Hybrid workforce for supply chain sector
Neeraj Bansal, CEO, DHL SmarTrucking India, elaborates on the importance of a hybrid workforce in the supply chain sector, one that strikes the right balance between man and machine.
The supply chain sector in India is growing faster than ever. A burgeoning global e-commerce market has fuelled the need for a seamless logistics domain in the country. According to a study by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), the logistics market in India is expected to grow to $307 billion by the year 2020, recording a CAGR of 16 per cent on an average.
Technologies such as robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data analytics, etc., are helping companies steadily eliminate issues of transparency and security. However, the advent of technological advancement raises the question: Are players in the sector perfectly positioned to strike a balance between man and machine?
Given that supply chain cannot be entirely faceless, building a hybrid workforce is a great strategy to utilise the strengths of both man and machine. Companies that have invested in cutting-edge supply chain technologies as well as advanced skilling of their human workforce are quite wellpositioned to transform the face of Indian logistics by developing a perfect blend of the two. Other technologies such as augmented reality solutions that empower drivers with more information about their environment could further enhance the hybrid workforce experience.
As one of the prerequisites for a strong supply chain, India’s road transportation industry, which is heading for a major expansion, also stands to benefit from automation. Reports indicate that a total of 599 highway projects covering around 12,903 km of national highways have been sanctioned, incurring an expenditure
`108,000 of crore over the next five years. Though presently riddled with challenges like road congestion and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, automation will be instrumental in overcoming these and further streamlining the entire sector. Another major barrier is the availability of digital talent in the industry. Besides hiring people with the desired digital capabilities, organisations must also invest in equipping their existing employees with the required automation skills, to ensure a harmonious balance.
Supply chain management is expected to be a vital job market in the imminent future, with the annual income projected to grow at eight per cent CAGR over the next five years. Thus, it may be advisable to expect different factors to exert varying influences on the speed and reach of automation.
Supply chain management will be a vital job market with annual income projected to grow at 8% CAGR
(The views expressed are solely of the author. The publication may or may not subscribe to the same.)
Neeraj Bansal CEO, DHL SmarTrucking India & India Cargo Award winner 2017