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SAP in 6: Leading change in the sector

Rabia Garib | Sept. 9, 2008
SAP is a multifunctional software which has been deployed at National Foods (Pakistan) with its basic six modules at National Foods.

For that reason, as it is very important, the implementation process needs a lot of attention and careful decisions, which can either result in development or destruction in terms of inefficient deployment. There are various method of SAP implementation such as IBM's ascendant, ASAP and a few others which differ in features and methodology.

The procedure is divided into four main stages where the vision of project preparation is created, a blueprinting phase that discusses sizing of the projects, a functional development phase and the final preparation phase. Besides, many implementations are also done employing ASAP (Accelerated SAP) methodology, which has been derived from best practices in SAP.

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons for this change is that a lot of industries in Pakistan that were previously only run by seths and family-owned businesses, are now having the influx of the second generation businessmen and women inducted into the business. Whether it is textile or any other industry, by the early part of the decade, the younger generation has studied overseas, studied the impact that technology could be playing, come back to decision-making positions in their own business environments and begin to make the assessment of how technology integration should make the difference in legacy setups.

As the company continued to grow and expand, the role of the IT department also grew in its importance to operations. "At present there five locations within Karachi; two in SITE, two in Clifton and one at Port Qasim, and all of these sites are connected through a wireless link. Six sales warehouses and one salt plant are connected via VPDN.

Efficient and timely decisions save money

As you've correctly assumed, profit margins directly correlate to the time when a decision is taken. It's not as much what decision was made for a purchase or for the stock inventory of an ingredient, as when it was taken. In the food industry, everything depends on decisions, if a company procures more, it will end up wasting the material and if procured less, problems will occur, resulting in low productivity and late deliveries. Therefore, the MRP solution, which is a core difference between an ordinary software built by any company and standard applications.

"To deliver our products even before the deadlines, we have to work ahead, plan ahead. Procurement comes before the production, at this stage." Said Danish

He further explained the concepts of Material Requirement Planning MRP, which helps in planning the procurement process. "Business Intelligence helps us to analyze the manual process with all the variables involved, and then see what the optimal time to make a specific purchase is. How long prior to the production of a certain masala should the material bill be created based on what forecast and still take into account, the cost versus benefit."


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