Initially, organizations were skeptical about ERP since they felt that their businesses were unique and their cultures different. As time passed and their business problems became more pressing, they started looking at ERP as the panacea for their woes. In their urgency, they were expecting miracles, Unfortunately this doesn’t happen most of the time, leaving users frustrated which in turn, leads to poor participation and costly deIays. It is important to understand that an ERP package cannot fit in completely with the existing business practices of an organization.
The onus to appreciate this fact is on the users and they have to work with the implementation consultants to adapt to the package. In order to avoid setbacks in an EPR project, a consultant plays a useful role.
The consultants by virtue of their industry, experience and package expertise should pitch in and set the expectations of users at various levels keeping in mind the overall business objectives of the client. They can do so by working closely with key users, understanding their needs, analyzing the business realities and designing solutions that meet the basic objectives of the company. At this point, it is also important to understand the distinction between the roles of the consultants and the users. It is the users who will be driving the implementation and their active involvement at all levels and across all business functions is absolutely critical.
An ERP package is expected to improve the flow of information and formalize all the business processes and workflow that exist in an organization. Many users expect their workload to decrease after an ERP implementation, but this may not always happen. The important thing to understand is that the ERP package is an enabling tool to help the users do their job better, which may call for additional efforts. If one has to have more information in a system, it entails more work for some users, but the benefit is that this information if properly stored, can fruitfully used by other users in making better decisions. As the flow of information throughout the organization improves, the company starts performing better, and this in turn benefits the users who have collectively improved their way of working