The Challenges are yet to be addressed

By Virendra Raj, Vice President & Head Information Technology, Lava International Limited

The success of mobile handset industry is based on constant innovation and a hunger for tools and technologies that will allow them to collaborate, share knowledge and speed up problem solving among employees, suppliers, distributors, forwarding agents, customers and others. They need a streamlined process to operate efficiently, respond faster to customer demands and bring products to market more quickly. To do these, they require real-time visibility into their operations to answer key questions that need a high level of tracking from primary to secondary to tertiary sales & services. Waiting for IT to pull data together and generate reports well after the fact will not cut it anymore. On the other hand, the process compliance with regulations is a must. It is essential to be able to support multiple legal companies with possibility to share data, support on multiple languages and legal requirements or they have to face hefty penalties. Given the rapid changes in this industry, there is a need for a very powerful tool for managing changes to the deployed components or addition of new solution components so as to have minimal disruptions to the business. An ERP solution plays an incredible role in serving the industry to overcome these challenges. 

Since many users in the industry are outsourced, selected ERP systems must have very high level authorization control so as to facilitate restriction based on various data ranges and status of transactions, which is feasible only with Tier-1 ERP solutions. Therefore, a solution was required that had facility of web portal working on ERP database itself. The product lifecycle in this business is short and we at Lava needed a high end planning and forecasting tool to help us in keeping inventories without any compromise on the demand fulfillment. ERP implementation at Lava faced numerous challenges due to evolving business processes, adaptability on parts of users and some missing business functionalities in ERP systems. It helped us in keeping strict control on credits, segregation of duty, collaborative data generation and availability of reports/analytics anytime and anywhere. This has ultimately helped in improving productivity of the operations and back end support team as well as in taking better business decisions. 

Finding the Right Fit is Challenging

Short product life cycle, each product line having specific applications needs, multi-level tracking needs and dynamic business requirements that need visibility and integration at different levels are some of the major challenges IT Heads face in the industry. We at Lava drafted our business needs very carefully and matched it with what is being offered by different solution providers. Besides this requirement mapping, validation with references in similar industries helped us in making the right decision. 

While there are several ERP providers offering vast range of solutions, these solutions are not able to track secondary & tertiary sales & services provided by partner to the required level. There is a need of enhancement in the current solution to be able to adapt to the evolving business processes and industry dynamics. For this purpose, we are getting some company specific solutions created at our own costs, but there is definite need for ERP vendors to look at the requirements of our industry and provide commonly required solutions as part of standard package. This drift is yet to be addressed by solutions that have features such as ease of use and intelligent end user help.

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