Managing the movement of finished products from manufacturing facilities to the buyer has increasingly become a tedious for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), due to infrastructural challenges such as bad road networks, unskilled drivers, thefts and pilferages, among other bottlenecks.
Sterlite Technologies, which develops and delivers products, solutions and infrastructure for telecom and power transmission networks, globally, was facing these logistics challenges. The company manufactures optic fibre cables, optic fibre and wires, and these high-value products are transported and delivered pan India to its customers. However, inefficient outbound logistics through an extensive, sometimes multimodal transportation network was leading to delayed on-time deliveries and ineffective customer service.
To overcome these challenges and ensure efficient on-time deliveries, Sterlite Technologies partnered with I’M Here Tracking Solutions LLP which developed an online vehicle tracking solution based on GPS and GPRS to find the real-time location of dispatch vehicles. This solution has helped Sterlite’s customers in telecom and power businesses keep tab on the fleet, plug pilferage, reduce thefts and ensure arrival at the destination on time.
GPS tracking solution has allowed Sterlite’s supply chain management team to have visibility on the vehicle’s movement with information on present location, speed, and a host of other features. The information has been made available by using a combination of Global Positioning System, mobile phone network, internet, digital mapping and the specialised tracking software.
The GPS system primarily consists of a GPS receiver on the bus or vehicle, a communications link between the vehicle and the dispatcher, Web-based or offline tracking software and a digital map. Communication between the GPS receiver and the server can happen via a GSM network using SMS (Short Message Service) or General Packet Radio Service (GPRS).
After the implementation of the GPS tracking software, Sterlite has done movement of 1000+ vehicles since May 2015 from their Optical Fibre manufacturing facility at Aurangabad and Optical Fibre Cable & Copper Cable manufacturing facility located at Silvassa, India.
Chada Srinivas Kali, Head Logistics – Central Services, Sterlite Technologies informed, “While vehicle movement monitoring is possible using GPS, we could not do much beyond that; for instance, if the driver takes a break en route, we were not able to spot him or know his condition.”
He explained that with I’m Here Tracking team taking control and monitoring the fleet, the tech firm is now able to breathe easy. The incidence of vehicle delays, breakdown, and theft has been reduced considerably. Alerts through SMS & mails have helped gain confidence of all stakeholders, and created great levels of customer trust.
User can create a geo-fence in the GPS tracking system to demarcate an area of operation. If the device moves outside the area, the user is alerted by an SMS
This initiative to bring technology in the field of logistics has been well-appreciated by Sterlite’s customers. One among them, Vaibhav Sohoni, Manager – Supply Chain and Quality, Schneider Electric, while elaborating on the advantages of the GPS tracking system, said, “Tracking of long transit route vehicles was required for long route vehicles and also on routes where pilferage chances were more. Tracking and GIT visibility will surely improve with the implementation of the GPS tracking system. This initiative by Sterlite will also provide better customer satisfaction.”
Sterlite’s focus on implementing GPS tracker for outbound logistics has resulted in other benefits as well such as stoppage of follow ups at multiple points for manual shipment tracking, timely alerts of shipment position to both – marketing department and customers, reduction in detention charges at consignee’s end, timely update of warehouse entry-exit and unloading time at customer’s end, control over vehicle operator, and much more, summed up Kali.
The GPS tracking device market is moving at a greater pace today than say a decade ago, with ABI Research forecasting the market to reach over $3.5 billion in 2019. The proliferation of GPS technology is making it easier for companies to roll out activities related to tracking. A 2012 study by technology research firm Aberdeen Group found that 62 percent of companies were using GPS to track staff and fleet, a big uptick from around 30 percent of those companies in 2008.
The research firm observed that organizations will be increasingly move to GPS-enabled Service Workforce and Fleet Management solutions to drive efficiencies into their service organizations so as to maintain customer satisfaction levels, drive resource utilization levels while controlling service-related costs.