By UrbanFox on Jun 24, 2020 5:17:41 PM
Much has been said about the Millennial generation which currently already account for slightly over a third of the workforce, and the impact they have on the future of work. At face value, it is hard to reconcile the traditional perception of logistics – that of warehouses, forklifts and trucks – with the default image of a Millennial with a phone perpetually in hand.
In this new reality with Millennials in the driver’s seat, our industry has evolved to cater to the Millennial both as a consumer, and as an employee. As a young company that is also young at heart with Millennials forming 87% of our team, who better to share the hows and the whys of this new logistics industry than our own Millennials?
Moving Out of the Warehouse
The most direct answer to how and why the logistics industry is now a Millennial’s one is eCommerce. For Millennials like Claris Chua, one of our software engineers, the role of logistics is now such an essential one in the era of e-commerce, with more people opting to buy online. Others like our human resource executive Frederick Tan, are excited to have front row seats to how vitality and a renewed sense of purpose is being injected into the logistics sector with the rising importance of eCommerce in our daily lives.
But beyond the tech-layer surrounding the logistics industry today needed to support eCommerce operations, online shopping is also handing us the opportunity to value-add in a more meaningful way to the bottom lines of our customers. We now have new roles that were unheard of in our line of work just a few years ago.
As an Omnichannel logistics company, we are not just moving and storing goods, but also helping brands to market and manage their sales online in webstores or on eCommerce third party platforms. We need talents like Calvin Ng in the channel management team, to continuously churn out ideas on how we can help our clients to sell their products more effectively online.
“Every day is unique because I always get to talk to someone new or work on something different – whether that is designing a creative asset or planning a social media activity for a cross-channel campaign”, said Calvin. “The vibrant company culture was also what compelled me to join UrbanFox.”
Beyond coming up with ideas and campaigns to support a brand’s sales online, the fully equipped studio on premises allows UrbanFox to conduct product photoshoots and produce more engaging content beyond static shots such as GIFs and possibly even short videos.
The ready access to products in the warehouse does have its benefits as well. For a seasonal promotion, the channel management team took the initiative to put together a holiday hamper consisting of different Cadbury products to help drive sales on the eCommerce platform, a move that was appreciated by the brand especially when it resulted in more sales than anticipated.
This new approach to logistics and blurring of lines between the roles we can play, means brands can and should expect their logistics partner to bring more value to the table beyond just keeping and moving products.
Moving Products from Pallets-to-Parcels
eCommerce is but a subset of the role of technology in the logistics industry, and why this industry is a natural playing field for this tech native generation. Beyond managing a product’s sales page and brand profile online, technology is giving us the tools and the impetus to revolutionize our operations and approach to logistics from the ground-up, with Millennials leading the charge.
The tech-based model UrbanFox has at its disposal means we have a unique automated process to break down large pallets as and when required from the warehouse into individual products. The process gives our inventory team the means to maintain full visibility of inventory flow and better predict when stockouts are likely to occur for each individual product, whether it is delivered in its usual pallet form to distributors and stores, or sold online via e-commerce, meaning no missed sales for the brands we are supporting.
This tech-first approach also underpins our crowdsourced last-mile delivery operations. Our Millennials like Ming Kai, a software engineer, are always busy tinkering with more efficient delivery routes, how we can work with our delivery partners better and how we can ensure each parcel is tracked and traced right until it reaches the doorstep of consumers.
It gets busy at this one-stop-shop where we are playing a bigger role outside of the warehouse with the help of technology, and there is still so much we can do. As Ming Kai puts it, “I am so much more aware now of how technology can add value to the logistics industry, and in so many ways.”
Ming Kai and his peers are also motivated by the energy and excitement present in UrbanFox and the role they can play as Millennials in redefining what logistics should be like to serve the Millennial generation.
This is an observation by Frederick as well, who interviews Millennials on a regular basis. He notes that many are keen to explore how they can make a difference in what they perceived as a sunset industry. “My own perception of the industry has changed tremendously. The Millennials I speak to recognize the thriving and fast-paced nature of the work we are doing especially in the eCommerce area, within an industry that is so fundamental to our everyday lives.”
Other meaningful opportunities from this new Millennial-led and defined approach to logistics includes adopting an Omnichannel approach to medicine delivery, particularly crucial during the pandemic to limit unnecessary exposure for those with compromised immune systems, and borrowing even more from artificial intelligence and other advanced technology to improve core logistic operations even further.
Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that the logistics industry has silently become one of most dynamic industries in the world, and one that provides a strong sense of purpose and meaning to satisfy idealistic Millennials.
As an Omnichannel enabler, we empower homegrown and global brands to strengthen their presence in the region through integrated B2B2C fulfilment, cross-border and last-mile distribution, real-time inventory, and online-to-offline retail management.