International Journal of Information Technology & Management Information System (IJITMIS), ISSN0976 – 6405(Print), ISSN 09...
International Journal of Information Technology & Management Information System (IJITMIS), ISSN0976 – 6405(Print), ISSN 09...
International Journal of Information Technology & Management Information System (IJITMIS), ISSN0976 – 6405(Print), ISSN 09...
International Journal of Information Technology & Management Information System (IJITMIS), ISSN0976 – 6405(Print), ISSN 09...
International Journal of Information Technology & Management Information System (IJITMIS), ISSN0976 – 6405(Print), ISSN 09...
International Journal of Information Technology & Management Information System (IJITMIS), ISSN0976 – 6405(Print), ISSN 09...
International Journal of Information Technology & Management Information System (IJITMIS), ISSN0976 – 6405(Print), ISSN 09...
International Journal of Information Technology & Management Information System (IJITMIS), ISSN0976 – 6405(Print), ISSN 09...
International Journal of Information Technology & Management Information System (IJITMIS), ISSN0976 – 6405(Print), ISSN 09...
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Erp implementation issues in higher educational institutes with specific

  1. 1. International Journal of Information Technology & Management Information System (IJITMIS), ISSN0976 – 6405(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6413(Online) Volume 4, Issue 2, May - August (2013), © IAEME31ERP IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES IN HIGHER EDUCATIONALINSTITUTES WITH SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO PUNE REGIONDr. K. Nirmala1, MS. Rupal Choudhary2, Jai Ram Choudhary31(Dr. D. Y. Patil Institute of Management & Research, Pimpri, Pune, India)2(Dr. D. Y. Patil Institute of Management & Research, Pimpri, Pune, India)3(Software Development Cell, Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune, India)ABSTRACTEnterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are the integral information solutionsthat cater to the information needs throughout any organization.This paper attempts to explore and identify issues affecting Enterprise ResourcePlanning (ERP) implementation in context to Higher Educational Institutes in Pune region.The issues covered include the development of a strong foundation for ERP such as a cleardefinition of requirements, a comprehensive project plan, a strong project team, back-fillingthe organization, and the commitment of leadership. Also discussed is the importance of thecontract with vendors, including options of fixed cost versus time and materials approaches.The expected costs and benefits of ERP are discussed.Recently there has been a wave of interest in implementation of ERP software. Thequestion of implementation of ERP has remained largely unexplored. In this research we seekto contribute to our understanding of the critical success factors of ERP implementations andhow these factors can be put into practice to help the process of project management in ERPimplementations.The findings are expected to be a valuable contribution to the Educational Institutesthat are planning to implement the ERP system.Keywords: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Implementation, Information,Higher Educational Institutes.INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY &MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM (IJITMIS)ISSN 0976 – 6405(Print)ISSN 0976 – 6413(Online)Volume 4, Issue 2, May - August (2013), pp. 31-39© IAEME: www.iaeme.com/ijitmis.htmlJournal Impact Factor (2013): 5.2372 (Calculated by GISI)www.jifactor.comIJITMIS© I A E M E
  2. 2. International Journal of Information Technology & Management Information System (IJITMIS), ISSN0976 – 6405(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6413(Online) Volume 4, Issue 2, May - August (2013), © IAEME321. INTRODUCTIONThe term “Enterprise Resource Planning” was coined in the early 1990s. ERP is asoftware solution that integrates information and business processes to enable informationentered once into the system to be shared throughout an organization. While ERP had itsorigins in manufacturing and production planning systems, the scope of ERP offeringsexpanded in the mid-1990s to include other "back-office" functions such as ordermanagement, financial management, asset management and human resources management.The range of functionality of ERP systems has further expanded in recent years to includemore applications, such as grants management, marketing automation, electronic commerce,student systems and supply chain systems.Surprisingly, Higher Educational Sector which should have been in the fore-front inERP implementation has lagged behind. Customized software have been used by theColleges since a long time. Library and Finance are the two departments leading the race. Butincreased competitiveness and availability of options is now slowly ‘forcing’ this sector to gofor ERP implementation.Application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is gaining focusand being considered as a key factor in quality assessment of educational Institutes.ERP is also being considered for being ahead of the rest in this highly competitive andfast growing market. An ERP implementation impacts the motivation, training andcompetence of the existing staff.2. OBJECTIVES1. To find out the various issues arising during implementation of ERP systems in variousEducational Institutes in Pune region.2. Designing of various strategies based on the above issues to make successful ERPimplementations.3. LITERATURE REVIEWERP for Educational Sector is defined as an integrated, customized, packagedsoftware-based system that handles the majority of the organization’s system requirements inall functional areas such as student management, faculty management, library management,hostel management, finance, human resources, admissions, examinations and results. It has asoftware architecture that facilitates the flow of information among all functions within anorganization. It sits on a common database and is supported by a single developmentenvironment.Lucas (1981) defined implementation as the whole process of introducing a systeminto an organization, from conception of an idea, to analysis, design, installation andoperation. Olson and Davis (1984) defined implementation as preparing an organization toreceive an information system for its effective use. Sauer (1993) sees implementation interms of reducing the uncertainty around the problematic relationships amongst theInformation System, the project organization responsible for delivering the system, and thesystems supporters.Extensive research has showed that people are a major factor in detecting theperformance of an ERP implementation in an enterprise. Turnipseed et al. (1992) found that
  3. 3. International Journal of Information Technology & Management Information System (IJITMIS), ISSN0976 – 6405(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6413(Online) Volume 4, Issue 2, May - August (2013), © IAEME33people’s involvement in implementation, support for the system and the level of usage arehighly correlated to the success of such a system. However, it was found that prior experiencewith complex information systems and the level of education and training are also importantfactors in perceptions of the success of this system. In contrast, Mainwaring (1999) arguedthat users’ training is the key to ERP implementation. Gefen also suggested that nurturingclients’ trust to encourage a successful customization is a key factor for a successful ERPimplementation (2002).Visionary leadership is critical to an ERP implementation. Effective leaders within theimplementation process must be able to blend strong visionary skills with effectivemanagement into one integrated whole (Morden 1997). Research also indicates that not onlythe leader must have a vision but that vision must also be shared by the led (Tichy andSherman, 1994). In relation to an ERP implementation the ‘led’ must share the vision of thechange and benefits that will result.4. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY22 Colleges in Pune were approached with the questions. Majority of them are usingcustomized software mainly for Library management and Accounting department. 4 Collegeshad taken a decision to implement the ERP system and they were in the implementationphase. 2 Colleges had already implemented ERP fully in their campuses. Results presentedare based on data collected from IT managers of these Colleges which were asked mainlyopen-ended questions around key issues and typical activities in the ERP implementationprocess. This approach helped us in getting top of the mind concerns and avoiding choicebias. A self administered survey and in-person/telephone interview were used to collect data.A survey approach was preferred over a case based approach because of its efficiency andempirical nature. The questionnaire was designed to capture the organizational concerns andexperiences around the typical activities in ERP implementation.TABLE 1SAMPLE DESCRIPTION (N = 22)ERP Status No. of Educational InstitutesIn Process of Implementation 4Planning to Implement 5Already Implemented 2Currently Not Planning 115. FINDINGS & DISCUSSIONA. Vendor selectionOnce the management decides to implement an ERP system for their Institute, theyhave to first select a vendor. There are numerous ERP Vendors out in the market. ERPsolutions today often have their spearhead application. Some ERPs are better at finance,others are better at human resource, and still others may be better at student applications. Theselection criteria thus become more difficult.Respondents were asked to list the criteria used to select the ERP product and itsvendor. Meeting Organization Requirements and Vendor Support Service were the top
  4. 4. International Journal of Information Technology & Management Information System (IJITMIS), ISSN0976 – 6405(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6413(Online) Volume 4, Issue 2, May - August (2013), © IAEME34ranked criteria. Some of the respondents adopted systems used by their parent organization.Several respondents considered Availability of Regular Updates, System Reliability, andEase in customizing the Software important. Surprisingly System Using Latest Technologywas the least criteria in vendor selection.TABLE 2PRODUCT/ VENDOR SELECTION CRITERIA (N = 11)Product/ Vendor Selection Criteria % respondentsFunctionality 72%System Reliability 54%Meeting Organization Requirements 81%System Using Latest Technology 45%Vendor Support/ Service 81%Ease in customizing the Software 54%Availability of Regular Updates 54%B. Implementation StrategyThere are two types of implementation strategies; big-bang implementation and phasewise implementation. Respondents were asked about the type of implementation strategy theyused. 81% of them had chosen phase wise implementation over the big-bang implementation.19% respondents had chosen to implement the ERP system in one go as they were not havingany legacy system in their organization other then the accounting package used by the financedepartment.TABLE 3IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY (N = 11)Implementation Strategy No of respondentsPhase-wise Implementation 9Big-Bang Implementation 2C. Implementation and success factorsRespondents were asked about the major obstacles they faced in the ERPimplementation project. Problems in transition to new systems, Bugs in the New System, anddata conversion came up as major obstacles faced by the Colleges. Colleges also facedvarious problems in user acceptance of new systems, and time lag in attaining comfort levelsin operating with new systems and processesInterestingly, one respondent commented that he did not see any return on investmentfrom the new systems. The systems would only replace the outgrown old ones. In oneorganization where the project was managed with the support of Parent Organizationemployees, the respondent felt getting adequate support from parent Organization employeeswas a major roadblock.Measuring project success is an important aspect of ongoing project management. Ininformation systems research, it is branded a difficult proposition because of problems in
  5. 5. International Journal of Information Technology & Management Information System (IJITMIS), ISSN0976 – 6405(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6413(Online) Volume 4, Issue 2, May - August (2013), © IAEME35defining project success (Markus et al.,2000). Success depends on the point of view fromwhich you measure it. People mean different things when they talk about ERP success. Forexample, HODs often define success in terms of completing the project on time and withinbudget, while a user’s perspective may be influenced by ease of use and work enhancementsachieved.TABLE 4ROAD BLOCKS (N = 6)Project Road Blocks % respondentsTransition to new systems 83%Insufficient Training 16%Difficulties in estimating the project requirements 33%Data Conversion 83%User Acceptance 67%Time lag in attaining comfort levels 50%Bugs in the New System 67%Knowledge gap between implementers and users 50%Support & Training from Parent Organization 16%D. TrainingSufficient training to the end users was considered as a most important factor formaking the ERP a success in the organization. The users should be made aware of the fullsystem. Most of the training provided focused on how to carry out an operation with the newsystems. Users were not told why to use the systems. Getting the right people as trainers wasthe main challenge in training. The trainers were sometimes the sales people who were notable to tell why a particular step is required to be done. Office staff, in particular, was short oftime for training.TABLE 5CHALLENGES IN TRAINING (N = 6)Challenges in Training % respondentsLack of computer savvy users 33%Getting the right people as trainers 83%High turnover of users 50%Insufficient Time 66%E. InfrastructureRespondents were asked about the challenges they faced in upgrading theinfrastructure to support the new systems. About 54% of the organizations deployed newinfrastructure to support their ERP systems. Since the ERP systems are web-based, and thefact that most of the colleges were having a working network, they needed to invest mainly inservers. All the systems across the organization needed to be compatible with the software.Most of the respondents said that they had to purchase database systems for using the ERPsystem.
  6. 6. International Journal of Information Technology & Management Information System (IJITMIS), ISSN0976 – 6405(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6413(Online) Volume 4, Issue 2, May - August (2013), © IAEME36TABLE 6CHALLENGES IN UPGRADING INFRASTRUCTURE (N = 11)Challenges in Upgrading infrastructure % respondentsNew Infrastructure Deployment 54%Incompatibility of new systems with existing infrastructure 18%Re-design 18%Difficulty in estimating requirements 27%F. Software configurationERP systems are software packages, generically designed, keeping the industry-wideneeds and best practices in mind. One of the major challenge an adopting organization faceswhile configuring an ERP system is that software does not fit all their requirements(Davenport, 1998). Even with today’s state of the art technology, organizations find that notall their requirements are provided by the ERP systems they adopt. We asked the respondentsabout incompatibilities between the software and organizational needs. About50% wereorganization specific where the software did not support the way their organization worked.For example, the software did not support some of the procedures required by the AICTE andDTE.Some respondents found that ERP systems had limited reporting capabilities and itwas difficult for academic users to generate customized reports.TABLE 7LIMITATION OF ERP (N = 6)Stated Limitations of ERP % respondentsSophistication of the software 50%Needless or Unwanted Reports 33%No facility to create customized reports 67%We further asked the respondents about their strategies to meet the limitations of ERPand the incompatibilities between the software and their business needs (Table 8). Collegestook more than one strategy in many cases. About 83% of the Colleges responded that theymade some modifications in the software, 33% developed add-ons, while 17% said they areliving with some shortfall. A high response on making software modifications was interestingin the light of the many reported woes of modifying ERP software such as high costs,difficulties in upgrades, and increased introduction of bugs due to modifications (Davenport,2000).TABLE 8STRATEGIES TO MEET INCOMPATIBILITIES (N = 6)Strategies to meet incompatibilities % respondentsSoftware was modified 83%Add-ons developed 33%Living with the shortfall 17%
  7. 7. International Journal of Information Technology & Management Information System (IJITMIS), ISSN0976 – 6405(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6413(Online) Volume 4, Issue 2, May - August (2013), © IAEME37G. Testing and quality assuranceAssuring that the new systems will work well when they go live is a challenging task.Respondents were asked about the testing and quality assurance activities they carried out orwere in process of carrying out. Some Colleges are running pilot tests by populating thesystems with organizational data. A few Colleges also tested their systems for scalability andperformance on load. Most of the Colleges are running their old systems in parallel with thenew system and will switch only when the new system is tuned fully.TABLE 9QUALITY ASSURANCE STRATEGIES (N = 4)Quality assurance strategies % respondentsComplete validation/verification of data between old and new systems 75%Reconciliation of old accounts 75%Pilot Testing 50%6. DESIGNING OF VARIOUS STRATEGIESVarious strategies can be generated based upon the experience of those interviewed.The best practices can be summarized as below:A. Vendor SelectionA team comprising of IT and various department heads should be created. Theyshould be fully educated and made aware of the decision to go for ERP implementation. Theteam can go through demo sessions by various vendors and rank them according to theirrequired functional and non-functional criteria. The management can then use these rankingto finalize the vendor after comparing the price factor.Not only the initial cost but also the annual maintenance cost and the cost ofcustomizations should be considered. Try to select a system which is very close to yourrequirements. Customizations cost a lot and are more prone to errors.B. Implementation StrategyWhile interviewing with the respondents, we found that phase wise implementation isthe best strategy for implementation. It was observed that while using the big-bang approach,there tend to be chaos among the users. The negative vibes of one department affect the otherdepartments thus creating a negative impact on the whole implementation process.When the implementation is done phase-wise, extra care has to be taken for the firstimplementation in a department. A small department can be chosen for this. The successfulimplementation in this department will send positive vibes throughout the Institute, thusmaking the implementation a success in other departments.C. User AcceptanceUser involvement is one of the most cited, critical success factors in ERPimplementation projects. The topic of user involvement has been the subject of research sincethe origin of information systems.
  8. 8. International Journal of Information Technology & Management Information System (IJITMIS), ISSN0976 – 6405(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6413(Online) Volume 4, Issue 2, May - August (2013), © IAEME38Increase the rate of user involvement in the implementation, so that the end result willdeliver a better fit in relation to business processes and acceptance between the end users andthe ERP system. Concern the top management about the conversion from a legacy system toa modern ERP system and assure that the ERP project would be successful.D. TrainingTraining plays a major part in the successful implementation of the ERP system.Apart from providing training the end users, some employees of IT departments should befully trained in the whole system. There should be always some employees in theorganization who know the whole system fully. These employees will be able to train the newemployees in the future.In the Colleges where there are customized software used, the Users must be madeaware of their increased stake through the ERP system. In the legacy systems they were usingthe data fed by them for their own departmental use, but with the ERP the value of their dataincreases as it is being shared throughout the enterprise.There are numerous reasons and explanations available to make the users adapt to thenew ERP system if previously there were no software system used. Sufficient training shouldbe provided.7. CONCLUSIONERP systems were initially implemented only in corporate sector. But, with theintroduction of global ERP solutions the range of ERP systems broadened and beingextended to education sector. In current reality, the higher educational institutes are facing lotof challenges to process, manage and communicate information in the dynamicenvironments. So, with context to emerging trends in global management practices it is evennecessary to assess and acknowledge the implementation issues of ERP systems in highereducational institutes which are instrumental in socioeconomic transformation of any nation.Further, there is need to implement an ERP system in higher education to seek better ways totransform knowledge for effective decision making and managerial capacity building.8. LIMITATIONSThe research identifies a number of critical management challenges in the ERPimplementation activities, such as training, upgrading infrastructure, project management andstabilizing ERP systems. Organizational strategies in testing and quality assurance, meetingincompatibilities between organizational needs and the ERP systems, increasing useracceptance, and resolving challenges in shakedown are also documented. A number ofavenues can be recognized for future detailed research, based on organizational concernsfound in this study. For example a detailed study on training, one major organizationalconcern identified, would ascertain how effective ERP training can be carried out. Futurestudies should explore ways to increase the size of the sample group and the response rate.
  9. 9. International Journal of Information Technology & Management Information System (IJITMIS), ISSN0976 – 6405(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6413(Online) Volume 4, Issue 2, May - August (2013), © IAEME399. REFERENCES[1.] Turnipseed, D. L., Burns, O. M., & Riggs, W. E. (1992). An implementation analysis ofMRP systems: a focus on the human variable. Production and Inventory Management,33, 1-5.[2.] Mainwaring, J. (1999). Training - the key to ERP implementation. ManufacturingComputer Solutions, 5, 36-37.[3.] Gefen, D. (2002). Nurturing clientss trust to encourage engagement success during thecustomization of ERP systems. Omega, 30(4), 287-299.[4.] Dave Swartz,& Ken Orgill (2000). Higher Education ERP: Lessons Learned[5.] Bingi P., Sharma M., Godla J. “Critical Issues Affecting an ERP Implementation”,Information Systems Management, (16:3), Summer 1999.[6.] José Esteves, Joan Pastor, Josep Casanovas “Measuring Sustained Management Supportin ERP Implementation Projects: A GQM Approach”[7.] Davenport, T.H., 2000. Mission Critical: Realizing the Promise of Enterprise Systems.Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.[8.] T.R. Bhatti,2005 “Critical Success Factors for the Implementation of EnterpriseResource Planning (ERP): Empirical Validation”[9.] Vinod Kumar, Bharat Maheshwari, Uma Kumar, 2003 “An investigation of criticalmanagement issues in ERP implementation: empirical evidence from Canadianorganizations[10.] Glenn Stewart, “Organizational Readiness for ERP Implementation”[11.] Ike C. Ehie, Mogens Madsen, 2005 “Identifying critical issues in enterprise resourceplanning (ERP) implementation”[12.] A.T. Chatfield, K.V. Andersen, Playing with LEGO: IT, coordination and global supplymanagement in a world leader toy manufacturing enterprise, in: Proceedings of theSixth European conference on Information Systems, Euro-Arab Management School,Aix-en-Provence, Granada, June 4–6, 1998, pp. 1680–1687.[13.] N. Venkateswaran and Dr. V. Mahalakshmi, “Csfs of ERP Implementations in LargeScale Indian Organizations: A Multiple Case Study”, International Journal ofManagement (IJM), Volume 3, Issue 1, 2012, pp. 46 - 56, ISSN Print: 0976-6502,ISSN Online: 0976-6510[14.] http://www.erpcentral.com/[15.] http://www.erpfans.com[16.] http://www.erphub.com[17.] http://www.erpassist.com

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