CIO 100 Winner: Nishi Vasudeva revolutionized the process of capital budgeting, making life easier for employees and other stakeholders. She developed a Lotus Notes workflow tool and deployed it across the organization. Today, the system provides the means to justify the investment, mention the estimated timelines for completion and the estimated ROI.
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Getting into the Fortune 500 isn't easy, but living up to it is even more difficult. Ask Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) . Established in 1952, the company operates from 500 different locations, including refineries, terminals, LPG plants, aviation service facilities, etcetera.
"Each year, over 2,000 budget proposals originate from these locations requesting for capital budgets for various purposes like expanding operations, replacement of assets, etcetera," explains Nishi Vasudeva, executive director-IS, HPCL.
These proposals, along with supporting documents were being couriered to regional, zonal or head offices for review and approval. During reviews, clarifications are often sought and the paper flows back to the originator, and a new loop is formed.
This manual process not only involved huge amounts of paper flow, but had other inherent issues. There was a complete lack of discipline in meeting timelines to complete the budgeting process and activities subsequent to it. Monitoring the budgeting process was hampered because there was no ready access to facts and figures by various monitoring agencies at different levels within the organization. "The need, clearly, was to eliminate paper flows and ensure that the information was readily available for review and decision-making," says Vasudeva.
So, she developed a Lotus Notes workflow tool and deployed it across the organization. "Now, any capital investment proposal from any operating location in the country can be routed to relevant reviewers and approving authorities," says Vasudeva.
The implementation of the new online system entailed a paradigm shift from the way the entire capital budgeting process was being carried out. So, change management was an issue. But extensive end-user training and feedback mechanisms helped Vasudeva fix these problems.
Today, the system provides the means to justify the investment, mention the estimated timelines for completion and the estimated ROI. Proposals can be enabled online and even be converted into capital budgets with necessary controls and validations built into the system. This system has also brought in high level of discipline and adherence to the timelines. "The total cost savings as a result of reduced man-hours amounts to about Rs 25 lakh per annum," says Vasudeva.
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