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JCB looks to gain from cluster approach

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Buoyed by the success of its basic for suppliers in Ballabhgarh (Haryana), construction equipment manufacturer has kicked off an advanced cluster programme for its vendors.

The request for participation in the second cluster programme, JCB officials said, was made by suppliers who already had completed the first phase of the programme.

Further, JCB vendors across the country, seeing the success of the Ballabhgarh cluster programme, have volunteered for the second basic course, which began in May this year.

The cluster at Ballabhgarh was initiated with the help of the Chandigarh-based CII-AVANTHA Centre for Competitiveness for SMEs. According to CII, JCB is the first-ever original equipment manufacturer in India to have initiated the cluster approach in the earth-moving and construction equipment industry.

The first cluster programme lasted 18 months (May 2010 to November 2011). The second basic cluster programme was launched on 25 May this year.

The reason for the cluster approach lies in the need for JCB’s suppliers to keep pace with its growth. The company has invested significantly in its manufacturing footprint in India in recent years.

“However, it was imperative for us to ensure that our supplier partners are able to keep pace with us,” said a JCB official.

Keeping this in mind, as well as the need to make Indian suppliers capable of supplying components to other JCB plants worldwide, JCB decided to run this “manufacturing excellence” programme with its key strategic suppliers.

The CII-AVANTHA Centre says the first phase of the cluster programme yielded JCB savings of Rs 3.14 crores.

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