Published on 04-Jan-2013
"We engaged IBM and SAP because we were impressed by their strong partnership and proven hardware and software offerings. We were confident that their combined effort would help us to build a powerful ERP solution." - Jignesh Parekh, Sr. Manager of IT, Ratnamani Metals and Tubes
Ratnamani Metals and Tubes
Business Integration, Enterprise Resource Planning, High Availability , Virtualization
Founded in 1985, Ratnamani Metals and Tubes is one of the leading manufacturers of stainless steel and carbon steel pipes in India. With an annual turnover of around 10 billion Indian rupees ($20 million) and over 2,000 employees, the company’s four factories design, fabricate and deliver each order according to the precise specifications of major public, private and joint-sector customers. Ratnamani caters to niche markets in almost all of India’s emerging industries, including petrochemicals, energy generation and water distribution.
At periods of high growth, Indian manufacturer of stainless and carbon steel pipes Ratnamani Metals and Tubes required a robust ERP system to meet its expansion objectives.
Ratnamani worked with IBM and SAP to implement a centralized SAP ERP solution supported by a resilient IBM hardware platform. The company’s SAP applications are installed on two IBM® Power Systems™ servers running the IBM AIX® operating system, with storage provided by an IBM System Storage® DS5020.
Increased visibility of inventory levels. Created a common version of information across the company. Enables better control over processes with integration of various business functions.
Founded in 1985, Ratnamani Metals and Tubes is one of the leading manufacturers of stainless steel and carbon steel pipes in India. With an annual turnover of around 10 billion Indian rupees ($20 million) and over 2,000 employees, the company’s four factories design, fabricate and deliver each order according to the precise specifications of major public, private and joint-sector customers. Ratnamani caters to niche markets in almost all of India’s emerging industries, including petrochemicals, energy generation and water distribution, and all of its products conform to the highest international standards.
The need for higher visibility
With its number of orders growing, Ratnamani’s production processes were beginning to feel the strain. As Jignesh Parekh, Sr. Manager of IT at Ratnamani Metals and Tubes, explains: “Due to the nature of our manufacturing process, it’s important for us to have a clear picture of the raw materials in our inventory, as different products require different sizes and grades of metal.”
In the past, Ratnamani used a legacy ERP solution to handle its financial and materials management, but, as its business started to grow, it quickly became clear that a more capable solution was required.
“The main problem with our legacy ERP system was that each function had its own separate system,” says Jignesh Parekh. “Because of that, there was no simple way to reconcile our financial, materials, and production data.”
Building a centralized solution
The company invited a number of the largest IT solution vendors in India to give presentations. After considering the offerings of multiple vendors, Ratnamani selected IBM because of its reputation as the largest, most experienced provider, and for its well-established strategic partnership with SAP.
“We engaged IBM and SAP because we were impressed by their strong partnership and proven hardware and software offerings,” comments Jignesh Parekh. “We were confident that their combined effort would help us to build a powerful ERP solution.”
An IBM Global Business Services® team comprising 22 consultants worked with 44 Ratnamani employees to develop and implement SAP ERP on an IBM server platform. With a clearly defined mandate, the IBM Global Business Services team evaluated the company’s existing IT environment to determine which components would be required for the upgrade. Based on this, the team created a blueprint for the implementation and a long-term plan for training and application management services when the solution went live.
“The IBM Global Business Services team was instrumental in defining the framework, scope and methodology of the upgrade project,” says Jignesh Parekh. “From the outset, they were genuinely interested in discovering how we operated as a business, and what our future business goals were. After we helped them to map out our production, procurement and accounting processes, they came back with a roadmap that guided us from the design of the solution to implementation and training.”
Based on the business blueprint drawn up in the project preparation phase, the IBM team created twin SAP production servers on two IBM Power Systems servers running the IBM AIX operating system, with an IBM System Storage TS3200 Tape Library Express handling the backup of critical data. On the production servers, the team implemented and installed SAP ERP with Sales and Distribution, Materials Management, Production Planning, Quality Management, Financial Accounting, Controlling and Plant Maintenance applications.
“We chose IBM Power Systems servers for their compelling price point and reputation for high reliability,” says Jignesh Parekh. “Our IT systems are vital to the smooth running of our manufacturing process, so selecting hardware with excellent availability and serviceability was of prime importance.”
To support Ratnamani’s development, test and web server environments, the team installed one IBM BladeCenter® H Chassis containing seven HS22 blades, one JS23 blade and one JS12 blade, all connected to an IBM System Storage DS5020. Predictive failure analysis built into the IBM BladeCenter H Chassis enables Ratnamani to avoid the business costs associated with unplanned downtime.
“The implementation went extremely smoothly despite the complexity of the project,” says Jignesh Parekh. “Thanks to thorough planning and expert execution by the IBM Global Business Services team, everyone involved in the project had a clear understanding of their role and responsibilities. Following the two-month testing and calibration period after the initial installation was completed, we’ve not experienced any significant issues with our either our SAP system or IBM hardware.”
Increasing efficiency with IBM and SAP
The integrated SAP applications offer Ratnamani complete visibility of its entire workflow process. For example, as soon as raw materials enter the factory gates, a record is immediately entered into SAP inventory management software. When a new order is created, SAP software compares the bill of materials with the amount currently in stock. If there are insufficient resources available to complete the order, the company is able to raise a procurement order for more via SAP material management software, and provide an estimate for delivery of the finished product accordingly.
By using its improved inventory control and visibility of the manufacturing process, Ratnamani has increased its business efficiency.
“Today, we have all of our processes under tight control – from the factory gates to the factory floor, everything is managed digitally,” says Jignesh Parekh.
Looking to the future
Having seen the positive impact that managing information on one platform has had on its business, Ratnamani is planning to augment its business analytics capability with business intelligence. By running ‘what if’ scenarios on data collected from its SAP applications, the company hopes to gain the ability to uncover trends in customer orders, and use these insights to order raw materials in anticipation of future demand, further increasing production efficiency.
“By working with IBM and SAP, we’ve successfully increased the visibility of our business,” concludes Jignesh Parekh. “Going forward, we hope to build on this achievement with a business analytics and reporting solution that will help us gain even greater control.”
Products and services used
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