Report: P. Tharyan
(An e-mail interaction)
Company Description: AMW Motors Ltd. is India’s third
largest manufacturer of heavy commercial vehicles and has achieved a unique
position in India’s transportation sector through innovative engineering and
customer orientation. AMW brought in a revolution in the HCV industry with the
introduction of next generation trucks. AMW changed the concept of ‘one truck
fits all applications model’ and fashioned the ‘construction and mining’
segment in HCVs in India. The company within a short span of five years has
changed the duopolistic nature of the Indian CV sector. Today, AMW is the third
largest by volume and has a 25pc market share in construction and mining with a
growth rate of 100pc. AMW’s modern truck manufacturing facility located in
Bhuj, Gujarat is spread over 600 acres. The production includes its entire
range of trucks, tippers, tractors, haulage, transit mixtures, concrete pumps
and fully built vehicles. The integrated
manufacturing unit comprises of dedicated units for the assembly of trucks, a
Cab Shop, Robotic Welding (First in India), Paint Shop, Frame Shop, Test Centre
and a research and development (R&D) division.
Can you tell us what the current
capacity of the Bhuj plant is and what is the level of capacity utilisation?
The current capacity of the plant is 50,000
trucks per annum. (No response on the utilisation level)
The last couple of years have not
been very good for the commercial vehicle segment, especially the heavy duty
segment. In such circumstances, how does a plant like yours manage itself in
order to keep costs from spiralling and ensuring that overhead costs do not
spoil the party for the company?
We have taken initiative into cost
reduction through waste elimination, productivity improvement and optimum
utilisation of resources. We have made a work culture where Kaizen, TPM and
reduce cost of quality is the way of life in the organisation.
Every plant works best when it is
efficiently run. What are the various steps that have been undertaken to keep
the AMW plant running efficiently? Are there any unique management practices
being adopted to keep the plant running smooth?
For efficient running of the plant we have
the following strategy:
a) Keep the plant up time 98pc through
rigorous follow up of Preventive Maintenance and condition monitoring
b) Do Kaizen for continuous improvement in
Cycle time of operation
c) Create safe environment for all the
persons working in the plant
d) JIT availability of material
e) First Short OK production – we believe
quality is to be produced not to be inspected.
You are head of manufacturing and
sourcing, two critical areas of operations. While manufacturing involves the
whole gamut of making a vehicle, how important is sourcing and what does it
In today’s world of operation, Supply Chain
is the most critical function where our dependence on supplier partner is very
high and great part of success depends on:
a) Timely delivery of parts
b) Good quality – we are working closely
with our suppliers for continuous improvement of quality. A dedicated team of
engineers are working with suppliers for better understanding of our quality
needs and hand holding with them to remove manufacturing bottlenecks through
design improvement of parts we source from our supplier partners.
c) We have also developed a process of
continuous interaction with supplier for Value Engineering idea from suppliers
and sharing of gains with them.
if I am not mistaken, carries out an integrated approach to manufacturing
wherein everything is assembled in house, like a complete package. All this
involves keeping large stock of aggregates and other such stuff? What kind of
policy to you adopt when it comes to stock maintenance at the factory?
We have worked with our suppliers for JIT
supplies and engaged transporter with high speed vehicles for transportation of
parts to reduce inventory on wheel.
Labour issues at plants are
something that can make or break a company’s progress. How has AMW experience
been on that front?
We have a very cordial relationship with
our associates and we have developed quarterly communication with all employees
where I address them for happenings in plant, challenges we are facing and our
expectations from them. It is working very satisfactorily. We have made
arrangements for their residence, food and transport to and from factory.
On a personal front, what are the
initiatives you have taken that can be termed progressive and radical for the
plant’s efficient operations? And what about your team assisting you, how
efficient and competent is it?
Continuous improvement in all we do is my
mantra and taking people together is my philosophy. We have very competent,
talented and young group of executives and officers who are given free hand in
taking decision. We encourage people for innovation and out of box thinking.
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