Canon India sets up the SCM bar
Ashutosh Varshney, Senior Director, Logistics & General Affairs Divisions, Canon India, shares how Canon is setting the bar high by aiding all the complexities of supply chain managment.
What is your view on the supply chain landscape in India?
Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the backbone of operations in any organisation. And, supply chain in India is witnessing a sea change; warehouses are getting equipped with hi-end technologies and automation as well as getting bigger in size owing to the centralisation of warehouses. We would see more organised players coming in the space and this would surely aid in streamlining the supply chain landscape in the country.
What are some of the global best practices adopted?
Within India, we are working with best in class service providers who can offer services by which we are able to send products faster, safer and in a more satisfying manner to the customers.
Which tech tools are deployed by Canon India to manage supply chain?
Information sharing requires firms to exchange strategic supply chain information. Canon has implemented Integrated Information System (IIS) like Electronic Data Interchange System (EDIS). EDIS is designed for Canon’s suppliers, in which quotation or order data can be transferred between Canon and suppliers along with Canon’s service providers, where vital information about shipments can be exchanged. IIS plays a pivotal role in Canon’s supply chain management, as it allows firms to increase the volume and complexity of information which needs to be communicated with the inter-trading partners. It also allows firms to provide real-time supply-chain information, to multiple stakeholders. Increased access to real-time information enables Canon to synchronize its inventory level, delivery status, and production planning and scheduling which enables firms to manage and control its supply chain activities. It also facilitates the alignment of forecasting and scheduling of operations between Canon and its supply chain partners, allowing better inter-firms coordination. Exchange of information has revolutionised most of the company’s operations leading to a greater visibility of technology and resources.
In terms of consistency, of services provided by its agents globally, synchronised distribution system, and timeliness to market, through reliable production planning, ordering and distribution systems Canon is benefiting its partners through quality assurance. However, the company needs to carefully consider which information to disclose and exchange among its supply chain partners. We work in ERP packages; right from our parent company to our channel partners as well as retailers, are all connected electronically. The Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) happens frequently and because of this, the entire value chain gets to know the exact status of the orders.
Canon’s logistics division, focusses on transporting products safely and on time, provides advanced logistics services with high customer satisfaction rates. We achieve this by selecting shipping routes and partners and by ensuring packing quality. The system, which comprehensively manages information spanning and enables us to promptly respond to fluctuations in market supply and demand. Additionally, it has shortened overall shipping lead times.
What are the complexities involved in the value chain at Canon India?
Having completed 20 years of our intervention in the country, we have a vast product portfolio. At Canon India, we market a comprehensive range of over 200 sophisticated and contemporary digital imaging products in the country. These include digital copiers, multifunctional peripherals, fax-machines, inkjet and laser printers, scanners, all-in-ones, digital cameras, digital camcorders, dye sub photo printers, card printers and cable ID printers. We are operating in very volatile segments, such as office automation and consumer electronics wherein technology changes very quickly. We have photo copiers which go into offices, and we have products for consumers, like cameras and printers. The challenge is that on one hand, we have distributors who do stocking and subsequent sales. That means the shipment size for such distributors would be much bigger. On the other hand, which are our own brand stores where, walk-in customers would ask for the latest model of high-end camera, at a very short notice. So, there lies the complexity of managing big shipments to managing small, but highly time bound shipments. Our underlying mantra is to delight our customers by making the desired products available as per their expectations, hence, we consider customers’ preferences and act accordingly.
Canon has implemented Integrated Information System (IIS) like Electronic Data Interchange System (EDIS)
Ashutosh Varshney Senior Director, Logistics & General Affairs Divisions, Canon India