DQI Bureau
New Update

Year:1982. Place: a remote area in Sirohi, Rajasthan, and then it was

history. JK Lakshmi Cement kicked-off its business with its first ever cement

consignment on August 15, 1982.


It is also the first cement producer in northern India to be awarded an ISO

9002 certificate and be accredited by NABL for its lab quality management


IT is the Lifeline

Encouraged by the management response, IT has become a lifeline for the

company and a need rather than a mere support function for the companys

business process, says Vinod Gupta, senior GM, IT, JK Lakshmi Cement.

"It is almost two decades now that we have been using IT at JK Lakshmi Cement

helping us in our day-to-day operations, be it for our management information

systems (MIS) or collaborative working," says Gupta. The company has a

home-grown and full-fledged integration system. Last year, the company had

planned SAP implementation in its organization. Although the company accepts

that it is a late starter as far as the usage of core ERP is concerned in the

Indian cement industry, they are pioneers in taking up the extended ERP modules

such as CRM and SRM in the cement business. The company is in the last stages of

implementing the phase-1 of the SAP ERP modules.


Vinod Gupta, Senior GM (IT), JK

Lakshmi Cement

We have synchronized IT infrastructure needs with the

companys plans

For infrastructure planning in the company, there is a mobile connectivity to

SAP, Internet backbone to connect remote locations to the network, and MPLS

connectivity where the uptime commitment is 99.5%. Similarly, the date center

has an uptime commitment of 99.9%.


"One of the biggest challenges was to strategically involve the project

managers as well as end users in the organization to use IT in their processes.

Change management and learning ability of end users in the organization were

some of the major challenges I faced in the company," says Gupta.


However, most end users started comparing the new processes with the systems

in use then. For a plant around 12,000-15,000 tonnes of cement is dispatched

every day. A legacy system takes approximately 30 seconds in performing a

transaction. However, with the SAP implementation for end users, the time to

perform the process took approximately two minutes. The immediate reaction of

users would then be how to manage the data, which took more time. This is where

certain changes were made in the systems of end users which were almost similar

to the time taken by users to perform the action in their earlier system.

The Green Factor

The company has been rated as the Greenest Cement Plant of India by CSE

GRP 2005 which is a strong statement of the organizations commitment to

environment while also ensuring high standards of quality for their products.

Going Forward

Managing data with limited staff in case of huge dispatches and orders is

another concern. "We have synchronized IT infrastructure needs with the

companys plans. All locations that are going live in our phase-1 project are

already using new infrastructure (MPLS and new data center)," says Gupta. The

company has also started evaluating newer technologies like cloud computing,

SaaS and virtualization. Infrastructure management and cost containment are the

key benefits from implementing these new technologies. Virtualization, in

particular, will also help in achieving their green IT targets. The management

at JK Lakshmi has been supportive of heavy investments in IT, considering the

manageability of data with limited staff. With Mazbooti Guaranteed already in

place, Gupta would certainly like to add another tag lineIT


PC Suraj