Published on 22-Dec-2010
Validated on 09 Dec 2013
"With SAP applications provided centrally, there is no longer a need for each operating unit to invest in their own solutions and the supporting hardware, which immediately saves money. It is cost-effective to invest in the IBM System x3650 and IBM System Storage DS3400 and then exploit these assets to the full. " - Sudhir Thosar, Head of IT, Murli Industries Ltd.
Murli Industries Limited
BA - Business Intelligence, Business Resiliency, Enabling Business Flexibility, Enterprise Resource Planning, Optimizing IT, Optimizing IT
IBM Business Partner:
Murli Industries Limited (“the Company”) is a public limited company, formerly known as Murli Agro Products Limited and established in December 1991. The Company is, inter alia, engaged in the business of production and marketing of various agriculture-based products like soya derivatives – oiled cake, refined edible oil and paper products. Recently the Company has made forays into the cement sector and has commissioned a cement plant at Chandrapur, Maharashtra. The Cement Business is one of the fastest growing-business units of Murli Industries.
Murli Cement, a fast-growth cement manufacturing business unit of Murli Industries, relied on various IT solutions to support the specific needs of each operational area. Limitations of database size and expandability, and the unavailability of an industry-standard sales and distribution module (an important capability for a cement company) were hindering company growth.
Murli Cement deployed a range of SAP ERP applications centrally, including financial accounting, materials management, sales and distribution, plant maintenance and production planning to provide a single, integrated business management platform. The decision was based on the widespread adoption of SAP solutions within the cement industry, the excellence of the functionality offered by the sales and distribution component, and the ability to handle very large data workloads. To support the SAP applications and database, Murli Cement implemented an IBM System x3650 server.
With SAP applications provided centrally, all business units categorize their costs and revenues in the same standardized manner, enabling the company to extract, analyze and compare data rapidly and produce meaningful results.
Murli Industries Limited (“the Company”) is a public limited company, formerly known as Murli Agro Products Limited and established in December 1991. The Company is, inter alia, engaged in the business of production and marketing of various agriculture-based products like soya derivatives – oiled cake, refined edible oil and paper products. Recently the Company has made forays into the cement sector and has commissioned a cement plant at Chandrapur, Maharashtra. The registered office of the Company is situated at Nagpur, Maharashtra, and has an employee base of more than 2000. The Cement Business is one of the fastest growing-business units of Murli Industries.
As is often the case with growing business activities, the underlying IT systems had grown to reflect each operational area’s specific needs. The operating divisions tended to invest in their own solutions, resulting in high operational costs and underutilized assets. The result was silos of applications and data, along with disparate and disconnected processes. Executives were facing challenges in discovering the right information at the right time for decision making.
Finding expert help
Murli Industries’ executives understood the need to integrate the company’s cement business processes, and had created a shortlist of possible ERP solutions. It was important to Murli Industries to bring in experts to help choose the right solution and subsequently to implement it cost-efficiently.
Sudhir Thosar, Head of IT, explains, “Our cement business was expanding, particularly the operations and the local teams were busy supporting daily activities. We were particularly interested in switching to industry-standard software that would offer us the best possible fit with our business. This led us naturally to SAP ERP applications, which are used by almost all cement and construction businesses in India. The next step was to choose an IT service partner that offered the greatest experience both in successful SAP implementations and with the best resources in India.
“We selected IBM Global Business Services to guide us through the software selection and implementation process. There was strong competition from some large Indian IT service companies, but we felt that IBM offered the strongest experience of successful SAP implementations in India.”
Starting initially with another implementation partner, after three months Murli Industries found that the quality and expertise were not up to standard. After switching to IBM, project progress accelerated and IBM delivered considerably better value for money.
Building on best practices
The IBM Global Business Services team implemented a wide range of SAP ERP applications, including financial accounting, materials management, sales and distribution, plant maintenance and production planning.
To ensure speed and reliability of design and implementation, IBM Global Business Services used integrated tools and techniques, including proven reference architectures, based on templates that are known to work and provide a very high degree of functionality with the least possible customization. This approach involved people and resources from IBM Global Business Services, including specialists from Financial Management, Business Risk Management, Human Capital Management, HR Strategy and Transformation, Supply Chain Management, and from Enterprise Asset Management.
Acting on advice from IBM Global Business Services, the Murli Industries – Cement Business team chose to implement the SAP applications on an IBM System x3650 server, powered by quad-core Intel Xeon 5500 series processors. The server runs Microsoft Windows Server 2003, with a Microsoft SQL Server 2005 database to support the SAP applications.
“IBM Global Business Services was able to provide access to the right people with the in-depth resources that we needed for selecting, sizing and deploying the correct SAP application architecture on the IBM System x3650 server. The IBM System x3650 itself offers excellent response for SAP applications, and is easily capable of handling our predicted workload,” says Sudhir Thosar.
As the company expands its operations across geographies and expands its market base the total data generated by the SAP applications will rise. It was clear to the Murli Cement team that the ability to add storage capacity easily and quickly would become important.
Working with IBM Global Business Services, Murli Cement chose to implement an IBM System Storage DS3400 Dual Controller. The IBM System Storage DS3400 is capable of expanding to 24TB total capacity, and to 96TB with expansion cabinets, allowing for even the most dramatic growth. The Dual Controller design ensures that operations can continue even if one of the controllers fails, offering additional protection that is ideally suited to organizations that rely on a single storage device.
“As Murli Cement grows, so will the amount of data, and the value of data tends to increase over time as it contains a track record of performance. With the previous solution, data held in separate servers and individual storage systems within the business units was very difficult to obtain and analyze, and Murli Cement Business faced increased cost and complexity along with the accompanying business risks,” comments Sudhir Thosar.
“The IBM System Storage DS3400 offers a secure, centralized store for Murli Cement, and the embedded RAID protection and dual controller design offers a high degree of resilience to ensure that our valuable business data is secured.”
Gaining control of operations
With the SAP applications on the IBM System x3650 server, and data stored on the IBM System Storage DS3400, Murli Cement has now gained control of its enterprise operations. The SAP applications provide core business services such as finance, materials management, sales and distribution, plant maintenance and production planning. The result is that executives are now able to receive enterprise-wide business information rapidly, based on accurate data that is automatically retrieved from the SQL database.
Sudhir Thosar continues, “With SAP applications provided centrally, there is no longer a need for each operating unit to invest in their own solutions and the supporting hardware, which immediately saves money. It is cost-effective to invest in the IBM System x3650 and IBM System Storage DS3400 and then exploit these assets to the full.
“The shared SAP applications ensure that all Cement unit departments categorize their costs and revenues in the same standardized manner, and we can then extract, analyze and compare this data rapidly and produce meaningful results for executives.
“Looking ahead, we can see that there will be more consolidation to SAP applications, and analysis of the centralized data will help executives understand and manage the business more effectively. The IBM System x3650 and IBM System Storage DS3400 technologies provide an excellent foundation for Murli Cement to run its new SAP ERP applications, with the opportunity to start small and grow fast in a way that matches Murli Industries’ own ambitions,” concludes Sudhir Thosar.
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
Storage: DS3400, System x: System x3650 M2
GBS Financial Management: Business Risk Management, GBS Human Capital Management: HR Strategy & Transformation, GBS SCM: Enterprise Asset Management, IBM-SAP Alliance, IBM Global Business Services
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