Punjab Chemicals and Crop Protection (PCCPL) is a joint venture between Excel
Industries and Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation. Since its
inception in 1975, the company has utilized state-of-the-art instruments
efficiently. However, when it came to the effective use of IT and its
implementation, technical glitches cropped up. Entered Ajay Wadhwa, CIO, PCCPL
who underlined the significance of including standardized and streamlined
business processes rather than experimenting with different software tools.
It was felt that managing IT for its geographically spread out locations
could be tough, more so when it is a non-IT organization where most users are
not technically trained.
The challenge was to keep up with the growth and quickly integrate all newly
acquired units. Before Wadhwa joined the company, each unit had its own systems
and it was thought better to go for an ERP system that could integrate all these
units. Unfortunately, things did not go well. Reasons Wadhwa, "Perhaps low IT
maturity of users coupled with the legacy software background where they could
order the programmer to make changes as per their whims and fancies were some of
the reasons why the implementation failed. Users had no idea of ERP systems."
Since the company achieved a healthy growth in the lifecycle, another challenge
was to bring the processes to a maturity level which was missing. In order to do
this, there was a need to emphasize on standardization and streamlining. Once
business processes are in place, automation is the easiest thing to do. This is
where using Microsoft solutions Wadhwa ensured that the business processes are
well streamlined. Changing from a legacy system to a new solution was also a
critical challenge for Wadhwa considering that most end users in a non-IT
organization are reluctant to adopt new technologies and they feel a comfort
factor with the legacy systems.
Wadhwa, CIO, Punjab Chemicals and Crop Protection
Virtualization has yielded great results for us; with cloud
Wadhwa laid emphasis on business processes being in sync with users. Most units
and business processes were standardized. The company sometime back was using
Microsoft Dynamics NAV 4.0, while the software in use presently is the Microsoft
Dynamics NAV 2009. The plan is to shift to Microsoft Dynamics AX in the near
future. The Microsoft tools worked for the company due to two major reasons.
Says Wadhwa, "One being the cost factor and another that the adoption of tools
was quick, thanks to a user-friendly interface and easy maintainability, we
opted for Microsoft tools." Before Microsoft came into the picture, PCCPL was
using FACT and other custom FoxPro scripts for maintaining its master
information. The solutions that Microsoft provided included general ledger,
fixed assets, purchase and payment modules, and sales and receivables. Users
also did not have a problem using the interface as it was user-friendly. Going
forward, workflows and dashboards are being created for all users at all levels
and Navision 2009 gives the company a friendly user interface.
ITs All about the Cloud
As the CIO of PCCPL, Wadhwa has been a strong supporter of virtualization
and cloud. "Virtualization has yielded great results for us, and we are stepping
up the current infrastructure to bring in virtualization in our new
infrastructure. As far as cloud is concerned we have seen a lot of proof of
concepts and demos, the only catch is the cost," says Wadhwa. There is a need
for cost advantage for cloud based services; once thats achieved, most
organizations will move to cloud as it will help in saving huge on maintenance
and infrastructure costs.