10 April 2019
Sunil Banthiya came on board as Chief Operations Officer during the transition of Ashirvad to Aliaxis, together with Managing Director Deepak Mehrotra. He focuses on the company’s entire supply chain management: procurement, production planning, logistics and distribution. “Ensuring business continuity during the transition was a key priority,” he says.
After the arrival of the new COO, the first concern was to guarantee a continued service and flawless product deliveries to Ashirvad’s clients and distributors. Sunil Banthiya confirms and adds that “it is only the start of our path forward towards building a customer-centric supply chain.”
“The main goals for us are to continue to drive productivity, work towards higher service levels for our customers and build good systems and processes within our organisation, which will enable us to achieve sustainable growth.”
According to the COO, supply chain is an important enabler for business growth, for example by expanding the manufacturing footprint.
“Opening our new facility at Bhiwadi, in the north, was a very important step in that direction. It allowed us to reduce costs in the area of logistics and to improve service lead time. This has led to more confidence among our distributors. Being a greenfield plant, we were able to leverage our past learnings to implement high standards in terms of technology, operational efficiency and workplace organisation. This has resulted in a vertical ramp-up of plant capacity.”
“The successes of the new plant give us the confidence to expand our manufacturing footprint: we are building a Bhiwadi phase two facility and are looking to increase our geographical presence with a manufacturing plant in the east.”
Another major challenge for Sunil Banthiya is the optimization of the end to end supply chain to improve customer service. “We are shifting from a transactional way of working with our vendors, business partners and customers to one which is focused on developing active and long-term partnerships. We want to understand where our products are being used at the end-customer level to shift from a product-selling to solutions-selling mindset. Every stakeholder is involved in that process: distributors, retail partners and end-customers.”
“During the coming year, we will continue to invest in our existing plants to upgrade their capacity, safety standards and infrastructure. We are putting a lot of effort and focus into optimising our production processes and implementing new standards on health and safety,” says Sunil Banthiya. “One important milestone of this past year, for example, was the implementation of a new ERP system that enables us to integrate our different legacy systems and makes our organisation future-proof.”
“In the domain of health and safety, we are implementing a cultural change about how we look at safety through active employee engagement. Formerly, we only looked at lagging indicators that monitored our safety performance, but we are now moving to leading indicators such as capturing all “Near Miss” incidents. It is our ambition to improve our safety performance proactively by implementing a set of key initiatives that promote safe behaviour and eliminate unsafe conditions at work.”