Accelerate Your Business With Enterprise Resource Planning

by Vivek Khanna Senior Vice President - IT & Finance, Havells India Limited

You can’t live with it and you can’t live without it. That pretty much sums up the way CIOs and IT leader think about their ERP systems. One cannot doubt on ERP being an important tool in our business world. As the global economy evolves, there has been a significant development in the small and mid market segment. This growth took place over various verticals of the industry such as manufacturing, retail, services, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and Information Technology sector.  This growth accompanied with the strife and quest for enhancing the total market value of the company has escorted IT leaders to re-look at its procedures and processes. With more and more businesses are starting to compete on a global scale, it has turned out to be a very critical task for them to streamline their operations and processes.

In such a situation, organizations are looking for enterprise software and other technical qualities. Companies today are implementing different practices such as CRM, ERP and other quality improvement systems to utilize their resources effectively. All these techniques are turning out as boon for the companies, helping them by providing better quality and lower cost, which is the key factor to sustain a business in this competitive environment. Implementation of ERP systems has eventually helped small and mid-sized companies to significantly improve their business metrics by process optimization, helping them improve the entire supply chain process with better inventory controls, better reporting to take the decisions, with integrations done across functionalities and by increasing the transparency across the organization.

Trading Accounting Softwares with ERP Accounting Packages

ERP systems are a must thing for all organizations, across all verticals. Even for a hundred crores business, accounting softwares have been reinstated with ERP Accounting packages. At Havells, we first implemented Baan ERP in 1999, and based on this technology we started computerization and made in-house packages. With SAP taking over the ERP market in 2007, we adopted SAP implementation in our system. With ERP coming in, the entire accounting method was computerized and supply chain management was included. With implementation of SAP, the complete supply chain, from our demand to supply, everything was integrated.

With the adoption of ERP in the last 10-12 years there has been a dramatic reduction in the total number of people working in the accounts department. With most activities today being taken care of by ERP, the number of people handling sales and accounts has never witnessed growth in the past two decades. ERP has made it possible to bring out all the systems, all the information on online basis. The purchase department can see the sales department data; the sales department can see the inventory data and the top management has access to any data on a click of a single button.

Delighting Customers with Digitization

With most organizations adopting digitalization and all the processes being carried out on digital platform, customers today are having high demands, insisting the industry to adopt digital processes for improving the user experience. Intuitive interfaces, around-the-clock availability, real-time fulfillment, personalized treatment, global consistency, and zero errors, this is the world to which the customers have become increasingly accustomed and this is what they demand from the industry. 

At Havells, we have adopted end-to-end digitization within the organization. We have implemented SAP, in SAP we have supply chain tools and analytical tools to interact with all the associations. For customer interaction we have customer portals, for suppliers we have supplier portals, for employees, we have employee portals and all these things are further extended to mobility. In 2010, we adopted Mobile-Must policy, so whatever the activity, the technology or the digitization that we are doing, we are bringing the same on mobile also. So, any activity that is getting performed through manual procedures or through paper, we are digitizing the entire process and bringing in the technology.

Technologies like mobility, analytics and big data are also gaining traction. One of them is service improvements as in better interaction with customers & existing business applications. Another is better ROI on mobile applications implementation. However, the most important driving force behind this trend is attributable to another parallel growing trend, Mobile Workforce. Organizations today are using mobile as a major platform for marketing themselves, to connect with dealers, retailers and customers.

Around 30 to 40 percent of our total orders are fetched through the online customer portal. The customers have direct access to the portals where they can book directly on the portal and seamlessly the order is then forwarded to the warehouse. Once the payment criterions are satisfied, the order is displayed in the activity log of the person who handles the dispatch of the products from the warehouse, from where it is taken to the customer. The entire process is automated and without any human interference as a result there is no duplication or error. ERP has done a really good thing in automating everything and without ERP it would not have been impossible for any organization to think of their working. (As told to Deepshikha Singh)