Ramesh Babu, Chief Delivery Officer and Business Head – ERP on Cloud, Ramco Systems Ltd., shares why everybody is leaning towards the cloud
Today’s businesses, whether large or small, require technology to streamline their processes and ensure transparency in their operations. With the advent of cost-effective and newer technologies such as cloud, the traditional business challenges are effectively handled. There is a growing demand from small and mid-sized companies for using an ERP without owning it and investing too much in it. This has triggered the demand for cloud-based solutions offered on software as a service model.
However, most companies who adopt ERP systems to galvanise the entire enterprise globally end up using a small sliver of its applications. While many are over-paying for the application, others, frustrated by the lack of choice, shun ERP systems altogether and make-do with a patchwork of ad-hoc solutions.
This is perhaps why the EPC industry is still struggling with make-do products. Lack of strong in-house IT advocates makes the task extremely difficult compared to other industries. There is also reluctance to use software as it is perceived to have in-built rigid business processes. Some stagger with big ERP monsters for reasons of scale and feature-rich functionalities. High cash based transactions in construction industry poses challenge as well. These factors along with tight budgets make sales cycles very challenging and lengthy. But then, organisations pine for some bespoke factor, some customisation gap concrete. Niche solutions come in as an alternative here, but they again seem to lose steam when the question of global scale or a large number of projects or financial reporting alignment kicks in.
Any ERP, whether it is a niche offering or an in-house custom-made application or a full-blown solution, cannot translate a blueprint as is. With the use of latest technology and equipment coupled with new construction materials, organisations are on the lookout for solutions that optimise the construction time and control wastage of materials, helping them complete projects on time. Some of the key areas where users intend to obtain operational excellence are:• End-to-end project tracking• Detecting mismanagement and corruption• Track proper procurement of raw materials and manpower billing• Ensure a collaborated and centralised system to track global assetsAn ideal ERP is hence typically box oriented or project centric. It keeps an organisation well grounded so that one’s calendar, resource costs, time clocks, requirements and even expectations do not rip and damage the box.
While various construction organisations using traditional product-centric ERP system face various challenges, resulting in problems of integration, higher costs and inadequate business intelligence to make critical decisions, they are now opting for solutions which ease operational activities. Ramco ERP for the EPC industry is a one-stop solution, which gives a holistic view of all the activities like project delay or any activity completion, milestone-wise billing, integration with Prima Vera, procurement records and automated alerts for work order generation.
As EPC as an industry is opening up to embrace technology and latest features, cloud solution is now becoming a preferred option, and big conglomerates are also leaning towards the cloud.
Ramesh Babu, Chief Delivery Officer and Business Head – ERP on Cloud, Ramco Systems Ltd.