Logistics Management

06 Jul

CASE STUDY 1

Read the following case and answer the questions given at the end.

Passenger Interchange

In most major cities the amount of congestion on the roads is increasing. Some of this is due to commercial vehicles, but by far the majority is due to private cars.There are several ways of controlling the number of vehicles using certain areas. These include prohibition ofcars in pedestrian areas, restricted entry, limits onparking, traffic calming schemes, and so on. A relatively new approach has road-user charging, where cars pay afee to use a particular length of road, with the fee possibly changing with prevailing traffic conditions.

Generally, the most effective approach to reducing traffic congestion is to improve public transport. These services must be attractive to people who judge them by a range of factors, such as the comfort of seating, amount of crowding, handling of luggage, availability offood, toilets, safety, facilities in waiting areas. Availabilityof escalators and lifts, and so on. However, the dominant considerations are cost, time and reliability.

Buses are often the most flexible form of public transport, with the time for a journey consisting of four parts:

  • joining time, which is the time needed to get to a bus stop
  • waiting time, until the bus arrives
  • journey time, to acnrallg do the travelling
  • leaving time, to get from the bus to the final destination.

Transport policies can reduce these times by acombination of frequent services, well-planned routes, and bus priority schemes. Then convenient journeys andsubsidised travel make buses an attractive alternative.

One problem, however, is that people have to changebuses, or transfer between buses and other types of transport, including cars, planes, trains, ferries and trams.Then there are additional times for moving between onetype of transport and the next, and waiting for the nextpart of the service. These can be minimised by an integrated transport system with frequent, connecting services at ‘passenger interchanges’.

Passenger interchanges seem a good idea, but theyare not universally popular. Most people prefer a straight-through journey between two points, even if this is less frequent than an integrated service with interchanges. The reason is probably because there are more opportunities for things to go wrong, and experiences suggests that even starting a journey does not guarantee that it will successfully finish.

In practice, most major cities such as London and Paris have successful interchanges, and they are spreading into smaller towns, such as Montpellier in France. For theten years up to 2001, the population of Montpellier grewby more than 8.4 per cent, and it moved from being the 22nd largest town in France to the eighth largest. It has good transport links with the porti of Sete, an airport, inland waterways, main road networks and a fast rail linkto Paris. In 2001, public transport was enhanced with a 15 kilometre tramline connecting major sites in the towncentre with other transport links. At the same time, buses were rerouted to connect to the tram, cycling was encouraged for short distances, park-and-ride services were improved, and journeys were generally made easier, As a result, there lns been an increase in use of publlc transport, a reduction in the number of cars in the town centre, and improved air quality. When the tram opened in 2000, a third of the population tried it in the first weekend, and it carried a million people within seven weeks of opening. In 2005, a second tramline will add 19 kilometres to the routes.

Questions:

(a) Are the problems of moving people significantly different from the problems of moving goods or Services?

(b) What are the benefits of public transport over private transport? Should public transport be encouraged and, if so, how?

(c) What are the benefits of integrated public transport systems?

 

CASE STUDY 2

Read the following case and answer the questions given at the end.

Kozmo, the Online convenience store to shut down

New York-based Kozmo, the 3-year-old company announced that it would stop delivery service in all nine cities it operates. New York-based Kozmo, which dispatched legions of orange-clad deliverymen to cart goods to customers’ doors, is the latest dot.com dream to evaporate in the market downturn. Amazon com, venture capital firm Flatiron Partners and coffee giant Starbucks were among the investors in Kozmo.

Kozmo said in December that investors promised a total of $30 million in private funding. But last month the company learned that an investor had backed out of a $6 million commitment. Kozmo executives had been working on a merger deal with Los Angeles-based PDQuick, another online grocer, sources said. The deal collapsed when funding that was promised to PDQuick did not materialize. Sources said Kozmo still has money but decided to close now and liquidate to ensure that employees could receive a severance package.

Just last month, Kozmo Chief Executive Gerry Burdo was upbeat about Kozmo’s future, saying he was looking to steer Kozmo away from its Internet-only business model and toward a “clicks and bricks” approach. But some analysts say Kozmo’s business model only made sense in the context of a densely packed city such as New York. Vern Keenan, a financial analyst with Keenan Vision, said the service had a chance to work in only a few other cities around the world, such as Lonclon, Stockholm or Paris. “This seemed like a dumb idea from the beginning,” Keenan said. “This grew out of a New York City frame of mind and it simply didn’t translate.”

Kozmo was started by a pair of twenty-something former college roommates. They got the idea for the company on a night when they craved videos and snacks and wished a business existed that would deliver it to them. Kozmo offered free delivery and charged competitive prices when it launched in New York. Though customers loved the service, the costs of delivery were high.

After co-founder and former Chief Executive Joseph park stepped down, Burdo slashed Kozmo’s overhead, instituted a delivery fee and oversaw several rounds of layoffs. The company also closed operations in San Diego and Houston. Burdo said last month that profitability was not far away. The company had reached a milestone last December when it reported profits at one of its operations for the first time. Kozmo later saw two more operations reach profitability as a result of brisk holiday business.

Online delivery companies have been among the most ravaged by the Internet shakeout. Kozmo’s rival in New York, Urbanfetch, shuttered its consumer operations last fall. Online grocers such as Webvan and Peapod have also struggled, and smaller operations such as Streamline.com and ShopLink.com have dosed down. Peapod was days away from closing last year when Dutch grocer Royal Ahold agreed to take a majority stake.

From the very beginning, supply chain management was to be a core competency of Kozmo. The promising dot.com would deliver your order everything from the latest video to electronics equipment in less than an hour. The technology was superior, the employees were enthusiastict, the customers were satisfied. But eventually, Kozmo ran out of time and money.

Questions:

(a) What, in your opinion, is the major reason for the failure of Kozmo?

(b) Do you think that Kozmo promised what its supply chain could not bear? What could have prevented its shut-down?

 

CASE STUDY 3

Read the following case and answer the questions given at the end.

Case Study:

ABL is one of the leading Producers of medical instrumentation. It manufactures equipment for use in Hospital. This large, high tech machines cost significant amount. Each machine is tailored to hospital requirements and installed in a specially prepared space. These units are manufactured in ABL’s plant in UK and shipped for installation to hospitals all around the world. ABL’s Supply chain manager has passion for integrated supply chain management.

He and his team always have multiple improvement projects underway. Their goals up are:

  • Bring the order to delivery cycle time down below three weeks. While improving quality and lower cost.
  • Involving product designer to change the design for easier manufacturing, installation and customization.
  • Reducing supplier base so that 20 key supplier provide about 90 percent of supplier volume.
  • Obtaining the same performance from the internal supplier that is expected of external.
  • Involving suppliers in evaluation, design and analysis process.
  • Using simple order transaction based on electronic media.
  • Enhance Customer Satisfaction.
  • Measures monitor and improve the same systematically.

Currently ABL is using a state of the art ERP software couple with SCM functions. It has also developed information system for their suppliers. ABL has also lined up with expressway, a leading logistic company by which the delivery times are monitored continuously. ABL believes in delivering a perfect order.

Questions:

a) What is ABL’s strategy for good supply chain Management?

b) Give any two goals set up by ABL and list their implications on ABL.

c) What is the software being use at ABL? Apply that software to theoretical used and explain.

d) What is perfect order in this case?

 

CASE STUDY 4

Read the following case and answer the questions given at the end.

Case Study:

Farm Equipment manufactured limited (FEML), established in 1965. Is one of the world’s leading producers of agriculture equipments. FEML’s latest efforts on supplier relationship have their origins in the plant redefining its business strategies during the 1990s. As a result of their redefinition, the factory was focused on sheet steel stampings, weddings, assembly and paint as core manufacturing process. With this strategy purchased passed costs began to represent an increasing percentage of the FEMS’s manufactured costs. This laid the first corner stone in FEML’s re-examination of supplier relations. The second corner stone fell in place when, because of capacity constraints, steel stamping dept was unable to fill the factory’s total stamping requirements and this led to the development of external stamping sources.

Now the third corner stone was laid: Discussion began to arise as to whether the internal stamping dept should be treated the same as external stamping suppliers with the implication that the internal stamping dept should compete for business and receive the same level of support at any other outside source.

Typically FEMC’s suppliers are small and medium sized manufacturers. Increasingly, such companies have been under industry wide competitive pressure to reduce overhead and trim costs. Many of them have reduced their employees to minimum necessary to run daily operations. Planning and implementation of new manufacturing strategies is beyond the capabilities of these companies because of lack of manufacturing strategies is beyond the capabilities of these companies because of lack of expertise. This realization led to the fourth and final corner stone. A vigorous debate began on “why don’t strategic outside sources receive the level of support provided to FEML’s internal sources”?

In 1995, Mr. sonawala, GM-scm at FEMC’s jeadquarters, initiated a pilot supplies development programme.  The aim was to resolve the debate via a pilot experiment to support 16 suppliers. An agreement was forged with the pilot suppliers that would entitle FEML to share in any savings obtained from the improvements over next 18 months. FEML’s engineers were sent out to work with the suppliers who participated in the project. The result showed price reduction that resulted for FEML enabled it to more than recoup the investment it made.

Based on these results, in 2001, the FEML works formed a dedicated supplier development group on providing resource to assist strategic supplies in implementing SCM. Recent improvement efforts have targeted lead – time reduction in supplier’s factories. In addition to providing personnel to work at the supplier’s facilities, FEML has provided training and education for supplier’s staff. As a result of these efforts, FEML has seen reduction of more than 90./. in lead time at some supplier’s and resulting price reductions to FEML (after providing suppliers share) have been as much as 15./

Questions:

a) What should be the basis for sharing benefits between FEML and its suppliers?

b) “Managing lead time is more important than reducing the inventory in a supply Chain”. Defend the statement in the context of FEML.

c) Explain the brief performance indicators at FEML and its suppliers end.

d) List at least four factors on which suppliers of FEML needs to be evaluated.

 

Questions:

Q 5. “There are many possible structures for supply chain, but the simplest view has materials converging on an organisation through tiers of suppliers and products diverging through tiers of customers.” Elaborate.

Q 6. Elobrate clearly the meaning of “World-Class” in World-Class Supply Chain Management (WCSCM). What are the features of World-Class Companies ? Give your answer highlighting different characteristics pertaining to management level, quality control, operations/production and technological advances.

Q 7. What are the essential differences in the Supply Chain Management of Products vs. Services? Discuss the application of Supply Chain Management principles in Financial Services.

Logistics Management

06 Jul

CASE I

A CASE OF ALPHA TELENET LIMITED

Alpha Telecom Ltd., a part of Alpha Group was established in 1976 by its visionary Chairman and Managing Director, A. S. Verma. The company started with manufacturing of Electronic Push Button Telephones (EPBT) and Cordless phones in 1985 in Allahabad. On July 7, 1995 Alpha Tele-Ventures Limited was incorporated. A mobile service called ‘Web-Tel’ was launched in Kochin, which eventually expanded its operations in Andhra Pradesh in 1996.

Till 1994, fixed telephone services were provided by Department of Telecommunications (DoT) which had a monopoly in this business. This was regarded as self-defeating because DoT was a regulator as well as a competitor. With increasing pressure for privatisation, the government agreed to give license to private operators. Finally in December 1996, the bill of privatisation of fixed telephone services was passed. The New Telecom Policy (NTP) with its targets for improving tele-density was an ambitious policy. The NTP planned to achieve a tele-density (number of telephones per 100 people) of 7 by the year 2005 and 15 by the year 2010, which translated into 130 mn lines. The policy also planned an investment of Rs. 4000 billion by the year 2010. The above factors combined with the fact that the domestic long distance telephony was open to private players, led to considerable demand for the company’s products. But to get the tenders from Ministry of Telecommunication, Government of India, a license fee was to be paid over a period of 15 years and the viability of telecom projects was also affected by the guidelines that required private operators to earmark at least 10% of their telephone lines for villages. The operating companies did not like the idea of having to pay for the maintenance of lines that might not be used most of the times. The license fee of Maharashtra state was minimum at Rs.643 crores. Thus, Alpha Telenet, a pioneer in every field wanted to avail this opportunity and started the survey for extending the services in Pune. Their marketing survey team provided the statistics of existing customers of DoT, the waiting list of DoT, potential of users for successive years and so on.

Alpha Telenet Ltd. (ATL) decided to start their fixed line telephone operations in technical collaboration with Telecom Italia at Pune in Maharashtra. Initially, they received permission for installing their exchanges covering 0.5 km. of radius which was too small with respect to the cost involved and thus difficult to achieve lucrative returns. After struggling for a year, they finally got permission to set up exchanges covering 1 km. of radius. They set up their exchanges in potential areas in the city. Another problem was that the consumer’s mindset fixated was with DoT and they were not ready to accept the services of Alpha Telenet Ltd. This was due to opposite tariff rates for household consumers. Consumers did not rely on ATL as they were private players. ATL initially had attracted the customers from the areas where the waiting line for DoT connections was high. Further, they had provided the connections with wireless CDMA receivers for only Rs. 3000 (movable within the area of 5 km radius) though its actual cost was Rs.15,000. The connection between exchanges by optical fibre ensured high quality of voice and data transmission, which was later to be shifted to the conventional copper wires for consumer connections. The company made the connection using Ring Topology stay connected even in case of line disturbances.

They also installed a Submarine Optical Fibre Cable to Singapore with an 8.4 Tbps (terabits per second) capacity providing high-class worldwide connectivity. Alpha Telenet installed the latest Digital Switches from Tiemens and other devices, which were fully compatible with the equipment of other telecom providers in India. The company installed a digital Geographical Information System (GIS) for network surveillance. A 24-hr Internal Network Management System for technical support and infrastructure maintenance were also installed with a dedicated round-the-clock toll-free call centre to ensure prompt services.

In 1997, Alpha Telenet Ltd. obtained a license for providing fixed-line services in Maharashtra state circle and formed a joint venture with Behrin Telecom, Alpha BT, for providing VSAT services. On June 4, 1998 they started the first private fixed-line services launched in Pune in the Maharashtra circle and thereby ending fixed-:-line services monopoly of DoT (now TSNL). Alpha entered into a license agreement with DoT in 2002 to provide international long distance services in India and became the first private telecommunications service provider. The company also launched fixed line services in the states of Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Delhi.

With the start of basic telephony services in the .state of Maharashtra, residents of the area and others felt a great sense of breaking away from the old and traditional government monopoly. The kind of ill-treatment of customers and also the red-tapism and bureaucracy which prevailed earlier, was about to end. It was observed that no private telecom company wanted to start their operations in less profitable areas like Bihar and other eastern states .

The tariff plans of the TSNL and Alpha Telenet Ltd. were opposite to each other. TSNLS tariff structure was upwards i.e., price per unit increase with number of calls and vice versa for Alpha Telenet. This was the beginning of the entry of private players in the sector.

Questions:

1. Give a critical analysis of the privatisation of telecom sector in India.?

2. Highlight the secrets of success of Alpha Telenet Ltd. in terms of technological advancements and service provided?

 

CASE II

GEARING· FOR GROWTH

Premier Differential Gears Pvt. Ltd. (PDGL) was formed in the year 1991 near Noida in the state of Uttar Pradesh (India). The company was established to cater to the ever­growing needs of the differential gear market for cars, jeeps, trucks, and tractors. It was established under the aegis of the parent company called Premier Gears Pvt. Ltd. which in turn was established in the year 1962 at Noida. The parent company was engaged in the manufacturing of automobile transmission gears. With a modest start in 1961, it had never looked back and by 2006, it became the largest manufacturer of automobile transmission gears in the country. The parent company had employee strength of 2,500 trained and dedicated employees and was producing a range of over 1,000 gears. Premier Gears Pvt. Ltd. was making gears for virtually every major brand of truck, car, jeep and tractor. In 2006, the group company comprised of three firms namely, Premier Gears Pvt. Ltd. (manufacturing Transmission gears, Gearbox assemblies, Laser marking machines, and Material handling equipments), Premier Differential Gears Pvt. Ltd. (manufacturing differential gears) and Elve Corporation (a government recognized export house).

PDGL was manufacturing a wide range of Crown Wheel and Pinions, Bevel Gears, Bevel Pinions, and Spider Kit Assemblies. The installed capacity was 20,000 sets per month. PDGLs focus on quality, fast product development and customer service had enabled it to become an OEM supplier to many car and tractor companies in India, the EU, and Asia. Almost 75% of the total production was exported to a number of countries like Germany, Russia, USA, China, Japan, South Mrica, etc. The domestic OEM and replacement market accounted for the remaining 25% of the company’s sales and in a short span of time, the company had become one of the major players in the Indian replacement market. The use of latest technology and comprehensive quality control systems at PDGL go a long way to ensure that customers get exactly what they want.

PDGL was using world class Gleason machines in its manufacturing programme. The raw material for manufacturing gears was in the form of forgings, which were procured from various parts of the country for manufacturing crown wheels and pinions. These forgings were subjected to turning followed by drilling. The drilled crowns and pinions were taken for tapping, which were then rimmed. After this, the teeth cutting procedure was applied which was called broaching. The broached units were then heat-treated. Heat treatment was very critical in producing gears having short tolerance levels. To meet this end, the company had two rotary furnaces and one state-of-the-art Continuous Gas Carburizing Furnace (CGCF) from Aichelin ALD of Austria to heat-treat its products. After the heat treatment, a number of intermediate processes like short blasting, phosphating, lapping were performed which resulted into the finished product, ready for putting company marks to avoid imitation/forgery. The company had developed a state-of-the-art 70-watt ND­YAG laser-marking machine in collaboration with Quantum Laser (UK), which was used for marking on its produces. Laser marking was environment-friendly and was applied without any force or contact and thus the material was not subjected to any stress. The marked products were” manually pushed onto a conveyer for packing and dispatching. All the above have enabled the company to meet international standards and to produce world­class gears with the highest performance standards.

The upstream portion of the supply chain at PDGL included a number of forgers located at “geographically dispersed locations in various parts of the country. These forgers were supplying the forgings to PDGL, which were then used in manufacturing the differential gears. All of the raw material was routed to the POGL works through road transport and”” due to large distances, transportation costs were a major issue in increasing the efficiency of this upstream portion of the supply chain. The forgings were supplied according to the drawings and dimensions set by design engineers at the company. The company indeed tried some local suppliers to cope up with the increasing transportation costs but the results on quality front wet satisfactory. To serve this end, the company was planning to develop some local suppliers. It had planned to provide them support in the areas of procuring good material for producing forgings, procuring good quality machines and” training their workforce in the required technical know-how. This was considered as an investment by the company to reduce its inbound transportation costs. To meet the small lot requirements of the forgings, the company was also contemplating to share the truckloads with the parent company. This was feasible because of the geographical proximity of the parent company, which was situated at a distance of less than 15 kms, the similar nature of raw material and same suppliers supplying to both the units.

The internal supply chain at PDGL comprised of various processing stations/lines” through which the forgings were transformed into finished differential gears. The movement of the work-in-progress between various stations was semi-automatic in which the workers manually placed the goods on trolleys/carts. Even the finished units were manually placed on a conveyer; which needed to be pushed to send the units to the packing section. There was a risk of units being damaged in this process. To minimize this risk, the company was planning to have automatic systems for moving the material from one place to another. It was decided to have hydraulic lifts, cranes, electronic escalators and the likes for progression of material from forging to packing. The packing material was stored on first floor as and when it arrived, with the help of casual laborers, which was inefficient and also involved a: risk of some· casualty.

The downstream portion of the supply chain at PDGL included around 10 distributors located evenly in various parts of the country. These distributors were supplying the products of PDGL to number of car, truck, jeep and tractor manufacturers. This portion of the supply chain also included a large replacement market, which accounted for almost half of the company’s domestic sales. To meet its distribution needs the company had a panel of transporters, who used to distribute the finished goods. At times, the consignments scheduled for distributors were delayed because of lack of full truckload. One possible solution to this problem was sharing of truckload with the parent company. This was feasible because both the companies shared the same distribution network. The distribution of export consignments was through an intermediary who helped the company in exporting its products to the US, UK, Germany, China, Italy, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Nigeria, amongst other countries. The company’s wide export range included replacement gears for internationally renowned automotive manufacturers like Mercedes­Benz, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Nissan, Clark, Eaton, Fuller, New Process, ZP, Hino, Fuso, Tong Feng, Tata, Leyland, Massey Ferguson, Magirus – Deutz and various others.

There was a shortage of skilled employees. Therefore, the company has recently started training input for all their 400 employees. These training programmes are being conducted in the organization to enhance the skills of the employees and the duration of these programmes were 20 hours per month. On the financial front, the company is continuously moving on the growth track showing better financial results year after year. It has embarked on an ambitious plan to double its turnover by the end of this financial year and to become the world’s numero-uno in the automotive gear-manufacturing segment. The current capacity utilization was at a meager 6000 sets against a total installed capacity of 20,000 sets per month.

Questions:

1. Comment on the upstream and downstream supply chain portions operating in the company.

2. How far are the plans to improve the supply chain efficiency in the company feasible?

3. “Internal supply chain at the company can be characterized by the lack of it”. Comment.

 

CASE III

INTELLIGENT MOVEMENTS: ANYWHERE ANYTIME

Deepak Pai, an engineering graduate and a postgraduate in management from United States, was working in Transport Corporation of India (TCI), the market leader in conventional transportation. He established Speed Cargo as an express cargo distribution company after leaving TCI. Speed Cargo, started with its head office at Hyderabad, as a small cargo specialist in 1989, upgrading itself to desk-to-desk cargo in 1992, cargo management services in 1995 and became a public limited company when it was listed in Bombay Stock Exchange in 1999. The company was maintaining a strong customer base of prestigious companies like Acer, Cadilla, Sony, Panasonic, Titan, Dabur and Hitachi to name a few.

Speed Cargo Limited (SCL), a leader in the express cargo movement pioneered in distribution and supply chain management solutions in India. It differentiated the concept of cargo, from conventional transport industry by offering door pickup, door delivery, assured delivery date and containerized movement. It had a turnover of Rs.3600 million in 2005-06. The company had a strong team of 6400 employees with the fleet of 2000 vehicles on road and an extensive network covering 3,20,000 kilometers per day and a reach of 594 out of 602 districts in India. In addition to this, it was having a well-structured multimodal connectivity and 6lakh square feet mechanized warehousing facility. Warehousing facilities were comprised of the most modern storied system and material handling equipment offering very high level of operational efficiency. The four modes of transport – Road, Air, Sea and Rail were seamlessly integrated, enabling SCL to effortlessly reach anytime anywhere.

The international wing of SCL took care of the SAARC countries and Asia Pacific region covering 220 countries with a specialized India-centric perspective. The company had gone online by connecting 90 percent of its offices to provide web-centric solutions to its customers.

The company also offered money back guarantee to express cargo services. The services offered were customized for corporate, small and medium enterprises, cluster markets, wholesale markets and individuals. The state-of-the-art technology made things easier for the customers whose cargo could be tracked and traced in the simplest manner, because SCL had an effective tracking system. SCL believed that best of technology enabled best of service, and its outlays on providing the IT edge had always resulted in innovative services and solutions. SCL, in its day-to-day operations, used technologically advanced equipments like Fork Lifters, Hydraulic Trucks, Hand Trolly, Drum Trolly, Rubber Pads cushioning, Taper Rollers to move big crates, color codes for identification to delivery what it promised.

Between 1989, when company was born, and 1995, SCL started a unique value added service called Cash-On-Delivery for the advantage of its customers. SCL introduced Call Free Number for the first time in the logistics industry in India. To establish largest network in air and to facilitate faster delivery of shipments, SCL entered into a tie-up with Indian Airlines in 1996; The Company introduced the concept of 3rd party logistics and later started offering complete logistics and supply chain solutions in 1997. The courier service Suvidha later rechristened as Zipp was launched in 1998. The company entered into a tie­up with Bhutan and Maldives Postal Departments to expand its operations to SAARC countries in 1999. The Speed Cargo Development Center was set up at Pune in India for training of its employees in the same year.

An exclusive cargo train in association with Indian Railways between Mumbai and Kolkata was launched in 2001. Based on a survey conducted by Frost and Sullivan, SCL was conferred the Voice of Customer Award for being the best logistics company in 2003. After simplifying the internal process for faster and better communication, and a smarter way to work, SCL set up its corporate office at Singapore in 2003 to create an international hub with an aim to reach out to the world. The company introduced a mechanized racking system in the automated warehouse at Panvel (Maharastra) in 2004.

SCL was sensitive to the avenues where it could contribute to building a better society. Displaying continuous social responsibility, SCL associated itself with several community development programs and contributed generously to many social causes. SCL was the first to build makeshift houses for 400 families who were affected during a massive earthquake in Bhuj district of Gujarat in India during January 2001. They reached the devastated village the same day to provide food, clothes, medication and water to the affected people.

In 2003, SCL accepted to develop one of the government schools located at Banjara Hills in Hyderabad, and built a building with basic facilities like classrooms, staff rooms and toilets, and provided furniture for students and staff. The housekeeping and security of the school, which was now having 1100 students, was also taken care of by the company. After Tsunami, one of the worst natural disasters that struck South East Asia in December 2004 leaving over 10 lakh people dead and over 4 million displaced, SCL was on the rescue scene as it brought in food, water, clothing, medication, a team of doctors and cooks, and provided the affected people with essential utensils. After rehabilitating the people in Nagapattnam and Cuddalore, it took up the development of a high school in Nagore where 500 students came in from the Tsunami affected families. SCL also actively participated in Kargil contributions and other rescue and rehabilitation works in India.

LOOKING AHEAD

SCL believed that in the age of convergence, it had kept pace with time with its infrastructure, people and technological capabilities for moving cargo to its destination on time, by making intelligent movements in air and sea, as well as on road and rail. The company had experience of handling wide range of materials including confidential papers related to University examination and sensitive goods like polio drops and life-saving medicines. In view of the strengths of its competitors such as DHL, Safexpress and Blue Dart, the company had enhanced services with a greater focus on cargo management and customer satisfaction with the new operations backed by better strategic planning. To achieve its aim, SCL had strategically tied-up with Jubli Commercials, an lATA accredited freight forwarder, which started its operations as Air Cargo Agent.

The company was confident that it was set to become 24 x 7 one-stop solution provider for all freight forwarding services including customs clearance for international cargo. SCL having 40 percent share in express distribution business was developing a huge centralized warehouse on 22 acres of land at Nagpur in India. The centralized warehouse, which was about to be commissioned, was designed as a major hub or express distribution center for 200 smaller hubs as its spokes catering to the needs of its customers across India. SCL believed that it is a concept, a vision and an idea ahead of its time, which looked at a global perspective and was constantly reinventing itself in delivering the future of logistics.

Questions:

1. What made SCL a leader in the logistics industry?

2. Discuss the strategies adopted by SCL for its survival in the competitive scenario.

3. Comment on the contributions of SCL to society.

4. What steps the company should take to globalize its network reach?

5. Discuss the strategies adopted by SCL for expansion.

 

CASE IV

LOGISTICS OUTSOURCING

Company Profile

Indian Steels Limited (ISL) is a Rs. 6000 crore company established in the year 1986. The company envisaged being a continuously growing top class company to deliver superior quality and cost effective products for infrastructure development. With major customers being from Public Sector Undertakings, the company has established itself well and is said to be considering its expansion plan and proposed merger with another steel making giant in the country.

In 1996, owing to the cut throat competition in the emerging dynamic global markets, ISL emphasized on both effectiveness and efficiency. The company strongly believed in focusing on its core competency (i.e. manufacturing of steel) and outsourcing the rest to its reliable partners. Outsourcing of its outbound logistics was one such move in this direction. ISL out sourced its stockyards and other warehousing services to a third party called Consignment Agent, who was selected on an annual basis through a process of competitive bidding. The CA was responsible for the entire distribution of the products within the geographical limits of the allotted market segment and was paid by the company according to the loads of transaction (measured in metric tonnes) dealt by him. The company also believed in maintaining long-term relationships with the suppliers as well as the buyers. It always prioritized the needs of its regular and important customers over others and this worked out to be a win-win strategy. The case brings out the model of outsourcing logistics the company has adapted for the enhancement of its supply chain competency and thus leveraging more on its core competency which led to increased productivity.

Indian Steels Limited (ISL) is a Rs. 6000 crore company established in the’ year 1986. The company envisaged being a continuously growing top class company to deliver superior quality and cost effective products for infrastructure development. The company performed with a mission to attain 7 million ton liquid steel capacity through technological up-gradation, operational efficiency arid expansion; to produce steel with international standards of cost and quality; and to meet the aspirations of the stakeholders. The production started in the year 1988 and initially, it manufactured Angles, Pig Irons) Beams and Wire Rods that were mainly used for constructing roads) dams and bridges. These products were mainly supplied to Public Sector Undertakings such as Railways, Public Works Department (PWD) Central Public Works Department (CPWD) Rashtriya Setu Nigam Limited, Audyogik Kendra Vikas Nigam Ltd. and various foundry units. The company had its headquarters at Raipur with three stockyards (a kind of warehouse with a huge land to store the products).

The company has established itself well and is said to be considering its expansion plan and proposed merger with another steel making giant in the country. The company was awarded ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 18001 certifications. The temperature in the plant premises is reportedly about 6°C lesser than that of the township, thanks to the greenery being maintained therein.

Logistics Outsourcing

Outbound logistics which basically connects the source of supply with the sources of demand with an objective of bridging the gap between the market demand and capabilities of the supply sources was always a problem for companies operating in this industry. Consisting of components like warehousing network, transportation network) inventory control system and supporting information systems outbound logistics was always playing a key role in making the right product available at the right place, at the right time at the least possible cost. In 1996 owing to the cut throat competition in the emerging dynamic global markets, ISL emphasized on both effectiveness and efficiency. The company strongly believed in focusing on its core competency (Le. manufacturing of steel) and outsourcing the rest to its reliable partners. Outsourcing of its outbound logistics was one such move in this direction.

Recognizing the growing demand for its products from the big, diversified and geographically­dispersed customers, the company started expanding the number of warehousing stockyards. From a humble beginning, the company today has 26 stockyards; most of them are outsourced. Each of the outsourced stockyards was managed by a third party, which the company referred to as Consignment Agent (hereafter referred to as CA) in the area. The CA was selected on an annual basis through competitive bidding process. The performance of CA was closely monitored by a company representative (full time employee of ISL working in the site of CA). The CA was responsible for the entire distribution of the products within the geographical limits of the allotted market segment and Was paid by the company according to the loads of transaction (measured in metric tonnes) dealt by him. Based on their sales turnover CAs were trifurcated into A, Band C categories. The CAs with a monthly turnover of Rs. 150-200 crore fell under A category) whereas those with Rs. 100 – 150 crore were B and less than Rs. 100 \ crore were C category.

In addition to the company representative) a team of marketing division operated in the town where, the site of CA was located. This department was responsible or estimating the future demand, translating it into orders and sending to the manufacturing plant. Material dispatch was done using either one or a combination of the two modes: Rail, Road. While using rail as the mode of transportation, the company had a choice to book a Normal Rake (a full train with about 35 wagons, each wagon with an approximate capacity of 60 tonnes) or a Jumbo Rake (a full train of about 52 wagons, each wagon with an approximate capacity of 60 tonnes). At times, the company was engaging the services of the CONCOR (Container Corporation of India) where a train of 62 to 70 wagons, each wagon with about 26 tonnes capacity was used for transportation. Instead, if the company decided to send the material by road, the company had a choice between Trailor (25-30 tonnes} and Truck (15-20 tonnes). The choice of transportation mode was based on the quantity of dispatch.

As soon as the material was dispatched from the manufacturing plant, the respective CA used to get a Stock Transfer Chalaan electronically through Virtual Private Network, which was developed by a professional software service provider. In-transit, monitoring was generally done with the help of Indian Railways, if the mode was Rail. Otherwise, truck/trailor drivers were contacted through mobile phone. Transit generally took five to six days, providing time for CA to plan for receiving materials. The CA used to utilize this time for arranging material handling devices like heavy cranes and required labour. The material thus unloaded was reaching the warehousing stockyard where CA was responsible for arranging the materials as per the warehousing norms of ISL.

The company broadly classified materials into Long Products and Rounds. Products falling into each category were further classified by their size, shape and utility and the company used a distinct colour code for this purpose. Each subcategory of material had a specific place for downloading. The company used Bin System for this purpose. While downloading the material in stockyard, the company norms insisted that CA arrange for providing Dunnagt Material. This enabled the CA to store material without 1 direct contact with the land surface and thus reduced the probability of material deterioration. Material was stored in the stockyard until an authorized representative of the customer used to come and collect it. While dispatching material to the customer, a Loading Slip was generated against the Delivery Order. The company” also believed in maintaining long-term relationships with the suppliers as well as the buyers. It always prioritized the needs of its regular and important customers over others and this worked out to be a win-win strategy.

Operational problems were majorly because of uncertainties in transportation, fluctuation in supply of electricity and the load bearing capacity of the soil in the stockyard. Some: more problems were encountered whenever there was a change in CA and these were overcome by training the employees of the new CA and keeping the old CA responsible for the: material in his stockyard for six months after the contract as well. Observations reveal that, at times there were situations wherein CAs had to do those things which they were not legally supposed to do (like subcontracting) because of the pressures mounted by political leaders with selfish interests.

Despite these problems, this model of outsourcing logistics was working out very well for the company. The practices, which were started in the year 1996 have sustained major changes in the environment and are being practiced even in 2006. It has enhanced the supply chain competency of the company by enabling it leverage more on its core competency, which leads to increased productivity.

Questions:

1. Analyze the case in view of the logistics outsourcing practices of the ISL.

2. Discuss the importance of logistics outsourcing with reference to supply chain management.

3. Suggest strategies for further strengthening the supply chain of ISL.

4. The participants/students are expected to have a clear understanding of Supply Chain and Logistics Management concepts.

5. The issues involved in the case are Sales Forecasting, Strategic Sourcing, Selection of Warehousing Service Provider, Transportation Mode and other nuances in Logistics Management.

Logistics Management

02 Jul

CASE 1

M/s Ador Electrodes Limited (AEL) was incorporated in the year 1981 and is the second largest player in the welding industry in India & has the widest product range amongst all its competitors. As it has happened to a the industries, the heat of the competition coming from the International Companies, mainly from China, started affecting to this industry too.

‘The company has four state-of-an-art manufacturing plants accredited with ISO certification & backed by strong technical support from their foreign collaborators. The company is also having a well established all India distribution network consisting of numbers of dealers. The products flow from the manufacturing plants to the warehouses, managed & maintained by the company, located at different places across the country. The dealers draw their requirements from these warehouses for onward delivery to their customers, The inventory of the products is under the ownership of the company and is maintained as per the anticipated demand in the region. Primary transportation from the plant to the warehouses is the responsibility of the company, whereas the transportation from the warehouse to the customer is the dealer’s responsibility.

The biggest drawback in the present system is that the inventory at all warehouses is carried by the company, blocking the huge amount of company’s working capital. The level of average inventory they maintain is equal to their 6 months sales requirements. Over & above, in many places where the sales are low, the stocks remain unsold for longer periods. Moreover, because of improper maintenance of these warehouses the stocks also get damaged I spoiled or stolen. The warehouses are managed by the employees of the company having no ‘basic qualifications & experience in inventory and warehouse management. The management of the company took a serious note of the situation and now wishes to take immediate steps to overcome the current logistical problems to face the competitive scenario.

Questions:

1. What are the company’s present logistical problems?

2. Give your recommendations for improving the company’s logistical performance?

 

CASE 2

1967 M/s. Vijay Enterprise ventured into trading of electronic consumer durable targeting the large potential market in the year 1970, the company managed to get the exclusive dealership of a leading electronic manufacturing company in India to market their products in the Western Indiá. Later on, the company with a view to create their own brand in the market established a plant in Maharashtra & started their own manufacturing activities. With a manufacturing capacity under their belt, the company increased their turnover tremendously in the next 20 years with the help of all India distribution network consisted of 4 regional offices, 4 mother warehouses, 12 C & F agents & 75 stockists & 5000 odd retail outlets.

After the liberalisation of the Indian economy in 1991, the entire business scenario- particularly in consumer durable industry – has undergone a drastic change. The company started experiencing the pressure of competition from local as well as international players. It was observed that during the last 5 years sales growth has come down and the company is losing its market share slowly& steadily. The external agency that conducted a study for the Company came out with their following observations.

  1. At all levels in the company employee orientation is towards production rather than marketing
  2. The cost of product distribution is the highest compared to the Industry standards
  3. The warehouse space was urderutilized — the utilization factor varies between 95 % during the peak season and drop to 40% during the slack season.
  4. There is duplication of many logistics operations. Every department has their own policies I practices and objectives.
  5. In more than 20 per cent of the trips made to mother warehouses / C& F agents, the products are despatched in less than full truckloads, resulting in high transportation costs.
  6. Only 65 % of shipments were delivered on time, as a result of slow information flow and inadequate connectivity across the system causing longer order processing time.
  7. Transit damages were ranging between 2 to 5 % due to improper logistical packaging and inadequate material handling equipment.
  8. The finished goods inventory is above the best managed company in the industry

Questions:

1. Identify the main logistical problems of the Company

2. To offer better customer service level and reduce the operating cost, how will you go about redesigning the distribution network?

 

CASE 3

M/s. Decorative Laminates Corporation (DLC) is a supplier of decorative sheets for wooden furniture makers in domestic as well as commercial markets. In spite of competition n this field their sales volumes shown growth during last 2 to 3 years. The last year was recorded 15% more sales compared to previous year. Even though the sales volume are increasing• the profit margin is getting reduced day by day due to future competition.

In one of the monthly management review meetings it was observed that the main cause for depleting profitability is the increasing procurement costs. . The report presented by the new Purchase Manger revealed that in order to obtain quantity discounts from the suppliers the company was purchasing inputs & other maintenance items much more than their actual requirements. This has not only created a problem of holding huge inventories but necessitated hiring of additional warehouse space to accommodate these high inventories. It has also been observed that most of the purchasing tasks like inventory control are still performed manually. The computers are used only for maintaining purchasing records and printing purchase orders.

Questions:

1. What is the main problem in this case? What are your suggestions to the company on inventory management?

2. What type of logistical cost approach you would suggest to the company?

 

CASE 4

M/s. Compu-Tech is on the reputed Indian companies producing various types of computer printers. Their production plant is situated at Noida in northern India and the products are distributed through distribution centers located in every region. The company introduced LS popular line of Desk Jet printers first time in India in 2005. Immediately on the launch of this products.

The solo more than one lacs units during that year. But the problems came with the boom in sales. Already, the company was running into serious inventory snags, particularly with service to its customers situated In southern region. The printers were generally shipped to all the distribution centers & onward to the customers by road only. Unfortunately, that resulted in long lead times, making It tough to meet the shorter delivery time offered by the local sellers mainly from Southern India.

The Company also found itself running short of production capacity to meet the quantity requirements of certain large institutional & industrial customers. To add to it, quite often the company was running out of stock for certain fast moving models and at the same time facing problems of excess inventory of other models. Working out product wise demand from each market was also proving difficult for their manufacturing plant.

Questions:

1. What are the main problems in the logistical network of M/s. Compu-Tech?

2. What solutions would you propose of overcome these.

Logistics Management

02 Jul

CASE  1                                                                                                 

M/s Britecolor Paints Ltd. (BPL) is a manufacturer of decorative paints for households commercial premises and industrial application.

(a) M/s. BPL had embarked on a policy of satisfying every possible customer in respect of shades, delivery and durability. Thus it went ahead and created twenty-five depots, one almost in every major city. The manufacturing base however, was maintained at Pune. The factory received information in connection with stocks from depots J once in a week and there was no inter-communication between depots. Since they were in a competitive market, price was predetermined, i.e. the manufacturer had no liberty to price the product as per one’s own choice.

(b) In their effort to satisfy the customer, M/s BPL manufactured every possible shade by combining various primary shades and would await the prospective customer to carry out the purchase. It ensured that these shades were available at each and every depot even at the cost of transportation incurred in sending goods in less than full truckload lots. This certainly provided a very high service level and customers who could get the shade as per their desire, were fully satisfied.

(c) While on one hand M/s BPL had a population of very satisfied customers, they had almost 50% of their total domestic sales lying as finish Goods inventory at various depots, on the other hand.

(d) Industrial paints, though not very customised, the respective industrial customer was quite satisfied. Consequently, the inventory of finished goods was very low in this segment. But at the same time, realisation was also lower due to stiff competition from other industrial paint manufacturers than the domestic segment.

(e) Nevertheless, the economic runs of industrial paints were always assured due to high off-take by the industrial customers.

(f) The objective of the manufacturer was to increase the realization taking into account, economic runs, inventory, seasonality and individual choices of domestic / industrial customer.
Questions:

If you are appointed as the logistics consultant, then advise M/s BPL in respect of

(a) How to achieve economy in transportation, by maintaining almost same service level?

(b) Demand Forecasting technique to take care of seasonality, reduction in inventory.

(c) Information technology to substitute maintenance of high inventory without affecting customer service level.

(d) Connectivity between factory and depots (networking Diagram)

 

CASE 2                                                                                                  

ABCL Ltd. is leading/ Fast Food Processing Company operating from Thane. It is involved in the fast food business since last 10 years and has tie up with a foreign firm operating in the same field. It handles both Vegetable as well Non—Vegetable products for which it arranges the vegetables and chickens from the local vegetable vendors and poultry farms as well as from far off places like Nasik, Pune and Aurangabad. It has very good market in Mumbai, Pune and surrounding cities. The products are sold in the brand name of ‘Nasta’ which is very popular brand amongst the young collegians and office goers. it has its ‘7,- most modern kitchen at New •Mumbai to cater the needs for fresh Nasta. Vegetables and chicken items are transported from the procurement centres of Nasik, Pune, Aurangabad using hired Trucks. While transporting vegetables and chickens there were shortages,.. damages and decomposition problems which varies from 1Y’lo 15% and there is inconsistency in the transit time the reliability of the raw material transporters is very low. Packaging of the Nasta is very good and attractive but it is not long lasting tyje. Hoever, the quality and taste are the reasons for its popularity. Nasta is sold in three different packs — party, family and individual. The Nasta looses the taste and flavour after 8 hours, if not preserved in refrigeration. The Nasta is distributed through 25 distribution centers including three at its main procurement centers of Nasik Pune, and Aurangabad.. Logistics information network is not up to the mark. ‘The procurement centers directly communicate to the operating center at Thane. Due to lack of proper co-ordination at different distribution centers it has started creating the problems of stocks, spoilage, pilferage and wastage of raw material as well as finished goods at certain distribution and procurement centers. Transportation and storage problems are identified as main culprits for the heavy losses being incurred at some centers. Holidays, festivities and college seasonably puts a lot of pressure on the existing demand and supply situation of the Nasta resulting in losses and mismanagement. Entry of multinationals has increased the competition and put a let of pressure on the Nasta. Managing Director has formed a team of Senior Executive to suggest a concrete plan to fight the competition and overcome the transport, storage and other related problems so as to increase the market share and margin.
Questions:

In case you are appointed as logistic consultant to solve the problems, you are required to put forward your suggestions for:

(a) Proper transportation policy to ensure minimum transportation loss of vegetables and poultry products and reduction in the packaging costs.

(b) Demand Forecasting techniques to take care of the seasonality, reduction in inventory and shortage and other related problems.

(c) Suggestion for improved Purchase and Distribution policy.

(d) Is it advisable to have company owned dedicated transport fleet?

 

CASE 3                                                                                                        

Mumbai four mills, provide high-quality bakery flours to commercial bakers as well as to the consumer market. The commercial buyers have consistent demand and brand-loyalty, whereas consumers have minimal brand-loyalty but also generally prefer known names over store brands. Demand is seasonal for the flours with the annual break occurring just before Diwali and slacking off dramatically during January and February. To offset these both, Mumbai Flour Mills and its major supermarket chain-accounts carry out special deals and sales promotions.

The Production planning Dept. of the company located at Akola, Maharashtra, has the responsibility for controlling the inventory levels at the plant warehouse at Nagpur as well as three distribution centres located at Nasik in Maharashtra, Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh and 1-lyderabad in Andhra Pradesh. Planning has been routinely based on past experience and history. No formal forecasting is performed. Distribution centres get their requirements by rail from Nagpur. The lead time of replenishment from Nagpur to distribution centres is 7 days. The replenishment rate is 48 to 54 pallets per wagon depending upon the type of wagon used. In case of any emergency demand, eighteen pallets can be made available by truck with a 3 days transit time.
Recently the company has experienced two major stock out for its consumer-size 5 Kg. sacks of refined quality white flour. One of these was due to problems in milling operations, the other occurred when marketing initiated a “buy one, get one free” coupon promotion. Since these events, the planning has become overly cautious and errs on the side having excess inventories at the distribution centres. Additional, two other events have affected Distribution Centre’ throughput:

(1) implementation of direct factory supply for replenishing the five largest super market chains, and (2) a price increase making Mumbai Flour more expensivethan its national brand competitors such a Pillsbury or ATA Maida.

Of 1500 pallets in the Hyderabad Distribution Centre the Mumbai Flour Mills shows only 396 pallets for open orders. This has led the company to use outside overflow storage, where there are another 480 pallets. Flour is easily damaged, hence, Mumhai Flour Mills prefers to minimise handling. Over stocking
at Distribution centres alone cost Rs. 1.85/- per pallet for outside storage to which must be added Rs. 4.25 per pallet extra handling and Rs. 225 per truckload for transportation.

Similar scenarios are being played out at the other DCs as well. Mr. Mohan, the distribution manager is contemplating various approaches to solving the inventory problem. It is clear that the product must be in place at the time a consumer is making a decision to buy the product, but the company cannot
tolerate the overstocking situation and the stress that it is putting on facilities and cash flow. Mr. Mohan’s first thought is “a better information system” which will provide timely and accurate information throughout the organisation.
On the basis of above case answer the following:

Questions:

(1) Evaluate the alternative solution that could be considered by Mr. Mohan.

(2) What additional solution do you propose?

(3) Examine the transportation system and its drawbacks?

 

CASE 4

M/s Modern Garments is the manufacturers of Ladies and Gents garments like shirts, tops and undergarments etc. The technology is advanced and there are several players with access to such latest technologies. The supply chains for M/s Modern Garments includes significant purchases of raw material, stitching, packaging and supply to customers. The logistics functions are the key competitive elements in the market, M/s Modern Garments is considering to take over the control of its inbound and out bound logistics function which affect the inventories, reduce the losses due to transit delays and improve the response timeand service reliability. However the cost implications of such changes have to be looked into.
The M/s Modem Garments has been a leader in the readymade shirts market in India for a number of years. After liberalization they entered into a joint venture with a French Company to expand their business in the field of Trousers and T-shirts. However new joint venture company M/s Modern Garments still continues to manufacture its shirts at Thane near Mumbai and has started a new state-of-art garment manufacturing plant at Pune in Maharashtra to compete with other market players. The company has planned to undertake the distribution of garments made and packed in its plants at New-Mumbai and Kalyan so as to retain the control over design, quality and service channel of the products.

After liberalization, the market has grown more matured and expectations of the customers towards the features of the product have increased and also the technology and design has improved considerably. Now in the market only garments with good delivery quality are acceptable. All the competitors have equally good quality product in the market. Presently the area of logistics distribution, customer service and satisfaction are the area of prime concern in order to have extra value addition to the product. The product defects due to stitching, cutting and transportation are now under increasing scrutiny.

From the cost control point of view, the amount of money held up in distribution pipeline is significant. The large variety of garments now means more raw materials to be held in stocks. Presently the incoming supplies are arranged by the vendor firms, they may be persuaded to opt for jointly approved transporters. Due to product variations, the order fulfillment and its processing is of considerable importance. The traditional information system has become inadequate. There are over 500 retail outlets through which the finished products are  distributed with the help of more than 50 transporters. Lead- time variability is creating problem of buffer stocks• with distributors. The transit time fluctuations are due to the breakdown of trucks, improper documentation and unfair practice of over charging of the vehicles etc. Such variability has to be reduced. Major portion of logistics cost was allocated in fleet management; where as warehousing, raw material management and information networking have insignificant costs.

Questions:
(i) Examine the possibility of alternatives in transportation of the inbound and outbound materials?
(ii) How to reduce the cost of inbound and outbound logistics functions?
(iii) What could be the major problem in exploiting the inbound and outbound logistic functions?
(iv) Is it advisable to have dedicated transport system to operate packaged materials mainly for the company?
(v) What arrangements have to be made to ensure the service quality for customers?

 

CASE 5 

M/s Ador Electrodes Limited (AEL) was incorporated in the year 1981 and is the second largest player in the welding industry in India & has the widest product range amongst all its competitors. As it has happened to a the industries, the heat of the competition coming from the International Companies, mainly from China, started affecting to this industry too.

‘The company has four state-of-an-art manufacturing plants accredited with ISO certification & backed by strong technical support from their foreign collaborators. The company is also having a well established all India distribution network consisting of numbers of dealers. The products flow from the manufacturing plants to the warehouses, managed & maintained by the company, located at different places across the country. The dealers draw their requirements from these warehouses for onward delivery to their customers, The inventory of the products is under the ownership of the company and is maintained as per the anticipated demand in the region. Primary transportation from the plant to the warehouses is the responsibility of the company, whereas the transportation from the warehouse to the customer is the dealer’s responsibility.

The biggest drawback in the present system is that the inventory at all warehouses is carried by the company, blocking the huge amount of company’s working capital. The level of average inventory they maintain is equal to their 6 months sales requirements. Over & above, in many places where the sales are low, the stocks remain unsold for longer periods. Moreover, because of improper maintenance of these warehouses the stocks also get damaged I spoiled or stolen. The warehouses are managed by the employees of the company having no ‘basic qualifications & experience in inventory and warehouse management.
The management of the company took a serious note of the situation and now wishes to take immediate steps to overcome the current logistical problems to face the competitive scenario.

Questions:

1. What are the company’s present logistical problems?

2. Give your recommendations for improving the company’s logistical performance?

 

CASE 6                                                                                                            

1967 M/s. Vijay Enterprise ventured into trading of electronic consumer durable targeting the large potential market in  the year  1970,   the company managed to get the exclusive dealership of a leading electronic manufacturing company in India to market their products in the Western Indiá. Later on, the company with a view to create their own brand in the market established a plant in Maharashtra & started their own manufacturing activities. With a manufacturing capacity under their belt, the company increased their turnover tremendously in the next 20 years with the help of all India distribution network consisted of 4 regional offices, 4 mother warehouses, 12 C & F agents & 75 stockists & 5000 odd retail outlets.
After the liberalisation of the Indian economy in 1991, the entire business scenario- particularly in consumer durable industry – has undergone a drastic change. The company started experiencing the pressure of competition from local as well as international players. It was observed that during the last 5 years sales growth has come down and the company is losing its market share slowly& steadily.
The external agency that conducted a study for the Company came out with their following observations.
1. At all levels in the company employee orientation is towards production rather than marketing
2 The cost of product distribution is the highest compared to the Industry standards
3. The warehouse space was urderutilized — the utilization factor varies between 95 % during the peak season and drop to 40% during the slack season.

4. There is duplication of many logistics operations. Every department has their own policies I practices and objectives.

5. In more than 20 per cent of the trips made to mother warehouses / C& F agents, the products are despatched in less than full truckloads, resulting in high transportation costs.
6. Only 65 % of shipments were delivered on time, as a result of slow information flow and inadequate connectivity across the system causing longer order processing time.

7. Transit damages were ranging between 2 to 5 % due to improper logistical packaging and inadequate material handling equipment.

8. The finished goods inventory is above the best managed company in the industry
Questions:
1. Identify the main logistical problems of the Company

2. To offer better customer service level and reduce the operating cost, how will you go about redesigning the distribution network?

 

CASE 7                                                                                                  

M/s. Decorative Laminates Corporation (DLC) is a supplier of decorative sheets for  wooden furniture makers in domestic as well as commercial markets. In spite of competition n this field their sales volumes shown growth during last 2 to 3 years. The last year was recorded 15% more sales compared to previous year. Even though the sales volume are increasing• the profit margin is getting reduced day by day due to future competition.

In one of the monthly management review meetings it was observed that the main cause for depleting profitability is the increasing procurement costs. . The report presented by the new Purchase Manger revealed that in order to obtain quantity discounts from the suppliers the company was purchasing inputs & other maintenance items much more than their actual requirements. This has not only created a problem of holding huge inventories but necessitated hiring of additional warehouse space to accommodate these high inventories. It has also been observed that most of the purchasing tasks like inventory control are still performed manually. The computers are used only for maintaining purchasing records and printing purchase orders.

Questions:
1. What is the main problem in this case? What are your suggestions to the company on inventory management?

2. What type of logistical cost approach you would suggest to the company?

 

CASE 8                                                                                                     

M/s. Compu-Tech is on the reputed Indian companies producing various types of computer printers. Their production plant is situated at Noida in northern India and the products are distributed through distribution centers located in every region.

The company introduced LS popular line of Desk Jet printers first time in India in 2005. Immediately on the launch of this products

The  solo more than one lacs units during that year. But the problems came with the boom in sales. Already, the company was running into serious inventory snags, particularly with service to its customers situated In southern region. The printers were generally shipped to all the distribution centers & onward to the customers by road only. Unfortunately, that resulted in long lead times, making It tough to meet the shorter delivery time offered by the local sellers mainly from Southern India.

The Company also found itself running short of production capacity to meet the quantity requirements of certain large institutional & industrial customers. To add to it, quite often the company was running out of stock for certain fast moving models and at the same time facing problems of excess inventory of other models. Working out product wise demand from each market was also proving difficult for their manufacturing plant.

Questions:
1. What are the main problems in the logistical network of M/s. Compu-Tech?

2. What solutions would you propose o overcome these problems?