CEAT – Running a High-Performance Inbound Supply Chain to Make More High-Performance Tires

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Company Profile: One of Asia’s largest automotive tyre manufacturers.

Supply Chain Type: Regular, FTL, 3PL Market Vehicle, Inbound Raw Materials.

3PL/4PL Partners Tracked: 15+

Visibility Resolution: Shipment-level.

Parameters Monitored: Location, Route Deviation, ETA.

CEAT Tyres Challenges

  • Inability to organize inbound shipments of raw materials from numerous suppliers.
  • Needed a way to track shipments in real-time on a “per-trip” basis that can work with 3PLs or hired/leased transport.

The Roambee Solution

CEAT deployed an on-demand shipment monitoring solution within two weeks on their FTL loads shipped on hired market vehicles.

The Impact

  • 0% factory downtime due to material unavailability.
  • Smart Manufacturing and inventory optimization through Just-in-time(JIT) inventory.
  • Better ETA predictability to make more realistic production plans.
  • Offsetting supply chain disruptions.
  • Supplier benchmarking.
  • Better security, 0% pilferage.
  • Drop in insurance premiums.


“Working with Roambee, we have improved the quality of our supply chain. We have gained speed and significantly driven down cost while gaining more control.”

Akash Tavare
VP - Materials, CEAT Ltd.

“Managing plant inventory levels is a necessity in order to optimize cash flow. We have spent a huge number of hours calling up logistics partners every month tracking the whereabouts of critical material. Now, that’s available at a click, and Roambee has given us top ROI through their pay as you use model.”

Kunal Arora
Manager - Senior Manager Materials, CEAT Ltd.

CEAT Tyres Needed a High-performance Inbound Supply Chain to Make More High-performance Tires

CEAT, one of India's leading tire manufacturers, wanted to improve efficiency and reduce costs. They wanted to do that by making sure production lines at their main facilities always run at peak capacity.


To stabilize and boost manufacturing process efficiencies, CEAT needed to make sure there’s always enough raw rubber and other materials on hand so they never have to halt production. CEAT also wanted to make sure they’re not overstocking raw materials, of course, reducing their working capital as well as spends on storage and security.

CEAT Tyres' Ask

Production Efficiency

Shipment Predictability

Flexibility to Hire Ad-hoc Transport

Shipment Security

Lower Operational & Logistics Costs

What CEAT needed was JIT

Just-in-time delivery of Just-in-time inventory.

They tried to do that by streamlining procurement, working on their inbound supply of raw materials in order to organize and predict delivery schedules. The problem was, they weren’t working with just one supplier.

Overcoming Supply Chain Inefficiencies

CEAT Tyres Tried, and Tired

CEAT gets most of its important raw materials from a number of suppliers across the Southern Indian state of Kerala, all of which gets routed to one of three production plants in western India.

The most cost-effective way to handle a large inbound supplier network like that is to hire private transport vehicles (3PLs) as needed.

While that approach reduced the cost of carting in raw materials, they threw up a whole new set of troubles.

The private transporters that handled inbound shipments weren’t exclusive to CEAT, which means CEAT had no way to know when the shipment of raw rubber they’re expecting would actually arrive. Since most of the vehicles they hire don’t have a GPS tracker fitted, the only means of tracking raw materials in transit (in real-time) was to keep calling drivers for updates.

Obviously, that didn’t work.

CEAT spent hundreds of hours calling up logistics partners trying to keep track of wayward shipments.

It didn’t really help.

There were still infrequent — but persistent — delays in the arrival of raw rubber, which made it difficult for CEAT to keep manufacturing schedules on track.

Production lines would idle when raw materials didn’t arrive on time, or they’d be overworked to make up for the sporadic downtime.

Either way, things weren’t going to plan.

CEAT knew that in order to manage their production schedule, they first had to manage the inbound supply of their raw materials. To do that, they needed to track and manage the vehicles bringing their raw materials in.

The easiest way for CEAT to do that would be to use its own transport fleet.

CEAT didn’t want to do that — it was too expensive.

Purchasing and maintaining vehicles isn’t an option when you’re running an empty load half the time.

Another option would have been to fit GPS vehicle trackers on the vehicles bringing in raw materials.

CEAT couldn’t do that — it was too complicated.

Market vehicles are hired ad-hoc, so the installation and removal of GPS vehicle trackers would be difficult, and expensive.

To make matters worse, CEAT was also having trouble with theft.

CEAT saw repeated pilferage of raw materials, even the hijacking of complete truck loads. CEAT suspected that drivers working for its 3PLs were colluding with pilferers, but they had no way to prove it.

Financial losses due to repeated pilferage kept growing, and worse, so did insurance premiums. CEAT paid a hefty sum to insure its shipments, premiums that kept climbing with every stolen shipment.

CEAT didn’t know what to do.

So they asked someone who did.

The Roambee Solution

Realistic ETAs Through Real-time Monitoring

Roambee told CEAT they shouldn’t track their shipments by tracking vehicles, it doesn’t work. Instead, Roambee told CEAT to track their shipments by, you guessed it, tracking their shipments.


Roambee's Solution

Real-time Shipment Visibilty.

Roambee's Solution

Real-time Alerts

Roambee helped CEAT to deploy its portable wireless monitoring devices — the Bees — at the origin of every shipment, putting them with the raw rubber sheets. There was a Bee in every shipment, of every truck, from every supplier — allowing CEAT to constantly monitor FTL shipments on market vehicles as they happened.

Once the shipment reached its destination, the Bees were unloaded with the goods, and Roambee managed their recovery.

Roambee’s always-on cloud platform provided CEAT with real-time information about their shipments, generating alerts in case of delays in departures, route deviations, unexpected stops, or anything that affects a shipment’s ETA.

This helped CEAT plan and execute precise production schedules based on inventory — both in the warehouse and on the road — to guarantee just-in-time delivery and smarter manufacturing operations. It also helped CEAT evaluate and benchmark suppliers and their transporters, improving their procurement operations further by sourcing more from their best performers.


Realistic ETAs

Real-time & Optimized Inventory

Reduced Operational Costs

0% Theft

Carrier Flexibility

Supplier Benchmarking

But Wait ... There's More!

The ability to monitor consignments also helped CEAT secure their shipments better, allowing them to track theft and recover stolen goods. The ability to track their goods in transit also helped CEAT bust a ring of thieves that regularly skimmed from their shipments. What’s more, the added security also meant they could negotiate a lower insurance premium with their insurance provider.

CEAT Tyres' newest advantages

Supply Chain Predictability

Efficient Always-on Production Line

JIT Inventory

Lower Insurance Premiums

How CEAT Tyres Run Today

  • CEAT is now saving more through JIT inventory and a production line with ZERO downtime.
  • CEAT is now spending less on insurance and replacing stolen inventory.
  • CEAT is now predicting ETAs with greater accuracy.
  • CEAT is NOW in Control with Roambee.

It’s Easy to Get Started with Roambee

See for yourself why hundreds of companies across the globe are using Roambee's innovative technology and affordable pricing. Enjoy real-time, global visibility and monitoring services for goods and assets with no upfront investment in hardware or software.

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