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Operations Continuum


The Operations Continuum was organized on 1st August 2015, which provided a platform to discuss the various pressing issues being faced in the field of supply chain domain.

The theme reflecting the current trends and challenges facing the Operations and supply chain managers was:

“Emerging Trends: Redefining the new age supply chain”


The following dignitaries participated in the Operations Continuum 2015 on August 1st, 2015 at SJMSOM, IIT Bombay:


·         Mr. T.S. Venketram, Supply Chain Director, Kellogg’s International


·         Mr. Aditya Verma, Head – Global Logistics, Lava International


·         Mr. DeepakTiwari, Director - Consulting, APL Logistics South Asia


·         Mr. Rakesh Shah, Director – Supply Chain, Merck Serono


·         Mr. Manoranjan Pani, GM – Sales & Marketing, Amul


·         Mr. Chetan Desai, Managing Director, Accudyne India


·         Mr. I.R. Jayaprakash, Divisional Head - SCM, Apollo Tyres


Supply chain management and logistics are becoming core competencies in progressive, successful companies, both public and private, around the globe. Subsequently, staying on top of emerging supply chain trends is critical in today’s global marketplace.

Several trends and study results show that supply chain and logistics complexity has increased in the form of fragmented channels, increased product variations and increased demand for customized solutions. A number of major challenges lie ahead, as the world becomes a more complex place to operate logistically.

 As customers are becoming ever more demanding and critical, traditional measures often fail when pursuing strategies to satisfy customers. Several key factors like customer expectations, networked economy, globalization, sustainability and new technology has defined the advancement of supply chain and logistics over the last decade or so.

 Understanding current trends enables companies to stay relevant, remain competitive and manage their businesses proactively, rather than reactively.


Operations Continuum 2015

The Operations Continuum 2015 had the following sub-themes:

Make in India: Reinventing India's Supply Chain

With our elected Hon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the helm, India is seeking to emulate the success of Japan, China, and other “Asian Tiger” economies by doubling down on domestic manufacturing with its “Make in India” campaign. Irrespective of the ultimate outcome of Mr. Modi’s “Make in India,” the nature of the subcontinent's supply chain is guaranteed a makeover. The urgency behind Mr. Modi’s infrastructure initiatives will inspire rapid expansion and hardening of the nation’s freight transportation network to accommodate the projected increase in traffic. However, a lot of complexities have also arisen in today’s age. According to Mr. T.S. Venketram, Kellogg’s, Supply Chain managers need to be at the top of their game to be successful. On the other hand, Mr. Chetan Desai, Accudyne India, was of the opinion that job creation should never be the sole aim of Make in India campaign.


Goods and Services Tax: the Case for Distribution Network Redesign

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) stand as an inflexion point in India’s fiscal landscape. It marks the transition from an existing origin-based taxation regime to a destination-based taxation regime. The introduction of GST is expected to remove the cascading effect of taxes by moving to a common tax base and subsuming various state and central taxes into Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and State Goods and Services Tax (SGST). The introduction of such a common tax structure will significantly impact the procurement patterns, supply chains and distribution networks of manufacturing firms. This will present both opportunities and challenges for firms doing business in India. Firms in India have to consolidate their warehouses and redesign the distribution network to remain competitive and efficient with the advent of GST. However according to Mr. Deepak Tiwari, APL Logistics, GST implementation will just be a roadmap for logistics and does not necessarily mean that we are ready for it.

End-to-end Supply Chain in Pharmaceuticals

With a geographical diversity, cultural diversity and poor infrastructure no single distributor can cater to the needs of the entire country, which also has different tax structures in different states. Similarly Pharmaceutical Industry in India is also different in India from the rest of the world as it mainly concentrates on generic products. Both inbound and outbound logistics play a very important role and proper co-ordination is necessary to sustain this business model. Mr. Rakesh Shah, Merck Serono, believes that educating partners and methodically and logically working to improve accuracy of forecast will prevent some of the Supply Chain bottlenecks.

Internet of things: Breakthrough Value Captured

The ‘Internet of Things’ mainly refers to the continuous tracking and observation of real-world objects over the Internet. The resulting information can be used to optimize many processes along the entire value chain. Currently, technologies, such as different types of barcodes, active and passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and wireless sensor networks play the most important role. Organic Electronics is a new technology that allows printing electronic circuits using organic inks. It will produce ultra-low cost smart labels equipped with sensors, and thus it will truly enable the Internet of Things. At the same time, we need to point out technical problems that arise when processing huge amounts of data that will result from the usage of organic smart labels in business applications. According to Mr. Avinash Mathur, Whirlpool India, information gathered due to IT integration should be accessible, appropriate and timely shared with supply chain.

Smart Material handling: Impact on overall productivity

With the advent of easily configurable conveyers, smart containers, radio frequency identification device (RFID), near field communication (NFC) and robotic forklifts industries are becoming more agile to customer demands. Smart containers can communicate over wireless networks to report completed production operations or material transactions automatically. Whether companies choose smart bins, shelves or pallets, smart containers can integrate directly to a company’s ERP system and report material movement and transactions without human intervention. Forklifts, hand trucks and other material handling equipment have traditionally required a person to drive the vehicle or handle the truck. Newer equipment can eliminate the driver and move material to the desired location without requiring a person to drive the truck. The resulting efficiency enables warehouse and shipping personnel to be more productive while simultaneously improving inventory accuracy and freeing personnel to work on more strategic initiatives. In addition, inventory records will become more accurate, helping to eliminate delays in production due to material availability issues. According to Mr. Manoranjan Pani, Amul, the uniqueness of Amul’s Supply Chain was that it eliminated the role of middle men and thus maximized the revenue for farmers and value for consumers.


Agility in Supply Chain to grow Bottom Line

Effective Integration of SCM can be done by providing Right Product of Right Quality and Right Quantity at Right Place and Right Time to provide customer with Right Value. A key role in improving financial drive of company is played by how fast one is able to flow cash and materials in SCM by questioning When to Buy, How much to Buy, From whom to buy. Agility is built across functions like Production Agility, Capital Agility, Purchasing Agility, Product Development Agility and Planning Agility. Planning Agility is defined by two nodes: Demand Shaping and Demand Sensing. Demand Shaping influences the demand to match the planned supply. Demand Sensing is a next generation forecasting method that leverages new mathematical techniques and near real time information to create an accurate forecast of demand based on current realities of Supply Chain. Mr. I.R. Jayaprakash, Apollo Tyres, opined that to ensure health of vendors during economic downturns by developing and training vendors and treating them like Business Partners.