Manufacturers, suppliers talk business

By 03 Aug 2020

Print businesses have, in the past, devised ways to lead their companies. Akshay Gandhi, Ashok Java, Ashwin Agarwal, Bijendra Sharma and Biren Naykpura discuss what they have seen in the past which can become ideas for managing the Coronavirus crisis.

We focus at the edge of innovation

Akshay Gandhi, managing director, Saurashtra Systopack

One Covid-19 lesson.
The quicker you adapt and learn, the smaller the problems seem to be and faster you spring back in option. Every problem has an underlying opportunity. I hope the forced introspection will help us bounce back with new vigour and dynamism.

The WOW factor.
Two companies — Jayna Packaging and Aryan Papers — are relentlessly manufacturing beds from corrugated board to help the temporary quarantine facilities. The design from Jayna Packaging in particular, misses no details. They also manufacture chairs, tables and racks for these facilities. All of which is collapsible and storage friendly as it comes with an outer case.

Knowledge is power.
Lean manufacturing and process standardisation. It helps us keep the overheads low and be scalable.

Process should be like Rajinikanth - Omnipresent + Omnipotent
Quality assurance is often ignored, overlooked or misinterpreted. If quality assurance (QC) falls in place the Venn Chart of quality control (QC), QA will help the process become omnipotent.

Clients need you, too.
As a supplier, we constantly focus at the edge of innovation, which help our customers make a difference. We spend a lot of time building our relationship with the client and understanding their pain points. We also dig deep into their resource utilisation and gaps, if any. We want our customers to identify their needs correctly and we firmly believe in that.


Tell your customers if your product doesn’t meet their needs

Ashok Java, managing director, CH Java

One Covid-19 lesson.
Going forward, every organisation has to and must have a contingency plan in place for any long time closure of this sort. Setting up a business with ‘work from home’ option now seems like a must.

The WOW factor.
It would have to be The Hillcart Tales tea packaging. It showcases the properties of Invercote in the best possible way and also has a huge WOW factor from the shelf to the time when a person opens the carton. Even after the tea bag is used, the pack doubles as a coaster. It is a one-of-a-kind unboxing experience.

Knowledge is power.  
‘Work from home’ has given us the time to work on our knowledge sharing capacities and blogs. Further, we never stop learning. We’ve been spending our time reading and honing our skills to better serve our customers.

Process should be like Rajinikanth - Omnipresent + Omnipotent.
Listen to the customer and understand his needs.

Clients need you, too.
The day any supply partner becomes a consultant to his customer he will be in the sweet spot. One needs to learn to ask many questions to understand the need of the job. Furthermore, once you have understood the need, be absolutely honest and brutal about it. You must tell your customer if your product does not meet their needs. Remember, they will respect you more than anything else for being honest. So, you would have bought in his trust for the future. And that is the key.


Have better insight and foresight as preferences evolve  

Ashwin Agarwal, managing director, Kandui Industries

One Covid-19 lesson.
One important lockdown lesson that I’d like to share is to have robust measures in place to support the financial structure of the overall business. We need to invest in upgrading our digital infrastructure and have contingency funds in place to help balance the economic and business sustainability. Opportunities to push the envelope of technology adoption need to be accelerated by rapid learning about what it takes to drive productivity when labour is unavailable. Post Covid-19, the ‘next normal’ for businesses will be a reinvention or re-imagination of how we work, especially off-site reporting methods, and how we use technology. This will give us a stronger sense of what makes the business more resilient to shocks, more productive, and better equipped to deliver to customers. To have better insight and foresight as preferences evolve is the biggest lesson I’ve learnt during the current lockdown.

The WOW factor.
The current pandemic has sparked a wave of innovation amongst a number of our customers and associates. One such customer is an entrepreneur who manufactures baby diapers and sanitary napkins using Kandui’s breathable compound films. This customer has developed an innovative PPE coat made from non-woven fabrics and a breathable film for the protective gear worn by doctors. Due to the breathable film used, heat escapes seamlessly and the doctors stay cool.

Knowledge is power.  
One idea that resonates with me and has been implemented in our factory is the employee suggestion programme. Employees have an unexpected perspective/view of a company’s workflow and products. We regularly ask our employees for their valuable suggestions thus giving them an outlet for their ideas. At Kandui, our employees’ voice matters to us and we acknowledge, reward and practice the ideas suggested by them. Due to the employee suggestion programme, the company has benefitted from a diversity of expertise, experiences, and brainpower. Another practice that has led to effective skill-building and performance enhancement is online training. We urge employees to take up periodic online training programmes that facilitate continual learning and development.

Process should be like Rajinikanth - Omnipresent + Omnipotent.
I see most of our clients today practice effective waste management, which is crucial for any industry today. Effective and regular extermination of the waste is necessary. Another effective practice that one can incorporate within an organisation’s functioning is to quantify everything. Assign a point value, or better yet, a rupee value, to every aspect of your manufacturing process. Material costs are obvious, but take into account man-hours, equipment wear and tear, and planned obsolescence to further quantify production. By assigning numbers to every aspect of manufacturing, you’ll make it a lot easier to see which areas need immediate attention.

Clients need you, too.
‘Customers first’ has always been our motto as a company. Customer-focused content has always been one of the most effective ways for us to keep our customers happy and make the most out of our relationship. We constantly educate our customers with videos of the latest technology updates at Kandui and immediately address any troubleshooting issues or FAQs they have regarding it. Our team keeps an eye on all communication outlets and is ready and willing to answer any questions, over any solutions, or address any issues that may arise in a timely manner. Participation in industry events and trade shows has also given us another opportunity to come face-to-face with a lot of our customers and competitors and has been crucial for maintaining relationships and building new ones. I think during such events there is always a tremendous exchange of advice, ideas and technology. Concept selling just becomes a lot easier. I think these steps/tips not only ensure the growth of a company’s customer base but also cement the relationship with and trust of the customer.


The market will change significantly

Bijendra Sharma, managing director, BHS Corrugated India

One Covid-19 lesson.
Focus on health, both physical and mental. I realised the power of yoga. I was amazed to see the wonderful results of suryanamaskar. Just 15 minutes of suryanamaskar keeps us fresh, energetic, stress-free and calm during these suspicious times.

The WOW factor.
Our customer Vital Packaging designed a hospital bed from corrugated material. The bed can be transported and assembled easily. Easy, comfortable and completely recyclable is the beauty of this product.

Knowledge is power.
BHS team utilised this uncertain time with a certain philosophy, gaining more knowledge. We are doing compulsory three hours online training every day, both technical and soft skills. We also extended our training programmes to our customers which got many appreciations.

Process should be like Rajinikanth - Omnipresent + Omnipotent.
One of our customers implemented BHS automatic quality control system, which is helping the performance of the corrugator at the top level. The corrugator itself can change all the parameters automatically as per the job.

Clients need you too.
BHS is supporting our customers with help of our online concept ‘Icorr’. With the help of Icorr Shop, customers can place their spares orders online to BHS. This ‘Icorr Shop’ has all the part numbers with drawings and pictures to make the whole process very easy and user-friendly. The ‘Icorr Support’ is also a crucial tool to support our customers in case of any breakdown with the machine. Our engineers can access the machine through a VPN connection and can rectify the issue remotely. The ‘Icorr Concept’ also helps customers by doing predictive maintenance. We can analyse the various parameters of machine online and provide inputs to customer about a possible failure before it happens.

Post-Covid-19, is it time for a rethink by our industry?
Every industry must rethink the strategy after this Covid-19 issue. The market will change significantly. For example, eCommerce will increase further and the printing/packaging industry needs to be ready to respond to the market changes.


Knowledge is not useful unless we apply it

Biren Naykpura, managing director, Son N Naykpura

One Covid-19 lesson.
I spent most of the time with my family during lockdown. I think it was the most I missed in my earlier days. When I started my company, I used to work by myself till late night and I slept off in the company or worked till 5am and went home and back to work at 8 am. While my elder son Brijesh did some R&D to move forward in business, my younger son Keyur took benefit of the lockdown to land on his hands with further training from Brijesh.

The WOW factor.
As a die-maker, we hardly get actual sample, printed sheet or actual output of our die in our hands. We usually get only key lines to make dies from most of the customers. Apart from that, we have done few critical jobs along with stripping for Bobst machines, which other die-makers were not able to make due to its criticality. However, we made one die for our customer, which was as simple as the cake box. But what wowed me was the cake box itself has perforated areas, which can be torn apart and used as plates and spoons.

Knowledge is power. Keep learning all the time.
Streamlining the processes. I would like to change the quote a little here – Application of knowledge is power. We can have knowledge, but it is not useful unless we apply it wherever required. With new technologies, processes and working methods, we need to update ourselves with all these new processes, which allow us to provide total solutions to our customer with finest quality.

Process should be like Rajinikanth - Omnipresent + Omnipotent.
I would say it is all about technology. Currently, production process is more efficient with help of very well-made ERPs. With proper inputs,it helps keep everything monitored through any devices anywhere. My elder son has developed an ERP, which has given us an unrivalled insight into the process and inspired us to develop integrated software that meets every challenge we face. Our software leads through a series of logical steps to create perfect process every time.

Clients need you, too.
Attention. Specialise. Quintessential is craft. We are not just a die-maker, but also a solution provider. We explain our technology to customers, which allows them to reduce downtime on their machines, stability to their punching machines, and longer run lengths of the tools. We give them practical examples to understand all the points. This makes us more connected with our customers. Our goal is to satisfy the customer with the candour of the service. We adjust our service to customer needs.

Tags: Covid-19

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