In conversation with Mr Hirak Deb, Head – Customer Service & Logistics, Abbott Nutrition
Over the past 10 months, Porter has been working with Abbott Nutrition and helping the brand work on its Modern Trade & e-commerce operations. We chatted with Mr Hirak Deb, Customer Service & Logistics Head at Abbott Nutrition, to understand the problems they faced in carrying out operations in the traditional way and if Porter’s intervention helped them in any way.
Tell us a little bit about Abbott Nutrition and the values you lead your team with?
Abbott Nutrition has been developing innovative nutrition products for nearly 100 years. Since the beginning, our goal has remained unchanged: To help people live their best lives at every stage. Today, we continue providing products that help support the immune system from infancy through adulthood. We believe that, with good nutrition, every stage of life can be a healthy one.
What were the problems Abbott Nutrition was facing in the Modern Trade & e-comm ecosystem?
We were serving our Modern trade & e-commerce accounts with a mix of fixed trip cost and per kg rate models. This meant that at times despite having a lower order demand, we would continue to pay for the set cost.
Additionally, we had to coordinate extensively with the accounts to ensure smooth servicing of the orders. Along with this, we had to face the challenge of delayed unloading at the distribution centres. All these operational challenges and back and forth led to higher cost of servicing Modern trade & e-com accounts and also impacted our OTIF.
What were the key proposals presented by Porter?
Porter, was the only logistics company that came out with an innovative solution to address these operational challenges. When it comes to intra-city logistics, we knew Porter is a key player.
They suggested and delivered on 3 factors and helped us in dealing with Modern trade & E-commerce accounts more effectively:
– A direct delivery model which can accommodate all ticket-size shipments, especially the smaller ones
– Organizing, coordinating & managing a clear line of communication with the customer’s distribution centre to reduce detention rates, and improve upon faster TAT
– Overall reduction in the cost of services.
What were the challenges Abbott had to face while trying to implement the direct channels Porter created for the Modern trade & e-comm accounts?
We never faced any hurdles or challenges, since the entire setup was executed in a well-thought out manner. A pilot phase was initiated at one of the Abbott Nutrition DC’s where all teams, inclusive of the Carrying & Forwarding Agency, were aligned on the new process flow and SOPs. After the successful pilot phase, the operations were extended to 5 more DCs.
What were the results of partnering with Porter?
Reduction in servicing cost of MT & E-com accounts
Better OTIF levels and delivery
What are the next problem points that you would like to work with Porter on?
Currently, we are in talks with Porter for further expanding the operation to other cities & towns. Additionally, we are also trying to get a customized plan for initiating a few inter-city operations. This would help in catering to a larger account base in a systematic and effective manner.
How was it working with Porter for the past 10 months?
In India, the secondary transportation business is fragmented & largely unorganized with local & regional players. This is where Porter comes in with their tech-driven platform. The pandemic led to a significant shift in business models for the FMCG & Healthcare sector like many other industries with business moving from traditional to organized retail. Porter tapped into this gap and has come around with effective & efficient solutions and established a well-planned & coherent setup. For us at Abbott, it has been an absolute pleasure working with the team.
How do you see the status quo of the logistics sector changing with Modern Trade & E-commerce accounts?
Since this is a fairly unorganized & fragmented sector, there is an ever-evolving & growing demand for differentiated services & information. It is crucial for players to start analyzing data and design services which can benefit the customer. Companies like Porter, who have tech focused solutions are leading the path of change, which is commendable.
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