The auto components industry, although largely concentrated near automobile hubs, is fairly widespread in other parts of the country too. We had a serious discussion about the problems that GATI is facing and brainstormed about various solutions.
When rivals outdo a company, it is often forced to explore possibilities that were previously unknown to it. This is something Sudam Maitra, senior managing executive officer for supply chain at Maruti Suzuki, realised early in a purchasing career that has spanned three decades.
Maitra recalls how the carmaker had to learn many lessons to arrive at the generally well functioning, lean and thriving supply chain we find today in India. During its first decade, Maruti faced limited competition and hence paid less attention to the vendor base it had created to cater to its needs, or to rising costs.
Vendors were shocked initially. Quality products had to hit the dealers at prices lower than those of the competition, and achieving this cost began in purchasing, says Maitra. Supply chain complexity and coordination became even more complex.
In a way, we were moving towards collaborative modules with our suppliers, which again was a paradigm change. Many vendors were unable to rise up to that level.
Generally, Maruti Suzuki defines three categories of suppliers: He says that they were good at reading drawings and manufacturing them, but many lacked design skills.
Maruti advised the third category of suppliers to get into tool design with these companies, which is generally considered easier than product design. This matchmaking exercise began in and has so far led to 18 collaborations. Maitra encouraged Indian suppliers to develop partnerships with global suppliers to help improve their design and engineering capabilities Not all of them have lasted.
Some foreign partners, having tasted the Indian automotive market through collaboration with local companies, wanted to then set up wholly owned subsidiaries. Today, the supply base in India has blossomed. Maitra works with more than vendors, including global, Indian and joint venture suppliers.
He says that such a variety of choice is important because of uncertainties in logistics, labour and infrastructure in India. For example, Maruti Suzuki will often have three suppliers for some parts. The availability or access to more suppliers is a blessing.
Productivity at its highest and the best quality. Following this, projects at vendor locations are taken up for identifying where there is maximum pain: Maruti experts then work with suppliers for six months to help them improve further.
The company has even set up a special unit to work closely with suppliers.
The Maruti Centre for Excellence MACE is made up of a group of engineers that focus on supplier quality, including periodic audits and consulting on project implementation. Do anything and everything legally possible to achieve that goal. As well as dealing directly with suppliers, Maitra has also done hedging in foreign currency for Maruti, as well as for commodities such as copper, aluminium, platinum and palladium — a first in the Indian automotive industry.
Costing is based on weight, so every single gram of weight reduction is a positive.
While he wants to keep costs low, he is not looking to beat up on suppliers. Maitra has implemented measures designed to help suppliers.Maruti Suzuki India Limited (Hindi: मारित सुजूकी इंिडया िलिमटेड) a partial subsidiary of Suzuki Motor Corporation of Japan, is India's largest passenger car company, accounting for over 45% of the domestic car market.
As of January In Maruti Udyog was renamed Maruti Suzuki India Limited. and 26% by Suzuki of Japan. Manufacturing Unit in Gurgaon and Manesar. 74% of the company was owned by the Indian government.
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