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Supply chain digitization

Collaborative execution : Transforming supply chain through shared vision and action

Discover how Cummins' supply chain expertise shapes global commerce: Insights from Vijay Gurumurthy. 

by Durga Pratiha | February 1, 2024 | 5 mins read

Discover how Cummins' supply chain expertise shapes global commerce: Insights from Vijay Gurumurthy. 

In the complex and ever-evolving world of global supply chains, insights from industry leaders provided invaluable perspectives. In a recent edition of Crossroads Conversations, we had the opportunity to sit down with Vijay Gurumurthy, the Director of Global Supply Chain at Cummins, a seasoned professional with 14 years at Cummins and 17 years in the industry. This blog delves into key takeaways from the conversation, shedding light on the challenges and strategies employed by the organization in managing its expansive supply chain.

Decoding Cummins’ supply chain complexity 

Cummins, a major player in global supply chains, manages an extensive network encompassing three advanced manufacturing facilities, 21 strategically located dealerships, and 120 branch offices across India. Insights from Vijay Gurumurthy, the Director of Global Supply Chain, shed light on the challenges and strategies employed in navigating this intricate ecosystem. 

With a significant impact, Cummins powers 350,000 engines globally serving over 100,000 customers. As Vijay emphasized, "Our footprint was not merely substantial; it was the life force of industries. Managing this level of complexity was not just a task; it was a strategic imperative that demanded precision and foresight." 

Vijay elucidated Cummins' approach to supply chain complexity, turning it into a competitive advantage by synchronizing efforts with diverse customer needs. This strategic prowess ensured every aspect, from production to distribution, delivered comprehensive value. 

In the realm of innovation and technology, the company leverages cutting-edge tools such as predictive analytics and real-time tracking, positioning itself at the forefront of supply chain innovation for operational efficiency and adaptability. Cummins' three facilities produces engines for various sectors, showcasing a holistic approach. Each component is a piece of precision engineering contributing to the machinery of global industries. 

Navigating disruptions, building resilience, and incorporating agility 

In the ever-evolving global industry, disruptions were inevitable, yet Cummins, committed to operational excellence, emerged resilient. At its core, Cummins' Operating Principles served as a steadfast guide. Vijay Gurumurthy underscored, "Our customers weren't just clients; they were partners in progress." This customer-centric approach drove every decision, innovation, and adaptation in Cummins' supply chain. 

Operating in a world that demanded not only efficiency but also ethical conduct, the company upheld a culture of integrity and ethical business practices. Vijay Gurumurthy emphasized, "Our principles extended beyond profit margins. We believed in doing business right, ensuring that our operations adhered to the highest standards of ethics and integrity.” 

Disruptions, whether geopolitical or unforeseen, were navigated with remarkable agility. The company's operating principles dictated a proactive stance, allowing for quick adjustments in production, distribution, and sourcing to mitigate the impact of disruptions and ensure uninterrupted service to customers. 

Cummins recognized that innovation was not a solo endeavor but a collaborative effort. The operating principles fostered an environment where cross-functional teams collaborated seamlessly, driving innovation across the supply chain. This collaborative spirit extended beyond the organization, encompassing partnerships with suppliers and dealers, creating a robust ecosystem that thrived on shared innovation.

Addressing unmet needs: A strategic imperative 

"In the pursuit of supply chain excellence, identifying and addressing unmet needs stand as pivotal objectives," remarked Vijay Gurumurthy. He underscored the significance of understanding market dynamics and customer requirements to drive innovation and competitive advantage. Cummins, recognizing the importance of agility in meeting dynamic market demands, invested in research and development to identify and address unmet needs swiftly. As highlighted by Vijay Gurumurthy, "Our dedication to innovation went beyond product development; it was about anticipating customer needs and delivering solutions before they even realized the gaps."  

Cummins nurtured a culture of collaboration, both internally and externally, to tackle unmet needs effectively. By partnering with customers, suppliers, and industry experts, the company gained valuable insights into emerging challenges and opportunities, enabling the development of tailored solutions that resonated with end-users.  

Furthermore, Cummins leveraged advanced technologies and data analytics to anticipate market trends and forecast future requirements accurately. This proactive approach empowered the organization to stay ahead of the curve and anticipate unmet needs long before they became apparent in the market.

Sustaining the future: Cummins' green supply chain initiatives 

In today's imperative era of sustainability, Cummins emerged as a model of environmental stewardship, transcending mere rhetoric to embody a genuine commitment to the planet. Through its green supply chain endeavors, this entity not only shrunk its carbon footprint but also pioneered a sustainable future. 

At the heart of its sustainability drive lay a robust integration of cutting-edge technologies within its supply chain, all aimed at mitigating environmental impact. As Vijay Gurumurthy emphasized, "Our obligation extended beyond product reliability; it encompassed the eco-conscious delivery of our offerings. We were actively investing in green technologies and alternative fuels to curtail emissions across our entire product lifecycle." 

Recognizing the complexity of supply chain networks, the company collaborated closely with suppliers to promote sustainability. It championed eco-conscious practices in sourcing, manufacturing, and transportation, viewing suppliers as vital partners in its commitment to a greener future. Beyond its core operations, the company extended its sustainability efforts to local communities, investing in initiatives for environmental conservation and societal well-being. By integrating social responsibility into its supply chain initiatives, it aimed to drive positive change on both global and local scales.

Tips and strategies from an industry expert

As we wrapped up our conversation, Vijay offered insights into his career journey, emphasizing the importance of work-life balance and prioritizing health. For aspiring supply chain professionals, he encouraged a focus on continuous learning, challenging the status quo, and leveraging opportunities for breakthrough improvements. As the supply chain continues to be a vital component of global commerce, Vijay's insights will undoubtedly resonate with aspiring professionals and seasoned experts alike.