Cement News

JK Lakshmi Cement is using Oracle Cloud to strengthen and streamline the supply and logistics chain functions


Mr. Rajesh Kumar Singh, Head-IT, JK Lakshmi Cement Ltd. recently spoke with CXOToday about how they were able to create a much more transparent, agile, and integrated supply and logistics chain. He shares how cloud-native applications like Oracle Logistics Management Solution aided them in their efforts to become a cloud-driven organisation.

 

  1. The cement sector, like other manufacturing sectors, has been challenged in recent years. Despite these obstacles, that has remained a consistent performer. With automation and new-age technologies, we have seen that the cement industry embracing digital adoption in a big way. Could you please highlight some of the key business challenges you’re facing?

Cement as a product is generally not stored in India for long term since the consumers here want the products to get delivered before consumption. Hence, delivering the product at the right time as per the customer ask and requirements is the unique requirement of the business. For instance, compare it to milk or newspaper businesses, where delivery at the right time is a key standpoint or else the product will be useless. Similarly, timely delivery sensitivity is one of the business challenges that is unique to the cement industry. When discussing the digitisation of other industries alongside cement, you will notice that the manufacturing of cement is largely automated. It does not occur as in discrete manufacturing, where there are numerous manual interventions. There are very few human interventions in this industry, however, most processes are automated. While most things are gradually leaning towards digital in the manufacturing sector, but logistics is one of the areas that is unique to the cement industry. We are attempting to address these issues with a strategic approach and smart technologies.

 

  1. Like you mentioned, supply and logistics remain key areas of concerns for JK Lakshmi Cement’s business model. What are some of the challenges you were facing with respect to your legacy systems?

Technology has always been central to our business model, and we have always invested in new technologies, such as using standard ERP for years. However, standard ERPs are not designed to deal with the complexities of logistics. Essentially, traditional systems are not equipped to handle the complexity of logistics involved in dealing with all stakeholders such as transporters, handling agents, driver communities, and delivery agents. As a result, while legacy ERP systems were adequate for routine purchasing, they were inadequate for our complex logistics and supply chain requirements. Hence, it became critical that we seek out other technology solutions that cater to our changing needs to survive and thrive in our industry’s time-sensitive delivery environment. After much deliberation, we opted for cloud-native applications and Oracle’s Logistics Management solution is addressing the needs.

 

  1. How has Cloud implementation helped you to strengthen and streamline your supply and logistics chain? What role does Oracle solution play in this process?

On a broader scale, cloud has helped us streamline our supply chain and logistics making the otherwise complex processes very smooth. With Oracle Logistics Management Solution, we were able to create much more transparent, agile, and integrated supply and logistics chain.

It helped us overcome various hiccups with respect to location of consignments and trucks around how it’s going to the market and when will it reach the customers. It also helps us see the touchpoints or bottlenecks within the chain of areas where the trucks are getting hold up so it can be addressed.

Another key area that we were able to address with the cloud application was with respect to Proof of Delivery (POD), a pain point in the cement industry. This is a troubling area as in the proof of delivery takes four or five days to be collected to our finance department before payment is made. As with the Oracle solution, we now have real-time proof of delivery and real-time payment. If there is real-time proof delivery, it benefits the transporter as well as us because this payment process is much more streamlined now and a much more comprehensive method is available. With this, we can easily keep track of all our shipments, and we are aware that our shipment has been delivered to the customer. Overall, our delivery mechanism has become much more agile, scalable, transparent and flexible, allowing us to deliver the best experience to our stakeholders.

 

  1. What are the benefits you have witnessed after implementing the Oracle cloud solution?

With the cloud-native solution – Oracle Logistics Management we were able to improve operational efficiency and streamline our supply chain resulting in greater ease of operations. When we say ease of operations, we mean our entire ecosystem, which includes our logistic team, fleet operator, C and F agent, and drivers, and we have built a platform with the help of Oracle. Hence, we are working on a comprehensive platform and Oracle is a major segment there working in conjunction with other players like GPS player or IVR players in an integrated model. For instance, we have a mechanism that when a driver calls, he does not have to tell us which invoice or consignment he is referring to. He simply dials a dynamic number that we provide to them, and through our system we determine which consignment he is referring to, and this is how we interact with them and take POD from there. Hence, we have made our structure much more user-friendly and accessible, allowing us to easily communicate with all our stakeholders and partners.  Also, we anticipate that turnaround time will be reduced once we start operating entirely on cloud computing models.

 

  1. What are the other areas of digitization of processes JK Lakshmi Cement is looking at in the future?

In addition to the Oracle Logistics Cloud, we have other solutions that make use of machine learning and analytics. All of these solutions are being used in conjunction to help us act faster and be more predictive. For example, if a truck is waiting longer than expected, our system receives a notification. We then called the driver to investigate the problem. Second, based on the orders, load factor, and so on, we can now predict the time of consignment delivery, which is then shared with the customer. This is a continuous process. We have created six to seven used cases so far, and this number will grow over time.

Furthermore, we intend to integrate our systems into our overall operations, rather than being confined to or working in isolation or silos, but instead integrated with the technology landscape in a holistic structure.



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