01st May 2011, www.thebottomline.lk, By Santhush Fernando
Sri Lanka’s growing Information Technology marked yet another milestone in history with the successful launch of the first-ever hire-purchase and retail ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution by a globally- leading IT house-IFS for Singer PLC.
“This is a great occasion not only for Singer and IFS but for Sri Lanka’s entire IT industry,” IFS General Manager and Director Projects, Poorna Bandara said.
The largest web-based ERP ever deployed in the country and probably in South Asia, tailor-made as a hire-purchase and retail platform for the country’s largest home appliance and electronics retailer - Singer PLC was made possible through the expertise of IFS and IFS Applications™.
“Our consultants will travel to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Thailand and possibly to Malaysia in the future to implement the platform in Singer’s overseas operations. The secret behind this great success story is the partnership IFS had with Singer,” he added.
Singer has one of the widest network spanning over 360 plus branches is now working on a single system enabling all outlets connected to act as a single business unit.
This allows the key users of the system to engage in more strategic work as the mundane day-to-day operations have are now a click of the button.
Singer Group CEO, Asoka Peiris said that the ERP solution implemented by IFS has been greatly beneficial in managing the company’s day-to-day as well as strategic operations. For instance, the company has the ability to locate inventory which is in demand in seconds, he said.
Commenting on the efficiency of the system Peiris explained that with introducing full HD televisions in 24” and 32” for the first time by Singer last December brought about a tremendous demand. This called for a transfer of inventory to saleable locations.
He said that with the adoption of the IFS ERP solution the company was able to sell off 95% of the shipment within that month. Previously, a person would have to call each and every location to find out if they had inventory that could be transferred.
The entire resource pool was manned by talented Sri Lankans which included a wide spectrum of resource such as Project Managers, Project Coordinators, Consultants, Software Engineers, Technical Engineers, Trainers, multiple core teams, end-users, multiple third party vendors.
IFS South Asia, VP Jayantha De Silva said that it was a milestone for Sri Lanka “because it is considered to be the largest IT infrastructure project in the island.”
“When we took over the project we were confident that we could deliver. It has been one hundred percent successfully implemented,” he explained. While Singer has also benefited from this project so has IFS gained much experience in working on a project of this magnitude, De Silva said.
At any given moment of time, the Singer head office is able to have visibility on every aspect of the business enabling cockpit type of control on every branch in the island at the touch of a button.
Singer Director IT, Ajith Paranavitane said that implementing the ERP across over 360 outlets countrywide was no easy task.
“90 percent of the time, lack of management support had been found out to be the main reason for failure of ERP solutions. In Singer however, this was not the case and right from the top from Chairman and CEO a lot of support was extended,” he said.
Having the right system in place provided the right strategic operational and management eco-system for Singer to expand over 50% in terms of number of branches with a healthy year on year growth in income and profitability.
Such an environment enabled Singer to be profitable during the difficult recession times and be the highest early gainer during the high opportunity business times which we see today.
“Bringing over 1000 ERP users spread all over the country running hundreds of different synchronised ERP processes into such a large system was without doubt a challenge which required marshalling large number of highly skilled IT staff from both IFS and Singer exceeding 25,000 man-days and has become the reference case study for handling one of largest IT projects in South Asia,” Bandara added.
Related Info :
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• Sri Lankan IT & BPO Industry to Grow by 26pct in 2011. SLASSCOM Launches Careers Initiative for Capacity Building