HP bolsters IT Infrastructure at JCB : By - Pratap Pat Joshi Deputy General Manager – IT, JCBI
JCB is a construction and agricultural equipment manufacturing company. It produces over 180 different models in four different continents – with bases in the UK, the USA, India and South America. In India, JCB makes construction equipments. It has a manufacturing plant in Ballabgarh (Haryana) and is in the process of setting up another in Pune.
Challenges – Achieve Process Efficiencies through Automation
Ever since JCBI became a fully-owned subsidiary in India in 2003, some seminal operational changes have been taking place in the construction equipment manufacturing company. Concurrently, with growing business, it became highly essential to keep track of inventory, payment outgoings, purchase orders, etc. to make more informed decisions. Automation, thus, became the order of the day in order to keep track of all the important business activities and integrate critical processes. In the manufacturing industry, efficient control of supply chain dynamics is a vital competitive differentiator and JCBI was looking to consolidate its market leadership position.
Says Mr. Pratap Pat Joshi, Deputy General Manager, IT, JCB India, “In the fast-changing scenario of recent years, IT enablement of our growing business was becoming imperative. The top management was keen on aligning IT with business strategy. We wanted to have a total solutions provider capable of providing both hardware and software ‘elements’ of the IT infrastructure. After a rigorous evaluation exercise, we decided to partner with HP, which incidentally was also the worldwide hardware partner for JCB. HP met the required criteria of proven capabilities, vast product and services range and globally benchmarked methodologies.”
As part of its enterprise-wide integration initiative, JCBI was also looking to roll out a SAP program by the first quarter of 2005. The requisite IT platform had to provide the necessary performance boost to get the best out of SAP applications and enable all users to get access to vital information in the near real time.
The Solution – Meshing All the–“Elements”
After setting up the IT infrastructure, JCBI went live with SAP on 4th April, 2005. Expectedly, such a large-scale IT transformation also had to factor in the change management issues for a large number of employees. The migration phase from a manual to an automated system entailed more than 1,600 hours of training for the employees.
At its primary site, JCBI is running two Itanium-based dual processor HP Integrity servers. One is functioning as application server running SAP with HP cluster, while the other is the database server running Oracle. Storage is on HP Virtual Array VA 7110 and 2/8 SAN switches. For backup, it is using HP Ultrium 230 drive.
Says Mr. Joshi, “To ensure systems availability at all times, we decided to have a DR plan in place too. The Disaster Recovery server is hosted with Sify at its Data Centre in Delhi. At this Centre, JCBI is also using an HP Itanium integrity server.”
Benefits – IT-enabling The Enterprise
The benefits of timely automation are being felt all over the enterprise. The availability of SAP applications virtually on demand has streamlined information flow for users. The change management exercises coupled with training and education has resulted in a more IT-savvy workforce well-attuned to changing business needs.
Adds Mr. Joshi, “The benefits of such a gigantic exercise are all-encompassing. There have been no downtimes. On an operational level, data capturing and monitoring on the shop floor has become extremely streamlined. The software can track inventory coming in from the gate to the manufacturing cycle to when the machines are being rolled out. There have been no performance problems at all with any of the servers. On a macro level, we have derived value for all the investments in hardware.”
JCBI has ambitious IT expansion plans in line with its growing business and HP is expected to be a vital partner-in-progress for all such initiatives.
Informs Mr. Joshi, “New plans include investing in a facility management system, another DR server from HP near Mumbai and bar coding. For its PLM initiative, JCBI has already ordered for HP 9000 RP 3440 Server. Web enablement and HRMS initiatives will bring in more HP hardware in JCBI. Given that we expect to hire 200 more employees in 2006, we will purchase more laptops and desktops from HP."