Sunday, June 22, 2008

Day 2 articles by Tolga YILDIRIM

Assessing ERP Software

Corporate decision-makers put great emphasis on integration of IT systems. The shift of demand from supply-chain management solutions to ERP solutions is a clear example of this fact. ERP vendors have improved their solutions and added new capabilities such as better supply chain management features. Decision makers in companies have favored integrated ERP solutions with supply chain management capabilities over pure SCM solutions.

ERP Purchase Decision: Influential Business and IT Factors

There are business, as well as technical reasons for implementing a specific ERP solution. The ability to better meet various competitive goals, the desire to reengineer business processes and access to integrated data are the business capabilities affecting decision process. In addition, the desire to replace mainframe systems, replace systems that do not meet needs anymore, and reduce IT costs by purchasing, rather than in-house development.

Decision Making in the Evaluation, Selection and Implementation of ERP Systems

Decisions during different phases of ERP implementation are not purely financial. There are six models of decision-making in implementation lifecycle, which are

The classical model
The administrative model
The incremental model
The adaptive model
The irrational model
The political model

Buyers’ insider ERP Software

ERP allows the collection and consolidation of information across the enterprise. It acts as a transactional system for capturing business information. The data conversion at the very beginning of the ERP implementation is a necessary and takes long time. In addition, the article emphasizes on the customization issue. Off-the-shelf products which are not customized can decrease the time needed to implement and are more agile for upgrades. However, since these are not customized, such solutions are too generic to solve the information problems of an organization in general.

Why ERP? A Primer on SAP Implementation

First of all, this book is a poor imitation of the classic ‘The Goal’.

The book summarizes some of the aspects of SAP applications, in addition to factors that affect decision-making in ERP implementations.

There are factors other than rational factors, in an ERP implementation. The success and failure of ERP projects depend on these factors. The key point of the book is that it lays out the fact that companies should thoroughly investigate their processes and their needs and try to match these with specific ERP solutions.

Many companies, unfortunately, choose a specific ERP solution just because others have implemented it. A company should not bet its operational effectiveness on its competitors’ choices. Each ERP implementation should be taken into hand separately and individually.

In the decision-making process, there are different roles. An important role revealed in the book is the information gatekeeper. Information gatekeeper is the person who has a perceived ‘expertise’ related to the decision. In this case, the key information gatekeeper is the so called ‘computer guy’. The computer guy has taken role in implementation of ERP system of the sister company. He was perceived to be the ‘expert’ and his words have influenced the way decision-makers act. Companies should understand the information gatekeepers can lead to wrong decisions, despite their perceived ‘expertise’. In addition, the second learning revealed by the information gatekeeper role, is the fact that an ERP system is a business project, rather than a traditional IT project.
In ERP implementations, the issues of people, organization, functions and business objectives that need to be addressed before the ERP system can be used. With Accelerated SAP methodology, the aim is to accelerate the implementation phase while evaluating the business processes, objectives and activities. This methodology strongly raises the chance of success in the implementation, especially for small and medium size businesses that do not completely reengineer their processes.

No comments: