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Operations Continuum

Operations Continuum 2013 was organized on 4th August, 2013 with a theme that reflects the current trends and challenges in the field of Operations. The Operations Continuum 2013 will see a series of lectures and panel discussions centred on the theme:

“Building Resilient supply chain through effective collaboration”

Following luminaries participated for delivering lectures at Operation Continuum 2013 on August 4th, 2013 at SJMSOM, IIT Bombay:

Collaboration is the new buzz word in supply chains today as the organizations have become increasingly pro-active in networking with their supply chain partners be it suppliers, distributors, retailers etc. It is a win-win situation for all the supply chain partners as even a mild disturbance in material/information flow might affect the entire supply chain. Supply chains are getting more and more complex with multiple touch points that range from supply of raw materials to the delivery of finished goods to the end customer. The herculean task for organizations today is to build a resilient supply chain that could withstand the disruptions, be it internal or external which might hamper the flow of materials/information. In this new environment, supply chains must exhibit a high degree of adaptability, responsiveness and collaboration to successfully subside the disturbances from spreading over the entire chain. Organizations have identified that effective collaboration requires transparency in terms of the happenings at the end of each supply chain partner. They have been moving from the conventional sequential flow of processes to more responsive and adaptable processes where all the supply chain partners would have an understanding of the happenings at each end.

To achieve this, organizations around the world have been adopting new systems, technologies etc. that could connect all the supply chain partners so that even the slightest of the disruptions could be effectively tackled by immediate responsive actions at the respective stakeholder’s end. Information asymmetry which could have serious repercussions on the functioning of the entire supply chain could be mollified to a good extent. There are several concepts and tools that have been strongly advocated by academics and consultants to be implemented by the organizations like Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), Collaborative Forecasting, Planning and Replenishment (CPFR), and Continuous Replenishment (CR) etc. to ensure a strongly synchronized supply chain.

The future challenge for the organizations is to make the collaboration more effective by working in tandem with all the partners to ensure agility and stability across the supply chains. It is the responsibility of the organizations to educate their supply chain partners regarding the implementation of the collaborative tools and concepts to ensure resilient and sustainable supply chains.

Operations Continuum - 2013

Indicated below were the subthemes for the seminar:
  • Strong analytics for smooth information flow in Supply Chains
  • For a manager operating out of the headquarters of his company, it becomes absolutely necessary to keep a check on the various metrics of operational performance in all the units of production and distribution spread across the country. In such scenarios, picking the right metrics to be analysed and extracting meaningful data from a collection raw data becomes a challenging task. Application of right analytical tools becomes very important to the effective use of the information available for administration.

  • Integrating services and goods supply chains
  • Though as per service dominant logic, even physical goods can be considered as service, the differences between services and goods supply chain are manifold. The difference in the parameters of measuring the efficiencies of inputs, logistics, finished goods and optimization in the supply chains of both the categories of commodities makes it a demanding task to integrate them and coordinate the efficient operation of the system.

  • Increasing role of service management in supply chain management
  • Service management is more critical in service-intensive industries rather than in industries which involve physical manufactured products. According to the Customer service barometer study conducted by American express in 2012, the decision of a customer to choose a certain vendor came down to the service experience of the past. The study also stated that 75% of the customers were loyal to a brand because of good customer service experience of the past. Hence, a good service management enabled an organisation to earn customer loyalty and gain profits.

  • Better efficiency with much better customer service levels
  • The most favourable customer service levels can be achieved by having maximum order fill rate, minimum stock out rate and minimum backorder levels. But trying to achieve these metrics will force the organisation to deviate from its objectives of achieving minimum inventory and having a lean mode of operation. The above factors make it challenging for a manager to find an optimal point between customer service level and the desirable lean metrics.

  • Integrating e-business thinking into the Supply Chain strategy and management
  • The advent of internet has opened up new avenues for business to explore the market. With the success of e-commerce, it has become increasingly challenging for the companies to make its supply chain more efficient and capable of meeting its volatile demands. This has made it necessary for companies to incorporate e-business as a part of its supply chain strategy.

  • Building long-term sustainability into the supply chain strategy
  • In 2008, the future laboratory defined sustainability in three stages, viz. getting the basics right, learning to think sustainably and science of sustainability. Implementing these measures to achieve sustainability in the supply chain is a demanding task as the organisation will have to set its priorities and choose an optimal strategy to achieve both profitability and sustainability in its operational activities.

  • Ensuring stability and agility in the supply chain through effective collaboration
  • With the increasing demands from consumers and market, in increasing number of organisations are resorting to outsourcing its various functions and focusing only on its core competencies. This strategy for development through collaboration also has its own trade off as the companies face a challenge of retaining their brand value in the age of collaboration.



Industry Interaction Cell (

Bhuvan Gupta

Dinesh Kumar Nuti

Shahrukh Pithawala
+91 9819082967 +91 9167515180 +91 9823887837
Subpages (1): Speakers
Nithin Gomez,
5 Aug 2013, 06:11