Standardization of ERP platform has helped us slash financial reporting time by half -Vipin Kumar, Group CIO, Escorts

Escorts is an Indian multinational engineering conglomerate that operates in the sectors of agrimachinery, construction, and material handling. The company recently embarked upon a new journey of single instance ERP implementation in order to streamline the processes across all its departments. To gain more insights into the implementation and its benefits, Dataquest had a chat with Vipin Kumar, Group CIO, Escorts. Excerpts

What were the day-to-day challenges that Escorts faced prior to single instance ERP implementation?
Prior to the single instance ERP implementation, each of Escorts’ four lineof businesses used different enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms, which resulted in disparate operating and control processes and created difficulties for the management to gain an enterprise-wide visibility for taking
informed business decisions. It was a cumbersome and time-consuming process to analyze the company’s
profitability drivers. Due to disparate legacy ERP systems , Escorts could not close its financial books and generate reports until the tenth day of the following month, as all four divisions had different chart-of-account master and business-specific methods for handling financial data. Also, there were many standalone legacy applications which were a big hindrance in consolidating data across the enterprise.
Can you shed light on the business applications your company uses to run its operations?
In the recent past, Escorts consolidated all of its four disparate ERP systems onto a single instance Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3 to make business processes more efficient and to increase revenue opportunities. The ERP implementation covers most of the business operations from planning, procurement, production, maintenance, sales, warehouse management, and finance. Apart from ERP, we also use i2 software for demand-lead manufacturing. To get deep insights into the business operations, we
have implemented a business intelligence tool. This has been a game changer project for us as the tool gives us deep meaningful insights into our business realities. More importantly, the BI data is now the single point of truth for the entire company.
What led you to rethink your technology requirements?
Each division was using multiple technologies acquired over a period of time. Many of these technologies like the legacy ERP systems were not integrating with new emerging technologies which was affecting the ability to consolidate data for meaningful analysis and quick decision-making. This diverse landscape became a bighindrance in consolidating the technology footprint for the organization. Also, some of the implemented technologies had reached the end of their support period and were difficult to maintain. These were some of the primary reasons why we wanted to relook at our existing ERP infrastructure
and technology landscape.
Did you face any issues during the implementation? How long did it take?
The main challenge was to integrate the division-specific functionality of the four different ERP systems onto a common single instance Oracle ERP Release 12.1.3. This required the standardization of processes and controls based on SOPs. For divisions using legacy ERP, this project was a major change in terms of technology and scale of functionality. To make all the four line of businesses agree to common processes, masters, and support structure was indeed a major challenge. Training the end users on Oracle ERP was another area requiring continuous and sustained effort. All these challenges were however fully addressed by the combined efforts of Escorts core team and Oracle Consulting’s implementation experts who delivered services across the entire Oracle stack. With Oracle Consulting’s expertise in the ERP system, Escorts had great confidence in its ability to execute a successful migration onto a single ERP platform.
Can you elaborate on the RoI of the implementation?
By implementing a standardized ERP platform, Escorts has accelerated its supply chain processes and improved decision-making with enhanced data transparency across its four lines of businesses. The company slashed financial reporting time by 50% and automated supply chain operations to enable faster responses to rapidly changing market demands. Furthermore, Escorts has significantly improved its inventory and warehouse management, which has increased revenue opportunities and enhanced
customer satisfaction. This implementation also improved management’s decisions by gaining real-time data visibility across four automotive divisions, enabling managers to efficiently identify the most profitable products, customers, and processes across the entire enterprise. Furthermore, it increased customer satisfaction by integrating multiple production processes and gaining better quality control
of finished goods.
Does it allow you to scale easily?
Yes, Oracle ERP is extremely scalable both in terms of managing large volumes of data and enhanced functionality implementation. Even with increased transaction and data volume, we do not see any performance degradation as we had planned an extremely scalable underlying infrastructure to support the ERP.
Are you worried about the problems such as vendor lock-ins or interoperability?
No, since Oracle ERP is a standard product, there is a well-established vendor ecosystem to support it. There are multiple good vendor options to choose from for the implementation and support services. As Oracle ERP is used quite extensively, it has a clear roadmap for new releases and further functionality enhancement.

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