is crit­i­cal to bridge the man­power gap.

Srini­vas Sat­ti­raju, CEO, Delex Cargo In­dia

With the tremen­dous growth of E-com­merce business across the land­scape, the E-com com­pa­nies are set­ting up their own ware­houses, hubs to name a few and many trained re­sources are be­ing lured away from tra­di­tional in­dus­try play­ers. On the other hand, the reg­u­lar in­dus­try it­self is hav­ing its own re­quire­ments. There­fore find­ing skilled man­power for ware­house op­er­a­tions is in­creas­ingly be­com­ing a chal­lenge for the 3PL play­ers.

Since there are no in­dus­try-spe­cific cour­ses of­fered by any in­sti­tute which trains the stu­dents on ware­house op­er­a­tions and make them job ready, there­fore most of the 3PL com­pa­nies re­cruit gen­eral can­di­dates and pro­vide train­ing to them, not to lose them to com­pe­ti­tion. To ad­dress this sce­nario of short­age of qual­i­fied and trained man­power, all the in­dus­try stake hold­ers such as var­i­ous in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tions, large lo­gis­tics play­ers, and rel­e­vant gov­ern­ment bod­ies should con­sti­tute a plat­form to pro­mote train­ing through short-terms cour­ses and support them through suit­able place­ments.

Hitesh Athawasya, Head - Op­er­a­tions Plan­ning & Con­trol, Drive In­dia En­ter­prise So­lu­tions Limited – A Tata En­ter­prise

A work­force that is skilled and trained in cus­tomer-cen­tric cul­ture can act as a game changer in ware­hous­ing op­er­a­tions, and this has been wit­nessed as a common agree­ment be­tween the ser­vice users and ser­vice providers in var­i­ous sup­ply chain fo­rums.

Lo­gis­tics is a peo­ple-driven in­dus­try and it’s a trend in the In­dian ware­hous­ing in­dus­try to man­age op­er­a­tions with a mix bag of roll, con­trac­tual or tem­po­rary and out­sourced staff. Such lev­els of cat­e­gori­sa­tion are based on the na­ture and skill set re­quire­ment of each job cou­pled with crit­i­cal­ity of the po­si­tion, along with avail­abil­ity of re­sources. A highly au­to­mated and sys­tem driven ware­house also needs highly skilled team to run the sys­tems. While the se­nior and mid­dle man­age­ment of var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions have started fo­cussing on ad­e­quate ex­ter­nal and in­ter­nal train­ing pro­grammes, how­ever, the peo­ple that make the dif­fer­ence are the work­force man­ag­ing the ground op­er­a­tions and they are still un­tapped for train­ings.

Su­u­nil Dabral, Coun­try Man­ager, SSI Schae­fer

Ware­hous­ing in to­day’s world has be­come more than just cre­at­ing and man­ag­ing stor­age space rather it has be­come an im­por­tant ac­tiv­ity in the sup­ply chain strat­egy of a company. Chang­ing trends in cus­tomer’s needs and pur­chas­ing power will call for Just in Time and quick re­sponse inventory man­age­ment. In or­der to have a com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage, com­pa­nies are now fo­cus­ing to­wards Soft­ware and Au­to­mated tech­nolo­gies. To han­dle so­phis­ti­cated ma­te­rial han­dling and ware­house man­age­ment sys­tems, ad­e­quate skilled man­power is a must.

How­ever, there is a lack of recog­nised in­dus­trial train­ing in­sti­tutes for im­part­ing train­ing to­wards han­dling mod­ern so­lu­tions used in the ware­house in­dus­try. We must make sure that the ware­house staff is well trained in or­der to han­dle the ware­house so­lu­tions, ma­te­rial han­dling equip­ment with ut­most ac­cu­racy, this will also re­duce the num­ber of ac­ci­dents oc­cur­ring in the ware­house.

SA Mo­han, CEO, Maini Ma­te­ri­als Move­ment

In­dia has made sig­nif­i­cant strides in evolv­ing its ware­hous­ing in­fra­struc­ture. Gone are the days when the dic­tio­nary mean­ing of ware­hous­ing in In­dia used to be a place to store goods. In to­day’s con­text, ware­hous­ing is a strate­gic func­tion that in­volves end-to-end value ad­di­tions in the sup­ply chain that cre­ates sig­nif­i­cant com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage.

Next gen­er­a­tion ware­houses are in­te­gra­tion of mod­ern ma­te­rial han­dling sys­tems (Fork­lift trucks, Reach trucks, VNA’s, Robots, AGVs, Elec­tri­fied Mono­rail Sys­tems (EMS), com­put­erised pick­ing sys­tems and com­puter con­trolled con­veyor sys­tems) and au­to­mated tech­nol­ogy Au­to­matic Guided Ve­hi­cles (AGVs), Au­to­matic Guided Cars (AGCs), Au­to­matic Stor­age and Re­trieval Sys­tems (AS/RS), Au­to­matic Trailer Load­ing Ve­hi­cles (ATVs), Ware­house Man­age­ment Sys­tems (WMSs) to carry out day-to-day op­er­a­tions. How­ever, ware­hous­ing in­dus­try is sub­jected to lim­i­ta­tions like lack of trained man­power, in­ef­fi­cient ma­te­rial han­dling prac­tices and use of out­dated equip­ment, limited tech­nol­ogy pen­e­tra­tion, lack of ex­per­tise in newer ware­hous­ing tech­nolo­gies, process in­ef­fi­cien­cies, lack of stan­dard­i­s­a­tion, high cost of credit, power out­ages, etc.

As we know, all busi­nesses are run by peo­ple. And with­out the right set of peo­ple, the business does go any­where. With the right set of peo­ple and right skill set, you can hope for the fu­ture. With the cur­rent resur­gence in e-com­merce in­dus­try and hope of GST im­ple­men­ta­tion by next fi­nan­cial year, the in­dus­try is get­ting ready for a ware­hous­ing revo­lu­tion in the coun­try. Hu­man re­sources with right knowl­edge and ad­e­quate will be the de­cid­ing fac­tor to emerge as a win­ner.

Aditya G Bafna, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Shree Shub­ham Lo­gis­tics

One of the key chal­lenges in In­dia for the ware­hous­ing sec­tor is the non-avail­abil­ity of skilled man­power and lack of train­ing in­sti­tutes. Evolv­ing ware­house man­age­ment pro­cesses and op­er­a­tions with more de­mand­ing cus­tomers, lack of at­trac­tion for new re­cruits aris­ing from poor work­ing con­di­tions, rel­a­tively less at­trac­tive in­cen­tives and ben­e­fits and the emer­gence of at­trac­tive al­ter­nate ca­reer op­tions are rea­sons that con­trib­ute to the skill short­age in the In­dian ware­hous­ing sec­tor.

Skilled man­power and ex­per­tise in ware­hous­ing sec­tor is re­quired for ef­fi­cient stor­ing, han­dling and mon­i­tor­ing of goods, over­com­ing stock vis­i­bil­ity is­sues, stock trace­abil­ity, lower pil­fer­ages and da­m­ages in­clud­ing but not limited to process ef­fi­cien­cies. Trained staff can not only ad­here to stan­dard­ised op­er­at­ing pro­cesses and pro­ce­dures but also can meet out the chal­lenges for main­tain­ing the qual­ity and quan­tity of the goods stored. Due to the en­try of in­ter­na­tional re­tail­ers and many global play­ers en­ter­ing In­dian mar­ket, this sec­tor is likely to ex­pe­ri­ence con­sol­i­da­tion and th­ese de­vel­op­ments will drive the need for value-added ser­vices as­so­ci­ated with ware­hous­ing. The tech­ni­cally com­pe­tent man­power ca­pa­ble of un­der­stand­ing and op­er­at­ing the tem­per­a­ture and hu­mid­ity con­trol so­phis­ti­cated equip­ments is re­quired. As per re­ports, by 2015, In­dia will need ap­prox­i­mately 35,000 to 40,000 ware­house man­agers with ad­e­quate skills to give their best to the ware­hous­ing sec­tor, but there lacks train­ing in­sti­tute which can train peo­ple for man­age­rial skills or to cater to the needs of mid-level man­agers in the In­dian ware­hous­ing in­dus­try.

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