Posted by: Sujoy Das | September 8, 2014

New MIS Reports from Teapac

The new web based version of Teapac is introducing some new MIS reports which compares performance across group gardens. One of these reports on the Manufacturing side is given below as a sample. Stay tuned for our new collection of MIS reports!

Manufacturing Summary

 

Posted by: Sujoy Das | December 28, 2013

New Web Based Tea Garden Software – First Look!

RDG Systems and Software Private Limited (www.rdgteapac.com), the developers of Teapac the leading ERP for the Tea industry have tied up with Ray Computech Pvt Ltd ( www.raycomputech.com) to make the first web enabled ERP software for tea plantations and their Head Offices.  RDG brings to the table more than twenty years experience in the tea industry while Ray Computech is one of the largest software developers of ERP solutions for various industries.  The new software is being developed in the latest C Sharp.net  front end which has a number of very strong features for ERP development.

Some of the features of the new web enabled “Teapac” are given below:

  •  Full security module with user rights for administrator and operators as needed password protected
  • Audit Trail
  •  Blazing fast speed – no need to wait for reports or data entry any more – reports in 2 to 3 seconds only!
  •  SMS and email options of key information directly from the package as the information is updated – no need to phone garden for information
  •  Ability to access the package from any where so long as you have an internet connection.
  •  Full parameter matrix to enable and disable features as needed
  •  Fast report generation
  • Options to export reports directly from the package to PDF and excel formats
  •  Important data like employee masters, account heads, stores items etc can be directly imported into the packagefrom excel sheets thereby reducing data entry time significantly
  •  Options in built to configure the software for DarjeelingDooars, Assam,CacharSouth India etc. as needed.
  •  Multiple currency options for foreign countries like Kenya, Bangladesh, Vietnam etc.
  •  Customized reporting options without re-writing/modifying source code
  •  Single company , multi garden in the same location now possible
  •  Grid system attendance for daily guinty books
  •  Integration with Easy weigh and other systems of automated  leaf weighment
  • Many more new features and advanced features.  

Some of the newly developed screen shots are below:

Teapac 5

Teapac 1

Teapac 2

Teapac 3

Posted by: Sujoy Das | June 20, 2013

Web Enabled ERP for Tea Plantations

RDG Systems and Software Private Limited, the developers of Teapac the leading ERP for the Tea industry have tied up with Ray Computech Pvt Ltd to make the first web enabled ERP software for tea plantations and their Head Offices.  RDG brings to the table more than twenty years experience in the tea industry while Ray Computech is one of the largest software developers of ERP solutions for various industries.  The new software is being developed in the latest C Sharp.net  front end which has a number of very strong features for ERP development.

Some of the features of the new “Teapac” are given below:

  •  Full security module with user rights for administrator and operators as needed password protected
  •  Blazing fast speed – no need to wait for reports or data entry any more
  •  SMS and email options of key information directly from the package as the information is updated – no need to phone garden for information
  •  Ability to access the package from any where so long as you have an internet connection.
  •  Full parameter matrix to enable and disable features as needed
  •  Fast report generation
  • Options to export reports directly from the package to PDF and excel formats
  •  Important data like employee masters, account heads, stores items etc can be directly imported into the package from excel sheets thereby reducing data entry time significantly
  •  Options in built to configure the software for Darjeeling, Dooars, Assam, Cachar, South India etc. as needed.
  •  Multiple currency options for foreign countries like Kenya, Bangladesh, Vietnam etc.
  •  Customized reporting options without re-writing/modifying source code
  •  Single company , multi garden in the same location now possible
  •  Grid system attendance for daily guinty books
  •  Integration with Easy weigh system of leaf weighment
  • Many more new features and advanced features.  

We expect to have the Payroll module ready by August 2013 and will then put it on the web. Users can log in register take a user name and password and use the package for a limited time before buying the same as a trial version. This will help companies understand the features and the use of the package before they buy it. The remaining modules like Inventory, Accounting, Manufacturing, Sales, Budget, Head Office will be added soon after.

In case any of you are interested in upgrading your software this year or next year do send me a e-mail at srd@rdgsystems.com and I will get back to you once the new product is ready for use.

Posted by: Sujoy Das | March 11, 2013

Drought in the Barak Valley of Assam

,

Monday, March 11, 2013

Shortage of rainfall hits Barak tea industry

Correspondent
HAILAKANDI, March 10 – The tea industry of Barak Valley is facing serious problems due to the shortage of rainfall during the last few months. The owners of various tea gardensof the valley have expressed serious concern over this.

It can be mentioned here that three districts of Barak Valley have 104 tea gardens. In a statement, the assistant secretary of Tea Association of India (TAI), Saradindu Bhattacharjee said that the collection of tea leaves has stopped and it would curtail the production of tea in the current year.

The irrigation systems in the tea gardens have also become inactive due to the acute shortage of power supply. Due to the shortage of water the tea leaves are getting dried and the garden workers are yet to start the plucking of leaves, he said. He said that more than two lakh employees are totally dependent on the tea industry and if the drought-like situation continues then the future of this industry in Barak Valley would face a serious jolt. He further said that the process of spraying of insecticides has also been disrupted due to the shortage of rainfall.

On behalf of the management of all the tea gardens, TAI has appealed to the Government to come forward for the rehabilitation of tea industry on this critical juncture of drought-like situation.

Posted by: Sujoy Das | January 17, 2013

Teapac New MIS Reports

We are happy to announce that we have created some very complex customised reports for a tea group having gardens in Assam.

One of the reports known as a Fortnightly Report collects data from all modules like Payroll, Field, Factory, Stores etc to create an 7 page MIS  report which was previously being prepared manually and is now generated from the Teapac system.

The second report which is a weekly leaf statement also takes information from various modules and collates the same together.

RDG will continue to strive to give the tea estates tailor made solutions meeting their exact requirements and to reduce their dependence on Excel!

The pdf of these two reports are attached.

Fortnightly Report

Seasonal Weekly Leaf Return

Posted by: Sujoy Das | December 31, 2012

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 10 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted by: Sujoy Das | August 17, 2012

Web Enabled Tea Plantation ERP Software

Teapac, the well accepted ERP for tea plantations running since 2005 is now ready for a make over!

RDG is proud to announce the launch in the next few months of Teapac Ver 2.0 for the web. The software will have all the robust features and functionality of the original Teapac along with:

  • Blazing fast speed – you don’t need to wait for processing any more!
  • Web access from any PC from anywhere in the world – you can see the garden data from your Head Office as you need daily.
  • SMS/Email alerts – all major indicators like green leaf, tea made, despatch qty, tea sorted, tea packed, pluckers productivity, recovery ratios, etc will be triggered daily on mobile phones or email as needed from the system. No need to call the garden any longer for information. Information on your Iphone/Ipads also!
  • Option to use module by module as needed – not necessary to buy the full software
  • Option to have a pay to use system on subscription basis monthly
  • Versatile  software will incorporate all norms and requirements of Darjeeling, Dooars, Assam and South India.
  • Totally parameter driven : changes can be made as needed for different areas, different rules etc. in seconds without having to  spend money to customise the sofware.
  • Web enabled Head Office module also fully integrated with the plantations

Stay tuned for further updates and news!

We plan to have the software ready and running for the next season!

Self running demos will be available on the internet itself – you can view them from the comfort of your own PC or laptop!

Posted by: Sujoy Das | July 2, 2012

Interview with Mr K Baheti CFO Mcleod Russel

July 2nd 2012

Interview with Mr Kamal Baheti CFO of Mcleod Russell to CNBC-TV18 .

Q: If you could tell us the immediate impact all of us has on prices of tea globally and the kind of impact it would have on average realizations for a company like McLeod Russel as well?

A: Till October last year, we had the record crop in India. At one point of time there was a talk of about crossing one billion kg of production and the shortfall in the month of November-December happened. Then we had an early winter, which affected the production. February-March-April got affected because of the drought.

So there was a five-six months of continuous crop loss and because of the shortfall in the inventories and further shortfalls in the production, the prices for the new season tea is opened at around Rs 25-30 higher and continues to be at that particular level.

We believe this production shortfall cannot be covered for the rest of the year and this price increase of Rs 25-30 will remain for the system for the full year. Internationally also there have been a loss of crop both in Kenya, Sri Lanka other places as well and the prices are higher by 15-20%. So believe around 15-20% increase in prices for the year is something which is likely.  Read More…

State small tea growers hopeful of better days
Staff Correspondent
DIBRUGARH, June 11 – The unorganized sector of tea industry is having the bitter taste of their teas as MGVK Bhanu, the Chairman of Tea Board of India has ordered todisconnect the electricity line to those factories which are averse to displaying theirprice offer for green leaf.

Similarly, he also ordered to cancel permit of those green leaf supply agents who will indulge in supplying low quality leaf or hop from factory to factory, bargaining for their leaf in violation of agreement. The newly appointed chairman is firm on putting the Tea Marketing Control Order (TMCO), the formula to determine price for green tea leavespayable to the growers, in place and this has made the small sector happy.

Co-founder of the All Assam Small Tea Growers’ Association Hemanta Gohain said that the small tea growers have found some solace in the words of chairman MGVK Bhanu. “However, if his words cannot be translated into action, the small tea growers will remain to be exploited by the tea factory owners,” Gohain said. He said that small tea growers in the State are hopeful that the new Tea Board chairman would redeem them from the exploitation of the powerful in the tea industry.  Read More…

Posted by: Sujoy Das | April 2, 2012

Does Teapac ERP software result in cost savings?

In a recent presentation to the owner of a group of tea estates in Kolkata, I was suddenly asked “Will there be any savings in cost if I install Teapac?”

The question set me thinking and when I returned to my office I asked my team for some figures for rations in different gardens where Teapac is installed. The Census of the garden for workers and dependants is through the Teapac system and so I thought maybe I should check whether a correct census has made any difference to the ration quantities. The results of three gardens are given below:

Garden

Ration Quantity before Teapac per fortnight

Ration Quantity after Teapac per fortnight

Savings per fortnight

Savings per year (approx)

Approx value of Savings per year

Garden A: Crop 14 lac kgs;  Permanent Strength: 1200 workers 9,000 kgs 8,300 kgs 700 kgs 16,800  kgs Rs 1,33,980/-
Garden B: Crop 7 lac kgs;  Permanent Strength: 650  workers 5000 kgs 4600 kgs 400 kgs 9600 kgs Rs 76,560/-
Garden C: Crop 20 lac kgs; Permanent Strength: 2600   workers 30,000  kgs 28,800 kgs 1,200 kgs 28,800 kgs Rs 2,11,392/-

Note: Rice @ Rs 8.61 per kg and Atta @ Rs 7.34 per kg.  Rice and Atta considered 1:1.

The table reveals that there are savings for all the gardens irrespective of size and number of workers. The maximum savings is for Garden C where Teapac will pay for itself in full within 17 months only on the savings in Rations alone! Other than Rations there will be additional savings in mandays, better control over stores and lower inventory stocking etc. Similar analysis of mandays before and after Teapac should throw up some interesting results as well!

So install Teapac and save money as well!

Posted by: Sujoy Das | March 28, 2012

Tea output to drop on dry weather

The Hindu Business Line

Kolkata, March 26 2012

Tea production in North India covering Assam and West Bengal for 2012 is set to register a sharp drop due to a prolonged dry spell and rising temperatures across the two States, according to the Indian Tea Association (ITA). Data compiled by ITA in respect of its members estimate rainfall deficit for West Bengal to range between 31 and 42 per cent during January-March 2012 as compared to the same period in 2011. The ITA also points out that the tea estates in Upper Assam particularly those in the south bank of the Brahmaputra are also experiencing severe drought conditions with rainfall deficit of 45 per cent in Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts and around 38 per cent in Golaghat. North Bank and Cachar covering the Barak Valley report similar trends.

Crop is estimated to drop by around 60 per cent up to March as compared to 2011. The crop in Assam and West Bengal up to March 2012 can therefore, at best touch 20 million kg as against 46 million kg recorded for the corresponding period for 2011. This dry spell would undoubtedly have an adverse impact on the first flush. The production decline is also evidenced by a drop in the fresh arrivals at the auctions centres of West Bengal and Assam covering sale 14 and 15. According to reports, fresh arrivals at GTAC (Guwahati Tea Auction Centre) for Sale 14 is 2,487 packages (2012) as against 5,020 packages (2011) indicating a drop of around 50 per cent. District-level weather forecasts available for 26- 30th March reflect no possibility of any rain in the tea districts of Assam and West Bengal. Temperature is are predicted to touch 34°C to 38°C.

Tea Industry closed 2011 with a production of 988 million kg with prices averaging at around 2010 levels for both Assam and West Bengal. These regions have been required to increase the wage cost which forms a major component of the cost of production, up by 28 per cent in 2012. Besides severe cash flow problems, the likely drop in production due to abnormal weather conditions would result in significant revenue loss which will not be compensated by higher prices. Erratic rainfall patterns are compelling the industry to invest in improving irrigation infrastructure in tea estates. The cost of providing such infrastructure has been estimated at around Rs 7 lakh a hectare. The CCPA has requested the Tea Board and Ministry of Commerce for a stand-alone scheme to support irrigation under the 12th  Plan, a statement from ITA adds.

Posted by: Sujoy Das | March 13, 2012

Rainfall deficit delays first flush tea in Assam

The Economic Times
12 MAR, 2012, 04.43AM IST, BIKASH SINGH,ET BUREAU
GUWAHATI: Tea plantations in several parts of Assam are reeling under rainfall shortage. This has led to a delay in the arrival of first flush of tea leaf.The first flush of tea, which comes at the beginning of March, and the second flush available in April, are considered to be very important. However, planters fear that the first flush tea will be available only by later this month.Planters are finding it difficult to keep their gardens green in Sonitpur, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Golaghat, Nagaon and Darrangin northern Assam due to an unfavourable climate.Mridul Hazarika, director of Tea Research Association’s Tocklai Experimental Station in Assam, told ET: “Rainfall is less this year. This has affected production. We are collecting data to verify the deficiency. First flush of tea is delayed”.

According to Bidyananda Barkakoty, chairman of theNorth Eastern Tea association, the first flush is very important and contributes significantly to the overall production. “If rains do not come now, our production will definitely decrease”.

Last year, the state had witnessed bumper production, 508.74 million kg, which is the second-highest output in the history of 180-year-old Assam tea industry. Planters have taken to irrigation.

The All Assam Small Tea Growers’ Association general secretary Karuna Mahanta said: “As things stand now, the first flush is likely to be delayed by 10-15 days. Generally, we get the first flush at the beginning of March. However, till now, we are yet to get the leaf. It is a drought-like situation.”

He added that most small growers are not in a position to make arrangements for irrigation and around 5% are using ‘spring-cooler’. “In the northern belt of Assam, there was hardly any rainfall during February,” he added.

Posted by: Sujoy Das | March 7, 2012

Does computerisation in a tea estate increase manpower?

I am writing this post from a tea estate in upper Assam where Teapac, our ERP software for tea estates is being implemented. The estate is a large one with six divisions, factory and a crop of around 20 lakh kgs+ per year. The peak season worker strength is around 5000+ dropping to around 2500 in the lean season.

The computer department presently has one person who is handling the accounting work on Tally while the rest of the operations like paybooks,  kamjaris, stores ledgers, factory records etc are being done manually.

A quick review of the workload necessary revealed that another three persons would be required to handle the day to day data entry for the workers as well as to update the stores, accounts, and factory and field records.

When I discussed this with the Senior Manager at the estate he was aghast. “You are asking me to increase manpower, when I thought that adding computers would help me to reduce mandays!”

“There is no way I am going to get a sanction from my Head Office to increase manpower. We have to find some other way out”, he added.

The truth of the matter is that when the daily attendance of 5000+ workers has to be entered manually in the computer system day after day, manpower will be required to run the system.

To circumvent this process and the need for more manpower many estates have gone in for automatic weighment systems  in the field e.g. Easy weigh which is linked to the computer software and leads to reduction in manpower, better accuracy as there is no manual entry and daily uploads to the computer software.

What are the options for the estate without increasing manpower and introducing automatic weighment systems?

Reallocation of the workload

This is a distinct possibility if there are users amongst the staff who are computer literate. The management can reallocate the responsibilities so that some of the computer literate staff are moved to the computer section while their workload in handled by other staff. Further with computerization some of the manual records and registers would be discontinued thus giving the staff some more time for computer data entry.

Asking the individual departments to handle their own computer data entry

This would mean that the Field Mohurers would handle the attendance of the daily guinty books, the Stores Clerk would enter the purchase orders, stores receipts and issues, the Head Clerk/2nd Clerk would look after accounts and so on. This is a system which is in vogue in a lot of gardens today as opposed to the dedicated computer force as discussed above. However this is based on the assumption that the user departments would have manpower that is computer literate or can train them to use the new software. In reality, unless a user has a basic knowledge of MS Word, Excel and e-mail it is doubtful if he would be able to use a windows based ERP system.

Training

Send some of the existing clerical staff for training on basic computer operations, so that there are a pool of operators in the estate who can run the system. This team would be able to handle their own work as well as spend maybe a couple of hours on the computer carrying out the day to day tasks. However most gardens are located away from towns and cities and hence any computer training would perforce have to be done at the garden itself. Very often the trained computer operators can train the other staff at the garden by allocating maybe a fixed time every day for training.

However, these solutions are often not solutions at all as the comments below will reveal!

“My Divisions are far flung. I cannot expect my Field Mohurers to cycle seven to eight kilometers every day in the evening to enter the guinty books after a whole day in the field” said a Manager to me one day.

A valid point and one which must be considered.

“My existing staff is old and not computer literate. They will not be willing to learn computers in this late stage” said another Manager one evening.

I agree that it is unlikely that tea garden “babus” who are on the verge of retirement will be able to learn computers at the fag end of their careers.

I would be interested to learn from other  Estate Managers and  as to how they managed their computerization and what solutions worked for them.

Please do write in with your suggestions and comments!

The Assam Tribune

March 2nd 2012

GUWAHATI, March 1 – Five tea planters associations and the INTUC-led Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) today arrived at a wage agreement for the daily wage workers of the tea estates of the Brahmaputra Valley for three years since January of the current year. The five tea planters’ associations include Indian Tea Associations (ITA), Tea Association of India (TAI), Bharatiya Cha Parishad (BCP), Assam Tea Planters’ Association (ATPA) and North Eastern Tea Association (NETA).

According to the agreement, the workers of the tea estates would receive daily wages per head at the rate of Rs 84 between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012. From January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013, each of these workers would receive Rs 89 per day, while for the period between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014, each of these workers would receive Rs 94 as daily wage.

For the first time in the history of the country’s tea industry, the planters associations and the Cha Mazdoor Sangha also agreed to introduce an incentive to curb absenteeism among the tea workers. Accordingly, an attendance allowance of Rs 1 will be paid to each of those workers who would work for five or more days in a week.

Together with this, the agreement between the tea planters’ associations and the ACMS also states that authorised leave, festival holidays with pay and authorised sick leave will be deemed as a day worked. This allowance would be subject to review after expiry of one year.

The attendance allowance will be introduced from the week beginning on or after March 12. 2012 and will be computed on a week to week basis thereafter.

The arrear wages from January 1, 2012 to February 29, 2012 will be paid by June 30, 2012.

It needs mention here that each of the tea workers of Brahmaputra Valley used to receive Rs 66.50 as daily wage between January 1, 2011 and March 31, 2011. Between April 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, each of them was entitled to Rs 71.50 as daily wage and between July 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013, each of them was entitled to receive Rs 76.50 per day as per the last wage agreement signed between the planters’ associations and ACMS in 2010.

During the negotiation, the ACMS submitted a charter of demand for an interim increase in wages to make good the regional disparity in wage levels. After protracted discussions, it was agreed to terminate the present agreement covering the period between January 1, 2010 and September 30, 2013 and have a new wage agreement with effect from January 1, 2012, said the agreement.

Meanwhile the management associations and the labour unions had signed a wage agreement for Barak Valley a few days back with the provision of a daily wages of Rs 68, Rs 72 and Rs 75 for the periods respectively between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012, January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013 and January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014, said tea industry sources.

Posted by: Sujoy Das | March 1, 2012

Tea Board plans district-level meet of small growers

The Hindu

Santanu Sanyal

Kolkata, Feb 28:

The Tea Board, according to its Chairman Mr M.G.V.K. Bhanu, proposes to hold district-level conventions of small tea growers to educate them about proper agricultural practices.

“This will help them produce quality leaves commanding remunerative prices,” Mr Bhanu told Business Line.

The first convention, as he indicated, would be held in the third week of April in Sonitpur district of Assam and leaflets explaining how to produce better crops would be distributed among those to be present. Also, the successful small growers from various States would be invited to narrate their experiences.

Focus on small growers

“We have chosen Sonitpur as the venue for the first convention because the district has as many as 12,500 small growers but we intend to hold similar conventions also in other districts with concentration of small growers,” he said.

Sadly, as the Tea Board Chairman regretted, the policy pursued so far lacked the focus on problems facing nearly two lakh small growers accounting for 26 per cent of the country’s total tea production. No extension service was available to them nor any scientific knowledge or technology either to boost production or improve the quality of leaves. There were other problems too like the problem of marketing, pricing of produce, resource crunch, not-too-satisfactory equation with bought leaf factories, in fact the list was long.

“We will address most of these issues,” he said. “For the 12th Plan, we’ve asked for a good amount for the development of small growers but how much will be the actual allocation is difficult to estimate right now”. He, however, made it clear that the models of Sri Lanka and Kenya would not be replicated here.

“We will have our own model. We want small growers to regroup themselves into self-help groups, set up their own factories and develop own brands,” he observed.

The proposed Small Tea Growers’ Development Directorate, with headquarter in Dibrugarh, Assam, and branches in other places, would start functioning from September, he said. A total of 95 posts were being created for the directorate – 82 of them technical and 13 non-technical.

Meanwhile, in a memorandum presented to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce, the Confederation of Indian Small Tea Growers’ Association has demanded opening of Tea Board’s field offices at Kokrajhar (Assam), Islampur (West Bengal), Waynad (Kerala) and Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh).

Simplification of schemes

It has also stressed the need for simplification of existing schemes designed to benefit small growers, enforcement of price-sharing formula, introduction of plantation credit card and insurance and welfare schemes for workers in small tea gardens and supplying subsidised fertilisers to these gardens.

In a pre-budget memorandum to the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, the association has raised similar demands.

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