It was discussed earlier how an ERP implementation could turn success or failure depend upon the user. There are different views expressed by Indian users towards ERP, but mostly it is based on organizational culture. The word 'culture' is used here to connote the average IT acquaintance of the overall users. In India, normally four different cultural transformations prevailed during ERP implementation.
1) From no system to ERP system; 2) From manual system to ERP system; 3) From computerized system to ERP system; 4) From ERP system to ERP system
In the normal circumstances at least two scenarios do exist in most of the Indian companies and sometimes all the four types exist in one organization itself. As the characteristics of the users differ in all the four cases the situation must be managed accordingly.
An assessment of ERP by the users is that ERP is a 'job killer'; hence attempts are made to kill ERP first. Most of the users of this school of thought found successful in their mission but unsuccessful in retaining their job. ERP has nothing to do with the downsizing of employment, but it may possibility recommend redeployment of people in appropriate areas. We have to agree on certain issues like so many years the organization had built a mentality of not owning responsibility in the employees, which immediately cannot be changed within a year or so.
ERP expects boundary-less flat organization structure where every employee is a decision maker and not a mere follower. Secondly, the decision-making must be scientific than based on 'gut feel'. Thirdly, ERP assumes that the user has an in-depth knowledge of the process he is associated with. He has to work in a team as a key resource element. The objective of the user is to pass maximum value to the customer than to create his own convenience. The user must be analytical in his thinking and be able to use information generated through data iterations for more effective and informed decisions.
eresource ERP plays successfully when it comes to the training part and our hardcore training session makes the user fully equipped with handling of the system independently.
The solution provider must pay attention while providing training to the user in the right manner. To become a good user, one has to get trained and trained well, and later self trained. But what is the disappointing factor is, unlike eresource ERP, most of the ERP training in India is more of software training rather than going deeply into the functionality and technicality of the ERP system. Normally the user is shown various screens of the ERP system and taught how to enter what he was doing previously.
Actually the trainer must explain to the user why he should enter there, what are the repercussions of his entries in other modules, how to use the best out of multiple settings, why a particular setting is made like that, etc. In fact, the reality that every entry is the financial entry and ultimately gets posted into General Ledger and posted in turn into Profit & Loss Account or Balance Sheet is never realized by the user during training or even after implementation. This feel of responsibility is extremely essential for the user to become a mature ERP user.
To enhance the interest of users Indian companies must make a point of user training, focusing on ERP functionalities and not merely on tools for ERP. Ideally, the training programme should be designed to cater to individual needs and hence carefully planned.
Secondly, the empowerment has to be planned slowly but positively over a period. This should include removing ridiculous and conflicting targets, thus helping the users to participate in making ERP a success.
COMING NEXT: The Consultant - The third element