COMP 30007 Middle East College ERP Implementation Case Study hello please answer this assignment correctly and accurately since final assignment. Case Stud

COMP 30007 Middle East College ERP Implementation Case Study hello please answer this assignment correctly and accurately since final assignment. Case Study-All-QP
ERP Implementation at BPCL: The BPCL-ERP Story
In November 2001, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), a leading player in the
Indian petroleum industry, successfully implemented an Enterprise Resource Planning
(ERP). Implementation began in April 2000 after the company decided to integrate all its
activities through the ERP package SAP R/31.
The company hoped to speed up its decision-making and respond faster to customer needs
through ERP. The intention was to show the differentiation in service, retain customers and
help increase the business of its Industrial & Commercial (I&C) customers2. BPCL also
wanted to increase its retail thrust by exploiting IT initiatives to the maximum. The
noteworthy aspect was that the company was one of the very few Indian companies to have
successfully implemented ERP. With the successful implementation, BPCL customers could
access information and do business online, which enabled BPCL to increase its share of I&C
customers from 14.9% in 2000 to 15.8% in 2001. After the ERP implementation, BPCL’s
revenues grew by 2.28% in 2000-01, even as the revenues of the petroleum industry
declined by 3.4%.
Background Note
BPCL In 1951, the Government of India entered into an agreement with UK-based Burmah
Oil Company and Shell Petroleum Co. (Burmah-Shell) for establishing an oil refinery in
Bombay. In 1952, this agreement led to the incorporation of Burmah Shell Oil Refineries
Ltd. In January 1955, the refinery at Bombay went on stream, and in 1962, the refinery
started processing crude oil from Ankleshwar in Gujarat.
In December 1975, following the passing of ‘The Burmah-Shell (Acquisition of Undertaking
in India) Bill,’ the Government of India signed an agreement with Burmah-Shell.
Subsequently, the government took over the operations of the company and changed its
name to Bharat Refineries. Initially, the company sold only kerosene, but later it set up
service stations to sell petrol as well. Bharat Refineries became the first Indian company to
introduce LPG for domestic cooking purposes. In January 1976, the government acquired
100% shares in the company, and in August, 1977, the company’s name was changed to
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL).
The economic reforms of 1991 paved the way for major changes in BPCL. The company
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entered into marketing contracts with Indo-Burmah Petroleum (IBP), Madras Refineries Ltd.
(MRL) and Cochin Refineries Ltd. (CRL). In 1992, the government disinvested 30% of its
stake in BPCL in favor of financial institutions and mutual funds. The Rs3 10 share created a
record on the bourses when it opened at Rs 1,275, the highest ever opening among public
sector companies. In 1993, BPCL tied up with its erstwhile partner Shell, to form Bharat
Shell Ltd. (BSL), in which the latter had a 51% stake. In 1994, BSL launched lubricants
under the Shell brand. These were marketed by BPCL as well as by BSL. By the late 1990s,
BPCL had emerged as India’s second largest oil company in terms of marketshare. In April
1994, 3.8% of BPCL’s equity was disinvested in favor of its employees.
In 1998-99, the government decided to further
disinvest 26% of its stake in BPCL, which was one of
the ‘Navratnas’.4 This move gave BPCL greater
freedom to develop employee policies. It also enabled
the company to take decisions regarding capital
project expenditures without government
interference. In 1999, BPCL acquired 32% stake in
Indo British Petroleum (IBP).
BPCL’s Mumbai refinery consistently operated at over
120% of its 6.9 million metric tonnes per annum
(mtpa) installed capacity. It had the ability to process
a wide variety of crude, and its proximity to the
Bombay High oil field enabled it to meet most of its
crude demand domestically (only 15% was imported).
To make up for its limited refining capacity, BPCL
formed a strategic alliance with Chennai Petroleum
Corp (which was later taken over by IOC) to sell the
products produced in the latter’s 6.5 m mtpa Manali
refinery. The government also transferred its entire
shareholding in Kochi Refineries (KRL) (capacity 7.5
mtpa) to BPCL. BPCL also acquired IBP’s 19% stake in
Numaligarh Refineries (NRL) (capacity 3 mtpa) in
West Bengal.
These acquisitions, and the 9 mtpa refinery being set up at Bina in Madhya Pradesh, were
expected to address the limited refining capacity problem in the future.
By mid-2001, BPCL’s nationwide retail network comprised 4,500 outlets, 60% of which were
company-owned or leased – the highest percentage among oil PSUs. Retail sales accounted
for around 60% of the company’s sales volume, with average sales per outlet being 223 kl
per month. In 1999-00, BPCL’s marketshare was 32% in petrol and 27% in diesel. The
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company was particularly strong in the west and south. However, its share in lubricants, the
most profitable product, was relatively low, partly because of its dependence on other oil
companies for the base oil needed to make lubricants.
BPCL planned to increased its emphasis on retail business and increase its non-fuel
revenues, by leveraging on the strength of its retail network by providing value-added
services like convenience stores, automated teller machines (ATMs) and internet kiosks. The
company realized the importance of IT initiatives to retain its market position in the postAPM era.5 BPCL began to implement its IT initiatives in 1996.
As part of the organizational restructuring exercise, the company was revamped into six
Strategic Business Units (SBUs) – Retail, Aviation, Lubricants, Liquefied Petroleum Gas
(LPG), Industrial & Commercial (I&C), and Refinery. These SBUs were integrated with
support entities like Information Systems, Finance, Human Resources, Strategy and Brand
Management. This restructuring was designed to help the organization focus on specific
customer segments and address their individual needs. The company also realized that it
needed to streamline its processes and integrate the organization as a whole. It is when the
company decided to implement ERP.
ERP is software driven business management system that helps to integrate all functions of
a business including planning, manufacturing, sales, and marketing. The history of ERP has
its roots in the inventory control systems developed in the 1960s to manage inventory
according to traditional inventory concepts. Over the next few decades, as businesses
became increasingly complex and global, companies came under pressure to improve their
competitiveness by lowering operating costs and improving logistics. ERP aimed at helping
the management for setting better business practices and equipping them with correct
information for taking timely decisions.
In the 1970s, the concept of Material Requirement Planning (MRP) emerged, which focused
mainly on raw material requirement planning. In the 1980s, the concept of MRP-II
(Manufacturing Resource Planning) evolved. MRP-II involved optimizing the production
process of the entire plant. Though MRP-II evolved as an extension of MRP for shop floor
and distribution management activities, it was gradually extended to areas like Finance, HR,
Engineering and Project Management etc. This eventually gave way to ERP that covered
cross-functional coordination and integration to support the production process.
ERP initially targeted the manufacturing industry and dealt with functions such as planning
and managing businesses like sales management, production management, accounting and
finance. Later, these packages diversified into many different types of industries. The main
modules in a typical ERP application were finance and accounting, customer order
management, MRP, materials management and decision support/data warehousing.
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In the pre-ERP era, companies were largely confined to local markets and all
managerial functions were managed by a single set of people. However, as
businesses became global companies’ activities grew beyond local boundaries and
more people were brought in to manage the businesses. While the departments
within the companies grew, they also set up their own procedures and hierarchy.
Within departments, information moved upward. Due to the upward movement of
information, it was shared between departments at the top level only. ERP thus aided
in effectively managing the resources of the organization.
The ERP market was widely spread with the top 10 players accounting for almost 48%
of the total market, the rest of the market was occupied by small and regional
players. The ERP market witnessed substantial growth during 1998-2000 worldwide,
driven mainly by the Y2K issue6. ERP companies like SAP, PeopleSoft, Oracle, JD
Edward and Baan recorded a steady growth in their revenues.
However, after 2000, there was a slowdown in the ERP market. By 2001 the global ERP
market was valued at $ 23 billion. SAP was the market leader with a 20% market share,
followed by Oracle with 7.5% marketshare. In India, the need for ERP implementation was
felt soon after the liberalization of the economy in the early 1990s. Indian companies
realized the importance of customer focus, improving speed of delivery and cost
competitiveness to compete with MNCs. It became increasingly important to provide
improved quality at lower prices. The decision to implement ERP systems for improving
business processes and gain the competitive edge in the new global environment thus had
become essential.
Manufacturing firms were the earliest to implement ERP, followed by FMCG, automotive,
steel, oil, textile and pharma companies. The most popular modules were Finance and
Accounting, Sales and Distribution, Material Management/Purchase and HR. Companies such
as TISCO, TELCO, Nestle, Reliance, Godrej, Larsen & Toubro, HLL, Maruti, BPCL, IOCL,
ONGC, Coke, Pepsi, ITC, Colgate-Palmolive, P&G, Shopper’s Stop and M&M were some of
the major companies that decided to implement ERP. The ERP market grew substantially
with a CAGR of 70% during the late 1990s (Refer Table I), because of the large extent by a
large number of medium and small scale enterprises adopting ERP.
Table I
The Indian ERP Market
1996-97 1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02*
Mrkt Size 270
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* estimates
Source: Express Computer India, October 2001.
However, a majority of ERP implementation exercises in India proved to be failures. There
were reports of small scale companies even being driven to bankruptcy. Analysts attributed
the failure to poor understanding, planning and implementation of the system, and not to
the inherent problem in the software. A research analyst at Frost & Sullivan said, “Most
CIOs we spoke to said that ERP packages cost the earth, take ages to implement and at the
end of the day deliver nothing.” According to a Gartner study7 in 2001, it was found that the
average cost overrun in Indian ERP implementations was 178%, the average
implementation time overrun was 230% of original expectations and the average decline in
productivity was 59%.
BPCL’s successful implementation of ERP thus came as a major relief to ERP vendors and
industry watchers. However, analysts commented that BPCL had not implemented ERP as a
stand-alone system, but had integrated with the overall IT initiatives, which it had initiated
in 1996 after the restructuring.
BPCL divided its IT initiatives into a three-pronged strategy, wherein it planned to create a
communication network within the organization; to create a basic information network for
the entire corporation and to process transactions with customers all over the country.
The strategy was devised after the company divided the organization into six SBUs and
conducted a detailed evaluation of the company as a whole. The organization was
restructured to help focus on specific customer segments and address their individual
needs. For this, BPCL needed a system for speedy and effective communication. The
company’s senior management realized that unless the procedures were streamlined and
communication improved, faster decision-making would be very difficult. The
communication structure was seen as hampering the integration of its activities. The
problem areas included high costs of traditional communications, quick access to
executives, and the need to communicate with recipients over multiple locations.
To improve communication systems within the organization, BPCL decided to establish an
The company chose Microsoft Exchange Server as the platform, because of the level of
integration with the desktop environment and MS Windows NT Server.
BPCL conducted feasibility testing of the solution with the help of a pilot implementation.
With the help of Windows NT Server and Exchange Server, BPCL connected three locations
on a Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT)-based network9 with a bandwidth of 64 kilobytes
per second (Kbps) to share Time Division Multiplexing/Time Division Multiple Access
(TDM/TDMA)10 connections. The VSAT network was rated on the criteria of ease of
deployment, speed of mail delivery, zero message loss and response times. For a
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comprehensive implementation of the intranet, BPCL took help from Microsoft Consulting
BPCL connected its corporate office in Mumbai with the various regional offices. Seven web
servers11 were deployed at the VSAT hub in Bangalore to provided intranet connectivity to
users all over the country. Access was provided with the latest local and international
developments through the intranet. This not only helped the company offer better services,
but also aided in building employee skills and competencies. Internet gateways12 were made
available at the refinery as well as at all the regional offices. All the employees were thus
constantly connected to each other and to the outside world.
BPCL also implemented various applications to facilitate information retrieval from corporate
databases, including intranet applications that allowed employees to access and update
personnel records such as contact details and salary information on the intranet itself. It
also introduced ‘Query by Mail’ (QBM) by way of which remote users could extract business
transactions from corporate databases. This system helped conserve the WAN bandwidth
and schedule database queries at night. Communication costs reduced drastically because
of the communication infrastructure. According to reports, in 1999, savings on long-distance
landline communications were less by 30% as compared to costs in 1998.
The ERP implementation was part of the company’s ‘Project CUSEC (Customer Service and
Satisfaction), which had to meet the challenge of an imbalance between refining and
The company selected SAP R/3 as it was already being successfully used by major oil
companies in the world. It was also the only package which had an oil industry specific
package and an India specific package.
BPCL appointed consultants Coopers and Lybrand13 for the planning process of SAP R/3’s
implementation. The consultants worked in close co-ordination with functional experts
within the company. The first phase of the implementation began in April 2000.
The company’s existing network was redesigned and restructured and all its branches were
linked to a central connectivity cloud.14 This was done through routers15 and switches,16
which were in turn connected to servers and workstations (Refer Table II).
Table II
System Components Used By BPCL
Location Mumbai
Bangalore Juhu*
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* Juhu is connected to ISDN cloud.
BPCL realized that security would determine success of online business. BPCL ensured
security through Sun Ultra 5 firewalls17, Real Secure, Internet Scanner, Floodgate, Web
Trend and Web Sense. Web servers were installed at Bangalore and other metros with
Compaq Proliant 1600 servers. Tests to modify and customize the SAP modules were carried
on the quality assurance server (QAS). New developments and customization were made on
the Development Server and then moved to the QAS for quality tests. (Refer Table III).
Table III
The Server Architecture
Production Serv.
SAP Oracle
database Server
440 MHz –
4 GB
6 CPUs
4 GB
Quality Assurance Server
2 CPUs
2 GB
Development Server
2 CPUs
2 GB
failover Server
Storage Server – HP Surestore E Disk Array XP 256 with – 2 TB hard disk
6 GB cache memory
HR Servers – HR production server, HR QAS and HR Development
Server, which had the same configuration as Production Servers
Source: ICMR
The server architecture included a Compaq Proliant NT server, an SCO box, a Sun Firewall
and other servers. The Cisco 2610 routers at each location led to a Cisco 1900 family switch
for distribution. BPCL had also setup a data warehouse with business objects and query-bymail. The company also implemented a Tivoli ESM (Enterprise System Management) 18
solution. By November 2001, BPCL became the first Indian company in the oil industry to
have implemented ERP. According to analysts, BPCL managed to complete the ERP
implementation much ahead of its arch rivals IOC and HPCL, mainly because of its efforts to
streamline its IT initiatives.
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SAP R/3 helped BPCL to successfully launch its e-biz initiatives, the first of which was to
allow I&C customers to track the status of their orders online. This not only allowed the
company to retain existing customers, but also helped in attracting new customers.
According to company sources, BPCL’s biggest advantage from the ERP implementation
was regarding the management of inventory. Before ERP implementation, the company’s
practice of monthly inventory reviews frequently led to time lag in processing orders.
However, after ERP, this problem was eradicated. It was now possible for the company to
know the details of receivable of inventories, which in turn made cash management also
easier. The company expected the ERP to achieve a payback by 2003.
The introduction of the Petrocard in 1999-00 tested the coordination between the various
departments to the fullest. The Petrocard was a 4K-microprocessor smart card , which was
used at retail outlets across the country.
By March 2001, around 2.5 lakh customers were using Petrocard with over 20,000 daily
transactions taking place at BPCL’s retail outlets throughout the country. Petrocard’s
success put all doubts about BPCL’s ERP implementation to rest. After this, BPCL also
introduced a Fleet card for transport companies, which made it easier for them to track the
position of their inventory. The company also integrated the manufacturing execution
system of its refinery with the system.
Encouraged by the success of Petrocard and Fleet card, BPCL planned to introduce an online
payment system, to be used to make credit card payments. Ashok Sinha, Finance Director
of BPCL said, “The basic idea is to translate operations which have been so far considered
B2B , into B2C .” The system will be integrated at depots with the help of SAP. We plan
more retail disbursements through SAP once RBI’s payment disbursement norms are
passed.” Before the successful implementation of SAP R/3 at BPCL, the ERP market had
been proclaimed dead by many analysts because of the number of failures of ERP
implementation exercises. Experts hailed implementation as the revival of the ERP market in
India (Refer Exhibit IV).
Websites References:
ERP Implementation At BPCL: The BPCL-ERP Story (2001) available from
[17 May 2020]
Enterprise Resource Planning (COMP 30007) – Spring – 2020 – CW (Assignment_2) – ALL – QP
Module Code: COMP 30007
Module Name: Enterprise Resource Planning

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