WHAT IS ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING
1.Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a term usually used in conjunction with ERP
software or an ERP system which is intended to manage all the information and functions of a
business or company from shared data stores or data bank.
2.An ERP system typically has modular hardware and software units and "services" that
communicate on a local area network. The modular design allows a business to add or
reconfigure modules (perhaps from different vendors) while preserving data integrity in one
shared database that may be centralized or distributed.
3.Origin of the Term1
a. Manufacturing management systems have evolved in stages over the past 30
years from a simple means of calculating materials requirements to the
automation of an entire enterprise. Around 1980, over-frequent changes in sales
forecasts, entailing continual readjustments in production, as well as inflexible
fixed system parameters, led MRP (Material Requirement Planning) to evolve
into a new concept : Manufacturing Resource Planning (or MRP2) and finally the
generic concept Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
b. The initials ERP originated as an extension of MRP (Material Requirements
Planning; later manufacturing resource planning) and CIM (Computer Integrated
Manufacturing). It was introduced by research and analysis firm Gartner in 1990.
ERP systems now attempt to cover all core functions of an enterprise, regardless
of the organization's business or charter. These systems can now be found in
non-manufacturing businesses, non-profit organizations and governments2.
Chang, SI; Guy Gable; Errol Smythe; Greg Timbrell (2000). "A Delphi examination of public sector ERP implementation
issues". International Conference on Information Systems. Atlanta: Association for Information Systems. pp. 494-500. ISBN ICIS2000-
X. Retrieved September 9, 2009
c. The term "Enterprise resource planning" originally derived from manufacturing
resource planning (MRP II) that followed material requirements planning (MRP).
MRP3 evolved into ERP when "routings" became a major part of the software
architecture and a company's capacity planning activity also became a part of the
standard software activity. ERP systems typically handle the manufacturing,
logistics, distribution, inventory, shipping, invoicing, and accounting for a
company. ERP software can aid in the control of many business activities,
including sales, marketing, delivery, billing, production, inventory management,
quality management, and human resource management.
d. ERP systems saw a large boost in sales in the 1990s as companies faced the
Y2K4 problem (real or imagined) in their "legacy" systems. Many companies took
this opportunity to replace such information systems with ERP systems. This
rapid growth in sales was followed by a slump in 1999, at which time most
companies had already implemented their Y2K solution.
e. ERP systems are often incorrectly called back office systems indicating that
customers and the general public are not directly involved. This is contrasted with
front office systems like customer relationship management (CRM) systems that
deal directly with the customers, or the eBusiness systems such as eCommerce,
eGovernment, eTelecom, and eFinance, or supplier relationship management
f. ERP systems are cross-functional and enterprise-wide. All functional
departments that are involved in operations or production are integrated in one
system. In addition to areas such as manufacturing, warehousing, logistics, and
information technology, this typically includes accounting, human resources,
marketing and strategic management.
g. ERP II, a term coined in the early 2000s, is often used to describe what would be
the next generation of ERP software. This new generation of software is web-
based and allows both employees and external resources (such as suppliers and
customers) real-time access to the system's data.
Andereg, Travis, MRP/MRPII/ERP/ERM — Confusing Terms and Definitions for a Murkey Alphabet Soup, retrieved 2007-10-25
Monk, Ellen; Wagner, Bret (2006), Concepts in Enterprise Resource Planning (Second ed.), Boston: Thomson Course
Technology, ISBN 0-619-21663-8
h. EAS — Enterprise Application Suite is a new name for formerly developed ERP
systems which include (almost) all segments of business using ordinary Internet
browsers as thin clients.
4.To be considered an ERP system5, a software package must provide the function of at least
two systems. For example, a software package that provides both payroll and accounting
functions could technically be considered an ERP software package.
5.Examples of modules in an ERP which formerly would have been stand-alone applications
include: Official routine mail handeling, Product lifecycle management, Supply chain
management (e.g. Purchasing, Manufacturing and Distribution), Warehouse Management,
Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Sales Order Processing, Online Sales,
Financials, Human Resources, Decision Support System and Operational Command Sys.
6.Ideally, ERP delivers multiple database sys that contains all data for the various software
modules addressing areas such as:
a. Command & Con Sys
Defining and working on a channelized command & con sys in a pre-defined
chain of command or tier concepts.
b. Access control
Management of user privileges for various processes
General ledger, cash management, accounts payable, accounts receivable, fixed
d. Project management
Costing, billing, time and expense, performance units, activity management
e. Human resources
Human resources, payroll, training, time and attendance, rostering, benefits
f. Customer relationship management
Sales and marketing, commissions, service, customer contact and call center
Engineering, bills of material, scheduling, capacity, workflow management,
quality control, cost management, manufacturing process, manufacturing
projects, manufacturing flow
h. Supply chain management
Order to cash, inventory, order entry, purchasing, product configurator, supply
chain planning, supplier scheduling, inspection of goods, claim processing,
i. Data services
Various "self-service" interfaces for customers, suppliers, and/or employees and
tn of data to the decision makers via fastest media.
7.Gen visualisation6 of an ERP7 sys can be as given fol diagrams:
8.Emerging ERP vendors8 ERP is emerging as one of the largest fd in the IT
world. Fol is the brief touch of its market volumes / revnue figures:
a. ERP vendors by revenue9. The largest vendors worldwide in 2005
according to Gartner Dataquest:
Market share 2005 according to Gartner Dataquest
Revenue Market share
(million $) (%)
1 SAP 1949 30.33
2 Oracle Applications 1374 21.38
3 The Sage Group 1121 17.44
4 Microsoft Dynamics 916 14.25
5 SSA Global Technologies 464 7.22
b. Vendors of popular ERP Sorted roughly according to worldwide ERP related
(Native currency) (million $)
SAP 9.4 billion EUR 12401.4 2006
Oracle Applications 14.38 billion USD 14380.0 2006
Infor Global Solutions 2.1 billion USD 2100.0 2006
The Sage Group 935.6 million GBP 1832.0 2006
(Formerly Microsoft 44.2 billion USD 44200.0 2006
Unit 4 Aggressor 352.6 million EUR 465.2 2005
CDC Software 409.1 million USD 409.1 2008
Lawson Software 390.776 million USD 390.8 2006
Epicor 384.1 million USD 384.1 2006
Visma 1,907 million NOK 305.5 2005
Industrial and Financial
288 million USD 288.0 2005
QAD 225 million USD 225.0 2006
Consona Corporation 130 million USD 130 2007
COA Solutions Ltd 50.5 million GBP 98.47 2007
Net Suite 67.2 million USD 67.2 2006
ABAS Software 45 million EUR 62.6 2006
Ramco Systems 2,648 million INR 60.1 2006
SIV.AG 14.2 million EUR 18.7 unknown
Technology One 108.8 million AUD 101 2008
Pronto Software 51.1 million AUD 54.9 2008
Plex Systems 22 million USD 22 2006
ERP SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION MECHANICS
“ Imagine that as a modern-day Robinson Crusoe, you are cast away at a remote tropical
island. What would be the three things that you would take along with you?" I would guess that
each person would give a distinct answer to this question. On the other hand, if we said "We
are embarking on a journey of ERP implementation; what would be the three items that you
would take along with you? The answers probably would not differ too much. First and
foremost, a proper ERP product will be required. As the second requirement for your ERP
implementation, you will be needing a competent project team. And of course, as the third
and final item, you will need hardware on which you will be installing your ERP configuration,
which will most likely be in the form of a server platform “
An ERP Guru
9.Businesses have a wide scope of applications and processes throughout their functional
units; producing ERP software systems that are typically complex and usually impose
significant changes on staff work practices. Implementing ERP software is typically too
complex for "in-house" skill, so it is desirable and highly advised to hire outside consultants
who are professionally trained to implement these systems.
10.ERP implementation10 is considerably more difficult (and politically charged) in
organizations structured into nearly independent business units, each responsible for their own
profit and loss, because they will each have different processes, business rules, data
semantics, authorization hierarchies and decision centers. Solutions include requirements
coordination negotiated by local change management professionals or, if this is not possible,
federated implementation using loosely integrated instances (e.g. linked via Master Data
Management) specifically configured and/or customized to meet local needs.
11.Markus and Tanis developed11 a four phase ERP phases for a smooth implementation
process. Following are theses phases which drive the ERP implementation mechanics:
a. Phase-I - The Chartering Phase12 Comprises the decisions leading up to
the funding of an enterprise system and giving a kick start to the project. Key
players are Vendors, Consultants, Company Executives and IT specialists. Key
activities are Build a business case for ERP, Select a software package, identify
a project manager, approve a budget and schedule. The complete set of
activities in this phase are:
(1) Decision to change over to ERP by Org / firm’s exectives.
(2) Determine the need of this change and start of change process
progressively in the org.
(3) ERP Implementation Team Formation and assured aval of resources.
(4) Selection of Methodolgy to take on the proj and requisite vendor.
(a) Centeralized Apch
(b) De- Centeralized Apch
(c) Centeralized setups with ensured De-Centeralized con
(d) Utilizing the concept of “ Best Practices ”
(5) Determine the lvl of services req from the sel vendor.
(6) Contract concl
b. Phase-II - The Project Phase Comprises the activities performed to get the
system up and running in one or more organizational units. Key players are
Project Manager, Project team members, Internal IT specialists, Vendors and
Consultants. Key activities are Software configuration, system integration, testing
and data conversion. M.L. Markus and C. Tanis,list in this phase is as fol: – from adoption to success,” Working
Possible activity “The enterprise systems experience
(1) Identification of Areas as well as Data req to be put on ERP.
(2) Demo of Scale Down Model
(3) Hardware infrasture installation.
experience – from adoption to success,” Working Paper, Claremont Graduate University
(4) Development and Deployment of Software modules.
(5) Dry Tests
(6) Application of Checks and counter Checks.
c. Phase-III - The Shakedown Phase The organization’s coming to grips with
the ERP System. Ends when “normal operations” have been achieved. (Or they
give up and pull the plug on the system). Key players are Project Manager,
Project team members, Operational Managers, and End users. Key activities are
Bug fixing and rework, system performance tuning, retraining, staffing up to
handle temporary inefficiencies. This is the phase in which the errors of prior
phases are felt. New errors can arise in this phase also.
(1) Trg of Users (Master Trainers / Indl Users)
(2) Trial Basis running on selected venues / areas
(3) Opening up of all connected venues (while parralel non ERP sys will
(4) Removal of bugs and discrepencies.
(5) System’s course tuning and fine tuning exercises are conducted.
(6) Sys Applications are redefined if req.
(7) “ Here we go “ stage.
d. Phase-IV - The Onward and Upward Phase Continues from normal
operation until the system is replaced with an upgrade or a different system. This
is where the organization is able to ascertain the benefits (if any) of its
investment. Key players are Operational Managers, End-users and IT support
personnel (Vendors and consultants may be involved – upgrades). Key activities
Continuous business improvement, additional user skill building and post
implementation benefit assessment.
(1) User’s feed back
(2) Dis-continuation of parralel Non-ERP syss
(3) Customization as per user’s requirements.
(4) Activation of “After Sales Protocols”
(5) User’s problems and solutions are seeked.
(6) Benefit assessment is made.
12.The ERP Implementation life cycle defined above is given in block diagram shape as fol:
Company Management Pre-selection Process ERP Vendors
Gap Analysis Reengineering Configuration
Implementation Team Testing End- user Training
ERP implementation Life Cycle
13.Elaboration of Implimentation Mechanics The maj implementation mechanics involed in
ERP are briefly described as following:
a. Need Establishment
(1) An org has to dwell upon the fol decisions:
(a) Whether it needs an ERP ?
(b) If YES, then whats lvl of this need (aval off the shelf open sourced,
customized or proprietry sys).
(c) Budget concerns.
(d) Across the board programme or through a pased programme.
(2) Decision is made, funds are made aval and Competent Implementation
Teams are formed.
(3) Tentative Time frames are fomulated.
b. ERP Vendors & Vendor Services
(1) Sel of vendor and choice of vendor svcs.
(2) There are three types of services that may be employed for - Consulting,
Customization, Support. The length of time to implement an ERP
system depends on the size of the business, the number of modules, the
extent of customization, the scope of the change and the willingness of the
customer to take ownership for the project. ERP systems are modular, so
they don't all need be implemented at once. It can be divided into various
stages, or phase-ins. The typical project is about 14 months and requires
around 150 consultants. A small project (e.g., a company of less than 100
staff) can be planned and delivered within 3–9 months; however, a large,
multi-site or multi-country implementation can take years. The length13 of
the implementations is closely tied to the amount of customization desired.
(3) To implement ERP systems, companies often seek the help of an ERP
vendor or of third-party consulting companies. These firms typically
provide three areas of professional services: consulting; customization;
and support. The client organization can also employ independent
program management, business analysis, change management, and IT
specialists to ensure their business requirements remain a priority during
c. Concept of Best practices14
(1) Inspite of going on Zero-Based techniques and asking for a complete new
sys, metod of best practices is also a preferable option. For example, if
Pak Army needs a C I ERP sys, intl bench mk of any developed country’s
army can be utilized as the same is time tested with min lvl of bugs. The
same can be cutomized for our needs basing on the best practices
(2) Best practices are incorporated into most ERP vendor's software
packages. When implementing an ERP system, organizations can choose
between customizing the software or modifying their business processes
to the "best practice15" function delivered in the "out-of-the-box" version of
(3) Prior to ERP, software was developed to fit individual processes of an
individual business. Due to the complexities of most ERP systems and the
negative consequences of a failed ERP implementation, most vendors
have included "Best Practices" into their software. These "Best Practices"
are what the Vendor deems as the most efficient way to carry out a
particular business process in an Integrated Enterprise-Wide system. A
study conducted by Ludwigshafen University of Applied Science surveyed
192 companies and concluded that companies which implemented
industry best practices decreased mission-critical project tasks such as
configuration, documentation, testing and training. In addition, the use of
best practices reduced over risk by 71% when compared to other software
(4) They can also help where the process is a commodity such as electronic
funds transfer. This is because the procedure of capturing and reporting
legislative or commodity content can be readily codified within the ERP
software, and then replicated with confidence across multiple businesses
who have the same business requirement.
d. Data Deployment
(1) Data migration16 is one of the most important activities in determining the
success of an ERP implementation. Since many decisions must be made
before migration, a significant amount of planning must occur.
Unfortunately, data migration is the last activity before the production
phase of an ERP implementation, and therefore receives minimal attention
due to time constraints. The following are steps of a data migration
strategy that can help with the success of an ERP implementation:
(a) Identifying the data to be migrated
(b) Determining the timing of data migration
(c) Generating the data templates
(d) Freezing the tools for data migration
(e) Deciding on migration related setups
(f) Deciding on data archiving
e. Process Preparation17
(1) This is truly applied when the concept of best practices have been utilized
and available ERP sys has been shorlisted for implementation. It is an
exercise of cutomization by the vendor to full fill User’s specific needs.
(2) ERP vendors have designed their systems around standard business
processes, based upon best business practices. Different vendor(s) have
different types of processes but they are all of a standard, modular nature.
Firms that want to implement ERP systems are consequently forced to
adapt their organizations to standardized processes as opposed to
adapting the ERP package to the existing processes. Neglecting to map
current business processes prior to starting ERP implementation is a main
Turban et al. (2008). Information Technology for Management, Transforming Organizations in the Digital Economy. Massachusetts: John
Wiley & Sons, Inc., pp. 300-343. ISBN 978-0-471-78712-9
reason for failure of ERP projects. It is therefore crucial that organizations
perform a thorough business process analysis before selecting an ERP
vendor and setting off on the implementation track. This analysis should
map out all present operational processes, enabling selection of an ERP
vendor whose standard modules are most closely aligned with the
established organization. Redesign can then be implemented to achieve
further process congruence. Research indicates that the risk of business
process mismatch is decreased by:
(a) Linking each current organizational process to the organization's
(b) Analyzing the effectiveness of each process in light of its current
related business capability;
(c) Understanding the automated solutions currently implemented.
f. Configuration Configuring an ERP system is largely a matter of balancing
the way you want the system to work with the way the system lets you work.
Begin by deciding which modules to install, then adjust the system using
configuration tables to achieve the best possible fit in working with your
14.Modules Most systems are modular simply for the flexibility of implementing some
functions but not others. Some common modules, such as finance and accounting are adopted
by nearly all companies implementing enterprise systems; others however such as human
resource management are not needed by some companies and therefore not adopted. A
service company for example will not likely need a module for manufacturing. Other times
companies will not adopt a module because they already have their own proprietary system
they believe to be superior. Generally speaking the greater number of modules selected, the
greater the integration benefits, but also the increase in costs, risks and changes involved.
15.Consulting Services18 Many organizations do not have sufficient internal skills to
implement an ERP project. This results in many organizations offering consulting services for
ERP implementation. Typically, a consulting team is responsible for the entire ERP
g. Examples of customization includes creating processes and reports for
compliance, additional product training; creation of process triggers and
workflow; specialist advice to improve how the ERP is used in the business;
system optimization; and assistance writing reports, complex data extracts or
implementing Business Intelligence.
16.For most mid-sized companies, the cost of the implementation will range from around the
list price of the ERP user licenses to up to twice this amount (depending on the level of
customization required). Large companies, and especially those with multiple sites or
countries, will often spend considerably more on the implementation than the cost of the user
licenses—three to five times more is not uncommon for a multi-site implementation.
17.Customization VS Configuration Increasingly, ERP vendors have tried to reduce
the need for customization19 by providing built-in "configuration" tools to address most
customers' needs for changing how the out-of-the-box core system works. Key differences
between customization and configuration20 include:
a. Customization21 is always optional, whereas some degree of configuration (e.g.,
setting up cost/profit centre structures, organisational trees, purchase approval
rules, etc.) may be needed before the software will work at all.
b. Configuration is available to all customers, whereas customization allows
individual customer to implement proprietary "market-beating" processes.
c. Configuration changes tend to be recorded as entries in vendor-supplied data
tables, whereas customization usually requires some element of programming
and/or changes to table structures or views.
d. The effect of configuration changes on the performance of the system is
relatively predictable and is largely the responsibility of the ERP vendor. The
effect of customization is unpredictable and may require time-consuming stress
testing by the implementation team.
e. Configuration changes are almost always guaranteed to survive upgrades to new
software versions. Some customizations (e.g. code that uses pre-defined "hooks"
that are called before/after displaying data screens) will survive upgrades, though
they will still need to be re-tested. More extensive customizations (e.g. those
involving changes to fundamental data structures) will be overwritten during
upgrades and must be re-implemented manually.
18.By this analysis, customizing an ERP package can be unexpectedly expensive and
complicated, and tends to delay delivery of the obvious benefits of an integrated system.
Nevertheless, customizing an ERP suite gives the scope to implement secret recipes for
excellence in specific areas while ensuring that industry best practices are achieved in less
ERP SYSTEM SELECTION METHODOLOGY
19.Irrespective of whether the company is a multi national multi-million dollar organisation or a
small company with single digit million turnover, the goal of system selection is to source a
system that can provide functionality for all of the business processes; that will get complete
user acceptance; management approval and, most importantly, can provide significant return
on investment for the shareholders. Since the mid-1970s, when there was widespread
introduction of computer packages into leading companies to assist in Material Requirements
Planning software companies have strived, and for the most part succeeded, to create
packages that assist in all aspects of running a business from Manufacturing; Supply Chain
Management; Human Resources; through to Financials. This led to the evolution of ERP
20.Accordingly, a significant number of packages purporting to be ERP systems have entered
into the marketplace since 1990. There are packages at the upper end of the market such as
SAP; Oracle; Movex; and IFS among others in addition to medium enterprise systems such as
Microsoft Navision; Axapta; Tropos; Great Plains, Dynamics; iRenaissance; Sage; and Epicor
Vantage and a vast quantity of other packages that vendors claim to be ERP Systems. There
are also packages that claim to be best of breed for certain processes [such as Planning] and
sold merely as an add-on to an ERP System. The options are many and this, in reality,
creates a problem for the company who has to make a decision.
21.Attempting to select an ERP system is further exacerbated by the fact that some systems
are geared for discrete manufacturing environment where a distinct amount of items make up
a finished product while others are more suited to process industries such as chemical and
food processing where the ingredients are not exact and where there might be re-work and
byproducts of a process.
22.Given all of the potential solutions, it is not uncommon for companies to choose a system
that is not the best fit for the business and this normally leads to a more expensive
implementation. Thus, it is understandable that "ERP Costs can run as high as two or three
percent of revenues". A Proper ERP System Selection Methodology will deliver, within time
and budget, an ERP system that is best fit for the business processes and the user in an
23.An ERP system selection methodology22 is a formal process for selecting an Enterprise
Resource Planning (ERP) system. Maj existing methodologies include:
a. Kuiper's funnel method
b. 3D decision support tool
THE FUNNEL TECHNIQUE
24.This is a questioning technique, or rather a structure to use the technique within, that keeps
you "on track" as you guide your prospect towards your service or product offering once you
have uncovered the needs. The technique relies on you using the prospects own words back
to them and you must take notes. You will need to remember what the prospect says both now
and possibly well into the future so do not rely on your memory.
25.STEPS OF THE FUNNEL TECHNIQUE There are four steps to the technique
but that does not necessarily mean that it will always be only four questions:
a. STEP ONE The first step is to motivate the prospect. You are going to hit the
prospect with a barrage of questions so you want to prepare them for it. The best
way to do this is with motivation not justification. You might consider using
something they said to provide some "positive stroking". For example "This is a
substantial organization you are running Mr. Prospect." They will be on the edge
of their chair waiting to tell you about it in more depth! Be careful not to sound too
patronizing but top sales people are genuinely interested to learn as much as
they can about their client/prospect's business.
b. STEP TWO Now you have them relaxed, you can begin to probe for
information - pegs to hang the sale on and "hot buttons". You want to find out as
much as possible without leading or influencing the prospect. You want to
encourage them to talk. You could ask, for instance, "How is your company
structured?" or "What does the partnership do?" Never use closed questions or
be too specific - "Do you have a separate accounting office?" or "How do you
handle civil cases?" is a definite no go at this stage. At the second step you will
more likely than not get several pieces of valuable information. You must take
notes because you may want to go through the "funnel" with each piece and
maybe several times.
c. STEP THREE Once you have started to gather information and uncovered
the "hot buttons" you use open leading questions to pin point specific areas that
you want to explore, exploit or lead the prospect into - "So you have a marketing
division and a service division (use their words from Step 2 and follow with the
open leading question) in what way do these departments interact?" Again at
Step 3, do not use closed questions.
d. STEP FOUR Now you summarize using their words and information, so
as to get their commitment of your understanding of the situation or their needs -
"Well, Mr. Prospect, you have outlined a substantial organization to me. You
have a service group and a marketing group and they need to interact and
communicate on a daily basis. Is that about the scope of things?" You then wait
for the commitment and go back to step one.
26.Questioning using the funnel technique is one of the most powerful selling tools available to
find out the correct / precise answer. The key to its success is to practice using it. First of all
work on your open questions and then start to consciously differentiate between open neutral
and open leading.
3D Decision Support Tool23
27.A Decision Support System (DSS) is a class of information systems (including but not
limited to computerized systems) that support business and organizational decision-making
activities. A properly designed DSS is an interactive software-based system intended to help
decision makers compile useful information from a combination of raw data, documents,
personal knowledge, or business models to identify and solve problems and make decisions.
28.Typical information that a decision support application might gather and present are:
a. An inventory of all of your current information assets (including legacy and
relational data sources, cubes, data warehouses, and data marts),
b. Comparative sales figures between one week and the next,
c. Projected revenue figures based on new product sales assumptions.
Principles for Selection of Proper System Methodology
29.To address the common mistakes that lead to a poor system selection. It is important to
apply key principles to the process, some of which are listed hereunder:
a. Structured approach
b. The first step in selection of a new system is to adopt a structured approach to
the process. The set of practices are presented to all the stakeholders within the
enterprise before the system selection process begins. Everyone needs to
understand the method of gathering requirements; invitation to tender; how
potential vendors will be selected; the format of demonstrations and the process
for selecting the vendor. Thus, each stakeholder is aware that the decision will be
made on an objective and collective basis and this will always lead to a high level
of co-operation within the process.
c. Focused demonstrations
d. Demonstrations by potential vendors must be relevant to the business. However,
it is important to understand that there is considerable amount of preparation
required by vendors to perform demonstrations that are specific to a business.
Therefore it is imperative that vendors are treated equally in requests for
demonstrations and it is incumbent on the company [and the objective consultant
assisting the company in the selection process] to identify sufficient
demonstrations that will allow a proper decision to be made but will also ensure
that vendors do not opt out of the selection process due to the extent of
e. Objective decision process
f. Choosing which ERP to use is a complex decision that has significant economic
consequences, thus it requires a multi-criterion approach." . There are two key
points to note when the major decision makers are agreeing on selection criteria
that will be used in evaluating potential vendors. Firstly, the criteria and the
scoring system must be agreed in advance prior to viewing any potential
systems. The criteria must be wide-ranging and decided upon by as many
objective people as possible within and external to the enterprise. In no
circumstance should people with affiliations to one or more systems be allowed
to advise in this regard.
g. Full involvement by all personnel
h. The decision on the system must be made by all stakeholders within the
enterprise. "It requires top management leadership and participation… it involves
virtually every department within the company". Representatives of all users
i. Be involved in the project initiation phase where the decision making process is
j. Assist in the gathering of requirements;
k. Attend the Vendor Demonstrations;
l. Have a significant participation in the short-listing and final selection of a vendor.
Implication of Poor System Selection
30.It is seldom that companies adopt a fully objective system selection methodology when
choosing an ERP System. Some of the common mistakes that companies resort to are:
a. Incomplete set of requirements
b. When a new ERP has been implemented in an enterprise, Wallace & Kremzar
state that "it requires people to do their job differently". Therefore, it is very
important to understand the requirements of each user for current processes and
for future processes [i.e. before and after the new system is installed]. One can
then review systems that have the best fit from a functionality perspective. It is
also imperative that the requirements go into great detail for complicated
processes or processes that may be unique to a particular business.
c. Reliance on vendor demos
d. Vendor Demonstrations tend to be focus on very simplistic processes. A typical
demonstration will show an ideal order to cash process where a customer orders
a quantity of product that is in stock. The reality in most businesses is that most
customers have varying and more complicated commercial arrangements and
products are not always in stock.
e. Over-emphasis on system cost
f. According to Finlay and Servant “The differential in purchase price between
packages is unlikely to be the dominant factor". While the cost of an ERP
system is very important for a company, there tends to be a lack of focus on the
other important decision criteria such as functionality; future proofing; underlying
infrastructure [network & database]; and e-commerce capability among others.
g. Selection bias
h. It is not unusual that the decision on which system to purchase is made by one
individual or by one department within the company. In these situations, an ERP
system that may be excellent at one function but weak at other processes may
be imposed on the entire enterprise with serious consequences for the business.
i. Failure to use objective professional services
j. One of the main reasons for failure in system selection is the understandable
lack of knowledge within the company. Experienced Consultants can provide
excellent information on all of the packages that are available in the marketplace;
the latest functionality available in the most common packages and, most
importantly, can assist the user in deciding whether a specific requirement would
provide added value to the user and to the business. However, it is worth noting
that the professional help must be provided by objective consultants who have no
affiliation with ERP System vendors. "If a consultancy has built up an expertise in
the use of a particular package then it is in its interest to recommend that
package to its client”
k. Inability to understand offering by ERP vendor
l. "It is estimated that approximately 90% of enterprise system implementations are
late or over budget" . A plausible explanation for implementations being late and
over budget is that the company did not understand the offering by the vendor
before the contract was signed. A typical example of this would be the scenario
where a vendor may offer 5 days of services for the purpose of data migration.
The reality is that there is a huge amount of work required to input data onto a
new system. The vendor will import the data into the new system but expects the
company to put the data into a file that is easy to import into the system. The
company are also expected to extract the data from the old system; clean the
data and add new data that is required by the new system. "ERP, to be
successful, requires levels of data integrity far higher than most companies have
ever achieved – or even considered. Inventory records, bill of materials (BOM),
formulas, recipes, routings, and other data need to become highly accurate,
complete and properly structured". This typical scenario is one of many issues
that cause implementations to be delayed and invariably lead to requests for
31.List of ERP software packages For ref / guiadance, fol are the gen aval ERP
vendors / softwares in the market. These are Open Source as well as Proprietry softwares.
Few of the software pamphlets have also been attached in the end of paper for ref.
a. Free and Open Source ERP softwares24
ERP Language Developer
License Other Info
Package Base Country
Started as a fork of
Adempiere Java Ali GPL
Compiere Java GPL
ERP5 Python GPL
Fedena Ruby Ruby License India
J Fire Java LGPL from Night Labs
OFBiz Apache, Java
(OBPL), a free
Open bravo Java Spain
on the Mozilla
Open ERP GPL formerly Tiny ERP Belgium, India
Open taps Java
Produced by XTuple,
uses Qt framework
Post gre SQL
SQL- Perl, Post gre
started as a fork of
Tryton Python GPLv3
Web ERP PHP, My SQL GPLv2 LAMP based system
b. Proprietary ERP softwares
(1) 1C:Enterprise from 1C Company
(2) 24SevenOffice Start, Premium, Professional and Custom from
(3) abas ERP from ABAS Software
(4) Accpac from The Sage Group
(5) Agresso Business World from Unit 4 Agresso
(6) AMS Advantage from CGI Group (formerly American Management
(7) BatchMaster ERP from BatchMaster Software
(8) Bowen & Groves M1 by B&G
(9) Business ByDesign from SAP
(10) Business One from SAP
(11) CGram Software
(12) Clear Enterprise from Clear Objective
(13) Compass ERP from Transtek
(14) Compiere professional edition
(15) Comprehensive Patient Administrator
(16) COA Solutions Ltd - Smart Business Suite
(17) Consona Corporation - Intuitive; Made2manage; AXIS; Cimnet; Encompix;
(18) Epicor Enterprise from Epicor
(19) Global Shop Solutions One-System ERP Solutions
(20) HansaWorld products
(21) ERP Adage (aka Adage) from Infor Global Solutions
(22) ERP LN (aka Baan) from Infor Global Solutions
(23) ERP LX (aka BPCS) from Infor Global Solutions
(24) ERP SL (aka SyteLine) from Infor Global Solutions
(25) ERP Swan (aka Swan) from Infor Global Solutions
(26) ERP SX.Enterprise (aka SX.Enterprise) from Infor Global Solutions
(27) ERP VE (aka Visual Enterprise) Infor Global Solutions
(28) ERP XA (aka MAPICS) from Infor Global Solutions
(29) IFS Applications from Industrial and Financial Systems
(30) JD Edwards EnterpriseOne & JD Edwards World from Oracle
(31) JustFoodERP.com based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV
(32) kVASy4 from SIV.AG
(33) Kingdee from Kingdee
(34) Lawson M3 from Lawson Software earlier * Movex from Intentia
(35) Lawson S3 from Lawson Software
(36) Log-net from LOG-NET, Inc.
(37) Maximo (MRO) from IBM
(38) Microsoft Dynamics AX (formerly Axapta) from Microsoft
(39) Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly Great Plains) from Microsoft
(40) Microsoft Dynamics NAV (formerly Navision) from Microsoft
(41) Microsoft Dynamics SL (formerly Solomon) from Microsoft
(42) Momentum from CGI Group
(43) N from Sescoi
(44) NetERP from NetSuite Inc.
(45) Openda QX from Openda
(46) OpenMFG from xTuple
(47) Oracle e-Business Suite from Oracle
(48) Paradigm from Consona Corporation
(49) PeopleSoft from Oracle
(50) Plex Online from Plex Systems
(51) QAD Enterprise Applications (aka MFG/Pro) from QAD Inc
(52) Ramco Enterprise Series 4.x from Ramco Systems
(53) Ramco e.Applications from Ramco Systems
(54) Ramco On Demand ERP from Ramco Systems
(55) MAS 90, MAS 200 and MAS 500 from The Sage Group
(56) Technology One from Technology One
(57) SAGE ACCPPAC from The Sage Group
(58) SAGE Pro ERP from The Sage Group
(59) SAGE ERP X3 from The Sage Group
(60) SAP Business Suite from SAP
(61) TaskHub from Synergix Technologies
(62) SYSPRO from Syspro
(63) SYS-APPS from Exclusive Technologies
(64) mySAP from SAP
(65) Visibility.net from Visibility
(66) WorkPLAN Enterprise from Sescoi
ERP - PROS AND CONS
32.Implementation Facts Few of the facts regarding ERP are:
a. 65% of executives believed that ERP could be harmful to their organizations
b. 51 percent of ERP projects are considered failures, a full 30 percent far exceed
budget and miss their completion dates by a wide margin.
c. 25% of organizations adopting ERP systems faced significant resistance from
staff and that 10% of the organizations also encountered resistance from
d. The U.S. Navy's Enterprise Resource Planning software project is the largest
SAP public-sector implementation in the world. The ERP system now integrates
with a Marine Corps Intranet for all authentication and information security
functions as well as 12 related Navy information systems and 18 Department of
Defense (DOD) software applications. The ERP application manages accounting,
distribution, HR, purchasing and maintenance across the Navy’s aviation,
maritime, nuclear and supply chain management business functions. The project
implementation timeframe spans from 2004 through 2013 and is budgeted at
33.Advantage In the absence of an ERP system, a large manufacturer may find
itself with many software applications that cannot communicate or interface effectively with one
another. Tasks that need to interface with one another may involve:
a. ERP systems connect the necessary software in order for accurate forecasting to
be done. This allows inventory levels to be kept at maximum efficiency and the
company to be more profitable.
b. Integration among different functional areas to ensure proper communication,
productivity and efficiency
c. Design engineering (how to best make the product)
d. Order tracking, from acceptance through fulfillment
e. The revenue cycle, from invoice through cash receipt
f. Managing inter-dependencies of complex processes bill of materials
g. Tracking the three-way match between purchase orders (what was ordered),
inventory receipts (what arrived), and costing (what the vendor invoiced)
h. The accounting for all of these tasks: tracking the revenue, cost and profit at a
i. ERP Systems centralize the data in one place. Benefits of this include:
(1) Eliminates the problem of synchronizing changes between multiple
(2) Permits control of business processes that cross functional boundaries
(3) Provides top-down view of the enterprise (no "islands of information")
(4) Reduces the risk of loss of sensitive data by consolidating multiple
permissions and security models into a single structure.
34.Some security features are included within an ERP system to protect against both outsider
crime, such as industrial espionage, and insider crime, such as embezzlement. A data-
tampering scenario, for example, might involve a disgruntled employee intentionally modifying
prices to below-the-breakeven point in order to attempt to interfere with the company's profit or
other sabotage. ERP systems typically provide functionality for implementing internal controls
to prevent actions of this kind. ERP vendors are also moving toward better integration with
other kinds of information security tools.
35.Disadvantages26 Problems with ERP systems are mainly due to inadequate
investment in ongoing training for the involved IT personnel - including those implementing and
testing changes - as well as a lack of corporate policy protecting the integrity of the data in the
ERP systems and the ways in which it is used. Few of the disadvantages are:-
a. Customization of the ERP software is limited.
b. Re-engineering of business processes to fit the "industry standard" prescribed by
the ERP system may lead to a loss of competitive advantage.
c. ERP systems can be very expensive (This has led to a new category of "ERP
d. ERPs are often seen as too rigid and too difficult to adapt to the specific workflow
and business process of some companies—this is cited as one of the main
causes of their failure.
e. Many of the integrated links need high accuracy in other applications to work
effectively. A company can achieve minimum standards, then over time "dirty
data" will reduce the reliability of some applications.
f. Once a system is established, switching costs are very high for any one of the
partners (reducing flexibility and strategic control at the corporate level).
g. The blurring of company boundaries can cause problems in accountability, lines
of responsibility, and employee morale.
h. Resistance in sharing sensitive internal information between departments can
reduce the effectiveness of the software.
i. Some large organizations may have multiple departments with separate,
independent resources, missions, chains-of-command, etc, and consolidation
into a single enterprise may yield limited benefits.
j. A disadvantage usually attributed to ERP is that business process re-design to fit
the standardized ERP modules can lead to a loss of competitive advantage.
While documented cases exist where this has indeed materialized, other cases
show that following thorough process preparation ERP systems can actually
increase sustainable competitive advantage.
36.ERP implementations Analogies ERP implementation, some times feel like
pulling teeth. Keeping alive this spirit of suffering, fol is the list of seven analogies for ERP.
a. Truth be told, I suspect the dude has a bit too much time on his hands, but here
b. The implementation will be like open heart surgery while the patient is still alive
c. An ERP implementation is like the corporate equivalent of a brain transplant.
d. I think of ERP implementations like mountain climbing: No two are the same.
e. ERP is like my marriage…In good times and in bad, in sickness and in health…
f. ERP implementation is like warfare, make it quick and fast, don’t drag too long.
g. ERP implementation is like a soccer team, where the coach, physiotherapist and
substitutes have roles that are equal to those of the players themselves
(explaining the role of top management).
h. An ERP implementation is like a 9 month root canal.
ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
37.The implementation of an ERP system takes a significantly longer time and level of
resource than the selection process. However, the extent of the implementation will be
profoundly influenced by the level of resource and objectivity during the entire commissioning
process of an ERP by the organization. Correct deployment ogf ERP will not only be cost
effective but also it will beenficiary for organization’s productivity.
38.Analysis The successful implementation of various enterprise resource planning (ERP)
systems has provoked considerable interest over the last few years. Management has recently
been enticed to look toward these new information technologies and philosophies of
manufacturing for the key to survival or competitive edges. After analyzing the complete
chronology of ERP sys, fol aspects have come come up as focal points for ERP viz a viz
a. Although there is no shortage of glowing reports on the success of ERP
installations, many companies have tossed millions of dollars in this direction with
little to show for it. Since many of the ERP failures today can be attributed to
inadequate planning prior to installation.
b. This study also identifies new windows of opportunity as well as challenges
facing companies / organizations today as enterprise systems continue to evolve
c. Manufacturing Industry ERP has helped to increase the efficiency and quality
of the manufacturing process. The manufacturing process experienced slumps
quiet often because of improper communication, miscommunication, wrong
communication and even lack of communication. ERP provided solutions to
those troubles by coordinating the actions of supply chains, ware house and
d. Insurance Enterprise Resource planning has played a vital role in this
business by covering three vital areas. Firstly it has provided a common
platform for insurers and his agents. This has helped in easing the
transactions and keeping an eye on the performance of the agent. This has
addressed the difficulties of both the agents and insurers and thus
facilitated coordination in the better interests of the business.
e. Healthcare The sharing of databases among hospitals seemed to be a
great advantage for doctors and patients. This even makes one to
exaggerate that a person need not maintain a collection of his medical
problems provided that his/her choice of hospital/hospitals has a database
of patient records(or commonly shares them by any other means).Even
though it is not practical to follow those practices, ERP has been a
lifesaving measure to patients who are admitted in a hospital in an
emergency condition irrespective of the fact that the doctor in charge is
aware of his medical history as ERP provides everything.
f. An ERP 'system' is comprised of a number of modules that are combined (in
Lego like fashion) to create something that meets your needs. Typical
modules include Human Relations (HR), Accounts Payable (AP), Payroll,
Accounts Receivable (AR), Asset Management, General Ledger (GL), Shipping /
Receiving, etc, etc. The number of combinations possible is dizzying (as can
the price be for acquisition, implementation, and maintenance). Therefore, a care
full combination can only serve the best purpose for an organization.
g. The consultants are the individuals who are responsible for the implementation of
the software, and it is also their responsibility to make sure the employees are
properly trained on how to use it. When the ERP software is sold to the company,
it will usually be sold in a generic form. The functions will be the most important
part of it. Most companies will need to modify the software so that it can be
h. Change management is the other most widely cited critical success factor. This
concept refers to the need for the implementation team to formally prepare a
change management program and be conscious of the need to consider the
implications of such a project. One key task is to build user acceptance of the
project and a positive employee. This might be accomplished through education
about the benefits and need for an ERP system. Part of this building of user
acceptance should also involve securing the support of opinion leaders
throughout the organization. There is also a need for the team leader to
effectively negotiate between various political turfs / stake holders interests.
39.Recommendations . Fol are the possible recommendations for a successful
deployment of an ERP sys:-
a. ERP systems inherently present unique risks due to tightly linked
interdependencies of business processes, relational databases and process
reengineering, and so on. Knowledge of such factors is important in the design of
system and programme management as they contribute to the overall success of
b. To ensure the success of any ERP implementation project, a project team
consisting of an ERP consultant, internal auditing, and IT staff familiar with the
company's business operations should be established before the system's
c. Auditors provide the function of analyzing Master data sets, which are
synchronized copies of core data elements and associated attributes. These data
sets are used in analytical applications, which are often subject to governance
policies. Because every organization uses master data differently, internal
auditors can help the project team identify how data sets are used, digitized, and
d. As a general rule, master data needs to be identified with its corresponding
database to facilitate the generation of business documentation, while data
maintenance should be assigned to a particular function depending on the data's
e. Every organization has its own set of internal controls for organizational
requirements. As part of the implementation process, as set of internal controls
must be defined.
f. ERP project management team members should be involved in ERP selection,
monitoring during implementation and management of outside consultants.
g. The project team needs to communicate all system and compliance requirements
to the consultant as soon as possible to determine whether the right consultant
was hired for the job or otherwise.
h. Organizations should be committed to the idea of implementing the “vanilla”
version of an ERP which is the basic version with no or minimal customization.
i. The need for an implementation team that spans the organization as well as one
that possesses a balance of business and IT skills is another significant critical
j. Communication among various functions/levels and specifically between
business and IT personnel is another identified critical area. This requires a
communication plan to ensure that open communication occurs within the entire
organization, including the shop-floor employees as well as with suppliers and
k. There must also be consideration of the current legacy system in place as this
will be a good indicator of the nature and scale of potential problems. This could
directly affect the technical and organizational change required.
l. It is critical to assess the IT readiness of the organization, including the
architecture and skills. If necessary, infrastructure might need to be upgraded or
m. The selection of the specific ERP package is one that requires careful attention.
It is also necessary to keep in mind that the system must match the business
n. It is necessary to consider the impact of the change on the nature of work and
the specific job descriptions. It is recommended that the training should
encompass the development of IT skills and that it should be hands-on through a
comprehensive training plan which must part of master implementation plan.
o. Any project is not complete without the allowance for some kind of post-
evaluation. It is recommended that there should b an allowance for a feedback
network for focused performance measures.
p. ERP software technology should not be very old.
q. What kind of warranty and guarantee is provided by the ERP system provider.
Safeguards must be ensured to achieve perceived results.
r. Hardware requirements for the new system must be visualized in the planning
40.ERP provide a mechanism for implementing systems where a high degree of integration
between applications is required. The Business Case or Value Proposition for implementation
must be outlined to successfully implement - a proper mix of people, processes and
technology should be maintained. The growing information needs of an enterprise make it
imperative to improve or replace old systems. Especially under the present business
environment, where the globalization has been initiated, full convertibility is coined, it is
expected that the whole business system will undergo a major shift. To summarize, ERP has a
great importance and ERP systems have become the biggest need of today's organizations to
survive. They provide tremendous benefits in terms of speed, economy, efficiency,
effectiveness and comprehensive decision making.
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