Q. Can you please tell us about your organisation?
KARAM is India’s leading Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) manufacturing enterprise and is rated as one of the finest Indian companies providing world class PPE. Our journey started in 1998 with 5 people in a small rented premise manufacturing Industrial Safety belts. Today we have a workforce of more than 3000 members globally. Our major competitive advantage is that we have completely backward integrated manufacturing facilities where the only raw material is yarn and steel.
Over past two decades, we have set a benchmark in the world of safety. More than 70 percent of our products are manufactured under Six Sigma and all our products are certified to different norms like American, Australian, Canadian, European, Singapore and of course Indian Standards.
Q. Can you brief us about the overall IT strategy that’s being driven in your organization?
At KARAM, it is our constant pursuit to integrate technology into every aspect of our business. This requires continuous communication and complete understanding and unflinching trust between the IT function and other operational functions. We view IT as a source of profit, not as a cost centre. The integration of technology takes care of infrastructure and security requirements of the KARAM Group. Not just that, emerging technologies like AI help us to have visibility into probability of project success. While we do understand that technology itself won’t change the course of a company, however, it will pave our way into a digitalized future.
Q. What are IT related challenges that manufacturing sector is facing today?
Technology has a significant role to play in a manufacturing organization like ours, where there is a constant need for striking a balance between meeting and exceeding industrial cyber security needs. The most pressing challenge that the manufacturing sector is facing is that of integrating emerging technologies like AI, Automation into the enterprise environment, while keeping costs under control. Data on cloud, adoption of mobile devices and allowing social networking also pose challenges in terms of adoption, integration and supervision. With industry 4.0, a paradigm shift has started, and many manufacturers now realize that they can get an opportunity to adopt one or more of the enabling technologies like Internet of Things, Big data, Analytics, etc. in order to transform their business. However, we also realise that these emerging technologies, if implemented correctly, can generate cost savings, as well as improve or create new products or services and trace out their marketing potential. They can also be leveraged to increase efficiency and productivity. We need to strike an appropriate balance between caution and convenience. The Oracle software helped us in efficient supply chain management, inventory management and is also helping us in effective production planning through their Production Scheduler Module.
Q. Technology is changing not just the core function in manufacturing sector, but also the other functions. Can you talk about that aspect as well?
Manufacturing sector is undergoing a transformation within its businesses to meet the requirements of the digital age. Market forces are driving us to find new and creative ways to engage with customers earlier in the sales cycle while ensuring that order orchestration and execution is a seamless process across business systems. Manufacturers must market and sell their products and services to both businesses and consumers and need to do so across various channels. With these customers being more empowered with information than ever before, getting great leads, routing them to the right direct or channels sales person, and then executing a great buying experience is vital. 
Till about two years back, our sales team was struggling to record their leads and opportunities. We were using excel sheets which resulted in a plethora of dis-connected data, which we were unable to analyse for actionable insights. There had been instances where people took data with them when they left the company. We, therefore, decided to bring in the Oracle Sales cloud. Once implemented the solution enabled our sales team to not just consolidate the data onto a single platform, but also to work offline. The implementation of Oracle Sales cloud has been like a dream project for us. This has led to empowered Sales Users, faster Closure of leads and opportunities, better real time Sales Analytics and prompt and better Customer Servicing. The time taken for closure of services has reduced by 30% and we plan to reduce it further. Similarly, we want to achieve 100% Lead to Opty conversion ratio of End Customers and we want to build a Sales pipeline of at least 300% of Quota per Month. The number may seem high for now but the Sales team aims to achieve it and Oracle Sales Cloud shall be one such tool to help them!!!!!!