Fertilizer Veteran Opts for SAP ERP

by CXOtoday Staff    Nov 23, 2009


Fertilizer manufacturer - Pradeep Phosphates Limited (PPL), wanted to gain better control of their complex, multi-product manufacturing environment, while meeting the strict quality control requirements faced by the chemical and fertilizer industry.

Company Overview

Pradeep Phospates Limited (PPL), known for its Navratna brand, manufactures high-quality phospatic fertilizers. Headquartered in Bhubhaneshwar, Orissa, it employees around 950 workers and has an annual turnover of around $1.1 billion, with sales spanning 12 states.

Challenges

The fertilizer manufacturing industry plays a vital role in India’s agriculture, but it is challenged by several factors -including high demand for crop-specific products, dependence on expensive imported raw materials, and strict government policies. To achieve operational excellence in this complex environment, PPL needed an integrated and scalable business process framework for the entire enterprise. "We were looking for a comprehensive IT solution that would support our most crucial business functions," said V. Seetaramaiah, general manager of IT for PPL, "including financials and controlling, payroll, human resources, production planning, materials management, procurement, plant maintenance, and sales and distribution."

The Implementation Process

PPl decided to implement SAP ERP to smoothen its business operations. To prepare for a major transformation, the company launched project EMPOWER (enterprise management and process optimization for work excellence and rewards). The first efforts included selecting a core implementation team and reengineering key business processes.

Then with the help of implementation partner Siemens Information Systems, the fertilizer manufacturer rolled out the SAP ERP application across all its offices and production facilities in eight months.

Key Benefits

Today, all PPL facilities operate with a single set of business processes, an integrated information base, and a common business vision. As a result, the company is seeing benefits company-wide - from its corporate offices to its many field locations.

The manufacturer has also accelerated procurement cycle times, resulting in faster lead times - a critical capability in the fertilizer industry where companies must react quickly to global changes in the volatile commodity market.

In addition, PPL has achieved greater visibility across its widespread field operations, giving it greater control over field stocks, sales and distribution efforts, and dealer payments. At PPL’s manufacturing plants, cross-function integration and greater access to performance information drives more efficient management of raw materials, finished goods, and daily production. Closer monitoring of maintenance schedules has also reduced unforseen and costly equipment shutdowns.

Future Plans

Even more changes are on the way at PPL. Going forward, Seetaramajahsaid PPL intends to fine-tune its business processes with management dashboards and additional capabilities for information management.

"Our new technology-based process infrastructure will act as a robust foundation for future improvements," says Seetaramaiah. The company also plans to increase its SAP software base by introducing the SAP advanced planning & Optimization component and the SAP CRM application.