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Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP):



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  • 1. Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP): Lessons Learned Jim S.C. Tom Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Technology UMSL for BA5800
  • 2. Topics
    • Introduction
    • ERP at a University
    • Lessons
    • Current status
    • Future
  • 3. What’s an ERP?
    • “ enterprise resource planning” system
    • “ integrated” system to manage:
      • Financial transactions and records – accounts payable/receivable, payments, invoices, vendors, etc.
      • Personnel – records, payroll, benefits, taxes, etc.
      • Other components that might be included:
        • Inventory and asset management
        • Factory operations
        • Supply chain management
        • Customer relationship management
  • 4. The Hope
    • Integrate all the information required to operate and plan a business
    • Decision making information at your fingertips
    • Get rid of the mainframe
    • Cheaper, faster, better
  • 5. The Reality
    • A lot harder than people realized
    • Over budget
    • Over time
    • Integration not achieved
    • Operating costs much higher than expected
  • 6. ERP at a University
    • Financial system
    • HR system
    • Student information
    • Other components that might be included:
      • Constituent relationship management (CRM)
      • Fund-raising (development)
      • Classroom scheduling and management
  • 7. ERP at University of Missouri
    • Latest effort began around 1995 – well before my time
    • Started in earnest in 1998
    • Goals:
      • Streamline administrative processes (reduce costs)
      • Replace administrative software systems
    • Results:
      • Over time
      • Over budget
      • User dissatisfaction
      • Ambiguous achievement of goals
  • 8. Lesson 1: Ask the hard questions
    • What problem are we trying to solve?
    • Who cares?
    • What are the assumptions?
    • Where’s the payoff?
    • Do you have buy-in?
      • Who are the stakeholders?
      • Do you have executive/managerial support?
      • Have you involved the end-users?
  • 9. Lesson 2: Plan
    • Develop a Charter to capture
      • Goals
      • Executive/management sponsorship
      • Answers to the hard questions
    • Develop an overall concept
      • Broad milestones and timeline
      • Required resources, internal and external
    • Develop as realistic a budget as you can
  • 10. Lesson 3: Communicate
    • This is crucial, not “motherhood and apple pie”
    • Communicate to executive/management
    • Communicate within your team
    • Communicate with all your stakeholders
    • Honesty, openness – problems as well as successes
  • 11. Lesson 4: Manage the Project
    • Appoint a Project Manager
    • Develop detailed tasks and timelines
    • Develop accountability
    • Track progress
    • Adjust as necessary
  • 12. Lesson 5: It’s not about Technology
    • Success is not just “on time” and “on budget”
      • Nice as those outcomes are
    • Success is about changing the way you do business
  • 13. Current Status at UM
    • Finance and HR systems are operational on latest version of software
    • January 2007, UMSL is heading into the formal implementation phase of a new Student Information System
    • UMR is already “live”
    • UMKC and UMC are in the middle of implementation
  • 14. What’s different?
    • UMSL has been preparing for a year
    • The outcomes or measures of success are clear, including:
      • Self-service – that is, direct access to relevant student information for faculty, staff and students
      • Improved service to students
        • Recruitment
        • Admissions
        • Advising and retention
        • Financial management
    • teamwork
  • 15. UMSL plans
    • Began building a joint team with resources from ITS and from Student Affairs
    • Secured buy-in from Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellors, Deans
    • Learned (and continue to learn) from sister campuses as well as other universities
    • Developed a Charter and preliminary plan
    • Developed budget and resource requirements
  • 16. Progress
    • Completing a number of preparatory tasks
    • Developing a communications plan
      • Faculty, staff and students
    • Creation of a Project Management Office
    • Developed overall timeline and task definitions
    • Found space for a “teamroom”
  • 17. Challenges
    • Resources
      • Internal – difficult to recruit
      • External – consultants are expensive and in short supply as well
      • System – major technical work is done by System resources, who will still be working on UMKC and UMC implementations
    • Keeping current operations going while implementing a new system
  • 18. Future
    • Fully operational in Fall 2006 – old system will be shut down
    • Changes in business processes to “best practice” – more user or “customer” focused
    • Better information for decision-making
    • Ambiguity in underlying software system – our ERP is Peoplesoft, bought by Oracle. New versions will be “converged” system called “Fusion,” due in 2009
  • 19. Where’s the market going?
    • Disclaimer: my personal thoughts
    • End of monolithic systems
    • Encapsulation of core functionality
    • Modular functionality that will interact using “Service-oriented Architecture”
  • 20. But what’s the key?
    • What does it do for the business?
  • 21. Questions