Mobility Helps Fertilizer Manufacturer Improve Fieldforce Productivity

Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals has launched an application for its field force to improve real time visibility and grease their business wheels.

Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals, a leading company of the Nagarjuna Group, is a prominent manufacturer and supplier of plant nutrients in India. They began operations in 1986-87 and their asset base is around Rs. 21 billion.

It is involved in the production and marketing of a wide range of fertilizers. They supply a broad assortment of nutrition products and services that comprises of both macro and micro fertilizers.  

Nagarjuna's Down Stream Business (DSB) has more than 200 field representative operating across the country.  The Field Force is categorized into Sales, Logistics and Development Officers, duly supported by 30 plus regional offices. They have more than 200 warehouses.

Entangled in a cobweb

The sales officer collects indents (orders) from dealers, which could be micro nutrients, water soluble fertilizers, organic fertilizers, and micro fertilizers. Before the project went live, the sales representatives collected the orders manually. The entire cycle from sales plan to despatch, collections, and critical reporting was majorly carried out physically.

“After taking the order, they came to the regional office and gave it to the area accountant who fed the entries into the system. If there are 10-11 officers, then the accountant has too many entries to feed in,” says Jitendra Singh, CIO & Head-Business Excellence, Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals.

Then, the information went to the logistics officer in form of a phone call. Subsequently, logistics officer travelled to warehouse and checked the stock."If the inventory was available they booked the dispatch, made the invoice, and if the stock was not available they raised a request to central logistics officer to shift some quantity to their warehouse, which caused a huge amount of delay,” says Singh.

The company’s national sales head never had a visibility on what kind of sales being done on daily basis.

With deep sigh, he said, “the time and effort consumed in the process was counterproductive, both in terms of accuracy, as well as the speed of operations and reporting - thereby affecting the overall efficiency of entire field force. Unfortunately, it took 2 days for the confirmation on the sales order.”

Singh and his IT team, thought of a solution and then a golden idea struck them: Why not create a mobile application to annihilate all these problems?

An application called Sales Force Automation at Down Stream Business was created to vanquish all the concerns.

Functionality of the Application         

Consider this: For instance, if Sales representatives get an order of 100 gms of phosphate from a dealer, they visit them, log in to the application, pick up the dealer’s code, which is integrated with the SAP at the back end. The moment they press the submit button, the information goes to the logistics team. They get an email and SMS to make them aware of what kind of orders are flowing in. They look at the stock position and confirm the order.

Interestingly, “once the sales officer logs in, he sees a dashboard on the first page which shows their target. It also indicates how much they have achieved in the past one day or one week, and the money they are supposed to collect. The cheque or draft they receive from dealers, are fed in the application so that the corporate finance team knows how much of cash has been realized,” says Singh.

Application is rolled out PAN India and it is available on mobile, tablets and PCs. It is developed in .NET platform, supplemented with an Android Wrapper Module for Tablet and Mobile based operations. The user interface has been designed in a responsive manner and it is error proof.

Singh championed this project and says, “I went into the several zones and understood the process end to end and took care of process excellence.”

Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals, took the help of M/s Envision India to develop the application and spent a whopping amount of 98 lacs on this project. They placed their bets on them because they are in the business for the past 25 years and are cost effective.  

With a great amount of passion, he says, there has been a reduction in manpower as information is directly sent from the ground. This project has given our company accurate and faster operations, increased productivity through integrated approach and real time visibility.

He added that there is huge level of satisfaction as there is better collaboration happening between IT and business.

On plans for the future, the company plans to strengthen the decision making capabilities of field force with real-time Analytics and Management Information Systems.