By Bhargav TS
Daimler India has decided to utilise Indian manufacturers in adopting a mix of single and multiple vendor policy
Daimler India Commercial Vehicle Limited (DICV), the latest entrant in India's commercial vehicles space, is implementing a new strategy for the Indian suppliers to adopt global standards. As part of its strategy to be a volume player, DICV has focused on localisation and has been successful in achieving 85 per cent localisation in a short period. This is because of a win-win alliance with suppliers and a sustainable growth opportunity.
Currently, Daimler has more than 250 suppliers of which over five per cent have been upgraded to be global suppliers. To achieve this, a team from Daimler is working on training component manufacturers to check the quality of their plants and products. Each product is verified after the component is manufactured and a random inspection happens at the Daimler plant. "In order to improve the component manufacturer's standards, we are working closely with them. With close co-operation with many suppliers in India, there is a major opportunity for Indian suppliers to look at Daimler's global presence. Talent and skill is available in abundance in India. It is for the industry to take forward-looking steps to utilise the opportunity," said Marc Llistosella, Managing Director and CEO of DICV.
Erich Nesselhauf, Vice President - Supply Chain (Procurement, Supplier Management & Logistics), DICV, said, "If we needed to make a cost-efficient truck, there is no place like India. We identified suppliers, supported them with the correct processes, audited their entire chain and trained them and monitored the entire sequence. This has helped us in not only achieving a reliable supplier chain but also ensured that over 85 per cent of our trucks were locally sourced in terms of value."
By looking into the quality of the Indian supplier, DICV has outsourced cylinder blocks and heads from Coimbatore-based Craftsman Automation for the first time. "After we engaged with Daimler in the last two years, engineering and technological support was provided by Daimler India and Daimler Stuttgart. The most unique feature has been the joint approach towards development and also in total trust as we are a single source supplier and this motivates us to do our real best," said S Ravi, Managing Director, Craftsman Automation.
Speaking to Automotive Products Finder, Chairman of Hi-Tech Gears, Deep Kapuria, said, "As a supplier, we are getting full support and guidance not only from Daimler India team but we also had high level of engagement with the German team in the process development and this support is continuing. There were multiple visits of Daimler teams to our plants; at the same time our teams also visited Germany multiple times to understand the requirement and to grasp the technology. Daimler even conducted a workshop with us for alignment on measurement method. Not only on our processes, Daimler is working closely with us upstream and supporting us to ensure first time right developments and reliability of entire supply chain."
In response to this, Hi-Tech Gears acknowledged support from Daimler and reciprocated through investment in best-in-class production and inspection equipment and dedicated resources.
Hi-Tech Gears has also set up a new IGBC gold rated green manufacturing plant with dedicated space for expansion of Daimler business. This helped them in timely start of production, technology absorption and learning and meeting the quality system requirements.
Interview: S. Ravi, Managing Director, Craftsman Automation
How was the experience of working with Daimler?
Our experience of working with Daimler has been a learning journey in all aspects of manufacturing like planning, engineering, processes, quality and productivity.
What is the difference you feel or felt in association with Daimler?
Detailed audit in supplier selection process and continues engineering support during development process with sufficient lead time. The most unique feature has been the joint approach towards development and also in total trust as we are a single source supplier and this motivates us to do our real best.
What are the challenges you faced?
Meeting Daimler quality standards at Indian costs.
How do you manage different clients and their requirements, while the quality differs for each?
As we supply critical parts to the power train, all our customers demand the highest quality without compromise. The technical specifications and details differ from customer to customer with different approach to the development process.
How does Daimler support you in terms of technology?
Over the last two years, engineering and technological support was provided by Daimler India and Daimler Stuttgart.
Have you invested specifically for Daimler in terms of technology and capacities?
We have invested in a dedicated facility and are ramping up capacities as per Daimler plan.