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.
For the full story click ;First air-conditioned air freight station to be commissioned