Singer launches largest web-based ERP system in South Asia with IFS application

Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Cassandra Mascarenhas

Sri Lanka’s largest home appliance and electronics retailer Singer has deployed the largest web-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution in South Asia, which was made possible by the expertise of IFS and its component-based extended ERP suite built on SOA technology, IFS applications.

Following the great success of the implementation of the ERP in Sri Lanka, the same solution is now being implemented in other Singer operations in Thailand, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

With one of the widest networks in Sri Lanka, spanning over 360 branches, Singer will now operate in a single system which will enable all outlets connected to act as a single business unit which will in turn allow key users of the system to engage in more strategic work.

“The implementation of the ERP has been greatly beneficial in managing the company’s day to day operations as well as the strategic operations. For instance, the company now has the ability to locate inventory which is in demand within a couple of seconds,” said the CEO of the Singer Group, Asoka Peiris.

Drawing upon the example of the sale of their full HD televisions late last year to drive his point home, Peiris explained that with the IRS ERP in place, it enabled Singer to sell off 95% of the shipment within the month of December. The televisions which were introduced in Sri Lanka for the first time garnered high demand and with the ERP, Singer was able to swiftly transfer inventory to saleable locations to meet the high demand.

Director of IT of the Singer Group Ajith Paranavitane admitted that it was no easy task implementing the ERP across 360 outlets countrywide.

“It was the absolute commitment and drive of the Singer management team together with the IFS consultants brought us the ultimate success of creating a real time enterprise where business was able to instantly communicate with, respond and improve operations, leading to greater efficiency. The end result was creating visibility across the enterprise which allows Singer to become truly agile,” he stated.

This new milestone achieved in Sri Lanka is imperative in showcasing the capability and capacity of the IT industry as a whole by becoming the centre of excellence for IT systems for large scale retail networks. The project which required a wide range of human resources entirely consisted of Sri Lankans.

“This is clearly a milestone for Sri Lanka’s IT industry as it is considered to be the largest IT infrastructure project in the island and has proved that Sri Lankans can undertake a project of this size and nature in the country. When we took on this project, we were confident we could deliver. It has been 100 per cent successfully implemented,” affirmed the Vice President of IFS South Asia Jayantha De Silva.

He also added that while Singer has obviously benefitted from this project, IFS too has gained much experience by working on a project of this magnitude.

He went on to say that although an ERP of this nature called for a huge investment on IFS’s part, initial discussions had been met with a lot of approvals although it was a major decision for them to enter the hire purchase and retail model.

ERPs of this nature generally have a 60% rate of failure, however the obvious success of this model has pleased them greatly and they are now keen in expanding on it in the near future by engaging in more international projects.