India Glycols’ New Vehicle Optimisation App Puts Efficiency Into Top Gear

The mobile app improved delivery turnaround time by 30 per cent and reduced escalations by 50 per cent.
Key Learnings
  • Set up a cross-functional team to work closely with the partner and ensure it is at different stages of formulating the solution: Govil brought together stakeholders from different departments such as logistics, gate in-and-out, sales, and invoicing. He understood their pain points and sought solutions through the new app.
  • Leverage existing technology: The company already had SAP ECC solution deployed. Govil connected it to the app for access to crucial information relating to invoices and purchase orders.

The Challenge

India Glycols is an Indian manufacturer of speciality and performance chemicals, natural gums, spirits, industrial gases, sugar, and nutraceuticals. It has three plants in the northern part of India, that being in Kashipur, Gorakhpur, and Dehradun.

The company’s alcohol business, which started in 2002, has grown robustly over the years and currently sells around 100,000 cases per day. While the production environment in the alcohol plant at Gorakhpur was streamlined a few years back through automation, the sheer volume of output was posing a big challenge for managing logistics.

Vehicle Woes

With rising demand and production, the plant witnessed more than 150 inbound and outbound commercial vehicles daily. The challenge was that the organisation had a finite trucking and logistics management capacity, resulting in congestion and inefficiencies.

“There were regular deadlocks inside the facility, resulting in a higher turnaround time and inefficient human resource utilisation. The transporters factored the delays in their pricing, even though their vehicles were not in transit, which added to our costs and impacted overall profit. The jam inside the plant also posed a safety hazard as it could impede evacuation in an emergency,” says Atul Govil, chief transformation officer & head-SAP & IT at India Glycols.

With an eye on vehicle optimisation and tracking, Govil decided to deploy a solution that could manage outbound and inbound vehicle movement at the plant and ensure their visibility and transparency while outside the plant, whether parked or in transit.

A Fleet Optimisation and Tracking App

To overcome the bottlenecks, Govil decided to develop a customised Cloud and mobile application through a third party. The organisation adopted agile development methods because of the need to experiment and iterate quickly around the mixed technology architecture.

“It took about eight months for the app to go live. Six months were spent on building the app and then a couple of months to test it. The crucial part was to figure out how we can leverage the existing technologies, such as SAP ECC and other applications,” says Govil who connected the new application to the system applications and products enterprise resource planning central component (SAP ECC) to access crucial data such as invoices and purchase orders. 

“To ensure a single version of master data, which could have otherwise created issues around mobile device management (MDM), the application connected to SAP through an API,” he says.

While the transactions were captured from SAP, the entire vehicle tracking and alert system was driven through a separate application that was contextually stitched with SAP to provide data.

Impact of the Application

The vehicle optimisation and tracking application has brought in a high degree of transparency and visibility while elevating the customer experience for India Glycol.

“We have set up service-level agreements (SLAs) that track a vehicle from the time it enters the plant to the time it exits; how much time it has been inside the plant; if it is supposed to take a particular route; if it is waiting at a designated area within the facility; or if it has digressed from its designated zones,” says Govil.

An anomaly in any of the parameters sends an alert to the concerned department, which helps in adhering to the defined SLAs.

Result: A 30 Per Cent Improvement in Truck Turnaround Time

Previously, each truck used to take anywhere from 7 to 10 hours between entry and exit from the plant. After the deployment of the app, there has been a reduction of 30 per cent in this turnaround time. 

Result: 50 Per Cent Reduction in Service Escalations

Leveraging the app on their mobile phones, customers and employees at the depot can view proof of delivery (ePoD), general accounts receivable (GAR), and report any damage or shortfall in the consignment on a real-time basis.

“We don’t have to follow up on these queries anymore. Employees in each department now focus more on their core work rather than getting engaged in these firefighting aspects. There has been a significant reduction of 50 per cent in escalations. Besides, we are now able to invoice whatever production stock is ready on time. This enables us to realise value much faster,” Govil says.

Prior to the roll-out of the app, there used to be an inquiry or escalation on every tuck leaving the plant. Since the implementation of the app, escalations have seen a huge drop of 50 per cent.

Result: Improved Driver Safety

The company is now also able to track vehicles with finished goods while in transit, including what time has it left the premises and what time is it likely to reach the customer.

To beef up security, the IT department identified certain areas, called red zones, which were susceptible to theft or pilferage, and created a geofence. The drivers were given clear instructions not to stop or lower the speed in these red zones. If, for any reason, the driver stops in these areas, an alert is immediately sent to the control room at the plant.

The Road Ahead

To further ramp up security, Govil is planning to implement a combination of RFID and video analytics that would capture the details of all the vehicles and individuals entering the manufacturing facility.

“Once we deploy this technology, we will know how many individuals – permanent human resources, construction workers or visitors – are inside the plant and if there is an in-and-out movement,” Govil says.

“By connecting our mobile app with the government’s vahan portal (state and national level registers of vehicles), we will be able to track whether a vehicle has all the compliance certificates such as registration, insurance, fitness, and pollution control. All this can then be done in real-time, automatically, as an upgrade to the present, manual process,” he adds.

David Beal, senior advisor at IBRS says, “This project shows what can be achieved when CIOs push boundaries and work in partnership with the business to achieve change. I have no doubt that the journey that has begun will continue to grow and achieve real business transformation”.

CIO Insights

“Employees in each department now focus more on their core work rather than getting engaged in these firefighting aspects. There has been a significant reduction of 50 per cent in escalations,” 

  • Atul Govil, Chief Transformation Officer & Head-SAP & IT at India Glycols.

Company Details

Atul Govil

Heading Business Transformation & Technology for India Glycols group. A graduate engineer with post- graduation in Marketing & HR streams, have a total of 22 years of work experience in different industry verticals and has held several leadership positions within the organization.

Company name: India Glycols

Vertical: Manufacturing (speciality and performance chemicals)

Revenue: USD 800 million approx.

Total employees: 1400

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