Operations Continuum


The Operations Continuum 2018 was organized on 28th July 2018 with a theme that reflects the current trends and challenges faced by operations & supply chain managers. The central theme for this year’s continuum is:


“Leveraging Global Synergies, to build a smarter, sustainable and Agile Supply Chain”

 Following luminaries participated for delivering lectures at Operations Continuum 2018 on July 28th, 2017 at SJMSOM, IIT Bombay:

  • Mr. Jaswinder Saini           – Head of Procurement, TATA Sky
  • Mr. Anil Tomar                   – Director- Operations, Danone
  • Mr. Sayamdeb Mukherjee - Vice President - Planning & Control, United Breweries Ltd
  • Mr. Viraj Mehta                  – Head-External Supply Chain, General Mills
  • Mr. Anand Garg                 – Senior Director, Head- India Supply Chain, Dr. Reddy’s Lab
  • Mr. Saurabh Lal                 – Director Supply Chain, India & South Asia, Kellogg Company


Listed below are some of the suggestive and non-restrictive sub-themes for discussion:



Cognitive Procurement – How will it impact the business

Cognitive procurement is the application of self-learning systems that use data mining, pattern recognition, and predictive analysis to mimic the activities of the human brain for the process of buying and acquiring goods from external sources. Cognitive thinking is only limited to humans and now attempts are made to acquire a computer with this ability. The total size of data stored on cloud sums up to 2,000,000,000,000,000 GB and around 2.3 GB data is stored every day by each person. The following are the advantages of cognitive procurement:

Getting the right price: No price negotiations will be required as there will be no face to face negotiation or communication.

Have the right vendor: Finding the right strategic partner. We use various informal ways to acquire information about what is happening at the supplier’s end. With cognitive procurement, the supplier can be monitored on a real-time basis

No shortage/ No excess: Right inventories can be planned. Exact inventory can be tracked at any point in time and scenario will be very predictable with better visibility of raw material

Plan right and fulfill on time: Real-time visibility of demand, Reach out fast and customized products

Meet business urgencies: Enough visibility to quickly fill unscheduled asks and visibility of the entire ecosystem.


Transforming the manufacturing operations through Human And AI

The self-consciousness of technology plays a key role in ushering in Industry 4.0. AI in the manufacturing sector aims to achieve just that i.e. the creation of systems that can perceive their environment and act consequently. Jobs today might not exist in near future and one must be thinking ahead of one’s time. Technology becomes obsolete very fast and there is a need to upgrade competencies with changing technologies. Cobots are the latest trends and they help in increasing the capacity of a human to do work. In this AI-powered industrial revolution, machines are becoming smarter and interconnected. Manufacturers are using embedded intelligence of machines for collecting and analysing data to generate meaningful insights. These are then used to run equipment efficiently, optimize workflows of operations and supply chains, among other things. Thus, AI is leaving an indelible impact across the manufacturing cycle. Further, a new wave of automation is transforming the role of the human workforce wherein AI-driven robots are empowering production 24-hours a day. This is helping industrial environments gear up for the shift towards the smart factory environment. Below are some ways AI is revolutionizing manufacturing. Smart manufacturing systems are leveraging the power of predictive analysis and machine learning algorithms to enhance production capacity. Predictive analytics derives its power from the data collected from the devices or sensors embedded in a manufacturer’s industrial equipment. These sensors become part of the IoT (Internet of Things) which collects and shares data with data scientists on the cloud.

Sustainability Oriented Innovations to create Positive Social and Environmental Impact of Global Supply Chain

Sustainability oriented Innovation (SOI) is a trademark with 3 parts-social, environmental and financial. Sustainability is perceived in different ways across corporates. For Philips, the lighting company, which outsources most of its manufacturing, sustainability meant adherence to local laws. According to Ericsson India Pvt. Ltd, sustainability meant cutting down on energy requirements thus saving them for the future and reducing the effects of radiations. Plowing back the water that they take for beer production to nature, thus helping in rejuvenating the lakes is sustainability for United Breweries Ltd. All these activities along with investment in other low carbon technologies are required if we must keep global warming. Many companies do not have a comprehensive understanding of the sustainability impacts of their supply chain. An early step is to inventory suppliers, identify the most significant environmental and social challenges they have, and prioritize efforts with suppliers. Focusing on sustainability within your supply chain is a great way to communicate corporate values and culture to your suppliers and customers. Establishing and communicating expectations through a supplier code of conduct is a critical step in involving suppliers in your sustainability efforts. Once supplier baseline performance is understood, an audit program can measure performance improvement over time. While in many cases, the self-assessments are completed by a corporate group, such as EHS, procurement or marketing, onsite audits can reveal local practices, behavioral challenges and practical opportunities for improvement that are difficult to identify through questionnaires alone.

Role of Integrated Planning

Planned work is safer, more cost-effective and more efficient than unplanned work. Poor planning is expensive since it leads to labor overruns, overtime, missed deadlines and expensive rush orders (see Figure 1). More significant, rushed operations and activities can create unsafe situations. Removing the inefficiencies and non-productive time from operations contributes to safe, reliable and cost-effective operations. Integrated planning ensures that adequate focus and resources are allocated to health, safety, and environmental (HSE) activities. It reduces the number of rushed tasks that create safety risks. Rising costs for exploration, development, and production of hydrocarbons in more remote regions and in complex geologies make it essential to optimize the use of resources. Also, rising inflationary pressures and a shortage of technical talent make it more important than ever to remove inefficiencies and non-productive time from the system, resulting in more uptime, availability, and reliability. It is difficult to hold people accountable for delivering on their commitments without a stable, pressure-tested plan underpinning those commitments.

Securing Pharmaceutical Supply Chain: Challenges and Steps to Overcome

The pharmaceutical industry is evolving quickly. On one hand, pharmaceutical companies are seeking to reduce R&D costs. On the other hand, thanks to the digital revolution, patients are demanding more personalized care through a multitude of different touch points. And in the middle of it all, compliance requirements are becoming increasingly stringent, while a growing global aging population further burdens supply chains and logistical planning. More than ever, there is a need for speed. Consumers are demanding more personalized and high-tech care, delivered in-home and when convenient to them. They are requiring direct contact with the providers in the care continuum in a way unprecedented in this industry. Cost also remains a huge barrier to achieving rapid change. Drug development alone requires an enormous amount of time and money. Underpinning all of this is a lack of integration behind many supply chain components. Today’s top drugmakers are huge conglomerates, made up of divisions, facilities and research arms located across multiple geographic regions and operating in complex partner ecosystems. To complicate matters even further, partners may own entire segments of the value chain. Inevitably, data flow is complex and prone to delays. Patient centricity is a new directive for many life sciences companies. The implications are quite pervasive and influence many of the factors described above. If the industry is to become truly outcome-oriented, then the security of patient data in digital supply chains must be managed in a robust and scalable way. This is equally true in both emerging as well as more advanced economies.

Fresh Food Supply Chain

Fruit and vegetables, fish, bread, packaged salads, fresh meals; so many consumer products rely on supply chains that can bring perishable goods to retailers’ shelves quickly, and in the best possible condition. Velocity is imperativeSupply chain distances and times have increased a great deal (more in some corners of the world than others), and so have the challenges involved in getting fresh produce from source to destination before spoilage renders it unsalable. Equipment and technology-intensiveThe fresh supply chain operator must utilize specialised—and expensive—equipment and technology to prolong the freshness of produce and present it to consumers in the best possible condition. There’s simply no room for penny-pinching in this supply chain sector. Poor control of quality and freshness leads not only to shrinkage and spoilage but can also have further-reaching impacts. No retailer or producer, for example, wants to be implicated in a consumer health scare resulting from poor quality-management in their supply chain. To keep fresh foods fresh, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) establishes baselines for Employee training in sanitary practices, Equipment cleaning, Temperature control, Disclosure of prior cargo hauled in vehicles.