In today’s globalized world with skyrocketing customer expectations, transport and delivery of goods and cargo has got to be managed almost by the minute. It takes tremendous effort, backed by the right strategies, analysis and implementation to deliver smiles across the length and breadth of the country.
Customers want what they want. And they want it NOW!
How do companies keep up? How do they surmount the challenge of managing the transportation and delivery of goods to the right place, at the right time, so they can eventually reach the end-consumers just when they want them?
The answer is simple! Rely on an expert, a pioneer in express distribution with an unparalleled reach, unmatched network and processes backed by sophisticated technology.
Express logistics involves transporting all types of cargo to and from multiple locations, through surface (road or rail) and air. What matters most while providing the right express logistics solutions to businesses is an understanding the unique aspects of the customer’s industry, aligning to the customer’s business requirements and timelines, having a strong distribution network and optimising the route in a manner that makes the delivery cost and time effective for the customer.
Nationwide reach to broaden business horizons
Considering the sheer size and volume of a country like India, offering domestic express logistics services is not an easy feat.
While the road and rail connectivity is quite strong and very reliable in metros and towns, the hinterlands come with their own set of challenges owing to inaccessibility due to poor road and rail connectivity.
What businesses need, is a partner like Gati Ltd., who has been a pioneer of express logistics in India and is a market leader with a series of firsts to its credit when it comes to initiating value-added services like door-to-door service, money-back guarantee, Cash-on-Delivery, toll-free number, back in the 90s.
Today, Gati offers time-bound and cost effective deliveries across more than 19,000 PIN Codes in the country. Its reach covers 99.99% of India’s districts. The strength of its network comes from the impeccable coordination between the company’s offices, franchisees, and associates.
A total of over 730 operating units form this network, each cog right from the Head Office in Hyderabad to the four zonal units and the 19 Express Distribution Centres under them, working like a perfectly oiled machine to keep cargo moving with clockwork precision. Each Express Distribution Centre further has its Surface Transit Centres, Gati Distribution Warehouses, Air Transit Centres, Rail Transit Centres and Customer Convenience Centres (Owned, Franchisees, and Kiosks) to make sure that no matter where its customers are, Gati is never too far away!
In addition to reaching out to customers where they are, Gati also believes in offering them a pleasant customer experience and customised business solutions. Through robust restructuring of its network Gati has taken customer-centricity a step ahead by slashing transit times across its service lanes (1 day on 18% of the lanes, 2 days on 9% of the lanes and 3 days on 4% of the lanes).
At Gati’s own centralized call-centre in Nagpur, over 250 executives connect with over 1.5 lakh customers every month, assisting them over calls, chat, emails, or web connects.
No matter what the shipment size or destination is, customers can be sure of safe delivery always on-time.
Modelling for success
While serving customers’ express logistics needs across the country, it is important for logistics service providers to have a big enough fleet of vehicles at their disposal. But that is not enough. They also need to ensure availability of trained drivers, loaders and handlers as well as plan routes that optimise resources, reduce redundancies, and help customers to save on time and costs. All this, while ensuring that delivery schedules are met, consistently and effectively.
“Our hub and spoke model is the reason we are able to maintain the quality and consistency of our services. Today customers want just-in-time deliveries and minimal inventory to manage. With our high-speed surface cargo movement service across India and direct express route connectivity to ensure faster transit times, we make this possible. A widespread reliable network, processes optimised to align with customer expectations and requirements, a team of seasoned operational experts and an integration of technology across the entire supply chain is what sets us apart”, says Bala Aghoramurthy, Deputy Managing Director, Gati Ltd.
The key elements that comprise Gati’s distribution network are Surface Transit Centres, Gati Distribution Warehouses, Express Vehicles and Feeder Vehicles. Goods and cargo from various customers across the country is consolidated at its distribution warehouses. Feeder trucks then transport it from warehouses to the surface transit centre closest to the origin. Express trucks then move the cargo to the surface transit centre closest to the destination and feeder trucks move it from here to the distribution warehouse at the destination, from where it is then delivered to customers.
This is achieved through flawless coordination between Gati’s retail channel partners that include Gati Associates, Franchisees, and Kiosks.
Bolstering this thorough business model and network is Gati’s fleet of over 5000 vehicles – the biggest in India – which is a combination of owned vehicles as well as those operated by independent entrepreneurs who are Gati’s partners.
Load planning, Delivery planning and Pick-up planning modules that help in planning ahead along with Metric Monitoring dashboards available at all operating units to keep track of network, stock and service levels help Gati to carry out real-time monitoring and control even at remote locations, thus ensuring that there is no compromise whatsoever on the safety, timeliness or cost-effectiveness of its deliveries.
Optimising with technology
With digitisation rapidly disrupting businesses and emerging as a key factor enabling a competitive advantage, even the express logistics sector has had to play catch-up and adapt digital tools and technologies.
When leveraged right, technology can help optimise the process, monitor transportation at each stage, offer transparency and complete visibility to customers, enable faster completion of mundane tasks, reduce errors and wrong deliveries, and exceed customers’ expectations in terms of service and quality.
Gati, being an industry-leading player has always been a step ahead in the game and integrated the ease and efficiency of technology across different levels that include connectivity, tracking, as well as process optimisation and workflow management.
All of Gati’s distribution centres are networked via GEMS (Gati Enterprise Management System), which is its real-time Enterprise Resource Planning platform. Customers too, benefit from a single-window platform that helps them to keep track of all their shipments and transactions, get consolidated, real-time shipment updates, view and download invoices and Proof of Delivery (POD) of shipments, as well as monitor service levels and track payments and outstanding bills.
Through a Centralized Network Monitoring cell, Gati enables track and trace for its vehicles and its cargo. While its vehicles are managed by a 24/7 real-time Vehicle Tracking System, customers have the privilege of tracking their shipments via app, online support, email tracking, or IVR-based support based on their preference.
Bar-code scanning implemented to ensure periodical stock taking at all distribution centres, quick identification of misrouted or missing shipments and faster scanning and updating of POD (Proof of delivery) considerably helps optimise on time.
By equipping each of its delivery partners and employees with hand-held devices connected to a common mobile application, Gati’s delivery process is characterised by faster pick-up times through remote pick-up delegation to the concerned area associate, faster pick-up enabled by docket entry and printing at the customer’s site, easy and convenient capturing of delivery information and image, along with an assurance of data integrity that comes with applications linked to central data servers.
The domestic express and cross border express industry is roughly USD 4.5 billion and growing at 17%. As one of the leading providers of freight forwarding and logistics services, this creates tremendous opportunities for Gati. Having proved its mettle by working with marquee customers across various sectors like FMCG, automobiles, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, retail and e-commerce, etc., Gati looks forward to speedily moving ahead to new milestones.