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Tata Chemicals improves its order-to-cash cycle through a benchmarking approach

Published on December 05, 2023

Tata Chemicals operates in two main verticals – basic chemistry products and specialty products. The company’s basic chemistry product range supplies essential ingredients to global leaders in glass, detergents, pharma, biscuit manufacturing, bakery and various other industries. It also operates the largest saltworks in Asia, and ranks as the third largest soda ash and sixth largest sodium bicarbonate manufacturer globally.

Established in 1927, Tata Chemicals has its biggest manufacturing facility in Mithapur, Gujarat, India. As part of its endeavour to be a top-tier sustainable chemistry company, Tata Chemicals wanted to revisit its processes.

Continuing their engagement with Tata Business Excellence Group (TBExG), after the intervention on improving its asset management processes, Tata Chemicals wanted to learn from group companies and improve its order-to-cash (O2C) cycle. For this engagement, TBExG requested Hari H, Regional Head of Sales for South and West, Tata Steel, to be a part of the team and share his expertise on the subject.

Mr Hari and the team began the exercise with a study of the existing O2C cycle at Tata Chemicals. This was done through a study of the existing documents and a series of interactions with the team at Tata Chemicals. The existing process was then benchmarked against the standard framework of the O2C cycle, as prescribed by the American Productivity and Quality Centre (APQC). The team, then looked at the possible opportunities that emerged, as a result of the study and the comparison.

The team then presented Tata Chemicals with a set of recommended improvements based on these identified areas. The team also studied practices of other Tata group companies to understand their O2C processes and relevance for Tata Chemicals. After a series of brainstorming sessions, discussions and studying various practices, the team shortlisted and recommended the most high-impact practices in asset management to Tata Chemicals.

The recommendations included a unified workflow-based approval system, an integrated O2C platform for customers and use of TOC for replenishments. These also covered aspects of implementation of digital tools, advanced analytics, micro-segmentation and use of market intelligence for improvements.

The recommendations also included practices from Tata Motors and Tata Steel that could benefit Tata Chemicals.

The senior leadership found the suggestions very relevant and compelling and committed to one-on-one conversations with the practice owners at group companies, assisted by TBExG.


I think these are very good recommendations and implementing even 30% of these would make a significant difference to our organisation.”

— R Mukundan, MD and CEO, Tata Chemicals