t was not too long ago that home delivery of products such as Furniture and televisions was straight forward and rigid, with very few choices for customers. However, today there is a dramatic change in the way consumers experience their purchases. There is no longer the need for them to frequent the brick and mortar stores for their shopping.
With the rise of and the influence of e-commerce, the proliferation of technology via the internet, smartphones, tablets and mobile the apps, the ability to research, view, select and buy virtually practically. Any product or service online, from anywhere, has become a reality.
The purchases that are getting delivered to homes range from products like durable lifestyle goods, FMCGs to delivery of services like housekeeping or even getting a spa at home. Delivery windows have shrunk, in some cases on the same day as the purchase. Now it is the retailer and the last-mile delivery provider who are obligated to adapt to the consumer's schedule and meet their higher expectations for visibility and flexibility.
The accelerating growth in e-commerce has flagged the way for many specific logistics firms in the country. The sector currently employs more than 100,000 delivery boys and girls and have testified at 200-300% hike over last year's numbers. Growth is forecasted to be alike, this year.
It has become a familiar sight to spot delivery boys and girls with huge bags on their back as they drive down to deliver products and service from the warehouses of e-commerce companies to offices and residences of the consumers.
The last-mile delivery dynamic, which was once mostly an afterthought for retailers, today has grown to become an integral and strategic part of a company's customer service and brand prestige. The providers of last-mile delivery services are displaying the face of the retailer.
In such a scenario the skills of the last mile delivery agents assume great importance. A level of presentability customer service, product knowledge and communication skills all oriented towards the consumer, including the ability in some cases to quickly and accurately assemble or install a product and many such things should become the second nature of these last-mile delivery agents.
In a vast country like India, the retail sector is by far the largest employer of the last-mile delivery of goods and services. It is changing fast with organized retail, comprising of online and brick and mortar retailers, growing faster than the overall industry in itself.
For such employers, the minimum skills and assets required to get hired as a delivery agent are:
• Speaking clearly so listeners can understand.
• Listening to others and asking questions.
• Understanding spoken and written information
• Write clearly so other people can understand.
• Read and understand work-related materials.
Reasoning and Problem Solving
Analyzing ideas and use logic to determine their strengths and weaknesses.
As these last-mile delivery agents constitute a significant portion of the flourishing Gig economy, this gap, unless addressed correctly, is likely to become a critical obstacle in the growth of the logistics sector in India
Following guidelines to arrange objects or actions in Specific order
Use reasoning to discover answers to problems.
Noticing when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong.
Ability to read and use maps to reach the customer's location.
Managing oneself, time, people and things.
• Manage the time of self and others.
Working with people
• Look for ways to help people.
• Be aware of others' reactions and understand the possible causes.
• Persuade others to approach things differently
Need for improved skilling:
A look at the financial of a set of 80 logistics companies in India across sectors reveals that companies' expense of the workforce constitute just 8-10 per cent of overall sales of the industry. Out of which only about 13 -14 per cent of the total workforce expenditure is spent on non-salary, and skill development items (welfare, and training).
This lack of focus and investment in developing human resources and skills for the last mile delivery agents in the sector has resulted in a significant gap in the numbers and quality of the workforce in the industry.
As these last-mile delivery agents constitute a significant portion of the flourishing Gig economy, this gap, unless addressed correctly, is likely to become a critical obstacle in the growth of the logistics sector in India. The consequence could impact growth in the retail and the service industries, along with manufacturing sectors as well. This emphasizes the need for recognizing the areas where such workforce skill gaps are significant and devising focused action plans to fix the situation.