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					Seven mantras for the right
selection :
  The process of selecting an ERP
   package is not an easy task, a lot of
   thinking and evaluation is required for
   the right product.
  There are many numbers of ERP
   suppliers who are very active in the
   market.
   Some of the companies offering
    international ERP products include,
    Baan, CODA, SAP, Ramco, Software
    2000, etc.

   As most of the standard products
    which are currently available in the
    market promise most of the features,
    the choice should be made on the
    basis of the needs of the business.
   The product should be selected on the
    basis of the functional needs and the
    IT needs of the organization and not
    on the basis of the promises of the
    vendors and consultants.

   The next figure shows the relative
    importance of various aspects in an
    ERP implementation process.
                    package




             implementation



                 people

People are the most important aspect of ERP
   ERP is clearly a people based system;
    software and hardware are only the
    enablers.

    People by any account are the most
    important aspect of ERP. It is the
    people who will ensure that the
    implementation succeeds.
 The second important aspect is the
  way the ERP is implemented. The
  package, in fact, is the least
  important aspect.
 The selection of an ERP package
  needs a focused approach
  concentrating on the key
  organizational issues.
The following can be a guideline for
 this process.
 Please note that this is only a
 suggested guideline and not the only
 possible approach.
 This may change significantly
 depending on your organization,
 business needs and the environment in
 which the business operates.
 Mantra   1 : Ask why an ERP
 We should never buy an ERP just for
 the sake of it. We should have
 sufficient reasons to justify it. This
 initiative has to come from within the
 organization. The finance or
 manufacturing head, along with the IT
 head are the people most likely to
 start the process. Do not buy an ERP
 because everyone else is buying it. It
 should not be like a rat race.
 Mantra 2: Get top management
 involved in buying decision
 Small teams should be formed to
 study how the ERP will work and what
 benefits will it bring. You have the
 task of making top management
 understand that ERP is not an IT
 project. Also top management should
 think of both, tangible as well as
 intangible, benefits.
Mantra 3:
Critical Process Identification
  Having got the top management
  involved, form a small team by drawing
  one person from each major functional
  area. Let the team draw current state
  processes of the organization. The
  outcome is likely to be flow charts
  showing the broad level processes.
  Evaluate how these processes
  exchange information from one an
  other.
 These charts are like a birds eye view
  and allow you to analyze the
  information flows within the
  organization.
 If required, assistance of an external
  consultant maybe taken to draw these
  current states. However, it is the
  organizational team which has to lead
  this exercise.
 Process charts should be simple,
 logical and avoid jargon. Resist
 the temptation of making too
 many charts. Make as few charts
 as possible without missing any
 significant detail.
 Mantra   4: Understand the concept
 It is imperative that the core team
 understands ERP as a concept and as a
 process. You may get an independent
 consultant to teach this. The
 consultants can show the general
 process flows of various functions.
 Consultant should draw these
 processes without too much
 information about the organization.
   The aim is to understand how an ERP
    works. The consultant would have seen
    many ERPs and would be able to give a
    generic picture. Thus, the core team
    would get enough information on how
    ERP fits into the organization and
    would know what issues are critical to
    the organization.
 Mantra   5: the alternatives
 It may take two to three months to
 introduce the concept of ERP in the
 organization. By this time, core team
 is already deep into ERP. A lot of
 information is available in media about
 various packages, their vendors,
 support, etc.
   You can make a database listing all
    ERPs and relevant details. First, cut
    selection can be made at this stage.
    Generally, five to seven packages
    should be considered further after
    the first cut.
 Mantra   6: the final selection
 At this stage, various short listed
 venders may be called. With lots of
 homework already being put into, you
 can save most of the time that goes in
 basic introductions and general
 presentation and can focus on more
 concrete issues.
 Interact with vendors to get as much
  information. The mode of this
  interaction could be meetings or
  presentations.
 Once you are left with two or three
  packages, go for detailed demos by
  building scenarios specific to your
  company. Carry out detailed demos for
  each functional area involving few
  more users. This is to understand how
  the package works and what changes
  are expected in the system.
 Mantra   7: the contract
 The logic culmination of the process in
 the creation of a contract and a
 project charter.
 The contract should very clearly list
 the responsibility and deliverables
 from the package implementer and
 the consultant.

				
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posted:9/30/2012
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