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
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.