US ERP firm targets Indian SMEs

By : |April 5, 2004 0

BANGALORE: SoftBrands India, the 100 percent subsidiary of US based SoftBrands Inc and a leading enterprise solutions provider, is looking at tapping the Indian Small and Medium Business (SMB) market with a suite of products targeted at the segment.

The company has launched FourthShift, an ERP product for medium businesses and is targeted at manufacturing companies between the range of Rs 50 crore and Rs 250 crore.

An integrated manufacturing solution, it runs on Windows platform, with broad functionality which facilitates critical business functions like manufacturing, operations, financials and CRM and SRM (Supplier Relationship Management). The product is priced at Rs 15 lakh for a typical 10-user license.

Besides, the company is also planning to launch FourthShift for SSI’s (small-scale industries) which fall below the range of Rs 5 crore, in a couple of months and will be priced between Rs 3 to Rs 3.5 lakhs

Says Ronnie Sarkar, Head- Sales & Marketing, SAARC Countries, SoftBrands,” Our strategy is to partner with resellers across India and SAARC region. Currently, we have around 15 partners in India and plan to increase the network to about 40 partners by 2005. We are also planning to expand our operations in some of the SAARC countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Srilanka and are looking for partnerships there. However the implementation will be done directly by us, which enables us to provide faster and quality service to customers.”

The company has also recently rolled out lean automation software, DemandStream, based on the concept of lean manufacturing for companies using any ERP system. The solution enables ‘Demand-Pull’ scheduling ensuring material flow throughout an enterprise-wide supply chain and this software sits on top of any ERP solution.

Said Ronnie Sarkar, “We are planning to target companies which are already following lean manufacturing concept, particularly the automobile sector in a big way and will target automotive like Delhi, Pune, Chennai and Gujarat. However, this market is still in concept stage here and will take sometime to evolve.”

“For this, we have tied up with Kaizen Institute India, the global management consulting company, which advocates lean manufacturing concept and help companies transform. With this alliance, we plan to address both the India and China market at the moment and later to extend this relationship across other geographies like the US and Europe,” he said. On its pricing model, he said that it depends on the enterprise solution deployed, integration requirements and customization.

It also plans to launch a multi platform ERP to B2B application suite ‘Evolution’ designed for mid sized manufacturing and distribution companies by August, this year. The product caters to the needs of manufacturing processes that require conversion capability and provides them with cost visibility, quality and on time delivery.

For this the company plans to target the textile segment aggressively. As the global quota systems prevailing in the textile market comes to an end by January 2005, the company foresees a huge demand among textile enterprises to deploy cost effective enterprise solutions and various other value added measures to stay ahead of the tough competition that ensues following this move. And this is where the company plans to leverage with its mid-size product ‘Evolution’.

The company, headquartered in Minneapolis, US has over 500 employees with branch offices in Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Africa with global revenue of $80 million. In India, they have offices in Bangalore and Noida and employ around 80 with a team of marketing, product development and consulting professionals. The company also has four marketing offices and a development center in China. However the company’s, global development center is based in Minneapolis, US. Worldwide, it has around 3700 customers and currently has 30 customers in India.

The small development team here in India works on providing localization modules to their products to address the Indian market. It however carries out pilot development of their DemandStream product, which is an extension of their global development and support center in UK.

CIOL Bureau

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