Temples Go Automated

A new enterprise resource planning system is streamlining the operations of one of India’s largest pilgrimage destinations.

The Hindu Pantheon of Gods should be happy. They say that Hindu gods never demand any undue restraint upon the freedom of human reason, the freedom of thought, feeling and will of man. So the Gods won't be unhappy if you convert their abode to a fully automated one.

India's second largest pilgrimage destination in the western area—the Sant Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan in Shegaon—has successfully completed India's first-ever enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation for a Temple Trust.

Pune, India-based information technology (IT) service provider Patni Computers announced on June 10 that it has successfully finished installation of an ERP application from SAP AG, the Walldorf, Germany software giant, and described the event as “the first of its kind in a place of worship in India.”
The company said the primary aim behind the move was to streamline the various functions of the temple trust through automation of donation and collection records.

Drastic overhaul

“With daily footfall touching 3,000, coupled with a network of nine branches and over 20,000 daily transactions, the trust needed a drastic overhaul and expansion in its existing operational structure. This was achieved through computerization,” Patni said in a release.

Post implementation, the management has a unified view of its strategic, operational and transactional activities. The ERP system has vastly improved their ability to monitor the day-to-day operations as well as forecast the availability of finances required for sustaining the temple’s activities. This, coupled with an extensive change management exercise facilitated by Patni, has enabled seamless knowledge transfer and has improved the staff's ability to handle large volumes of transactions.

Nagaraj Bhargava, vice president, marketing, SAP Indian Subcontinent, said, “SAP is happy to be part of this pioneering initiative undertaken by Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan, Shegaon (SSGMS)—the first Temple Trust in India to leverage SAP ERP to technology-enable its operations and provide access to critical information to key stakeholders like devotees, staff and temple trustees.”

Show the way

Patni’s Senior Manager, Vivekanand Sangle, said, “We are pleased to partner with the Trust for such a prestigious project and are confident that this implementation will show the way to other social institutions in terms of leveraging ERP for improving operational efficiency, ensuring accuracy and transparency in financial reporting and driving social change.”

Market observers believe that wealthy Hindu temples are potential market for large scale automation. There are small and medium companies in India that develops temple software which functionality includes maintaining devotee information, managing pooja schedule, managing donations and generating various types of reports for temple management, such as priest scheduling reports, donation history reports and year-end donation summary reports. But there have been no major organized players in Hindu temple automation.

About the author

Uday Lal Pai, udaylalpai@gmail.com, is a freelance journalist based in India.

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