Triveni Engineering Looks For PLM, HCM & CRM

by Hinesh Jethwani    Aug 13, 2004

Being a capital industry that follows an “engineered-to-order” model for manufacturing turbines, implementing an ERP for Triveni Engineering was like shooting in the dark. With absolutely no case studies available on similar ERP installations carried out anywhere in the country, Triveni had to rely purely on instincts. In this exclusive report, CXOtoday speaks to the CIO in question, on the status of Triveni’s Rs 3 crore ERP gamble.

Speaking to CXOtoday, Rajiv Jain, DGM - operations, Triveni Engineering, said, “Due to our unique business model, implementing a full-fledged ERP was an extremely high-risk project. We manufacture around 30-35 turbines annually, based on highly specific requirements of our customers. There are absolutely no examples of such niche ERP installations out there, no matter how many seminar’s you attend. Sure, companies can definitely use the services of giants who have international hands-on expertise, like Accenture, PwC, Siemens, etc., but that would stretch technology budgets to the maximum. The challenge lies mainly in the selection of processes that need to be configured, and industries like ours should steer clear of heavy customization, as it proves to be a major roadblock to upgrading in the future.”

“We evaluated several brands like Oracle and JDE, but the decision was finally narrowed down to two choices — SAP and BaaN. We decided against BaaN, since in those days talks of SSA Global’s acquisition were on and we were unsure of what was going to follow,” said Jain. TCS was the implementation partner in the ERP project.

Triveni went live with SAP using the big bang approach on March 2003, and the system was stabilized by December. With almost eight months since stabilization, how has the investment paid off? Jain replied, “People expect the whole world to be available at the touch of a button after investing crores of rupees on an ERP. This is far from reality, and the management of every organization should realize that an ERP is basically a power tool for decision making.”

“There are immediate signs of investment recovery. Since each turbine manufacturing project lasts typically between 8-12 months, SAP has given us an amazing level of control to track both inventory and costs incurred. Data analysis now happens virtually in seconds, in comparison to the earlier snail-paced retrieval & scanning process that would take ages. Increasing levels of knowledge leveraged from records has helped us determine vital facts about the history of both equipment and customers. The real quantifiable ROI benefits will come into light at the end of the stabilization year, i.e. December 2004,” Jain explained.

Triveni has purchased 11 modules of SAP, including SD, PS, FICO, MM, BP, QA, CS and EIS. For its database, the company has deployed Oracle 10g, and one external NAS storage box. For SAP, Triveni uses three Solaris based Sun servers — one each for production, development and QA. The reason for choosing Sun servers over others? Jain replied, “As Sun doesn’t have a strong presence in the SAP market, we got an excellent deal — almost 30 % cheaper than competing vendors.”

The turbine manufacturer maintained a parallel legacy run of its Sybase database for a few months, and then used BDC to convert batch files to Oracle.

Regarding the future roadmap, Jain said, “We are now ready to enter into phase II — PLM, HCM and CRM, for which we have planned to strengthen our network. Already, the network has been converted into optical fiber, and we are planning to provide wireless Internet access to our remote locations by the end of this year.”

As all three modules, namely PLM, HCM and CRM are already available in SAP, will Triveni extend the ERP by purchasing the new modules? “Not necessarily,” affirmed Jain. “We are yet to decide whether we will extend our contract with SAP on these three modules or not. The decision process will also involve the evaluation of other vendor offerings in the market.”

Tags: SAP, ERP