ACC was among the first Indian companies to adopt automation of information technology. We started computerizing our systems as early as 1968 – a commitment to progress through the harnessing of relevant available technologies, a practice that continues even today.
We have traveled a long way from our early days when we were using simple keypunching machines. Significant improvements have been made in application systems and infrastructure since then – from Batch processing to on-line systems, from IBM 1401 and Data General system to the latest Linux/UNIX and Windows 2003 based machines. We have made timely transitions determined by available technologies and business requirements.
In February 2007 the company made a quantum jump from in-house developed systems using Oracle 9i and Developer 6i to an ERP (SAP) based solution. This decision was based solely on our strategic objectives and the business benefits that we expect to derive from implementing such a solution. With this move we also aligned people, business processes and technologies across the country.
The Company has an Intranet Portal called ‘Accelerate’ which is dedicated to employees. The portal’s content is based on Personal information relating to Human Resource matters, Performance Management, as well as other information of use to employees such as the latest news on company affairs, developments on sustainable development, house magazines and newsletters.
Being a large organization with a countrywide network of manufacturing, marketing and R&D centers, we have invested in the creation of a comprehensive infrastructure that allows free flow of information across the organization. This enables almost instant communication between all levels in the organization. A hybrid WAN network connects each of our 275 plus locations. A judicious mix of VSAT and VPN links ensure adequate connectivity between these locations. Each manufacturing location has a well designed LAN to meet its needs.
IT in ACC is well placed to master future expansions of our core businesses.
DID YOU KNOW ?
_Patni Computer Systems installed India’s first Data General computer in ACC in 1978 and deployed a team of their best employees to manage it. The team comprised the legendary Narayanamurthy, then among the earliest employees of PCS. They were given an office in Cement House. Later when he and others from PCS established Infosys Technologies in Bangalore 1981, ACC was among their first customers._
Cement major ACC’s Tikaria plant in Sultanpur has become the first unit of the company to implement an innovative logistics management program called “Speed” which is aimed at enhancing productivity, increasing efficiencies and save time, fuel costs as well as enviornment.
The success of the program at the 2.6 million tonne Tikaria plant has led to the company adopting the programe at its two more cement units in West Bengal and Karnataka and hopes to bring all 16 plants ofACC under the ‘Speed’ fold in about two years time.
Speed is essentially a logistics and supply chain management project which is a major part of any cement plant with hundreds of heavy duty trucks bringing in raw material and picking up cement for further distribution in the market.
Director, Logistics-North, ACC Ltd, Deepak Gulati, said “at any given point of time our Tikaria plant had atleast 500-600 trucks lined up for uploading cement. The efficient management of this huge fleet on a daily basis was a major concern. After studying various logistics projects abroad we evolved our very own program called ‘Speed’ and now besides saving costs which results in cheaper product to customers, we have better functioning among drivers, truck owners, customers and ACC employees. Delivery timelines are also efficiently adhered to with this project”.
He said that while earlier 500 odd trucks used to be parked outside the plant gates waiting for their turn almost 110 trucks were lined up inside the plant for uploading cement, which became a big task to handle.
But now due to effective adoption of Speed there are only 27 trucks inside the plant at any point of time and only 200 trucks outside. ACC’s Tikaria plant engages nearly 4,000 trucks for this exercise. Due to the speed initiative the tonnage per truck has increased increasing productivity and is time saving thus allowing trucks to make more trips to the plant in the same given time.
ACC has also deployed Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) and Global Positioning System (GPS) in all vehicles for effective tracking of vehicles and keeping in constant contact with drivers.
“Inward and outward transportation forms a significant share of ACC’s overall costs and the Speed initiative has allowed about 5% saving in costs. With 30 million tonnes cement moved across the country by various ACC plants which engage about 12,000 heavy duty vehicles the savings from this initiative can be huge when adopted across all plants” said Director ACC Tikaria Plant, N Keshav.
Tikaria was the first cement plant in the country to adopt such a logistics project and would soon take it to all 16 plants of the country said, Director-Logistics, Tushar Dave. He said that the program has also led to manpower efficiency and drivers find it more convenient and comfortable to do their duty.
Acc to hindu
ACC Ltd. has embarked on an initiative to improve the efficiency of its supply chain, which include 10,000 trucks that carry cement from its plants to sales outlets across the country.
Transportation costs account for 35 per cent of the total sale price of cement and ACC, the subsidiary of Swiss cement major Holcim, hopes to bring down this cost by 4 to 6 per cent. ACC has deployed radio-frequency identification (RFID) and global positioning system (GPS) technologies to radically change the way cement is supplied to the market.
RFID has been deployed at its cement plants in Tikaria (Uttar Pradesh), Damodhar (West Bengal) and Thondebhavi (Karnataka). Over 400 trucks have been GPS-enabled so far. Within two years, 10,000 trucks and all plants would have GPS and RFID. This project, which is in its pilot stage, has yielded satisfactory results, and a veteran logistics professional has been hired to spearhead the initiative.
“Considering the huge costs involved in road transport, as well as to address the issue of time and asset efficiency, we embarked on a new journey 12 months back. Through automated and technology-enabled process we have improved the asset utilization in road logistics,” said Tushar Rameshchandra Dave, Vice-President, Central Logistics, ACC.
He said RFID and GPS would together increase the utilization of assets (trucks) which, in turn, would lead to freight savings and optimization of resources.
“Fixed costs of trucks will go down as the same number of trucks can now ship more cement in lesser time. A truck that was doing up to 4000 kms a month can now do 6000 kms. Apart from financial benefits, it will help in curbing pollution,” Mr Dave said.
“There is an increase in evacuation of 15-20 per cent and betterment of service levels up to 40-50 per cent,” he added. With RFID, a truck that was taking 220 minutes to drive from the entrance to the exit gate of a plant, is now doing it in 75 minutes.
RFID tracks the historical data of a truck and the time taken to go from the entrance to the exit gate of the plant. It is also helps in tracking the non-value added time. GPS, however, tracks the movement of a truck once it is outside the plant. “RFID and GPS together are ensuring better visibility of trucks and helping in complete transparency of operations,” Mr Dave said.