Atul Joshi, EVP, Distribution Business Vertical, Jumbo Group, talks about the transformative role played by digital technologies in shaping today’s distribution process.
How has the pandemic changed the overall distribution process in the Middle East?
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a shift in distribution processes on a global scale, and we have seen several transformations. For instance, the sharp acceleration of E-commerce, and how Last Mile Delivery (LMD) is becoming more and more impartial. With a desire to limit visits to physical stores, customers took to e-commerce and retailers matched consumer preference with new and evolved options.
As we navigate through the repercussions of the past year, we can see how regular retail is slowly, but surely, coming back into business. We also see different groups of consumers graduate to more premium brands.
How has the expectations from the premium brands evolved since the onset of the pandemic?
As customers looked towards more premium brands and products, there is an expectation from our partners that Jumbo is amplifying service capabilities to meet rising demands from the market.
Generally, a stronger emphasis has been placed on the experiential and brand storytelling elements in an online environment, as e-commerce was becoming the only method to shop, and every brand was continuously competing for the diminishing customer attention span.
How has Jumbo digitally transformed to enable excellent end to end experience?
The changes brought about by the pandemic last year were a clear indication to just how much customer experiences drive digital transformation. All our processes at Jumbo are backed by the latest technology in order to achieve just that – excellent end to end customer experiences.
One of the key innovations that we implemented was shifting our service operations to a new state-of-the-art technology system. This new system allows customers to not only track their services online, but also receive SMS & email updates on the status of their service procedure. The system also grants technicians visibility on time stamping at each stage and the ability to calculate turnaround time between stages. The automation of processes, including billing operations, inventory management and the dispatch process are all possible using this latest technology. The system also allows for better structured reporting, dedicated dashboards, and automated predictive analysis to leverage real-time information for a better-informed decision-making process.
Our end-to-end supply chain is also supported by the latest technology, as wealso work with Warehouse Management systems (WMS) to support and optimize warehouse functionality. All our processes are therefore fully automated, thereby delivering high efficiency and productivity.
What are Jumbo’s key differentiators that has helped attract new and retain existing brands?
The past year has accelerated the need for integration of digital technology into all areas of business, allowing for fundamental changes in how a company operates and the value delivered to the customer. Jumbo’s value-added services, including category assortment, formulating product ranging, demand planning & fulfillment as well as our after-sales support and authorized service centers has helped us attract new premium brands and retain our excellent portfolio of existing brands.
Jumbo is the go-to company for brands that aspire to rapidly gain market position, in particular for brands that are premium and seek high customer engagement. Jumbo has the competence to deliver an end-to-end experience. With premium brands like Dyson, Weber, Sony, Laurastar and Du choosing Jumbo, the team ensures the expertise and value-added services are supplied to provide optimal solutions for every aspect of the supply chain.
What are the new emerging trends that can make the distribution process more seamless and more efficient?
The distribution of today stands transformed. It is far beyond breaking bulk and moving boxes. The purpose of distribution today is to deliver outstanding value to our customers at the point that matters: the marketplace. Thus, the role of distribution incorporates services in addition to the brands, technology enabled processes, strong partnerships, financial stability and highlight skilled manpower.
The future of distribution sees more reliance on digital technology and processes automation. It also sees more reliance on strong infrastructure, use of data, tracking and visibility in the supply chain. These factors are essential to achieve a more seamless and efficient distribution process moving forward.