Indian Railways digitises entire supply chain

By Wedaeli Chibelushi
State-owned railway company Indian Railways has launched ‘digital contract’, a system of digitisation of its entire supply chain, across all zones...

State-owned railway company Indian Railways has launched ‘digital contract’, a system of digitisation of its entire supply chain, across all zones. This move is meant to improve ease of doing business and transparency.

Integrated digital supply chain digital contract was launched by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on 11 April. The plan is to involve stakeholders such as industries, financial institutions, internal customers of railways and inspecting agencies.

E-tenders and e-auctions are already integrated into the railway system, and there are further plans to build on these aspects to achieve a seamless flow of material, finances and information.

“Digitisation of supply chain should be seen as a tool for generating efficiencies, reducing entry barriers and transaction costs and increasing transparency,” a senior Railway Ministry official told the Economic Times.

The official also said that digitisation of processes can help to link budgets directly with outcomes, a move that the government is currently focusing on. Digitisation will enable the use of analytics for decision-making and reduce inventories.

Naturally, railways have a huge supply chain to maintain. According to the Economic Times, it involves a recurring expenditure of the order of 50,000 rupees annually.

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