For a business, such as Bikanervala that specializes in recipe based
products, IT implementation is not an easy task. This is mainly because
processes are not defined and majority of the work is done manually that differs
across outlets. The challenge gets even bigger if the business is on an
expanding mode. With twenty-eight restaurants spread across the country and
eight abroad, the toughest challenge for Bikanervala was to maintain consistency
in taste and quality of food.
"Hence, we went for Microsoft Navision ERP system in 2005," says Deepta
Gupta, executive VP, Bikanervala. The main purpose was to bring all departments
on a single platform. It was done in a two-phased manner.
In the first phase, it targeted accounts, sales, and procurement
departments. Navision took three to four months to understand the business, take
feedback, and accordingly prepare data. Then, it finalized a flowchart, and
helped in the standardization of work processes.
The main purpose of Navision ERP was to
bring all outlets under a single platform
Deepta Gupta, executive VP, Bikanervala
In the next phase in 2008, Bikanervala implemented an advanced version of
Navision. This time the focus was on the integration of all internal departments
into the system, and on data entry. However, it wasnt smooth sailing from day
one. Often data entry would go wrong and hence, the manpower underwent training
to adapt to the new IT set-up. Also, manufacturing and retail were separate
entities which had to be brought together on the ERP system. "Currently, our ERP
modules include accounts, inventory management & logistics, quality control,
budget making, effective cost control, and purchase projections," informs Gupta.
"These apart, we have also incorporated point of sale application from LS
Software," he adds.
IT adoption has reaped huge benefits for the company. "Now our manpower is
only involved with the management of inventory. The rest is all taken care of by
the ERP system. Moreover, gross profit of each outlet is known on a real-time
basis, which has boosted our analysis of costs and profits in a big way," says
Gupta. Another advantage is that as all departments are internally integrated on
the system, hence there is less paperwork now.
The company is now planning to use its ERP as a resource planning tool.
"Moreover, there are plans of extending the ERP modules to distribution and HR
departments. "Once that is done we are considering to loop in our international
outlets into the system," informs Gupta. This couldnt be done earlier due to
security and high license fees.
These apart, there is a host of IT enabled services for customers as well.
The adoption of customer relationship management is in the pipeline. Another
interesting service will be the automatic debit card system at outlets. Much
like the movie tickets vending machines, these automatic machines will enable
customers to make direct payments through their debit cards instead of waiting
in queues at the counter.
Well, for Bikanervala, the wait for IT seems to be over for sure. For
customers, its worth the wait, if one gets to savor its famous crispy hot
jalebis at the end.