by June 8, 2006 0 comments



The B2B portal created by the IT team of Reliance is meant
to cater to the increasing customer

demands. Reliance Industries is well known for its petro-chemical products
business. For this, the company has an ecosystem of agents and channel partners
through which it gets all its orders. Recently, Reliance also ventured into the
petrol retail business. Orders for this business come through regional hubs,
depots, and retail outlets. The company faced issues servicing customers as the
volume of business grew, resulting in delays in servicing orders leading to
customer dissatisfaction and an increase in the cost of order fulfillment due to
rework. An order management system was, therefore, the need of the hour to
eliminate manual processes and minimize delays in order execution.

Business
problem
 

Delays in customer servicing due to the growing volume of business 
IT
solution

An online e-commerce portal for customer order management

Implemented
by

Paresh Pujara, VP; Project Head, Ashish Chauhan, CIO and team

Technology
platform 

3-Tier architecture with ASP front end and MS-SQL and SAP database at the back-end
Paresh Pujara, Vice President, Reliance Industries
Ashish Chauhan,
CIO, Reliance Industries

The B2B portal was created to allow customers to place
orders online for any product from Reliance’s various business divisions-be
it petroleum, polymer, or polyster. This was tightly integrated with the backend
ERP system running on SAP, so that orders would directly get updated after
checking, and be moved online to various Reliance plants. Customers would also
get updates on their order status through the ERP system itself. The portal has
been integrated with Reliance’s GPS tracking system implemented on its fleet
of trucks.

This helps customers track their orders. Currently, the GPS
system is in a pilot stage, and has been deployed across a few thousand trucks.
It will be scaled up as soon as the initial teething troubles get resolved. The
portal also provides proof of delivery for the Petrol retail business, order
history and MIS. It even has a facility for rate negotiations for export orders.

The portal caters to more than 4000 agents, 800 Petrol
retail outlets, and 70,000 medium and large customers. With such a large
customer base, the portal gets an order every two seconds at its peak. No wonder
then that the portal clocked more than Rs 26,000 crores worth of business in the
last financial year. Reliance claims that this is more than what any other
e-commerce portal in

India


has reached.

The technology
It’s a standard front end based on ASP, JavaScript and VBScript with a MS
SQL Server database at the back end, which stores all the online orders. This,
in turn, is connected to the back end ERP database. There are two instances of
each application and database server running and are configured for load
balancing. Customers can connect to the portal from modems, ISDN, or even VSATs. 

The benefit of having a Web-based interface is that
there’s no management required at the customer end. The project started in
2002 and its implementation was completed last year. The Petrol retail
integration was completed in the first quarter of this year. Reliance expects to
integrate more lines of business to this portal, and even has plans to do supply
side automation and materials management. Reliance is also a buyer as it is a
seller, a huge thrust is planned for automating these processes as well. 

Internet sales B2B architecture

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