In the tyre manufacturing sector, JK Tyre has been at the forefront of innovation and technological superiority.
Due to shifting consumer demands, harsher laws and trade restrictions, a widening range of product portfolios, and more volatile customer segments, the complexity of global supply chains was already expanding.
The pandemic exacerbated the situation by introducing uncertainty. As a result, businesses struggled with a variety of issues, including demand and market dynamics, the delivery of goods, customs clearance, a lack of resources and raw materials, and more.
In an interview Sharad Kumar Agarwal, CDIO at JK Tyre discusses how technology can play in addressing these supply chain challenges. Excerpts:
DQ: Supply chain disruption continue to be a major concern these days. What business challenges has JK Tyre faced in terms of supply chain and logistics?
Sharad: The pandemic induced difficulties greatly emphasised supply chain disruption and the vulnerability of our global supply chains. While we have largely overcome the pandemic and are now entering the post-pandemic era, supply chain bottlenecks and challenges remain a matter of concern. Talking specifically of JK Tyre, considering our extensive operations and presence in 105 countries with over 180 global distributors and large network of over 5000 dealers and 500+ dedicated brand shops, supply chain and logistics are at the core of our operations. Some of the challenges we were dealing with within this aspect were a lack of visibility and flexibility across operations. Furthermore response time due to largely manual processes and high operational costs were some of the more prominent challenges within our supply chain and logistics processes.
DQ: In your opinion, what role does technology play in addressing these supply chain challenges? What are some of the emerging technologies that are assisting automotive and manufacturing players in overcoming supply chain bottlenecks?
Sharad: Given that the majority of our challenges revolved around flexibility, visibility, and manual processes, our approach to resolve these issues focussed on aspects such as Digitization, Automation and Data Analytics. This is where technology comes into play as the enabler for us to integrate all these aspects into our operations. Cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Analytics, and other emerging technologies are being used by automotive and manufacturing companies to overcome supply chain bottlenecks. Smart application of these sophisticated technologies aids in providing a much clearer, comprehensive, and multi-dimensional picture of the supply and logistics chain, thereby resolving most of the challenges related to flexibility, visibility, and data-driven analytics.
DQ: Please elaborate on JK Tyre digitalization journey. What are some of the technologies you have implemented to optimize your operations?
Sharad: We aim to create a tech-savvy and technological driven ecosystem for our business operations. Hence, digitization remains key to enhancing our business operations. In order to enhance our supply chain and logistics, we have implemented the Oracle SCM solution suite with multiple modules for Transportation Management and Planning. Implementing the cloud-based and AI-embedded solutions helped in optimizing the overall process and achieve maximum digitization in order to transform the supply chain in various aspects of the business.
DQ: How has your Oracle Cloud solution implementation aided you in streamlining your supply chain and logistics? Please elaborate on some of the benefits you have achieved.
Sharad: Deploying Oracle Cloud SCM solution helped us in streamlining our supply chain and logistics processes to a great extent. With the embedded AI and Data Analytics capabilities we were able to create much more visibility across touch-points within our supply chain, automate processes and drive flexibility and scalability. It allowed us to automate tedious manual processes, reduce human error and response time while also allowing our workforce to focus on more value added and complex tasks. Overall, implementing Cloud based solutions helped us in developing an integrated logistics platform to meet current business requirements while also developing a future vision. Furthermore, by analysing the financial implications as part of the planning process, the integrated single platform that covers different logistics planning processes across different time horizons enabled data-led business decisions. The integrated interactive Dashboard and KPI Analytics aid in quick and better decision making.
DQ: What is your future digitalization strategy, and how do you envision your IT ecosystem evolving over the next few years?
Sharad: Digitalization and technological dynamism are critical components of our business strategy. As our business operations expand, we plan to rely on our existing digital infrastructure while constantly upgrading our Digital ecosystem. For us, technology is at the core of our processes, and we are committed to scaling it up over the next few years.