Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Today we really analyse the issues of the implementation of an ERP in an organisation.
We used the example of Decathlon.
We analyse issues such as the implementation team. Who should it be composed of?
- a functional technical expert
o in house: you need someone very skilled. you set up a new role in the organisation. The person will know the needs of the organisation and will have the control o the implementation.
o Outsourced: the person will have the technical competence to do the job. It will use the resources of the ERP company.

- Key developer from each department: a person in house who will be in charge to adapt the software to the specific needs of the operational level of each department. He will make the decision. You will need to train him to make him able to handle the project.

- A trusted employee at all the hierarchical level of the organisation. He will assume the role of leader in the implementation. It has to be a person able to motivate its pair to accept the changes.

- Super user (or power user). These persons will be employees with the will to understand how it works and they will be the reference in the ERP for all the other users. This ability to know the system will give them a real power in the company as they will know techniques and the solutions to the basic issues the company will face: they will become specialists . They will be the contact point , closer to the direct users of the ERP than the IT manager.

- A person from the top management to support the project. It will make you sure that the direction of the company is with you, even if you face issues. He can use his influence to convince the employees or managers who are resistant to the change.

Outsource a part of the team will allows a better efficiency even though it can frustrate some IT managers.
You will have to train all the users: you will use outsourced specialists.

An ERP software need most of the time a customisation to be adapted to your needs.
It can be a process customisation or a technical customisation or both or none( when you didn’t have any system).

The process customisation consist in modifying the way you are doing things to adapt to the ERP.
Sometimes, the ERP needs to make a process more complex but the global benefits of the ERP worth it. It is then the role of the IT department to find solutions to readapt the process.

The software customisation consist in modifying functions of the software to adapt it with your way of doing things. The software customisation is needed in almost all the cases.
You can do 3 types of customisation:
The module selection (no customisation at all, you just load the program and use it as it is)
The table configuration: you change options on the program, add some of your old ones, delete some that was existed and are useless for you. ( eg: had or delete some bolt-on’s which are additional software for your ERP).

The code modification: is creating new thing on the program and changing it in a huge way to make it fit to your needs.

Customizing is useful but there are some con’t the code modification:
- it is costly as you need skilled people to do it and you need to buy other software to fit with so it will be efficient for you. Moreover, as you change things , you will have to maintenance it for a long time to check if it really works.
- If your technicians change everything and make errors, you won’t be able to come back to the old version and all the system can be destroy.
- As you make changes, the company of the ERP is no more responsible for the errors and won’t support you technically in case of mistakes or wrong utilisation.

You have to keep in mind that when you implement your ERP, to prevent from errors, your old system will be still in place. So all your employees will have to double enter the data (which is a loss of time). Your implementation has to be very fast, very organised and tested.
You can test the ERP as a mini big bang on a small part of your organisation to see what will happen, the mistake to avoid, the solution found to the possible issues and keep in mind all this analysis before implemented it on the whole organisation.

The decision of the area test depend of the way the organisation is formed. If it is centralised or decentralized.

In the computer room, we used the SAP software. This system is complex to get used to but is very efficient when it is well used. The training lessons are compulsory and stressful for the employees because they know that if they don’t understand how to use it, they will not be able to do their work.

We manage to enter a data in the software.
We try to fill and order and to search for a client and quantities he asks.
Employees use specific codes to each transaction they want to do (create an order, search a client...)

We saw that the program is totally integrated in the sense that anybody (if it is unlocked) can have access to any part of the software. It improve the communication within the company and avoid phone call between the different areas.

No comments: