Here’s how this metal recycling company scrapped legacy IT and modernised ERPCentury Metal Recycling moved out of legacy systems a couple of years ago. From ERP to core applications, the company has been modernising the IT experience and process. And the man behind the technology evolution at CMR is the company’s CIO, Krishna Kanth Mishra.

Mishra led the project of modernising the manufacturing ERP software and implemented Infor LN. Before Infor LN, the company was using homegrown applications, and software such as tally solutions, etc for different applications of various areas of businesses. Tally was primarily used for accounting in some of the plants. All the planning was happening outside the ERP. So, data consistency was missing and data was not integrated which resulted in the development of silos. This became a worrying matter for the company.

“Whenever we are thinking about implementing ERP, any of the ERP whether it be SAP or Infor LN, one of the key factors is to understand the capability and power of the data. One of the major factors is having different silos of information which is not giving me the correct picture to make the right decision. So, that was the thought process that came into the mind of the management at the time of thinking about the ERP. It was a process where all the business functions from all across India got involved and decided on how to run the business. And it was a major decision for the organization as our supplies are 24×7,” Krishna Kanth Mishra, CIO, Century Metal Recycling said.

Century Metal Recycling is a business that is running 24×7 and cannot afford to lose data and face the unavailability of the system. Mishra focused on a centralized system which is one of the key aspects amid choosing a relevant solution. This factor became a game-changer when Mishra decided to collaborate with Infor to strengthen the company’s IT modernization drive.

Evaluating the right technology vendor
During the process of identifying the right type of solution, the organisation evaluated SAP, Infor, Oracle and Ramco. After several brainstorming sessions, a lot of discussions have been done about the capability of the solution, the size of the organization and the support mechanisms that Mishra wanted to be addressed by the service provider.

“During that particular thought process, we found out that Infor had the capability to customize or work as per our business need in comparison to other service providers and other ERP solutions. We are into recycling manufacturing and in that particular case, we emphasise that there might be a need for a high level of customization, which was possible in a solution like Infor LN, so we decided to go ahead with Infor,” Mishra said.

Decentralised IT is challenging
Before the modernisation, the company’s entire setup was decentralised. According to Mishra, all systems were running on various silos. There was no integrated infrastructure and the need was to implement a cloud-based solution.

“We had adopted cloud, we implemented everything into Cloud so that we could have seamless connectivity, seamless data and system availability at all time. So we adopted new networking technology. Since we were going for ERP modernisation, we had decided to upgrade our entire IT backbone. When we had implemented MPLS and IILS at each location to maintain network strength and availability,” Mishra added.

Cloud is imperative
The company is using a private cloud. Currently on NTT Data Center, using their VMs and maintaining 100% cloud support.

“We don’t have a single physical machine installed on the cloud and everything is provided on VMs and RAM and core-based billing is happening as per the actual needs of our business. So we are on a normal, standard cloud. But we are not on the public cloud and have no plans to go for it soon. While using the cloud, one of the major hassles of our business goes away i.e. switching on and off the infrastructure. We wanted to be 100% sure that there is a team working on the cloud infrastructure side to ensure that we get 100% connectivity and infrastructure uptime,” Mishra emphasised.

Challenges amid the IT modernisation drive
Being into the recycling industry, a lot of things that apply to all manufacturing organizations, do not apply to CMR. The company was facing challenges with the integration of the devices, integration of new wave bridges.

“One of the biggest challenges was related to our operations, wherein manufacturing processes involved a lot of manual work from the beginning. It was a human-intensive job that was happening. Putting that particular data into your ERP was a big challenge. The current version that we are using is the Infor LN 8.3 and we are now planning to upgrade to the new version 10.7 that will give us more flexibility towards adopting mobility. So, in Infor, we have some components like Infor Ming.le which help us to automate our workflows and make our life easier by doing the approval. we are just in the process of upgrading to the newer version of that component, which is going to help us digitize our solutions and our business which will be more compatible with the mobile applications as well,” Mishra highlighted.

Data management
Data availability is one of the priorities of CMR. The company has customised reporting systems and dashboards. CMR is using Infor BI for intelligent and technology-driven decision making. It is quite seamlessly integrated with other analytics tools like tableau, and it gives very effective data in real-time.

“We used Weighbridge, because in our case, at every stage we needed to check the weight of the material, whether we are treating that current business value or the product value. So, integration with the weighbridge solution was one of the key aspects. We used middleware from Infor itself for integrating the data from our SQL Server through the V into the Infor LN database, which is again on the Microsoft SQL Server and that is one of the challenging parts. Since we were not having one-time implementation at the different stages, we had implemented the different makes and machines of the weight bridges and it was ranging from some Kgs to 60 tons. Integration work was a bit challenging at that moment,” Mishra explained.

Road map 2022
“Technology and software modernisation has helped us to identify the areas where we could reduce the cost, and wastage, identify theft or some actual mismanagement at the bottom level. Soon, we will be working on RPA and AI projects. We have completed a few POCs of RPA use cases in Finance and other functions. Other than this, our focus is on data security, and optimising network capabilities in the coming years,” Mishra concluded.





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