ERP implementation project should not be viewed as simple process automation but as an exercise in business transformation which calls for integration of people, process and technology. It is a people driven activity and its success is very much dependent on the effective organisation of the human resources associated with it. Therefore, a good project organisation structure is a key to enable effective implementation. There are three main role of ERP are Consultant role, vendors role and users role
The functional team is assisted by a team of implementation consultant Role, using their knowledge of process integration and experience in applying proven techniques. The implementation consultants simplify and expedite the implementation process. Some members of this consulting team who possess specialist knowledge and experience in implementation of ERP systems in the specific functional area, are appointed team leaders for that function. The team leader coordinates the activities of his team and ensures that team milestones are achieved within budgeted time. In addition to assisting the functional team in all the activities mentioned above, the implementation consultants are also involved in:
Providing an overview of ERP to the top management in the organisation Training the project team members in the ERP system
Ensuring that vendor supplied training material, along with company-specific data, is extensively used for the training Providing a fresh, unbiased perspective on the way of doing business, sometimes even challenging the status quo
Conducting an extensive post implementation audit (All the procedures which have undergone changes after ERP implementation are documented in detail along with their impact on the overall functioning of the business in this report. The report is discussed in the steering committee meeting along with the project leader’s comment and the committee members’ individual observations before the final sign-off of the project.)
Conducting a post-implementation review after the system is fully implemented and the entire staff is familiar with the system (It provides a formal review point to measure the success of the project and the system against the original objectives and identifies ways in which further benefit can be gained by better use of the system or by further development work).
Along with functional consultants, the team also consists of one or two IT specialists who assist the client IS team in issues such as system administration, security, network management, etc.
Role of Hardware Vendors
The hardware vendor is responsible for installing all the computer hardware and related peripherals like printers and networking equipment. Minimum hardware requirement for ERP in a SME are:
Main server (OS/ERP/RDBMS/Business logic):
1.8 GHz Server: Multi Processor
800 MHz Processor
100 GB HD Upgradability for multiple storage
2 GB RAM with upgradability
In case of multi-location implementation along with a local area network, a wide area network also needs to be set up using VSATs or leased lines. The hardware vendor is also responsible for maintenance of the computer systems throughout the course of the project and beyond.
Role of Software Vendors
Members from the software vendor organisation are responsible for installing the ERP software. Also, the software vendor should provide the organisation with regular updates to the software for bug fixation or feature enhancements. In case the steering committee decides to develop new programmes to accommodate the functionalities not supported by the system, the software vendor should assist the development team in understanding the technical details of the ERP software and thus help achieve integration of the new modules with the package.
Role of Users
Importance of teams of functional users to select new processes is an accepted norm. Emotional attachment of people in the IT department to their custom developed systems has been quoted as one of the reasons for resistance to ERP packages by some consultants. The organisations have finally accepted that ERP implementation is beyond an IT project. Users from the relevant functional departments play a lead role in deciding on what they want. The system people give support to these teams. Quite a few organisations, in fact, have put a non-system personnel as in-charge of the implementation.