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Digital Drive: Technology upgrades improve service efficiency for Pinkcity Logistics

April 09, 2015

Established in 1994, Pinkcity Logistics Limited is a leading multimodal logistics company in India. Its range of services includes dry cargo transportation, the consol and de-consol of less-than-container-load cargo, clearing and forwarding, port agency services, and liner shipping. The company has a large footprint across India with 20 regional offices, and it also has a strong international presence in markets like the US, Europe, Southeast Asia and the Far East.

Pinkcity Logistics began operations as a single-mode transport company and has since grown into a multimodal logistics player. It has made significant investments in telecom and IT infrastructure to keep up this growth and cater to the demands of its large client base.

tele.net takes a look at the company’s communications set-up, the applications currently being used by it, and its future IT infrastructure plans…

Communications set-up

Commenting on Pinkcity Logistics’ communication requirements, managing director Surendra Jeet Singh says, “The com-pany has two critical functional areas: freight forwarding and transportation (logistics), and customs interaction and clearance. Both these activities require a great degree of IT interactions and high bandwidth support for carrying huge volumes of data. Moreover, since our operations span various time zones, we require a robust IT infrastructure and round-the-clock connectivity with minimum downtime.”

Pinkcity Logistics relies on a wide area network that helps the company achieve real-time connectivity across offices. Depending on the location, size and volume of work, regional offices are connected either through leased lines or via broadband. The company’s network has a bandwidth of 10 Mbps, which is sourced from different service providers.

Apart from having a robust telecom infrastructure, Pinkcity Logistics has deployed several applications and software solutions for streamlining its business practices. In its early days, the company used to handle customer data through standalone office networks, which were connected through email systems. However, keeping in mind its growing business, it has developed an in-house enterprise resource planning (ERP) system called Pinkcity Web, which serves as the backbone of all corporate customer transactions. Each corporate relationship and transaction is recorded from the time of enquiry till shipment delivery using this platform. The company’s corporate office in Mumbai has central access to the system and administrative rights for monitoring each and every activity. Regional offices have limited access to the ERP system and employees at these offices can only view details pertaining to transactions that are relevant to them. Pinkcity Web helps generate management information system reports for customers and also provides an overview of various functions to help the management look into key areas and map out future courses of action.

The ERP system also supports a customs clearance process through an interactive platform called Visual Impex. The web-based system serves as a platform for customs interaction and is used extensively by Pinkcity Logistics’ Indian offices. In addition to Pinkcity Web, the company has a stand-alone IT facility for its accounting system.

Since it is in the logistics industry, tracking cargo is the company’s top priority, for which it relies on global positioning system (GPS) technology. Each vehicle is equipped with GPS and sends regular data feeds to the company’s logistics team and fleet managers. This data acts as a basis for pre-empting impediments on the route and identifying safer approach roads to destinations. This increases the turnaround time for deliveries and helps improve efficiency.

All Pinkcity Logistics employees have access to the company’s telecom and IT infrastructure. In order to ensure a high level of security, its entire network is IP-protected. Antivirus packages and firewalls have also been set up to secure the telecom infrastructure from internal and external security threats.

The way forward

When it began operations, the company worked with basic network structures, but soon realised the advantages of technology as its footprint expanded. Over the years, by using cutting-edge technology, it has been able to bring in efficiency across functions with the faster execution of day-to-day operations.

Talking about the company’s future plans, Singh says, “We plan to upgrade our stand-alone accounting system and integrate it with our ERP system, Pinkcity Web, for greater visibility. Going forward, we are committed to significantly increasing our spend on IT with the aim of catering to our current as well as future business requirements.”

 
 

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