Schneider Electric Opens First Smart Distribution Centre in India
The company’s first third-party logistics (3PL) Smart Distribution Centre in India serves as a showcase for digital and green logistics operations in the region.
Smart manufacturing needs a smart supply chain to ensure efficient distribution of products to the customer. To that end, Schneider Electric, the global leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, recently opened its first Smart Distribution Centre in India. This is Schneider Electric’s fifth Smart Distribution Centre launch in 2019, following inaugurations in Australia, China, Brazil and France.
Located in the commercial hub of Mumbai the facility has been digitally transformed with Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure architecture to be more energy efficient and provide real time access to information right across the supply chain. Early results from this digitisation initiative are showing expected energy savings of 10 to 12% and an increase in logistics efficiency of 5% at the site.
Smart Distribution Centres are fundamental to Schneider Electric’s Tailored Sustainable Connected (TSC) 4.0 supply chain digital transformation. Under this initiative, Schneider Electric implements its EcoStruxure platform and architecture across its supply chain operations to deliver end-to-end integration to improve predictability and reliability for customers by providing visibility, early detection and mitigation of supply related incidents across the complete value chain.
The Mumbai centre is the first of Schneider Electric’s showcase Smart Distribution Centres that has been set up as a third-party logistics (3PL) site, in this instance in association with global logistics giant, DHL. The Smart Distribution Centre takes forward India’s aspiration to evolve into a manufacturing hub for the world through ‘Make in India’ which made a strong case for creating robust supply chains with smart distribution centres as a powerful node.
“The future is in connected solutions and in connected customer. The inauguration of the Smart Distribution Centre reconfirms our commitment to ensure all our customers become more and more efficient by using digital technology. The EcoStruxure solutions we offer to our customers worldwide are all first adopted in our own facilities globally. Schneider has a long presence in India and is now an integral part of the growth journey of the country, providing our customers with more and more efficient, sustainable, reliable, connected and digital solutions,” said Anil Chaudhry, Managing Director & Zone President, Greater India, Schneider Electric India.
Commenting on the association with Schneider Electric, Mr Vikas Anand, Managing Director DHL Supply Chain India Pvt Ltd, India, said, “Supporting Schneider Electric in delivering efficiencies to this site has helped make the experience for our joint end customers, seamless. In addition, the energy efficiency savings which the EcoStruxure solutions have brought to this site, make it a template for green logistics operations in the region.”
Speaking on the occasion, Javed Ahmad, Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain, India, Middle East & Africa and East Asia & Japan, said, “Our Smart Distribution Centre Programme serves as a model for other logistics and warehousing players in India to build intelligent distribution networks and paves the way for the region’s logistics industry to become more sustainable and efficient. The Mumbai site demonstrates exactly how digital transformation can be successfully achieved when applied in the logistics environment. We are excited to open this facility as a showcase in the region.”
“Our objective is to give a very superior experience to our customers. There are two aspects to this – soft and hard. The soft aspect is the customer interaction with us, sharing of data, and visibility across the whole system, the alerts, etc. Then we have the hard aspect – the physical delivery, the transporters, on time schedule, etc.,” Javed elaborated later, addressing the tech media representatives gathered on the occasion. “Different customers – like integrators, panel builders, contractors – have different requirements. So we want to make sure what the requirements are, and want to bring in those capabilities in our processes, our warehouse and our factories, to make sure we are able to serve those needs. This means a very deep understanding of what the customers require. That is the ‘tailored’ aspect of our supply chain to serve the exact needs of the customer. So far we have deployed 17 different capabilities in our supply chain,” he added.
Talking about sustainability, Javed Ahmad mentioned the use of renewable energy – either generated on rooftops wherever installed, our procured from third parties; monitoring of energy consumption through EcoStruxure Resource Advisor to discover abnormalities, etc. On the connected front, all products developed by the company are connected products which are also deployed in their own factories. There is a control tower in place where one can get complete visibility from suppliers or what comes through imports, the container details, the timelines, port and custom clearances, arrival to the warehouse, picking orders, sending shipments – in short complete traceability. All the paperwork and forms like invoices, GST, and other documents, etc., are available online through the interactive portal MySE, a personalised self-service site, with access to all the information and support that distributors need in terms of Real-time Price and Availability, Quote and Order entry, Order and Shipment status, etc.
According to Schneider Electric, the deployment of EcoStruxure at the Mumbai Smart Distribution Centre has achieved the following key benefits:
- Agile management & process efficiency – faster and better decision-making by logistics teams improves customer satisfaction and delivers faster service. This is achieved through EcoStruxure Plant solutions which simplify shop-floor management and improve process efficiency, and through EcoStruxure Power solutions which facilitate more efficient energy management. In addition, the End to End Control tower helps the site to track its shipments and provides proactive information on global and local events that could potentially impact customer service.
- Asset performance management – predictive analytics have been implemented for reduced downtime and more efficient operations, and machine learning has increased asset control, availability and reliability. From these solutions the Smart Distribution Centre is expecting to reduce costs and increase productivity, with RoI expected to be achieved on IIoT connected assets in six months.
- Empowered operators – EcoStruxure Plant solutions give operators access to intelligent and actionable asset and process information in real time which reduces time to repair, increases process efficiency and reliability and improves delivery service to customers.
- Energy efficiency & reliability – reduced energy consumption and improved power monitoring through real-time insights are delivered by EcoStruxure Resource Advisor, connected meters and Power Tag wireless energy sensors, which are showing potential energy savings of up to 30%.
Schneider Electric believes access to energy and digital is a basic human right. The company’s ‘Life is On’ brand campaign initiates a few years ago builds on the four brand attributes that characterise it: Technology, Sustainability, Efficiency and Reliability & Safety. The idea is to empower all to make the most of their energy and resources, for everyone, at every moment. Schneider Electric provides energy and automation digital solutions for efficiency and sustainability by combining world-leading energy technologies, real-time automation, software and services into integrated solutions for homes, buildings, data centres, infrastructure and industries.