In a nutshell

Shree Narsinghsahay Mudungopal is as traditional as their name. They are a classic Indian family-run business, and have been for three generations now. But they are also giants in their sector: they are one of India’s largest distributors of electrical components, with more than a dozen warehouses and godowns distributed across western India. Under their visionary current chairman, they have used information systems to very good effect. Now they wanted more — they wanted to jump to the next generation of computerisation.

Challenges, not problems

Their earlier information systems were very effective, as long as they were used by the team at the HO.

They realised that their key bottleneck was absence of any visibility about inventory and transactions at remote locations. Their information systems were built using yesterday’s technology, from the pre-browser era, and could not be accessed over the Internet or even a WAN.

They needed to move their entire business applications to a new tech stack which would maintain a centralised enterprise-wide database and allow all locations to update inventory, goods movement, and transaction data online in real time.

Solutions, not ideas

As can be imagined, this was a large project since it involved re-writing an entire software suite which had been developed in legacy technology and refined over more than a decade.

The new tech stack we mutually agreed on was Java, running on Linux and storing data in an Oracle database. The UI was purely browser-based.

The client recruited a small team of programmers, who worked jointly with a team of more than 10 developers from our company, to develop this system. The design, architecture, spec, and technology choices were entirely the responsibility of our team. Development and testing was shared.

The project lasted more than 15 months, with about 15 developers working through this period to develop and deliver the system.

Now that’s value

This was a project which would be called an “internal digital transformation project” today. Even though the client had computerised their business operations, the impact of this was only felt at their HO earlier. With the new systems, all their remote locations came online, and they acquired the ability to move stock from one warehouse to another based on real-time stock positions, thus increasing efficiency and reducing turnaround time for customer orders and cutting working capital costs tied into dead inventory.

The client’s internal team finally took over the operations and maintenance of the new system, and it has been a successful transformation project to bring a conservative family-run business into the 21st century, leading from the front.