KSH Distriparks: Digitalization and Automation closing Gender Gap

KSH Distriparks
“More training programs and flexible work options by companies can enhance women's participation in the logistics sector.”

Swati Lohar Pingale, Assistant Manager - Operations, KSH Distriparks

I've embraced challenges and opportunities that come with my responsibilities, and thereby strived to set an example of competence and leadership.

Reflecting on my journey in logistics, I've encountered typical challenges faced by women in navigating male-dominated environments and overcoming career hurdles. To overcome these obstacles, I've focused on enhancing my expertise, credibility, and capabilities.

Over my eight-year tenure as Assistant Manager Operations, I've witnessed the impact of technological advancements on our industry. These innovations have transformed operations, improved efficiencies and customer service. From optimizing supply chain management to automating processes, technologies such as GPS and RFID have empowered us to monitor our customers’ shipments, that is their condition, location, and safety, with greater precision.

GPS satellite technology in our fleet of 100 vehicles tracks container movements in real-time from port departure which is crucial for urgent deliveries. We also use RFID tags on packages for quick retrieval of detailed information, saving time and enhancing efficiency in inventory management.

Throughout my tenure, I've contributed across four key departments: customer support, documentation, EDI CMC, and currently in the warehouse. Overseeing a team of 20-25 members, I've taken on various responsibilities and tasks, demonstrating versatility and adaptability in each role. As the sole female member of my team, I've embraced the challenges and opportunities that come with it, striving to set an example of competence and leadership. My experience spans essential warehouse operations including cargo storage, CBT loading, and container loading. I've acquired proficiency in all these areas, contributing to the smooth functioning of our logistics processes.

optimizing supply chain management to automating processes

Managing work and personal life requires setting clear boundaries to achieve a sense of balance.

At first, managing work and personal life was tough with the responsibility of two children. However, I've learned that setting clear boundaries and prioritizing tasks are crucial. With guidance from senior colleagues and support from my husband, I managed to navigate both. Despite being new to both roles, I embraced the learning curve and continued to fulfill my responsibilities at home and in the office with dedication. Most importantly, I took care of my health. Being fit, both physically and mentally, helps you through the most difficult situations. I made myself capable of managing everything mindfully.

Women are embracing digital transformation in the logistics sector

For young women considering a career in logistics, my advice is to not hesitate to seek support, when necessary; remain committed to continuous learning, believe in yourself, and seek opportunities with organizations that will value your contribution.

Logistics undeniably serves as the linchpin of the Indian economy, contributing significantly to infrastructure development, cost reduction, and employment generation. Its role in facilitating seamless movement of goods across the nation underscores its contribution to the success of businesses and the overall economic growth of India.

Digitalization and automation are poised to revolutionize logistics operations, bringing in greater efficiency and new ideas. This evolution promises to amplify representation, narrow gender disparities, and encourage more women to pursue careers in this field. I appreciate that companies are actively encouraging the presence of women in leadership roles, particularly in roles associated with technology and innovation.

A challenging project experience.

In my career, one particularly challenging project stands out—my initial day in warehouse management. Once, I was asked by a client to determine the number of containers needed for their cargo list. It was a task I initially found daunting. Seeking guidance from my senior and undergoing comprehensive training provided by the company, I understood CBM, customer communication, and effective mail drafting. Equipped with newfound knowledge and skills, we now manage our work more efficiently, ensuring accurate solutions for our customers' needs.

More training programs and flexible work options would promote greater participation of women.

Both the industry and government can help women in the logistics sector by offering more training programs, flexible work options, and mentorship opportunities. They should also ensure equal pay and promote a culture of inclusivity. By creating a supportive environment, they can encourage more women to pursue careers in this field.

Pay parity is still an issue in this industry. While progress has been made, there is still work to be done to ensure equitable compensation for all employees, regardless of gender. It's crucial for companies to actively address and rectify any disparities in pay to foster an inclusive and fair work environment.
LIFTING & SPECIALIZED TRANSPORT, March - April 2024
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