Case Study: The Logistic Company

Most courier and cargo companies send their total consignments (load in their language) to a particular station, with prior intimation by way of E-mail (pre-alert message in their language). ABC Logistics was no exception to this procedure. Before they send their load by evening flight to Mumbai, they send a pre-alert to the Mumbai office that gives details of the load like flight number, total number of bags, total weight of the bags etc. Night-duty Airport Executive at Mumbai airport retrieves the load and confirms the receipt of the same to the Bangalore office. This arrangement worked fine for months and even years. The Airport Executive continued to get the pre-alert message and after retrieval of the load, he continued to confirm the receipt of the same. However, one night Satish who was on night duty at Mumbai airport observed that neither had any pre-alert been received from Bangalore nor had any load been delivered. Contacting the Bangalore office had been of no avail since it was well past midnight and the office was shut. Satish was told by the security guard on duty that the staff at the Bangalore office had already left. Satish tried contacting Ravi who he knew worked at night. However, this attempt was futile as Ravi's mobile was switched off. Satish had no other option except to call the Assistant Manager, Operations, Bangalore - Charles. Charles tried contacting Ravi but like Satish he found that Ravi's mobile was switched off. The situation was perplexing. Charles was concerned about what had happened. He tried calling other operations' staff to find out whether anybody knew where Ravi resided. However, he was unable to procure any information about Ravi's residence. Charles was disappointed. Although he had disturbed a couple of staff members in the dead of the night, he did not make any headway. Charles was faced with a dilemma. He wondered whether he should defer the matter till the morning or settle it right away. After a little deliberation, he chose the latter. As a last resort, Charles called Hari, the HR Executive. Charles explained the situation to him and told him to go to the office and find out Ravi's address from his personal documents. It was 01:30 in the morning and Hari was appalled by the fact that he was being disturbed at this hour of the night. Nevertheless, Hari went to the office, confirmed Ravi's address and forwarded it to Charles. Charles had no option but to commute 15 km to reach Ravi's residence. He reached Ravi’s home at 02:15 hours. Ravi found it strange that his manager was visiting him well past midnight. On being questioned as to why he had not sent the pre alert message he said, "Very simple, today there was excess booking by other logistic companies and there was no space, so cargo officials of all the airlines refused to accept our load. Since no load was connected, I did not send pre-alert as well. However, I have done booking for morning flight and load will be connected through morning flight”. Charles was infuriated by his answer. Ravi's lack of communication had inconvenienced many people. After going through the above situation, can you identify the communication issues involved in it? What exactly went wrong and where did it go wrong? Who could have avoided or saved the situation and how?

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