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Supply Chain Control Tower Deploys Data Intelligence And IoT For Supply Chain Forecasting

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Walplast, India’s infrastructure raw material manufacturer has introduced a program called ‘Supply Chain Control Tower (SCCT)‘ under which Walplast is utilising data intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) to build an information hub for supply chain forecasting. This includes tracking vehicle movement to ease bottlenecks. This is also helping Walplast to detect and act on risk or opportunities more quickly than earlier.

Milan Thakkar, CEO, Walplast gives us a deeper understanding

How is Walplast utilising data analytics and IoT in its operations? 

At Walplast we have started using IoT technology majorly in 2 functions.

    • Factory Operations.
    • Supply chain.

IoT sensors enables the tracking of goods and makes it much easier to calculate instantly actual RM, WIP and FG at plant. Some raw materials need to be treated at ideal heat. Specialist IoT devices helps in monitoring areas like temperature, humidity, exposure to an atmosphere, light intensity and other environmental factors.

For the supply chain, we have integrated our ERP with dedicated vehicular GPS devices. This has enabled us to plan better and be ready with dispatch plan for these vehicles even before they reach our premises. This data analytics tool has helped us to expand this data collected beyond the traditional data collected on ERP systems.

Could you give us a deeper insight into how technology is bolstering the supply chain space?

Incorporation of technology has helped manufacturing companies like ours to have better control over product flow and information flow across the supply chain. It has enabled us to share real time information with our supply chain partners thus improving the collaboration for supply chain management (SCM). Increased control over production, effective order tracking and inventory management, etc. helped us to eliminate superfluous elements of SCM.

How accurate do you think is the data fetched?

As per our understanding data accuracy is completely depending on the accuracy of input we have given.

What’s the strategy behind setting up SCCT?

While setting up the SCCT, an essential thing we had was to identify the areas of improvement. This could help to find the value creation opportunities. A detailed analysis of these opportunities to find out their short, medium and long term impact on SCM was carried out. Then a roadmap was developed demonstrating where to begin and where to end up.

The idea of SCCT was implemented first on a small scale in order to prove the concept for which a single product line focused on a particular market region was adopted. When an expected result was achieved, the company implemented the SCCT to its overall business.

What are some of the advantages of the same?

To meet the challenges of end to end Supply chain, SCCT has become an assured solution. The advantages of SCCT at Walplast are as follows:

      1. Improved visibility and transperancy for better service levels.
      2. Better inventory management to reduce over stocking and shortages.
      3. Accurate and reliable management of billing, auditing and payment activities.
      4. It provides an intuitive view to circumstances such as surges or depletion in demand.

Do you think remote working would continue being the new normal in the long term? 

AT&T is the pioneering organisation promoting the idea of Alternate Workplace (AW). The idea was implemented to check how far an organization could go in transforming the workplace.

Similarly, the corporate industry was obliged to implement the same idea of AW i.e. working remotely during this Covid pandemic. Working remotely asks us to be more intentional in how we talk and collaborate in this way, we’re better able to design the experience in ways we weren’t able to do before. Intimate adaptations that we made for remote working can be used to make the corporate offices more humane and the employees more empathetic. Teleconferencing and telework technology have advanced to the point where some businesses can thrive with completely remote teams. 

By permitting offsite work, the business gets access to overhead savings like real estate, equipment and supply expenses. Ultimately, working remotely is effective, but it has to be put into practice correctly, and it may not be the best situation for every employee or every business. In order to keep a check on the productivity and performance issues the company has to create standard key performance indicators for both management and employees.

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