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ACL Cables Increases Business Productivity with Microsoft Dynamics ERP

ACL Cables Increases Business Productivity with Microsoft Dynamics ERP

Standing from Left: Mr. Ganeshan Raji Kanth – BDM, Raffles Solutions, Mr. Benton Samuel – Partner Account Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka, Mr. Asiri Cooray – Project Manager, Raffles Solutions, Mr. Suren Madanayake – MD, ACL Cables & Ms. Helen Fonseka – IT Manager, ACL Cables

Commanding over 70% of the local market, ACL Cables PLC is the country’s largest manufacturer of cables. Founded in 1962, this US$ 40-million listed company employs over 700 staff across its headquarters and four factories island wide. One of the principle objectives of ACL Cables is to be a strong force in the infrastructure development of the country and the region by providing cables and conductors for the transmission, distribution and utilization of electricity. Therefore, to further strengthen the support and service options of this industry leader, ACL Cables implemented the Microsoft Dynamics ERP system, through its consulting partner Raffles Solutions, to fuel its business productivity.

ACL Cables has identified that an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that is flexible and easy to use can play a critical role in helping its business achieve the agility it requires. Thus, ACL Cables will have access to accurate and up-to-the-minute information about product costs, sales trends and profit margins. “This will give us the advantage of information that is crucial to our strategic decisions about where and how to spend our finances, how to grow our revenue and most importantly, how to strengthen our margins,” said Ms Helen De Fonseka, IT Manager, ACL Cables PLC,. “Additionally, this will help streamline our work flow and enhance information flow across business functions and speed up our management reporting.”

Microsoft Dynamics is fully backed by an uncompromising commitment to empower Microsoft customers. With a flexible, holistic approach to managing a business, Microsoft Dynamics will enhance connectivity with the people, processes, and information of ACL Cables to ensure its ultimate productivity. This ERP solution delivers core capabilities across solutions such as collaboration, project management, human resource management, IT management, Software-plus-Services, Financial management, Supply chain management, Business intelligence and Performance management.

“With Microsoft Dynamics, we have seen more than 75 percent improvement in our processes. This increases our competitiveness and is key in enhancing our customer satisfaction,” added Ms De Fonseka. “Orders for fast moving inventory are now delivered within the day, with customized orders fulfilled within five to six days. Productivity has also improved with enhanced staff accountability as more Processes can now be handled with less staff, and ACL Cables can now flexibly deploy its staff to other value-added business functions.”

Through the introduction of the ERP system, the integrated information received helps the Company establish a lower cost base through purchases, while helping to improve Quality of the product and Speed of delivery. Additionally, it has helped effectively deploy people and capital.
Another objective of the implementation of ERP is to provide the organization with a simpler method of managing and integrating the Controls involved in areas such as the Logistics, Inventory etc. This also helps us to better manage Merchandising stocks and Production which are crucial areas to be integrated to the main system.

Mr. Pubudu Basnayake, Director SMS&P, Microsoft Sri Lanka commented: “We are proud to introduce our Dynamics ERP solutions to ACL Cables. This will enable them to eliminate needless barriers, and allow their employees, partners, vendors, and customers to engage on behalf of shared goals”.
“Today’s organizations compete in an environment dramatically shaped by current economic conditions as well as ongoing challenges such as globalization, increasing customer demands, and escalating operational costs. ACL Cables, unlike some businesses who cut costs in the wrong departments, are intelligently using technology to help them stay agile, to streamline processes and find greater efficiencies across their organization.”

Deploying Microsoft Dynamics has enabled ACL Cables to stay in the forefront through streamlined work process without the duplication and manual work processes enabling them to gain more than 75 percent process improvement after this implementation. By identifying a better inventory management solution, the previous back log was sorted and the Management at ACL Cables also found increased customer satisfaction through enhanced delivery planning of fast moving products and customized orders. According to the company, the improved cash flow and profitability empowered fasted decision making as well as faster pricing decisions through real time visibility into raw materials costing and actual costing speeds. The ERP also allowed faster management reporting through integrated processes as well as increased productivity enabling resource optimization with staff deployed to other value added functions.

The Microsoft Dynamics business solution is also programmed to promote IT agility by quickly responding to key IT needs, thereby maintaining a competitive edge over others. Some of the key benefits are summarized below:
    - Easily customizes forms and screens for ACL employees in specific roles.
    - Quickly builds custom reports to accommodate new customers or revised regulatory requirements.
    - Takes advantage of out-of-the-box Web services and connectors to add new functionality as needed.
    - Adds new facilities and companies, whether through merger, acquisition, or growth, to a central ERP implementation.
    - Accommodates changes in staffing with easy-to-use security and user-provisioning functionality.
    - Adds new modules, including fully integrated, industry-specific functionality.
    - Develops additional, highly customized functionality using familiar development tools to take your ERP solution
    even further.

In addition, the Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions will help the ACL Cables’ IT team establish the agile IT environment that its business requires by:
    - Taking advantage of an object-oriented development environment and compact source code to connect to other systems.
    - Configuring and customizing by using an open architecture and object-oriented development environment.
    - Modifying screens without changing underlying code.
    - Applying business logic to automate functions using a built-in programmatic interface.
    - Gain better business insight
    - Microsoft Dynamics solutions drive decisions that build your business

Today, ACL is the most sought after brand of cables in Sri Lanka, having supplied 80% the requirements of Duty Free projects involving overseas investors approved by the Board of Investment, despite the presence of many competing, foreign brands of cables. Of the 11 tallest buildings in Sri Lanka, eight are wired with ACL Cables. In addition, all leading factories, hotels, commercial buildings and warehouse use ACL cables. ACL was awarded the prestigious ISO 9002 Certificate in the year 1998 after which they were awarded the prestigious ISO 9001:2000 certificate in the Year 2002. In the same year ACL was awarded ISO 14001:1997 Environmental Management System Certification.
ACL is now actively seeking opportunities for the export of cables to the regional markets and has already exported cables to projects and electricity distribution authorities in Bangladesh, the Maldives, United Kingdom and Tanzania. One of the company’s most notable technology transfer agreements in recent times have been with NOKIA Cables of Finland for the manufacture of XLPE Insulated Cables, Aerial Bundled Cables and Aluminium Alloy Conductors.

Mr. Suren Madanayake, the MD of ACL Cables added “Our principle objective is to participate in the infra-structure development in the countries we operate and believe in embracing the latest technology to achieve successful results. Our approach to productivity is about smarter use of latest technology to increase profits and generate funds for reinvesting in our business. With this intention in mind, we invested in Microsoft Dynamics ERP system, which has shown steady progress to take the organization forward”.

“The deployment of Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP system has made the productivity of the organization to go up continuously while making daily tasks such as Production, Logistics and counter sales simpler and accurate. Ability to trace origin and destiny of Raw Materials through Raw Material Inventory Lot Tracking system and obtain past data in real time for forecasting are some of the special features in Microsoft Dynamics NAV”.
Mr. Manish Fitkariwala General Manager Raffles Solutions of Sri Lanka, the implementation partner to ACL Group said, “ACL Group was one of our first customers and we are very proud and privileged to be part of their success and growth.” The team involved in the implementation at ACL Group comprises industry experts certified by Microsoft for their knowledge in the product and experience. “We are an information technology company, providing innovative solutions, through the integration of hardware, software and business applications that will enable our customers meet their business goals, through superior products and services, which adhere to internationally recognized quality standards, while meeting the expectations of our stakeholders.”

Raffles Solutions customized the ERP solutions for ACL Cables to ensure a better fit for the company’s business processes. Raffles Solutions also made customizations to enable Bobbin creation and invoicing, electronic signing of documents, tracking of post-dated cheques, negative inventory control, tracking of drum numbers, gross and net weight of finished goods and purchase requisition orders. Several reports for sales, aging, manufacturing wastage and inventory balance were also customized.

Raffles Solutions, a member of the Thakral Group, Singapore, is a leading technology consulting partner of Microsoft specializing in the management of enterprise management systems for mid to large organizations. The company has achieved business leadership for Microsoft Dynamics through its skills, competencies and proven capabilities, evident by its status as Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, represented in 12 countries across Asia. Founded in 1905, Thakral Group is one of Singapore’s largest homegrown conglomerates with operations spanning 35 countries and employing in excess of 10,000 employees worldwide. While Thakral’s roots were in trading and textiles, the group has since forayed into electronics distribution, real-estate, hotel establishments, manufacturing, IT and value-added consulting services. The Thakral Group is providing IT products, services and support in most emerging markets as well as Europe and US. In Sri Lanka, the group is mostly known as the country’s major Microsoft, HP, IBM and Lenovo distributor under Trident Corporation (Pvt) Ltd, since 1999 and value-added services and system integration under Thakral Services (Pvt) Ltd. Raffles Solutions, fully owned by the Thakral Group, integrates the strengths of the group’s regional presence, in providing high-value information technology services across all Thakral subsidiaries.