"From the time we get an enquiry to the time we deliver the product, data is live. So we can follow it up aggressively," says Sanjay Lalbhai, chairman of the Lalbhai group. "For any progressive company, the quality of decision will depend on the quality of information available." AML manufactures garments through franchisees who sell to a 200- strong distributor network which in turn sell to around 10,000 retail outlets. It was, therefore, critical for the company to capture the data live and get that information back to the franchisees. If manufacturing is not in sync with what is selling at the retail outlets, the company would end up with obsolete stocks.
With a core team of chosen professionals, called SAPFIRE , AML managed to click the system into action exactly seven months later, on April 16. Says AML chief financial officer Jayesh Shah: "We could go live within such a short time because the system was user-driven rather than IT- driven." The project had been designed such that SAP would take up a turnkey assignment and draw up a weekly definition of milestones. The second phase of the entire process will begin when the company will seek to measure the processes and lead the way for a complete rehaul.
For SAP , its first job with a textile conglomerate was a learning experience. Will that be the industry standard? The answer may take some time to come.