S&OP Technology Drives the Alignment that Enables Agility


Alignment and agility go together. The overall goal for S&OP as agility increases is to align on sales, orders, and shipments, but additionally to be able to align on market data, such as distributor pull through, retail sales, supplier inputs, and market drivers.

Each goal along the way to S&OP maturity will require orchestration with technology that helps to create visibility and alignment. Beginning with demand and supply, then integrating inventory, manufacturing and finance to determine what tradeoffs in the models could occur based on fluctuations or disruption.

Supply chain executives must be able to manage the plan against the execution by establishing balance between the “S” and “OP” sides of the equation. This is best achieved when cross-functional collaboration is elemental to the process and breaks down the individual cycles to align and reconcile them against the plan.

In other words, everyone must be on the same page and understand the impacts of the decisions made against each functional area. With this in place, the transition can be made from measuring and tracking volume and balancing demand and supply to analyzing profitability. Technology enables these transitions in maturity to occur.

Today, only about 20 percent of organizations will say their S&OP process is balanced between sales and operations. The organizations that lean toward one side or the other in the S&OP equation tend to have a more functional organization that really hasn’t established alignment or defined agility.

Doing so requires technology that can help you orchestrate a progressive and balanced path to S&OP maturity. Technology designed specifically to integrate cross-functional data and provide visibility across all of the inputs to S&OP replaces a disparate collection of spreadsheets, business intelligence and traditional supply chain reporting tools.
S&OP technology provides a central cross-functional planning environment that enables…

  • The S&OP process to become an input to budget, but without introducing constraints on the process, to ensure that companies have the ability to become more market-driven and to maximize opportunities that are more profitable.
  • A move from looking at inventory levels to assessing inventory form, such as finished goods, return inventory, and obsolete inventory. This visibility enables companies to hold back supply to wait for demand, thereby increasing agility.
  • Development of an S&OP process that allows you to look at inventory functions, such as cycle stock, safety stock, in-transit inventories, seasonal bills, promotional inventories, and new product launch builds to decide which forms of inventory to hold and which to push.
  • Visibility into costs that enable better management of operating margins. One of the key elements of agility is to be able to determine cost so that when you do the modeling of demand and supply volatility you can answer the question: Can we have the same cost, quality and customer service?

It is difficult for companies to become agile when visibility is limited across functions involved in the S&OP process. While companies may have processes in place to manage their supply chain, they will not establish more effective and efficient means of managing the outcomes without S&OP technology.

Technology is the key to the balancing of demand and supply and insights that create the understanding of how the form and function of inventory can impact profitability based on “what-if” analysis against operating margins.

Coordinating Alignment for S&OP
S&OP requires a tremendous amount of cross-functional coordination with marketing, sales, supply chain, finance and IT. Alignment across these functions is critical to reap the benefits of S&OP. The value that results from alignment that drives S&OP includes increased revenues, forecast accuracy, and customer service and decreased inventory and costs, to name a few.

Establishing a supply chain center of excellence is a becoming a best practice for orchestrating this alignment. Thirty-seven percent of respondents to a Supply Chain Insights survey say they have a supply chain center of excellence. But only 56 percent of them say they’re successful in managing it.

If your organization wants to accelerate S&OP maturity with agile practices, alignment must be part of the plan. A center of excellence enables the establishment of defined metrics, process best practices, planning and strategy. As you can see, S&OP maturity is about agility and reliant on alignment for successful outcomes. Technology is the facilitator that simplifies the complexity involved.

Who Has the Best Supply Chain? And Is That the Right Question to Ask?


How do you “rank” a supply chain? How can you compare the supply chain of a consumer packaged goods company to that of an automaker or a pharmaceutical company? Each one faces unique challenges, courts diverse customers, and encounters different risks.

Gartner makes its annual assessment with its Supply Chain Top 25. It’s a relative industry standard after ten years, but faces a notable critic in Lora Cecere of Supply Chain Insights, whose thoughts on the Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 can be found here and here.

Lora recognizes that a valid need does exist to have a “measuring stick” for supply chains, while also questioning the goal of identifying supply chains as “the best.” So she and Supply Chain Insights set out to assess global supply chains with a different goal in mind: measuring improvement. As a result, they developed the Supply Chain Index, which is based on analysis of financial balance sheet and income statement data for the period of 2006-2013, as available, and cooperative research conducted with Arizona State University.

Two years of that research culminated this week in Supply Chain Insights’ “Supply Chains to Admire” report, which uses Supply Chain Index data to analyze the progress of companies within 13 industries for performance and improvement. The “Supply Chains to Admire” were determined to be operating at top performance levels and still driving improvement.

So who made the list? Congratulations go to these “Supply Chains to Admire”:

  • Anheuser-Busch InBev N.V.
  • Apple Inc.
  • Audi AG
  • BASF SE
  • Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Colgate Palmolive Company
  • Eastman Chemical Company
  • EMC Corporation
  • General Mills, Inc.
  • Intel Corporation
  • Nike, Inc.
  • Ralph Lauren Corporation
  • Seagate Technology PLC
  • Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited
  • TRW Automotive

Supply Chain Insights created a chart to show the differences between its approach to assessing supply chains and that of Gartner’s:

SCI-vs-Gartner

In her Supply Chain Shaman blog, Lora lists lessons learned from the research:

  • Despite a rise in demand and supply volatility, companies are becoming more resilient in 11 out of 15 companies studied. However, due to a variety of factors, companies are losing ground on driving progress on both inventory turns and operating margin. Supply Chain Insights believes that this is largely due to rising complexity.
  • Companies are not doing as well as Lora thought they were doing on driving balance sheet improvement. There are a lot of projects, but many companies are struggling to see these results on the balance sheet. Nine out of ten companies are stuck at this intersection.
  • Lora is surprised at how many companies are raising improvement in one of the three metrics, but not driving performance improvements in the total portfolio. This is often due to the lack of understanding of the supply chain as a complex system. Supply Chain Insights finds that companies will establish metric targets in isolation and throw the supply chain out of balance.
  • There are a lot of misconceptions about inventory. It is a hot spot of misunderstanding. Inventory is one of two primary buffers in the supply chain. A buffer absorbs volatility. With the rise of demand and supply volatility, buffers are more important that ever. However, most companies are still looking at inventory levels, and there are a host of crazy consultants running from company to company advocating cutting inventory to free up cash. Cutting inventory without right-sizing the form and function of inventory throws the supply chain out of balance. Each industry has a very different potential, and it is important to not generalize the answer.
  • Excellence is easier to say than to do.

Today Supply Chain Insights wraps up its Global Summit, during which Lora and her research team delved further into the “Supply Chain to Admire” methodology and results. The event, which was held in Scottsdale, AZ, and streamed live on the web, also featured an agenda packed with compelling presentations from supply chain thought leaders.

Were you at the Supply Chain Insights Global Summit (or watching online) this week? What did you think of the “Supply Chains to Admire”? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

New Documentary Examines the Evolution from “Supply Chain” to “Value Chain”


The traditional notion of supply chain management takes a linear approach to moving goods from the supplier’s supplier to the customer’s customer. Anyone involved in the industry knows that today’s marketplace dynamics are anything but linear. So a “supply chain” becomes a bit of a misnomer. The term “value chain” was popularized in the 1980s and gained momentum in the late 1990s as business became increasingly global.Traditional SC

A value chain involves conversations among multiple partners in the chain that may not be directly “next to” each other. This model has evolved as modern, global business necessitated that manufacturing and distribution become more collaborative and mutually beneficial for all parties.

Value chainTIA NOW, who provides programming on the latest information and communication technology (ICT) insights and trends, recently published a documentary on this topic entitled, “The Value Chain: Building Value in the Chain.” Here’s a description of the film, which explores the evolution of yesterday’s supply chain to what’s now known as the value chain.:

No matter where you are in the supply chain of the ICT industry, collaboration between your suppliers and customers increasingly dictates the success of your new products and services. The value chain is changing with each cycle, from chip maker to end user and everybody in between. So how does increased collaboration help strengthen your company’s position in the marketplace? What is driving a more communicative value chain towards multi-vendor systems and increased demand for heterogeneous technologies and applications?

EJ documentaryEJ Tavella, Chief Evangelist and Vice President Strategic Sales and Solutions at Steelwedge, is featured in the documentary as an expert on supply chain management in the Silicon Valley.

EJ discusses the old way that businesses managed their supply chains, stating, “When you looked at most of the people I worked with in the Silicon Valley, they thought of their supply chain as one of their golden jewels. They didn’t want to share information. They wanted to make sure that how they did it was specific to their business. They would share information, but share it sparingly. You’d see companies that would specifically give one set of plans to a supplier because they wanted them to perform to that, while they had their own set of internal plans.”

Drawing on the depth of experience of numerous supply chain experts interviewed in the film, the documentary goes on illustrate how the value chain concept has driven more cooperative business processes, to the benefit of everyone involved. You can view the documentary here.

Steelwedge has championed supply chain collaboration for more than a decade, developing technology that extends your planning process to your partners and customers to provide an outside-in perspective. Steelwedge customers can securely share forecast and supply planning assumptions with key partners to dramatically improve everyone’s planning accuracy.

Have you been in the industry long enough to experience the shift from “supply chain” to “value chain”? Share your thoughts on the evolution in the comments!

S&OP Agility is About Maturity


Agility in the supply chain is the ability to recalibrate the plan while maintaining comparable cost, quality and customer service. According to research by Supply Chain Insights, 85% of supply chains have experienced a disruption and 90% are grappling with skyrocketing costs and supply volatility. The ability to address these issues to maximize opportunities and profitability grows as supply chain management increases in agility. Getting there is reliant on the maturity of sales and operations planning (S&OP) processes.

Maturity in S&OP processes depends upon developing the ability to drive a response quickly within the supply chain when an event impacts demand or supply. While many supply chain executives may define agility as the ability to shorten cycle times, they’re overlooking the possibility that they may just be empowering their teams to do the wrong thing faster. Responsiveness must be based on decisions made with insights derived from cross-functional alignment and integrated data.

Efficiency must lead to effectiveness. In a poll of 66 supply chain executives conducted by Supply Chain Insights, 89% of them rated agility as highly important, but only 27% of them said their companies had achieved it. This is the gap that needs to be closed to enable supply chains the ability to minimize impacts from disruption and volatility.

S&OP Maturity Is an Evolution

Because S&OP encompasses many disciplines across a company, it takes time to increase agility. As your S&OP maturity evolves through each stage, there are three questions to answer:

  • What is the goal? It’s imperative to get stakeholders to agree. Goals will also change as maturity increases. For example, a recent Supply Chain Insights survey found these goals in place for supply chain executives in regards to maturity:
  • How do you measure it? Measurements must direct improvements to performance. Focus on the metrics that matter, such as revenue profitability, cash-to-cash inventory turns, and customer fulfillment.
  • What defines success? Balance must be achieved for S&OP so that the plan can be connected with execution.

Answering these three questions can become extremely challenging when you consider that companies, on average, have four S&OP processes, not just one.

Agility Requires the Components of S&OP to Work Together

To get to the answers, companies must focus first on the definition of S&OP. The “S” in S&OP, Sales, is really about focusing on the market drivers that shape demand. To get to these insights, companies need to build the technology and process capabilities that enable supply chain executives to look at the design of the trade-offs in the value chain in order to conduct “what-if” analysis. The “&” in S&OP is about designing the value chain to optimize tradeoffs, minimize risk, balancing cycles and orchestrating demand. This, in turn, allows the “OP” or operations part of the planning to put those tradeoffs into practice with more informed decisions about the most effective means to make, source and deliver. The combination of all three of the components of S&OP enables the improvement of the organization’s capability to increase agility, as well as to improve alignment.

As agility increases, supply chain executives will also be able to gauge higher results for the five qualitative factors that help assess your organization’s success in closing the variance between forecast and actual equilibrium between demand and supply. If you’d like to learn more about whether your S&OP process delivers agility, watch this webinar with Lora Cecere of Supply Chain Insights.

Using S&OP to Reach Equilibrium – 5 Qualitative Factors


EquilibriumEquilibrium is the state at which market supply and demand are in balance. It’s common sense to want to produce the amount of product that the market will bear, but that has traditionally been a difficult goal to achieve given the nature of change in today’s markets. Sales and operations planning (S&OP) as an integrated business process has been around for more than 30 years. Success, however, still has varying levels of attainment.

Traditional supply chain planning has been focused on improving the work conducted within organizational silos that contribute to operations. From raw materials to production to sales and service, there are many steps and processes that cover the supply chain from end to end. Coordinating these and gaining visibility of the “big picture” is the outcome that S&OP brings to help companies close the variance between forecasted and actual equilibrium.

While there are plenty of quantitative factors that apply to S&OP, including improved inventory management and more predictable revenues, it’s important to consider the qualitative aspects of how a successful S&OP process can transform your business environment.

5 Qualitative Factors for S&OP:

1. Improved Teamwork: Collaboration is one of the key elements of a well-executed S&OP process. Rather than working in organizational silos, people begin to work cross-functionally, applying the insights from one part of the business to how they may impact another. This collaboration also helps direct reports view the business through the “glasses” their bosses use, helping them to see further than the immediate situation they deal with on a daily basis. This improved understanding can help teams to better achieve both short- and longer-term goals for the business.

Question: Has teamwork in your company visibly improved since you’ve implemented S&OP?

2. Decreased Firefighting: If you can’t get demand and supply to balance routinely—not all the time—then your S&OP process is not what it should be. If the norm is expedited firefighting on a daily basis, it’s likely the result of a lack of cross-functional communications. Those communications should enable teams and departments to proactively make adjustments based on timely information communicated from another area that has direct implications to responsibilities in another. Cross-functional collaboration is necessary for the identification and resolution of problems and issues.

Question: Has firefighting decreased since S&OP was put in place?

3. Fewer Surprises: With S&OP driving a consolidated operational plan with improved teamwork and decreased firefighting, issues can be identified more quickly to keep them from becoming real problems. There’s no uncertainty about which numbers to use for decision making because everyone is working from the same numbers. And, with the ability to look down the road, past the immediate time frame, your teams can see things coming and become more proactive and predictive.

Question: When surprises occur such as demands spikes, or supply crashes, does your S&OP process allow for mid period adjustments to be made quickly?

4. Forward Visibility: A best practice for S&OP is to have 18 months of forward visibility. This length of time is important because it covers an entire fiscal year, including the span of time for planning. When you have a forward, rolling organizational plan, each month during review it is adjusted. This way, you not only see things coming, but there is much less work to do during the traditional planning exercise because the plans are being scrubbed continuously to account for changes over time and their projected impact.

Question: Does your annual financial planning process use demand plans and supply plans from executive S&OP or does all of the data it uses come from other sources?

5. One Set of Data: Even though different departments need to view numbers differently—for example, finance in dollars, supply chain in volume, and operations in hours—it’s critical for S&OP that all departments are working off the same set of numbers. When each business unit is calculating from the same starting point, then equilibrium or balance is more likely to be achieved. Without it, the variance between forecast and actual will continue to produce a noticeable gap.

Question: Are all departments working from the same set of numbers?

These qualitative factors are important indications about how well your company will be able to use S&OP to reach equilibrium between demand and supply, and each of them plays a role in how well your company will be able to reach beyond the basics to support strategic initiatives.

Do you have any other qualitative benefits that you measure in your S&OP process? Let us know in the comments.

The Top 6 Capabilities of an Ideal S&OP Solution


According to recent Gartner research, companies that are at the forefront of sales and
operations planning (S&OP) have significantly improved their overall business performance. These companies attribute a more than 7% improvement in cash flow and 6% improvement in gross profit to a successful S&OP process. Moreover, these companies enjoy twice the improvements in areas like working capital and total supply chain costs than their counterparts. These staggering statistics further demonstrate the potential benefits associated with a successful S&OP process. So what prevents your company from
successfully implementing a mature S&OP process and reaping the same benefits?

While role of executive sponsorship and open collaboration between cross-functional teams plays a key role in S&OP success, the primary reason that most companies cannot advance beyond Stage 2 of the Gartner Five-Stage Sales and Operations Planning Maturity Model is a lack of enabling S&OP technology. We’ve written about the five stages of S&OP maturity before, but here’s another look at Gartner’s S&OP Maturity model:

Gartner 5 stages

So what are the key components of a technology solution that can advance you past Stage 2 maturity? The following list features six capabilities that are a must-have in an S&OP software solution:

  1. A single unified data model for global scenario management across supply, demand and finance with ability to drive and reconcile demand, supply and finance plans from it
  2. Rich collaborative capabilities, so various team members can work together on a shared view of the data
  3. An easy-to-use platform with an Excel-based front end, so teams can start using the solution without any training
  4. Online analytics that enable scenario modeling about potential future events and then help the team pinpoint the best possible trade-offs within its specific business constraints for better and faster decision making
  5. Mobile and Web-based access, so team members can access information and collaborate wherever they are
  6. Cloud rather than an on-premise solution for two reasons: a) The solution must be able to bring data from multiple sources (both, external and internal) for global scenario management across supply, demand and finance – cloud offers a better architecture for it, and b) the ability to deploy the solution quickly across the organization so everyone is aligned, which is the hallmark of a cloud model because no hardware and software purchase is needed, no data center setup is required and no CapEx needs to be approved and allocated.

 
Addressing all six must-have capabilities listed above, the Steelwedge cloud solution is used by respected enterprises across the world to improve their S&OP process. Key platform and application capabilities include:

The following benefit curve highlights that companies plateau on the Gartner S&OP
maturity model if they continue to run their S&OP process using multiple spreadsheets.

SW Benefit Maturity Curve

Steelwedge not only enables them to get on the right trajectory, but it also accelerates time to value with its single data model, rich planning and analytics capabilities and cloud-based architecture. Companies have improved the maturity levels of their S&OP process and experienced significant improvements in their operational metrics–check out some of our success stories here.

 

Supply Chain Represents Opportunity to Get More Women in the C-Suite


Women in the C-SuiteThe fact that women are under-represented in the highest positions in corporate America isn’t new. But the numbers continue to improve. A 2013 Forbes Insight study found that the total number of female CEOs globally is up to 14% from 9%. And 24% of senior leadership positions globally are occupied by women, a 3% increase over the previous year. The report indicates the top five positions where women enter senior management include chief finance officer (31%), human resources director (30%), corporate controller (14%), chief marketing officer (13%) and sales director (13%).

So where does supply chain fit in here? According to SCM World research, only 5% of top-level supply chain positions at Fortune 500 companies are filled by women–compared to 15% all executive officer positions at Fortune 500 companies. This statistic is relatively dismal, but with women representing 37% of students enrolled in university supply chain courses, the number of female senior supply chain executives is likely to increase in the future.

A recent Fortune article makes the point that getting more women in supply chain management leadership positions will translate into more women in the C-suite. Because supply chain management touches so many aspects of the business, supply chain executives have visibility into a broad spectrum of company dynamics–putting them in a prime position to ascend to the C-suite.

Elevating women within the ranks of supply chain management leadership requires attention at all levels of an organization. Veterans in the field need to nurture the potential of rising female talents in the industry. Human resources and hiring managers should make a point to look to diversify the gender base at entry-level hiring. With a focused effort, more women will emerge as supply chain leaders, and make their way to the C-suite.

Steelwedge is proud to count some leading women in supply chain management as our customers and partners. Check out their thought leadership in some of our recent webinars:

“GoPro Captures a Single Source of Truth with S&OP Technology” featuring Jennifer Ubamos, Senior Sales Process Manager, GoPro

“Building S&OP Shock Absorbers for your Business” featuring Lisa Aleman, Director, Sales and Operations Planning and Control, Radisys

“A Practitioner’s Guide to Successful S&OP and Demand Management” featuring Seema Phull, Partner, NorthFind Partners

How does your organization hire and promote women to supply chain management leadership positions? Let us know in the comments!

Does Finance Drive Your Annual Planning Cycle? Why S&OP is a Better Way to Build Your Budget


Budget“I hate this time of year! Finance wants my numbers next week. I don’t know what our sales or production will be next year. I guess I’ll use this year’s numbers and adjust a bit. There’s got to be a better way.”

Sound familiar? The annual budget planning cycle is a necessary yet painful time for many manufacturers.  Finance requires a budget for the next fiscal year and draws inputs from various contributors including Sales, Engineering, Research & Development, Operations, Human Resources and Marketing. The process is intended to yield a more accurate budget for which each department head will be held accountable for next year’s performance.

What would you do? If you’re like most department heads, you’ll under-forecast sales and overestimate production costs and resources required. This, in turn, puts the burden back on Finance and senior leadership to enforce reasonableness, creating multiple iterations of plan adjustments and justifications.

There IS a better way…

Sales and operations planning (S&OP) enables companies to eliminate this painful cycle. Instead of Finance governing an annual event, S&OP refreshes future projections with a defined cadence, typically monthly. For example, an S&OP planning horizon of 18 months allows planners to see a full 12-month forecast for next year six months prior to start of next fiscal year.

If you’re thinking, “So now we’re repeating the budget planning every month? That sounds like 12 times the work,” please keep reading.

Why a budget driven by S&OP is better

The essence of S&OP is collaboration. Cross-functional participation is mandatory, and senior leadership support is critical. Once you’ve established an effective and efficient S&OP process, the annual budget flows right out of S&OP.

Here are some of the key benefits of an S&OP-driven annual budget:

  • Leverages continuous collaborative planning
  • Increases cross-functional participation in developing budget
  • Ensures participants are more informed and less apt to make rough guesses
  • Incorporates both top-down and bottom-up forecasting
  • Increases acceptance of company rather than Finance budget
  • Pulls Finance into S&OP process and out of budget governance
  • Improves budget accuracy
  • Ensures budget feasibility via S&OP demand and supply reviews

Using the Budget

Once the budget is set for the new year, what’s next? The budget should serve as a comparison to better understand deviations. If actual sales results are lower than budget, why? If production costs differ from budget, why? What can we learn from these deviations to improve future plans?

Business agility requires quick realignment of plans and “what-if” scenario planning. A Finance-driven budget disconnected from other planning systems means that Finance does not have the right tools to quickly adjust to operations plan changes, calculate expected revenue and margins based on the new plan and use that information to create a pro forma P&L. A pro forma statement would immediately tell the team if the proposed operations plan can meet or beat revenue and margin targets and give them the comfort they need to approve the plan. Without the right tools, Finance has to go through a tedious, manual process to identify potential shortfalls in revenue and margin from the proposed operations plan.

S&OP should be a great “friend” to Finance. Yet, many financial leaders stick to a painful, inefficient annual budget process. It’s time to pull Finance into the S&OP process and let them say hello to their new friend.

Are You Ready to Select an S&OP Vendor? RFP Help Is Here


RFPimageSelecting a software vendor can feel like running a gauntlet. Big budgets are at stake, and oftentimes, choosing a vendor who can help a company achieve its business goals directly affects the career trajectory of those who have made the vendor selection.

The selection of a sales and operations planning (S&OP) solutions provider is no different. Multiple factors must be weighed in the decision-making process. Internal stakeholders have to align on a selection, and it’s often challenging for companies to know exactly what kind of technology and services they require to be truly successful at S&OP. It’s a daunting task, to be sure.

Creating a request for proposal (RFP) serves as a critical step in choosing an S&OP solutions provider. An RFP enables you to measure all vendors on the same criteria to ensure that they can meet your goals, and allows you to leverage better control over the vendor selection process.

But how do you get started in creating an RFP for an S&OP solutions provider?

Steelwedge is here to help. We’ve designed an RFP template to help you consider and rate key functionalities that an S&OP solution must have, and includes guidelines for considering important profile features that an S&OP solution vendor must have.

Some highlights of this S&OP RFP tool:

  1. S&OP Solution – Illustrates the requirement for a cross-functional planning environment to support S&OP stakeholders and their planning terms.
  2. Key Functionality – Over 50 key functional requirements for S&OP technology to help drive agility and adoption of your S&OP process. Use the scoring criteria to compare vendors and determine the best fit for your organization.
  3. Solution Profile – Key considerations when evaluating S&OP technology, vendor expertise and focus.

 

Download the RFP template by clicking here.

In addition, Steelwedge hosted a webinar entitled “S&OP RFP 101:
Evaluating Your ERP Vendor’s Solution vs. the Best-of-Breed,” which can be accessed on-demand here. This webinar is designed for companies considering implementing collaborative S&OP technology who need to understand how to overcome common business, technical and organizational challenges. S&OP experts discuss recommended project phase components and key project milestones, as well as the inherent value found in the newest features and functionality.

These two resources will get you well on your way to creating the S&OP RFP that’s right for your company.

Do you have any RFP best practices to share? Let us know in the comments section.

Corporate Social Responsibility at Work: Steelwedge and the Government Primary School, Borabanda, Hyderabad


With a major office in Hyderabad, Steelwedge recognized that there were significant opportunities to help improve the community there. So in January 2014, as part of its corporate social responsibility program, Steelwedge began working with Government Primary School (GPS), Borabanda. Our talented and dedicated workforce in the Hyderabad office has taken on this project with great passion and enthusiasm, contributing time to share knowledge by leading training and instructional classes to the students at GPSB Borabanda.

GPSB classroom

Steelwedge connected with GPS Borabanda after contacting government education body Rajiv Vidya Mission for a school recommendation. After visits to various schools, Steelwedge chose to work with GPSB for several reasons: the school lacked resources and staff; the school was never approached by any other corporation or organization for any collaborative quality-enhancement or infrastructure development project; and despite a lack of amenities, the school’s average attendance rate is 78%.

About the Government Primary School, Borabanda

Government Primary School in Sai Baba Nagar, Borabanda is the only government-run primary school for more than 800 families in the slum-like municipal area of Borabanda in Hyderabad.

The school opened in 2000 under the Government of India education policy of providing free education for all. The primary school serves children in classes 1 to 5 via English, Telugu and Urdu. The school welcomes any child eager to learn and join the academic community. Classes include English, Telugu, math, and environmental studies, which includes both social studies and science. Six teachers and one principal comprise the staff.

Government Primary School, Borabanda: Student Profile

  • Parents: typically working odd jobs such as drivers, cleaners, laundry-helpers, domestic servants.
  • Monthly household income of parents: US$150 USD with both parents working.
  • Monthly household income if children of the family work too: US$200-250
  • Student Age Profile: 5 – 10 yrs
  • No. of students in English Medium: 75
  • No. of students in Telugu Medium: 100
  • No. of students in Urdu Medium: 55

GPSB maintains an objective to dissuade parents from sending children to work and encourages them to keep children in school for the long-term benefit to their families, for a better future for the children and to improve the community.

GPSB class

The Mid-day Meal Scheme, a government-run meal program, offers the students meals for free every weekday. This has been a successful program, keeping children in school and preventing malnourishment.

The school aims to recruit more students from the neighborhood and give them a chance at education.

Steelwedge Workshops to Date

Steelwedge and GPS Borabanda have together launched a quality enhancement program to benefit the students of the school. Through this program, Steelwedge will make its resources available through activities such as workshops, competitions, lectures, video screening, mentoring programs, and tailor-made learning initiatives. These programs are included in the curriculum of the school alongside the prescribed government curriculum.

The goal is to expose students to a variety of subject and offer basic understanding and knowledge of skills that could benefit students greatly in secondary and higher schools.

GPSB student

So far, 8 workshops have been successfully held:

  • Inter-class drawing competition
  • Our Country: Our World
  • Spoken English Lessons
  • Our Food: Our Health
  • Reading the Clock
  • Symmetry (Mathematics)
  • Child Rights

Infrastructure and Other Needs

GPS Borabanda has recently moved into a new government building, and though it is an improvement from the prior building, it still lacks basic infrastructure and funds to make necessary improvements. The following is a list of infrastructural needs that the school lacks

  • Fencing, tables, chairs and benches, school bell
  • Supplies – safe drinking water, hand sanitizer, tissues, etc.
  • Technology needs: computers with Internet
  • Library
  • Teaching aides such as maps, charts, and projectors

Learn More

Steelwedge has created social media pages for GPS Borabanda, where you can learn more about the school:

Blog

Facebook

Pinterest

We’re honored to play a role in improving the lives of students at GPS Borabanda. We’d love to hear about other corporate social responsibility programs and help spread the good word. Tell us what your company is doing in the comments section.