How 3SC, one of the first Indian companies to offer data analytics in supply chain management, grew to become a global player

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How 3SC, one of the first Indian companies to offer data analytics in supply chain management, grew to become a global player 

The global COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the grave reality of supply chain disruption. Its vulnerabilities stand exposed. While the transport-related restrictions have played a key role in supply chain disruption, the often unspoken underlying cause has been the lack of a contingency plan.

And, the outcome of which is that many companies and even entire industries are now rethinking ways to transform their supply chain management. Once brushed aside, businesses are acknowledging the need for supply chain technologies to not just improve visibility across the end-to-end supply chain or build contingency plans, but also predict future demand patterns, explore key drivers of demand, and create optimal distribution plans with lower logistics costs, among others.

“This is where predictive analytics tools like Demand Curve become all the more significant for businesses today. It helps to predict consumer behaviour through sentiment analysis, strike a balance between supply and demand and reduce inventory through enhanced forecast accuracy,” shares Lalit Das Founder & CEO, SS Supply Chain Solutions, (popularly known as 3SC in the industry circles), a global supply chain solutions provider.

Demand Curve, one of the main offerings of 3SC, is uniquely designed to explore key drivers of demand, analyse the demand and gain better insight and access external time-series data to better predict demand. It aims at providing better insight and confidence in decision making with the help of capturing change regularly to ensure a better supply chain demand design.

Winning the market by leveraging its strength in analytics

Starting in 2012 in New Delhi, 3SC has emerged as the one-stop emporium for solutions facilitating logistics, supply chain management and analytics advisory services. In less than 10 years, 3SC has built a footprint across 50 locations around the world. 

Today, 3SC has tailored its solutions to address key supply chain challenges and inefficiencies - lack of visibility of end-to-end supply chain, unoptimised supply chain and high optimisation cost, among others.

“Our goal is to keep analytics at the centre and enable data-driven decisions in the supply chain. And, here our analytics-based solutions ensure that processes are sustainable and highly automated so that there is minimal human dependency,” says Lalit. 

Developed in-house, tools such as the Demand Curve, DispatchX, 4PL Visilog, Saksham, Global FBA and Control Tower services have enabled 3SC to redefine supply chain optimisation and make its mark in the industry. In fact, it is one of the first Indian companies to offer data analytics in supply chain management.

“It was the non-usage of data that was generated at every touchpoint in the supply chain decision-making process that prompted us to leverage analytics. And, that initial focus on analytics has helped us develop the Analytics and Solution Development Centre and Control Tower, a first-of-its-kind in the industry.”

While the Analytics and Solution Development Centre is a delivery centre where products and services are designed, tested and implemented, Control Tower is a shared service which hosts multiple supply chain functions to leverage cost and real-time decision- making. What makes Control Tower particularly interesting is that it enables multi-tier planning model capable of balancing capacity and supply chain together, provides fulfilment exception alerts to pinpoint projected shortages and orchestrate recovery actions, pegs demand to sub-tier supply & protect customer order allocations, provides inventory level reductions with increased visibility into suppliers, 3PLs & customers, among a host of other key functionalities. 

By providing services like logistics service procurement, contract, transportation and order management along with supplier performance management to elevate cost reduction and improve risk management by coordinating both 3PL and 4PL services seamlessly, the Control Tower services powers the analytics tools of SS Supply Chain Solutions The track and trace services are globally integrated with other SS Supply Chain Solutions services to manage and support customers in various locations.

More than just another supply chain solutions provider

With strong expertise in supply chain execution and advisory, 3SC is counted among one of the fastest-growing companies in the sector. Its technology tools enable 3SC to provide end-to-end logistics and supply chain solutions effortlessly and cover the entire supply chain and logistics spectrum.  

The two flagship products of 3SC are Demand Curve and 4PL Visilog. While Demand Curve is focused on demand forecasting, 4PL Visilog plays the role of an orchestrating tool that enhances supply chain visibility and streamlines communication between multiple stakeholders. Other products of 3SC include Dispatch X (distribution planning tool), Collaborative Demand Portal (for efficient sales planning), Freight, Bill and Audit and many more.

Given that it offers these solutions as a SaaS model along with a variable model like Pay per Use, 3SC has been able to create significant inroads in the supply chain industry, that is not just among the fastest-growing sectors, but also among the most competitive. Its clientele includes some of the leading businesses across chemical, consumer goods, e-commerce, power generation, FMCG, FMCD, agro-chemical and healthcare sectors. This includes brands like Crompton, Bajaj, Flipkart, Philips Healthcare, GE, among others.

Creating a comprehensive suite of products to address the needs of challenges and inefficiencies in supply chain management, the company has delved deeper to create synergy across the supply chain through its extensive 4PL services in the last few months.3SC 4PL Services typically directs every moving part within the customer's supply chain and serves as a single point of contact for all parties involved. It acts as an integrator that assembles and manages the resources and technology to design, build and run complex logistics and leverages the real-time information, communication abilities and broad knowledge to align the customers and service providers. 

Forging ahead 

The current COVID-19 crisis across geographies while disrupting the global supply chain has also created gravity for innovation, believes Lalit. “We see a significant push to build on data and further innovate.” In fact, 3SC has not just helped its client address the supply chain disruption but also played an integral role in enabling its clients to battle the current stormy market. When one of India’s largest consumer hair oil companies pivoted to produce sanitisers because of their strong manufacturing know-how, they reached out to 3SC to help them launch and distribute the product within the shortest time possible.  

Given the market uncertainty associated with the current pandemic and its long term impact on the market, Lalit believes that businesses across sectors will not only have to focus on conserving cash and adhere to the basics of running a business but will also now have to build and review their business continuity plan on a regular basis.

“In addition, businesses will also have to factor in short-term and mid-term dynamic planning. This will help them in taking intelligent risks, pursue unforeseen opportunities, respond swiftly to threats, adopt new technology, and quickly implement new ideas–all for the betterment of the business,” says the CEO.

While 3SC continues to be focused on enabling its customers to address the challenges in supply chain management, Lalit says the teams at 3SC are working on developing new products and services that help in reducing supply chain cost and increasing asset productivity.

In addition, having built a strong logistics network with 27 warehouses across India and handling logistics operations for some of the largest FMCD, FMCG and pharma clients, 3SC is also looking to further strengthen its logistic offerings. It is working on automation of its satellite fulfilment centres. 

“The bigger goal is that we want to achieve in the next few years is to become a market leader in predictive analytics with a focus on the FMCG industry. But, at the heart of all of it, is our commitment to the three fundamental and foundational principles of being Sustainable, Scalable and System Driven. The 3S that stands testimony to our effort and promise and drive tangible value to businesses.”

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