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Issue of February 2004 

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Ranbaxy's ERP

Lately, I have been looking up articles on ERP implementations in various companies. I understand that one of the basic characteristics of ERP is that it is a standardized package, which is deployed in an organization and cannot be customized.

But the November 2003 issue of Network Magazine featured a case study with SRL Ranbaxy, and said that the company uses a customized Laboratory Management System (LMS) in its business to help fulfil the need of an ERP.

I have a couple of queries in this regard.

1. Why are ERP packages standardized and cannot be customized according to the client's need?

2. How has SRL Ranbaxy managed to get a customized package? And in that case, isn't customization a better alternative?




Dear Ankit,

Thank you for writing to us. We forwarded your queries to R. Pillai, Head-Information Technology, SRL Ranbaxy, and he has replied. His reply is printed below.

Dear Ankit

Thank you for reading the article. In response to your first query, I think it is true that most of the so-called ERPs are standardized. But currently, SAP and other ERP's are already being customized to suit the different local business needs. However, it may not be customized as per the individual needs.

The positive side of this is that the company will follow standard operational practices. Even though it requires a certain amount of business process re-engineering, it will help organizations follow best practices that are important in the current globalization scenario.

Now to answer your second query. Our company preferred to use a totally customized ERP since there is no readymade

ERP system available in the world to cater to all aspects of the Healthcare vertical.

The only alternative was to deploy a standard ERP for the support functions like financial accounting, material, HR, and logistics, and a separate Laboratory Information System for our core area of operations.

But, integrating them together would be a tedious and cumbersome process, and also not wholly error-proof. So we decided to develop a customized ERP specifically for our industry.


R Pillai

VSAT information

The article 'Connectivity: The VSAT way' in the June 2002 issue of Network Magazine, written by Soutiman Das Gupta was very interesting. Thank you very much for all the valuable information.

I need to connect around 50 locations in India, which are typically warehouses. What are the technology options as far as connectivity is concerned?


Surya Nanduri

Dear Surya Nanduri,

Thank you for writing to us. We are glad that the article was of interest to you.

We assume that your warehouses are all in remote locations, where telephone lines are scarce or not available. In that case a VSAT

solution is the only way out. If there was a telephone connection, you could perhaps transfer non-mission critical data through dial-ups.

Although VSAT is a suitable option, and slightly expensive, it does pay back in the long run.

WE wish you all the best for your project.

Reply from Surya Nanduri

Thank you very much for the information. As you have correctly understood, not all the warehouses have telephone connections and hence I thought VSAT is the choice.

I am currently performing a financial study to compare the cost, and I hope to come out with a feasible solution very soon..

Support from Pidilite

The case study article on Pidilite Industries Limited, in the December 2003 issue of Network Magazine written by Soutiman Das Gupta was quite interesting. It was especially interesting to read about the Sales Force Automation (SFA) system.

My company has recently implemented SAP R/3 System version 4.6c for the SD/MM/PP/FICO modules. We had gone live in April 2003 and now the systems are streamlined on all fronts.

All our users are comfortable with the new system.

We would now like to implement an SFA infrastructure for our sales work force, which is 400 in number. In that regard I would like to get in touch with Zoeb Adenwala, IT Chief at Pidilite for some more details on SFA. Can you introduce me to him?


Rajesh M Dalwadi
IT Manager.
Navneet Publications India Ltd

Dear Rajesh Dalwadi

Thank you so much for appreciating the article. Congratulations for the successful implementation of SAP in your enterprise. We have forwarded your request to Zoeb Adenwala, and wish you all the best for your SFA project.

Reply from Rajesh Dalwadi

Thank you for the quick response.

I had a talk with Zoeb Adenwala and he has asked me to visit him at his company's site to better understand the SFA system. I wish your magazine all the best.

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