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F&B SPECIALS

“Tectura has over 500 clients in F&B sector”
Sunday, 16 October, 2011, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
New Delhi-based Tectura India has been providing ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions for the last 10 years. However, for the last four years, it has been addressing the F&B industry as a focus vertical. Chetan Pathak, country manager, Tectura India, interacts with Nandita Vijay in an email interview. Excerpts:

How would you describe the current scene for ERP solutions in the country for the F&B sector? Is there a huge demand or lack of awareness on the solutions to increase efficiency?

India is the world’s second-largest producer for food next to China, and has the potential of being the biggest with the food and agricultural sector. There is a growing demand for ERP solutions in SME and large- scale enterprises. The industry understands the growing competition and the limited profitability margins available. Hence the need to optimise the operational processes to realise bottom line benefits is acknowledged in most of the large-scale enterprises. There still exists a segment of SME that is yet to understand the benefits from supply chain optimisation and increased efficiencies as a result of ERP solutions.

Tectura works with these segments of customers by preparing a business case justification, doing a thorough study of their “as-is” processes, demonstrating and documenting the projected benefits and finally showing the RoI (Return on investment) from our solution. This helps our customers envision the results from the beginning of the ERP project.

Are there any visible trends emerging in ERP installation?

Speed and quick returns are the emerging trends in ERP implementations. Today’s customer wants faster, successful implementation with visible returns through increased profitability within six to eight months of implementation. With over 10 years’ of experience with customers within and outside of India, we have fine-tuned our methodology of implementation.

When did the company enter into the space of food & beverage with its ERP solutions?

Tectura India has been providing ERP solutions, specialising in Microsoft Dynamics ERP, to the customers in diverse industries including the food & beverages space for the last 10 years. For the last four years, Tectura India has been addressing the food & beverage industry as a focus vertical and has been investing in skills and capabilities to satisfy the needs of the F&B space.

Tectura, globally, has over 500 clients within the food & beverage industry with a cent percent track record of successful implementation delivering benefits to its clients.

What has been the response so far?

The response to our ERP implementations in the F&B segment has been well received. Customers have experienced tangible benefits in almost all the processes in the supply chain, while Microsoft Dynamics ERP has been appreciated along with our implementations.

Among the esteemed customers within the Food & Beverages domain include the two leading international beer brands, world’s favorite multi-national ice cream brand, India’s leading bread brand and many more.

What is the kind of investment needed from an F&B company to install ERP solutions?

In our experience, the financial outlay on the minimum required technological investments on software and hardware installations are affordable and justifiable, for any company on a growth path. However, in our view the most critical ingredient for successful ERP implementation in an F&B company is dedicated manpower resource and top management involvement. There needs to be a sense of ownership and accountability for every process in the entire organisation. Identification of “key process owners” across the organisation will lead to the successful transition from an “as-is” working environment (more often following traditional practices) to industry best practices.

What are the key advantages of ERP to the customer?

The primary and the foremost benefit starts with the centralised flow of information across the entire organisation, leading to a “single version of truth.” Data accuracy, faster data entry, enforcement of controls, management by exception and credible information for analysis and decision-making, and compliance to statutory and regulatory requirements are other major benefits of ERP that result from centralised information flow.

What are the likely future efforts of the company in this space?

Tectura has a centre of excellence in “food & beverages” domain. There is a dedicated team that is constantly researching and analysing the worldwide trends and developments in this area. Our COE team has good experience in diagnosing the needs and challenges in operations of the F&B customers. Key issues for a customer in the F&B space are

n Tougher government regulations and norms - FDA and Food & Safety Regulations.

● Changing customer needs and concerns about food safety.

● Rising raw material and labour costs with little opportunity to pass these costs up the supply chain putting pressure upon manufacturers.

● Unpredictable or escalating costs and oil prices unlikely to fall

● The food distribution industry is struggling with low profit margins, increased regulatory pressures, and strengthening customer power.

● Increased competition with private labels.

● Food miles versus sustainability development.

Tectura has helped its customers in the past and is working towards continuously improving its solution portfolio and implementation approach to address the above-mentioned issues. Lean manufacturing principles and supply chain optimisation are the areas that Tectura is focussing on for turnaround improvements.

Which are the competitors for Tectura in the space?

Each year we are challenging ourselves to move further ahead, and continuously find innovative solutions to various challenges in this space. While there are many players in the F&B implementation space, we consider ourselves unique and extremely well positioned through our investments in our centre of excellence helping us specialise in this industry segment.

What are the challenges for Tectura in the area of F&B space?

While we admire the entrepreneurial spirit in the F&B space, the challenge for Tectura lies in making them realise the value in investing in ERP solutions which has a long-term potential of seeing them seamlessly scale up their operations. It is a challenge to show the path of business excellence and Tectura is working towards creating this awareness with its existing customers and delivering results leading to business excellence.
 
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