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Impact ERP Case Study / Success Story: Kitchen Equipment Manufacturing
 
 
At a time when not many in the country thought of venturing into the manufacture of kitchen equipment, there was one man who dared to think differently. And he went on to lay the foundation of his company, on the pillars of technology—which made all the difference!
-Vandana Sharma
BenefIT Bureau
 
“If you do things well, do them better. Be daring, be first, be different...”
—Anita Roddick, the UK-based founder of the BodyShop, a human rights activist and environmental campaigner

In 2000, when one of Netsoft’s Impact ERP client (Impact’s Customer) laid the foundation of his Kitchen Equipment company, there were not many efficient manufacturers of kitchen equipment in the country. Most equipment was imported; the limited range available was substandard in quality, compared to similar products available abroad. The impact’s Customer identified this void in the market and decided to start the company in the manufacture of stainless steel equipment for the food service, food handling and trading industry.

IT’s a passion... and a business need!
Impact’s Customer is a company that relies a great deal on technology. This is largely because of its founder’s passion for technology. This love for technology, especially IT, originated during the period when he was working for a multi-national company. As he narrates it: “The experience introduced me to the scope and benefits of IT solutions, especially in integrating different operational processes.” So, when he started his own business, he naturally chose technology as his ally.

Apart from this, there was a strong business requirement for IT. Impact's Customer reports: "The kitchen equipment industry, unlike others, has largely remained very unorganised and rigid, offering very little flexibility to customers in terms of levels of customisation, as well as standard products."

The Impact's Customer management, thus, set an agenda to address these customer-level requirements. The company realised that to achieve the quality standards and growth rate to establish itself as a leader in the kitchen equipment market, required incorporating international best practices into its operations. Apart from this, the company was diversifying-venturing into new associated business verticals. To manage competition and its own presence across various cities was also emerging as a concern.

The systems that the company used were either manual or semi automated. As Impact's Customer explains: "We were using spreadsheets and packaged software for accounting. We faced all kinds of issues, such as the lack of data integration, data duplication, lack of departmental and employee-wise performance indicators or alerts, etc., all of which are necessary to take timely decisions while running a business." Managing stake holders, customers and vendors, managing appropriate inventory positions, controlling manufacturing, leading sales people, combating frequent change of personnel, were all becoming difficult, he adds.

"The company thus felt the need to migrate all its manual processes to computerised systems in order to achieve better operational coherence and transparency. “Having an ERP

“We faced issues, such as the lack of data integration, and lack of employee-wise performance indicators, etc. Having an ERP system seemed to be the only solution.”
Impact’s Kitchen Equipments Customer
ERP Software India
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The system seemed to be the only solution for business management and process integration,” says Impact’s Customer.

Planning for the transition on an average, the company spends about Rs 2 to 8 lakhs every year on IT. The company chose Impact—an ERP system provided by Netsoft Solutions to achieve this goal. Impact’s Customer shares the reasons for the selection: “We came across various vendors and explored many customised packages, but nothing seemed to suit our requirements. Impact seemed attractive compared to other available options, mainly because it is a business-process driven solution, suitable for a small and midsized business. We felt that it could be very well configured and customised to meet our specific requirements related to kitchen equipment manufacturing.

Also, since it bundles additional management-related modules or functionalities (like customer relationship management (CRM) / human resource management (HRM), etc.), it seemed like a perfect solution offering the flexibility for expansion required to scale up in the future. The cost was also comparatively attractive. Besides, Netsoft promised to be a single vendor solution for most of our IT needs, whether related to connecting the ERP system with our organisational network across branches, or integrating it with our website, and so on.

” The pre-implementation phase Once the ERP solution was selected, the company started making pre implementation preparations. Netsoft helped a great deal in this phase, Impact’s Customer recalls. “The team suggested that we opt for a modular implementation approach so that the financial implications also get spread out, module-wise,” he adds.

The implementation started with the inventory module. When one module was successfully implemented, more modules were added. This helped the employees to easily get accustomed to the change. The implementation happened smoothly, due to the cooperation extended by Netsoft, tells Impact’s Customer.

RM Sudhakar, Director & CEO, Netsoft Solutions, shares more: Adoption
“Adoption of industry best practices and clear mapping of business requirements, in consultation with the Impact‘s Customer team, enabled us to configure the ERP system appropriately.” of industry best practices and clear mapping of business requirements,
in consultation with the Impact’s Customer team, enabled us to configure the ERP system appropriately.”
As part of the implementation process, all the legacy data was imported into the new ERP system, so that end-to-end integration and automation could take place, he adds. Since Impact’s customer was using Tally software for accounting, Netsoft also created an interface/connect in the ERP system to communicate with it.
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The ‘Impact’
“We’ve seen a whole lot of changes after implementing the ERP system,” affirms Impact’s Customer. He enumerates the key benefits: “Handling suppliers and streamlining inventory was a huge task earlier, which has become smooth now. There is also better control of the sales force. We had huge piles of product drawings/ designs and yet, most of the time the drawings had to be redone, since designers kept changing and the new designer had no way of knowing if a particular product drawing already existed in the document repository. With Impact’s integrated document management system, this issue has also got eliminated as now all documents can be quickly accessed.” Besides, since the system has been implemented across all Customers branches, being connected with the organisational network enables all employees access to organisational information. This has enhanced business efficiency, Impact’s Client adds. On the subject of ROI, Impact’s client says: “Considering that the total investment, including the hardware costs, for this comprehensive ERP system was around INR 10 lakhs, we are experiencing good productivity and savings in various departments and we are optimistic that in the coming years this investment will pay back even more.”

A few best practices that have paid off The success of any ERP deployment depends on many factors—both, tangible and intangible. In the case of ‘Impact’s Customer’ deployment too, a few best practices proved quite helpful in ensuring a smooth implementation and later on, the successful adoption of the new system by Impact’s customer’ employees.

Transforming users into super users: Netsoft’s suggestion to identify the core user team as well as super users from each department really proved very fruitful, says Impact’s Customer. “These super users were well trained in the use of the software so that they could take the ownership of training the other users in their individual teams,” reports Sudhakar.

Addressing training needs, 24x7: Impact’s Customer also appreciates Netsoft’s Internet-based training facility, which users can avail any time. He elaborates: “Netsoft has recorded and uploaded videos on its website, to train new or existing users. The firm also conducts on-demand, online training through mediums like Webconferencing. This not only saves travel costs and time, but also makes it possible for users to access training help, 24x7,” says Impact’s Customer.

Customer support, through the website: Another interesting move was to integrate ERP’s sales force automation module with the website. As a result of this, the enquiries raised from the Web are diverted into the ERP system, and are directly handled by the Impact’s Customer team. “This has enhanced the customer service/support capability,” says Impact’s Customer.

Alerts to ensure efficient performance: Apart from this, intelligent alerts are generated from the ERP system regarding individual responsibilities. The information regarding an employee’s failure to meet with certain responsibilities gets escalated up to the CEO level, explains Impact’s Customer.

Going ahead, Impact’s customer plans to scale up even further by continuing its journey with IT. A plan to integrate the ERP system with an SMS gateway to generate quick alerts and reminders, is in the pipeline. With the help of Netsoft, the company also aims to explore various enhancements in the ERP & BI (Business Intelligence) Field.

For a company that is completely driven by passion and technology, reaching across the world shouldn’t be difficult!

 
Kitchen Equipments Case Study
ERP Software India
Kitchen Equipments Manufacturing Company.
Read, how they were able to do?
Giving Indian Kitchens the Global Touch With Impact ERP
Published in Electronics For you’s BenefIT Magazine
- January 2010 Indian Edition
ERP Software India Request for downloadable pdf

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