There has been a lot of traction in terms of new IT initiatives within
Escorts Agri Machinery over the last couple of years. One of the key initiatives
taken lately is to optimize the companys supply chain management as Escorts
implemented i2 application, thereby reducing the inventory for both raw
materials and finished goods. This was achieved by linking production with
market demands and by doing a backward integration of production plan with
availability of raw materials. This has also benefited cash management,
releasing blocked cash to a great extent.
As part of its renewed IT plans Escorts recently implemented E-track that
helps to profile prospective customers and track down all related developments,
from initial customer query till the final purchase of products. "We have
deployed the application in-house with the help from a third party vendor. And
we are hosting it in our own data center situated at the Faridabad plant,"
informs Vipin Kumar, CGM & head, information services, Escorts Agri Machinery
Group. The company is in the process to upgrade its data center by implementing
blade servers with consolidated storage solution from EMC. Presently, the data
center runs on HP servers and the core application is on Oracle ERP. "We have
forty odd servers that are supporting all our applications as well as back-ups,"
says Kumar. Escorts has a two tier back-up system including servers and tapes
and is now planning to set-up a DR site soon.
Within the next one year, Escorts will be
ready to deploy a full-fledged CRM solution
Vipin Kumar, CGM & head, information services, Escorts
Agri Machinery Group
The company also went for consolidated and centralized bandwidth connectivity
as it shifted its network from DSL to dedicated Internet connectivity. The MPLS
connected all its offices seamlessly; while for the data center UTM boxes were
set-up with IPS, VPN and Websence activated solution deployed in a redundant
mode. The R&D center at Faridabad was also being migrated from a flat network
architecture to a three tier structured network implementing VLAN. "We are also
establishing fiber links for all our manufacturing plants," adds Kumar.
Next in Line
Escorts is now focusing to upgrade its ERP (Oracle ERP 5.7 to 12) and
implement knowledge management application. "By doing so we will be able to
digitize, preserve and manage all kinds of data generated within the
organization and will also have a centrally controlled access," says Kumar.
The company is also on its way to implement videoconferencing and biometric
systems for its internal users and employees. Within the next one year, Escorts
will be ready to deploy a full-fledged CRM solution as well.
"We also have implemented an internally developed chatting application, Idea
Tracker. This helps us to track and manage the entire lifecycle of any idea
generated from our employees that might help in improvising business processes,"
says Kumar. Apart from that Kumar and his team has created a dedicated chat
server for internal communications that helps employees share their ideas on a
regular basis with fellow colleagues and the CEO. "The best ideas are properly
tracked and awarded through this single communications platform," he concludes.