ERP implementation in SMEs

ERP implementation (Enterprise Resource Planning) is still a technical jargon for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) where it is a challenge to implement an ERP due to the lack of a good coordinator on the company side.

Why most SMEs are either unwilling to implement ERP or unable to implement successfully, although there are a number of good ERP software in branded and semi-branded categories on the market at an affordable price. Most SMBs feel uncomfortable implementing ERP mainly due to the high error rate in the market. If we recall the history of ERP failures, most of these failures are not due to software bugs but to poor implementation. This requires an investigation into the reasons for the failure.

In the beginning, SMBs fail to hire highly paid consultants who are the main link between the software vendor (technical team) and the end user. Furthermore, ERP implementation is not just the installation and configuration of the software, but a process of defining how an organization works. It involves defining the process flows within different departments and across departments, putting controls and controls in place at different places, and implementing the authorization levels in all departments, which requires some important and strict decisions to be carried out successfully.

Who better to fulfill the above requirement of an advisor and a strong coordinator who has the pulse of the organization and is in an influential and controlling position than a functional leader in the company.

EPR implementation involves specific steps starting with BPR (Business Process Reengineering) and who better to understand business processes than a functional manager who understands the process of purchasing, selling, inventory, material movement, accounts, excise, VAT, consumption, production , HR etc., especially during the internal audit process.

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The second step of ERP implementation is to understand the process flow of the ERP software that the company is in the process of implementing. Understanding the process flows requires some training in the software, and a computer engineer with a lot of exposure and experience in the technical processes requires certain limited sessions to understand the technical details 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 choice is a senior executive of the company with functional experience and training in ERP software.

Once the process mapping is complete, the execution of ERP starts with defining the processes in different departments and across departments, imposing the checks and controls on different places and implementing the authorization levels across all departments.

In summary, for SMEs, the functional manager together with the IT manager is the best choice for implementing ERP.

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