Blow Plast To Give IT VIP Treatment This Year

by Amit Tripathi    Sep 07, 2004

As businesses grow, so does the need for enhanced monitoring and analysis. Witnessing a rapid increase in business, Blow Plast Ltd. — the manufacturer of the popular VIP brand of bags in the country — is out on an IT shopping spree, looking to purchase an integrated application like an ERP, centralized networking connectivity and other associated technology requirements.

Speaking to CXOtoday, T R Krishnamurthy, Head-IT, Blow Plast Ltd., said, “Currently the IT usage at our enterprise is in silos. We have disparate applications for finance, sales & distribution, and inventory. Moreover, we have 20 locations across the country, which are also not centrally connected. Thus the need of the hour is to first go for an integrated business application that will provide a real picture of stocks both to the factory as well as the management at the head office. Simultaneously we will embark on the network connectivity of our countrywide locations.”

The company uses an Oracle database, which may be lined up for an upgrade with the influx of new technologies. At the operating system level, except for the messaging solution, which runs on a Linux server (IBM & HP machines), everywhere else Windows is used. But even this minuscule use of Linux has made Krishnamurthy realize that it is much cost effective and stable as compared to Windows.

On the network connectivity Krishnamurthy informs, “We would go for VPN connectivity as VSAT has proved to be expensive. For this we are evaluating most of the top technology providers.”

For all this, the IT head has clear-cut expectations in his mind for the respective technology vendors. Krishnamurthy explains, “The technology provider for both ERP as well as networking should have extensive reach, previous experience, and adequate technical infrastructure. Most importantly, they should be able to provide us service as and when we need.”

While the care and maturity of the new business applications would be done by the internal IT team, Krishnamurthy says that there are plans to outsource the management of the networking infrastructure. He justifies, “I would prefer outsourcing the network management as that way we would be able to take care of our main business, and more so because we are looking at maintaining and supporting geographically separate locations.”

Thus, Krishnamurthy is busy these days in an extensive homework in terms of forming a core committee of functional heads of the enterprise, and defining business processes. Krishnamurthy understands the necessity of that as he says that the success or failure of integrated applications depends on the degree to which the internal as well as external business processes are defined in an enterprise. This is more pertinent as the company would spend to the tune of Rs. 2 crore on these initiatives.

An elated Krishnamurthy has a word or two for his management when he says, “The top management of our enterprise is highly IT savvy and this makes my work easier as far as charting out a process for the technology adoption internally is concerned.” But it gets tough at times, he admits, in convincing the top management in accepting a particular technology, for the same reason.

Launched in 1971, VIP Luggage enjoys 97% brand awareness in India. Its popularity is apparent from the fact that 10,000 direct dealers and several thousand more indirect dealers stock VIP luggage in India alone.