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Published by:
Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (2015)
Revision date:
04-Dec-2018
Length:
11 pages
Data source:
Published sources

Abstract

Larsen and Toubro (L&T) was India's largest technology, engineering, construction and manufacturing company. Construction and Mining Business (CMB) sold equipment such as Dozer Shovels, Dozers, Dumpers, Hydraulic Excavators, Motor Graders, Pipe Layers, Surface Miners, Tipper Trucks, Wheel Dozers and Wheel Loaders. CMB also provided the services of equipment installation and commissioning and other maintenance services. Supply of spare parts was critical, since the customer faced severe losses in case of equipment unavailability. Forecasting was done on an ad hoc basis based on the experience of the planning personnel. The value of each spare part ranged from INR10 to INR8 Million. It was critical to maintain a correct balance for the spare-parts inventories, since unavailability led to loss of revenues, decreased profitability, customer dissatisfaction and also gave rise to the fake products industry. Excess inventory led to high inventory carrying costs, working capital lock-in and also a possibility of spare parts becoming obsolete. Vijaya Kumar, Deputy General Manager of CMB, had to arrive at a forecasting methodology with an error of less than 10% for the 20,000 odd spare-parts. This warranted for 20,000 forecasting models, however this was not only very time consuming but also very expensive to develop and manage. Kumar wanted to build the forecasting model quickly so that he could roll out the forecasting strategy on a pan-India basis within a few weeks.

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