December 29, 2013


The Journey of Automotive Industry with Information Technology

In the Indian context, while computers made their mark in operations as much as half a century ago, there has been a profound shift in their role in business. Earlier they were confined largely to processing data in commercial areas such as payroll and purchase where their utility was seen in number crunching operations. On the other hand, today they are integrated to such an extent into the operation that the line separating business and Information Technology, is fast disappearing.

If we were to broadly analyze the impact of Information Technology on business in the automotive industry, we would see the following phases. In the opening phase, the role of IT was almost exclusively to save clerical effort. This was marked by applications such as payroll and billing in large organisations, where large mainframe systems could compress the time for such documentation and bring high levels of accuracy in mass scale work. The style of doing business was however, completely unaffected. Next, with the advent of desktop systems in the eighties, the emphasis shifted to empowering individual users to create their own local applications, which would bring relief to the user. This was based more on individual creativity and hence users developed applications more from the viewpoints of their interest and ability. Typical applications revolved around information that had to be submitted periodically to some authority such as daily material receipt or cash collection data. Some relief was available to individual users but again, these were in pockets and did not materially alter the business scenario or the overall working environment in any significant way.

"Information Technology is a very powerful tool and the ultimate benefit can be extracted only when the application directly impacts business"

In the nineties, the emphasis shifted to the use of IT over a wider horizon, marked by the introduction of larger applications such as Enterprise Resource Planning and the use of advanced software in technical areas such as planning, design, quality and manufacturing. These helped to tackle some of the chronic issues such as, suboptimal decision through the use of inappropriate local applications, or, difficulty in churning out drawings and developments expeditiously, with changing customer requirements. In addition, with the shift to larger servers with wide area connectivity, it became possible to give access to large number of users at different locations and all could share information from the same database. Real time systems became the norm and across the organization, the integrity and consistency of information were enhanced substantially. 

November 24, 2013

EQUINOX 4.0 Presents E-Compete

OPEP –The Operations and Supply Chain Club of IIM Raipur proudly presents E-Compete, a simulation game that touches reality.

The game is based on the e-tailing business model wherein the objective is to maximize profit by managing the virtual retail environment. The contestants will unlock orders by solving Operations related problems and get the orders delivered to their respective destinations.

A simulation game of this magnitude that test your theoretical know how and applies it to real life scenarios where demand and supply forecast fluctuate, transportation goes hand in hand with cost management, minimizing inventory is key and time is of the essence. Use your gadgets, solve problems on your laptops, get excel to work your gray cells.

Having your fundamentals clear and being technically sound is great. Furthermore, being able to come up with concrete solutions, alternatives and quick assessments of the situation under pressure and time constraints makes you invaluable. If you think you fit the category, prove it!

The primary motive of any business is to reduce cost and maximize profit!!!

EQUINOX 4.0 Presents Cogitate

Cogitate is a case study event. The competition will be conducted online where the contestants apply their knowledge to provide practical solution to tackle Industrial problems. It will provide a platform to experience real time industry situations involving operations and supply chain. 

The event will be conducted in two stages.

Prelims: Online crossword competition (20*20) Duration 30 minutes

Finals: Case study, Cases will be mailed to the contestants who clear the prelims

Rules of the Game

  1. The event is open to B – school students only
  2. A team should comprise of two members from the same B-School
  3. No changes in the team will be allowed after the registration
  4. A participant can be a part of one team only
  5. If any conflict arises, the decision of the organizing committee shall remain final and binding
  6. In case of any query please contact the event coordinators.
Deadline for Registration - 8th December 2013

Cogitate - Register here
Vana - +91 8349501058

November 14, 2013



“Logistics is the most challenging of all business processes due to its extreme cross-functional, nature and this challenge increases exponentially in a global environment.”
                                    -J. Paul Dittmannn, Vice-President, Whirlpool 1997 

Whirlpool was founded in 1911 by three brothers - Frederick, Louis and Emory Upton. Their company, then called Upton Machine Corporation (Upton), was set up at St. Josephs, Michigan, USA. In the 1980s, Whirlpool expanded into markets in Europe, Mexico, India, Canada, China, South Africa, Argentina, and Brazil. In 1987, Whirlpool and Sundaram-Clayton of India formed TVS Whirlpool Limited to make compact washers for the Indian market (Whirlpool Corporation acquired majority ownership in 1994). 

Today Whirlpool Corporation is headquartered in Michigan, United States and is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances having an annual sale of more than $19 billion in 2011. There are 68,000 employees and 66 manufacturing and technology research centres around the world. Whirlpool was ranked as No. 1 in Fortune Magazine’s 2011 World’s Most Admired Companies list in the Home Equipment, Furnishings industry. It was also named as 2009 Top Companies for Leaders list, becoming ninth in North America and 15th globally.


Whirlpool’s supply chain encompasses more than 40 manufacturing facilities supplied from 7,000 different suppliers from every corner of the world. These facilities import as well as export products to separate regions and delivered to about 30,000 retailers worldwide. Besides retailers, the company also delivers products to builders and directly to consumers’ houses. Whirlpool has 2.2 to 2.5 million units in inventory at any given time.

While the Whirlpool brand has long been associated with reliable household appliances, its supply and delivery performance in 2000 was far from being reliable. The unfortunate irony of the situation is that availability was low even while total inventory levels were often too high. These inconsistencies were frustrating to retail partners and customers. It was clear to executive leadership that these supply chain management issues had to be fixed.
Thus some of the issues can be short-listed as:

  • Oversupply in distribution channel. 
  • Slow response to non-standard orders (waiting time of 5 to 10 days for retailers.)
  • Inadequate Inventory for some SKU’s leading to stock outs.
  • Excess inventory which were transferred forcefully to distributors.(Almost 15 temporary buildings for stockpiles) 
  • Lack of communication between ordering and manufacturing  units
  • Large number of forecasting errors  led to increased storage cost (result = locking of working capital)
  • The increasing paperwork caused increase in operational costs and issues with vendors
  • Too many 3PL’s resulted in transactional and adversarial relationships. (Issues included contract variations with no common metric to measure and check distribution)
  • Vendors started demanding to publish all trade item information to the global data pool for product information.

October 26, 2013

Launch of Strive V - Automobiles

The fifth edition of Strive, the biannual publication from OPEP (the Operations and Supply Chain Club of IIM Raipur), was launched on the 4th of October, 2013, by Prof. B S Sahay, Director, IIM Raipur together with Dr. Raghuram Rajan, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.

Dr. Raghuram Rajan, Governer of RBI (left) and Dr. B.S Sahay, Director of IIM Raipur
This time around the central theme of the magazine is ‘Automobiles’. The main features of this publication include articles on Supply Chain Performance Measurement by Prof. Parikshit Charan (Prof.  IIM Raipur), Emergence of Supply Chain in Indian automotive industry by Dr. Tapan Sahoo (VP, Maruti Suzuki) and also an interview with Mr. Sanjeev Khapre (EVP, Exide Industries India Ltd.) The edition also features articles on the scenario of Hybrid Cars in the Indian context and reverse logistics in the Indian automotive industry. 

The publication presents articles written by students about some of the contemporary issues and trends in the automobile sector – ‘Green Revolution Part – III’ discusses the present trends in electric car industry in India and provides insights on the growth potential for these cars in the future. ‘Evolution of Supply Chain in Automotive Industry’ talks about the various stages of development in the concepts, philosophies and practices in the field of Supply Chain Management across the world in the automobile sector.

The ‘Regular’ section in the magazine covers Summer Internship experiences of students, Guru Mantra - which explains the concept of Car Sharing, Debate on Two Wheelers against Four Wheelers in India, Book Review – Lee Iacocca and a Crossword puzzle.

The magazine will now be available for students of all B-schools across India and abroad and also for industry-relevant professionals.

Click on the link below to read.

October 22, 2013


Supply chain is the term used to define the system of organizations, assets and activities involved in the conversion of raw materials into finished products and moving the product or service from the supplier to the customer. Supply Chain Management (SCM) is defined as the efficient integration of warehousing, manufacturing, logistics and distribution. In lay mans’ terms, SCM is ensuring that materials are available at the correct point in the correct amount at the correct time.

The primary objective of SCM is to minimize the costs involved the sourcing, warehousing, logistics and distribution.
The major obstacles in SCM are:
  • Purchasing
    • Unstable volume requirements.
    • Delivery schedule.
    • Large volumes.
  • Manufacturing
    • Production cost.
    • Quality requirements.
    • High productivity.
  • Warehousing
    • Optimized inventory management.
    • Transportation management.
    • Quick replenishment capability.
  • Customer delivery
    • Diverse product portfolio.
    • Reduced backorders and lead time.
    • Bullwhip effect.

As understandable, traditional methods of demand forecasting, vendor rating, procurement ordering takes a lot of time and effort. In today’s proactive and competitive world and delay in demand orders are inventory management can add to the bullwhip effect resulting in loss of money and efficiency. In a cost sensitive market this difference can result in the final product cost thus making the product dearer to the customer and can therefore influence the profit margins.

One of the major advancements in terms of SCM is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). This automated software which helps in streamlining the supply chain operations and also holds the records and data at a central repository so as to ease retrieving the data. The limitation of ERP is the requirement of the software and the compatibility and hence it is used largely within an organization and does not link suppliers to the customers.

September 28, 2013


What is supply chain management? Most of us have come across the following two words very frequently – Supply chain management (SCM) & Operations management (OM). Do they mean the same thing or are they totally different from one another. These are some of the questions that need to be answered before we find out the ‘IT Woes in Supply chain management’. While there are many definitions of Supply chain management, my favourite definition is that of Cooper & Ellram - “SCM is an integrative philosophy to manage the total flow in the distribution channel from the supplier to the ultimate user”. Operations Management is responsible for supplying the products or services of the organization and managing the transformation process that converts inputs into outputs. On the other hand, SCM is a melting pot of broad based functions which encompass all of the business and operational processes involved in Logistics (transportation), Operations Management, Materials distribution management, marketing, as well as purchasing and information technology (IT). Thus, OM encapsulates SCM.

Over the years, SCM as a concept has evolved at a rapid pace simply because it plays such a significant role in the firm's performance. Earlier it was the manufacturer who decided the pace at which products were manufactured and distributed. Now, the customers demand various styles, designs, features in their products within a shorter time period and with better quality. Earlier quality of the products used to be a critical factor but now meeting customer’s specific demands for product delivery has also emerged as the critical opportunity for competitive advantage. Overall demands for increasing transparency of corporate activities, sustainability of business, corporate social responsibility and corporate governance has led to large number of researches on topics - ‘Sustainable Supply Chain Management’ and ‘Green Supply Chain’. 

In the current competitive scenario SCM assumes a significant importance as companies are challenged with finding ways to meet ever-rising customer expectations at a manageable cost. To do so, businesses must search out which parts of their supply-chain process are not so competitive, understand customer needs which are not being met, establish improvement of goals, and rapidly implement these necessary improvements.

September 08, 2013

Reverse Logistics in Indian Automobile Industry

Reverse Logistics is a process in which a product moves in reverse through the supply chain network. It may be used for the purpose of recapturing value of a final product or for even proper disposal. It may also be termed – service, as the process of planning, implementing and controlling the efficient and cost effective transfer of raw materials, in-process inventory, finished products and related information, from consumption to the point of origin, for the purpose of recapturing value of proper disposal.

While the primary sectors involved in making use of this process may be classified as the Pharmaceutical Sector, Retail sector, Automobile sector and the Electronics sector, we are mainly about to focus all our attention to the practices of ‘Reverse Logistics’ in the Indian Automobile Industry.

To truly know why the whole idea of ‘Reverse Logistics’ assumes significance when considered in terms of the Automobile Industry, first we need to think of the nature of the final product i.e. Automobiles or Vehicles as we call them. The parameter one needs to look at is the life cycle of the product and what happens to the final product once it reaches the end of its useful life. By its very nature, it’s difficult to predict the life cycle of the final product. This is because; it is highly susceptible to the nuances of the human subjectivities. But even if we are unable to predict the duration of the life cycle, we have definitely something figured out for us. What I am referring to is a common observation that even if the vehicle (Here we will be primarily focusing on the flagship product, an automobile) becomes defunct and is no more suitable for use, the same rule doesn’t apply to the metal (that is primarily Iron) that it has been made from. The Iron that has been used in the manufacturing of a vehicle stays in pretty much the same and reusable condition through a considerable amount of time unless exposed to exceptional climactic conditions.

August 22, 2013


August 2013 - Quiz

The Quiz event organised by OPEP - The Operations and Supply Chain Management Club at IIM Raipur on the 18th of August 2013 saw overwhelming response from the participants. The event witnessed over 30 teams taking part, including both first year and second year students.

August 13, 2013

Operations in E-commerce Environment

E-commerce is one of the fastest growing markets globally and nationally. Indian e-commerce market was approximately worth $2.5 billion back in 2009 and it went up to $14 billion in 2014. Business Travel (airline tickets, railway tickets, hotel bookings) is a major part in Indian e-commerce market, holding 75% of the market whereas online retailing (e-tailing) contributes only 12.5%. In Indian Retail Market, online contribution is only 0.47% whereas the global Industry average is 4%, which shows that there is huge potential in this market. Online shoppers in India are growing at a rate of 30% every year as compared to the global growth rate which is 8-10%.

With such a high growth rate and the kind of massive potential there is, a number of new e-commerce stores are entering into the market and expanding quite rapidly. With increasing competition most of the e-commerce stores are using discounted prices and attractive coupons as a tool to attract customers which thereby creates a price war and hence shrinks the margins for business. In a situation of reduced margins where the objective is to provide high level of Customer satisfaction through improved services and to run a sustainable business, proper Operations Management plays a vital role in the success of the business.

Different tasks for Operations Management in e-commerce are

  • Product / Service Quality
  • Forecasting demand
  • Inventory Management
  • Scheduling Management
  • Purchasing Management
  • Supply-Chain Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Reengineering and Consulting

August 01, 2013

Role of manufacturing sector in improving India’s Trade Balance

Facts & Figures about India’s Trade Balance:

Cumulative value of exports for the period April-March 2012 -13 was US $ 300.57 billion (Rs. 16.35 lakh crore) as against US $ 305.96 billion (Rs 14.66 lakh crore) registering a negative growth  of  approximately 1.7 per cent in Dollar terms and growth of 11.5 per cent in Rupee terms over the same period last year.

Cumulative value of imports for the period April-March, 2012-13 was US $ 491.48 billion (Rs. 26.73 lakh crore) as against US $ 489.32 billion (Rs. 23.45 lakh crore) registering a growth of 0.44 per cent in Dollar terms and growth of approximately 13.9 per cent in Rupee terms over the same period last year.

The trade deficit for April - March, 2012-13 was estimated at US $ 190.92 billion which was higher than the deficit of US $ 183.36 million during April -March, 2011-12.

Now let us have a look on India’s Foreign Trade Balance to get better idea.

         India’s Foreign Trade Balance               (US $ Million)  

April -March

Exports (including Re-exports)



% Growth 2012-13/ 2011-2012




% Growth 2012-13/ 2011-2012
Trade Balances
                  Source: Ministry of Commerce, Government of India

Above-mentioned data clearly states that there is very minimal increase in trade balances as compared to previous year in terms of US $.

Oil imports during March, 2013 were valued at US $ 13.33 billion which was 16.56 per cent lower than oil imports valued at US $ 15.97 billion in the corresponding period last year.Import bill of petroleum crude & product have declined in international currency in March 2013 as compared to March 2012. Though, in terms of domestic currency, the import has been increased.

 Similar is the case evident even for Non-oil imports also. Non-oil      imports during April - March, 2012-13  were valued at US $ 322.23 billion which was 3.62 per cent lower than the level of such imports valued at US $ 334.35 billion in April - March, 2011-12. However in terms of Rupees there is significant increment in Non-oil imports.A depreciating rupee makes import of various things more expensive, which leads to an increase in the operating expense of the companies which depends on many such commodities, Thereby hitting the profit margin of all such companies.                                             

July 20, 2013

Project Management Trends

Project management involves coordinating with different people to complete a set of tasks in a precise sequence by applying knowledge, skills and techniques to meet stakeholder expectations. Project management ensures high productivity from available resources. Discussed below are some of the emerging Management trends:

1. Specific training as per need: Training is required to help develop skills including soft and hard skills. Human resources are crucial to an organization’s success. Staff development programs have highest impact on project performance. Thus, investing in training and skill development of their human resources has become need of the hour.

2. Effective Communication: Communication plays a vital role in today’s world. Effective communication is necessary to communicate vision or goal of an organization. It is an essential tool to maintain strong work relation and build up level of trust and increase productivity.
3. Setting expectations: Setting clear and achievable goals for individual and team is important. They need to be aware of their roles and responsibilities and ensure that their objectives are aligned to the organization’s objective.
4. Corporate Social Responsibility: CSR is a form of self-regulation which ensures that an organization follows ethical standards in spirit of law. Organizations make sure that they do not exploit foreign workers, waste natural resources, or damage the environment through negligence or in the name of increased profit.

July 06, 2013


Ensuring the right products at the right time, in the right place and in the correct quantity has always been the mantra for success of any business. Formula#1 or better known as F1, being the fastest racing event on earth, has a huge viewership all over the world with each team having millions of fans. However, every fan who celebrates his/her favourite driver winning or getting a podium finish needs to know the secret behind the organizing of the races. How are these races and practice sessions held with the venue changing every week and the organizing time reducing year after year?  

Formula one is the fastest racing game played on earth with cars crossing 300kmph around pre-determined stretch of road as quickly as possible. It is about drivers fighting wheel-to-wheel in fe­rociously rapid machines. For some casual observers this is all that Formula One will ever be, but those who delve a little deeper will discover a vast, ever moving circus of pe­ople and parts. There’s lot more behind the scene that goes into this ferocious neck to neck battle that takes the whole world on ride.  

June 23, 2013

RFID in Indian Retail Sector

It was in the year 2005 that Wal-Mart made it mandatory for its suppliers to use RFID. In 2008, the Future Group incorporated this technology in their operations through a tie-up with Cisco Systems. Given that the technology isn’t new, and has huge potential to tackle many issues in modern retail sector, its penetration has been rather slow. RFID tags were first used commercially in 1960s by Sensormatic, Knogo and Checkpoint which developed systems to counter the theft of merchandise. At that time, they could only detect the presence or absence of tags; however the tags could be made inexpensively and hence were quite effective in reducing pilferage. These systems were known as Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS).Over half a century later, widespread application of this technology is still in its nascent stage.

The various hurdles on the way of wide acceptance of RFID systems can be categorized as either technical or managerial. The major technical issues are:
1. Collision: RFID tag readers face problems when they 'collide' with each other. The signals from one reader may interfere with those from another, especially when their physical coverage overlaps. 
 2. Lack of allotted frequency band: RFID works on radio waves, which are regulated by the governments all over the world. There exists no international agreement on the frequency band to be allotted for RFID. Given that this technology can heavily change the face of supply chains globally, this is a huge hindrance in the way of its global adoption.
3. Signal detection and interference: The RFID tags also have a tendency to interfere with each other's signals, thus making it difficult for the tag readers to detect them. Adding to the difficulty, the signals are partially blocked by certain types of packaging materials, metals and liquids.
 On the other hand, the following are the managerial issues:
1. Lack of Technology Standards: Many organizations prefer to have their own proprietary RFID systems because of the fear that their RFID tags could be read by their competitor, leading to a serious leak of sensitive information. Thus it has been very difficult to reach a consensus on a universal technology standard for RFID.
2. Lack of Acceptance by Supply Chain Partners: Even a giant like Wal-Mart had faced some difficulties in implementing RFID in its supply chain due to resistance from some of its supply chain partners. RFID might not make sense to everybody, especially given the high initial costs of implementation.
3. Returns on Investment: Implementation of RFID usually costs a lot and the break-even period and returns on investment might not be acceptable for every retail business.
4. Customer Privacy: Some of the applications of RFID come with a baggage – customer privacy issues. Hence a lot of contemplation has to be done on these aspects.
5. Data Management Problems: RFID systems generate a lot of data in real time. Managing this data would require major changes in the data structures of master files to maintain consistency across the firm and its value chain participants.
6. Expensive for Low-Value Merchandise: The cost of RFID tags varies from Rs.5/- to Rs.100/-, largely depending on the type – passive (not self-powered, derives power from the signals of the tag reader), Active (completely self-powered) and Semi-passive. Even the cheapest RFID tags would not justify their item-level application on low-value merchandise like small toys, chocolates etc. Currently, the tags are used on pellet-level, box-level or container-level in such cases, thus limiting its capabilities.


Now let’s have a look at some well-known applications of RFID in retail sector:

1. Out-of-stock Warning: Stock out is a bigger evil than excess inventory in retail. RFID tag readers can detect the number of units of each SKU on the shelf in a retail store in real time. This enables the implementation of an out-of-stock early warning system. This system can also be integrated into a vendor-managed inventory platform. The same concept would work in warehouses, thus benefitting the whole retail supply chain.

2. Shoplifting: Shrinkage, i.e. unaccounted losses in retail, is perhaps the most daunting reality for  retail businesses, and its major cause is shoplifting. It should also be noted that the RFID usage mostly seen around us relates to security of the merchandise, which shows that the benefits of RFID in this aspect already exceed the investments.

3. Supply Chain Visibility: The ability to detect each unit or pellet of each SKU in retail setup as well as warehouses and even during transportation (RFID readers can be placed in the vehicles and connected to the GPS) can be translated into very high visibility across the supply chain. This helps in combating the dreaded bullwhip effect, making better forecasts and avoiding shrinkage and other losses in the supply chain.

4. Rapid Inventory Counting: Inventory counting is an essential exercise in any retail business to avoid or at least detect shrinkage. It is executed very frequently in high-value retail businesses, e.g. once every 24 hours in some jewellery retail outlets. But even in FMCG retail, it is done once every few months. Needless to say, inventory counting is heavy on both manpower and time. RFID can make this process very quick and easy. 5. Rapid Check-out: Though shopping in an organized retail setup has become a means of social interaction and recreation for many consumers, it also has some trade-offs, and the worst, undoubtedly, is waiting in a queue for checking out. The currently popular UPC (Universal Product Code) barcode system makes a particular alignment of the barcode with the barcode reader necessary for proper detection and reading. This, and the fact that each item in the shopping cart must be read individually, constitute a major part of the waiting time of the customers. RFID system would allow almost immediate check-out and virtually zero waiting time by reading all the items in the shopping cart instantaneously and in one go.
There are also some potential applications of RFID that are not so obvious, like:

1. Identifying Consumer Behaviour Patterns: This is already being done with the help of membership cards by recording and analysing the buying patterns of the respective customers (card-holders). To go further, RFID tags can be embedded in the smart shopping cards, and then the presence or absence of the respective customer in the store can be detected. In fact, it is possible to track even the movement of the customer within the store. This data can throw up new, a fruitful insight in consumer behaviour. It is also technologically possible to identify how customers observe and react to different items on offer in the retail store. For example, for a particular SKU’s trial pack, the number of times it is picked up and placed back on the shelf can be determined. 2. More Efficient After-Sales Services: The ability to uniquely identify a particular product can be used to create a history of its service which is easily accessible. This would be something similar to sharing of a person’s medical history across different hospitals for better diagnosis. Though we have a long way to go before the huge potential of RFID is identified and utilized by the retail industry, the hopes have gone up owing to the recent developments in “FDI in Retail” and the efforts of organizations like EPC global Inc. Acknowledgement.


1.Sumeet Gupta, Sanjib Pal; An Analysis of Issues and Possible Remedies in the Adoption of RFID in Retail Chains of India, in Cases on Supply Chain and Distribution Management, IGI Global, Eds. MitiGarg & Sumeet Gupta, Pgs. 387-400.
This article has been written by Sumeet Gupta. He is a professor in the area of Information and Technology Systems at IIM Raipur. His areas of research includes Management Information Systems (Technology Adoption), Virtual Communities, Supply Chain Management.
This article was published in Strive (Volume 2, Issue 2)

May 11, 2013


Most of the time we attribute supply chain management to logistics, but what if supply chain management is used in the field of finance. Financial Supply Chain Management does exactly that. It is the expansion of techniques developed in the fields of finance and financial risk management into the field of supply chain management. Financial Supply Chain Management (FSCM) refers to a specific set of solutions and services to expedite the flows of money and data between trading partners - that is buyers and suppliers, along the supply chain.


Globalization and increased competition has had a profound impact on the supply chain of both the big and small companies. This has led companies to keep larger inventories to prevent shortfall, ensure just-in-time deliveries and accept longer payment terms from the buyers. This has resulted in working capital problems for both the suppliers and buyers, as suppliers need to wait for the buyers to sell the product so as to get back their money. FSCM helps the company to improve their working capital financing, accelerate the cash flow to suppliers and connect supply chain events to financing decisions. The ultimate aim is to optimize working capital throughout the supply chain, reduce total supply chain costs and increase supply chain resilience.

May 02, 2013


Reverse logistics - “the forgotten child of the Supply Chain” is gaining prominence in the market today. Previously, the organizations were not making use of reverse logistics. But today, reverse logistics is a key tool for value addition and growth strategy. With increasing customer awareness, it is not only important to deliver the goods to them but also to make sure that a return channel also exists. Thus, reverse logistics helps an organization in not only getting the goods back but also for repairs and redistribution.
Reverse logistics is defined by the council of management as “The process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient, cost effective flow of raw materials, in-process inventory, finished goods and related information from the point of consumption to the point of origin for the purpose of recapturing value or proper disposal.”. In short the travel back from the customers end to the manufacturer is called as the reverse logistics- an invert of logistics. Reverse logistics includes return policy, product recall, repairs, repackaging, recycling, parts management, liquidation, disposition management and many more. It plays a very crucial role in the field of retail it helps in building brand loyalty and better customer experience.
At the time when the retail industry is facing losses to the tune of $40 billion due to sales returns, having reverse logistics can help build the profits as high as 15% with care. In addition to it (this) the reverse logistics also protects profits, gives customer loyalty, disposal benefits and maximize recovery rates. 


April 14, 2013


Benchmarking is “measuring our performance against that of best-in-class companies, determining how the best-in-class achieve those performance levels and using the information as a basis for our own company’s targets, strategies and implementation.” Simply, it is “search of industry best practices that lead to superior performance”. Whereas best practices refers to the approaches that produce exceptional results, are usually innovative in terms of the use of technology or human resources and recognized by customers or industry experts.
Benchmark  is a point of reference against which things are measured. In business, the reference points and standards can take many forms. They are measured by questions about the product or services.

The concept of benchmarking has been around for a long time. In 1800's, Francis Lowell, a New England colonist studied British textile mills and imported many ideas along with improvements he made for the burgeoning American textile mills.
It is believed that formally, benchmarking may have evolved in the 1950's when W. Edwards Deming taught the Japanese the idea of quality control. The method was rarely used in the United States until the early 1980's when IBM, Motorola and Xerox became the pioneers. Xerox is one of the best known examples of organizations that have implemented benchmarking.
Advantages of Benchmarking:
It promotes through understanding of the company's own processes i.e., the company current profile is well understood.
It involves limitation and adaptation of the practices of superior competitors, rather than invention thereby saving time and money for the company practicing benchmarking.
It enables comparison of performance measures in different dimensions, each with best practices for that particular measure.
It allows organisations to set realistic, rigorous new performance targets and this process helps convince people of the credibility of these targets.

March 24, 2013


One of the interesting definitions describes logistics as “having the right item at the right time at the right place in the right quantity to the right customer” (Susan Mallik, 2010). The all-inclusive definition talks about the holistic nature of the traditional business logistics – right from production, procurement, distribution, inventory management and of course delivery across the entire supply chain. Logistics industry used to rely heavily on individual skill and dexterity of the employees. Efficiency used to be thought as an outcome of practice. However, with advent of technology, especially with information technology, revolution is happening across the business sectors.

Logistics industry also has become equipped with new ways of doing things. In many instances, manual labour has been eliminated or has been reduced significantly. Skill requirement has enhanced as well, in terms of grasp and capability around the new methodology. The new skill set required includes efficiency in using new technologies; the faster one gets hold of the technology and starts using to its full potential, the stronger it makes its presence felt in the industry. IT- Operations integration paved the way for a faster and smoother logistics industry by reducing the frequent errors and glitches.

With the advent of e-commerce, nature of business is undergoing changes. Along with it, the conventional logistics problems are also changing. Earlier the process used to be supplier driven, whereas now the drive comes from the customer. It is more of order fulfillment rather than stocking.  The good old logistics is getting changed. Typically, in Indian e-commerce industry, the back-end operation is often outsourced to some logistics firm who would take care of the physical supply-chain process with the e-commerce sites providing the user-interface with the front end operations. However, there are a few players who do manage their own distribution network partially.
In a conventional supply chain, there are two distinct players in between the manufacturers and the customers.  In the e-commerce business, the middle two layers are becoming more and more overlapping.

March 05, 2013


FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) is an investment in a foreign country with an intention to gain managerial interest in a company operating in that country. There are many foreign players who have invested and are investing in this way in India.

The government of the host country may limit the percentage of foreign stake in any company with the intention to avoid foreign control over its country’s economy and people. This percentage varies from industry to industry depending on how crucial the industry is for the country. Even India limits the percentage of foreign stake. The industry-wise limitations are 100% for tourism, hospitality, education, roads and highways, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals; 51% for multi-brand retail; 49% for civil aviation, insurance, D2H, public sector banks; and 26% for print media, defence, etc to name a few.
Retail industry in India is on of the most developing industries and has a huge potential to grow further. It contributes about 15% to GDP and 8% to employment of the country. It can be classified into single-brand and multi-brand retail. Only 4% of the retail in India is organised. The FDI limit for single-brand retail and multi-brand retail in India was increased to 100% and 51% respectively in 2012.

March 01, 2013

XPLORYZE 2.0- Case Study Competition

XPLORYZE is the flagship event of OPEP club conducted as part of IIM Raipur’s Annual Business  & Cultural Fest 'EQUINOX'. It is a case analysis competition in which teams from premium B-schools of the country compete against each other. The event was organised by Anubhav Sood and Abhijeet Srivastav, members of OPEP club. The case involved entry of a new retail store chain in Raipur. Students were to analyse the case based upon the data & situations given in case and come out with choice of location, format, layout & merchandising strategy.  In the first round, students from all B-schools across the country were invited to send their case analysis. On the basis of the analysis top 5 teams were to be selected for presenting their solution in front of judges and audience at IIM Raipur camps.  This time we had a total of 37 entries in the first round out of which top 5 teams were selected to present their analysis in the on-campus finale.

February 08, 2013

COGITATE Stage 1 Results

Cogitate, the online caselets competition organized by OPEP Club, IIM Raipur, as a part of Equinox 2013, has received overwhelming participation from premium B-schools from across the country.
The following is the list of the teams (in alphabetical order) who have been shortlisted for the final stage of Cogitate. The caselets will be sent to the shortlisted participants by email very shortly.

Sl No. Team Name Member Name College
1 2znuf Pramudit Agarwal IIMB
2 4midables Kaustav Sen Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai
3 ACE Aakancha Raj Tewari NITIE , Mumbai
4 alpha Abhik Bhattacharya IMT Ghaziabad
5 Amoeba Vijay Krishnan G Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Raipur
6 Aspirers Harika Garapati NITIE
7 Auroro Blue Mayank Saxena Department of Management Studies, IIT Roorkee
9 B53 Arjun Mohan IMT Ghaziabad
10 Battery Low again Arpit Agarwal IMT Ghaziabad
11 BhaiyonKiTeam Ankit Jain Nahar DOMS IIT Madras
12 Birbulbz Akhil Aggarwal IIFT Delhi
13 Black Ops Naveen Sibm Pune
14 Black Pearl Anubhav Sood IIM Raipur
15 black-I Karan Singh Rathaur Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Indore
16 BongConnection Soumya Bhattacharya IIFT
17 BoysofGhaziabad Himanshu Minda IMT Ghaziabad
18 Brainiacs Syed Arsal Ahmed IIM Shillong
19 CoolShine Bharadwaj D Ryaka IIM Tiruchirappali
20 Crackers Dinesh Kumar IIM Rohtak
21 crusaders Amit Sharma symbiosis institute of operations management
22 daredevils prafull IIFT DELHI
23 Daredevils ROHIT SHUKLA Indian Institute of Foreign Trade
24 Daring OPerators Harneet Ahuja Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai
25 Desiboyz Parth Gandhi Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai
26 Ghanta Ops Bharat Subramony IIM Kozhikode
27 Ghanta Ops Mohd. Akram Memon NITIE
28 Gizmos prasad IIM RAIPUR
29 InFinNITIE Kartheek Reddy M NITIE, Mumbai
30 Insighters Pushkin Negi NITIE
31 Invincibles Mitul Jain Symbiosis Institute of Operations Management, Nashik
32 Juggernaut Shailesh Choudhary IIMU
33 Jugheads Ankit Rampuria NITIE
34 K rocks shashi suman IIM Kozhikode
35 Khiladis840 Prahaladhan  IMT Ghaziabad
36 lastbenchers karthik k  IMT Ghaziabad
37 Leagile Shamshul Kamar SJMSOM, IITB
39 LesTroisRangers Mohit Khera IMI, New Delhi
40 Line Balancing Jitendra Nayak NITIE
41 Lootmaar Bir Singh IIM RAIPUR
42 Mamma Buoy Harsimran Ahuja IIM RAIPUR
43 Marclovers Apurva Suvarna Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management studies
44 Mark-ops Abhishek Choudhury Sibm Pune
45 Master minds naman ranjan DMS
46 Maverick Pramod Avacharmal IIM Bangalore
47 Mavericks Anuj gupta NITIE
48 MegaPixels Omkar SOhoni Symbiosis Institute of Operations Management, Nashik
49 metallica ashish ubale D.Y.PATIL COLLEGE
50 MUHAHA ADITYA GAUTAM Management Development Institute, Gurgaon (MDI)
51 Nautanki Aditi Sharma FMS Delhi
52 New Bees Kiran NITIE
53 NIAMies ANIL KUMAR National Institute of Agricultural Marketing, Jaipur
54 Nirvana Prem Singh IMT Ghaziabad
55 NITIEAN sarvesh hiremath NITIE
56 NITIEwan Pradeep Dubey NITIE
57 OhhPareshann Rohan Kharche Welingkar Institute of Management, Mumbai
58 Oops Jagadeesh Putta IIM Indore
59 OP Whiz Anoop S IIM Indore
60 OppourtuNITIE Satya Swarup NITIE
61 Ops Bug Namrata Sharma Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Raipur
62 Opsaholics Devendra Singh Raghu  IIM Shillong
63 Opsessed Abhishek Soni Faculty of Management Studies (Fms), Delhi
64 Opsessed Madhav Puri Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), New Delhi
65 Optimists Manjunath V National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai
66 Optimizer Gagan Sachdeva NITIE
67 Paper cuts reenu yadav National Institute of industrial engineering
68 Phoenix Parag Agarwal IMT Ghaziabad
69 Phoenix Abhishek Singh NITIE
70 Qrious Akash Mittal Management Development Institute, Gurgaon (MDI)
71 quizzers NIKHIL BATRA NIT jalandhar
72 Raiders From the Ea  Amit Anand XLRI School of Business & Human Resources, Jamshedpur
73 Raipur Hawks Devendra Kumar Sahu    IIM RAIPUR
74 RDX Rahul Sen NITIE
76 R-Factors Rajdeep Das National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai
77 Rukers vishal drolia Great lakes institte of management
78 Samadhan Kumaraswamy D S NITIE
79 Sanes Mithun IIM Ranchi
80 Sheraan di kaum Vineet Arora IIFT Delhi
81 Sheran Di Kaum raghav kapoor IIFT DELHI
82 Shunya Mayuresh Sanap Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai
83 SIBM Duo Sameer Chakraborthy Sibm Pune
84 Sizzling Brownies Deepanwita Datta IIM Shillong
85 Slack Control BJVSP Varun IIM RAIPUR
86 Standard Error! Abhijeet Doye Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune
88 Team 2 Anesh Ramia NITIE
89 Team Iyyyaa! Sai Murali V M IIM Shillong
90 Team Nomuda Raakesh Rajan SCMHRD, Pune
91 The Bong Connectio RANAJAY CHOUDHURI  IIFT Delhi
92 The Duos Ashish Sareen Great Lakes Institute Of Management
93 The greedy and the   chain Smoker              Abhishek kumar Singh     FMS delhi
94 Thinkers Siddharth Jhanwar NITIE
95 Thunderbolts N Ulaganathan IIM Lucknow
96 Titans Rahul NITIE
97 TMK Ankit Yaduvanshi IIFT Kolkata
98 Trinity Kailash Mahadevan V  NITIE
99 Unbeatables Nikhil Kasat Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai
100 Urban Villagers Kishlai Kumar IIM Indore
101 Valar Morgulis Krittivas Shailesh J Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay
102 Vanquishers Shikha Agarwal IMI, New Delhi
103 vivacious gals anindita dass Gnit Girls Insti of Technology
104 Waaaooo Akhil Kr. Rungta DoMS, IIT Roorkee
105 Wait for it! Aditya Vikram Bharad  Management Development Institute, Gurgaon (MDI)
106 White Hatters Nirmal Chandran IMT Ghaziabad
107 Wildcards Himanshu Singh IIM Shillong