“We are upbeat about India’s cutting-edge SCM capabilities”
Eaton’s global EVP for SCM, Rogerio Branco, and the company’s head for its global Supply Chain Centre of Excellence in Pune, and SB Raju talk about its programmes aimed at fortifying Eaton’s manufacturing operations
What were Eaton’s objectives behind setting up its Global Supply Chain Centre in Pune?
Branco: Being a diversified organisation with more than 300 sites, Eaton embarked on the journey to integrate its supply chain, leveraging the global scale while providing additional opportunities to its suppliers. The Global Supply Chain Centre of Excellence in Pune is an important tool for fulfilling this objective, through process innovation and standardisation, governance and functional and executional excellence. Started with a handful of analysts in 2009, the centre has evolved and diversified itself into key aspects of SCM including procurement, materials, logistics, quality, business intelligence (BI), sourcing, governance risk and compliance (GRC) and global trade management (GTM).
What are some of the distinct capabilities that this centre brings in to the enterprise?
Branco: The centre in Pune provides competitive advantage by driving operational rigor, a sustainable continuous improvement culture and developing talent pipeline for global needs. Constant benchmarking, improving, and best practice sharing, infusing latest technology, tools and advanced analytics are a few distinct capabilities enhancing the global supply chain’s effectiveness and efficiencies. The team has matured from executing basic transactional activities to providing front-end support in complex and critical work-streams including should cost, materials planning, sales inventory operations planning (SIOP), defect materials reports (DMR) management, production part approval process (PPAP) and invoice on hold (IOH) reduction. Our innovative offerings such as control tower and digital tier boards are making worldwide operations effective and efficient. Globally, this centre is supporting more than 140 sites across regions; some key programmes being training suppliers, validating their process improvements, central purchase order management, developing should cost models and negotiation fact packs, tail spend management, managing supplies from APAC suppliers for plants in Americas, supporting European logistics projects delivering cost out, supplier tooling monitoring, centralised supplier performance reporting, ensuring governance and risk compliances for suppliers for ensuring sustainability.
How are the emerging trends such as big data, cloud, analytics, etc. shaping the evolution of SCM as a function?
Branco: Global supply chain is moving towards adapting itself to the digital revolution. Various tools are being used for integrating the global supply chain and improving efficiencies. The Centre is supporting select sites in North America in executing the SCM digital transformation plan along with complementing the digital plant initiatives. Specific projects are initiated for utilising data science and Artificial Intelligence tools to improve efficiency, predictability and overall decision making. Some of the key pilot projects of the centre include: Control Tower for facilitating better visualisation and driving more effective material planning decisions for some sites in North America; Robotic Process Automation for utilising technology to standardise processes, reduce defects and optimise resources; MIS Digitisation to improve effectiveness of operational monitoring; and Digital Tier boards for better operational governance.
What is the kind of talent you look for to support the global programmes managed by this centre?
SB Raju: The Centre in Pune has a robust plan for developing internal talent through rigorous functional and soft-skill trainings. As per the job requirement, job rotation and on-site assignments are also leveraged. Each individual has a calibrated skill and competency development plan, reviewed and revised frequently, which ensures constant upgradation and getting ready for the future. We are open to hiring exceptional talents at various levels in materials planning, data science and data engineering, global logistics and sourcing.
What are some of the future challenges?
SB Raju: There are three key areas where this Centre will play a role: A) integrating the diverse global supply chain through centralised initiatives, which will enhance supplier’s value add and facilitate agile supply chain; B) Improving data management; and C) helping the execution of Eaton’s digital transformation strategy.