Sunday, 21 October 2012

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Essay

This essay aims at analysis six case studies using comparative analysis. This paper focuses on the private sector. The paper analyses enterprise resource planning. The paper analyses how the six companies used the enterprise resource as an information technologies and system at its implementation stage. As much as most of the implementation of this enterprise resource planning system has proved to be a total failure, this paper analyses this six case studies to compare and see where the companies have failed and successive.

Introduction
Majority of the companies have turned to the Enterprise resource Planning system as a method of solving their management issues. Enterprise Resource Planning System can be termed as a business software system that assists an organization in running efficiently its resources. Resources in this case can be the finance, the human resource, the materials, or anything that can be managed in that specific organization. The ERP assists the organization in that it provides a complicated solution to the company’s information processing systems wants. The work of the ERP is so easy (Kansal, 2006).

Firstly, by allowing the management of the data, which at times is usually integrated in the whole organization. This therefore means that it acts as a transaction processing system. Additionally, it also acts as a workflow management system in that it helps in the management of the many flows that occurs within the organization. In order for information and data to be processed and transacted correctly, the ERP provides a successful of an information technologies system. This is by assisting in the flow of information and any condition, which is set. By preventing redundancy of data, entering wrong data, and assisting in the calculation, the ERP assists the company to indulge itself in a competitive world by minimizing the cost incurred.

This paper uses the six case studies to assist the managers to achieve the full purpose of the ERP. It analyses the implementation process of the ERP in six companies. The companies include the Rolls-Royce Company, the Dutch construction firms, Pratt and Whitney Canada, Gujrat Heavy Chemicals limited, Texas Instrument and a soft drink bottler. Some of the organizations listed here tried to implement the system and failed while some of them implemented it and succeeded.

Implementation phase case study of the Rolls Royce
In the implementation phase of the Rolls Royce, this stage proved to be far too large therefore forcing the management to half it into waves. The two waves contained some two things in common. Firstly, it was involved in the implementation of its architecture and its physical. In addition to that, they were both concerned with the modifying the working practices that the organization had. The first wave involved the replacement of the legacy systems in the organization. It should be noted that the SFDM commonly referred to as the shop floor data management was introduced in this phase. The main aim of the first wave was to actually offer new potential for the operations that consisted the gas turbine (Yusuf et al,2004).

The second stage involved the implementation of the human resource, the logistics, the engine assembly, and the spare parts elements. This process occurred one year later. The replacement of the old system with the new system was to occur once the new system responded positively. The Rolls Royce understood that their system was big enough so they gave it quite sometime before the ERP was launched. This proved to be working in their favor. Since the company contains many different steps, the company took its time in understanding the whole process and gave it its whole energy. However, the management should clearly grasp the implementation of the system. For such an expensive system, the management should not take it lightly and assume that it is just an information thing but should understand the whole process of installing the ERP concerns the whole organization. In addition to that, the management should make sure that the whole system is fully understood before replacing it.

Implementation Phase case study of the Dutch Construction firm
In the implementation phase of the Dutch companies, the project unit in specific, the implementation stage was to last over two years. Firstly, they did not seek external aid or consultancy. They largely relied on the internal project control management to do their work for them. The reason as why they did not seek the consultancy of external advisors is because they sad it would be expensive. This would cost them a lot of money that planned for the implementation process.
In addition to that, they also failed that some data, which was sensitive, would leak out to the other organizations. What the organization did not realize is that they were focusing more on intra company ideas. This would later cause them trouble, as they did not create an important part of the supply chain department. This is because the process would require communication between the customers and the suppliers. The main aim of implementing the ERP system was top support the accounting department. The accounting department proved to be in more need of the system than the others then next to follow would be the Purchasing department (Voordijk et al., 2003).

The users of the system, who comprised of a representative and the internal project manager, met up for meetings to finalize the whole process. Another total failure of the implementation stage is that it used limited training and instruction. This clearly leaves chances that there were some individuals who did not understand the whole process well. The structured approach of the system can be termed as a linear process since it consisted of taking one-step to another until the end. As the structure could later prove, it later started to diminish since business schedules, which resulted to time constraints.

Implementation case study of the Pratt & Whitney Canada
At the implementation stage of the Pratt and Whitney Canada, they took considerable measures to make sure that every individual in the company was involved in that stage. The end users consisted of around three thousand users. The employees of the organization were taken through training, a key factor in the implementation stage to make sure that the company functioned effectively. Because of their organized structure, this made the internal project managers to have time to analyze the likely outcome if the system was fully implemented. They made sure that the information circulated through every employee of the organization. As a result of this, the possibility of the system failing was eliminated. The implementation of the system was well structured thus becoming an advantage to the system in that the possibility of the system failing were reduced (Tchokogue et al. 2005).

Implementation case study of the Gujrat Heavy Chemicals limited
In the implementation process of the Gujrat Heavy Chemicals Limited, the project manager was involved in the process together with the heads of the IT and the finance department. The key users of the project who involved in the project together with the external advisors assisted in the training of the other employees. The main objective of the implementation of the whole EPR system was to support the activities that were forgoing in the organization and not to actually replace it.

One advantage that the system faced is that it was well welcomed. What actually assisted further was that the majority of the personnel were computer literate. This implies that they actually understood what was foregoing and what was expected with them. In addition to that, the employees received adequate training so the implementation process took quite a short time. The employees understood quite well the needs of the organization. Therefore, it helped in that people did not seem reluctant when adapting to the new system (Kansal, 2006).

The management team seemed to be very cooperative. Although majority of the time they were not involved in the implementation process because they were busy handling other issues within the company, they had already appointed people who would represent them and assist them in their job. Thee end users who were to test the function for its functionality and effectiveness assisted a lot. They seemed inspired. This is because they understood the needs that the organization had and the reasons as to why it really needed change.

Implementation process for the Texas instrument
In the implementation process for the Texas Instrument, they achieved a lot for sharing information. For starters, they invited the personnel of any organizations who had tried implementing the EQR information system to assist them. This made them achieve a lot since new and fresh ideas were brought in to the company. In addition to that, the management of the Texas Instrument was very coordinating. The project leaders who were appointed to look at the needs of the people and to assist in the implementation process did quite a good job. They did a well job since they were motivated to perform. Moreover, the top officials in the company also motivated the team leaders to perform their tasks (Sarkis & Sundarraj, 2003).
In addition to that, the team leaders who were being educated by the team leaders responded positively. The project leaders had received teachings from the individuals who had been invited from other organizations who had performed the other duties. Additionally, there used to be a constant review after every one week to determine what were the risks facing the implementation of the new information system. This assisted in many ways as they were able to identify the loop holes that existed in the organization.

Implementation stage case study for a soft drink bottler
For the implementation process for the soft drink bottler, they proved that they would go their own ways. This means that they heed the advice that they were given by the other outsiders consultants who they had employed. Firstly, if the organization believes that the consultants that they hired did not perform a good job, then it is likely that the system will face many challenges and obstacles.

The implementation of the soft drink bottlers took quite sometime to finish the project. This means that the staffs who were involved in the implementation process lacked the knowledge on how to operate the system. In addition to that majority of the guys who were operating the system were computer illiterate. Moreover, the IT department had very few personnel who could not manage the whole system alone. This also contribute to the slowly implementation of the whole system (Barker & Frolick, 2003).

Moreover, since there was inadequate training, this means that the end users who definitely came from the organization did not adequate training for them. They ignored a very crucial implementation tool. The implementation tool which is a very important factor failed them a lot. This therefore meant that the whole process would be so slow, time wasting and a lot of money would be flowing due to the extended time acquired.
Comparative analysis

Some few mistakes exist in the implementation process of the ERP system that many companies should learn from. For starters, the soft drink bottler did not apply the suggestions that they were given since they did not have any hopes on the external consultants. The Dutch company did not actually employ any external consultants. This is because they thought that it would be money wastage and that their external consultants would steal all the ideas in the end. For the other companies, especially the Texas Instrument, they invited people who had already successfully implemented the ERP and assisted in so many ways. One of the advantages is that new ideas were being brought to the company.

Apart from that some of the companies like Rolls Royce, they fully understood the risks that came with inadequate employee training. Therefore, together with the Texas Instrument and the Gujrat Heavy Chemicals Limited, they understood that training of the workers was a very crucial task if the system was to survive. They therefore invested in the end users unlike their counterparts the soft drink bottlers. The soft drink bottlers, in a bid to cut down the costs, they had few IT personnel who could not manage their work. They did not end up adequately training the end users who would be operating the system. This would later affect the system and it would definitely take time to understand fully the system.

Additionally, if the management is fully committed to the implementing process, then it will be no doubt that the whole process is likely to succeed. Gujrat Heavy Chemicals Limited had a well organized management. Although the management did not participate fully since they were involved in other tasks of the organization, they had appointed a project manager and team leaders who would assist in the whole process. For the soft drink bottlers, firstly they did not adequate staff to support the implementation process. This means that the management was not fully committed to the implementation task. The Texas instrument and the Pratt & Whitney Canada had a strong management. The management did a very good job as they made sure that the end users understood how the whole system worked. This would assist in the swift implementation of the process. The management of the Rolls Royce also understood the tasks that were before them and dedicated to make the system work.

Conclusion
Enterprise Resource Planning System can be termed as a business software system that assists an organization in running efficiently its resources. Resources in this case can be the finance, the human resource, the materials, or anything that can be managed in that specific organization. This is by assisting in the flow of information and any condition, which is set. By preventing redundancy of data, entering wrong data, and assisting in the calculation, the ERP assists the company to indulge itself in a competitive world by minimizing the cost incurred.
This paper uses the six case studies to assist the managers to achieve the full purpose of the ERP. It analyses the implementation process of the ERP in six companies. The companies include the Rolls-Royce Company, the Dutch construction firms, Pratt and Whitney Canada, Gujrat Heavy Chemicals limited, Texas Instrument and a soft drink bottler. Some of the organizations listed here tried to implement the system and failed while some of them implemented it and succeeded.

Apart from that some of the companies like Rolls Royce, they fully understood the risks that came with inadequate employee training. The soft drink bottlers, in a bid to cut down the costs, they had few IT personnel who could not manage their work. They did not end up adequately training the end users who would be operating the system. Additionally, if the management is fully committed to the implementing process, then it will be no doubt that the whole process is likely to succeed. Gujrat Heavy Chemicals Limited had a well-organized management.

References
Barker T. & Frolick N. M (2003). ERP Implementation Failure: A case study. Information
System Management. Fall
Kansal V. (2006). Enterprise Resource Planning Implementation: A Case Study Journal of
American Academy of Business, Cambridge; Vol 9, No 1;
Sarkis J.,& Sundarraj R.P. (2003). Managing large-scale global enterprise resource planning
systems:a case study at Texas Instruments International Journal of Information Management 23:431–442
Tchokogue! A. et al.(2005) Key lessons from the implementation of an ERP at Pratt & Whitney
Canada Int. J. Production Economics 95:151–163
Voordijk et al. (2003). Enterprise Resource Planning in a large construction firm:
implementation analysis Construction Management and Economics 21:511-521
Yusuf Y. et al. (2004). Enterprise information systems project implementation: A case study of
ERP in Rolls-Royce Int. J. Production Economics 87: 251–266