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Cluster development for business excellence

By Guest Author,

Added 30 August 2016

Clusters have the philosophy of ‘getting together, learning together, achieving together’.

There was a lot of deliberation within the senior management about joining the cluster. The initial thought was that even if Godrej does not gain much in terms of lean, they could still build ties with the other companies from across the industry
and share and learn from each other. Once the journey began, there was no looking back. The Shirwal factory gained a lot from this journey. It underwent a transformation in terms of the 5S levels, total employee involvement and inventory
levels. Lean concepts custom made for Indian culture helped understand, implement and sustain it very easily. Besides the operational gains on the shop floor, the factory could add additional lines of refrigerators and air conditioners without adding new plant infrastructure. Manufacturing costs came down year on year. The factory became the first in India to get the Green Co Platinum award for its green initiatives.

The Shirwal factory became a role model within Godrej factories. Its success led to a formation of another hybrid cluster within the Godrej Group. Four factories from different businesses - electric motors division, furniture division, storage solutions and appliances formed a cluster, which ran successfully for two years. The appliance division went further and took this concept to their suppliers. It formed clusters for its suppliers and mentored them. It treated their supplier's shopfloors as extensions of their own shopfloor. All the good practices adopted during the first and second cluster were deployed at the suppliers' end. This has not only helped suppliers achieve operational excellence but also helped them gain new businesses from different sectors.

This is how the cluster movement spread across Godrej, imbibing the underlying philosophy of getting together, learning together and achieving together and living the company's value ‘to serve' and take everyone along. Strengthening the supply chain at each level through the cluster journey- especially when it is done across sectors, is sure to make a huge difference to the manufacturing sector in India as well as the ‘Make in India' vision.

The author of the article is Hussain Shariyar. He is Senior Vice-President
(Operations) at Godrej Appliances.

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