Lean Ahead!


On November 18, the "Daimler Supplier Awards India" were presented for the second time at the Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) Supplier Meet. In contrast to the awarding, the Supplier Meet grew over the last six years – as the Oragadam plant in Chennai, India.

Since the first event in 2009, the number of participating suppliers has increased multifold to 310. Overall, around 600 people came together at the ITC Grand Chola, a luxurious hotel located in Guindy Chennai in India. The situation of the commercial business unit is also a different one today: the young, ultra-modern truck and bus production plant of DICV has gained a firm position since its opening in 2012, established steady processes and recorded many successes. Within less than four years, DICV has crossed the mark of 50,000 produced vehicles at their plant, and recently have handed over the 40,000th BharatBenz truck to the customer. In 2016, it has continued to expand and round off their manufacturing operations, taking overall investment to well beyond INR 5,000 crore.

Preparing for family growth

Now, the objective is to make their business more productive and more profitable. To achieve this, Daimler shared its best practice measures with the suppliers under the motto “Lean Ahead” at the DICV Supplier Meet. In joint collaboration, DICV plans to increase capacities and reduce complexity along the entire supply chain. At 12 market places the company showed how this can be realized successfully. The market places covered a broad range of aspects, like: “How to run a medium size Lean project“, “How to track material in transit“, and “How a pull system can be established across value chain”.

Daimler presenting best practices at marketplaces.

It is all the more important to implement the mentioned objectives since DICV is going to set the next milestone very soon: starting in 2017, DICV extends its production beyond the existing medium and heavy-duty models to include a new sub-9-tonne product TF Titan for export market. It is going to be built at DICV’s plant at Oragadam near Chennai. In the bus business, the product portfolio will be extended into the 16 tonnes Segment.

Suppliers need to be efficient, flexible, and adaptive

In light of DICV’s plans, Erich Nesselhauf, Managing Director & CEO DICV, gave an update on the market situation in India including the topics emission standards, goods and service tax implementation and the recent impact on demonetization.

Furthermore, he explained the implementation of various business models: firstly, the Vehicle Conversion Center, where vehicles are modified and customized, and secondly, the Completely Knocked Down (CKD), for additional south east Asian market. Nesselhauf also briefed the suppliers about connectivity innovations within DICV and the resulting opportunities.

Erich Nesselhauf giving a briefing on DICV and market situation.

Amit Sharma, Director of Procurement Powertrain TA India, tied in with Nesselhauf’s speech and started with a brief note on Daimler Truck Asia’s (DTA) organization formation in 2015. He explained how synergies of DICV and Fuso with other South East Asia entities would result in opportunities for Indian suppliers. Also, he emphasized on part export business through the DICV Consolidation Centre. Till now, more than 26 million parts have been exported to other Daimler entities – thus supporting the Indian government initiative “Make in India”.

Sharma showed that suppliers can support various DTA projects by being adaptive regarding market regulations, flexible in terms of their manufacturing foot print and efficient in matters of cost competitiveness. And, of course, he  specified how these three pillars can help them grow within the Daimler Supplier Network.

Amit Sharma sharing the achievements of exports from DICV to other Daimler entity.

Three categories, five winners

As perfect final of the Supplier Meet, DICV honored the best suppliers in the three major categories of Partnership, Innovation and Performance along with two Special Awards for exemplary project execution and exemplary effort.

Winners and nominees of the Daimler Supplier Award India.


Dec 07, 2016
Elvina Wolf