Weaving ERP into the Indian Textile Industry
Ask an experienced textile industry insider what the key factors in managing a textile business are, and chances are the answer will be: man, machine and environment.
In more formal terms, this means human resources or manpower, manufacturing machinery and the physical spaces in which production units, warehouses and so forth are housed. Manpower is the pivot on which all this turns. This is a labour-intensive industry, and continues to be so even after the automation of several manufacturing processes. The many variables involved and the need for manual work, even in a mechanised unit mean that there is a great reliance on people.
The historic patterns of the Indian textile industry underscore this emphasis on people; look beyond the large players, and you see a plethora of family-run businesses and small units that are virtual one-man shows at the management level. This compounds the reliance on human skill and experience.
Individuals with a great deal of knowledge rely on their memory and skill to keep it all together. It's only as the breadth and depth of operations increase that units think of turning to ERP solutions.
Even so, many small and medium textile enterprises prefer to opt for custom-built solutions, largely for reasons of economy. While many are yet to get on board, enterprises who have taken on an ERP solution report that substantial gains can be had without dislodging the human-centric nature of the industry. One area where it can make a difference is in textiles management. Textiles’ is a vast area in itself; different types, colours, and so on. Greater control over sourcing, dispatch and costing via an ERP has been a boost to efficiency in this area.' An ERP system means that vital information is no longer locked away in fragile files and folders, or in someone's memory. At every step from raw materials to finished goods, it enables easy access to information on all variables involved. This gives managers easy, quick access to key business data on call, reducing the mind space given over to retaining process details and freeing those all-important human resources to focus on productivity.
To successfully transform the Indian textile industry, ERP solutions have to be woven into the fabric of the industry. The number of specialised solutions on the market makes it easy to find the right choice that fits seamlessly into the interactions between man, machines and environment.
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