Wireless & Mobile enablement
Sumul deploys wireless handhelds
Satyen Naik, Manager-IT, Sumul (Surat District Co-operative
Milk Producers Union Limited) was facing the challenge of streamlining
and improving Sumuls business processes and decision-making performance.
Sumul developed and installed an Animal Information System (AIS), which keeps
track of transactions related to cattle and their well-being that may contribute
to augmenting milk production and solving business problems. Veterinary doctors
can operate through their respective handhelds.
The Livestock Trade
Naik states, We tag a unique ID to each animal. Once the tagging is over
we feed the information in our database. The data collected includes household
information followed by the history of the animal and details such as milk procurement
details statistics, and health information. The collection of information is
done by doctors on their routes.
The organisation needed accurate information regarding animal health and milk
produced by individual animals along with health records. Naik says,
The primary objective of the project was to ensure that milk production
forecasts could be made as well as to procure more milk from each animal. To
maintain consistent disease-free zones and milk production, we must have the
correct historical data of the cattle. The project is expected to be fully
operational by December 2007.
The handheld is loaded with Herdman software which is operated by veterinary
doctors to maintain records. When a vet attends a sick animal, he refers to
the history of that particular animal and accordingly prescribes suitable treatment.
The doctor then enters his prescription and medical data in his palmtop.
Using GPRS, the handheld connects to a central database. The data is stored
in the AIS. It also helps the organisation maintain an inventory of the medicine
based on demand and need. The AIS is also connected to the Geographical Information
System (GIS ) which in turn is connected to Sumuls central Oracle database.
Sumul can now predict any major disease outbreak and analyse milk procurement
statistics better and faster.
The handhelds used are from Toshiba (Intel PXA 261-300 MHz with 64 MB RAM).
The database on the handheld is Microsoft Access. Sumul decided to procure the
Herdman software from vendors since it sufficed various cattle management criteria.
Installation, deployment, implementation and training were done in-house by
- They have expanded the activity to the
grassroots level; field workers use handheld devices to collect information.
- They have linked the database to the GIS
application so that top management can use it as a decision support
- They have adopted an innovative approach
of knowing the DNA of the animal, where you have to put a drop of the
animal's blood on the machine which is connected to a PC. This gives
the entire genetic details of that animal and it gets uploaded to a
database over the Net. An expert consultant studies the report and gives
inputs about how the yield of milk from that animal can be raised.
- Doctors employed and villages covered
have increased five fold.
Sumul decided to slowly familiarise and train the doctors on using Windows.
The training starts with data entry and gradually promoted to handheld navigation
Benefits and ROI
The immediate benefits observed by Sumul were inventory management and control
of medicine. Post-AIS implementation, Sumul will be able to generate many MIS
reports precisely based on statistics and defined parameters. These include
parameters such as travelling details, cost involved per case, cost per doctor,
revenue income and expenditures, total number of cases handled periodically
and frequency of critical cases. Sumul decided that ROI to be measured on parameters
such as reduction in vehicle usage in kilometres, control on disease, precise
forecast of milk procurement and accuracy of the doctors decision.