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"
Information is stored, updated and
retrieved from a central location. Thus every user has access to the
Transactional data is retrieved and
updated from BaaN once a day, whereas the communication data is
Multiple users can access information
whenever and wherever required, thus enabling the Sales team to be
independent of back office support.
Confidentiality of data is maintained as
each user is allowed access rights.
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
Furniture and Interiors Group