Industrial Visit to Nestle’s Distribution Centre

On 24th May 2016 an Industrial visit to Nestle’s Distribution Center at Bahadurgarh, Haryana was scheduled for a group of students of MBA program at Sam Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas. As part of the delegation, I represented Fortune Institute of International Business, New Delhi for the visit.

FIIB industry Connect

The distribution center is located around 50 Km from Delhi and is one of the major hubs for supplying orders in the northern region of India. A special team from Nestle’s corporate office in Delhi was present there to greet us. Mr. Balbir Bhalla, Head of Supply chain and Logistics, Mr. Partha Dey, Logistics Manager, and Ms. Pallavi Singh, Operations department facilitated the visit and shared various information related to Nestle’s Distribution strategy and operations.

The company emphasized that they focused a lot on safety issues at the distribution center and they had recently completed 2000 days without any accident at the center, considered a great achievement in safety operations. At the entry gate itself we were informed about the layout of the plant and what should we do in case of any emergency. We were instructed to maintain a 3-meter distance from any machine, and to only walk in the designated area inside the center.

As we entered in the center a brief presentation was given to us on how this visit will be conducted in the next few hours. This was followed by a detailed presentation by Mr. Partha on the Distribution Model of Nestle and day to day operations at the center. Mr. Partha elaborated the distribution structure and the contribution of this center in the overall distribution system of Nestle in India. He informed that this center has been built, keeping in mind the new Goods and Services Tax regulation expected to be applicable soon. The center will be a major distribution hub in future and will cater to almost 37% orders of Nestle in India. The company officials were very keen to take questions from students and answered them by explaining the basic concepts.

After the presentation safety accessories were provided by Ms. Pallavi Singh for visiting the warehouse. Mr. Partha accompanied with other officials, took us around the warehouse while explaining the mechanism through which pallets are stored and how a stock is selected for loading. They also demonstrated the loading and unloading process at the warehouse and the storage precautions required.

As we finished the warehouse visit, a real-time operation review exercise was conducted in front of us to showcase how the operations team functions and what are the various metrics to assess the performance of operations. Each employee from the operations department presented his performance on a handmade graph and highlighted his shortcomings and achievements. This was further subject to assessing short term and long term actions required to eliminate the shortcomings. After identifying the required actions, each action was sorted according to priority for effective operations.

The representatives from Nestle further took questions from the students and elaborated the benefits of this review exercise. Mr. Balbir Bhalla highlighted that the work which took 10-12 hours before such review, now took only 6-8 hours. This review and subsequent actions lead to efficient operations and better work-life balance for employees at Nestle.

Mr. Vikas Anand, Faculty, University of Arkansas, expressed his gratitude for the company and its officials for providing such a unique experience to the students.

Prof. Utkarsh

Assistant Professor

FIIB, New Delhi

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