The Role of Technology in Overcoming Festive Season Supply Chain Challenges
In conversation with Charulatha, Correspondent, Silicon- india Magazine. Yash offered his perspective on en- suring the punctual delivery of goods during high-demand festival seasons, even when transportation and infrastructure may face challenges.
The significance of logistics in managing the supply chain during the festival season
Every festive season, one thing that remains constant is the outpouring of money in the market with the bulk purchase of goods and services. When the sale in- creases, so does the pressure mount on online sellers to efficiently deliver orders across the country in addition to managing other aspects of the business like marketing, sales, etc. And to be very honest, shipping is not a piece of cake. If one has no foolproof strategy in place to tackle peak demand season, it’s going to be overwhelming!
Logistics management is a must to flawlessly manage everything from surging festive orders and unpredictable festive inventory trends to delivery service, return shipments, and more. Logistics has a pivotal role to play in managing the supply chain during the festival season, as it ensures the uninterrupted flow of goods from manufacturers to consumers. With increased consumer demand and fluctuating patterns of product movement, efficient logistics operations are crucial in meeting customer expectations and maintaining profitability.
The festive season, particularly in India, is a critical period for SMEs because it offers a Window of increased consumer spending
The timely delivery of goods during peak festival seasons when transportation and infrastructure can be strained
Given the rush during peak demand seasons, traffic congestion is a common problem, and maintaining the swift movement of goods becomes a major challenge. With an advanced technology platform and strategically located warehouses and fulfilment centres, logistical organisations largely rely on the hub and spoke model to facilitate a centralised flow of goods from manufacturing units to distribution centres and finally to end customers.
Organisations can use new-age technology and algorithms like route optimisation to boost efficiency in warehouses, avoid human errors, and speed up the process of order fulfilment.
Common logistical bottlenecks that arise during festivals, and mitigate them
Given the sheer scale and diversity of celebrations across the country, the festive season brings multiple obstacles for logistics. One major challenge is the surge in demand for transportation and the resulting congestion on the roads. Additionally, supply chain operations become difficult as many businesses and manufacturers may close or reduce production during holidays. Usually, demand spikes during festivals, and online retailers often struggle to maintain bulk stocks in storage due to inadequate warehouse and fulfilment spaces. And, last but not least, communication often gets hampered during the festive rush due to disparities in regional languages and festive customs.
To combat these challenges all at once, they largely rely on automation. They have to invest in building new-age, tech-driven logistics infrastructure to maintain the flow of goods from manufacturer to consumer. Most of the logistical organisations current expansion in warehouse and fulfilment spaces across strategic locations in the country has given them the advantage of managing the unpredictable spike in demand during peak season. To add further, WhatsApp Support Service can single-handedly tackle the communication gap that occurs between the seller and customers. The service lets sellers confirm orders instantly, send real-time shipment updates to customers, and offer end-to-end communication.
Plus, a tech-enabled platform empowers valuable clients with features like multi-courier shipping, a courier recommendation engine, an advanced NDR panel, AI-enabled fraud de- tection, real-time shipment tracking, automated order confirmation via IVR and SMS, etc. to assist them in overcoming challenges like low delivery rates, high RTO ratios, low profit margins, and other shipping challenges during the festive season. Overall, technology is instrumental in overcoming logistics bottlenecks during the peak festive season.
"Logistics management is a must to flawlessly manage everything from surging festive orders and unpredictable festive inventory trends to delivery service, return shipments, and more"
The festive season a critical period for SMEs and business
The festive season, particularly in India, is a critical period for SMEs because it offers a Window of increased consumer spending, a platform to showcase their products and services, and a chance to establish themselves as go-to destinations for holiday shoppers. By strategically utilizing this period, SMEs can boost their revenues, enhance their brand visibility, and set the stage for sustained success in the future.
Given the craze of online shopping, the festive season brings peak time of bulk orders, overwhelming courier partners. So right from the shipping and logistics to warehouse fulfil- ment, everything needs to be re-strategized. Therefore, the festive season offers the opportunity to fuel profit margins, but it does not come without the burden of meeting changing customer expectations.