We sat down with Premier Logistics’ CEO Deepak Khushalani to discover the role technology is playing in the growth and evolution of his company within the Middle East region’s 3PL landscape.
With 2018 seeing more and more technical innovation, how important is it that the logistics community embraces innovation and implements the latest systems?
Logistics companies are facing a period of unprecedented change as customer expectations evolve and digitization is increasingly playing a much larger role than ever before.
Technological innovation is enabling greater efficiency and more collaborative operating models within the logistics community.
With this shifting pattern in the industry, digital innovation is currently of utmost importance with an increased sense of necessity to implement the latest systems.
Premier have recorded impressive growth over a relatively short time span. What has been important to your success?
Premier Logistics has achieved a growth rate of 20% YoY since its inception in 2016.
This is primarily due to our belief that teamwork is the most important aspect of success within this industry. We established this company in 2016 with a staff strength of just 3 people and are currently employing 30 people within various departments.
The other important aspect of our success is the initial investment towards IT and Digitalization within our organization.
From selecting the leading WMS (Infor SCE 10) to creating an in-house Logistics Management Portal (LMP), where a client can directly track, view, modify, request inbound/outbound, reserve dock space for their inventory stored within our warehouse.
What do you see as the biggest challenges to the logistics community in 2019?
In my opinion, the biggest challenges to the logistics community in 2019 would be:
i. Digital Transformation: Most logistics companies hail from a non-digital background, and to evolve quickly against their competition, companies need to think of digital transformation in terms of digitalization, processes and people.
ii. Maintaining Margins due to Competition: Margins have shrunken primarily due to commoditization of logistics services. Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) increasingly have to outbid competitors to gain business.
With innovation being an important component of growth within the industry, it is probably the only tangible method for gaining new business.
iii. Meeting Customer Expectations: Customers expect faster shipments with more flexibility, more transparency, better handling, state-of-the-art warehousing and lower prices.
To gain more business from existing customers, LSPs need to focus on aligning with their customers at a strategic level and understanding where they’re going over the next 3 to 5 years.
Were are the biggest opportunities for the logistics community in 2019?
LSP’s with a long-term view of the industry would see one of their biggest opportunities in acquiring smaller companies and increasing their overall Capacity.
Logistics services are in high demand, and with a shortage in capacity, LSP’s should focus towards International Joint Ventures and potential M&A deals.
What has been the main objective for Premier over the last 12 months and what is the goal for 2019?
The primary objective for Premier Logistics over the last 12 months was to establish various verticals within the organization.
Premier Logistics has successfully established a successful Finished Vehicles Logistics (FVL) division in collaboration with a leading Vehicle Distributor in the Middle East.
Moreover, we have also developed an in-house VAS department currently catering to over 70 brands within the Middle East, providing services such as Co-packing, Shrink-wrapping, Labelling, Barcoding, Repackaging and much more.
Due to the rapid expansion of our business, we have also managed to secure additional storage facilities (Open Yard and Bulk Storage) for Project Logistics with services such as Lashing and Crating for bulk items.
Our goals for 2019 include expanding our Warehousing Capacity through International Joint Ventures and build & operate a new state-of-the-art facility within Dubai.
Moreover, we aim to increase our current business by offering our clients improved end-to-end visibility of their goods through our Logistics Management Portal.
Our other plans for 2019 include establishment of a Chemical Logistics and an Aviation Logistics Division.
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