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Cloud Collaboration: Transforming Industries Together

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In a recent interview with Express Computer, Manoj Ganjawalla, EVP and Chief Project Officer at Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd., and Wolfgang Kobek, EVP & GM of International Business at Infor, shared insights into their strategic partnership aimed at accelerating innovation and operational efficiency. They discussed how migrating ERP applications to the cloud has facilitated real-time data accessibility, enhanced data integration, and enabled data-driven decision-making at Godrej. The interview also delved into the challenges and successes of implementing Infor’s ERP LN solution across Godrej’s 14 group companies, highlighting significant improvements in cost efficiencies, resource optimisation, and process streamlining. Looking ahead, both leaders emphasised their commitment to leveraging AI and advanced technologies to drive further innovation and achieve strategic business goals. 

Could you elaborate on the strategic vision and goals behind the partnership between Infor and Godrej & Boyce? How do you envision this collaboration accelerating innovation and operational efficiency within Godrej?

Manoj Ganjawalla: Our strategic vision for partnering with Infor is rooted in leveraging advanced cloud capabilities to enhance operational efficiency and drive innovation. Moving our ERP applications to the cloud allows us to create a unified data ecosystem that integrates seamlessly with other systems, such as CRM and HCM. This integration is crucial for achieving real-time data accessibility and enabling data-driven decision-making. Through this collaboration, we aim to optimise asset management, improve customer experiences, and deploy AI solutions to enhance productivity and operational efficiency.

Wolfgang Kobek: The partnership with Godrej & Boyce is viewed not just as a customer-vendor relationship but as a strategic alliance aimed at driving digital transformation. Our focus is on delivering industry-specific cloud solutions that provide real-time data insights, enabling companies like Godrej to optimise their operations and stay ahead in a competitive market. With a history of collaboration spanning 25 years, our goal is to continuously innovate and provide the tools necessary for Godrej to achieve its strategic objectives and enhance its market position.

What were the primary factors that led Godrej and Boyce to decide on migrating your ERP applications to the cloud? How do you see SaaS solutions enhancing your company’s digital capabilities and overall business performance?

Manoj Ganjawalla: The primary factors for migrating our ERP applications to the cloud include the need for enhanced data integration, scalability, and real-time analytics. Cloud solutions offer the flexibility to integrate various systems, providing a single source of truth for data. This integration is essential for making informed decisions and driving operational efficiency. SaaS solutions, in particular, allow us to deploy advanced technologies such as AI and IoT, which are pivotal in predictive maintenance and production planning. For instance, in our material handling division, IoT enables us to pre-emptively address equipment failures, thus ensuring zero downtime for our customers.

Along with Godrej and Boyce, how are you digitally transforming your customers and helping them meet the changing industry requirements with your cloud solutions?

Wolfgang Kobek: Our digital transformation strategy for customers involves providing robust, industry-specific cloud solutions that enhance operational agility and efficiency. By leveraging our cloud technology, businesses can automate processes, gain real-time insights, and optimise resource utilisation. For instance, our ERP solutions integrate seamlessly with other systems, offering a comprehensive view of business operations. This integration supports informed decision-making and streamlines processes, ultimately driving cost savings and innovation.

What similarities do you observe among customers in the EMEA and APAC regions?

Wolfgang Kobek: Customers across the EMEA and APAC regions share common business challenges, such as the need for agility, cost efficiency, and innovation. They seek solutions that offer flexibility and scalability while enabling them to adapt swiftly to market changes. Although local regulatory requirements may vary, the core needs for operational efficiency and data-driven decision-making remain consistent. Our global cloud solutions cater to these needs by providing standardised yet customisable tools that enhance business performance across diverse markets.

How does Infor’s ERP (LN) solution facilitate real-time data accessibility? Can you provide specific examples of how this capability has improved business reporting, analytics, and decision-making for companies similar to Godrej & Boyce?

Manoj Ganjawalla: Infor’s ERP LN solution facilitates real-time data accessibility by integrating various business functions into a single platform. For example, our product lifecycle management (PLM) and enterprise performance management (EPM) systems sync seamlessly with the ERP, enabling us to track the lifecycle of products from conception to end-of-life. This integration has improved our ability to make informed decisions quickly, enhancing both our production planning and customer service processes.

Wolfgang Kobek: The ERP LN solution provides real-time data insights by consolidating information from different departments into one accessible platform. This capability has significantly improved business reporting and analytics, enabling companies to make data-driven decisions. For instance, by using our ERP solution, businesses can streamline their supply chain operations, reducing lead times and improving inventory management. This has led to enhanced operational efficiency and better resource allocation.

Can you both share insights into the scope and scale of implementing Infor ERP (LN) across the 14 group companies of Godrej? What were some of the major challenges faced during this rollout, and how were they overcome?

Manoj Ganjawalla: Implementing Infor ERP LN across our 14 group companies was a massive undertaking. We standardised processes across diverse sectors such as appliances, defence, and construction. One major challenge was the human aspect—managing change and aligning various departments to new standardised processes. We tackled this through extensive training and change management initiatives. Additionally, the GST implementation in India necessitated a big-bang approach, which, while challenging, ensured compliance and streamlined processes across all units simultaneously.

Wolfgang Kobek: The scale of this implementation required meticulous planning and collaboration. One of the significant challenges was ensuring data consistency and integration across all group companies. To overcome this, we employed a phased approach and leveraged our extensive experience in managing large-scale ERP rollouts. Continuous communication and feedback loops with Godrej’s team were crucial in addressing issues promptly and ensuring a smooth transition.

What are some tangible benefits that Godrej and Boyce have observed in terms of cost efficiencies, resource optimisation, and process streamlining since adopting Infor’s ERP solutions? Can you highlight any specific areas where turnaround time has been significantly reduced?

Manoj Ganjawalla: One of the most tangible benefits has been the standardisation of item codes across all group companies, leading to significant cost savings in procurement. For example, standardising the purchase of fasteners allowed us to negotiate better rates due to bulk purchasing. This standardisation has also improved inventory management and reduced turnaround times for replenishing stock. Additionally, the integration of AI in production planning has reduced lead times, allowing us to quote shorter delivery times to our customers.

Wolfgang Kobek: The implementation of our ERP solutions has led to substantial improvements in operational efficiency for Godrej. By standardising processes and integrating various business functions, they have achieved significant cost efficiencies and resource optimisation. For instance, the streamlined procurement process and improved production planning have not only reduced costs but also enhanced their ability to respond quickly to market demands, providing a competitive edge.

What are the priorities and focus areas for the future related to the partnership?

Wolfgang Kobek: We are committed to continuing our partnership with Godrej by focusing on the integration of AI and other advanced technologies to further enhance operational efficiency and innovation. Our goal is to identify and implement more use cases that can drive value and support Godrej’s strategic objectives.

Manoj Ganjawalla: Our focus will be on leveraging the latest advancements in AI and cloud technologies to enhance customer centricity and operational efficiency. We look forward to deepening our collaboration with Infor to drive further innovation and achieve our business goals.

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