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Cover Story, Leading Manufacturing Companies, Plant Head’s

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Supply chain

Supply Chain Management involves so much more than just handling the flow of goods and services. The role has evolved to include modern-day trends and technologies that need to be studied and incorporated to best suit an organisation’s goals. Besides dealing with risk and remaining sustainable, a good supply chain head must also ensure visibility into the future, keeping his team and resources agile at all times. All in all, this role is vital to the smooth running of manufacturing operations.

Apollo Tyres
Anand Maithani, Head, Supply Chain Management, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (APMEA)

“The entire Supply Chain Management landscape has seen rapid changes in the last couple of years. Most of these changes have been fuelled by technology,” suggests Maithani, who lists three of the most notable of these changes. The first is Track and Trace/Real Time Visibility: While track and trace capabilities existed at some level in the past, with e-commerce providing visibility of orders to consumers, this has gone to a whole new level. Traditional supply chains have now begun to embrace this as technology has become more accessible with the explosion of mobile devices and cloud computing. The second is Digital: The pace of embedding digital in supply chains has picked up steam. IoT, AI, machine learning, block chain which seemed like mere concepts are finding use cases, albeit still in the conceptual stage. Finally, we have Shorter Product Life Cycles: This is one of the most challenging trends. Supply Chain professionals now have to convert the process of forecasting for new products into a fine art.
Maithani agrees that GST has given an opportunity to relook at the entire supply network. “One positive change has been the reduction in transit times, which will definitely have an impact on working capital,” he says.

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