Industrial Automation Magazine India



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After the disaster, time to rebuild.

As a measure for effective containment, the lockdown was inevitable, but it also closed down most industrial activity, and disrupted supply chains. Even as the industry was debating the benefits of digital transformation, the pandemic appears to have made the decision, achieving what the consultants failed to do. More automation, less dependence on manpower seems to be the emerging consensus, and no longer merely an option.

With the government now keen on resuming some economic activity in regions deemed safe, what are the things likely to change and what are takeaways from the crisis? Industrial Automation shares viewpoints of experts:

About the industry expert

Disclaimer: The views expressed in interviews are personal, not necessarily of the organisations represented.

LP Sharma (SME) has a work experience of 30+ years in areas including strategic & operational Sourcing, category management, contract management, Warehousing, Logistic Management, Demand Planning, Forecasting, Material Planning, System and Quality Management. His experience spans across Automobile, Manufacturing, Retail and Logistics Industry. He has worked with Modi Group, Minda Group, Escorts Ltd, Reliance Retail Ltd, Coverking USA Inc. where he was involved in projects including strategic procurement & sourcing, setting up procurement functions, risk & compliance management, Business Development, New Plant Setup.

Barring a few engaged in essentials, the manufacturing sector has come to a near standstill in past weeks. What are the dimensions of impact of this lockdown?

There are huge loss to all manufacturing sectors. Loss of Orders .Lots of financial Burdens. Fear of Losing Contractual Manpower
Problems in Importing materials from China . Over all all industries have gone to 5 Yrs back .It will take years to come at Normal Position

Since different companies in supply chain will gear up at different rates, how is a plan for kickstart of regular operations after lockdown to be evolved? How do you plan to cope with shortage of skills in this phase?

The operations will start in phases .Gradually Production will achieve full capacity after a long time . Industries will take years to cover up financial losses. Industries will depend upon Govt for various incentives and Packages etc.Low skill manpower will move to their native places and It will be difficult to get them back . It will result in Increase in Manpower Cost.Industries will require to Opt for Automation and various Digitization of Process etc

Going forward, what strategies should manufacturing companies adopt to minimise the impact of lockdown like situations in future?

To minimize the impact of Lock down situation in future:-Industries will start keeping inventories for future. Will atomize the Processes . Will opt for work from home for maximum manpower. Industries will opt for Localization /Rationalization of Suppliers. Will try to have contingencies of such incidents.Such Incidents will be covered in Legal Contracts

COVID-19 has reshuffled the pack, as far as preferred destination for outsourcing is concerned. How should India gear up to derive maximum advantage?

The way all countries are considering that China is responsible for this Covid-19. Various industries are thinking to shift their Operation to India . India is going to benefited

Getting a lesson from Dependence on International Trade and various problems for Materials /Components being sourced from other countries. In future Industries will go for localization of suppliers and associations

In what way has COVID-19 changed the parameters for evaluation of digital transformation in terms of cost, RoI, and man power?

Covid-19 had taught the industries to go for Work from home concept and Opt for maximum digitization of Process . Using Automated Process

It will need increase in Capital investment but later reduction in manpower cost.Investment will give very attractive ROI

Will this lead to an increased demand for robots and cobots?

Yes, It will lead to an increase demand of Robot and Cobots . Industries will opt for maximum Robotic Options and Digitization of Process . Automation of Process

Since the future is going to have many people in the “work-from-home” status, how do you plan to change your recruitment, training and other HR policies?

This Covid Incident and Lock down has given a Successful Experience for Work from home Culture to Industries as well as Employees. Employee are happy that they are saving lots of time of Travelling and have the chance to be with their family

Industries can also save various Perks ,if Employee are working from Home , resulting Cost Saving to Industries
After this HR Team will try to hire more IT Savy Employee with various IT Qualifications and With required Infrastructure like Laptop/Connection/Smart Phone etc. They will train their existing employees various latest IT Tools and packages etc

#April 2020 Covid Special

To say the world is passing through trying times is to state the obvious. Also evident is the fact that for too long the world has been ignoring the warning signs of environmental degradation fuelled by human excesses and greed. But this is no time for ifs and buts, nor recrimination. Instead, the crisis should be used as an opportunity to make the required course correction to make the world a safer place for all living beings, and the ecological balance, restored. Industrial Automation invited a cross section of industry leaders to offer their views and possible course of action as a way forward from this situation, even as governments across the world and the people are trying to make sense from the still evolving scenario. To read the full cover story Please click here