CNBC TV-18 and Moneycontrol, in collaboration with Rockwell Automation, recently hosted an insightful webinar titled Smart Innovations Driving Consumer Goods, as part of an engaging industry dialogue series, Manufacturing: Powering Economic Recovery. The virtual event unearthed digital transformation trends that have been adopted by India’s top Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies amid the raging pandemic and how automation solutions helped propel the industry's growth.The webinar touched upon different facets of the CPG industry and why deploying technology was crucial to overcome challenges posed by supply chain disruptions. Some of the topics covered were:
- • Operating challenges in the CPG industry and business disruptions
- • Using digital transformation technologies like AI and more
- • Building automation capabilities and investing in cybersecurity
- • Thinking and becoming digital-first
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed resiliency front and centre in the CPG industry. Talking about the initiatives taken by companies, R.S. Sodhi, Managing Director of Amul India, in his opening remarks, spoke about various steps taken by Amul India to ensure supply chain continuity, including leveraging technologies such as GPS, digital payment gateways, and distribution management systems.
Sodhi explained the operational and manufacturing automation at Amul, right from the automated milk collection centre, the digital payment system, and automated veterinary services, and emphasised the need to have one central command centre.
Echoing Sodhi’s sentiments, Dilip Sawhney, Managing Director, Rockwell Automation India, stressed the need to automate the supply chain regardless of the company size, keeping in mind cybersecurity. Speaking on the topic, Sawhney said, “It comes down to having a thoughtful approach to understand what your business context is, what are the business problems and then identifying the most appropriate interventions and then going from over there.
”What happens is the first instance where you have an interruption on account of a security breach, there goes all the trust and the confidence of your plant operation people, including corporate headquarters, key stakeholders, etc. It is important to have a sound cybersecurity strategy that allows you to envisage where all the access points are and how do you make those access points more robust.”
Business Continuity Amid Disruptions
In the next session, the panellists explored certain services that focus on reducing enterprise risk while increasing operational productivity and maintaining a flexible spending model. The theme of business continuity was contextualised for the CPG industry by Biju Jatheendran, Senior manager and commercial Lead, Kalypso.
Jatheendran explained how CPG companies are leveraging digital transformation technologies to drive meaningful, tangible business results amid COVID-19. Whether by using advanced analytics to drive predictive and prescriptive insights for new product discovery and development or the novel concept of the digital twin, CPG companies are reaping the benefits of intelligent automation by using control systems and connected machines.
Key Digital Investment Priorities
The event concluded with an engaging panel discussion and covered some key talking points, such as the digital transformation initiatives at leading CPG companies, including Mother Dairy and Parle, how automation can further improve their operational efficiency, and why cybersecurity and automation are the key digital investment priorities.
Speaking on the topic, Arvind Kakru, Country Head, Rockwell Automation, said that there is a great potential for companies to leverage data analytics beyond forecasting and retailing. When deployed to manufacturing, along with AR and VR, it can help companies become much more data-driven and aggressive.
He concluded the panel discussion by saying, “I would say advanced analytics is possibly the biggest thing right now other than just the consumer piece of it. Even from a manufacturing standpoint, there are too many use cases that can be deployed to improve the productivity and efficiency of the manufacturing and the plants, while keeping companies safe from a compliance and regulatory point of view.”Moneycontrol journalists were not involved in the creation of the article