APTransco enhances visibility and decision-making with IFS applications
The decision to implement IFS Applications throughout the company has given APTransco an entirely better grasp of its business processes and increased transparency in the business. The result is more accurate business data, smoother, timelier maintenance work, automated processes that greatly reduce the risk of error, and the ability to tackle issues more swiftly.
About APTranscoAPTransco, based in Andhra Pradesh, India, came into existence in 1999 as a consequence of the restructuring of the Andhra Pradesh State Electricity Board (APSEB) to look after transmission of electricity in Andhra Pradesh. From Feb 1999 to June 2005 APTransco remained as single buyer in the State, purchasing power from various generators and selling it to distribution companies.
Market focus required modern applications In the transmission industry, APTransco has always been a frontrunner in adopting IT applications. Over the years, its efforts have paid off; transmission losses have more than halved from 8.98 per cent in 2000 to 4 per cent in 2007.
One of the key IT applications deployed by APTransco is the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) suite from IFS. In June 2007, it became the first transmission utility in India to deploy an ERP suite. IFS Applications was implemented to improve operational and managerial efficiencies and enable timely tracking of materials allocated and payments made. The idea was to use the integrated software application to enhance data access, which would thereby help in decision making and deliver improved quality of services.
APTransco’s increasing focus on the market accentuated the need to put the program in place. It became necessary to manage critical information more efficiently and reliably to enable management and executives to make quicker, more informed decisions – a key to better business performance. To ensure accurate, timely and reliable information for better and quicker decision-making, IFS Applications was purchased. IFS scored over other vendors due to its international experience of implementing and customising software in restructured and regulated environments, especially in transmission companies. IFS was also the implementation partner, which made it easier to redress issues. Having a vendor take responsibility for the entire process was key to the successful implementation of the business software.
ERP suite from IFS The project, called Project ROSE (Resource Optimisation Solution for Enterprise) was commenced in July 2006. It was implemented step by step, in three phases. In Phase I, it went live in the utility headquarters (HQ) and Hyderabad in February 2007. In Phase II, it covered the Vijayawada and Warangal zones in March 2007, and finally in Phase III, it covered the Vizag and Kadapa zones of Andhra Pradesh in June 2007.To ensure the success of the project, various initiatives, such as core user training, process mapping, end-user training, data migration, and critical customisation were undertaken. A support centre has also been set up for guidance and to address issues raised by end-users. The ERP went live from August 1, 2007. Since then, critical business information such as financial data and inventory positions has been available online in quick reports.
The implementation of the human resource and payroll components started in November 2009, with go-live in June 2010.
Greater visibility and coordinationIFS Applications enables head office to view and approve all projects and schemes. Moreover, the head office can consolidate all material requirements from projects, operation and maintenance to generate itemised purchase requisitions. Further, tenders can be made and finalised electronically, with related purchase orders created and approved via the business applications. Head office is also able to allocate and direct material based on withdrawals from stores, which receive materials exactly as requested via purchase orders – which are standardised in the business applications. Purchase orders can also be closed within IFS Applications.
In addition, executive field engineers receive daily updates on construction work so that they can book material consumption to instantly update/track project costs. Based on this, work bills are raised, approved and paid through the system. The finance department can verify invoices based on which payments are made. Budget/cash grants allocation and expenditure are tracked by the system, and all payments are made through IFS Applications.
With information about all substations and line equipment data in the enterprise applications it is easier to generate reminders about programmed maintenance schedules. Maintenance is then carried out and its progress entered in the system. If not, the matter is escalated to higher levels.
IFS Applications comes with a built-in event alert that automatically notifies relevant staff, which generates event notification automatically with any change of modification in the filed/events at each level of entry and the same is sent to the corresponding authorities.
The financials component of the business software was also customised to handle asset transfer between units and to calculate interest on loans. Accurate information for better decision-making
Being an integrated software application, IFS Applications provides APTransco with a wider view of its operations. The successful implementation of the enterprise applications from IFS in APTransco has paved the way for its adoption by other transmission companies in India. Because it helps companies integrate several data sources and processes into a unified system, based on component-based software design, it is of great help to different departments with respect to storing and retrieving information in real time. Access to information is expected to enable early detection of problems and quicker decision-making, which in turn will result in a faster response time to contingencies.
Easier regulation of the activities and organisational processes
Tracking of the progress in construction projects and timely allocation of materials
Tracking of payments and minimisation of human intervention in payment of bills
Tracking of bank balances of each accounting unit at any point of time
Reduction of paper-based correspondence
Improvement in transparency and accountability
Availability of data (Single-entry and available to all authorised users across departments)
Centralised payroll processing across the accounting units
Easier monitoring and tacking of roster-based recruitment
Tracking of disciplinary cases for compensation and promotions
Electronic tracking of legal and disciplinary cases