As consumer purchasing behaviour continues to shift online, the retail footprints are steadily shrinking. The number of online shoppers for CY2021 is pegged at 190 million compared to 150 million last year according to Maritime Gateway. They further report that India's e-commerce industry is estimated to clock $55 billion in sales in 2021 with the addition of 40 million new online shoppers.
This requires retailers to upgrade their logistics partnerships in order to cater to the rising demand for shipping items more rapidly, more efficiently and also at a lower price. Ultimately, meeting these demands means more intelligent and efficient warehousing.
According to a Research and Markets report, India's warehousing and cold storage space occupation increased by 77% between 2019 to 2020 alone. Evidently, warehousing in today's times is taking on a critical role in the supply chain strategy of any business. The report pegs the value of the Indian warehousing market at INR 1,050 Bn in 2020, expecting it to expand at a CAGR of 14.86% to reach a value of INR 2,028.86 Bn by 2025.
Quick response inventory management, sophisticated material handling and warehouse management systems are set to become the norm as businesses struggle to gain a competitive advantage. No longer just storage spaces responsible for fulfilling orders, warehouses are evolving as distribution centres or fulfilment centres. They are being revamped constantly with sharp edged technology—such as Internet of things (IoT), cloud computing, big data analytics, robotics and automation, AR, VR and more—to enhance overall efficiency and safety so as to meet the industry's needs for:
- Intelligent optimisation of picking, storage and delivery process
- Accurate demand forecasting
- Smart inventory allocation
- Risk reduction
- Rapid response
- Multiple channel management
This growing demand and concurrent technological advancement in the industry are also bringing forward urgent staffing needs for skilled manpower. Indiaâ€™s edutech industry is responding to address this need gap with equally sophisticated skilling solutions that are scalable, customisable and do not require a substantial capital investment.
mLearning solutions and gamification to skill the warehouse workforceBetter Training Outcome:
mLearning solutions are proving to be effective in imparting complex concepts to blue collar workers in India. When compared with traditional training methods, mLearning assures more engagement and knowledge retention. Employees undertake self-directed learning with the on-demand online content, without having to set a day aside from their daily schedule out on the field or on their feet in fulfilment centres.Customised Content:
Incorporating gamified content and simulators in these modules drives engagement with relevant real-life scenarios incorporated in games; such as how to handle perishables, build a pallet, put goods in the correct shelves, follow safety protocols and fill multiple order crates in the most time-efficient manner while correctly using the scanner. Gamification can also be used to teach forklift operations and safety protocols.Appealing to NextGen:
Through gamified elements, warehouse workers can become productive while 'playing' games that translate common job tasks into rewards as they level up their performance. Gamification is an impactful way to not just make trainings more fun but also to attract and connect with the new generation of blue-collar workers. Having grown up on a steady digital diet this generation has a love for gaming. Employers that implement new technologies will find themselves more appealing for the tech-savvy new generation of warehouse workers, attracting and retaining talent more easily.
As warehouses are set to become automated and system-driven, a skilled workforce is essential to ensure productivity, accuracy and the much-required competitive edge for businesses. Warehousing clusters are emerging across major cities and industrial corridors in India, becoming an attractive opportunity for international players. Initiatives by the Indian Government are further making the environment conducive for the warehouse industry to flourish and undergo significant changes, creating new opportunities and jobs for local youth. New age skilling solutions can make employable youth job-ready and address the rising need for skilled manpower in this burgeoning industry