DB Schenker in India is upscaling its warehousing facilities with tech enabled solutions

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The pandemic has accelerated the digitalisation process across industries and for logistics the focus has increased on implementing new-age digital solutions for efficient operations across the supply chain. Vishal Sharma, CEO – Cluster India and Indian Sub-Continent, DB Schenker shares how DB Schenker is aggressively focusing on RPA, automation, artificial intelligence to streamline the supply chain process and meet the last-mile deliveries for customers

What are the key highlights of DB Schenker’s digital transformation strategy for the India market?

India’s logistics industry is one of the most rapidly evolving industries, with an increasing customer demand for integrated offerings. As demand continues to grow, the industry will continue to experience technological upgradation, and fast adoption of digital solutions. Digitalisation is at the core of DB Schenker’s strategy for India market. The pandemic has made us realise the importance of investing in technologies which can support in remote monitoring of supply chain and digital operations. With this, we are scaling up our supply chain to address the growing need of the customers and meet the last-mile delivery. Our integrated solutions help customers in Healthcare, Aerospace, Electronics, Industrial, Automotive, Retail and Consumer and other verticals to customise their shipping services and keep a real-time check on the cargo.

Going paperless is another significant step by the company towards managing the customer needs for imports and exports in a sustainable manner, without the need to be on site. We started the process during lockdown and are continually working on paperless environment, reporting automation, deployment of bots for monotonous activities and most importantly moving towards digital invoicing with partners and customers. Our preparedness with our Business Continuity Plan (BCP) has allowed us to scale up our mobility ratio to over 90 per cent.

How are you adopting future ready technology led supply chain – use of AI, ML, and RPA?

Today, customers are looking at partners who can scale up, predict, and forecast industry outcomes by using artificial intelligence and real-time data points that would allow them to plan capacity needs and further help to optimise their spending. At DB Schenker in India, we are using artificial intelligence (AI), especially for our internal processes, predicting market trends, network optimisation, route management, and freight rates where large sets of data are available and accessible.

Data analytics is used for predictive supply chain needs, and artificial intelligence is utilised for predicting customer behaviour and trending of shipments by destination. Our focus is on digital innovation and new use cases which can help in making the business future ready.

Automation in warehouse operation streamlines the shipping process and further improves efficiency. Please elaborate on DB Schenker’s warehouse tech innovation.

The warehousing sector is witnessing a trend as customer demand for Grade-A warehouses is gradually increasing. Factors impacting the growth are technological advancement, modernisation, optimisation, and automation offered by logistics companies for seamless movement of goods.

Tapping the growing industry demand, DB Schenker in India is upscaling its warehousing facilities with tech enabled solutions. The company believes in transforming operations and driving reliability, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness through the deployment of digital technologies and is adopting a similar strategy at the warehouses. DB Schenker warehouses in India are equipped with technologies to enable developments like Radio Frequency and consignment scanning features. The brand’s focus has increased towards Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and automation in warehouses for various activities including picking, loading, unloading, stacking and scanning activities. Additionally, we are also using various IoT platforms including finger scan, auto labelling, auto scanning and auto packing for our customers.

Connect 4.0 and eSchenker digital platforms are for real-time tracking and instant bookings. What are the key benefits for SMEs and large companies?

Keeping pace with the ever-evolving industry demands, we at DB Schenker in India with our online platform eSchenker provide fluidity and transparency as it includes features like track and trace capabilities.

With the aim to drive India’s trade with a digital-first approach, connect 4.0 for ocean and air transits is another initiative towards strengthening the adoption of digital solutions. The platform simplifies the logistics process for customers in three simple steps – Click. Ship. Done. and allows them to customise their shipping services with real-time instant quotes, as well as the ability to book and track a shipment with 24/7 online visibility from pick up to delivery.

The SME industry is a key focus for DB Schenker in India and with the services provided through the connect 4.0 platform, we feel that it is a game-changer for SMEs because, unlike large companies who have specialist teams, the promoter takes charge of the logistics requirements in smaller organisations and values speed and service delivery more than their larger counterparts.

We will continue to develop local logistics capabilities in order to address the growing customer demand, further plan to launch the Connect 4.0 services for Land transportation by 2022.

What is the core vision of the company? How is technology helping in achieving it?

We aim to develop solutions that would help our customers manage their supply chains, optimise inventories and significantly reduce logistics costs. Going digital has allowed us to continue providing efficient supply chain solutions according to customer needs without any roadblocks.

There is clear directional change from customers and the industry to move away from traditional reports toward digital tools to improve efficiency and productivity. Instant availability of information remains a game changer in the current era of supply chain. The visibility tools allow suppliers and customers to make informed decisions and plan production according to availability of material during this disruptive time. Our vision is to provide seamless supply chain visibility from procurement to tracking which will create a positive customer experience.

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CEO – Cluster India and Indian Sub-ContinentDB SchenkerVishal Sharma
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