Manufacturing Today|May 2020
Digitisation brings efficiency and transparency.
IN LAST FEW DECADES, WHEN MANUFACTURING flourished, the industry faced multiple disruptions. Some were caused by the market conditions while some by the advanced technologies. Few months ago, digitalization was said to be one such disruption especially in the supply chain area where multiple parties are involved and they are at different stages of digitalization. But here came the biggest challenge, which no one had imagined or faced earlier. The pandemic, lockdown, etc. became buzzwords.Suddenly everything stopped moving – the machines, transportation and business. Only essential products and services were on the go.
Speaking about the impact, Rajesh Bhatia, Group President (Finance & Accounts), UFlex says, “Import-export have been severely affected due to the lockdown in various countries. Of course, trade related to essential goods is exempted from the lockdown. However, many challenges still remain. Every day, we are finding a solution to a challenge while stumbling upon new challenges. I think that it has become the new normal for the lockdown period. It’s a part of this situation and need to be faced.”
Speaking from Special Economic Zone’s (SEZ) perspective, Sunil Rallan, Chairman and Managing Director, J Matadee Free Trade Zone adds, “SEZ developers in Tamil Nadu have experienced a drop of 40-45% in overall business volume due to coronavirus outbreak. Manufacturing activities at the SEZ have come to a grinding halt, except for those involved in medical equipment, and the sector is staring at huge losses. Even after the lockdown ends, we will not be able to run our units at full capacity for many months.
Import-export have high level of impact.
ARE WE HEADING TOWARDS DE- GLOBALISATION OF SUPPLY CHAINS?
It is vital to lay emphasis on localization of manufacturing. Rebalancing of global manufacturing and supply chain will be a necessary part to mitigate the crisis.”
Giving some statistics, Anil Makkar, Manufacturing Director, JK Tyre & Industries mentions, “We started seeing first signs of corona in China in November-December 2019. By then, the country’s contribution towards the global supply chain was at around 20% of the volume, which was not even 4-5% at the time of SARS.” Meaning the world is highly depended on China especially to source materials and components.
TECHNOLOGY-LED BUSINESS MODELS WILL EMERGE AS MORE CRITICAL AND IMPORTANT.
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