Unveiling the Supply Chain Super Stars 2022

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Unveiling the Supply Chain Super Stars 2022

After our debut event in August 2019, Celerity hosted yet another power-packed starry awards evening on September 14, 2022. This on-ground event, after having hosted it online for two years (due to the onset of the pandemic), was even bigger & better with it now taking shape of a day-long conference focussing on every facet of the supply chain and offering a poised platform to next gen logisticians and stalwarts to gather under one roof and discuss on the fast-unfolding multi-dimensional supply chain landscape.

Honouring the best in class, the Celerity Supply Chain Awards night was truly a great evening to remember and be a part of the envious logistics fraternity that is set to chart an incredible growth story. A new category of Awards, Exemplary Awards was introduced for corporates running exemplary supply chains. Handpicked by a panel of Jury members consisting of senior supply chain practitioners, the winners have set benchmarks amongst their peers.

Here’s the account of some of the most deserving winning entries of 30-Under-30 Supply Chain Super Stars, which will be continued in the next issue as well…


Kshitiz Kumar

Kshitiz Kumar, Project Leader, Bain & Company

The genset business of one of my organisations caters to selling of diesel gensets for retail and industrial segments. It has two manufacturing models – assembling in-house and subcontracting to OEMs scattered across India. The sourcing for the outsourced model was done by sub-contractors themselves. Subcontracting models were relatively costlier than the in-house ones. The assembly cost was at par with the in-house cost; hence, the main challenge lies in direct material sourcing, which these local players won’t have owing to lack of volumes. We decided to consolidate the demand of all the local OEMs for components contributing to 80% of BOM cost and reached out to respective category sourcing leads for machined and moulded items, who could utilise their leverage on auto component suppliers to achieve better rates. Through this innovative solution, savings of 9% on direct material costs was achieved on subcontracted models, which made our genset brand more cost competitive in the market. Increase in credit terms to give additional savings of 1.25% as our centralised sourcing team with better leverage dealt with suppliers on behalf of local players.

Ayush Agarwal

Ayush Agarwal, Co-founder & Chief Business Officer, Intugine Technologies Pvt Ltd.

Intugine embarked on a journey to empower global enterprises with real-time visibility of shipments across road, rail, ocean, and air. Creating an integrated network large enough to cater to most of our customers' requirements was challenging. We built a comprehensive visibility solution to track and trace freight across modalities by integrating with multiple systems like government infrastructure, telecom operators, carrier companies, etc. Our solutions improved OTIF and order-to-delivery TAT, helped eliminate operational inefficiencies, and reduced logistics costs. Today, we have helped optimise and digitise over 75 brands' supply chain functions and are proud to be the only real-time multimodal supply chain visibility company in India.

Bharti Yadav, Manufacturing Manager – Tea Manufacturing Site, Hindustan Unilever Ltd.

Bharti Yadav

My first corporate exposure was as an Operations Summer Intern at Lenovo Pvt. Ltd. At Lenovo, I worked on redesigning the reverse logistics of electronic devices to eliminate product pilferage and subsequent sales loss. It was a stand-alone project where I was working under the guidance of the inventory manager for the organisation. As an intern when I joined, given the complexity of the project, my guide was sceptical if a student with no corporate experience would be able to contribute significantly to the project. Not much concerned by this perception, I started reaching out to stakeholders, cross-functional teams and other individuals involved in the project to gain understanding and hold of the project. After 15 days, I had sufficient analysis done and presented my ideas to him. He was amazed to see the progress and realized that the project could be completed on time. We worked together as a team and the project was completed on-time yielding savings of $1.3 Mn Dollars. I was awarded the Best Summer intern Title along with a Pre-Placement Interview offer from Lenovo for delivering the project. This experience made me learn the power of persistence and believing in self.

Isha Agarwal, Global Planning Excellence Manager - Asia, Hindustan Unilever Ltd.

Isha Agarwal 

HUL acquired the Health Food Drinks (HFD) business from GSK CH in April 2020. The acquisition was not only for the Indian subsidiary of GSK CH, but Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as well. Both countries imported HFD products from India. On day 1, India supply chain was supposed to run on JDE & BPCS as the ERP, while the importing countries had to be live on SAP U2K2. This implied the handshake of two different ERP systems had to be seamless in order to avoid service loss. The ask was clear, apart from the technical go live, 35+ Indian employees had to be onboarded on SAP across 4 factories, in a span of 3 months. This entailed ERP licensing, training costs and the risk of supply disruption if the documentation is not first time right. The solution proposed was to hire Capgemini (CG) resources (existing third party) to do the transactions in SAP on behalf of Indian GSK factories. It was a challenging negotiation with them to deploy additional resources as part of their existing contract. With no precedence to this, multi – stakeholder alignment involving Technology teams, Factories, Finance and Legal to build 25+ masters in SAP, and onboard Capgemini as the partner. An exhaustive list of 100+ activities and RACI charts along with 2 User Acceptance Tests were conducted in the test server before going live. Co-ordination between remotely located CG resources (who were doing the backend transactions) and printing of physical invoice from factories was done in real-time. The required documentation at customs was tested too from a legal perspective to ensure no stone unturned for end-to-end exports transaction. This effort saved 155KEuros at 4 factory locations. Apart from cost avoidance, this model eliminated the supply risks specially during Covid, due to manpower shortage in factories. For this initiative, I was awarded the Nutrition Make Cutover Hero.

Rohit Kamath, Project Manager – Digital Supply Chain, Stellium Inc

Rohit Kamath

As the primary subject matter expert of Warehouse Automation and Material Flow System (MFS) – an automation module within SAP, I significantly contributed to the growth of my organization as one of the market leaders in the Supply Chain and IT consulting domain by driving complex warehouse automation solutions for our clients who were embarking on a digital transformational journey by integrating with ASRS, Conveyor Systems, Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs).

I designed the product roadmap for Lighthouse - our in-house Supply Chain Planning solution which caters to the SME segment. I envisioned a revamped user experience and algorithmic robustness which does away with the siloed approach to supply, demand, replenishment planning. This also involved the incorporation of AI / ML algorithms. The revamped solution resulted in 15% improvement in forecast accuracy (RMSE) for our existing clients, fewer disruptions in the planning cycle (25%), and reduction in inventory holding costs for our biggest Lighthouse client in the US by 8% through product segmentation and improved algorithms for demand planning such as Croston's Method, Neural Networks.

Aarti Jain, Senior Manager, Nestle India Ltd.

In my previous stint at HUL, Kandla factory was the only dedicated exports units for HUL with 70 customers across 100+ countries having different secondary packaging formats and different legal requirements. Inefficient Job work activity at Kandla factory for personal care jars, tubes, and bottles, resulted in huge job work cost for the factory. Besides, there were quality defects being generated at job work, with inadequate handling, resulting in damage of finished goods. I took up a personal target of eliminating Job work in totality and moving to in-house packing of all formats and packs. As the project progressed, we realised that the machines deployed had limited flexibility and in-house packing can result in the factory having low efficiency of lines. But, with consistent efforts we insourced 100% Bottle Volumes from co-packer by debottlenecking own bottle-line, without affecting factory’s efficiency.

This was achieved by loss prioritisation, breakdown elimination, basic condition restoration and continuous improvement (kaizen). We aligned various stakeholders like R&D, customers, marketing team to modify the single sleeve packing format of Lifebuoy Hand Wash into a 4-bundle pack to unlock speed on inhouse conversion, Clinic Plus bundling format changed from 3 to 6, and other changes for pack harmonisation. We also insourced Lifebuoy shampoo, Fair & Lovely and Dove Cream 75 ml final pack in spite of complex EOL formats and modified shrink wrap machine and change-parts with zero capital investment. We were able to achieve the desired savings through job work cost reduction. Lead time crunched from production to dispatch from 10 days to 4 days (6 days reduction due to job work lead time elimination). We were able to maintain topmost quality standards since all the packs are handled in-house with own employees. With this initiative, defects reduced from 8% to 0.75%.

Satyasom Sahoo, Senior Data Scientist, AB InBev

We envisioned to help the maintenance team increase the life span of machines in analysis and increase the efficiency of the lines in packaging department by detecting anomalies in the behaviour of the machine using real time sensor data such as Temperature, Current, Speed of Servomotors. During this phase, we faced many challenges such as real-time data capturing mechanism, which was present only in some of the breweries and the quality of the data was not consistent. We had to increase the adoption of the solution across the sites due to non-technical background of the users. We focused on a couple of sites where real-time data is captured for the machines. We performed quality check on the data and implemented LSTM (Long Short-Term Memory) model to identify anomalies in the sensor data post correlation study across different sensor data. The solution was implemented in two sites with scalable architecture in the form of a dashboard, which processed 8 hours of data and generated alarms for the sites with anomalies.

Venkatesh Hiriyanna, Plant Procurement Manager, Reckitt Benckiser India Pvt. Ltd.

Energy is required to run the daily factory operations. However, the sourcing of energy has been from government entities. Our vision was to make factory to run 100% on green/renewable energy. During this project, we explored options to move towards green energy, setting up own solar panels on the roof top was one among the options, however, it was not fetching cost benefits as it requires huge CAPEX investment apart from low return on investment. Similarly other options were also not favourable.

Fortunately, we came across a private supplier who generates energy through renewable source like solar and sells it to the firms. We had multiple discussions with the supplier to understand and finalised the ways of working. Later, we proposed the case to the India Leadership team, which received a positive response. We had a negotiation with the supplier on the commercial terms & conditions. We implemented the project after all the necessary legal documentation and a pilot run for two months, which was smooth and beneficial. Now ~70% of factory’s energy requirement is met through renewable energy, and we are still exploring to make it 100%. Apart from having a significant cost benefit, a decent step has been taken to meet the Supply Chain Sustainability initiative.

Ishan Shrivastava, Analytics Manager – GAC (Growth Analytics Center), AB InBev

AB InBev is the world’s leading brewer by both volume and revenue; with hundreds of breweries and distribution centres. The stock has to be moved in this complex network of Breweries & DCs by the inventory deployment team, but due to demand variability, production issues, and fleet unavailability, the company occurs losses due to service level hits and obsolescence on excess stock pile up, leading to an imbalance in the stock positions across the depot. This is a common supply chain issue across the industry. Logistics Analytics Team ensures seamless planning and delivery of beer in this complex network of DC-Brewery using advanced analytics and Machine Learning based optimization algorithms to suggest redeployment of stocks based on demand, production plan, inventory, and fleet position.

An inventory optimization engine, an AI-powered MILP optimization algorithm that recommends most cost-optimised stock movements driven by out-of-stock and obsolescence has been developed, automating the earlier manual and inefficient processes. This is further facilitated with a global product enabling cross-functional teams to collaborate and take decisions based on output from the optimization model. The solution was operational in Africa & Europe Zone, leading to a 1.5% reduction in stock-outs volume annually and a 33% reduction in average monthly write off volume for 90% of the redeployed SKUs. Historical redeployments serve as feedback for the demand forecasting team to improve accuracy and to Re-frame inventory policy for the warehouses and breweries. This solution will be implemented in all 6 zones across multiple countries across the globe in 2023. The product has transformed the entire process and decision-making on how redeployments are prioritized in the organization and fulfils the goal of our digital transformation.

Sakshi Hingorani, Team Lead – Social Impact and Community Partnerships, Freight Tiger

Truck drivers face harsh and unsafe working conditions – 90% exist in the informal sector with no fixed pay or opportunities for upskilling. This has led to a 22% shortage of truck drivers, which requires real solutions for driver empowerment. Freight Tiger’s focus is on building an end-to-end logistics platform to transform B2B Commerce. We have leveraged our technology with on-ground partnerships with industry experts to build a customisable and impactful program for our customers.

Our driver empowerment program integrates our existing product offerings like trip visibility and control tower with on-ground training and the adoption of highway facilities to push for increased road safety. The program is also set up to foster collaboration between logistics stakeholders, as shippers and transport companies can invest in it together to ensure more drivers gain access to these resources. By making drivers part of the solution, companies can see an improved bottom line through reduced accidents and insurance claims, smoother delivery of goods to customers, and better working relationship with the drivers themselves. We recently launched a Driver Empowerment Facility in Godhra, Gujarat in partnership with Saint Gobain Gyproc and Indian Oil. It is open to all drivers for free and provides the necessary facilities to ensure they can recuperate mid-journey. We are continuing to expand the reach of the program to 50 locations and want to partner with shippers and transport companies across the country to improve the working conditions of truck drivers in India.

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