About the stages of implementing an ERP system (with a smile)


In the previous issue of my endlessly respected “Accounting & Computers” magazine, I tried to give a concise and accessible definition of the ERP concept and the products that implement it.

To my delight there were many calls. One of the most frequently asked questions can be formulated as follows: “Why, when ERP systems are such a boon, there are practically no happy users, especially in the implementation process?!”.

The present issue contains serious answers to this question. I will answer by following an old well-known joke.

Stage 1: General rapture

Hurrah! Hurrah!  Hurrah! After long searches, negotiations, arm-twisting (we want everything, immediately and for free) we purchased (rented, negotiated) an ERP system and adopted the feasibility study report and the system implementation project.

Well, it is true that during the survey everyone was very busy (the accounting, as always, something was over, the merchants negotiated, the producers perfected something and the boss was abroad). But it does not matter – this girl (boy, colleague) what was her/his name, who she/he was appointed last month – gave them full information.

Where is the project? Oh, in the cash register of the payroll? Ok, we paid so much money – we have to keep it! Not everyone who does not have a job will read it!

They are specialists! We will see them now! Let’s get started!

And it should be:

Again, in the smallest detail we discuss the project, identify the most competent specialists in their fields, provide them with enough time, check the program once more, prepare all documents for a whole sequence of actions – from the customer’s order to the shipment of the production.

Stage 2: Total despondency

Oh, and we have to reject a lot of work!

Technologists did not know accountants.

It is not possible to take inventory right now!

Did the master who knows the recipe get sick now?

Who will calculate you cost – we have to prepare the report for the General Assembly!

The data we gave them, is it for the previous year? Well, amost nothing has changed.

Now – training! But the boss urgently calls me for that delivery!

Maria, come here, your daughter asks what to have for breakfast!

But I have been forging this iron for 20 years (marmalade, bills,…) – are these going to teach me!

And it should be:

At last, traders, producers and accountants spoke the same language, we have indeed specified all the procedures, we passed on the real balances, all debts specified (advances, prices, receivables, contracts, supplies, technologies…), th eboss allowed additional training, we entered the control data ourselves, we have accurately described what we have missed so far. We do not really argue with the new rules!

Stage 3: Searching for the culprits

Clearly, the consultants, the developers, those from the neighboring plant (supposedly they were happy with the system, but they did not say that they had been struggling for 2 years!)…

And it should be:

Who was wrong and when, we will see later.

The important thing is WHY mistakes are made, what needs to be done to prevent them from happening again!

We all got together and went through all the procedures again, step by step.

Stage 4: Punishing the innocent

Good! Finally they fired the warehouseman, the engineer who knows a lot and Pesho from the guards! I do not remember why exactly him.

And it should be:

Finally, the system of rules has made us independent of individuals. We also have rules to amend the rules.

Everyone knows their duties. Those who do not do them…some guys have already called, they want to go back to Bulgaria!

Stage 5: Awarding of non-participants

Hey, they praised me – I do not have wrong document! I think I have only entered two!

I told them it could not be like that because it never was!

I use the notebook – my colleagues always curse me, but Gosho is very pleased (and the children – too!).

And it should be:

Finally, in the job characteristics we entered the words “DEVELOPMENT OF MANAGEMENT METHODS”!

Serious conclusion

No one can implement a management system without the active, well-intentioned and competent participation of the best specialists from the customer company.

And even less – despite them! If they could – why pay them?

The choice of product is not a finish, but the beginning of a very serious job.

Developers and implementation consultants are not ideal, but it is better to think before doing the opposite of their recommendations.

Like any good concept, the ERP concept is doomed to continuous development. Therefore, there will never be a product that will fully realize it.

If a product does not shrink over time, then we are not developing. As Lewis Carroll said “You have to run fast to stay where you are”.

Source: Cio.bg

Author: Nedyalko Todorov                                                                                                 Date:10.12.2003