3 Reasons Why Every Multiplant Manufacturing Business Needs a Packaging Audit
If you are a manufacturer, your packaging supply chain manager is likely to list three significant packaging challenges.
- How do I reduce packaging costs?
- How do I identify and reduce the in-transit losses of my goods?
- How do I put my enterprise on track for continuous improvement?
If you face any or all of the above challenges, you are looking for a robust and periodic packaging audit program with the following benefits for your enterprise.
Explore the Cost Advantage of a Lean Supply Chain for Packaging
Optimizing the packaging inventory is a significant challenge. Holding high inventories of packaging SKUs can block your enterprise’s working capital. On the other hand, an inventory stock-out can directly affect your distribution and reduce revenue through lost sales. A packaging audit can enable you to rightsize your packaging inventory, unlock working capital, and reduce indirect costs. You can also explore EOQ levels of inventory by using artificial intelligence-enabled analytics and migrate towards a lean supply chain.
Reduce Wastage and Losses in Transit During the Supply Chain Journey
Pilferage, wear and tear, and spoilage during transit can lead to formidable losses to your enterprise. One way to reduce such wastage and losses is to re-engineer packaging as per the logistics lens. A packaging audit can enable you to map the logistical challenges across multiple modes of transportation and choose packaging solutions that provide the best fit for each stage of your supply chain journey.
Continuously Improve Through Total Quality Management in Packaging
The COVID19 pandemic has ushered in a new normal. How do you explore new avenues to stay competitive? Class C spend items like packaging cater to less than 10% of the unit costs of end products but are likely to affect more than 10X of the value of your goods if you get it wrong. A packaging audit can help you to discover the most significant opportunities to enable continuous improvement and total quality management in packaging.
Are you exploring a Packaging Audit for your Manufacturing Plant(s)? Testing and diagnosis are integral to both human and enterprise health. With a packaging audit across your plant locations, you can detect challenges early and adopt remedial measures with agility to reimagine your packaging.
5 Priorities for CXOs to Unlock the Manufacturing Supply Chain
Is a turnaround just around the corner for the manufacturing supply chain in India? Insights from various manufacturing indices suggest that while aggregate performance continues to be sub-optimal, the upward plateauing of some verticals suggest that distant signs of recovery may not be too far away after all despite the weak sentiments prevailing now. The dip in the Nomura Business Resumption Index from 70 to 66 over the first fortnight of July, suggests the manufacturing engine cooling down. Despite the Markit PMI rising from 31 in May to 47 in June 2020, industry verticals have continued to grapple with challenges of constrained capacity, weak demand, contraction of the workforce and lack of alternate supplier sites for import substitution. Moglix Business is partnering with manufacturing enterprises to make sense of these emerging patterns and identify the priorities that CXOs need to address to unlock the manufacturing supply chain. Explore these top 5 priorities here.
Map Supplier Clusters, Demand Centers and Labor CorridorsThrough the Pandemic
In India, manufacturing supply chains are highly intertwined and consist of a complex matrix of supplier clusters, demand centers, and highly concentrated labor corridors. CXOs in manufacturing enterprises need to map the exposure of their respective supplier clusters, demand corridors, and labor corridors to the contagion to identify their supplier downtime, time to recovery (TTR), and the spikes in logistics and supply chain management costs. One hundred thirty districts in the country account for 38% of manufacturing output, 50% of final private consumption, and 40% non-farm employment. Many of these districts are still in the red zones. These insights explain the contraction of output and the sub-optimal capacity utilization in the range of 28-63%. Moreover, 50% of truckers in the logistics and construction sectors come from just 15 of these districts. It explains why workforce deployment has continued to be 33-57% and why consumer demand is yet to pick up.
Track and Trace Opex Regularly Amidst Shrinking Revenue and Output
Keeping track of the OPEX and managing indirect and direct expenses is imperative to create new avenues of efficiency. The rise in direct and indirect costs facing manufacturing enterprises is due to higher overhead costs of safety protocols, loss of economies of scale due to a drastic reduction in volumes, high freight charges, and other logistic expenses, increased costs of raw materials, power cost and high costs of debt financing. CXOs in Indian manufacturing enterprises need to pivot their management of indirect costs on line items like MRO inventory, packaging materials, packaging design, maintenance, and interest payments on suppliers spend analytics through digital procurement platforms. Digital platforms that run on artificial intelligence and machine learning can enable CXOs to stay informed on evolving developments in the supply chain, exercise higher control on strategic sourcing, and regularly track and trace OPEX from anywhere and at any time.
Realign Supplier Networks to Facilitate Import Substitution
Manufacturing enterprises have continued to witness a decline in exports for four consecutive months during the pandemic. Trade wars and geopolitics have already weakened the global trading environment. The pandemic has caused further supply chain disruptions for several verticals like automotive, textiles machinery, leather goods, footwear, electronics, and electrical equipment. Consequently, these verticals have continued to register abysmal manufacturing output thus far. The erosion of trust in supplier networks with high exposure to one country calls for CXOs to explore import substitution opportunities for their strategic sourcing. While import substitution and realignment of global supply chains are strategic actions, Indian manufacturing enterprises need to avoid further procurement risks. CXOs need to explore strategic partnerships with local industrial suppliers through digital supplier collaboration models to achieve agility at scale in their import substitution efforts and hit the ground running.
Digitize Procurement Processes to Reduce Fixed Costs and De-Leverage
One of the significant challenges facing CXOs in Indian manufacturing enterprises is the resilience of their balance sheets and cost structures. Research suggests that fixed costs account for 20-35% of the total costs for Indian manufacturers due to a high CAPEX on investments in land, plant, equipment, and machinery.CXOs of Indian manufacturing enterprises need to rationalize costs in the short term while creating opportunities to move towards leaner fixed cost models in the long run. Leveraging digital models for the automation of cost centers like procurement organization, supplier collaboration, and quality control can enable supply chain leaders in manufacturing to transform fixed costs incurred on these functions into variable costs and achieve the targeted balance sheet impacts. At Moglix Business, we have seen enterprises that have migrated towards e-procurement models save up to 5% on direct and indirect costs.
Digitize Sales and Distribution Processes to Open New Revenue Streams
The unlocking of the economy has shifted from a cold turkey and holistic approach to a more decentralized and localized one. The uneven spread of the contagion across regions in the country makes it difficult for Indian manufacturers to operate their sales and distribution functions. Technology penetration in Indian manufacturing enterprises is below 5%. One of the significant opportunities for CXOs in Indian manufacturing is to leverage digital B2B commerce models to restart the engines of revenue enablement while ensuring that sales and distribution people, distributors, and customers continue to collaborate from the protected environments of their homes. Research shows that OEMs and authorized distributors of industrial supplies that have leveraged digital B2B commerce models are likely to stay ahead of their contemporaries as the economy continues to move towards recovery gradually.
COVID19: The Three Phases of Recovery in Manufacturing
How badly has the manufacturing sector been hit by the COVID19 pandemic? Is recovery from the current situation even possible? Given the huge costs imposed by the lockdown and the unpredictable contours of the spread of the contagion, what can manufacturers do to resume their business once the first signs of ‘Unlock 1.0’ are visible? If so, what trajectory will enterprises in manufacturing need to take to make up for the significant losses that have already occurred and the ones that are anticipated to emerge over a period of time?
The United Nations (UN) has projected that the global economy will shrink by 3-4% in the year 2020. As an outcome, manufacturing enterprises need to introspect on the steps that they need to take today, tomorrow, and over the course of time, leading into the future of a post-pandemic world. At Moglix, we believe that enterprises need to visualize the road to recovery by first rebuilding trust today, enabling businesses processes with technology for tomorrow, and building futuristic supply chains using advanced technology for the foreseeable future beyond COVID19.
What Manufacturers Need to Do Today?
Rebuilding Trust: The Great Lockdown in 2020 has lent a major shock to public healthcare systems and has created an enormous trust deficit at both individual and institutional levels. In the manufacturing sector, trust erosion has emancipated in many forms, including withdrawal of labor from participation in production processes, opaqueness in supplier collaboration, and a lack of visibility into insights on key performance indicators of cost, quality, and expected timelines of delivery. As such decisions to deploy resources and engage them into manufacturing during ‘Unlock 1.0’ must be pivoted on addressing the trust deficit secularly first within enterprises and then scaling up across all enterprises constituting the supply chain in the manufacturing sector.
- Ensuring Health Protection: At the enterprise level, this calls for ensuring the availability of quality rated personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, and medical kits for all employees and the creation of fool-proof systems for implementation of standard operating procedures for regular sanitization of the physical environment at the workplace. The second imperative is to ensure transparency in sharing information on the deployment of such social distancing and contact tracing measures on a “need to know basis” among all stakeholders in the supply chain while staying within the ambit of data privacy.
- Fixing the Broken Fragments with Data: Reviewing supplier collaboration and manufacturing workflows today will play a huge role in creating an open and transparent dialog among OEMs, CMs, EPC enterprises, MSMEs, and suppliers across multiple tiers in the supply chain. A pilot project for mapping the supplier network can follow a template similar to the one used by bankers to conduct a stress test of debtors during the Great Meltdown of 2007 and focus on three Cs: character, capability, and credibility. One way to do this is by creating a similar stress test in manufacturing and encompassing the three Cs can be of paramount importance:
- What is the site location of the supplier including the city, region, and country? Do we have insights into the real-time status of COVID19 spread there?
- Is the supplier adhering to social distancing and contact tracing practices to steer clear of COVID19 risks?
- What are the parts procured from this site? What is the part number and description, part cost, annual volume for this part, rate of replenishment of inventory for this part, and the total spend (per year) from this site?
- What is the end product including the OEM’s end product(s) that uses this part? What is the profit margin for the end product(s)?
- What are the lead times from the supplier site to OEM sites in days?
- What is the Time to Recovery (TTR)? What time would it take for a site to be restored to full functionality if the supplier site is down, but the tooling is not damaged or if the tooling is lost?
- What is the cost of loss if expediting components from other locations is possible? If so, at what cost?
- Can additional resources (overtime, more shifts, alternate capacity) be organized to satisfy demand? If so, what is the cost?
- Does the supplier produce only from a single source? Could alternate vendors supply the part? Is the supplier financially stable? Is there variability in performance (lead time, fill rate, quality)?
- What are the mitigation strategies for this supplier-part combination? Who are the alternate suppliers? How to arrange excess inventory?
What Manufacturers Need to Do Tomorrow?
Enabling Business Processes with Technology: As enterprises in manufacturing and supply chain operations look to move beyond the immediate impact of the COVID19 pandemic over the next financial quarter, it shall make sense for them to scale up the best practices from the peak of the recessionary phase and integrate siloed data repositories for multiple functions into a compact source to pay (S2P) platform for a single-window approach to manage approvals and authorization for procurement decisions. This shall serve the purpose of augmenting enterprise-wide transparency and building greater efficiencies by facilitating multi-tenant models for collaboration spanning across the nerve center leadership, customer relationship, and supply chain teams to optimize costs. Small steps towards instituting a digital “cost control tower” to prioritize urgent and important payments and define clear reporting metrics for managers to track the liquidity status in real-time may over the period of the next financial quarter evolve into rolling forecasts to identify major areas of EBITDA risks and finally implement zero-based budgeting (ZBB) to achieve greater fiscal prudence for discretionary expenditures and indirect procurement. Authorization and access to such information systems may slowly be devolved amongst mid-level managers to move the enterprise forward along the lines of supply chain digitization and learning curve from a strategic to a tactical level
What Manufacturers Need to Do in the Future?
Build Futuristic Supply Chains using Advanced Tech: One of the major lessons coming out of the COVD19 pandemic for enterprises in manufacturing shall be gaining visibility into the next steps and future-proofing their supply chains. They will have learned the value of anticipating the next supply chain disruption in advance and adjusting their positions in the market while they still have time to do so.
Using Advanced technologies like contract management and predictive analytics that allow enterprises to stay informed on their supplier relationships, map the contributions of suppliers by value and volume, and assess their exposure to volatile business environments are likely to emerge as the enablers of de-risking supply chains. With AI, ML, and advanced analytics being able to capture deeper insights on the next steps in the supply chain right up to the end consumer, the direction of supply chain automation is likely to direct towards demand-driven planning and forecasting (DDPF).
While temptations to stay in denial of the challenges in a post COVID19 world and to retain the status quo may still be strong, enterprises shall do well not to risk a return to pre-COVID19 coordinates of workflow, collaboration, and distribution. Instances such as the Y2K, the subprime crisis of 2007, and climate change should serve an adequate warning to enterprises to steer clear of the lure of wishing away a rebound of challenges and then waking up to grave realities. A future that is driven by a high degree of technology enablement for information sharing, engaging in transparent dialogs to drive outcomes, and creating coordinated responses to a crisis may present us with a vertical upward shift in costs. Irrespective of how steep the shift in costs may be, it shall be prudent for enterprises to believe that they shall be able to pass on such incremental costs of technology enablement across the downstream of the supply chain right up to the end consumer.