Showing posts from 2017

2017...Indian Supply Chain year that unfolded....

Indian Supply Chains had one of the most demanding year. CY 2017. Its been a year which needed nimble footed Supply Chains, it also needed Supply Chains which needed to appreciate that disruptions to Supply Chain don't only mean natural disruptions and it also meant that transitions to new way of working needs to evolve much faster than your own comfort. The year began with after effects of Demonetization.One of my agricultural industry clients which deals with Live Chicken had to face the challenges where the chicken is ready to be sold but the system couldn't have enough money to buy. Sales prices eroded and profits turned into losses in a matter of weeks. After effects of demonetization on FMCG/FMCD Supply Chain was drop in demand for a period which in 2017 eventually would go back. Many other examples can be quoted on Demonetization effect on Supply Chains in 2017. Automobile Sector Supply Chains of India had to also see a year where the shift from BS III to BS IV

Lean - "Information Systems" element in 21st century

Continuing with the thoughts of Lean in 21st century I think, one major dramatic change vis-a-vis 20th century when Lean was introduced, is the element of "Information Systems". Lean was developed in a period of time when information integration was a major challenge. Hence many instances of Lean will find traces of efforts being put to facilitate information integration. e.g. Kanban system. Another supplementary issue is information distortion. This makes the entire organization be sub-optimal. Many information systems developed in Lean have roots of trying to over this issue. e.g. Moving from Push to Pull systems. While enterprises develop & deploy Lean in 21st century, Information distortion may still exist, courtesy various organizational practices & metrics. A culture of rewarding "Heroes" also creates the need to use information bias in ones favour. But that doesn't take away the reality that adopting technology solutions along-side the l

Lean - "Demand" element in 21st century

Taking it forward from the previous post ( ) the second most important need for Lean is "Demand".  Going by the philosophy in its true sense it states that Demand variability should be low & the  variety to be handled should not be very high. Both these have real life sense in the mid 70's & both were valid. (this also coincides with the time when the philosophy received a wide recognition around the world). The rapid change in the business environment over the past three decades has ensured that the rate of change & the variables impacting the change both have upward trajectory. A mid size organization today handles a few thousand SKU's. Applying any of the Lean principles or its techniques either on the Shop floor or in the Supply Chain under estimates the core element of Lean i.e. the ability to handle variety & variations. Most of the Supply Chains have evolved o

Lean - "People" element in 21st century

Lean Management or Lean Manufacturing is one of the latest philosophies of productivity improvement being experimented in organizations. I happen to be one of the implementation partners. My observation for organizations who are toying with this improvement philosophy is that many of them have missed the core elements to appreciate. The core of the philosophy lies in the "value systems" of people. The 20th century (which is less than a century into Industrial revolution) had multiple transitions due to the World Wars. The world war, in my opinion, did two things - first it choked the capital available for businesses and second - shifted the power of demand to new geographies. My focus below is on the first and its impact on people. The lack of capital available for expanding business ensured that organizations had to work very hard to improve productivity. This is in contrast to the 21st century. The advent of new mechanism to raise finance have put the organiza