Project Development Objectives
Laksala has been selected as one of the main projects under the eServices initiative on account of its high impact and visibility to both the citizens and businesses.
The objective of Laksala is to promote and protect Sri Lankan handicrafts. Laksala nurtures Sri Lankan craftsmen by providing them opportunities and livelihood by purchasing and selling their items. It also provides design ideas and craftsman skill improvement programmes via the National Craft Council and National Design Centers.
By enabling Laksala to re-engineer their operations and process to be more effective and efficient through the use of ICT they will able to sustain the survival and development of many of the Sri Lankan craftsmen in this competitive market.
This project will be a great means of promoting the use of ICT in rural areas. There will be many services provided by Laksala to the rural craftsmen which could be accessed via the Nenasala Centres such as:
Access to over 350 Nenasala centers (www.nenasala.lk) by the rural craftsmen to obtain information and services by Laksala (easy access to Laksala website via internet) such as demand forecast for specific items, new designs, ability to obtain information about items in stock from craftsmen, etc.
Nenasala vouchers to offer free use of Nenasala services to craft suppliers
Deliver craft skill development content via Nenasalas and Distance Learning Centers in alliance with the 140 handicraft training centers network that Laksala operates.
Use the SME portal to sell the handicrafts online.
This project can serve as the best model where ICT could be used for socio-economic development and poverty reduction. The ability to understand the demand for items from the Laksala website will enable craftsmen to cater to the demand with the right quantity, assisting them with planning out their inventory. Gradually, the craftsmen will be able to sell their handicrafts online via the Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Portal directly to consumers.
By introducing the use of ICT in the 140 regional handicrafts training centers of Laksala, the school leavers who get trained in handicraft will also learn to use ICT.
By taking ICT to the grass root level - users will enable a widespread use of ICT coupled with a general ICT awareness amongst the rural population.
The scope of this project is to first perform a system study and business process re-engineering to introduce ICT into the following operations at Laksala:
- Supplier management
- Inventory Control and Management
- Distribution Management
- Sales Automation
- On-line Sales
- Statistical & Trend Analysis
- Management Information Reports
- Integration of system with the existing accounting package
- Website development to support on-line sales
- Content management system to disseminate information to craftsmen via the 140 craft training centers of Laksala.
By introducing ICT into the operations at Laksala, a more effective and efficient service will be delivered to customers, craftsmen (suppliers), handicraft training centers and Laksala’s franchisees.
The main goal is to focus on the operations to enable better interaction and services to the craftsmen, contribute to the national development of arts and crafts, providing better planning mechanisms and providing selling opportunities for craftsmen and socio-economic development of the rural population.
The project is also to be able to showcase the ability of eServices in enriching the experience of citizens and businesses when they interact or transact on those key services that Laksala provides.
The key objectives of the project are:
Since all activities of Laksala are manual and paper based the following activities have become labourious, tedious and time consuming,
Use of ICT’s in the operations of Laksala, deliver more effective and efficient services to the customers, craftsmen (suppliers) and the franchisees.
Allow Laksala to publish and disseminate information about product movement, new designs, craftsmen skill development information, etc.
Enable ICT awareness among rural craftsmen by promoting them to access the services provided by Laksala via the Nenasalas.
Provide on-line content to develop craftsmen skills.
Provide a forum where if there is excess demand for an item, craftsmen could collaborate and distribute the work under the leadership of the Regional Crafts Councils.
Increasing job opportunities for craftsmen by enabling to see demand predictions, new items required and new design suggestions.
Enable to promote Sri Lankan arts and crafts in foreign countries via online sales and promotion.
Demonstrate the reach of eServices and the impact of ICT for development of rural economy and poverty reduction.
To make the rural youth aware of the opportunities available, via the 140 handicraft training centres by introducing them to ICT in the handicraft sector.
Stakeholders & Key Partners
The key stakeholders and main beneficiaries of this project are:
- Craftsmen - The stakeholder will be the craftsmen.
Key benefits to this group are:
- Greater access to information such as handicraft demand analysis and prediction, design ideas, skill improvement related e-Content, etc.
Ability to generate and provide more job opportunities to others as planning and demand prediction information are available.
Improvement of the socio-economical condition of the craftsmen
Do not need to visit Laksala in Colombo to get information about the required items.
Ability to display digital images of the new items (via Nenasala’s equipped with web camera) and obtain on- line real-time feedback from Laksala on modifications, etc. This eliminates unnecessary, expensive, time consuming visits to the Laksala head office in Colombo.
Ability to inform Laksala of the items in stock via emails or Laksala web site.
Increased general ICT awareness
- Laksala – Being the owner agency of this project, Laksala stands to benefit the considerably from this project:
Improve the effectives and efficiency of the operations ranging from, supplier, inventory, and sales management to on-line sales and information dissemination.
Ability to streamline the sales process and reconciliation process with suppliers more efficiently, enabling timely settlement to suppliers.
Provide improved and better quality of service to customers
Generate appropriate reports to enable predict sales trends, demand, etc. to aid the production of handicrafts by craftsmen
Have a better management aided by ICT
- Businesses – The key business users include would be the bulk purchasers from Laksala such as Franchisees and other small entrepreneurs.
The key benefits to this group are:
1. Ability to get up to date real-time on-line inventory information when ordering items.
2. Access to information from Laksala.
3. Ability to order and pay on-line for orders.
4. If the feature is provided, ability to place orders directly with the craftsmen.
- Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka as a country is poised to gain by:
Sales and promotion of Sri Lankan arts and crafts
Quality service to tourists who visit Laksala which is beneficial to the tourist industry as a whole
Socio-economic development of the craftsmen society and thereby the rural areas
Job opportunities creation
- Regional Crafts Associations – Regional Crafts Associations can use information from the Laksala web site to:
Obtain information about demand, new ideas, etc. from Laksala website and distribute work among regional craftsmen
Sharing the order and workload would enable many people to benefit economically
Generate new craft job opportunities
- Craft Educational & Training Institutions – The Craft Capacity Building Institutes can gain by:
Providing on-line eLearning content to develop craftsmen skills
Ability to develop new craftsmen and build capacity
The financiers would be:
- World Bank
- Government of Sri Lanka
- IOM Lanka Pvt. Ltd
- Sri Lanka Telecom –ISP
The decision makers:
- National Craft Councils
- Sri Lanka National Design Center