VP - Sourcing Business
Over the last two years, our Strategic Sourcing team faced many challenges in its demand-supply chain.
The pandemic majorly affected imports, and procurement strategies had to be re-aligned. Ritesh Agrawal along with his sourcing colleagues set the pace on how the team creatively set up new procedures and kept operations on track.
As we all know, the lockdown affected the trade of products from across the world. We were already in the midst of the BS6 transition when imports from China come to a grinding halt. Raw material availability specially Steel was a major issue to be tackled in the wake of spiralling prices. To add to the woes, a snowstorm in Texas created procurement issues in the chemicals Industry too.
Our challenge was how to flip the situation and align suppliers so that international trade does not affect procurements across various teams. We needed to be agile and alert to the market shift. Seamless communication with the sourcing department and suppliers was crucial to ensure we kept up with production capacities. Collaboration played an important role, where every department, including purchasing, analytics, and logistics, came together and set procedures to maintain a systematic flow.
We worked towards the localization of parts, to reduce dependence on China - become Atmanirbhar. We swiftly understood that commodity risk management is very important. We have to be aware of commodity value chains to understand / forecast any calamity happening across the globe, which might impact our commodities and take timely actions.
For the first time in 25 years, our team needed to chase basic items like semiconductors. The auto industry which procures only 10% of the total microcontrollers produced globally, competed with unusually high demand from non-auto businesses like computers, cloud computing, gaming etc.We soon realized that we cannot look only at the year’s capacity planning on the purchase side. We need to do it for at least two years hence. Going forward we are framing business rules and we will eventually have digital tools for demand planning and correlate it with the constraints that we have and augment the capacities accordingly.
During this entire experience, freedom to experiment is a must and an environment that encourages dialogue only helps table new ideas. Self-confidence comes from an empowering environment and visionary leadership.
Ritesh Agarwal Heads Sourcing business Partnering which interfaces between business (Auto and Farm) and Sourcing to bring effectiveness in the areas of Product and supply chain management Product Interface: With Platforms, COEs and Product Planning functions in the concept stage to ensure early supplier nomination, create platform sourcing strategy, co-own material cost targets etc.
Supply Chain Management Interface: Focus on resolving non-routine suppliers’ supply chain issues, capacity planning and propose key make or buy decisions.