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Supply Chain Management – The weakest link in India’s ambitious National Food Security Bill

The recent National Food Security Bill 2013 which was passed by way of an Ordinance in the parliament is no small feat undertaken by the Government of India. This bill promises subsidized food grains to nearly 68% of India’s 1.2 Billion population at a cost of nearly USD 4 Billion!

The bill aims to provide quality food grains and nutritional security, to under privileged children, women and poorer sections of the society, at affordable prices. Indeed a very noble and ambitious plan.

While the bill may face regulatory challenges, the real challenges that will affect the effectiveness of the initiative lie elsewhere.  A lot of infrastructure, storage and distribution issues will have to be addressed on a war footing by the government. Some of the specific logistics problems the government will have to deal with are:

  • Procurement of food grains
  • Fair price purchase from farmers
  • Storage
  • Quality Assurance
  • Distribution Network
  • Pilferage and Leakages
  • Accurate forecasting of Demand and Supply
  • Managing the Supply Chain

The Government will also have to deal with another set of problems such as Minimum Support Price (MSP) of food grains, poverty categorization of citizens, alterations to be brought in the existing Public Distribution System (PDS), irregularities, corruption, grievances redress, and vigilance committees. However, in this article we shall specifically look into logistic issues highlighted above and throw some light on what the government should do to address these on priority. (more…)

Automatic Identification and Its Role in Warehouse Management

What is Auto-ID or automatic identification?

Auto-ID or automatic identification refers to the identification process of the appropriate stock keeping units (SKU) during a supply chain process, using technologies such as RFID, barcodes etc. Automatic identification technologies improve the accuracy of the SKU identification process up to 99.99%. This naturally reduces errors while performing certain supply chain operations, thus reducing rework and improving time efficiency. These technologies also help businesses enforce certain rules such as FIFO, LIFO or a combination of rules that are absolutely necessary for smooth running of operations. Some of the areas where Auto-ID finds its application are receiving, binning, picking and packing.

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Maintaining the Competitive Edge with IT

ERP, Barcoding, Transport Management Systems (TMS), Track and Trace solutions have been the growth enablers and key differentiators over the past decade. With these technologies now being part of the basic package for even new players, how can businesses maintain their competitive edge? How can the industry maintain the same growth rates it clocked in the past years with pressure on performance?

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What the Data Says – Decoding the Data Deluge

Why is data so important when it comes to warehouse or supply chain management? What role does data and information play in effective supply chain and warehouse management? The obvious answer is that the right data and information helps in improving the organization’s decision making and performance, which naturally result in better profits to the company. 

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