Sudhanshu Pokhriyal, President of Textiles at Raymond, firmly believes that a digital transformation is a top-down approach. Taking the lead on the initiative, he has devised an innovative digital strategy that enhances customer experience while helping retailers in their business.
Digital transformation is extensively making inroads into corporate boardrooms. According to Altimeter, an independent research consulting firm, though a successful digital transformation is an enterprise-wide effort, 23% of CEOs are increasingly playing a leadership role in this area. Cashing in on the trends and helming digitization efforts at one of India’s largest textile companies, Raymond, is its President of Textiles, Sudhanshu Pokhriyal.
In an exclusive interaction with ETCIO, Pokhriyal talks about a range of digital initiatives at Raymond that are positively impacting the supply chain and customer experience.
Raymond’s entire portfolio is divided into two parts: Made to Order (MTO) and Made to Available (MTA) categories. MTAs are never out of stock and are replenished every 48 hours, while MTOs are dispatched within a period of six months, to ensure timely arrival in keeping with seasonal requirements.
In the Made to Order (MTO) business, Raymond offers between 6000-9000 products at its trade shows to retailers, who in turn chooses around 300-1000 products for his customers. This cycle is repeated every season. However, without any data on customer preference, there is a pile-up of inventory leading to a major wastage by the end of the season. This leads to an end-of-season sale, which impacts the company’s profitability.
Pokhriyal had to find a solution to it. Midas, a B2B tool that amalgamates the entire dealer network thereby easing and speeding up the order intake process and maintaining transparency in the network. The tool provides a three-fold benefit: The complete catalog of product is available in real-time. A dealer can order even a single SKU and smallest unit length, thereby bidding farewell to the minimum order quantity. The dealers are kept informed and engaged with notifications about campaigns and events.
On the back end though, the app collects consumer data that helps analyze the market scenario in real-time. It helps business in intelligent decision making while ensuring at least minimum inventory in their stores.
“The retailer is able to choose all the products (MTA or MTO) as they are always available digitally. We have ensured a far larger reach for all our products,” says Pokhriyal. Elaborating on it he says, while the trade show restricted the product visibility to a mere 3000 retailers, Midas ensures the product is digitally available to 100,000 outlets. The reach-in Karnataka and Maharashtra have increased five times.
Centralized dashboard: Data is the new oil that can help in intelligent decision making by companies. To not be left behind in the race, Raymond created a centralized dashboard wherein every single order made can be tracked on a real-time basis.
“As we have real-time orders being placed, we can analyze if retail has been good as we have all the information available on our centralized dashboard. This helps us in planning our supply chain better. We get information on preferred fabric by our customers, the area with the most number of customers, etc. which helps us deliver better,” says Sudhanshu.
Maap: An app, Maap, (Hindi for measurement), was created considering the needs of a tailor. A roadside tailor operating his store needs to maintain a record of all his customers. Through this app he can also send out emails. There are already 600 installations across the country.
“Giving this app free of cost to tailors across the country helps maintain our tailor ecosystem across the country. It also allows us to know the kind of designs customers are demanding, and the measurements and profile of customers. It enables us to create data which is extremely useful,” says Sudhanshu.
Next on Sudhanshu’s priority list is the implementation of an AI project in the manufacturing plant. When the fabric is made, it is tested in terms of its quality and appending is done. In case, any corrections are needed to be made, it is done manually.
“We are partnering with some international firms to use AI to analyze fabrics, which would help make this process faster, better and more efficient,” concludes Sudhanshu.
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