Visionary Leaders For Manufacturing

Leadership Development in Support of MAKE IN INDIA

Mr. Prasann Chobe, Head Manufacturing Operations (CVBU)

Tata Motors Limited

I was fortunate to be part of the “Supplier Relationship Transformation Journey” at Tata Motors under the guidance of Professor Shoji Shiba & Mr. Takeyuki Furuhashi. We started this project last year to improve our manufacturing effectiveness and also at the same time improve the relationship with the supplier. It is based on the Visionary SME programme being implemented under the VLFM umbrella.

This is a transformation journey which requires total change of mindset and also requires us to use scientific tools for problem solving. In all our plants we took model lines and model suppliers and trained around 200 people under the guidance of Mr. Furuhashi. In the course of nine months we were able to get substantial success both in our plants and at suppliers’ end.

Tata Motors has grown manifolds in the past couple of decades. While we have established production processes, what we needed was to standardise the basic processes across all plants. This would help to smoothly cater to the market from various manufacturing locations across India. We were able to achieve just that with the VSME tools for production planning, scheduling, requesting materials from external suppliers, and assignment of manpower based on activities, etc. It is a completely integrated approach impacting all areas of manufacturing.

VSME is very different from other improvement projects. In VSME, a flow is created starting from customer demand. Various tier levels are identified and processes of all tiers are synchronised to each other. There are several challenges in the process - creating a store for finished goods, generating an Assembly Sequence List, making common trolleys to name a few. In the earlier context such improvements would fall under different functions and thus the improvements were not aligned to a common objective. Often improvements in one area could become an impediment to another. SRT drives the improvements as an integrated project across a line or a plant which are always aligned to a common goal.

We have documented few of these success stories with the tools used to enable other manufacturing units to understand and benefit from it. JICA and CII have supported us in this journey and we thank them for their support and guidance. We are continuing on this journey this year and we hope to bring out many such success stories as we progress.