For ef­fi­cient 3PLs: Need for bespoke sup­ply chain so­lu­tion

Need for bespoke sup­ply chain so­lu­tion

Cargo Talk - - Contents - RATAN KR PAUL

Siemens has made its pres­ence felt in In­dia since 1957. Siemens in In­dia, is sub­sidiary of Siemens AG, Ger­many. Presently, the com­pany has 21 fac­to­ries across In­dia and prod­ucts in four ver­ti­cals such as in­dus­try, en­ergy, health­care and in­fra­struc­ture and City. Pramod Sant, Vice Pres­i­dent, Sup­ply Chain Man­age­ment-In­di­rect Ma­te­rial, Ex­port Con­trol & Cus­toms, Siemens spoke to Car­gotalk about the crit­i­cal role played by sup­ply chain and lo­gis­tics man­age­ment be­hind the com­pany’s suc­cess.

the prod­ucts man­u­fac­tured and dis­trib­uted by Siemens span widely in­clud­ing en­ergy sec­tor, gas tur­bines, gen­er­a­tors, trans­form­ers, equip­ments for power trans­mis­sion and dis­tri­bu­tion. The in­dus­try sec­tor in­cludes au­to­ma­tion con­trols for steel rolling plants, ce­ment, tex­tiles, pa­per, food bev­er­ages and dairy prod­ucts. This also in­cludes con­ven­tional prod­uct such as switchgears, mo­tors, M.C.C.B and con­trols for the ma­chine tool in­dus­try. The in­fra­struc­ture in­cludes rail projects such as metro rail coaches, rail sig­nal­ing and au­to­ma­tion, low and medium volt­age panels, smart grid prod­ucts and build­ing tech­nol­ogy sys­tems such as fire alarm and safety sys­tems. Siemens health­care sec­tor in­cludes imag­ing equip­ment such as CT, MRI, mam­mog­ra­phy, ul­tra­sound, X-ray, and ther­a­peu­tic and di­ag­nos­tic equip­ment.

“The com­plex­i­ties of Siemens sup­ply chain does not end here, as it in­cludes trans­porta­tion of 320 tonne gas tur­bines and gen­er­a­tors, trans­porta­tion of 75 tonne to 340 tonne trans­form­ers to re­mote lo­ca­tion site, move­ment of rail coach from fac­tory to north or south­ern part of In­dia , move­ments of MRI weigh­ing 12 tonnes to North East In­dia where the MRI mag­net re­quires fill­ing of he­lium on the way at least three times in tran­sit, and so on and so forth. Spares sup­plies to ce­ment or steel plant are very crit­i­cal to keep con­tin­u­ous process in­dus­try run­ning,” re­vealed Sant.

Siemens Sup­ply chain

In his opin­ion, due to va­ri­ety in sup­ply chains, it is not pos­si­ble to have one or two lo­gis­tics ser­vice providers. The Siemens sup­ply chain suc­cess is en­sured by en­gag­ing best lo­gis­tic ser­vice providers, suit­able for each type of sup­ply chains, and in­ter­nal ex­pert teams in­volved in ne­go­ti­at­ing con­tract­ing and mon­i­tor­ing lo­gis­tics. “In­ter­nal teams need to have spe­cialised knowl­edge in each topic. To en­sure that pro­cesses are im­proved reg­u­larly, new IT tools are im­ple­mented and cost over­runs are avoided. The in­ter­nal team in­cludes trans­port engi­neers and em­ploy­ees trained in lo­gis­tics at Siemens AG, Ger­many,” Sant said.

Ac­cord­ing to him, lo­gis­tics in­dus­try is presently fac­ing many chal­lenges in In­dia.

Most ser­vice-providers have ex­cel­lent set­ups in a few places like Mum­bai, Delhi or Chen­nai, but when it comes to all-In­dia avail­abil­ity, they fall short.”

Pramod Sant vice Pres­i­dent, Sup­ply chain man­age­ment-in­di­rect ma­te­rial, ex­port con­trol & cus­toms, Siemens

Firstly, there is a short­age of in­sti­tutes who are able to churn out a good sup­ply chain or lo­gis­tics stu­dents. “Many such in­sti­tu­tions have good aca­demic cour­ses, but very lit­tle prac­ti­cal knowl­edge. There is need to in­cul­cate learn­ing of ba­sic in­dus­try sup­ply chains, in­stead of so-called ‘fancy sup­ply chain’,” he main­tained. “Se­condly, in­fra­struc­ture is­sues are in­creas­ing and or­gan­i­sa­tions are fac­ing chal­lenges with air­ports, ports, roads and rails. Delays, un­re­li­a­bil­ity with con­stant in­crease in costs, are com­mon. Lo­gis­tics costs in In­dia are one of the high­est any­where,” he high­lighted.

Lack of ef­fi­cient 3PLs

In Sant’s opin­ion, In­dian lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies have a long way to go to un­der­stand and sup­port man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies in all ar­eas. “Each com­pany wants to of­fer what is avail­able in their scope and avoid what is not. Se­condly, the abil­ity to as­sess a sit­u­a­tion and proac­tively take nec­es­sary steps to main­tain a smooth sup­ply chain is still lack­ing. Most ser­vi­ce­providers have ex­cel­lent set-ups in a few places like Mum­bai, Delhi or Chen­nai, but when it comes to all-In­dia avail­abil­ity, they fall short,” he pointed out.

He also pointed out that avail­abil­ity of qual­i­fied ef­fi­cient peo­ple for ser­vice providers is not con­sis­tent. Most of the time, ser­vice-providers learn new things by trial and er­ror and at the cost of cus­tomer. “Time and en­ergy re­quired to un­der­stand a cus­tomer is very high ini­tially, and most ser­vice providers are re­luc­tant to in­vest in the same. To­day, ev­ery lo­gis­tic com­pany claims to be a 3PL com­pany. In case of a di­ver­si­fied com­pany like Siemens, a 3PL com­pany needs to have good un­der­stand­ing of var­i­ous modes of dis­tri­bu­tion. This in­cludes sur­face trans­port con­sist­ing of FTL, part loads, and var­i­ous types of trail­ers; low bed semi-load and han­dling of ODC and sur­face or air ex­press,” he says.

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