The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 1
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham
INTERNSHIP PROJECT 2011
Project done by
Student of Amrita University.
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 2
List of Figures
The following table shows the list of figures present in the research project:-
The Flow of Consignments
•Page : 16/26
•Type : Chart
•About : It shows the Flow of consignment from source to delivery point.
Factors affecting Transportation Segments
•Page : 20
•Type : Chart
•About : Different Factors affecting the transportation of consignments and their
Mode of Loading and Unloading Preference
•Page : 22
•Type : Chart
•About : Mode in which consignments are loaded and unloaded.
Main Goal of the Company
•Page : 24
•Type : Chart
•About : Employees response to the main goal of the company.
Material Damage Source
•Page : 27
•Type : Chart
•About : The question 'Where' is answered, keeping the material damage source in
Employee's Needs Satisfaction Scale
•Page : 31
•Type : Chart
•About : Employee's need satisfaction scale answered in YES/NO.
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 3
1.1) The Topic
„The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution, and its relation to Customer Satisfaction‟
1.2) Reason for the Selection of the topic
Marketing, based on its definition, is the whole idea of the business. It should not be assumed as
a basic process of sales and distribution alone. The area of Logistics and Distribution is
considered a very important sub-sector of the Marketing segment. In the current era of business,
Customer satisfaction is given top most priority because
customers decide the fate of the product or service, unlike
earlier times where-in the sellers and distributors had a
monopolistic control over the products or service. Therefore,
the fate and survival factor of a business lies on the hands of
the customers. When Logistics and Customer satisfaction are taken as dependant factors, many
hidden flaws and facts can be derived, and thus solutions can be processed and outsourced so as
to improve the overall productivity and sustainability of the Business sector. Hence, the logistics
department plays a vital role in distributing the products/Services to the clients, thus attaining
overall „end-customer satisfaction‟.
1.3) Why is the topic important to the company
TO BUILD A PLATFORM FOR DEVELOPMENT, GROWTH AND INFRASTRUCTURE
DTDC Courier and Cargo Ltd is a service sector company, primarily focusing on Courier
services. It is one of the leading Express distribution companies in India covering both domestic
and international services. A Courier company‟s foremost clients are its Customers and
Customer satisfaction remains a primary priority to the company. Logistics and Distribution
channels play a key role in the functioning of the company and on-time delivery is the main goal
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 4
of the company, which results in client satisfaction. Thus, problems associated with the
distribution and end-customer reactions based on the accuracy of the delivery can be solved by
deriving the link between the former and the latter.
The Logistics department handles the Movement of Goods/Products/Service Packages from one
place to another. It ensures that the goods which are received for delivery are distributed
effectively and efficiently, at the specified time period. Management of distribution channels are
an essential platform for the company to function in an optimum manner.
1.4) Learning from the Study
The logistics sector itself, is a competitive yet complicated part of the ever-growing market. It is
a third-party service sector which acts as an intermediary between sender and receiver of
consignments, thus proving it to be an important section in business world. Its relation with its
valued customers promotes its growth and sustainability. It plays a crucial part in the transfer of
goods from one place to another, within the specified time, thus creating an initiative which does
not compromise on the time factor. Customer relation plays a major key in service sector
business since the functionality of the service should be flexible according to the needs and
desires of the customers.
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 5
2.1) Industry Profile
The Third-Party-Logistics provider (TPL) is a firm that provides a one stop service to its
customers of outsourced or „third party‟ logistics services for the part, or all of their
supply chain management functions.
Third party logistics providers specialize in integrated operation, warehousing and
transportation services that can be scaled and customized to customer‟s needs based on
market conditions and the demands and delivery service requirements for their products
and materials. According to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals,
TPL can be defined as “A firm that provides multiple logistics services for use by
customers. Preferably, these services are integrated or „bundled‟ together, by the
provider. Among the services, TPL provides transportation, warehousing, cross-docking,
inventory management, packaging, and freight forwarding”.
2.2) Company Profile
2.2.1) About the Company and It’s Formation.
DTDC Courier and Cargo Ltd. is one of the leading express distribution companies in
India covering both domestic and international services. Incorporated in the year 1990,
DTDC is in its 20th
year of operations in India. It has a large delivery network covering
close to 10,000 pin codes giving its customers the best reach in the country. Its efficient
international network spans over 24 global destinations supported by its own offices in
US, UK and Dubai and associate offices in all the important global destinations. Head
quartered in Bangalore DTDC has its Zonal offices in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 6
Kolkata supported by 300 plus own offices and over 4000 channel partner offices spread
across the country delivering over 100 million shipments every year. Company has the
state of art IT infrastructure to support their operations and has built many customized
applications for its corporate clients. Under the able leadership of Mr. Subhasish
Chakraborty, the founder chairman of the organization, DTDC has an efficient team of
management professionals who are working round the clock delivering value to their
DTDC has been innovating constantly to provide products and services that meet
customers current and future needs. Today you will find DTDC offering wide range of
services like Express courier, cargo, end to end supply chain solutions, Retail services
like ticketing solutions, bill payments, Mobile & DTH top ups apart from Training supply
chain professionals through its supply chain training institute.
DTDC‟s Customer profile cuts across the industry verticals covering banking, insurance,
telecom, manufacturing and IT. Company provides excellent solutions for E commerce
business and has capability of seamless integration of applications with the customer
providing efficient transaction and database management.
DTDC has strategic equity participation by ADAG group. DTDC plans to consolidate its
growth and its vision is to interface with customers more often in their value chain by
offering wide range of products and services.
2.2.2) Business Focus
DTDC focuses primarily on Courier services and Cargo [Logistics] services. It is a
service sector company, implementing importance on satisfying the customer‟s delivery
of consignments to its designation, ranging from documents to heavy freights. The Vision
and Mission of the company is as follows:-
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 7
- To be the most admired and successful Express Distribution Company in India by
meeting and exceeding our customer‟s expectation of services.
- To focus on Customer Loyalty and make it a goal of our organization.
- To encourage our people for adoption of new technologies, processes and systems
for improved, reliable and speedy service.
- To relentlessly monitor to reach a minimum net service level of 98% delivery.
c) Quality Policy
- Satisfied internal customers, external customers and Business Associates
- Continual Improvements in products, processes, services and quality management
- Satisfied, motivated and committed employees.
2.2.3) Some of the clients of DTDC
a) The Telecom Sector Clients
b) Bank clients
c) IT Clients
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 8
d) Other Clients
2.2.4) Distribution Network of DTDC
The Company owned branch typically covers a specific range of pincodes, which have
been predetermined for purpose of effective deliveries. Coverage of the pincode rage is
handled by way of assigning a dedicated franchisee for each pincode, who covers the
geographical expanse falling under the subject pincode. The overall performance of the
deliveries for the range of pincodes assigned is taken care of by the DTDC branch. The
company‟s main distribution network covers places like Ahmedabad, Bangalore,
Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Cochin, GGR, HHPJ, Hyderabad, Indore, Kolkata, Mumbai,
Nagpur, North Delhi, Northern RO, Patna, Pune, South Delhi, UP.
2.2.5) DTDC’s Products and Services
a) DTDC Plus
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 9
i) Features of DTDC Plus
- Assured Next Business Day Delivery
- 100% money back guarantee if not delivered within committed delivery
- Tamper-proof Security pouch, SMS/Email Alerts
b) DTDC Blue
i) Features of DTDC Blue
- Assured Second Business day delivery.
- 100% money back guarantee if not delivered within committed delivery
- Service to locations beyond DTDC plus lanes
- Tamper-proof security pouch.
DTDC also offers services such as Student express package, DTDC lite as well.
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 10
Research Objectives and Scope of Research
3.1) Problem Definition
3.1.1) Evaluation of Revenue Dimension of the Logistics/Distribution Department.
Revenue can be defined as the Income of the company or firm. Revenue is required for
the business to grow and diversify, thus enabling the business to attend to its day to day
functions and objectives.
The overall profitability of DTDC mainly depends upon the choice of transportation
available for the company such as trucking, air or by train etc. In DTDC, revenue
generation is mainly through the transportation and warehousing of consignments for its
respective clients. In a normal company behavior, transportation is regarded as a cost for
the company. Whereas, in case of Third-party-logistics providers, transportation is
considered as a revenue earner as well as a cost for the company, since the cost incurred
for hiring transportation, is thoroughly billed to the clients themselves, during the period
3.1.2) Customer Reach, Reaction and Satisfactory levels with the service
For any business to prosper and grow, it requires a source from which revenue can be
derived. And for any profit-making business firm, its main source of revenue is its
customers. In case of DTDC, customers are also termed as „Consignment Clients‟. While
a consignment is received by DTDC Premium services, it checks whether the pin code of
the destination is compatible with its delivery options. After verification and approval, it
will be sent to the designated location, and within the specified time period. The Time-
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 11
factor decides the satisfactory levels of the clients. If the consignment reaches the
location within or at the specified time, the customer will be satisfied with the service and
if not, a complaint is registered and the entire amount paid by the client for using the
service is refunded, if the client claims for it.
3.1.3) Problems related to the Logistics segments/Distribution channels, such as
Domestic and International Segments.
The proximity of problems within the logistics department may vary but it so remains
that the Connectivity issues shares a higher ground, initiating problems in the daily
functioning of the company. Due to human or non-human disturbances, the performance
on the delivery of goods may deteriorate, thus causing problems to the consignment
holders. If such issues are recognized by the company before the actual delivery, it will
be duly notified to the clients in advance. While availing delivery options like the PEP
(Premium Express Products),they develop alternative solutions or delivery plans so that
the consignments reach its destination in or on time. Even though such alternative
solutions are implemented, it cannot be declared as a fool-proof system.
3.1.4)Matching Branch performance with Delivery performance.
Branch Performance and Delivery performance are two diverse, yet co-related aspects.
The delivery performance mainly deals with the status of the consignments. All the
activities which the consignment goes through, such as transportation of the goods,
delivery to the branch office, reaching the customers, can be considered as the delivery
performance. The branch performance, on the other hand, includes operations
performance, delivery performance, and the overall performance of the company.
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 12
3.2) Objectives of the research project
3.2.1) Primary Objectives
TO UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEMS RELATED TO THE LOGISTICS DEPARTMENT
a) To understand DTDC’s position – Commensurate to market area.
Most of the companies consider Transportation and Travel charges as the company‟s
incurred EXPENSES. In case of Courier companies, such as the DTDC, Transportation
and Travel are filtered out as the main source of REVENUE for the company. Every
business firm aims at maximizing their profits and focuses on the attainment of
satisfaction to their customers with their products or service. Hence, customer satisfaction
remains the main goal of DTDC as well.
b) Problems related to international and domestic segments.
DTDC is head quartered in Bangalore, having its Zonal offices in Mumbai, Delhi and
Kolkata, supported by 300+ own offices and over 4000 channel partner offices spread
across the country delivering over 100 million shipments every year. The Company has
the state of the art IT infrastructure to support their operations and has built many
customized applications for its corporate clients. Although a perfect, fool-proof system
cannot be achieved, the proximity of discrepancies is although high for such a vast
system. This in-turn leads to problems related to international and domestic segments.
3.2.2) Secondary Objectives
TO KNOW THE SATISFACTORY LEVELS OF THE CUSTOMERS WITH A BRIEF
a) To know the satisfactory levels of the customers.
„Customer is King‟; an important saying in the market world. Customers are the
primary organs deciding the fate of the products and services given out by the
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 13
manufacturers and service providers. If the customers are not satisfied with the
products which they buy or the services which they avail to, the survival of the
business is at stake and it would be forced to accept closure, due to extensive losses.
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 14
Research Methodology and Limitations
4.1) Research Plan
The Research plan is based on the project topic, „The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution,
and its relation to Customer Satisfaction‟. In order to derive the problems related with logistics,
distribution and end-customer satisfaction, the Research plan for the project mainly involves
direct contact with the respective employees of DTDC. DTDC is a Third-party-logistics
provider, mainly concentrating on Transportation, Warehousing and Delivery of consignments
from and to their clients, thus proving it to be a service based company. Services, unlike goods,
are intangible commodities and hence, services should be rendered with flexibility in accordance
with the type of customer. While involving in a research with a service sector company, one of
the efficient ways of conducting a research is by maintaining a thorough contact with the
employees of the company, as they would be most aware of the problems faced by the company.
Alternative research plans, such as questionnaire distribution and Telephonic conversations
would be implemented, for deeper penetration into the company‟s root cause of the problems, as
mentioned in the Problem definitions. The following table [table 1.1] shows the basic research
[TABLE 1.1: Basic Research Plans]
• To know the present condition of the company in the service sector.
• To know the problems faced by the logistics department of the company while dealing
with its varied customers
• To know the employee's opinion about the logistics department, its functions and the
problems faced by it on its day to day operations.
• To enlighten the importance of the Logistics department and its importance to its
• To contact and derive information from the corporate sector(Top Level management)
regarding the functioning of the logistics department and to enlighten the company's
relation with its customers.
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 15
4.1.1) Preliminary Investigation
- DTDC is a Third-party Logistics provider, providing multiple logistics services for use
by its customers. Preferably, these services are integrated by the provider. Among the
services, DTDC provides transportation, warehousing, cross-docking, inventory
management, packaging, and freight forwarding.
- The main focuses of the logistics department of DTDC are its customers, particularly
prioritizing the Industrial customers and their large-scale goods, which is to be
transferred by the company to the specified location by the customer and within the
- One of the primary issues faced by DTDC is the problem related
with transportation. Since courier and logistics services function
with the time factor and have clients who prefer or want their
goods/consignments on time, the mode of transportation and
channels are often given high rank of importance and
disturbances in the channels of transportation, which includes human or non-human
disturbances, can be a cause to loss of goods or revenue for the company.
- There exists considerable difference between the branch performance and delivery
- Normal Courier service differ extensively as when compared to Logistics services, in
which the former focuses on small-scale delivery whereas the latter concentrates more on
large-scale delivery of goods to its customers, mainly the industrial customers.
- The restrictions implicated by DTDC on certain goods/products transfer and delivery
such as Explosives, Gaseous, Flammable liquids, Flammable solids, oxidizers and
organic peroxides, radioactive material, Corrosives etc. Such goods or products possesses
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 16
hazardous characteristics and are categorized by the IATA in the Dangerous Goods
- The following chart [chart 4.1.1] shows the flow of consignments from one Location [L1]
to another location [L2]:-
CHART [4.1.1 : Flow of Consignment]
4.1.2) Explorative Study
Solution to a particular problem faced by any company cannot be fool-proof, although the
amount of loss can be greatly reduced. Reducing cost, and at the same time gaining an average
above the costs (Profit) can increase the sustainability,i.e the life of the business and hence
When the scenario of DTDC is considered, the problem lies with its reach to the consignment
clients. If we take a look at the root cause of the problem, Transportation and warehousing are
highlighted, where-in Transportation takes up a larger share in the root cause of the problem. The
issues related to Warehousing extents only to a particular limit, where the problem lies with the
loading and unloading time-gaps, which would, as a result, disturb the flow of transportation.
Hence, transportation remains the primary problem faced by the company.
The major problems related to Transportation and customer reach are as follows:-
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 17
a) Environment Disturbances, leading to breakage in the flow of consignments from
one place to another, be it via Air, Road etc
b) Human errors, such as delayed delivery, which would lead to refund and resultantly,
c) Unloading and Loading time gaps. If the unloading and loading time gaps increase
more than the proposed. Approximated time needed to finish the function; it would lead
to delay in transportation as well.
d) Miscellaneous; problems related to traffic, incorrect address of the addressee etc.
When a third party logistics provider is compared with a normal business firm concentrating on
FMCG or other products, the former needs to imply more attention to its clients because of the
direct customer relationship, which is needed for service based companies, unlike the latter
which approaches intermediaries for distributing its physical products to its customers. Hence,
losses can be greater when a service company is involved with its clients. In case of DTDC, if a
courier doesn‟t reach its destination on time, it would result in complete refund, thereby
increasing the overall cost of delivery and also a loss to the company, and finally, an unsatisfied
4.2) Research Design
4.2.1) Developing the Research plan : The basic design for researching a Service sector
company is by interacting with the employees and labourers of the company, and as such, the
current research project follows a similar pattern of direct interaction, such as Personal meetings,
group discussion and personal interviews. With such research patters, direct data can be derived
with minimal deviations regarding the company‟s functionality and sustainability.
In order for verifying the information derived by the methods mentioned, Questionnaire
sampling technique would also be used so as to gain those date which could not be verified with
the main research methods.
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 18
4.2.2)Collection of Data
a) Secondary Data
b) Primary Data
4.3) Sampling Plan
Sampling Plan Base points Info
Sampling Units 20
Sampling Technique Random Sampling Method
Research Instrument Questionnaire
Contact Method Direct Contact
4.4) Sample Size : 15.
4.5) Data Collection Instrument Development : Employees of DTDC.
4.6) Research Limitations
a) Limited Base Time for the project
b) Vast Geographical coverage
c) Extensive customer base
Existing Company reports
3rd party references
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 19
Data Analysis, Interpretation and Presentation
The short yet elaborate sample- sized research on DTDC‟s current scenario has given a better
understanding on the company‟s basic functions and its major problems related to distribution
(Logistics Sector) of its services to the customers. Every system has a weakness and attaining
stability on the system‟s weakness can lead to correction and sustainable functioning of the
system. DTDC, a service sector company, faces problems related to attainment of an effective
system, which can reduce the risks and additional costs faced by the company on its day to day
5.1) About the Research
The key areas of research focus mainly on the problems faced by the company, particularly the
problems in the company‟s logistics sector and its customers. The Logistics sector is the
developing wing of the company and hence, enlightening the problems which can possibly occur
in such a sector would and possibly could improve its growth rate and sustainability. Since
courier companies face stiff competition, it has to look into the cracks in its operations and fill
them up before it loses out its potential and existing customers. Efficiency can only be attained
by developing a system which can be closely related to a „fool-proof system‟.
5.2) The Research Output
5.2.1) Factors affecting Transportation of Consignments.
Transportation for DTDC‟s consignments holds the largest share of risks. It is also the area
which contributes, on a large scale, to the company‟s overall revenue. Larger the risk, possibility
for earning higher profits remains high, even though a loss might have double the effect on the
company‟s operations and its reputation. The Problems pertaining to the distribution channels
increases the chances of loss for the company. If the company loses a client, the loss remains
permanent due to non-attainment of satisfaction by its customer. According to the questionnaire
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 20
analysis, it is observed that out of all the distribution errors such as Environmental disturbances,
errors caused by man, unloading and loading gaps, Human errors cause most of the problems in
the transportation and distribution of services/consignments to its prospective customers.
Human errors mostly occur in the Transportation of the consignments to its designation. An
automated system for transportation and distribution of consignments is a cost-intensive
approach and hence, the company follows manual labour, thus cutting down the costs as when
compared to an automated system for handling the consignment.
Perfection cannot be attained in manual labour since this type of work is done by human hands.
Hence, problems such as improper timing of consignment arrival or departure, improper
verification of address of the customers etc, lead to possible loss and damage, thus threatening
the company‟s reputation. CHART [CHART 5.1] shows the different factors affecting the
transportation segment of the company:-
Human Errors Unloading and Loading
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 21
According to the table, Human errors cause most of the problems in the transportation segment,
followed by the discrepancies occurring in the unloading and loading gaps. Under the unloading
and loading gaps, both machine and manual labour occur simultaneously. The Loading and
unloading gap refers to the time period between receiving, directing and sending the
consignment to its prescribed location. The company fixes a time during which the consignment
should be received, processed and sent to the next transit/ultimate customer. When it is not
processed nor sent or delayed, it causes problems in transportation of consignments since the
customer would be unable to receive his goods on or before time. Hence, unloading and loading
gaps play an important part in the transportation sector and discrepancies can lead to possible
loss of consignment and its client.
5.2.2) The Loading and Unloading Cycle Preference
One of the most important sectors in distribution is the Loading and Unloading sectors. It is here
where the consignments are received from different branches/apexes. Once the consignments
are received, the address of the addressee and related information are processed and once this
process is over, the consignment is transported to its client/customer who awaits its delivery. The
time between the loading and unloading cycle is called the Time Gap and this time is the most
crucial time factor for the company. Any discrepancies occurring under this Time Gap can lead
to possible delay or loss of consignment, thus a loss for the business enterprise.
Some of the Courier companies such as DHL, Fedex etc, use extensive automated system for
loading and unloading of consignments, thus reducing the amount of human errors, even though
the initial cost for setting up a high tech solution for their consignment handling, is particularly
very high. Such automated systems are prominent in Europe and other developed regions.
DTDC, being a leading domestic courier and cargo company, It applies its focus on a system
which gives more priority to labour rather than a complete, automated system for the handling of
a) Positive Aspects of a labour intensive approach:-
- Adaptable to change
- Labour intensive approach leads to reduced costs.
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 22
b) Negative Aspects of labour intensive approach:-
- Human errors are comparatively prone as when compared to automated machine
- The Labours are able to perform the work as per directions but are not aware of the
question such as „why are they doing it‟
The Chart [chart 5.2.2] given, shows the preference of employees on the basis of the mode of
Loading or Unloading systems.
According to Chart [chart 5.2.1], a majority of the employees prefer manual labour with a semi-
automated system. This increases the adaptability and acceptability of the system. When such a
mode is initiated for the loading and unloading cycles, it will lead to considerable reduction in
cost as when compared to a fully automated system. When a change is required in the existing
system of loading and unloading, the change can be accepted easily and adapted due to the
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Mannual Labour with Semi-automated system
Loading and Unloading Cycle System
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 23
presence of the manual labour. Thus, such an approach will lead to efficiency and adaptability
due to the presence of both Manual labour and a semi-automated system (System which is
operated partially by the existing labour force). Minority of the lot has selected the option of
Manual Labour and none for an automated system fearing very high initial cost for setting up of
the machines and related accessories.
5.2.3) the Main Goal of the Company
A Business firm‟s main aim is to attain maximum customer satisfaction. Since it is the era of
„Customer is King‟, customer‟s interests are given more priority as when compared to older
beliefs such as „Monopoly‟ or „Maximum Production‟. A firm‟s well-being lies in the hand of its
customers. A firm, when found to be producing a product or service below the customer‟s
expectation, it will lead to loss in business and hence result in a complete shut-down of its
activities, because of the fact that it cannot generate revenue from its activities, due to
Henceforth, most of the companies fix their primary goal as „Customer Satisfaction‟. Even
though when a company selects such a primary goal, there is always a hidden goal. The hidden
goal of the company can be regarded as their primary goal, even though it is not mentioned in
their mission or vision. It can be only understood only when a researcher works within the
company premises, thus understanding its true goal and actions taken to attain them in
accordance with their exposed goal.
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 24
According to the given CHART [CHART 5.2.3],
DTDC‟s main goal is customer satisfaction, like any other business firm. This is just the exposed
goal. Most of the correspondents have selected „customer satisfaction‟ as their choice, in
reference with the goal of the company. But some of the employees have also selected „Customer
satisfaction & reduced costs‟ as their choice. This enlightens the fact that a company may
possess a hidden goal, which can also act accordingly with its primary goal. In case of DTDC,
the hidden goal is to reduce the costs incurred by the company, while meeting the needs and
wants of its customers.
A company can give its priority to its customers but it cannot abandon the fact that costs are
being incurred for meeting the needs and wants of the customers, and for its day to day
operations. Thus a company must look out for itself, in order to ensure its sustainability. A
company such as DTDC, has its customers to attend to, but at the same time, it should also
ensure that the costs are reduced so as to impute to their future growth and survival.
Satisfaction Reducing Costs
Main Goal of the Company
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 25
5.2.4) Material Damage Source
Before getting into material damage source, we should know about the company‟s basic structure
through which the materials passes on. The DTDC Company is divided into 3 different function
based segments which is as follows:-
a) Franchises – The Franchise sector is the place where the consignments are booked by
the company‟s clients. The delivery of the consignments is also done in the franchise
sector. Hence, it can be concluded that the franchise sector forms the lower management
level of the company, on the basis of decision making and it forms the highest level of
management, on the basis of consignments delivery and booking.
b) Branch(can be a Transit) – The Branches of DTDC are responsible for receiving the
consignments from the franchises and then sending it to the nearest Apex sector. The
branch also performs a reverse function where in the consignments, which have already
passed through the chain of segments in a different locality and which is to be delivered
in the current chain, are delivered to the concerned franchises for final delivery of
consignments. It forms the middle level of management.
c) Apex – The apex sector of DTDC is where the consignments arrive and are sorted out
for final delivery. It is here where the goods are received from the branches of the
consignment origin and are sorted out for delivery, as per specification of the client (The
clients submit the necessary details at the franchises) and are finally sent to the Apex of
the locality where the consignment is to be delivered.
d) Corporate Office – It is the head office of DTDC, where Policies and plans are made
and given for implementation. It forms the highest level of management of the company.
It does not indulge in the physical functioning of the courier but derives policies,
procedures and plans for better functioning and growth of the company.
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 26
The Following figure shows how the consignments travel from one area to another.
[FIGURE 5.2.4 A]
Material damage can occur in an automated system as well a manual system comprising of
labour. The damage can occur due to several environmental factors as well. The magnitude of
damage varies with each situation. Even when the organization structure is taken into
consideration, damages can occur either in the branch, or in the transits etc. There exists no fool-
proof system which can avoid all types of damage. Hence, measures can only be taken to reduce
the risk of damage or to counter with the situation when damage occurs.
In DTDC, the consignments travel through different branches, apexes and transits to reach its
final destination. While the consignment passes through different levels, there are high
possibilities for the consignment to attain damage, due to improper handling of consignments.
According to the given chart [Chart 5.2.4 B],
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 27
[CHART 5.2.4 ‘B’]
80% of the employees have agreed to the fact that most of the consignment damage occur in the
transit areas. It is not because of the improper functioning of the transit, but due to the increase in
the number of loading and unloading cycles. When consignments pass through a large number of
transits before reaching its destination, it has to be unloaded and again loaded to the designated
truck/plane etc. When the consignments are loaded and unloaded, material damage is likely to
occur, thus leading to temporary or permanent damage. Most of the employees recommend
reducing the number of transits so as to avoid material damage. Reducing the number of transits
reduces the number of loading and unloading cycles, thus reducing the risk of damage.
Material Damage Source
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 28
Findings, Suggestions and Conclusion
6.1) Findings based on Research
6.1.1) Findings about the Company
a) DTDC, i.e. Desk To Desk Courier, is a third-party logistics and courier provider,
providing customized courier services to its clients, giving high importance to the
time factor. The company focuses primarily on satisfying at least 98% of its
consignment deliveries to be successful in a fiscal year, and thus, this remains as
their primary goal, indirectly indicating a high customer satisfactory level.
b) The company satisfies a majority of its customers/clients with its renowned,
premium products such as DTDC Plus and DTDC Blue. It also focuses on
normal-income clients with products such as DTDC Lite.
c) Normal business firms follow a downward-flow trend where-in the ideas and
concepts are passed on from the top level management to the lower levels in the
management hierarchy. In DTDC, there is an upward-flow trend where-in the
ideas are taken from the lower levels of the management to the higher levels.
Such a system is necessary due to the fact that the lower levels of the management
are comparatively more closely inclined with the company‟s customers. Since it is
a service sector company, it has to adapt itself with the changing consumer needs
and requirements and hence, the lower levels of management are the ones who are
more aware of the real market situation.
d) According to the observations based on the sample, the Employees of the
company are satisfied with their workloads given by the company. Hence, the
company has a healthy working environment, although in certain cases the
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 29
employee‟s needs or wants are neglected due to priority of business goals over the
employee‟s personal objectives.
e) Service Companies often rely on their customer‟s feedback so as to bring in
changes, thus leading to a much better platform for effectiveness. DTDC spares
no expense in considering the feedback from its valued customers, although the
cost incurred by the business is also taken into conclusion. In Short, It follows
„Customer Satisfaction with reduced costs‟.
f) The overall functionality of the company is good, although improvements can be
made so as to attain the status of „Optimum functionality‟.
6.1.2) Suggestions as per Sample Observation
a) Suggestions for the developing Logistics sector
- According to the observations, the logistics sector of the company has
commenced on its business, starting off in the year 2010. Even though it
just started off with its functioning, it faces stiff competition from
companies like TCIXPS, Gati and Safe Express. Developing the basic
infrastructure for a strong foundation would be a start.
- In the current Scenario, the company uses manual labour extensively and a
mechanical system to support its labours. This leads to an increase in
consignment damages due to human errors. Developing an automated
system would bear high initial costs but in the future run, it can reduce
possible loss for the business firm, since mechanical errors are
comparatively lower. For example, The weighing of Consignments is
manually done, thus increasing the time taken for consignment processing.
Even though an automatic system for weighing the consignment is
developed and bears a high initial cost tag, it would in-turn reduce the time
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 30
gap between loading and unloading, thus enabling a more precise and on-
b) Suggestions for the Company as a whole
- Staff related learning programmes should be given more importance
(referring to the labour force) since human errors are the most prominent
problem causing factor in the unloading, loading and transportation of
consignments to its customers. Hence, steps should be taken so as to
improve the knowledge of the staff regarding basic precautions regarding
consignment handling and verification. This step can improve the staff‟s
knowledge and thus, reduce the risk coming under Human errors.
- One of the primary problems which the company faces is the distribution
channel problem, basically regarding transportation of consignments.
Even though there exists no fool-proof system for avoiding all barriers
while transporting the consignments, effectively utilizing technology
(giving more importance to technology), such as the GPS system for
traffic based reports can be commenced so as to avoid blockage in
consignment delivery. Such a system would also provide immediate
alternatives so as to avoid possible consignment non-delivery and thus,
avoiding loss for the company. This leads to an increase in customer
satisfactory levels and also earns revenue for the business.
- It has been noted that as the number of transits increase, the risk of
consignment damage is high. When consignments are loaded and
unloaded more number of times in different transits, it can lead to
consignment damage, either permanent or temporary. Reducing the
number of transits can avoid material damage.
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 31
- A company would remain empty in majority if its employees are not
present. Employees form the backbone of any company. They are
responsible for the growth of the company. Hence, the employee‟s needs
and wants should also be satisfied so as to gain employee support, which
would be beneficial for the company as a whole. The Company should
make sure that the employee‟s needs should be molded in such a manner
that it goes in tune with the company‟s objectives and goals. Monetary and
Non-monetary incentives should be given so as to boost the employee‟s
working ability. The Chart below shows the information provided by the
employees of the company. [Chart 6.2.1]
A company would always have to face risks, either externally or internally. But more the risk
they face, their possibility for earning higher profits also increases. Every factor, either a minor
or a major factor, must be taken into consideration so as to bring out the full potential of a
company, thus reaping essential benefits for its sustenance in the growing industry of business.
Are Employee needs satisfied?
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 32
7.1) Project Limitations
The Time period for the project given was narrow, thus restricting further and detailed
analysis of the company‟s functioning, environment and its prospective markets.
Continuous verification and clarification of project related queries were possible, but only
to a certain extent due to communication barriers.
A constant methodology could not be adopted due to the variances in the project analysis,
due to the fact that the project research was duly based on a service sector company.
DTDC is a domestic and international courier service company. Hence, the sample size
required to conduct the research was rather large. Due to restrictions, a smaller sample
size had to be proposed, which does not give the exact environment of the company‟s
operations and its customer satisfactory levels.
7.2) Company Limitations
Due to the Intern tag, certain areas such as Company Operations meeting etc were
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 33
DTDC has a large number of branches, apex and transits. In order to individually
research on their functions, the time period given for completion of the project was not
Working hours had to be adjusted due to the location of the branch, which was assigned
for the research.
Detailed analysis on the customer base and customer satisfaction was not possible due to
a large customer base.
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 34
References / Bibliography
8.1) Sample Questionnaire
By Avinash H,
Student of Amrita University.
DTDC RESEARCH PROJECT
Employee Name : ________________________________________
Employee Occupation :_________________________________________
QUESTIONS JUST FOR YOU (?)
1) Does the company satisfy a majority of its customers?
A) Yes B) No
2) Are you comfortable with your daily workloads?
A) Yes A) No
3) Does the company give priority to its employees needs?
A) Yes B) No
4) Do you think distribution channel problems, related to transportation, can be
A) Yes B) No HOW (if yes):
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 35
5) Is customer satisfaction the ultimate goal of the company?
A) Yes B) No
6) Do you think setting-up more branches would boost the company’s revenue, rather
than relying on franchises?
A) Yes B) No
8) Is the Company working on its optimum functionality?
A) Yes B) No
9) Are customers feedback taken into consideration by the company?
A) Yes B) No
10) Which of the following shares a larger pie on problems affecting the company?
A) Transportation B) Warehousing
11) Which of the following factors, under the transportation segment affects its
functionality the most?
A) Environmental Disturbances
B) Human Errors
C) Unloading and Loading Gaps
D) Miscellaneous Please Mention, if your option is D :
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 36
12) If a consumer is not satisfied with the products/services provided by the company,
which type of company gets most affected with the situation as mentioned?
A) FMCG Companies
B) Service Sector Companies
C) Government Organizations
D) Others(Please Mention) :
13) Which Factor is given the highest priority in relation with Customer Reach?
A) Franchise booking agent’s behavior to its clients
B) The Time Factor, starting off with Booking and ending with Final delivery
C) Policies made by the corporate office based on previous year’s performance
D) Loading and Unloading Cycles.
14) Which combination of work-force works well with the company’s requirements for
loading and unloading cycles?
A) Manual Labour
B) Automated System
C) Manual Labour with a Semi-automated system
D) Others (Please Specify):
15) Possible material damage happens in the __________ .
D) Branch Offices
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 37
16) Will the event ‘PEP 20-20’ bring a boost on the company’s overall functionality?
A) Yes B) No
17) Which factor, out of the ‘uncontrollable’ situation, affects the daily operations of the
A) Harsh weather conditions
B) Political Issues
D) Government Policies
18) To improve Customer satisfaction, which of the following options can be initiated?
A) Increasing the number of Franchises in different parts of the domestic area
B) Increase the number of hired vehicles
C) Initiate more line of products which enhance speed and accuracy in delivery
D) Initiate more number of owned offices of the company in different localities for better
19) Should staff-improvement programmes be given higher priority, as when compared
to the current scenario?
A) Yes B) Not needed
20) Main Goal of the company, according to you.
A) Maximum Revenue attainment
The Effectiveness of Logistics, Distribution and Customer Satisfaction 38
B) Customer Satisfaction
C) Reducing costs to attain marginal profit
D) Attaining Customer Satisfaction with reduced costs.
8.2) Web References
• Search Query : Courier/Marketing/Logistics
• Information about : What is courier?/Logistics
• Search Query : DTDC
• Information about : Desk To Desk Couriers
• Search Query : Company Profile and related info.
• Information : Co Profile/Industry