We believe in innovation and the best use of technology: Head – SCM and Logistics, Canon India

The consumer durables industry has been on its feet to tackle the supply chain threats from product proliferation, intense global competition, evolving regulations, etc. To deliver differentiated products at the cost and service levels that consumers expect, supply chains have to be more efficient and resilient. Thus, keeping technology and digitalisation at the core of the supply chain has become necessary. Ashutosh Varshney, Head-SCM and Logistics, Canon India in an exclusive conversation with Logistics Insider, throws some light on how leveraging technology has helped Canon to deal with challenges of reverse logistics and its increased cost, helped improve demand forecasting during uncertain times, and deliver customer delight. Excerpts follow:

With the outbreak of the pandemic, demand forecasting of supply chains was all over the place. Please share with us how can one improve demand forecasting during such uncertainty while integrating it with retailers and suppliers?

With a rising focus on technical innovations as well as changing consumer preferences, the need for integrated supply management is important than ever before. Digitisation of business processes has become more of a requirement than a value-add proposition for product companies looking to develop their customer base.

We have implemented an Integrated Information System (IIS) through systems like Electronic Data Interchange System (EDIS). EDIS is designed for Canon’s suppliers, in which quotation or order data can be transferred between Canon and suppliers. At Canon, we believe in innovation and the best use of technology, which has greatly helped us in improving the demand forecasting of our supply chain ecosystem.

Consumer Durable products are expensive and more prone to theft when in the process. India accounts for the majority of theft in Asia due to the unorganised nature of the logistics Industry. What steps were taken by Canon India to deal with the situation and ensure the safety of their products during transit?

Supply chain management is the backbone of Canon India. To ensure a steady operation, we have adopted high standards of safety and security practices for an unparalleled product handling process. To enhance shipping efficiency, we pick the best shipping routes and partners. Additionally, we use excellent packaging strategies and security seals that account for storage and shipping conditions to reduce the risk of damage and theft. Our approach enables us to transport our goods safely and securely without hindrance.

Reverse logistics has always been a challenge, especially in a country like India. Throw some light on the exacerbated challenges of reverse logistics and its increased cost. What are the factors that should be kept in mind to keep the cost of reverse logistics minimum?

Reverse logistics is essential in almost every manufacturing business, regardless of its scale, product, or regional scope. Reverse logistics business requirements are complex but very pivotal in managing relationships with customers, vendors, and contractors that can shift over time. This comes with its own sets of difficulties as well, such as identifying goods or managing efficiency. But with the right technologies, all these challenges can be surmounted so organisations can concentrate on profitably serving their customers and leaving them with the best experience. Well-planned Reverse movements can solve several issues, including costs.

*This is an abridged version of the full interview that was published in the May issue of the Logistics Insider Magazine. Click here to read the full interview.

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