Mahesh Gupta, Head Supply Chain, Bata India asserted that Bata delivered to both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) verticals, and being aware of the evolving trends and models of the supply chain was essential for pan-India brand like Bata. In his opinion, the most significant trends in the supply chain were:
Block Chain and Intelligent Order Management: Blockchain technology ensures both the data's availability and integrity, by establishing a real-time data update and syncing it with minimum threat.
Intelligent Workflows and Process Automation: Intelligent workflows increase the visibility, flexibility, agility, value, and efficacy of internal processes, and make them user-friendly.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: By adding technologies like AI and automation, it helps in performing diverse and complex activities more efficiently.
Overcoming Supply Chain Problems
Bata’s main concerns are an increase in freight cost due to the hiking prices of fuel. Therefore, in order to overcome this challenge, it converted secondary distribution from the hub and spoke model to a direct warehouse-to-customer form. Upsizing the vehicle and its optimum capacity utilization also helped keep the costs reasonable.
“Apart from this, we often face unexpected delays in deliveries due to lag in imports, which therefore cause stock unavailability. However, increasing inventory holding has been helpful in overcoming delays,” he noted.
Tech Evolving SCM
AI and ML, cloud, big data analytics, blockchain, and automation are transforming supply chain operations. These technologies have assisted in creating an agile, high-performance supply chain that responded to constantly changing business dynamics.
Technology can collaborate end-to-end data, and hence reduce the stress of maintaining and updating the database since updating and syncing the database is an essential feature for any organization.
“Data analysis has also helped to reduce costs by improving operational efficiency with customer delight. Reducing man-hours spent on the data analysis is time and cost-efficient. Additionally, WMS and TMS can help improve data visibility, which can assist in reducing cost with minimum use of resources,” elaborated Gupta.
Efficiently Marinating Supply Chain
First and foremost, Bata has implemented an effective inventory management process. It has increased its efficiency in controlling, storing, and keeping track of its inventory items. Secondly, the implementation of WMS integrated with ERP has been helpful in making a tangible improvement to the full range of business processes.
“Lastly, we have also improvised our network design and changed the delivery system for better efficiency. The improved network design has helped us cut the time and cost required to bring our goods to the market,” he concluded.