A Logistic Company's Legends

A Logistic Company's Legends

A Logistic Company's Legends

Sujoy Guha, CEO & MD, CriticaLog India, 0

Sujoy is an engineer with 28+ years’ experience in business. He has diligent knowledge in logistics.

Life today feels like in jail-house - exiled from normal lifecycle. We have been exiled to our respective homes by the invincible invading virus - COVID19.

This phenomenon has allowed us a lot of time to think and my mind wandered to the phases of logistics that we have witnessed during the thirty-five years of professional life. Dabbling with stock and SKU happened to me early in my service life. As a fresh engineer in 1985, my experience with logistics began at an early age. We learnt that diamond studded drilling bits, each worth in lakhs, must be handled differently from that of iron pipes – for the sake of safety; but both are equally important at the drill sites and crores worth of drilling activities can come to standstill if either of them are not available in time. It was apparent that though few critical parts needed separate handling and priority, no SOP existed to treat such logistics processes separately.

Ten years ago, while conceptualising CriticaLog, similar thoughts occurred to us again. Why can’t we differentiate between critical and sensitive cargo from the mundane? Why can’t customized and value added logistics be created – which brings competitive edge to our customers? While we have spent considerable time to create such differences in the logistics market during the last ten years, todays write up is to clear a few common folklores about innovation in logistics.

First legend: A logistic company cannot survive on value alone; it needs volume.
Like any other industry, logistics also has two distinct types of operation. Mass movement – where economy of scale prevails and niche operation – where addition of value and customization is preferred. A likely comparison in automobile industry would be between Mercedes and Maruti, in banking between HSBC and State Bank. Due to low entry barrier, there are tens of thousands of logistics companies in India. Almost all of them focus on volume possibly due to the lack of skill and all round experience. However, lower volume allows CriticaLog to investigation and analyse the ‘go to market’ strategy of its customers, add value at different stages and optimize through simple innovations, interpolated with high degree of automation.

Second legend: Innovation must always be substantial
The oceans are nothing but drops of water. It is true that we are encouraged to ‘dream big’ – but only a handful of ideas are earth shattering and attract media attention. In my opinion, combination of small incremental innovations, around a clear goal - progressively supporting growth – is much more desirable. Such everyday innovations tickle our grey cells, keep the teams motivated and builds a culture where team members are encouraged to experiment – knowing that failure and
success are two sides of the same coin.

Third legend: Innovations can happen only through IT
Accepted that proper usage of IT can become a game changer. But everyday innovation can take place in every function of the company. It improves relationship across functions and supports ways of optimizing costs, improve service and create value. I have always encouraged my teams to think outside the box. ‘What if..?’ questions can only be asked if we delve deep into a subject. Fortunately, logistics allows us to learn trade practices of different industry verticals, while designing their supply chains. An innocent ‘what if’ question as an Outsider, can break traditional barriers and create innovative ways - which invariably enhances efficiency and output. A combination of traditional processes, combined with fresh outlook, can revolutionize a supply chain. It also engages logisticians to drive improvements in the business and add value to customers.

Fortunately, logistics allows us to learn trade practices of different industry verticals, while designing their supply chains

Fourth Legend: Logistics companies cannot afford to be innovative
The truth is that a logistics company cannot afford NOT to be innovative. Fail to innovate, and customers will view our organization as providing no value. Standing still in any business is not an option. Aligning our solutions to support our customer’s business strategies will bring in long term loyalty and mutual respect. Solve customers’ problems and we will solve many of our own. Supply chain solutions have a direct impact on organizational growth, cost control and reduction. A long-term contract, built around progressive innovation and optimization, in my opinion - is the right recipe for success.

Fifth Legend: every innovation must bring in visible results
Changes are inevitable but need not necessarily be effective. Similarly, innovation offers no guarantees. About 95 percent of new products fail as estimated by the Harvard Business School. Timing is everything: A good idea can fail if the market is not ready for it. The trick here is to quickly assess the situation, document the reasons for failure, leverage what we learnt and move on. In my view, the acumen of a professional should not be judged by his success alone but also by the number of times he fell – and got up quickly to run again.

SixthLegend: innovation is not for everyone
This is probably the farthest from truth as no organization can afford to fall back on innovation of one or handful of personnel. An innovative company, such as ours, must evolve and innovate at every stage and at every level. No innovation is insignificant. It provides a deep sense of satisfaction once we realise that we have been able to transform an age old process in new light – based on common senseor analytics or experience or understanding and occasionally IT.

Innovation is also lot of fun. As an innovative Company, I invite every team member of CriticaLog to make small, incremental innovations – thereby improving performance and efficiency at local levels. The power of such incremental innovation is substantial and can catapult us to a different level all together.