In-house ERP Saves Time & Manpower At Vadilal

by Julia Fernandes    Nov 05, 2004

‘Vadilal’- a name that instantly conjures up images of ice creams and a company that commands 25% of the Indian ice cream market, has developed and implemented an in-house ERP.
The solution has aided the company in registering substantial savings on time and manpower- two very vital business elements.

In an exclusive with CXOtoday, Sanjay Shah- deputy general manager-information technology, Vadilal Industries Ltd., said, “Like all other ERPs, this too has brought about considerable efficiency in the workforce. However, the key benefit is that the organization has been able to register savings in terms of time and manpower.”

Says Shah, “Such is the efficacy of the solution that despite the fact that our business has expanded considerably, we have not felt the need to recruit more staff. It also facilitates timely decision making.”

The ERP deployed across the company s manufacturing plants in India, covers all key areas right from material requisition to sale of finished products. It encompasses finance, accounts with AR/AP/budgeting, costing, marketing, logistics, material management, HR, etc.

Detailing the technicalities, Shah stated that the programs were developed in Developer 2000 Forms version 4.5 and Reports 2.5 on MS-Windows 98. The ERP resides on Oracle 9i, on an Intel-based server with Red Hat Linux Enterprise server edition version 3 as the operating system.

However, what edge does a company have when a solution is developed in-house?

Explains Shah, “This is not a general ERP package, which is developed fully and then implemented at one go. The beauty of creating a solution in-house is that we have the liberty of developing it gradually on a systematic basis, factoring all our user requirements and needs from time to time.”

Created in a phased manner, only the sales order processing and invoicing module was initially developed while the other modules were added subsequently.

Examining some of the challenges that went in the development, Shah recalled that inability on the part of the users to articulate their needs proved to be a troubling factor. Additionally, lack of foresight among users in terms of what they might be required to do next, also hampered development.

Explained Shah, “Due to this sometimes our team was unable to design the database effectively, and often despite adequate care, integration of one system with another became difficult. As a result, we either had to alter the design of our database or map the data of one system with the other.”

However, what factors prompted the ice-cream major to adopt an in-house one?

Reasons Shah, “To begin with branded ERPs often fall short in matching up to specific needs. Secondly, failure stories of branded ERP implementation in some companies has made us wary. And lastly the cost aspect.”

While the debate still rages on between branded and custom-made ERPs, at the end of the day it all boils down to how well a solution can address a company’s needs for maximizing productivity and efficiency.

Tags: Vadilal