Change Management


A Step


roject execution is by no means a simple and straightforward activity, as everything is  customised to the customer's requirements. In the Open Plan Office System (OPOS) business of our Company's Furniture and Interiors Group, all orders are project orders. Each project has a due date, with performance criteria linked to penalties or to future business potential. A typical project involves understanding the customer's requirement, converting the need into an order in the BaaN system, communicating the requirement to different departments viz. Purchase, Stores, and different Manufacturing shops. At the same time, the Sales team needs to be kept informed about the status of an order.

During the entire phase of project execution, members of the project team have to interact with each other so as to seek clarifications and meet the deadline. In the past, different means of communication were used to share information viz. telephone, e-mail and SMS. However, there still existed a gap in ensuring that all project team members were updated on the latest development of a project. Also, since each team member was handling multiple projects, the updates on all projects could not be given effectively. Therefore, in order to bridge the gap in information sharing, a web-based application was developed jointly by the OPOS team and software consultants from Godrej Infotech Ltd.

The salient features of the "Collaborative Project Tracking Solution" application are:

  1. Information is stored, updated and retrieved from a central location. Thus every user has access to the same information.

  2. Transactional data is retrieved and updated from BaaN once a day, whereas the communication data is real-time.

  3. Multiple users can access information whenever and wherever required, thus enabling the Sales team to be independent of back office support.

  4. Confidentiality of data is maintained as each user is allowed access rights.

  5. Data is organised in such a way that searching of records is easy and fast.

Today, all departments in Manufacturing are linked together through the Collaborative Project Tracking Solution (CPTS). Each member has access to the task allotted to him in a project, with the due date for completion of each task clearly indicated. Thus the employee can now organise his/her activities accordingly and, in case of a likely delay from his end, he can report the next best estimated date for completion of the task through the CPTS. Immediately, a record is generated for deviation and the Plant/Departmental head is required to approve the deviation.

Once the deviation is approved, a new project completion date is computed by the system and a prompt SMS sent to the salesperson so that he/she, too, is made aware of the change and can in turn give valuable feedback, so as to ensure that good customer relations are maintained. Likewise, the rest of the team members also align their activities with the changed status of the project.

For the Sales team, CPTS is like a newspaper with a difference. It keeps them informed about the despatch details of a project, and the status on availability of an item in terms of quantity and its likely despatch date. They can also find out the items despatched in the past. Today, Branches phone up the Head Office with specific requests only, so the number of calls has decreased.

CPTS is a step towards digitisation. Our endeavour is to bring about transparency in information access so that collectively, as a team, the project execution performance for our OPOS business improves by leaps and bounds.

N.I. Kazi
Furniture and Interiors Group