Manufacturing led growth: Is Make in India the way forward?

Make in India is crucial to fostering investment, facilitating growth, enhancing skill development, preserving intellectual property, and developing best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure within the subcontinent. Broadly speaking, it is poised to create positive long term structural changes to the very fabric on the Indian manufacturing landscape.

The Make in India initiative covers under its ambit 25 major manufacturing sectors of the Indian economy including automobiles, IT, chemicals, and electronics. Governmental efforts to increase investment by enabling single-window clearances, increasing FDI investment limits and significantly cutting down red-tapism has been undertaken to maximize on job-creation. The ultimate objective is to make the Indian manufacturing sector self-reliant and competitive in the global market.

The manufacturing sector is vital for job creation and skill development, thereby enhancing productivity and consequently boosting overall economic growth.

Market Size

As per the IBEF report, the Indian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) reached 48.1 in June 2021 from 50.8 in May 2021.

The manufacturing component of IIP stood at 117.2 between April 2020 and March 2021. In May 2021, the industrial output indices for the mining, manufacturing and electricity sectors stood at 108.0, 113.5 and 161.9, respectively.

According to the latest survey, capacity utilization in India's manufacturing sector stood at 66.6% in the third quarter of FY21.

The rise of the manufacturing sector

Previously a dominant feature in job creation, the agricultural sector, is no longer able to absorb the increase in the labor force. The manufacturing sector has played a remarkable role in the growth and development of any industrialized country. As a result, emerging economies build their growth strategies around manufacturing potential. The share and role of manufacturing in GDP is, therefore, a basic indicator of the significance of the sector in a country's economy.

The Government of India, through the Make in India initiative, aims at strengthening the manufacturing sector by creating the right business conditions to attract large scale investment in into the space.

This has given the manufacturing sector an impetus, and the investments made in infrastructure, healthcare, electronics are already proving to be fruitful. This will help India being seen as a global manufacturing hub for the world.

The lockdown intensified supply chain uncertainties, making organizations rethink and rework their sourcing strategies. Globally, one could see a fast-gaining preference in derricking organizational supply chains by focusing on developing a localized network, specifically in growing markets like India.

Initiatives taken by the Indian Government

In its effort to make India a manufacturing hub, the government has introduced industrial corridors that are designed to ensure efficient manufacturing. Heavy infrastructure investments to better communications and logistics have been critical in integrating India into the global supply chain.

Many innovative practices and research activities are being supported through fast-paced registration systems, and accordingly, the Intellectual Property Rights registration setup has been upgraded.

Many new initiatives have been launched in order to streamline and rationalize licensing rules at the state government level, aligning them with global best practices. The requirement of upgraded skills for industries is being identified, and accordingly, the development of the workforce is being undertaken by several state and national bodies.

Role of Lipi Data

Lipi's state of art manufacturing facility offers manufacturing services for most complex electro-mechanical and sheet metal products. Our competencies in mechanical, electronic and software development are critical in designing mission critical products that have the ability to optimally perform even in the harshest of conditions. Over the years, Lipi has successfully developed unique products and solutions for the global markets.

Way Ahead

India has always been an attractive marketplace for foreign investments in the manufacturing sector. Many consumers electronic brands, automobile manufacturers, amongst others, have set up or are looking to establish their manufacturing base in the country. Trends suggest that the manufacturing sector of India is poised to reach US$ 1 trillion by 2025.

The Government of India aims to ensure the holistic development of the nation with an impetus on developing industrial corridors. These corridors would further assist in integrating, monitoring and developing a conducive environment for industrial development thereby making India a vital component of the global manufacturing supply chain.


Revolutionize Your Retail Space with Self Checkout Kiosk

Over the last few years, the retail sector has transitioned from a product-centric business to a customer-focused industry. This means that customer experience has become the priority for many retailers. Across the world, organized retailers are focussing on creating a seamless, omnichannel shopping experience for their customers.

Research conducted by WBR proves that almost 80% of retailers believe that self checkout kiosks are crucial to enhance customer experiences. As a result, interactive digital kiosks, ranging from self-checkout terminals to interactive wayfinding devices, are increasingly becoming a part of brick and mortar store layouts.

Interactive self checkout solutions enhance in-person shopping by reducing the waiting time substantially, offering additional insights, optimizing time and employee efforts, and blending in the whole e-commerce experience within the store.

Not only do self checkout terminals greatly improve on time efficiency, they also allow for hyper personalised targeting to be carried out at a store level, while ensuring the sanctity of the overall brand.

Reduced Waiting Time

Checkout counters are usually bottlenecks in any retail environment. With the permeation of self service technology in the retail landscape, shoppers are increasingly preferring to go to stores that have automated checkout terminals. Self checkout terminals have been seen to significantly reduce waiting lines, leading to a better customer experience, eventually culminating in better sales.

Additional insight into the brands and products

Since we all know that brick-and-mortar retailers have limited space to display all of their inventories, interactive digital signage terminals can improve the retailers' in-store offerings by displaying products that may not be currently available on the stores’ racks. By creating a hybridized physical and digital shopping experience, retailers can maintain lower inventory quantities and more in-store product variety. Further, it can offer a unique opportunity to identify consumer needs and provide a highly customized experience as per each customer's behavior and past purchasing patterns.

E-commerce blended with an in-store experience

Retailers are now going the extra mile and putting in efforts to find interactive ways to engage with their customers and improve the in-store purchase experience. Creating a hybrid shopping experience-- one through which the physical store experience can integrate with that available online-- has become the focal point of many new retail strategies. A self-service kiosk turns customers into users enabling them to express their personal preferences and selections in a similar way they do online.

Providing a highly interactive and comfortable digital shopping experience in a physical store is often considered critical for success. As per the recent survey conducted by SOTI, it was surprisingly discovered that more than 60% of buyers preferred self-service platforms when procuring essentials. Theoretically, retail shopping can only be made more efficient and successful by using interactive tools, real-time data and integrated devices to deliver a hyper personalised experience to customers.

Why Endless Aisle?

Digital or endless aisles have been an effective way to reduce lost sales by offering a much broader product selection as compared to the physical display. Sometimes when an item or product is unavailable in the store, you can still make a purchase and have the product shipped directly to your address, or can get it collected from a nearby store. Self Service Terminals that are integrated with the online store thereby bring in the power and flexibility of e-commerce into brick and mortar ones.

These days beautiful and attention-grabbing interactive touch screens form a key component of store layouts. They have made it easier for customers to make online purchases, read product reviews, or locate an item in the store.

Some of the features of interactive terminals in the retail landscape include:

  • Real-time analytics, data monitoring, and CMS.
  • Motion or face detector to attract customers.
  • Check information such as product reviews or feedback with barcode scanners.
  • Integrate call to action with idle screens.
  • Easy checkout options.
  • Wayfinding: turn by turn directions to specific locations within the store as per the product or category.

The primary goal of creating a hybridized digital and physical shopping experience is to:

  • Prevent lost revenue due to the unavailability of a product that the customer is looking for.
  • Provide a delightful shopping experience with an innovative touch by creating brand awareness and building brand loyalty.
  • Materialize in-store visits to strengthen online relationships.
  • Procure more information about the demographics and customers' intent in the store by capturing data such as users' age and gender to provide a better experience.

Future of digital signage

Digital signage solutions can easily augment the in-store customer journey by adding value to customer experiences beyond the original intent to purchase. Now, even new and upcoming retailers can access next-gen technologies to entice customers, entertain them, and add value to how they search for and select products. But as with all new investments, retailers of all sizes need a robust content and delivery strategy to create more engaging, and loyalty-generating experiences in their physical stores.


Passenger Automation Revolutionizes Aviation Industry

The pandemic has heightened awareness, increased hygiene concerns, and broadly prioritized healthcare protocols. Resultingly, airports, and the aviation industry as a whole, now need to maneuver through this global crisis and come up with holistic solutions to understand the new requirements of passengers and fulfill them effectively.

The concept of contactless travel has gained traction to adhere to COVID related restrictions and health concerns. A combination of advanced and innovative technologies including biometric verification, facial recognition and touchless body temperature detection kiosks are now springing up at terminals all over the world. These devices are crucial to create airports that deliver a safe and comfortable passenger experience as a part of the new normal. Further, significant transformation to the overall travel experience is being fostered with the help of data and its analysis in real time.

Challenges at the airport

Lockdowns, travel bans, and controlled quarantine measures continue to impede the recovery of the travel industry. Airport capacities were not designed to adapt to COVID protocols and social distancing regulations. The insufficiency of staff at screening checkpoints, security counters, and baggage handling has, in many a cases, slowed passenger throughput. Queues can seriously hamper social distancing protocols and lead to potential health risks. Further, Inconsistencies in flight schedules due to country-specific restrictions have also led to delays at airports. Overcoming these challenges requires operational flexibility, smooth collaboration, and technological readiness.

Redefining the air travel experience with innovation

Contactless technologies have become crucial in supporting the recovery of airports. Digitalization and touchless technologies have accelerated the efficiency of airport management at various passenger touchpoints, enabling the conversion of several manual processes to turn human free.

Physically, many airports are now using a multi-layered approach to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission. With the help of diligent cleaning systems and advanced ventilation devices, health standards for post-pandemic travel are strictly being maintained. To further reduce any risk of transmission, passenger services are being delivered through the self service channel. Self-service Kiosks and automated boarding gates at airports ensure smooth and contactless movement.

New age travel experience

Contactless technology remove the need for manual data inputting. Even though sanitization measures are implemented at various airports, contactless systems specifically, do not need constant monitoring owing to the lack of direct contact.

User-friendly mobile applications assist airport visitors in navigating the premises of the terminal. Many airlines are now switching towards mobile apps to communicate flight details, alerts, baggage information and status reports with customers. These customizable apps can be used at airports to inform, track, and alert visitors about social distancing measures as well.

Passenger time optimization

Digital identification, such as biometric verification, have become an inevitable part of the new travel norm to get rid of manually-intensive operations. With the help of facial identification, you could go straight through the boarding gate, allowing time optimization, eliminating long waiting time at various checkpoints.

With the introduction of biometric based processes at airports, passengers can take advantage of fast-track services. A recent example of this is at Dubai Internationa Airport, where a biometric system was implemented that uses AI technology. Biometric enabled smart gates allow for an enhanced passenger experience, and provide a completely contactless experience.

Smart baggage kiosks

Self-service bag drop or SSBD can be defined as an automated technology designed to provide complete control to the passenger at the point of check in. This terminal reduces queuing and check-in time, enabling a safe and secure journey. Its user-friendly interface allows passengers to print their bag tags, boarding passes, and drop-off baggage. Smart terminals provide substantial benefits to travelers and airport management staff. They allow for:

  • A comfortable travel experience.
  • A smaller manual workforce.
  • Time optimization.
  • Convenient check-in.

With the steady increase in passenger throughput each year, the need for space optimization is a priority.

Enhanced lounge experience

With its ability to convert data into usable intelligence, the use of AI has been quite significant to improvise operations and thereby the overall passenger experience. Self-service automated stations and sanitizing robots at airport lounges enable a contactless experience. Passengers can now also order meals by grabbing a meal device with a QR code, eliminating the need for any human interaction. Touchless technologies can also create a premium, tailored experience for travelers looking for comfort. Many concepts, several of which combine innovative technology, are now being configured across airport lounges to foster a safe and comfortable passenger experience.

Smart airports with contactless technology

The pandemic and its effects have plummeted the confidence of travelers. Technical advancements have played a crucial role in restoring assurance and lifting off some pressure. Despite providing a safe travel experience, these innovations sometimes raise doubts about privacy protection and personal data security. Many stakeholders in the travel industry are finding ways to address these challenges, whilst simultaneously investing in newer, innovative platforms to enable better customer service.

The implementation of cloud-based technology has provided a breakthrough in creating touchless experience. Further investments in cutting-edge technologies at airports can go onto promote sustainability and efficiency, potentially mitigating future disruptions.


Self-checkout makes transactions quicker & easier for customers

Customers these days are unwilling to wait in line for their purchases. With checkout counters being a bottleneck in the majority of retail setups, customers often tend to leave if the wait is too long. This results in the obvious loss of sales, but this disappointing experience could also significantly impact consumer loyalty,

Long queues of customers have in several cases lead to disruptive behavior too. Reduced checkout lines and a streamlined payment process make it easier for the retailers to run their business effectively and simultaneously create a safe and less stressful environment for staff and customers.

Self-checkout technology may not be surprisingly new, but it's a growing trend in the retail sector. The global retail self-checkout market is expected to grow 10.3% year over year until 2024.

Why are self-checkouts ideal for customers?

This predicted growth of self-checkout terminals isn't surprising if you consider some of the biggest consumer trends.

1. DIY (Do it yourself)

DIY these days has become a compulsory norm for consumers. From self-scanning their bags at the airport to booking various treatments or taking online medical appointments to self-managing personal finances on phone apps, the tendency to DIY has spread to almost all facets of life.

There appears a shared preference for figuring things out on their own across ages, genders, and geographies. People also find it easier to interact with a machine. A recent consumer survey by SOTI revealed that more than 60% of shoppers prefer using self-service technology over asking a salesperson.

2. Busy lives

Everybody these days is leading a busy life, and they have no time to waste. Consumers are used to getting information, communication and products almost instantly. So while they are shopping in a retail outlet, they prefer to do it at their own pace and comfort level. They want to shop at their convenience, taking as much time as they want to; however, once they are done, they want to speed up through the checkout process and be on their way.

According to a survey by Box Technologies and Intel in the U.K., more than 90% of shoppers actively avoid stores with long waiting lines. 70% even said they might not go back to a store with long waiting lines.

As self-checkout terminals tend to be more compact, shifting to this technology means retailers can replace one manned till with multiple self-checkouts. It's an intelligent way to reduce lines without having to increase the required retail space.

3. Small hypermarket baskets

Due to a shift in the pattern of purchase habits, consumers worldwide drop by at the supermarket multiple times and buy just a few items at a time. According to global research done by Dunnhumby, today, more than 60% of hypermarket baskets contain six or fewer items. Smaller hyper-market baskets are apt for self-checkout machines, as these have been shown to save time compared to the baskets of 10 items or less.

4. Increasing cost of labor

In a traditional setup, you need one employee per till, but one staff member can monitor several tills at once with self-service machines. With the help of manned checkouts, one staff member must be at or by the till even if no customers are waiting in case someone shows up. With self-checkouts in place, there's no need to waste your employees' time. He or she can effectively use the off-peak hours to receive products, restock the shelves, or advise customers.

Overcoming misconceptions

In the past few years, several retailers have expressed misconceptions about self-service technology. Some of the most common concerns include:

  1. High cost of hardware.
  2. High cost and low usability of the software.
  3. Shrinkage control. Different factors such as scanning the wrong product to missing an item to intentional theft can lead to lost inventory. It has been argued that shrinkage is more frequent in self-checkout lanes.
  4. Concerns over user acceptance. Some retailers usually worry that their customers don't want to use these self-checkout terminals because they are too complicated or simply because they'd prefer to have an employee serve them and care for their needs.

Although these have been challenges in the past, those times are now behind us.

1. Slashed hardware costs

Until a few years ago, these self-checkout kiosks required special hardware, which meant a high investment. Today, this cost can easily be minimized. A self-checkout that only accepts card payments, paired with manned tills that take all sorts of payments, can be a cost-effective solution.

2. Managing the risk of shrinkage

There is a lot of apprehension on the risk of customers cheating or stealing at self-checkout machines. Despite all the discussion, it's not yet clear if and how much self-checkout affects shrinkage rates. After all, employee theft is also a crucial factor to consider. For retailers, what matters is that you can take preemptive steps to minimize the risk of fraud.

3. Users are ready

Today's customers are not simply ready, they are asking for these options. In a recent study, 89% of customers said it was crucial for grocery stores to use self-service technology to make checkout quicker. A study predicted that, within five years, supermarkets would be mainly self-checkout.

How can Lipi Data help?

The self-checkout kiosks by Lipi Data are powerful, versatile, and easy to deploy. They can function on standard hardware and integrate easily with your existing systems. They are easily configurable to your unique requirements. Some of the features include:

Less Waiting

Instead of waiting in queues for a manned checkout, customers can quickly go to any vacant self-checkout and check out immediately. This reduces the chances of them leaving without making a purchase.

Flexible Store Layout

Self-checkout stations can be easily placed throughout the store, allowing customers to make payments wherever they are. This reduces waiting for lines near manned checkouts and reduces the time they spend in-store waiting to pay.

Deploy Staff More Efficiently

By using self-checkout, staff can be redeployed to other essential tasks. They also have substantial time for dealing with customer queries.

Improve Manned Checkout Experience

Redirecting customers to self-checkout reduces the line for manned checkouts. This results in a more pleasant checkout experience.

Integrate With Online Sales

Customers can now browse and purchase unavailable items and easily arrange to have them delivered or collect them later, creating an endless aisle.

Upselling During Checkout

Using the Guided up Selling feature, you can recommend additional purchases to customers during the checkout process. For example, you can also offer an extended warranty when they purchase electronic goods.

Giving control back to the consumer

Perhaps the most crucial feature of self-checkout terminals is that it gives customers a feeling of control. Customers can now check out their purchases at their own pace and comfort level. The feeling of saving time and not waiting in queues is above anything.

Additionally, what matters to modern consumers is having the option to shop, pay, queue, leave, how, when, and as they prefer. The most successful stores today manage to strike a balance between full-service functions and self-service options.

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