Sunday, June 22, 2008

Why ERP? - Summary

Billy is a manager at a furniture company. His friend, a professor at the local college, is studying ERP systems. They drink coffee together at the Cafe, and talk.

Billy was on vacation for two weeks and when he came back almost everything was going at its normal pace. His company is a very informal one where interdepartmental procedures are a joke. Communication between departments is done by paperwork and is so slow that by the time paperwork is processed for a job at one department, the job at the next department may already be finished.

He found out in a few days that their company is going to acquire a facility in Ohio which is implementing SAP. The chairman wants the two facilities to be integrated and asks him to find out about SAP and report on whether they should use it or not.

At first, when Billy asks Prof about it, it appears SAP is just the right answer for their problems, - the silver bullet. But as he learns more about the requirements of the system, his opinion shifts. He attends a seminar on SAP following Prof's advice and his manager's orders.

The food at the seminar is good. We get these kinds of irrelevant details all through the book since it is written in novel format; I skipped most of them.

One nice thing about the novel format was to see different perspectives on the rather academic information given at times. For example Billy talks in his head during the seminar questioning the information given.

a key point at the seminar that came up quite many times: "[In order to benefit from SAP R/3] you would have to make sure that the management roles were appropriately defined, the performance measures were correct, and the incentives were right."

A common information system prevents redundant paperwork, and provides better communication. SAP R/3 is comprehensive. It has many options and many programs in it. User-friendly interface enables anyone in the firm to use the clients.

SAP uses AND, OR, XOR logical commands, Function, Event, Process Path variables for all programs. Simple and logical.

Programs explained: Scheduler,

SAP requires discipline!

ASAP: Accelerated SAP installation system.
has 5 phases: Project Preparation, Business Blueprint, Realization, Final Preparation, Go Live & Support. 6 month or 9 month programs for installation are available.
ASAP is to be further customized according to needs after Go Live phase.

Customer Order Demo: Shows the flow of events and entries made in the system. The data given to the system ends up finally in the financial statements.

MRP example:
1- requirements planning is made with the forecasts using historical data. Various forecast methods are available.
2- master scheduling is made according to the forecast and can be customized for variations. Safety stock, or inventory pile up may be arranged using the system.
3- Manufacturing plan is made using the items that influence profitability.

Many types of reports and tables can be produced using the system.

... to be edited

1 comment:

Tim said...

I agree that to implement SAP successfully strict rules and discipline have to be followed. Also its a very time consuming task which some people don't like at all. The benefits of this software solution are so many that if we concentrate on them one can easily carry out this task.
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