Mother Dairy CIO Annie Mathew on IT investment plans

Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) Annie Mathew says one of its key technology focus areas in 2015 will be on the SAP hardware refresh.

The company will be evaluating the associated opportunities for technology enhancement. Taking advantage of mobility to strengthen the processes at manufacturing locations and to drive supply chain enablement are also focus areas.

She said stabilizing and extending footprint of current year deployments of retail POS, milk collection application and Distributor Management Application are other critical priorities for Mother Dairy. Using analytics to derive insights from data generated from the systems deployed and enhancing consumer engagement would be priorities over the next eighteen months.

IT investment plans

Mother Dairy has always balanced IT investment between lights on and new initiatives. Due to mix of projects that will move into stabilization phase and other new initiatives that will be kicked off, it is expected that IT spends will be more or less at par with previous years. There is a strategic move to embrace cloud delivery options where the business risk and cost assessment justifies it.

IT is an integral part of business process delivery. “For instance, our entire milk collection process is supported by technology that ensures that when a farmer pours milk into the collection center, she receives a printed slip with the FAT, SNF, quantity, rate applicable based on the Fat and SNF percentages and the amount payable at the end of the payment cycle,” Annie Mathew said.

Mother Dairy CIO Annie Mathew

Similarly, when the milk is received at plants, series of quality tests and weights are integrated with SAP with automatic rejection if the quality parameters are not acceptable. Milk tanker filling is tightly integrated with SAP based on order quantities for the route.

Mother Dairy has deployed cloud based RAMCO ERP at subcontractor locations to have visibility of inventory levels and ensure quality control from procurement till finished goods delivery processes. HR/payroll processes with employee self service and performance management etc is delivered through SAP on cloud.

E-procurement was deployed with the objective of making the purchase process transparent and accessible to a larger spectrum of vendors and is also handled through a cloud based solution from TCS.

Mother Dairy CIO said: “We are working towards auto-replenishment across the supply chain by deploying distributor management and retail systems. This will help us reduce inventories at stocking points and increase the freshness index.”

Mother Dairy has adopted a best-of-breed approach towards application deployment with focus on ease of use and fitment to the business which primarily deals in highly perishable and temperature sensitive products.

Mother Dairy currently works with a spectrum of IT vendors such as IBM, SAP, TCS, Wipro, 3iInfotech, NIIT Technologies depending on the nature of the requirement.

The company CIO feels that flexibility and partnership in its true sense is what drives the association. The IT partners are expected to help us optimize the IT landscape and deliver value for the IT spend. She said IT vendors need to understand the business imperatives and work closely with us to address our challenges instead of adopting a one size fits all approach.

Rajani Baburajan
[email protected]