ERP Implementation in SME’s

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ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) implementation is still a jargon for SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) where the it is a challenge to implement an ERP due to absence of a good coordinator from the company’s side.

Why most of the SME’s are either unwilling to implement ERP or unable to implement successfully, despite the fact that there are number of good ERP software available in the market in branded and semi branded categories at an affordable price. Most of the SME’s are uncomfortable to implement ERP, mainly due to high failure rate in the market. If we recall history of ERP failures, most of these failures are not due to software failure, but are due to poor implementation. This calls for a study of reasons for the failure.

At the outset, SME’s fail to engage highly paid consultants, who are the main link between the software provider (technical team) and the end user. Further, ERP implementation is not just installation and configuration of the software but is process of defining the way an organization should work, it involves defining the process flows within different departments and across the departments, imposing the checks & controls at different points and implementing the authorisation levels in all departments, which requires certain important and stern decisions to be taken for successful execution.

Who can be a better person than a functional head in the company to fulfill the above said requirement of a consultant and a strong coordinator, who has the pulse of the organization and is in an influential and controlling position.

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EPR implementation involves certain steps which starts with BPR (Business Process Reengineering) and who can understand Business Processes better than a Functional Head, who understands the process of Purchase, Sales, Inventory, Material Movement, Accounts, Excise, Vat, Consumption, Production, HR etc especially during the Internal Audit process.

The second step of ERP implementation involves understanding the process flow of the ERP software that the organization is in the process of implementation. Understanding the process flows requires certain training on the software and an EDP Engineer with a bunch of exposure and experience in the technical processes requires certain limited sessions to understand the technicalities in any ERP software.

The third step of ERP implementation is to map the functional processes of the organization with the functionality of the software. This is where the role of functional consultant is most important and critical and the best bet is a Senior Executive of the company with functional exposure and training of the ERP software.

Ones the mapping of the processes is done, the execution of ERP starts with process definition within different departments and across the departments, imposing the checks & controls at different points and implementing the authorisation levels across all departments.

To sum up, for SME’s the Functional Head along with the EDP Head is the best bet for implementation of ERP.

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