Alternative Thinking

Posted by Mahindra Remembers with On 10-Jun 2014

Understanding the market requirement of driver’s training program, Mahindra Navistar Automotives Ltd. made an offer: Training for 2 drivers with every truck sold. MNAL also started to train drivers from the open market, to build a pool of drivers with the right attitude and skills..

MNAL decided to create a pool of MNAL trained drivers to be employed by key customers. The first step was to do an environmental scan and meet concerned people in Govt. of India, auto OEMs, and driver training schools to understand the issues and develop a strategy to address them. The obvious solution was to identify and provide driver's training to the people interested in taking up driving as a profession - which is a time-consuming and costly process.

. MNAL came out with a novel approach of looking at people who were already holding a HCV driver's license and approached the Armed Forces for sending out their early retirees, and civilian drivers looking for a skill upgrade.

MNAL designed a 6-day unique program consisting of product familiarization, defensive, economic and practical driving modules. So far, 120 personnel have been trained, and the list of trained drivers has been made available to dealers and key customers. Nine of the trained drivers have been employed by customers.

Based on feedback and requests, MNAL expanded the pool to accommodate customer drivers for MN25s and MN31s. A compact four-day program with greater practical focus was designed for them where 80 customer drivers have been trained in the last four weeks.

Posted by Mahindra Remembers with On 10-Jun 2014

On the shop floor, safety of human life plays a very important role. It starts with wearing protective gear and following certain safety procedures. Even after taking numerous precautions, there are possibilities of accidents and each person on an individual level has to take cautionary steps to avoid them.

A noteworthy action was taken by Mr.Vikas Zope at the Mahindra Forgings plant at Chakan to keep the employees safe. Mr. Zope has been a dedicated employee in the Mechanical Maintenance department for the last five and a half years.

At the forgings plant, several hoists are used to carry heavy material and equipment. The hoists weight approximately 200 to 300 kilograms each .The maintenance department checks all the hoists on a daily basis, but it is difficult to keep a tab on the intrinsic parts of the machine as it is continuously at work for all the three shifts, that last 24 hours a day to keep up with the production.

One day, on the shop floor, a 300kg hoist suddenly fell down. Luckily, no one was hurt but Mr. Zope could not take the risk for the next time. He immediately took action and narrowed down on the causes of the hoist giving way. It could either be due to wear and tear of the internal machinery or due to sudden loosening or breaking of the bolt holding the hoist in place. Even though daily checks are held, mishaps can still occur and in order to prevent accidents he devised a simple and inexpensive solution.

He realized that if he made a contraption to prevent the hoist from falling on the ground below, it would prevent accidents from occurring on the shop floor. He looked at various options and selected a thick and durable wire rope to support the hoist and attached the equipment. Now, if the hoist broke loose, this setup would prevent it from falling on the individuals and equipments below.

This setup has been in place for several months and has made the work environment safer. It is really commendable to see Mr. Zope’s ‘Alternative Thinking’ and how this economical solution saves priceless human life.

The XUV 500 BS4 has been a brilliant performer! Feedback received from several external agencies and auto experts, have shown that the fuel economy and drivability of the XUV 500, have made it the best in its class.

The five-member team, consisting of Mr. Ghodke Pundlik, Mr. Vasudeo Halbe, Mr. Sachin Bahl, Mr. Nirman Sarkar and Mr. R Hariharan, all from the Engines Department, relentlessly pursued innovative approaches in technology. Their consistent efforts gave incredible results!

Their use of alternate technologies and the methods they adopted for calibration of engine performance optimization, vastly improved the performance of the XUV 500. Working on customer feedback, the team suggested the use of Generation 5 technologies, while avoiding the use of multiple, after-treatment devices for meeting emissions. These changes reduced back pressure and produced more engine power. The adoption, of multiple pilot injection technologies, generated an extremely low, engine Noise Vibration Harshness (NVH), as well.

A fuel efficiency of 15.1 kmpl for Front Wheel Drive (FWD), and All Wheel Drive (AWD) (CO2 = 175 g/km) accrued as a result of the team's efforts. Their new approaches, which were focused on customer needs, yielded breakthrough solutions in the performance of the XUV 500. A true example of 'Alternative Thinking' at its best!

Posted by Mahindra Remembers with On 10-Jun 2014

As the name suggests, the story is set in the Indian state of Haryana. As customers ride Mahindra’s brilliant manifestation of a bike- The Pantero, they proudly assert their claim by saying, “Marho Pantero.” When translated in English, it literally means ‘My Pantero.’ In order to explore their journey, let’s go back to the start.

Inderpal Soni, CBM and Shweta Kharbanda, ZMM North visited the new Mahindra Two-Wheelers dealership at Narnaul. They analysed the sales data from over 2 years and saw that 8 Pantero’s were sold in Narnaul, out of which three were sold to a native milkman and one to a sweet maker. Concluding that the city is a potential market for two-wheelers, they realized that there wasn’t sufficient awareness created about Mahindra Two-Wheelers.

This conclusion gave birth to an idea. They organized an event and invited milkmen and sweet makers across Narnaul to the event. The objective was to comprehend their needs and to increase awareness. The turnout was encouraging, with almost 100 individuals gathering to participate.

While interacting with the natives, the team took notice of the fact that the milkmen and sweet makers who commuted daily on bikes were highly influenced by characteristics such as average, durability, power and fuel efficiency while choosing a bike. The Mahindra Pantero was already embedded with such impeccable records in these four fields, thus creating a win-win situation! The dealers also customized the bike with an attached basket to hold milk cans weighing up to 20 kgs on each side for demonstrations and test rides. They invited the ‘Gram Pradhan’ to take a test ride too, as they knew that his decisions and opinions influenced all.

As we grapple with tricky marketing jargons and devise complex strategies to sell products, this initiative certainly proved to be more effective than any ostentatious media campaign. The team sold seven Panteros and have four Pantero bookings too! They definitely displayed their capacity to ‘Think Alternatively’ and ‘Drive Positive Change’ in the lives of their customers. Apart from being known as the municipal council and headquarters of the district of Mahendragarh, Narnaul will soon become a thriving hub for Panteros!

Posted by Mahindra Remembers with On 10-Jun 2014

The famous adage, ‘United we stand, divided we fall’, has passed on through generations. AFS has oft demonstrated unity, in their team efforts, to cope with the various challenges that they face. The fruitful outcome of these efforts are beneficial to many, as we can see by example of the web-based online capital budget system, developed by teams from FD Manufacturing, FD Research and Development, AD IT & Corporate Project Engineering, on their own accord!

The team in place, consisting of Pankaj Daptardar, Nitin Korlekar, M Sonaichamy, Amol Deshpande and Joseph Richelle, was formed proactively, without any mandate, to achieve a goal that did not form a part of any of their KRA’s. Budgeting was carried out by the use of Excel sheets, which lacked security and robustness. The common interest of this team was to develop and implement a good system for organizational benefits, without the fear of failure. Getting it right the first time, this online system has been successfully operational since the past two years, ‘Driving Positive Change’ due to its versatility.

By their ‘Alternative Thinking’, the team created and still manages this genius system without any additional manpower and without investment! Surely, a feather in their caps for ‘Accepting No Limits’!

Posted by Mahindra Remembers with On 10-Jun 2014

On 19 September 2010, floods submerged Haridwar and damaged connecting roads, including the National Highway-58.

As raw materials could not reach the Mahindra plant at Haridwar, Shashikant Jumde (SCM) and Ashok Kohli (Mahindra Logistics) developed action plans.

Although government and military forces made efforts to rescue the flood-affected people, there were heavy traffic jams around Roorkee. Shashikant Jumde and Isa Ansari mapped alternative routes for small trucks. However, the 80-feet-long Bolero body trailers could not reach the plant.

They camped the night on the highway, strategized, and managed to manoeuvre 40 body trailers out of the traffic jam. With the support of Mr. Sunil P. Misra (Head SCM) and Mr. J.S Gujral (Plant Head), who personally met the District Magistrate and S.S.P, by ‘Accepting No Limits’, they negotiated the traffic jam for Mahindra vehicles on NH-58.

However, MUSCO Rudrapur and Bolero Chassis supplies from KLT Rudrapur were still stuck in traffic jam. Under the guidance of Mr. Misra, Shashikant and Isa travelled towards Rudrapur and traced out alternate routes via Moradabad.

In the plant, Praveen Shrivastava, Jaswant Singh and Prakash Pandey (SCM), Rahul Dubey (Bolero Production), and Dharmendra Kumar (3W Production) managed the production sequence with available resources, resulting in the highest sales ever and registering 24% overall growth.

Mr. Anand Mahindra said, ‘It's only fitting that the RISE mantra emanated from the Auto Sector’. Mr. Rajesh Jejurikar (Chief Executive -Auto Division) quoted, ‘Although the floods affected production at Haridwar, and non-movement of trucks crippled supplies, the entire team rose to the occasion and recovered the month plan’.

Posted by Mahindra Remembers with On 10-Jun 2014

A team consisting of Thomas Hudson, K M Sarma, and R. Shankar of the CME department took up the challenge of finding a better and more cost effective way to complete the assembly of one set of doors for a vehicle.

Currently, in order to accommodate material storage, feeding 72 parts to one side of a sub door, required a minimum width of 2.5 meter on both sides of the trolley, over a distance of 40 meters. The trolley was also required to travel a minimum of 60 meters due to the distance of the storage area from the assembly line. The team challenged the conventional and current, systems and processes, by brainstorming, and came up with new approaches.

They considered the option of using one kitting trolley instead of two. Once that issue was resolved, they focused on the drive mechanism, travel lines, and space utilization between hangers.

Several changes were incorporated, which yielded many benefits in the form of working space, a smaller trolley with better manoeuvrability, improved operator ergonomics, and no additional driving force. These resulted in a saving of Rs 15 lakhs. By eliminating drive mechanisms, running costs were also reduced by Rs 1.5 lakhs/annum.

The 'Alternative Thinking' and proactive efforts of the team, to improve processes, generated large results in the form of productivity improvements, thus, saving organisation time as well as costs.

Posted by Mahindra Remembers with On 10-Jun 2014

Pearl White – meeting the frequent demand of customers for this particular shade of paint came with tricky problems. The existing process for implementing this particular shade would result in a productivity loss of 50%, while a capital investment of Rs 50 Lacs would also be required for the additional coating and baking.

The team met the challenge by coming up with the innovative idea of modifying the paint supply process in the base coat station itself. Proactively seeking the supplier’s help, to obtain raw materials required for this pearl white paint, the team modified the software for operating the robotic arm in-house, making savings of upto Rs 10 Lacs.

This best practice was replicated for future projects in the Chakan plant. The benefits for the organization included savings resulting from absence of potential capital investments of Rs 50 lacs, and also in savings of Rs 75 Lacs/annum in painting, due to the modified process.

In focusing on innovation and practicing Alternative Thinking to meet its customer demands effectively, the Paint PU team is a shining example of how a challenge can become an opportunity to Rise!