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
We have synchronized IT infrastructure needs with the
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.
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