Kingslake, in partnership with Infor USA hosted The Kingslake iTea Forum recently in Colombo. Over 75 tea professionals, representing the cream of the local tea industry including tea exporters and brokers, participated in the forum. Tea industry stalwarts conducted highly relevant and thought-provoking presentations on various topics. These encompassed the current trends and challenges, of the industry and focused on how IT and ERP can, and does help organisations improve their productivity, agility and efficiency, thereby boosting their overall growth.
Kingslake Chairman Dr. S. Dharmavasan spoke on the shift in IT that we are witnessing where everything is progressing to mobile and portable formats and cloud based infrastructure. He then went on to discuss how this can provide innumerable opportunities to the tea industry, and by taking advantage of this, how businesses can progress to a new level.
Heritage Teas Marketing Consultant Mohan Mendis spoke on how technology can be used to gain market share in the current environment where beverages are battling for quenching the consumer’s palate and thirst. Using a number of examples from various beverage industries, he stated how modern technology was being applied to create new products, based on shifts in consumer behaviour and thus how it was possible to increase market share.
Finlays Colombo Director Romesh Moraes conducted his presentation on value addition. He emphasised the fact that value equals happiness, and that happiness equals meeting emotional and functional needs, and how ERP creates great value and wellness to a company by allowing them to zoom into facts at any point and see where they are currently, and thereby strategise their future moves. He thanked the IT specialists both at Kingslake and Finlays for making this possible for the Finlays Board and share holders. Qualitea Ceylon Project Manager Ajith Abeyawardena spoke about the selecting of an ERP system, including establishing a team, preparation and evaluation. He went on to say why they chose Infor SyteLine and Kingslake for their ERP solutions, and ended with a quote from Charles Darwin: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one that is the most responsive to change.” Ranfer Group Director Niren Ranasinghe presented ‘Change or transformation?’ how, in the implementation of an ERP system, change management can provide a systematic and effective approach to dealing with the numerous changes that a company and its individuals encounter. Just about to go ‘Live’ with the SyteLine ERP solution, he said that 99% of the business will be on this ERP.
Basilur Tea General Manager Sumith Jayawickrama spoke of how his company uses Kingslake’s Tea solution based on Infor Syteline, to optimise production and manage market dynamics of smaller order sizes and greater pack sizes to cater to the modern day tea consumers varying needs. Jayawickrama who has worked with Kingslake in implementing the software, both during his tenure at MJF and now at Basilur, along with his experience of having worked overseas too, said he had seen many internationally renowned ERP products, but stated that Kingslake’s Tea solution provided the best fit for the Tea Industry.
Kingslake Principal Business Consultant M. A. Sheriffdeen gave an introduction to the Kingslake Tea system, illustrating how it can help those at every level of the tea process, and showed the audience the various interfaces of their different solutions. Explaining the reasons for the Kingslake iTea Forum Kingslake CEO Duleep Fernando said: “Having partnered with many clients in the Tea Industry for the past 20 years, providing them business solutions based on IT, we appreciate that the Industry would benefit immensely if they got together, to share their experiences with each other, learning new ways on how IT can help the industry become a more robust, profitable and greater worldwide force, thereby increasing market share and earnings benefiting Sri Lanka.”
There was a lot of interest shown by the audience when Mingle, Infor’s new collaboration platform that’s integrated to the SyteLine ERP, was demonstrated. The event concluded with High Tea, giving the participants a chance to interact with each other. Kingslake has been providing software solutions to the tea industry since its inception in 1994. Using creative and practical solutions, they have effectively resolved challenges faced by their tea clients in order to ensure that their workflow is smooth, dependable and profitable. Thus plantations, brokers, manufacturers, exporters, shippers, retailers and buyers all achieve business benefits with Kingslake’s iTea solutions.