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Prayojan : The Operations Conclave

The Operations Conclave, Prayojan 2013, organized by Institute of Management, Nirma University commenced at 09:15 am on November 30th, 2013 with the theme ‘Emerging Trends in Operations Management: Industry Imperatives’. This conclave is one of the first of its kind to be organised in Gujarat on this topic. Operation management has come up in a big way in the field of management education. Operations Management is shaping every avenue in business today and is a source for value creation for both organisations and the customers. The conclave is a forum of an interactive discussion of the students and the industry.

Mr. V. Ramesh, Senior Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motors
Mr. V. Ramesh, Senior Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motors

The first session was addressed by Mr. V. Ramesh, Senior Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motors. He started by speaking on the theme ‘Lean and Quality Revolution- Design to Delivery (The Toyota Way)’. He emphasised on the philosophy of Customer First; for Toyota, Quality means meeting and exceeding customers’ expectations at a cost that represents value to them. He touched upon the facets of the unique Toyota Production System, which uses a combination of techniques like Just-In-Time, Jidoka (quality built into the production process), Genchi Genbutsu (“go and see for yourself” to understand the real situation), Kaizen (Continuous Improvement), Mieruka (Visual Control), ‘Quality Gate’ after each process, Respect for People and feedback from customers and dealers. He concluded by suggesting that companies maintain originality while incorporating the essence of the Toyota Way.

Mr. Andreas Pfundstein, Head- Operations, Bosch Rexroth India
Mr. Andreas Pfundstein, Head- Operations, Bosch Rexroth India

The next session was addressed by Mr. Andreas Pfundstein, Head- Operations, Bosch Rexroth India.  He spoke about the challenges Bosch Rexroth faced while relocating the company’s plant from Vatva to Sanand. The new plant will increase the operational efficiency by making a uni-directional process flow and decreasing the distance travelled by the complete assembly from 390 meters to 57 meters. He emphasized the importance of cutting production time, in-built quality assurance into the process and curbing overtime practices for a successful management of production operations.

The next session was addressed by Mr Anurag ChandraHead – Global Sales Strategy & Operations, TechMahindra. He spoke on the importance of business analytics to drive decision making. Traditionally, companies have focused on data that they obtained first hand. But, nowadays, due to the increasing trend of big data and the advent of huge customer databases, it is important that the analysis of data should yield information that gives value to the manager. By using analytics, a manager can know the difference between a performing and non-performing staff, where the resources may be used effectively. The field of business analytics is opening up and there is a huge potential for growth in the field. Second plenary sessionThe next session was addressed by Mr. C. Girish Kumar, Director – India Operations, Molex India Pvt Ltd. He spoke about the importance of implementing lean six sigma in an organization’s processes. Lean and six sigma are usually considered to be the same thing but the lean principle is based on waste elimination while six sigma focuses on variation reduction in processes. Lean six-sigma must not be an additional activity implemented for restructuring of processes, but rather it should be incorporated throughout the organization both as a way of thinking as well as operating, in order to ultimately improve customer satisfaction. Organizations can achieve their goals through project-by-project improvement, identifying the value stream and thereby including only value-added activities and processes.

AudienceThe post-lunch session was set in motion by Mr. H. K. Chaturvedi, Manager E&M, Airports Authority of India, Sardar Vallabhai Patel Airport, Ahmedabad. He spoke on the various processes at Sardar Vallabhai Patel International Airport for maintenance management of engineering and maintenance equipment. While planning for maintenance management, the key question is how (the methodology), apart from the 4 W’s. Nowadays, maintenance contracts with a single vendor for different supplies and parts offer an integrated solution for airport management. Well-defined SOPs, regular audits of processes and factoring in OEM requirements for preventive maintenance are key to

Mr. Anshuman Tiwari, Vice President- Process Consulting, HSBC
Mr. Anshuman Tiwari, Vice President- Process Consulting, HSBC

successful maintenance management. The next session was addressed by Mr. Anshuman Tiwari, Vice President- Process Consulting, HSBC. He spoke on the management of service quality programmes. Where traditional quality has always been about reducing defects in the final product, the meaning of quality has changed over the times. Today, operational productivity and customers’ expectations are part of quality. When customers are factored into quality functions, it becomes business excellence. Quality management in the service industry is possible only by consistently raising the bar and by being watchful at all times for defects in service and service delivery.

The valedictory session of the conclave was addressed by Mr. Ragothman Rao, Global

Mr. Ragothman Rao, Global Senior Quality Manager for Power Products, ABB Switzerland AG
Mr. Ragothman Rao, Global Senior Quality Manager for Power Products, ABB Switzerland AG

Senior Quality Manager for Power Products, ABB Switzerland AG. He spoke on the topic of customer satisfaction through operational excellence. Many a times, management becomes all about fire-fighting when it should be constant innovation. For any product, customer comes first. Management has to be guided by customer touch-points along the value chain. The process for a successful service delivery starts a long time before the actual delivery. It is very important to have a strong foundation for the process to end in a happy customer. Customer loyalty is becoming increasingly complex and increasingly based on service quality other than product quality. The world has changed phenomenally and customers are also part of it. More and more companies are turning global and customer management has become more complex as they grapple with the sheer diversity of views and counter-views.

The conclave was chaired by Prof Dr Rajesh K Jain, Professor in the field of Operations at Institute of Management, Nirma University.

(Content Courtesy: Media Committee; Photo Courtesy: Smit Paghdar)

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