MUMBAI, INDIA: For Akhilesh R Shukla, Manager Accounts and IT at Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, a recent journey has been full of fresh milestones and a new air of change altogether. He takes us through the itinerary of an adventurous IT trip.
What made you plan for a change and how did it happen?
We started with file management last year and have successfully automated erstwhile manual file management. This helped us in smoothen the processes and accelerate decision-making . This opened doors for better processes in areas like finance and control, material management and HR. In the next months we are on our way for a paperless office.
You mean you would shed off paper and wear automated processes?
We are converting paper into an electronic media. We would use that technology to manage approvals and impact our footprint better. In future, we are looking at e-systems as our planning orients for better and smarter results.
Did you feel any change-related bumps on this road?
Yes, we contacted a few agencies and helped people get tech-savvy. We sought and spread as much guidance as we can to employees, users and other stakeholders in our ambit.
Did the SAP solution require any customization wheels?
The process we adopted for finance and procurement is almost 80 to 90 per cent adequate as provided by SAP. There were a few minor changes that we managed.
Does going in a phased way helps you acclimatize to the new place better?
Yes, employees did not have a full readiness so we tested with new-generation employees first and then they helped us hand-hold other entities better and smoothly as we progressed.
Any significant benefits you already feel?
The scenario for time management, crucial savings on paper, cost reductions and a greener culture is something very noteworthy. We avoid printing almost altogether now. Plus, this serves as a good foundation for many other saving areas planned ahead.
Any experiences on management's buy-in?
Paperless system itself was a major theme that galvanized a lot of interest and support without any budget constraints.
Any advice you would share with peers planning to go paperless too?
I found the product we used, i.e. SAP's very fantastic and adequate, specially with the new and commendable GUI they offer. It is as good, fun, smooth and user-friendly as using a web 2.0 email or Facebook etc. UI helps employees navigate the change better.