Grindwell Norton Moves To SAP From Customized ERP

by Amit Tripathi    Oct 15, 2004

Grindwell Norton Ltd., a manufacturer of abrasive products, industrial ceramics, fused cast refractories, and solutions for waste-water treatment will roll out SAP ERP as part of the global roll out of the system by the Saint Gobain group.

Speaking to CXOtoday, H.C. Nagaraja, senior manager-systems, Grindwell Norton Ltd., said, “At present we continue to use a customized ERP that has been in use since the 90s. The plan for going over to SAP is as per the decision of our parent company Saint Gobain. The new ERP will be operational at all our 21 branches, four manufacturing units and the corporate office by 2006.”

For its four manufacturing units, the company uses a 64 Kbps leased line with ISDN as the stand by. While the corporate office uses a 2 Mbps leased line, branch offices are on VPN connectivity. The ERP interacts with Oracle 8i database.

Holding the reins of the IT department of a foreign subsidiary, seems to be an easy affair, as the decisions, especially on IT, are mostly taken by the headquarters. So how much of freedom does the IT head in such conglomerates enjoy? Nagaraja says, “Any IT initiative falling within Rs.15 Lakhs is under my purview. Anything above that need to get the headquarter’s sanction.”

But local IT heads like Nagaraja, has his share of worries. Pointing at the drawback associated with using customized ERP, Nagaraja says, “The most significant worry on my part is to retain people in the IT department. Today’s younger technology experts always look for opportunity for learning from their assignments. Since we are using customized ERP as of now, retaining and getting expertise to work on the same is really a challenge.” Moreover, Nagaraja recognizes a pattern amongst today’s IT workforce, especially the younger lot that believes that moving between companies increases their market value.

Tags: ERP