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.

Cargo Talk - - Guest Column -

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

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