Public sector units (PSUs) today are leveraging information technology (IT) to automate business processes across various functions such as engineering, manufacturing, materials management, production, site operations and project management.
Oil PSU Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has been implementing information technology to bring efficiency and transparency in its system. To keep track of the 45,000 customer touchpoints across the country, including more than 25,000 petrol and diesel stations and 6,200 Kisan Seva Kendra outlets (KSKs) in the rural market, it has developed a software solution to digitise transaction processing on the dealer side. It has recently partnered Freecharge—a digital platform provider—to allow its customers to make cashless payments against LPG cylinder deliveries across the country.
“We have built a framework that supported the identification of the entitled government subsidy on LPG and transferring them directly into the consumers’ bank account,” says Alok Khanna, executive director—Information Systems, IOC.
Leveraging the Indsoft software platform which has beend eveloped inhouse, and retaining the “batch” plus “real time” processing with same code base, IOC built a framework which supported the identification of the entitled government subsidy and its transfer directly into the consumers’ bank account, he says. LPG cylinders were being sold at dual prices for a long time. “The first task was to eliminate this from the market and this was established through a national scheme called PAHAL. Under this scheme, the product was offered at market price and the intended government subsidy would reach the customer’s bank account directly from the LPG service provider,” he explains.
On the LPG distributor network side, the IT architecture synchronises the distributor end with the central server and exchanges data in near real-time. The transactions are based on the web service request response mechanism. All data is now accessible to customers. This platform has also enabled other government schemes like “Give it up” and “Ujjwala”.
“Various analytic reports have been developed for stakeholders by deploying business intelligence tools to provide data in the form of data visualisation, graphics for easier monitoring and controls,” says Khanna.
IOC is now working on procuring a COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) dealer management solution and a CRM solution for the 50,000-plus secondary dealers of the company. The COTS dealer management solution will ultimately replace the strategic business unit (SBU) specific applications and all SBUs will operate on a single platform.
The CRM solution will be implemented across all SBUs and will cater to a range of customer relationship management functionalities.
Khanna says IOC is also resorting to cloud services to bring agility in processes. “Several of our applications are hosted on private cloud. The proposed Dealer Management System and CRM are also going to be hosted on a private cloud. We have also deployed business intelligence tools in our organisation which are providing analytics through graphics, charts, data visualisation and other latest techniques,” he said. IOC is also exploring implementation of technologies like machine learning/ AI, chatbots, Internet of Things to enhance efficiency in various processes.