Saturday, February 12, 2011

Opera 12.2

This week Opera, the operations club of SJMSOM, conducted a session on “Cross-docking” and “Value Stream Mapping”. It was a knowledge sharing session where both the concepts were mentioned with practical examples in the end for each one of them.
The session commenced with Sandeep Borkar introducing the concept of cross-docking through a video on ‘Understanding Distribution Centres and then explaining in detail. The brief of the concept:
Cross-docking is a practice in logistics of unloading materials from an incoming truck/rail car and loading these materials directly into outbound trucks/ trailers/rail cars, with little or no storage in between. The practice is widely seen in retail sectors. The unloading and loading of materials can be consolidated, deconsolidated or re-routed at the hub. So, if we know the exact demand of customers in advance, the advantage of cross-docking can be reduced time, handling cost, operating cost and warehousing cost. The only limitation to the application of this concept is that it is applicable to large Distribution Centers.

The second part of session Value Stream Mapping was introduced by Swethadri and Vasisht. Both explained the content in detail and Vasisht gave a detailed example from his own work-experience at Ashok Leyland.
Brief overview of the concept:
VSM is one of the benchmarking practices in the industry to know about the problems that underlie a value chain. VSM is the initial step in the conception of Lean Production System. It seeks to reduce waste (or MUDA, in Japanese) in the process so that lead time and cost be reduced. In concept, it is very easy to identify one among the seven types of MUDA, but in reality on shop-floor, everything seems to be synchronous. So, to find out a way, the ‘current state mapping (to understand current operation of shop floor) and ‘future state mapping’ (to help in designing a lean flow) must be undertaken. Through this process, value added and non-value added process can be identified and through Kaizen and Kanban (to be discussed in the upcoming sessions of Opera), significant improvements can be achieved by eliminating wastages.

Throughout the concept, various key terms were discussed – cycle time, value added time, lead time, change-over time, working time, uptime, OEE(Overall Equipment Efficiency), takt time, line balancing (Henjunka), Kanban etc.

The session ended on the note - “We cannot change the wind direction, but we can always adjust our sail.”
The session was very interactive, and added immense value to our understanding of what summer internship of operations profile is going to be. Looking forward to the next session by Neha Kamat where her summer internship project on the same concept would be discussed!

Contributed by,
Alka Ranjan
SJMSOM Class of 2012