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Kingslake prop to GRI’s next growth phase

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Effort to grow rubber exports fourfold by 2024

Global Rubber Industries (Pvt) Ltd. (GRI) has partnered with Kingslake, the manufacturing solutions experts, to lay the foundation for its next phase of growth. By leveraging Kingslake’s Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) solutions, the country’s leading manufacturer of specialized tires hopes to make a significant contribution to the rubber industry, a key export of the country.

For the past 150 years, Sri Lanka has been one of the world’s most sought-after primary sources for natural rubber and rubber-based products, having contributed $1 billion to the country’s export revenue in 2018 alone. With a revenue target of $4.4 billion set for 2024, all eyes are on specialist companies such as GRI to bolster their own production, advanced planning, and scheduling capabilities so as to stay on par with global players.

Additionally, as a member organization of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (SLEDB), GRI’s move to partner with Kingslake will help the local export economy stay competitive as a result.

With Siemens Opcenter APS, GRI will have decision-making support for overtime, order prioritization, split production batches, due date negotiation, and order processing clarity. With the new solution, the company will also have complete visibility and control to support better scheduling decisions.

More specifically, GRI will be able to make better and more strategic its Bill of Materials (BOM) level Planning, Make to Order (MTO) Planning, and Make to Stock (MTS) Planning; all of which are critical to a tangible enhancement of existing manufacturing processes.

“Work order modifications, time overruns, and material availability issues frequently disrupt the production schedule. GRI is looking to solve these challenges by seamlessly connecting our planners to the shop floor, enabling capacity-based production plans, and real-time schedule changes with Kingslake’s experience and scheduling APS software,” said Ananda Caldera, Executive Director of Global Rubber Industries (Pvt) Ltd.

“We have entrusted Kingslake’s interactive and multi-constraint scheduling APS software expertise to fortify and further digitize our operations,” said GRI’s Chief Information Officer, Tharaka De Alwis. “The availability of resources and additional constraints such as tooling and materials, needs to be taken into consideration during scheduling to ensure an accurate model of our environment. This is of vital importance given the aggressive investments we are making, and our vision to position Sri Lanka and GRI as a tire manufacturing hub.”

“Digitalization is changing everything, and manufacturers must be able react quickly and intelligently to unexpected changes, while also being able to respond to shorter lead times and satisfy customer demands,” said Duleep Fernando, CEO of Kingslake. “Through this partnership with Kingslake, GRI will be able to sequence production orders faster, make production planning more accurate, improve production master plans, and enhance inter-departmental and inter-factory communication.”

“Our systems have added immense value to the processes of a range of manufacturing companies, and subsequently their sectors which include tea, furniture, rubber-based products, complex electronics, fashion, gloves, packaging, plastics, molds, tools, electrical devices and glass,” he added. “We are certain that our digital solutions and expertise will reap greater dividends for GRI, and for Sri Lanka’s rubber export industry as a whole.”

Since its inception in 1994, Kingslake has focused on providing software to help mid-sized manufacturing companies grow. The company delivers state-of-the-art solutions built with a mix of best-of-breed ERP systems, specialized software solutions, and experienced dynamic consultants. Today Kingslake continues to build and deliver fit-for-purpose software that enables manufacturers to increase the visibility of their operations, be it customer service, inventory management, planning, procurement, manufacturing, engineering, HR, transport, or finance.

GRI was founded in 2002 and has expanded its business globally by taking high-grade Sri Lankan specialty tires to the world. The company produces radial agriculture tires, construction tires and material handling solid tires using locally produced natural rubber. GRI has sales offices and warehouses in nine countries, and a business presence in more than 50 countries.

In 2018, GRI opened an advanced manufacturing plant in Sri Lanka primarily to produce radial agricultural tires. In 2020, GRI also commenced construction of a new mixing facility in the Mirigama Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) in Sri Lanka and in 2021 laid the foundation to expand its advanced specialty tire plant.

 

 



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OPPO releases new OPPO A54 in Sri Lanka

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OPPO, the leading global smart device brand, announces the launch of OPPO A54 in Sri Lanka.

A54’s attention to design and great usability is evident in both its exquisite appearance and how it helps to capture great looking shots. This starts with the Material of the Rear Cover, which uses metallic material for its 3D panel, but contributes to a stronger and less bendable structure but also a comfortable in-hand feel. As a result, A54 weighs about 192g and is 8.4mm thin. To align the overall look and feel of the phone, close attention is paid to the Middle Frame Process.

“A Series is designed to enhance or complement our users’ lifestyles and OPPO A54 achieves just this with a phone that manages to balance a high-end performance with contemporary design. Its large 5000mAh battery and 18W Fast Charge makes sure you’re fully powered to get you through your day. With A54, you’ll also have enough storage and memory to make sure that you’ll enjoy your entertainment without the frustrations of an underperforming smartphone,” said Bob Li, CEO, XINDA Lanka (OPPO Sri Lanka).

The Rear Cameras itself feature a 13MP Main Camera, 2MP Macro Camera for close range shots, and 2MP Bokehfor brilliant bokeh shots that blur the background and highlight the subject of the photo. A54 enhances shots in all environments with Dazzle Color, balancing the saturation and brightness. A54 also supports filming videos including SLO-MO at 720P at 90FPS with the rear camera, and up to 10 video Filters including Original, Gentle, Noon, Subtle and more.

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Pan Asia Bank records best-ever Q1 results in challenging times – Profit After Tax soars by 81% to post Rs. 750 mn.

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Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC reported the best-ever first quarter financial results during the quarter ended 31st March 2021 to report a Pre-Tax Profit of Rs. 986 Mn and a Post-Tax Profit of Rs. 750 Mn after recording impressive growth rates of 51% and 81% respectively, demonstrating the resilience amidst challenging macro economic conditions. The Bank’s performance was characterised by strength and resilience, despite the heightened uncertainty due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 impact on the Sri Lankan economy, the Bank’s Operating Profits before VAT on Financial Services reached Rs. 1,197 Mn with an increase of 47%, reflecting excellence in core banking performance and the success of cost containment measures evidenced by improvement in all key matrices which now rank among the industry bests. This feat was achieved even after setting aside provisions for probable loan losses amounting to Rs. 638 Mn. The Bank increased the provision buffers for probable deterioration in credit quality through management overlays, experience adjustments and adjustments for the exposures in the elevated risk industries during the quarter. As a result, total impairment charges for the quarter increased by 21% on YoY basis.

The Bank’s Net Interest Income for the period witnessed an increase of 17% due to significant reduction in financial cost of funds at a rate faster than the drop in interest yields of interest bearing assets. Consequently, the Bank’s Net Interest Margin for the quarter improved to 5.07% from 4.41% reported three months ago. In the meantime, the Bank’s Net Fee and Commission Income recorded a growth of 28% with the rebound in demand for credit due to revival of economic activity amidst the low interest rate regime. The volatility in foreign exchange rates enabled the Bank to increase its Foreign Exchange Income substantially as reflected in Other Operating Income.

The Bank is committed to revenue maximisation and cost management despite sector vulnerabilities that prevailed since last year. The Bank’s Cost-to-Income Ratio improved from 45.66% to 38.08% within a three months period owing to the excellence in core banking performance which is reflected in the noteworthy overall growth in key revenue lines and various strategies and measures taken to contain overhead costs. In fact, the Bank managed to bring down its Other Operating Expenses by 9% in 2021 Q1 compared to 2020 Q1. Meanwhile, increased allocations for performance bonuses, development of human capital and staff welfare led to an increase in personnel costs during the reporting period compared to 2020 Q1.

The Bank’s Post-Tax Profits for the reporting quarter also gained to an extent due to application of lower corporate income tax rate of 24% for tax provisioning in accordance with the guideline issued by CA Sri Lanka on 23rd April 2021.

The Bank continues to report solid Key Profitability Indicators which rank among the highest in the industry. The Bank’s Pre-Tax Return on Assets also improved to 2.24% from 1.70%. Further, the Bank reported a stunning Return on Equity (ROE) of 19.27% during the quarter under review which stands among the industry best. The ROE is the most important performance indicator to gauge the attractiveness of the Banking sector and Pan Asia Bank during its last few years has consistently remained an outlier in the industry.

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SLIIT nurtures school children at ‘Soft Skills + 2021’

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The SLIIT Business School (SBS) organised ‘Soft Skills+ 2021’ concluded on an extremely successful note recently helping students engage, cooperate and thrive in building their talents towards personal development and career progression.

SLIIT Soft Skills+ event is an annual flagship CSR Project of the SLIIT Business School organized with the primary objective of developing secondary school students’ soft skills in positive thinking, creativity, analytical thinking, leadership skills, problem-solving skills, communication skills, and teamwork.

Over the years, the programme has garnered much popularity among schools and participants. Due to its tremendous success achieved in previous programmes, Soft Skills+ 2021 followed an upgraded structure. For the first time in the Soft Skills+ programme history, the event was held via online platforms, including a Soft Skills-based online quiz and an online workshop for students and teachers.

During the Grand Finale, Prof. Samantha Thelijjagoda, Dean of SLIIT Business School welcomed the participants and distinguished guests. Prof. Lalith Gamage, Vice Chancellor, SLIIT also addressed the gathering.

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