Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How to Achieve Effective Supply Chain Management?

This article demonstrates an effective supply chain management strategy.Effective supply chain management strategy helps businesses to lower their product/service costs. This enables them to offer their products & services at highly competitive prices to customers.

We have taken the example of Walmart. It’s regarded as world’s largest &perhaps most powerful retailer. Walmart credits all its achievement in terms of highest sales/square foot, highest inventory turnover & highest operating profit than any other discount retailer to its effective supply chain management. It owes its evolution from a regional retailer to a global powerhouse to its effective management of supply chain.

This clears one thing that effective management of supply chain is crucial for businesses to reduce their costs and stay ahead of competition.

Further you can learn the strategies Walmart employed to achieve world-class supply chain-
#Provide customers with goods they want
Walmart began with the goal to provide customers with the goods they wanted. Walmart believes that good must reach customers at the right time & at the right place.
#Developing cost structures
In order to achieve the above caveat of providing customers with goods they want,Walmart focused on developing its cost structures. This allowed Walmart to offer products at low prices everyday!
Walmart achieved this by effective replenishment of its inventories. This wasthe centerpiece of Walmart’s strategy to achieve effective supply chain management.Walmart used a logistics technique called as “cross docking”. Cross dockingallowed Walmart to re-route its products from suppliers to the Walmart’s warehouses. From the warehouses, the products where then shipped to various stores. This prevented sitting of products for long periods in inventory. This strategy decreased Walmart’s costs significantly. As a result, Walmart was able to pass on those savings for their customers’ benefitsby offering products at highly competitive prices.
Further, Walmart focused on developing an enhanced supply chain management strategy to further exploit &leverageits competitive advantage.

Elements of Supply Chain Management (SCM)-
  •  The main elements of a supply chain include purchasing, operations, distribution &integration.
  •   The supply chain begins with purchasing. Purchasing managers or buyers are typically responsible to determine which products their company will sell. This is followed by sourcing product suppliers & vendors. Further, the purchasing managersprocure products from the selected vendors at prices &terms which meet profitability goals.

In order to achieve effective supply chain management, the supply chain operations of a business must focus on accurate demand planning, forecasting & inventory management.

Forecasts help a business to estimate demands of customers for a certain product during certain period of time. This is calculated based on historical data &external drivers like upcoming sales & promotions. Also the changes in trends & competition affect demand planning. This practice of employing accurate demand planning will help to create accurate forecasts. This is critical for effective inventory management which is at the crux of effective supply chain management.

Walmart’s Strategy of Managing its Supply Chain
Walmart enjoys market leadership position primarily because of its efficient integration of suppliers, manufacturing, warehousing &distribution to stores.

#Walmart’s supply chain strategy employs 5 key components which are-
  •  Vendor partnerships
  • Cross docking
  •  Distribution management
  •  Technology
  •  Integration

Walmart’s supply chain starts with strategic sourcing to search for products at best prices from suppliers. Also Walmart ensures that the suppliers will be able to meet any demand. It establishes strategic partnerships between most vendors. Walmart offers selected vendors, the potential for long-term & high volume purchases. And in exchange Walmart gets bulk-purchases at lowest possible prices!

The suppliers then are responsible to ship the products to Walmart’s distribution centers. Here, the products are cross docked & delivered to the Walmart stores.

Hence, Walmart uses cross docking, effective & collaborative distribution management &efficient transportation management to keep inventory & transportation costs down. This reduces the transportation time & eliminates inefficiencies.

Another major feature of Walmart’s effective supply chain management is Walmart’s possession of largest IT infrastructure than any private company around the world!

Walmart regards technology to play a key role in it effective supply chain management. Walmart’s state-of-the-art technology & network design enables accurate forecasting & demand planning. Also it enables Walmart to monitor &predict inventory levels &create efficient transportation routes. This helps Walmart to manage long-term customer relationships & provide immediate service response logistics to customers!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Union Budget 2014-15: A Budget Which Can Transform India's Tax Regime & Business Environment

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The Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley contains certain logical steps to transform India’s tax regime to make it more favorable from investment and business per se. Also it contains the required steps required to create conducive environment to boost India’s business and economy manifold.

The business community has expressed the introduction of a national goods and services tax as a keyconcern. Adi Godrej, the chairman of consumer-goods company Godrej Group said, “A streamlined tax system will help the business and commerce of India to save great money, time and effort needed to pay different taxes in each of India’s 28 states.It’s by far the most important reform we all need”

Experts comment that if implemented, the GST could boost economic growth by 1 to 2 percentage points

Let’s take a glimpse at the necessary steps listed in the Union Budget 2014-15 which have been lauded by business and commerce fraternity.

Importance of proper tax regime is the need of the hour
Stability in tax regime is crucial for development of India’s business, trade and commerce industry as well as citizens of India. The proposed tax amendments can revive investor sentiments and attract huge FDI investments generating massive employment. However, again there must be determination and right intent to the fulfillment of all the objectives listed in the budget.
Investors, especially the foreign investors have expressed great dismay for the unstable tax regime of India. This has been always the main reason for drying enthusiasm towards investments and growth of business communities in India.

The problem of retrospective tax legislation-
The Government’s right to undertake certain retrospective legislations have impacted India’s economy and overall investment climate in a negative manner. There were certain retrospective amendments made to the Income Tax Act 1961 undertaken through the Finance Act 2012. This witnessed a few cases in various courts &other legal forums, for example the Vodafone Case in which the Company is liable to pay huge tax as per retrospective tax laws. Such retrospective tax regime punctures investor sentiments who get discouraged to invest in India.

The Solution-
In order to overcome this, the budget upholds tax measures to provide a stable and predictable taxation regime that would be investor friendly and spur growth. The Finance Minister said that a High Level Committee will be constituted by the CBDT (Central Board of Direct Tax). This committee will scrutinize all the fresh cases arising out of retrospective amendments of 2012 before any action is taken in such cases. This will convey about a stable tax regime to the investor community both within India and abroad and create a business friendly environment. It will instill confidence in investors thus driving India’s growth. Also,the foreign companies can obtain “advance ruling” which can resolve the huge tax liabilities of companies. Tax demand of more than 4 lakh crores is under dispute and litigation before various Courts and Appellate authorities. This is one of the serious concerns of all taxpayers in this country. With such a move where foreign companies can obtain “advance ruling” will drive more foreign direct investments (FDI) in India. This will ultimately lead to more employment and improve the standard of living of India thus benefiting everyone.
Further are additional noteworthy measures in this year’s Union Budget which will have a positive impact on India’s business, trade and commerce-
Digital India
This pan India programme named “Digital India” would ensure Broad band connectivity at village level. It will enable improved access to services through IT enabled platforms and greater transparency in Government processes. This will increase indigenous production of IT hardware and software for exports. Also and greater transparency in Government processeswill make the business community and common people feel more secured. Also if reached to its full potential, it can make every citizen of India literate and knowledgeable and improve standard of lives.
There’s also special focus to be given to support software product startups with measures to conduct training programs for people to acquire IT skills. This has the potential to make India as the leading IT hub and generate employment for millions.
A move that can propel India’s industry growth-
The eBiz platform aims to create a business and investor friendlyecosystem in India. It plans to do so by making all business and investment related clearances and compliances available on a 24x7 single portal. It also has the facility of an integrated payment gateway.
All Central Government Departments and Ministries will integrate their services with the eBiz platform on priority by 31 December this year.
A move that can propel India's trade
Exports cannot be exponentially increased unless the states play a veryactive role in export promotion. This needs provision of good infrastructure and full facilitation. The plan to establish an Export Promotion Mission which will bring all stakeholders under one umbrella is a good move. It will facilitate greater levels of trade and resolve trade disputesfaster thus propelling India’s trade to a new level.
Skill India
Last but not the least, a national multi-skill programme called “Skill India” is proposed to be launched. It would instill the required entrepreneurial skills in India’s youth.
IAM has been helping corporate personnel acquire business and entrepreneurial skills for over a decade. Several executives have greatly benefited from IAM’s seminars.The list of companies that have sent their executives for training with us includes industry leaders and corporate giants as also consulting firms. Please visit website to know more about our upcoming seminars and a fuller list of client companies.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Railway Budget 2014- Presenting an Optimistic Roadmap for India’s Commerce, Industries and Trade

Does the Railway budget present an optimistic road-map for India’s commerce, industries and trade?

The move of the railway ministry to raise the railway ticket fares by 14.9% was not welcomed by the citizens of India. Citizens still express discontentment regarding ministry’s method of financing the railway budgets by taking money from common man’s pocket alone for the mismanagement of the previous Government.

However, industry experts comment that the Railway Budget 2014 is the most practical budget till now. Vineet Agarwal, MD of Transport Corporation of India says, “This railway budget presents an optimistic roadmap for all the logistics players. The plan to initiate high speed trains will fulfill the long pending demand for well-timed delivery of goods as well as services. We hope that the continuous push to electrification, gauge conversion and new lines will make the railways and the logistics sector more efficient.”

The logistics is the backbone of a country’s trade, commerce and industries to flourish. With moves towards refurbishing the logistics of India, it presents a picture of highly modernized India with flourishing trade and commerce over a period of time.

FDI in the Railway sector and Public Private Partnership route (PPP) for future infrastructure projects will have an optimistic impact and create the foundation for new lines with advanced and enhanced capacities along with attracting huge investments to fund the 367 pending infrastructure projects worth lakhs of crores. This will help to achieve better Road Vs rail ratio. This will act as a catalyst for smooth freight movement thereby reducing huge logistics costs. This will prove to be a great step for the success of India’s industry, logistics, distribution and commodity players.

Below I have summarized the key factors mentioned in this year’s Railway Budget which will take India’s industry, trade and commerce to a new level benefiting everyone. The following moves if implemented with determination and executed to the fullest will transform India to be one of the largest trade hubs generating employment to millions of Indian citizens. 
They are-
  • ·     Connecting Ports & speeding up current delayed projects is surely a welcoming announcement. This will eliminate bottlenecks from the logistics sector. This will help the Railways to keep in pace easily with logistics requirements of various small, medium and large industries of India thus uplifting India’s industry, trade and commerce to new levels.
  • ·     Another welcoming move is to eliminate the wastage of fruits and vegetables due to current inadequate distribution and logistics measures. This is one of the main reasons for the price hike in these goods due to the goods getting wasted or spoilt or not able to reach the designated places on time due to improper supply chain. If the fruits and vegetables are transported via AC storage facilities then it will surely transform India’s food supply chain. This move will create positive impact on the availability, costs and quality of the transported goods.

Another good feature which shows a good intent is the move of skill development of staff members. It will make the staff more skilled and develop useful knowledge. This is very important considering that technology is one of the main focus areas to modernize the railways. In order to leverage the power of technology optimally there is a need for skilled workers. The railway minister has expressed plans to tie up with advanced technical institutions and introduce railway oriented subjects for graduation & skill development of all the staff members. The ground level staff will be sent for certain short duration courses relating to technical and non-technical nature. The exposure for expert & specialized areas like high-speed and heavy haul operations will be undertaken for all staff levels & officers at appropriate and deemed institutes of India & abroad.

All these moves are very inspiring. Also Railway minister’s aim of transforming India into the largest and most efficient Railways and biggest freight carriers present a picture of modernized India. However, this must be backed up with a clear roadmap with the determination to execute all these measures time successfully. The moves must be monitored with time-bound milestones as only then will we all people will witness an India of flourishing trade, commerce and industry generating employment for all and transforming India as a trade and commerce hub.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How To Make Effective Power-Point Presentations?

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This article is about key points to remember while creating power-point presentations to make them more effective and engaging. You’ll become aware of the key things to remember while delivering power-point presentations to make an indelible impact on the audience and speak easily while you show the slides with ease.

Let’s start with points to remember in terms of the creating effective power-point presentations.

Consider the following points while designing your Power Point Presentation-
#Decide the main theme of your presentation
Deciding the main theme of your presentation is the 1stimportant step towards making effective power-point presentations. This main theme will be the focus of your slides and your speech delivering the relevant knowledge about the same to your audience. It will be your main take-away message or the information you want the audience to remember. This identifiable theme will keep your slides in sync conveying the information through your slides and speech. In this way the audience will know till the end of your presentation that what the focus of your presentation is. For example, if your presentation relates to business then it should convey the product’s or the service’s unique offerings (USP).

#Create slides containing relevant information as per the decided theme
Create your slides and boil the information down. Spread the information (text)across your slides in an equal manner (content density). This will make your slides look presentable and clear. Create a proper structure. You can plan out the structure on a paper first and then inculcate the structure in your slides.All this will prevent your presentation from becoming too long and sound "rambling" to the audience.
For example, structure for an academic or business presentation must follow these 3 steps-
  1. ·      Introducing your key point
  2. ·      Supporting the key point with relevant evidence
  3. ·      A short conclusion

Guy Kawasaki has been the chief evangelist for Google’s Motorola division and Apple and is a notable business personality and marketing guru. He has suggested for the following important points to remember and follow to create effectivepower-point presentations for business presentations-
  • ·      The Problem
  • ·      Your solution
  • ·      Business model
  • ·      Underlying magic/technology
  • ·      Marketing and sales
  • ·      Competition
  • ·      Team
  • ·      Projections and milestones
  • ·      Status and timeline
  • ·      Summary and call to action

#Streamline your slide’s text
Your PowerPoint slides must actually enhance the quality of your presentation. It should not just simply exist alongside. You should not present while reading from the slides. This distracts the audience and they will feel that you’re not confident enough and don’t know the matter well. Your PowerPoint presentation slides should contain minimum text. Having to read longtexts will divert your audience’s attention from what you really want to convey. Hence, streamline the text in a structured manner like in the form of bullets.

#Utilize informative graphics.
Graphics are one of the great ways to create really engaging slides. Graphics like charts, graphs and images creates appealing visual connection with your audience. Therefore, your audience clearly understandsyour presentation when you show them the relevant facts about the central theme using graphics. Also visuals have the potential to lure audience more and preventing them to lose interest. They help to provide information which is difficult to express in words by using graphics like charts & graphs.
However, remember that don’t over use graphics and make it a reason for your audience’s distraction.
Only practice will help you to deliver your presentation to make an indelible impact on your audience.Practice helps you to time your speeches with the slides in an efficient manner thus communicating with your audience in an effective way.

#Don’t extend your presentations unnecessarily
Creating long boring presentations stuffed with text and irrelevant graphics just resembling flowery images are a strict no-no. They not only fail to keep the audience engaged but the speaker also may get lost in the array of text and graphics of his slides. This can cause the speaker to lose confidence when he/she sees the audience losing interest and forget his main theme of the presentation. Hence, stay focused on your decided theme and what you want to convey to the audience. Put relevant information in a structured format with relevant graphics. This should be followed by your confident speech conveying what the audiences really want. Remember that in the end it’s not just the engaging slides you create but also the ability to deliver in the form of your speech that will win the audience’s attention!

If you want to see all this live then attend IAM’s seminar on How to Create & Make Effective Power-Point Presentations. Over 2000 executives have greatly benefited from this seminar. You can browse through our website to see a list of all our seminars and a partial list of our clients.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Techniques Of Cost Reduction For Effective Cost ManagementIn Business

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One of the crucial aspects of efficient business functioning and to prevent the business from high expenditures is effective cost management.Effective cost management helps the business to cut down costs and therefore maximize profits. Effective cost management can be undertaken with the help of several tools and techniques of cost reduction.
This article provides profound knowledge on the various proven tools and techniques of cost reduction. Reading this article, various entrepreneurs and business professionals will be able to expand their thoughtson some basic factors, essential for effective cost management.

The essential techniques of cost reduction for effective cost management are as follows-

#System of JIT or Just-In-Time
JIT system’s major focus is to createonly required items at required quantity and quality. Just-in-time system favors producing required standardized goods at the required precise time. The basis of JIT is to reduce the burden of huge carrying costs linked with the holding of high inventory levels. Investment in inventories forms a large share of firm’s expenditure costs. Hence, JIT purchasing system diminishes investment in inventories due to frequent ordering of small quantities.

#Target Pricing
Target pricing refers to the product’s design and processes utilized to create the product. Target pricing aims to manufacture a good at a profitable cost. It enables the firm to gain profit by selling the good at anestimated market-driven cost. This estimated selling price is known as target price.

#ABM or Activity Based Management
Activity based management (ABM) focuses on using activity based costing for improving operations. ABM identifies and eliminates non-value added costs.

Life Cycle Pricing
The Life cycle pricing system estimates the costs of a product over its entire life cycle. It also records all the costs incurred during the product’s manufacturing phase. In this way it determines whether the earned profits during product manufacturing phase will be able to cover incurred costs before and after the manufacturing stage.

Kaizen Technique
Kaizen technique aims to reduce cost during a product’s manufacturing phase. It’s a Japanese word and focus on regular improvement using small but effective activities. This is in contrast to large or radical improvements via innovation and large investment technologies which require huge capital and if not successful leads to huge losses. Kaizen technique is especially helpful for SMEs and small businesses with limited capital.

Six Sigma
Six Sigma is known to be today's by-word for businesses for efficient management and cost reduction. It includes a set of techniques for process improvement and effective cost management. Motorola in 1996 developed Six sigma principle. It formed Jack Welch's core business strategy for process at General Electric. Today, it is used in many businesses to achieve effective cost management. It also helps to achieve other important objectives like reduction in process cycle time, reduction in pollution, reduction of costs, higher customer satisfaction and increased profits.
The focus of Six Sigma is to improve quality of process outputs. It achieves this by identifying and then removing the defect causes or errorsfrom the roots. This reduces and gradually eradicates variability of manufacturing as well as business processes thereby reducing immense costs and maximizing profits!

There are various other cost-reduction techniques you can use to maximize cost effectiveness and increase profits of your company. Indian Academy of Management(IAM) is organizing a seminar on “Effective Cost Management & Cost Reduction Techniques” This will give you more profound ideas from expert professionals in terms of successfully proven cost management techniques to grow your business manifold!More than 1, 00,000 executives have benefitted from our training seminars since 2002.Book your seats now!

Inventory Control & Management

What is inventory?
Inventory is a stock of goods in any form such as raw materials, maintenance, repairs and overhauling items, work-in-progress and finished goods for sale.

What is Inventory Control/Management?
Inventory control /management is a science which deals with determining the right quantities ofthe stocked goods. Materials may be required at diverse locations across various locations of a supply chain/ network.

Why there’s a need of efficient inventory control/ management?
Inventory control/management isimportant to precede the planned and regular course of production aswell as stock of materials for efficient management of inventories at minimal cost.This increases functioning of business thus leading to optimal allocation of resources in the right direction, minimization of costs and maximization of profits.

What is the scope of inventory management?
Inventory management’s scope coversefficient management of various factors like-
  • ·        Replenishment lead time
  • ·        Inventory carrying costs
  • ·        Asset management
  • ·        Inventory forecasting
  • ·        Inventory valuation
  • ·        Inventory visibility
  • ·        Future inventory price forecasting
  • ·        Physical inventory verification
  • ·        Available physical space for inventories
  • ·        Quality management
  • ·        Replenishment
  • ·        Returns
  • ·        Defective goods
  • ·        Demand forecasting

The art of effective inventory control management lies in balancing all the above competing requirements efficiently to arrive at ideal inventory levels.It’s an on-going process as the firm needs to shift and respond to the changes of wider environment.

What is the objective of inventory control/ management?
Inventory control / management involves achieving twin objectives of minimizing capital blockage and at the same time ensure availability of materials as and when required. This is done by creating the right culture and using effective inventory control techniques like ABC / HML / SDE / GOLF / SOS / VED / XYZ / FSN Analysis.

All the above techniques are crucial for a company to manage 
inventories in the most efficient way. If you want to learn these important inventory control techniques in detail, then feel free to attend our expert seminar on Inventory Control Techniques which is going to be held in Mumbai and Bangalore. Our professional speaker -a renowned expert in this particular field will take you through an insightful tour of Modern Storage and Inventory Practices for enhancing the functioning of your business and profits manifold!