A lot goes behind manufacturing the mattresses that promise us a good nights
sleep. Right from the raw materials to production till distribution of the
finished products, the entire cycle is highly process oriented. And to make it
more methodical and efficient, a strong IT infrastructure could be of immense
help. Sheela Foam, makers of Sleepwell mattresses, is one perfect example.
Under the able guidance of Pertisth Mankotia, head, IT, Sheela Foam
developed and implemented its home-grown ERP system, Greatplus. It provided a
single platform to the company on which the entire business divisions are
running across the globe.
It not only gave a consolidated view for all the business processes and
integrated entire distribution channels, the application also helped to track
secondary sales and delivery efficiencies. "We have a huge distribution network
comprising 100 authorized distributors and 4,000 dealers. Managing this was a
big issue since a proper tracking method was unavailable leading to emergence of
several unauthorized dealers indulging into improper selling," explains Mankotia.
"This was naturally hampering the interests of our authorized partners," he
adds. By implementing Greatplus sales tracking became possible and price
undercutting was thus tackled.
All our business divisions across the
globe are running on our homegrown ERP, Greatplus
Pertisth Mankotia, head, IT, Sheela Foam
To track tertiary sales, mobile applications integrated with the ERP is being
done. The dealer just needs to send SMS details of each mattress sold (serial
number and customer mobile number). The data center checks the validity of the
dealer and the product and sends guarantee acknowledgement directly to the
customer. This has not only speeded up the process with great transparency but
has also improved customer service. Other benefits include prevention of
unauthorized selling and product duplication, cost reduction and generation of
an automated customer database.
The system has enabled synchronization and standardization between the
channel and the enterprise. Since channel stock is now easily assessable, scheme
roll-out and handling price revision has become smoother. "Tracking of the
entire product cycle, from procurement till customer purchase, has become
easier. We can also measure both secondary and tertiary sales on real time
basis," says Mankotia.
The system has integrated all the seven manufacturing units and offices.
Online orders from the distributors automatically get processed in the
factories, thus optimizing production processes. The company has recently
consolidated its severs and shifted to the open source platform, reducing
operation cost and enhancing performance. "Our data center presently runs on
thirty-five servers only. All our factories and offices are connected through
VPN MPLS in India and IPLC connectivity for our Australian operation," he
Sheela has a 2-tier back-up structure (servers and tapes) but is soon
planning to set up a DR site implementing cloud technology. "Our entire IT
infrastructure has been designed to facilitate cumulative business growth and
optimized result. Interestingly, the maintenance cost is as low as benefits are
high," says Mankotia with a smile.