It is a known fact that Covid-19 changed the way the country shops. The hustle-bustle of local retail shops made way for the new digital wave, where everyone started giving online shopping a shot. Ecommerce got a much-deserved adrenaline shot. As the number of online purchases swelled up, propelling high pressure in the logistic industry. When the country was going through one of its most difficult economic periods, the availability of manpower to drive the first mile and last mile operations and get shipments delivered became a cause of concern. Things have improved but it's not at all business as usual.
There is still a huge gap in the industry's demand and supply. To make up for the sudden spike in orders compromises were made in staff onboarding and training, which became evident after some time. Although the situation has somewhat stabilized in metros, there is still a huge skill and manpower deficit in the tier one and two cities. With airline cargo becoming dearer the logistics operations in the country have become more surface oriented and this, in turn, requires much more dedicated staff. Mass hiring camps have been organized by most companies but what is lacking in quality control.
With the intent of covering the entire country, logistic companies are in a race to one-up one another. Some a playing smart and focusing on quality and not quantity while others are just meshing out new pin codes without keeping the service levels in check.
Today it's all about the customer experience and most people who are trying eCommerce for the first time deserve the best service quality. But unfortunately, there are instances of fake delivery attempts, pilferage, rude behaviour which tend to leave a sour taste. To capitalize on this immense opportunity a proper employee training exercise is required alongside a strict watch on employee behaviour. The whole process should be digitized and should be a routine exercise and not a one-time activity. The major challenge at this moment is the lack of manpower. This needs to be countered by providing more incentivized performance matrices.
The attrition rate in the logistic industry which is very high, north of 50% yearly, needs to be curtailed. The way to do it is by providing more benefits, more job security, performance-based incentives. The logistic companies need to invest in their ground staff. These are the people who are the backbone of the sector. Opportunities should be given for the staff to grow within the organization, skill development exercises should be implemented. It's crucial for the workers to stay motivated and in that regard, not only physical but also mental health should be monitored.
We are at the cusp of something truly revolutionary, all that needs to be done is to keep the momentum going is maintaining the quality of service and service providers.
The author is a co-founder of Shippigo. Views are personal.