Tushar Dave, Vice President - Central Logistics, ACC Ltd
Road Safety is a critical area in logistics, considering the level of safety discipline and poor quality of many roads in the country. ACC is committed to safety and with this mission, ACC embarked on its Logistics Safety Excellence journey in early 2012m says Tushar Dave, Vice President - Central Logistics, ACC Ltd. Excerpts from the interview..
What technology choices were made by you and why?
Under a fresh initiative, ACC´s new logistics management system has made concerted efforts to achieve best-in-class logistics performance in terms of cost-to-serve and time-to-serve. New technologies like RFID and GPS (global positioning systems) help ACC in minimizing in-plant loading time and in tracking vehicles in transit to end-consumer destinations, thus cutting down delays, enhancing vehicle turnarounds.
ACC has deployed versatile IT aids in fleet management and visual cargo solutions for its plant operations and contracted transport vendors. The fleet management solution will provide online tools for transport vendors to manage their fleet utilization and driver safety.
ACC has also introduced a fleet of new high tonnage trucks which are not only cost effective but also environment-friendly. Inthe first phase of this project, ACC has installed GPS in about 1000 trucks across 3 plant locations in Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and Karnataka. The company has also installed RFID across its cement plants and GPS in more than 9,000 trucks.
Brief us on the logistics safety programme.
The major aims of this logistics safety programme are to: a) reduce the vehicle and traffic related incidents through sustained improvement of processes, b) improve vehicle and driver fitness, and motivate drivers to change their behaviour and improve their driving skills, c) make effective use of technology like RFID to control the number of vehicles moving in the plant premises at any point of time and GPS to track the vehicle movement from the factory to the customer´s site against various parameters from ´Gate Out´ to ´Gate In´, and d) address critical issues like journey risk mapping and driver fatigue to control accidents.
Some of the major steps taken included engaging with transport contractors and encouraging them to take ownership of the driver and vehicle certification by issuing ´Driver Passports´ (these are internal certificates issued to drivers so named to identify drivers assessed as being competent to drive on company´s business) and ´Vehicle Passports´ (similar certification issued to vehicles which have been inspected and found fit to be driven on company´s business). Over 14,000 driver and vehicle passports each have been issued by ACC´s transporters in 2013.
Intensive transporter engagement was undertaken to sensitise them to improve the condition of vehicles and quality and skills of manpower (drivers). A 30 point vehicle inspection checklist has been introduced for daily inspection of trucks and a defensive driving training drive launched across the plants covering over 8,600 drivers in 2013. Also, around 4000 drivers were administered a health check at our plants in 2013. Both these activities are continuing on a regular basis.
Tell us about the ´clean bag initiative´.
A unique clean bag initiative caters to customer satisfaction and further enhances logistical productivity. The clean bag project is based on the belief that cement bags create an enduring impression in the customer´s mind. The company defines a clean bag as one that not only looks appealing but also carries the correct weight, is dust free and sturdy enough to withstand multiple handling without any unseemly damage in the journey to the end user. It is a tough task that involves a host of improvements from the plant to the customer.
What are your future plans?
Sustained focused approach on enhancing people competencies, implanting matured processes, implementing enabling technology and also improving quality logistics infrastructure.
How do you assess the potential for integrated logistics systems?
Integrated logistics system is a very broad based concept, however in cement context we can look at aligning inbound (coal, gypsum, fly ash etc), WIP (clinker) and outbound (cement, aggregates and ready mixed concrete) as a first step.