First air-conditioned air freight station to be commissioned August 20, 2007Posted by Ramnath Rangaswamy in Business, Emerging Markets, Indian Economy, Logistics.
Central Warehousing Corporation [CWC] would be commissioning a Air Freight Station [AFS]with air-conditioned storage facility. I am skeptical about the usefulness and utility of the AFS, being operated by CWC.
Every supply chain solution has 2 parts- hardware and software. The hardware is the infrastructure-trucks,warehouse, air-conditioned storage. The software is the process, trained and skilled people, customer orientation and other ‘soft elements’. The hardware is the easier part; you pay money and you get the hardware. Software requires hard work and effort.
As Indians we are very good at creating infrastructure [ because of the myriad opportunities for ,what is referred to in Economicspeak as, ‘rent seeking’] but useless in maintaining it or creating processes to use it effectively. As a people, Indians hate following laws and we pride ourselves in breaking rules. From breaking the laws of the land, to not following any processes at work, is a small step.
CWC has got the hardware for the AFS in place; the impetus provided by the Prime Minister who was requested by Nokia. So far so good. As far as the software goes, I don’t know.
Coming back to the new AFS, setup by CWC, does a customer know whether to take his goods to the AFS or to the airport cargo terminal? Does the customer know from where to collect his material- from the AFS or airport cargo terminal? What criteria will be used to store goods at the airport cargo terminal and AFS? Will the Warehouse Management System[ WMS] be able to tell whether goods are stored at the AFS or airport cargo terminal? Will the customs clearance and export/import formalities be completed at the AFS or will it be done at the airport cargo terminal?
Based on my own experience with CWC, about 10 years back, I do not have a good opinion of CWC and their customer service. I would never again have CWC as my warehousing provider. Never! Their processes, to put it mildly, were ‘business unfriendly’.
I assume things have changed, for the better, in the 10 years since I last dealt with them. I hope and wish CWC has put in a lot of thought and effort in the ‘software’ part of the AFS. Else, it is just wasting our money [taxpayer’s money].It would be better to sell-off CWC and invest it elsewhere.
If there is anyone there who has dealt with CWC in the near past, it would be great to have your views and comments.
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