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“Implementing SAP has changed the way we see the business”

Atul Pandharpurkar, VP – IT, Emami Cement Limited, outlines a successful implementation of SAP with 10 modules and the benefits they are bringing to the company. By Pooja Paryani

In October 2015, Atul Pandharpurkar was given the challenging task of implementing SAP with 10 modules across Emami Cement Limited in five months. Undaunted, Atul got together his team and charted a roadmap for the way forward and appointed a implementation partner in KPMG. Here he talks to us about the journey and the change SAP implementation has brought about in the company.

Challenges faced
“SAP cuts your cost and saves time, which in return is very beneficial to the organisation,” says Atul. “So we knew we had to adopt it. Though it looks very simple to several people, it was actually a complex project. We implemented 10 modules of SAP and we did a lot of ground work. We had to build in a powerful team, as most of the people in our organisation were non-SAP trained. So training them was our first challenge. The second challenge was bringing in a certain maturity. This is a new company, which is part of a group, which has ventured for the first time into the cement business. So the business is new, processes are new and immature, and the people are new. It was important that the processes be understood well, so we had to document them and put them across in an easy manner.

“Time restriction was another very big challenge on our way to SAP. We were given a timeline of five months. And though it was a big challenge, we were able to successfully implement it in the given time after training existing employees and not appointing new ones.”

Team support
“People in the team worked really hard to achieve this success. They mapped the plans logically and followed through. If they hadn’t it would have been a stumbling block and we would have taken a longer time without their support. Our implementation partner KPMG and infrastructure partner Sify Technologies also supported very efficiently, providing services on time. We kicked off the project in October 2015 (while the real work started in November 2015) and we were able to accomplish it by March 31, 2016.  We went live on April 1.”

SAP for customer satisfaction
“With the help of SAP you are able to successfully implement systems and serve customers on time. It is important for an organisation to work systematically. If any organisation is operating on systems without any automation in the backend, it will lead to the creation of inefficient processes, which would have been an unprofessional approach. If you do not have controls in place you will not be able to control the business flow. SAP has helped us keep good control over the systems. You might not instantly see the benefits of SAP, but in the long run it will help you get more business, customer traction and maximising profits.”

Increasing employee satisfaction
“We are an organisation led by employees. Before anything else, there has to be employee satisfaction, because they are the pillars of the company. If they are satisfied they will work more efficiently to achieve business goals and the business will grow faster. Thanks to our systems we are transparent with our employees. And SAP has helped bring about this transparency. Our customers also see our employee satisfaction and are more excited to broker deals with us.”

Stakeholders are kept well informed
“Our stakeholders also get relevant information on the business on time. They get to know what is going on in the organisation, where money is being invested or used, and information on their return on investment. So they in turn are satisfied. A very bright future of the organisation is visible with well-established systems and satisfied stakeholders. This is due to visionaries sitting at the top who had supported the cause.” 

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