ACC has reported almost five per cent savings in operations cost at its Tikaria plant, Amethi, following implementation of Radio Frequency and GPS based logistics management. The company had deployed Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) and Global Positioning System (GPS) in logistics operations under a pilot project. The technology was implemented at the Tikaria plant in March 2012 and was later introduced at two more units located in West Bengal and Karnataka. The company intends to implement the technology in 14 plants in two years. The company has already put GPS devices in 1,000 trucks at the three plants and the remaining 9,000 trucks across India will be covered in phases.
ACC, India's leading cement manufacturer, has a total installed capacity of 30 million tonnes pa with 18 modern cement plants across the length and breadth of the country. Cement is a capital and energy intensive industry, of which logistics forms a crucial and integral part of business operations.
Logistics forms the most critical and large component of the input cost for cement, accounting to nearly 35 per cent of the total cement sales. While ACC uses rail transportation substantially being faster and cost efficient, it also relies heavily on road transport to supply cement from its plant to almost all cities and remote towns in India.
Considering the huge costs involved in road transport as well as time and asset efficiency, ACC has embarked on a new, automated and technologically advanced journey in the field of road logistics. ACC is deploying RFID and GPS technologies and implemented several other initiatives in order to make major advancements in building efficient logistics and also usher best in class transport system. At present, ACC has undertaken a pilot project at its Tikaria plant located in Uttar Pradesh. The company has already installed GPS in 500 trucks in Tikaria. By 2013, ACC plans to install RFID across all its 14 cement plants and GPS navigation systems in 10,000 trucks.
RFID and GPS together will increase the utilisation of assets which in turn will lead to freight savings and optimisation of resources; - Fixed costs of assets (trucks) go down as the same number of trucks now ship more cement in lesser time; - There is an increase in evacuation of 15-20 per cent and betterment of service levels up to 40-50 per cent; - The technology ensures one hundred per cent safety on roads as voice enabled GPS is installed which alerts the driver on possible risk ahead;- Green and sustainable technology as using the same amount of fuel ACC will ship more cement covering more distance than before; - Better planning is ensured by the company with its stakeholders - transporter, dealer, trucker and society.
RFID plays an important role in logistics management as it tracks the historical data of the truck and time taken from gate in and gate out of the plant. It also helps in tracking the non- value- added time and measures to reduce this time. GPS, on the other hand, tracks the movement of the truck once it's outside the plant. RFID and GPS together ensure better visibility of trucks and complete transparency in the process.