Sunday, August 24, 2014

Operations Continuum 2014 - Report

Operations Continuum 2014 was organized on 2nd August 2014. The Continuum saw a series of lectures centered on the theme: Supply Chain transformation: Supporting growth through innovative and responsive strategies.

Our first speaker for the day, Mr R Radhakrishnan, General Manager, Information Systems (Functional), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. addressed the following topic: Leveraging Business Intelligence for Supply and Operations. He started the talk by explaining about the functional and technical departments of Information Systems at HPCL. He then talked about the history of the Information Technology department at HPCL, and how it evolved. Mr. Radhakrishnan then talked in detail about the petroleum industry in India. He provided valuable information regarding the industry. Next, he spoke about the Supply Chain Management in an Oil Industry. He began with an overview of the supply chain in the oil industry. He concluded by giving a final take on Business Intelligence by stating “We should move from IT literacy to data literacy”.

Our second speaker for the day, Prof. Jayendran Venkateswaran, Assistant Professor, Industrial Engineering & Operations Research, IIT Bombay, delivered a talk  on Localization of Solar Energy through Local Assembly, Sale and Usage. He begun his session by elaborating on why utilization of Solar Energy is important. He highlighted the problem of electricity in the rural areas. Without electricity, studying at night becomes a problem for students. As he mentioned, there is no lack of talent in those areas but it is the education which these people lack. He then moved on to the concept behind the Solar Urja Lamp project - to solve the issue of studying without electricity and enable every student to get educated & lead a better life. He stated that the solar lamps are assembled locally thereby involving local people in all aspects, which will be the key to the success of this project.

The third session was focused on the discussion of latest trends in Product traceability by Mr. Ravi Ranjan, Regional Head, Supply Chain Management, Pidilite Industries Limited. He started the talk by defining Product traceability as the ability to trace the product history, location or application of an item by means of documented recorded identification. He then explained the concept of Product traceability and its applications. He said that Radio Frequency Identification and Barcode are two common methods used for Product traceability. Next, he moved on to explain Vendor Management System (VMS), which is a software tool, often web-based, that acts as a mechanism for the business to manage orders and staff. Typical features of a VMS application include order distribution, consolidated billing and significant enhancements in reporting capability that outperforms manual systems and processes.

The fourth session was delivered by Mr. Vikas Sarangdhar, Director, Supply Chain, Gartner Inc. on Impact of Digital Business on Global Supply Chains. He started the talk by quoting the previous speaker’s example and stating how technology was an advantage to Zara  as well as Amazon. He then talked about the Gartner Supply Chain Business Layers which they use for their research and advisory.  Then he explained the evolution of Internet through the years from 1990 and predicted 2030 as the year of Digital Business. He then focused on the change that was brought in Supply Chain due to the changing demand cycle. Speaking about the threats posed by the competitors, Mr. Sarangdhar explained that new players can come from any sector in the market making it difficult to determine the source of next threat. He concluded that the Supply Chain is now being viewed as a demand driven value network. He ended with statement “The Future is Now.”

The fifth talk for the day was delivered by Ms. Yojana Motiwale, Assistant General Manager (Purchase), A.W. Faber - Castell (India) Pvt. Ltd., on Green supply chain management. She started the talk by stating that Green Supply Chain is something which all Indian companies must try to implement in their organisation. Later she discussed the benefits of Green Supply Chain Management which include sustainability, low costs, product differentiation, competitive advantage, risk reduction adhering to regulations and an overall improved product quality. She also gave us the examples of companies which have implemented Green supply chain management in their operations. Thereafter, she discussed the challenges that India and Indian companies face to implement Green supply chain management. She concluded by saying that "Green Supply chain management is the key towards the sustainable growth and secured future”.

The sixth session was delivered by Mr. Atul Prakash, Vice President, Manufacturing Godrej Industries Limited, on the topic: Sustainability in Manufacturing- A Business Opportunity. Mr. Atul Started his presentation with a thought provoking video named “Light Bulb Conspiracy”, which depicted the necessity of sustainable manufacturing for a healthy development in future years. The deliberation of reducing lifetime of light bulb from 2500 to 1000 hours in the 1920s, change of the everlasting Nylon stockings to fragile one; were some of the prime examples depicted in the video which urged consumers to go for newer products only according to the need. He also explained about the opportunities for sustainable manufacturing by emphasizing on four themes. The themes were, Openness to Ideas, Collaboration, Leadership and Resource efficiency, which are required at this juncture for the effective growth of manufacturing industries.

The last session for the day was given by Mr. Amar N Jha, Vice President, Retail Petroleum, Reliance Industries Limited. The talk was centred around the Oil and Gas Supply Chain, the challenges being faced by them and also the steps taken to overcome them. He first touched upon the recent trends in Supply Chain Management(S.C.M.) which is moving from manufacturing driven to customer driven. The needs of the customer are changing with time. High transparency in quality and quantity, time consciousness, increased level of product and service delivery, better fuel and engine performance are some of the requirements of the modern customer. The design of RIL caters to these demands by electronic method of calibration, remote pricing change, printed bill, Tank Monitoring System, Specialized TT lock and monitoring system and key management system. The session concluded with an interactive session where Mr. Jha catered to individual questions from the students.

The continuum ended with a vote of thanks by the student co-ordinator for the Operations club. Operations continuum 2014, which saw a perfect blend of stalwarts from industry and academia, was a great learning experience for all the students of Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay.

written by,
Opera - The Operations Club