Thursday, April 10, 2008

Last day

Today we saw various things:

First, the ASAP method to implement an ERP project:

This is an ERP implementation method developed by SAP. It is based on 5 different steps. The first one is the project preparation. As the name indicates, all the actions needed to prepare the future implementation must be taken like training of the team, getting the hardware, making the final budget... Then, the second stage is called business blueprint. During this phase, the managers and the consultants must figure out which modules will be necessary and how the current processes of the company will fit into the software. To achieve that, all the different end-to-end processes inside the company must be written down. The third step is the realization in itself. It is the biggest part because it is made of the testing of all the different transactions possible, the cleaning of the old database but also the training of managers who will be in charge of training the employees. Then, during the final preparation, the ultimate tests must be performed as well as the training of the employees. After that level, the ERP must be operational to perform all the different tasks inside the company. At last, the last part is going live, which actually corresponds to the daily using of the ERP environment and support, which must be provided by the consultants in case of problems.

Criteria for success:

After going live, the impact of the ERP is to be assessed. There are 4 major criteria for success. Obviously, we must identify whether we met our objectives or not. But it is also important to check if the duration, the money spent and the resources (human & materials) are coherent with what have been planned. If not, depending on the gap between the required and current situation, we can decide whether the project is a success or not.

Reasons to implement an ERP:

A company might want to use an ERP for several reasons. It could be to better manage the information and increase their data integrity thanks to the unique database, or to improve their processes through the “best practices” provided by the ERP, or to gain time using only one system… But implanting an ERP because one’s major competitor did is not a purpose and can be a reason for failure!

Reasons not to implement an ERP:

A firm may be reluctant to implement an ERP because the cost may not worth it. If the processes are actually competitive, there is no need to change them just for the good of changing. But the company may also not have enough resources (time, money, people…)

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