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Application Apparel

Pradeep Shankar
Tuesday, February 1, 2005
Pradeep Shankar
Neeraj P Singh was confronting a real challenge; after a long stint with the ERP system in HLL—a FMCG giant, he was moving to a new company: Madura Garments. Madura, Rs 400 crore apparel giant, then was using COBOL and Singh knew he was stepping backwards in career. But the risk he wanted to take personally was just that.

Instrumental in implementing Mfg/Pro in HLL’s Pune division, Neeraj P Singh came forward up to take up the Corporate IT responsibility at Madura Garments in 1999. He knew that he was making a move from an ERP environment to a legacy environment—that is from an ERP environment to COBOL environment that was certainly a step backwards. But clearly, he believed in his leadership and technical skills, along with people management, that pronounced in aligning a distributed heterogeneous system at Madura.

While the IT systems in the company’s warehouses were running on Cobol, in the factory it was using Visual Fox Pro. In the corporate headquarters and the financial department it was another system: Ingres. Quite obviously these isolated legacy systems didn’t talk to each other. Every month, the IT and the finance team spent considerable amount of time in consolidating data from disparate systems. It was easier said than done. And worse was the impending obsolescence of these systems. There were issues of duplication of data.

For instance, the sales data with the finance, corporate headquarters and warehouses did not tally. Hence, reconciliation of data was a big challenge. Sometimes this meant sitting for long hours. There were many instances when purchase orders were raised from the warehouses. However, the factory manager would not have received the data. This would lead to delay in the supply of fabric there by affecting the production. “Implementation of ERP would facilitate transparency in information flow,” says Singh.

Singh drew up a detailed strategy to assess the needs of the organization, and to evaluate the right technology solutions for Madura Garments.

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