You'll be happy to know that the Dte Canteen Services and QMG's Br are working on implementing this. I was told that there are some issues which need to be resolved, which is only to be expected. So let's look fwd to a major improvement in collection of CSD items, both for the units and for us consumers.
Regards, Dhiren Bahl -----
Forwarded message -----
Sent: Sunday, 3 May, 2020, 04:38:16 pm IST
To The Quartermaster General Sena Bhawan Army HQ
The Directorate of Canteen Services Army HQ CSD
Subject: CSD Items Home Delivery Delivery
Amazon, Flipkart, etc. are doing home delivery of all kinds of goods, size and weight no object. If serving and retired personnel can log in to the website of a CSD canteen/depot in the station/city, check the availability and costs of the items they want, and place their orders, to be delivered at their homes as with Amazon, Flipkart, etc, imagine the amount of savings which will accrue to lakhs of people not using their own vehicles or public transport for going to the CSD canteens, searching for their items of choice, hauling them around in carts, waiting in long queues, paying, and driving back several kms. The saving of petrol alone, plus the time, effort, tension of traffic, etc. will make customers happy to pay for delivery charges, sitting comfortably at home.
This system will be especially welcomed by the super-seniors and those who have difficulty in movement or travel. Distribution of canteen profits can be done on the basis of the type and number of cards of each URC (Unit-Run Canteen). The number of URCs in a station can be drastically reduced, retaining two or three for those who are not comfortable with online shopping. Manpower of URCs can be pooled, with an overall reduction. Units will save transport for collecting from CSD Depots.
The space saved by closing several canteens in stations all over the country can be better utilised for other purposes, like additional ECHS Polyclinics (PCs), for which accommodation would otherwise have to be hired or constructed, e.g. the NOIDA PC has around four times dependency than its sanctioned capacity of 20,000-plus, so if the Central Org ECHS wants, the space vacated by the Sector 21 Air Force CSD can well be given to ECHS to open another PC, which will be much more beneficial for residents of Jal Vayu Vihar than going to the Sector 37 PC.
Such spaces saved can be hired out to banks, for AWWA shops , other shops, ATMs, etc. as was the case with the Sena Bhawan Canteen earlier. For units/formations in field areas the present system of URCs will perforce have to continue.
The existing system of levying taxes will need no change.
The website should be a secure one accessible only by logging in with ones Canteen Card no. as the user ID and the PIN as the password.
Annual contracts will need to be done for collection from depots and home delivery as with Amazon, etc. which outsource this function while taking a suitable security deposit depending upon the value of items handled by the logistics contractors.
Packaging for sensitive items like liquor will have to be good, to be given in the contract. Since customers will not have physically seen the items they have ordered, a return and refund policy will be required, returns to be checked in the presence of the delivery person. Covid-19 precautions in situations like the present and minimisation of infection even in normal times will also be much easier to follow, compared to scores of customers in cramped spaces in canteens.
The operating models of Amazon, Flipkart, Grofers, etc. must be studied, and a pilot project undertaken in one or two stations in addition to the existing canteens to test the feasibility, response of customers, and teething troubles.
This is an idea whose time has come, greatly successful with retail chains in India and the world.
CSD being the single largest retail chain in India should certainly find this model both financially more profitable for itself, as well as preferred by customers.
CSD has to keep pace with the times.
Resistance to change is always to be expected to any new idea whether by the users or others, but if this system is found better and cheaper, it deserves consideration, at least of a trial.
Lt Col Dhiren Bahl
(Source : Via Gp e-mail FROM BB GHAI)
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