Company's Growth Path Determines The Role Of IT

 Company's Growth Path Determines The Role Of ITAssociated Capsule Group Worldwide is an end-to-end solutions provider to the pharma companies. With exports in 65 countries and a turnover of about fifteen hundred crores, the ACG Worldwide is gradually moving towards standardisation of operations in the five group companies.

ACG implemented SAP at the end of 2006 in two phases. In conversation with Biztech2, ACG’s GM-Corporate IT Vilas Pujari emphasizes the importance of technology innovation at the ACG Group.

How important is IT for the pharma industry?

IT plays a critical role in superiority of processes and also as companies are going for USFDA approval, IT becomes all the more important. The company’s growth path and readiness for more innovation also determines the importance of IT. IT also plays a big role in overcoming instances of spurious drugs and duplication, which are on the rise these days.

Which areas of the value chain does IT contribute the most?

Dispatches, Assembling and Design automation are the areas where IT gives critical contribution. There are dispatches of various types and sizes to be done at multiple locations. IT enables this to be done in a cost effective way. The bar coding of the machinery to be delivered is also facilitated by IT. Delivery cycle time has been reduced for spares.

On the Assembling front, MSP (Materials Resource Planning) guides in planning the sub activities of an order. For eg; As soon as we get a machinery order, the components availability is checked and the manufacturing plan is drawn so as to reach the delivery schedule. The virtual image of the machine is also finalised. SAP has enabled us in accurate costing of materials, optimum utilisation of the SCM and achieving synergy in operations through BOM and MRP.

The SAP ECC 5.0 modules used were Dispatches - SD, PP, Assembling - PP, MM, ECM and Design Automation - DMS, ECM.

Also in the offing are plans to integrate SAP with SCADA systems and a couple of e-mail solutions are also being evaluated.

Could you enumerate the major challenges before the IT department at ACG?

Getting the skilled manpower is the biggest challenge. We are trying to overcome this by involving our IT team in more challenging projects, thereby resulting in enhanced job satisfaction and getting references from our current employees. Also getting the employees in other departments understand the importance of IT, is a challenge in itself.

The major challenges during the ERP implementation were standardisation of processes and codification across companies and locations as well as integration of the design.

How do you train the employees for the various IT processes?

Employee training is divided into stages commencing from the induction stage with fifteen days on the job training before being trained under the respective departmental head. The next stage of training is with the implementation partners, Zensar and IBM. Recently in co-ordination with them, we also introduced training programmes for the top management to enable them take the right decisions and keep in touch with the employees down the order.

What are some of the emerging trends in the pharma industry?

Pharma companies are aggressively going for M&A and due to the advancements in s/w versions, technologies like SOA, adaptive infrastructure will be more appealing. An altogether different market of IT tools will come up, rising on the R&D Outsourcing phenomenon. Cross Application integration tools like SAP Netweaver and Oracle Fusion will be implemented.

Updated Date: Jan 31, 2017 01:49:57 IST