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A Visit to the Reliance Retail Distribution Centre
On the 16 of July, 2014, the ISC Commerce section of HFS was taken to the Reliance Distribution Centre at Bhiwandi,Thane district in order to get an insight into the complex supply chain and use of information technology in the distribution process. The visit being first of its kind we all were extremely excited and enthusiastic about the visit. This educational enterprise was our first trip of the year. It truly was a matter of great privilege and honour to have a firsthand experience of the activities of India's topmost retail company and its distribution centre.

On reaching there we were escorted to the conference room of the distribution centre where Mr. Tushar Patnaik, Vice-president IT SAP and Mr. Darshan Deshpande, Warehouse Manager addressed us and briefed us about the Reliance Industries, it's history ,it's manufacturing units, and it's current financial position in the Indian as well as the World market. They told us some amazing facts about Reliance Retail Pvt.Ltd. being the No. 1 Retail Chain in India having a whopping 15,060 stores with 9,00,000 square feet of retail space, a turnover of Rs.3,71,000 cr and a profit of Rs.2,10,000 cr.

After being given information about Reliance Industries we were briefed about the supply chain and were also told about the SAP software that made this whole process automated. We were then taken around the distribution centre and were told by different department heads about the functioning of the warehouse. First, we were taken to the receiving station where the goods and commodities were delivered by the suppliers in huge lots and were unloaded. This process is called Inbound. Here we were told how the employee s and the guard check documents like the Invoice, the lorry receipt, purchase order etc. Then they verified the price that is the MRP, the expiry date and the case configuration. After the authenticity of these documents was proved, they were unloaded and placed on different racks called pallets and were taken to the place where the goods were stored and finally delivered. The second stage was Replenishment. Here, the goods were stored in huge racks and were given Unique ID numbers which were scanned and their price and quantity were entered manually. The second third and final step is the Cross Dock or Outbound where the goods are readied to be delivered. High demand goods are delivered to stores within 48 hours. Commodities are not stored here for a long period as it hinders with the company's revenue. The distribution centre on an average carries out 50-55 deliveries from vendors per day and supplies those goods to over 150 Reliance stores in their vicinity.

Next, we were taken to the Chocolate Room which was a cold storage where chocolates of different brands were stored. We were also shown the High Value Commodities Room where all products of a higher price range like dry fruits, cosmetics etc. are stored. Towards the end there was a closing session where Mr. Patnaik summed up all the processes and also told us about the way forecasting and demand analysis were done through the system automatically. There was a question and answer session where the students asked various questions about the processes and about Reliance Industries in general.

The distribution centre visit was very informative. It was amazing to see how man and machine collaborated with each other so that people like us can buy commodities with ease and sans any difficulty. It truly was an enriching, wonderful, learning, and a fun-filled experience. And as we commenced our journey home, it was no longer hard to imagine why Reliance was the largest and the topmost retail company in our country.

Last but not the least this visit would not have been possible without the efforts of our teachers. I would like to thank our teachers Mrs. Sangeeta Kapur, Mrs. Shalu Chanana and our beloved Principal Madam, for without them this plan would not have become a reality.

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Hiranandani Foundation School
Wood Street, Patlipada,
Off Ghodbunder Road,
Thane (West), Maharashtra, India
Tel: +91-22-25867300
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