TotalFinaElf Pumps Rs 30 Lakh Into SCM Solution

by Amit Tripathi    May 05, 2005

In order to increase and monitor secondary sales, TotalFinaElf India Ltd, the Indian arm of the global oil and gas major, has begun deploying Forum, a supply chain management solution from the stable of Sify.

Elaborating on the use of Forum to CXOtoday, George Mathew, manager-IT, TotalFinaElf India Ltd. said, “Forum has two segments in the same solution, namely, the head office version residing at the head office server, and the distributor version residing at the distributors end. Each distributor would be provided with a particular FTP IP address, which will be validated by the head office end of the solution when the distributor logs in and subsequently the desired data exchanges can be pursued.”

Commenting on the development, P. K. Mittal, senior vice president, sales and marketing, TotalFinaElf India Ltd, said, “This will strengthen our supply chain management with a view to improve service levels to our network and ensure better availability of our products both to our customers and consumers.”

Adds Mittal, “Invoices can be delivered online to distributors, or stock transfer notes could be delivered to depots online. Not only would details be delivered on time, the need to re-enter data on stock receipts is eliminated. Similarly, supply chain partners would become more profitable with continuous replenishment mechanisms to help reduce inventories of supply chain partners, cut their operations costs and make them more efficient.”

Forum collates stock and sales information from branch offices, distributors and retail outlets by means of a simple online process. It improves process efficiency by enabling two-way communication between organizations and their distributors / depots.

Most importantly, the solution is expected to function as a bridge for seamless connectivity between existing applications, with its ability to work with legacy applications, for integration of supply chains with minimum disruption to pre-existing IT infrastructure.

The company officials are also hopeful about the other added benefits that will accrue to them, like getting to know and meet variable customer needs and ensuring that the company’s products are available in the vicinity of the customer.

The company is contemplating the procurement of an IBM Xeon server that will host the solution and, which will run a Windows 2003 operating system. Says Mathew, “Initially we would go ahead with the upgrade of all the file servers. Also, the solution will be deployed first to those distributors who are comfortable with computer usage.”

Once implemented, distributors would be able to connect securely to the Internet for a short time at the end of each day to exchange information online with their principal. TotalFinaElf distributors will use Forum for their sales, distribution and inventory management functions including billing, goods receipts, inventory monitoring and generation of sales reports.

The project is expected to cover about 100 distributors in this year, followed by a further 200 distributors in a phased manner in the near future. Sify expects to complete the implementation over a period of about 24 months. The initiative will incur an expenditure of close to Rs 30 lakh. In addition to Sify the other vendor under evaluation was TCS.

Some of the large organizations, which have deployed Forum for managing their supply chains in India include GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, Pidilite Industries Ltd, Perfetti Van Melle India Ltd and Gillette India Ltd.