Infosys’ blog on industry solutions, trends, business process transformation and global implementation in Oracle.

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May 28, 2010

Can material bins themselves serve as kanban signals?

Kanban has come to be established as an effective means of material movement in manufacturing plants. Kanbans not only relpenish materials, they also trigger production activities at upstream processes. As such, kanbans have become an industry- wide accepted means of signalling material movement and production. Along with kanbans, kanban cards have gained widespread acceptance. These cards generally store useful information such as item number, the replenishment location and quantity, the replenishing process etc.. These cards are generally attached to the bins that store the materials.


Let us consider a simple kanban scenario:

A process A is consuming part X which is produced by Process B. Process A will have bins containing the kanban number of part X and there will be a kanban card attached to the bin. This kanban card will have various details such as part name and description, the making process, the consuming process, the kanban quantity etc.. So once the quantities have been consumed from that bin at process A (depending on replenishment lead time, they might wait for all quantities to be consumed or a certain number from the bin), the kanban card (say card#1) attached to that bin will be taken and placed at the upstream process, and another bin of part X will be brought along with the kanban card attached to that bin (card#2). At the upstream process, the operator will see that card#1 is lying and this will signal production for the number of quantities as mentioned in the card.

Now instead of the physical kanban cards, it could be quite possible that the empty bins or trays that carry the material can themselves serve the signal for replenishment or production. For example, whenever process A has consumed all of part X from its bin, it can take the empty tray and place it at process B and can get a tray full of part X back for consumption. Now when the operator at process B sees an empty tray, this can signal for production to happen for part X at process B.

In the above case, the two processes can just use empty trays to signal further production and material movement. Of course, for this to work, process A and process B need to plan it out and adhere to the plan. For example, they need to agree on what is the kanban quantity and that process B will produce only to the kamnban quantity, they also need to agree that process B will produce only if there is an empty cart lying in its area, they also need to agree that process A will pull material from process B only when it has emptied its current kanban tray of X parts and that will will leave the empty tray at process B whenever it is pulling a new tray.

So while the above mechanism might not work at a large plant level, in localized processes, such empty trays or bins can serve as kanbans themselves and not need a physical kanban card to be attached the bins. Let me know what you think.

May 26, 2010

Role of Reverse Logistics in enhancing customer satisfaction by improving returns management in manufacturing

Traditionally the manufacturing industry is always focused on improving the forward logistics- the focus is to cut cycle time for product innovation, time to market, order to fulfill. This led to optimization techniques of forward logistics through usage of technology. Forward supply chain visibility is a key parameter which the customer evaluates before choosing a supplier in manufacturing.

But the paradigm is shifting gradually. Today's best of class manufacturing organizations have created their own service organizations and are realizing the importance of managing the return and repairs efficiently. There is a considerable monetary value attached to this cycle- and more important it is the loss of loyalty due to an unsatisfied customer because of delay in the replacement/repair of faulty product. This loss can be easily associated with loss of revenue, market share and other financial numbers. As a result leading manufacturing companies are leveraging technology and collaborating with partners to optimize their return, repair, replacement, recycle and remarketing processes.

In order to understand the role of reverse logistics, let us look at the key functions in the value chain which impacts the overall cycle time for execution.

  • Customer service management- This involves receiving customer complaints and ensuring service contract compliance, proactive updates on service calls, status monitoring and first hand issue resolution
  • Transportation and Logistics- this involves authorizing returns, collecting, sorting, testing, stocking, shipping (transportation) and disposition
  • Depot repair- Managing repair, reverse engineering, remanufacturing, reassembly and reuse of salvaged components
  • Channel Management- This involves measuring, monitoring, tracking and evaluating the performance of channel partners
  • Financial management- This involves managing warranty and financial liability, proper inventory valuation and costing and finally recovery of appropriate costs
  •  Sales- Refurbished product sale through promotions and other channels

We need to now carefully examine the factors that impact these functions. Once we understand those we can understand the role of efficient reverse logistics in enhancing customer satisfaction. We will discuss those in my next blog- in the meantime let me know your views and thoughts. 

May 22, 2010

Go Lean: Minimize customizations and reduce overall TCO in Oracle ERP implementation (Part 3)

There are many ways to achieve Leaner ERP implementation, and I have discussed some of the strategic levers for it in my previous blogs Go Lean (Part 2) and Go Lean (Part 1) like senior management and executive sponsorship, robust decision making framework, effective change management approach, upfront planning for middleware and reporting platforms, solution design workshops, selection of appropriate edge products and leveraging localizations. However, there are many tactical and operational levers also available for enterprises to adopt, which are primarily part of implementation execution cycle. I am discussing here some of these levers and best practices to minimize customizations:

  • Boot Camp Trainings - Before initiating the solution design phase, organizations must seriously consider to conduct the boot camp trainings on chosen ERP to their key super users, business analysts and implementation core team, facilitated by System Integrator (SI). The intent for boot camps must be training to the team for vanilla features and functionalities of ERP relevant to their industry processes. This will enable them to bridge many gaps and requirements through seeded ERP functionality, and increase the overall fitment of the package application, leading towards reduced customizations.
  • Harmonization of Requirements - If organizations are implementing the solution for multiple business units and/or geographies, all the global as well as local requirements must be captured and harmonized in early stage of the project from all in-scope business units and geographies. It enables the design to be standardized and common. If this is not done effectively, it causes major scope creeps during later phases of the project, and organization ends up with plethora of change requets and new customizations to meet local requirements. Organization must also avoid any silo approach for each business unit, location or department, and capture business unit specific or mandatory statuary and legal requirements in the initial phase of the project itself
  • Design of Foundation Elements - The design and key attributes for foundation elements of an Oracle ERP must be finalized during initial global solution design phase based on harmonized requirements and future needs of the organization. Some examples of foundation elements are Ledger Architecture, Legal Entities, Chart of Accounts, Calendars, Multi-Orgs Structure, Item Segments, Costing Method, BOM Structure, Inventory Orgs, Matching options and Document Sequences etc. It helps to avoid any unnecessary customization or rework due to changes in foundation elements during and after the implementation. Many organizations spend huge effort and cost to tweak these foundation elements after the implementation like COA restructuring exercise 
  • Personalization instead of customization - Project team can choose to build Personalization instead of customizing ERP directly depending upon the magnitude and complexity of the requirement. For simple requirements like hiding a field on a screen, turning on a validation, defaulting values in a form etc., the business super users can extend the application. ERP providers offer Personalization capabilities, which eliminate the need of technical development. This approach can be many times more cost effective, less vulnerable to future upgrades and easier to maintain and support
  • Tighter controls through KPIs and ROI framework - Organizations must define a detailed business case for implementation program including quantitative business benefits and KPIs. The project KPI measures must be at the execution level, and not at the business performance level. Organization must also link these KPIs to the approval process guidelines for PMO with a conservative budget approach for any proposed customization. The detailed ROI framework, approval process and hierarchy must be defined in advance to perform detailed due-diligence for the need of customization. The ROI framework should include gap justification through ROI calculation based on pre-defined KPIs and cost for development and maintenance effort. This ROI framework and budget constraints approach help organization to keep customization in control 
  • Selection of Third Party Tools - There are many areas in ERP where organizations have to take call between build versus buy to select specific solution on top of ERP platform. E.g., Sales tax data repository, Invoice Printing solution, planning tools, collaboration suite, Business Rule Management tool, Archive and Purging solution, Data Masking solutions, monitoring tools and so on. The organizations must evaluate all the requirements including priority, costing of tool, fitment to ERP, future upgrade support from vendors, maintenance cost etc. against the capabilities provided by vendors, ERP available options versus customization cost. This provides ample opportunities for organization to reduce overall TCO

Beyond what I stated above, there are other operational levers available for organization to reduce implementation cost, which also leads to reduced TCO. Some examples are like leveraging pre-built solutions and accelerators from SI partner, Usage of reusable custom components e.g. data migration scripts during roll-outs, templates driven approach during various phases of implementation etc.

Overall with the usage of right set of Strategic, Tactical and Operational levers, organizations can go lean on customizations. Applicability of these levers is heavily dependent on a client situations and business/IT context of the implementation program. In my professional experience as program manager of various large implementation programs, I have encountered many situations where despite using all these levers, eventually PMO had to approve major customizations, however I feel confident to state that the project team did everything to avoid the same using the levers stated above.  Overall the right decision is a decision towards reducing the overall TCO for the organization, whether it is through customizations or without it. (Though good majority of the times, it is by going through without customizations)  This is specifically important for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) who cannot afford the high front end as well as maintenance cost associated with customizations.

I hope my blogs on this subject will help you to adopt Leaner ERP. If you'd like to share your viewpoints/experiences on this topic, please write back through the comments section.

May 20, 2010

Leveraging Technology - Retaining corporate knowledge in an Ageing workforce situation

Irrespective of the geography and services offered by Utilities today worldwide, a few challenges remain common. Utilities are constrained to meet those challenges and deliver without compromising operational efficiency and/or offering the best value for money to the end customer.  The industry in itself is facing challenges in terms of uncertainty on fuel prices, uncertainty in markets, government involvement in pricing and regulation, pressures from climate change imperatives etc. To mitigate these challenges, executives resort to their dashboards that offer a quick snapshot of their traditional financial and business performance measures.  In many cases, one of the key metric that doesn't come under the priority radar is the importance of employees who work for them has in the organisation's success.  The pace of change in utilities world-wide has accelerated market factors that influence the industry.  While technology is one of the means to prepare for these changes, organisations are beginning to understand that the role of 'employees' in their organisations is going to gain more importance in preparing for these challenges. There is a fundamental agreement across the board that these are the people who would have vital knowledge and experience that could fuel the success of the organisation. This blog focuses on few approaches that organisations can take to leverage the people advantage to stay ahead in competition.

Technology comes handy to organisations in managing their processes around recruiting the right talent, putting in a performance evaluation framework, accountability and ownership employee data, succession planning and leadership. Technology in general can assist organisations in actionising their strategy to achieve their vision.  The following are some areas where technology levers can be used to deliver

Collaboration & Empowerment: Accuracy and effective employee data management is a key success factor in ensuring a robust HR process model.  There is a noticeable shift in moving this responsibility and ownership of this data from the HR teams to the employees themselves. Web based applications facilitate connectivity from virtually anywhere anytime and also promotes collaboration.  Approval hierarchies and self service applications promote employees and their managers to take ownership and responsibility of transaction. Role base access privileges ensure that the roles and responsibilities of the employees are controlled.  Equally, this empowerment can also focus on the HR team itself by providing clear role definitions for people who manage transactions, specialists and business partners who provide inputs to HR strategies and measure effectiveness of the strategy deployed and administrators who manage and administer employee data.

Automation: Technology drivers can also be leveraged by HR teams delivering operational excellence to the employees.  This excellence plays a critical role in keeping the employee satisfied and encourages them to be with the organisation for a longer period of time.  Operational excellence can be achieved by inheriting best practices and automating them to improve productivity in delivering services to the employees. By making the HR processes consistent across the organisation and automating them, HR teams can actually focus more on delivering value added services and provide inputs to corporate HR strategy with the time that is at their disposal.

Competency Management: Clear definition of roles can facilitate managing the required competencies and training needs for the specific roles. This competency management can aid various other HR processes like career and succession planning, performance appraisal and compensation reviews, fulfilling regulatory obligations to assure employee health, safety and training needs.  A thought through competency management model provides a lot of objectivity, predictability and insight to the above mentioned processes, which ultimately can be tied up to the corporate and departmental goals.

Intelligence: Operational intelligence and alignment to HR strategy can be monitored through defined HR metrics which are best when integrated with the financial and other performance figures in the executive dashboard. In today's dynamic conditions, it is important to understand the quantitative impact of people issues on the corporate vision. This can be achieved by integrating quantitative HR metrics into executive's dashboard, along with financial and other performance metrics. Some of the new measures could be around employee attrition, revenue productivity per person, recruitment effectiveness, employee engagement and satisfaction survey scores and trends etc., In addition to the above, utilities benefit a log in integrating the FTE count, budgeted spend vs. actual spend at a cost centre level as a part of the executive dashboard.  This metric provides a continuous view on the regulatory spend.

Knowledge management: In an ageing workforce conditions, it is important to focus on not only retaining talent, but also retaining corporate knowledge from employees who are about to retire.  Structured succession planning processes, competency planning processes and training processes can address this challenge to an extent, but organisations have started focusing on developing a knowledge repository based on employee experience.  Portals, blogs to share experience, knowledge shops, User champions, Web 2.0 are some of the approaches which actually can assist organisations in providing an opportunity to tap experience and make it available for the next generation employees working for the organisation.

At the end of the day HR department or employees or technology alone cannot execute a people strategy and provide competitive advantage to organisations.  However, technology can play the role of the binding glue in bringing all these disparate teams to collaborate and execute this strategy. Technology can provide a platform hiring and retaining talent, promote a learning organisation, create leadership capabilities and opportunities, managing employee work-life balance and most importantly provide a platform where multi-cultural and multi-demographic workforce can be effectively managed to deliver a common cause.


 

May 17, 2010

Use RBAC to secure your eBiz suite

To realize the early benefits of an ERP implementation and to comply with all the legal requirements, it is important that the applications and data are properly secured by exploring all the available security option within Oracle Applications

Oracle ebiz suite has various security features like:
a) Application Security using Access Control, Identity Management , Password Management etc
b) Physical Data Security using oracle database security , back ups etc
c) Security for imodules using firewalls, proxies etc


As part of Application security, User Management or RBAC (Role Based Access Control) was introduced by Oracle few years back, the major features of User management are:

- In the User Management model, a role would point to a set of functions and separately point to a navigation menu that should be used to access those functions.
- This navigation menu may contain a superset of functions but only those functions which have been granted to the user (via the roles) would be enabled (other functions would be filtered out)
- The navigation menu can be organized in the most intuitive way for finding functions in the navigator, while the roles can be defined purely based on the security / organization requirements

What is the difference with the traditional Responsibility approach?

Under User Management / RBAC, rather than presenting the user with a list of responsibilities which may have the same menu or slightly altered versions of the same menu presented multiple times, one would present the user with a list of product areas, and all the functions which they can access in that product area regardless of the role through which the function was given.

RBAC / User Management still has long way to go with challenges like an organization should have a clear RACI(Responsibility-Accountability-Consultation-Information) matrix defined with proper roles but eventually it would replace the Responsibility based security model of oracle. 
 

May 7, 2010

Dairy Industry Challenges & Oracle's Solution

In this information age, with increasing awareness, consumers are becoming health conscious & want surety that the food product they consume is Safe.  They are not happy with just to know the location of manufacturing plant, but are interested to know from where the raw material is originally sourced. Dairy industry, which typically produces a range of products for a variety of markets, faces even greater challenge in tracing individual product. This calls for tighter Integration between all the channel partners across the supply chain.  

 

The dairy industry is a vertically integrated industry with both upstream and downstream trade partners of the supply chain dependent on each other to ensure quality food. I will discuss some of the challenges dairy industry is facing and Oracle's Solution for the same.

 

Regulatory Requirements & Material Traceability:

 

To give Consumer confidence about the safety of their product, Dairy industry has to comply with stiff regulatory requirements like HACCP. Material Traceability is another challenge which gains paramount importance in case of Product Recall or Customer Complaints.

 

Oracle's comprehensive Quality management helps companies with HACCP compliance. Similarly, Oracle's lot traceability feature provides traceability across the entire supply chain which provides much needed assurance of effectively managed Product recall in case of emergency. 

 

Maintaining Product consistency:

 

In dairy industry, major raw material i.e. Milk is usually supplied by thousands of farmers with inconsistent quality. Thus providing consistent output product quality with varying input raw material becomes one of the major issues for the Dairy products manufacturers.

 

With advance oracle features like Accelerated recipe development, Simulators, Formula analysis and Lease cost formulation, the consistent product quality can be obtained with minimum operating cost. Moreover, with features such as Grade Control, Shelf-Life management variability can be precisely tracked with a quality based view of raw materials and products.

 

Proper production planning & scheduling:

 

The dairy industries produce range of products, for ex: toned milk, ice cream, butter, flavored milk etc. The same manufacturing facilities can be utilized for producing multiple products in order to have better production efficiency. Production planning and deciding on right product mix is a very critical activity. By-products produced in each of these manufacturing process makes the decision even harder.

 

Oracle's production scheduler functionality brings best practices to production planning. It allows priority based production scheduling of batches. Oracle's process-specific MES allows for better production management through best-in-class Operator Workbench & built-in device integration capabilities. With release of R12, planning has been taken to another level for process industries, where Oracle's Advanced Supply chain planning (ASCP), well-known for its advanced planning capabilities, come pre-integrated with OPM.

 

In conclusion Oracle's process manufacturing solution, i.e. Oracle Process Manufacturing (OPM) suite of applications along with ASCP, is designed to provide competitive advantage through accelerated recipe development, advanced production planning & scheduling and, ultimate Production execution capabilities.  Over and Above, an excellent integrated Quality Management system, which provides for automated sampling & approval workflow along with Solid Cost management, provides the necessary icing on the cake. Dairy Industries can do well by considering this option as worthy investment while deciding on appropriate process specific ERP. 

 

May 4, 2010

When is the right time to conduct End User Training in Oracle implementation?

One question that continues to baffle the program management community around Training delivery in large ERP implementation programs is when to deliver end user Training? The answer is probably not as straight as you may expect. Let's first discuss the constraints around this decision:

  • Go Live Date: If there is a huge gap between Go Live Date and User Training, the user tends to forget what they learnt as during this period they have to continue using the legacy system and will not be able to unlearn some of the old practices and habits post go-live. On the other hand, if the training continues till the last date, you will not be able to make an apt decision towards user readiness and its implications on implementation Go No Go Decision.
  • Availability of Users: Typically the entire User community would be engaged with Business as Usual activities before implementation. With Training, users will be engaged in sessions, thus how would the day to day activities be supported? Further, typically a month end (worst still would be Quarter/Year End) is where any loss of man days is intolerable. Lastly any planning around Training should avoid long weekends and hugely followed sports events that ensures that user's personal priorities are considered as well as travel costs are not high due to travel season...so a win-win for both....
  • Varied Needs of Users: Even while planning sessions, organization needs to consider the variability amongst the different user groups and their unique training needs. A field Service agents or agents working from home office may be difficult to reach out to while we have to ensure that regular calls are not affected while training a Call Centre Employee. A more frequent user of the system would have to be given a much more elaborate training as compared to the ones who only use it infrequently or in  read only mode. Also need to consider remote users and external users' needs like supplier or customer training for portals. Accordingly the training schedule has to be worked out.
  • Solution Readiness: With the end users, the biggest factor is Branding of the new solution. Organization can't go to end users and tell them the solution is not ready or you are still testing it. The solution for which they are being trained should be as close to production as possible. Unless this happens, there will be series of correction mails and a negative propaganda about the implementation which may put roadblocks towards the implementation. So, you may like to conduct training sessions post successful UAT. However, if set of users are involved in UAT, you have to plan training for them in advance.
  • Availability of Prepared Trainers/Infrastructure (Instance, Conference Rooms etc): Continuing with the Branding theme, everything about the implementation has to be perfect in front of internal customers 'End Users'. The Trainers have to be top notch and comfortable with the solution being implemented as well as should be able to relate to the end user's day to day tasks using practical scenarios and data. Further, the playground instance should be up and functioning as equivalent to the Production instance as possible (particularly on the performance parameter). Even the conference rooms, projectors, laptops, refreshments etc should be well organized for the sessions. Any rush towards training without apt preparation may create more problems than resolve them.

Overall at a high level, we typically advise our clients to wrap up End User Training about a 2 or more weeks before cutover activities, allowing that gap for people to practice and get back in case of any doubts or in case of any refresher trainings. The start of training would depend on program to program, but we would advise that to begin once the complete solution is tested 99%. We typically begin conducting training somewhere near mid of UAT phase (UAT, super users and sample end users would have undergone training earlier).

If you'd like to share your experiences related to timing of the training and have any successful secrets to share, please let us know though this blog!

May 3, 2010

Road towards Package Adoption and Learning - Comprehensive Training Strategy is your Precursor to implementation success

In my last blog Still waters run deep - Poor User Adoption may cost you your ERP Implementation.. I discussed at length about the importance of ERP training and the need for organizations to focus more on user adoption.  As ERP Implementations mature and grow, the focus on user training also intensifies. While many organizations have started realizing the benefits of user adoption, they often struggle to determine the right budget and the right approach to achieve it.

There are numerous challenges or key decisions in front of an ERP Program Manager at the start of implementation.

  1. Which training methodology and approach should be adopted to support the business needs and long term objectives of the implementation?
  2. How much budget should be planned for overall training program?
  3. What technologies, tools or vendors should be selected to impart the Training?
  4. What will be the touch points between the Implementation and Training Program?
  5. How to develop a user documentation that is easy to create and maintain?
  6. What kind of standardized content needs to be prepared to handle varied skilled end users for similar processes like from sophisticated planners or engineers to shop floor labor force?
  7. How do I address the audit compliance requirements while developing training content?
  8. When training delivery should be conducted to end users in the implementation cycle?
  9. How many days of training delivery should be planned?
  10. How to handle diversity challenges like multi-language and localized content for global roll-outs?
  11. How to deliver training content to all concerned employees so that they can access it when and where they need it, based on their job functions and roles?
  12. How do I deliver training - Instructor led Classroom training, or Computer Based Online training, or Job Aids, or All?
  13. How to plan for delivery of training content to local and remote users as well as external entities like customers and suppliers?
  14. How to plan 'Post-go-live' support, and training for new-hires and transfers?
  15. How to measure that delivered training effectiveness in meeting the business objectives?

These and many more.... some of these are challenges while others are key decisions that an organization needs to take as part of its Training Strategy, resulting from a comprehensive Training Need Analysis of the organization and individuals.

So, the next questions that arises is - What is Training Strategy and what should it consist of?

Training Strategy describes the need, scope definition, methodology and approach of the training program within the ERP system, with reference to the transaction flows and business processes that impact the end user community. This must streamline the overall training process and in turn help achieve desired quality and reduce rework during content development, as well as ensure effective training delivery, finally leading towards an improved adoption rate. The objectives of overall training program must be Process focused and role based training for end users.

A structured approach to training along with clearly defined entry and exit criteria, well articulated roles and responsibilities, various deliverables and sign off procedures, selection of appropriate tools for content development, and methodical evaluation of training delivery methods for each group of users are some of the critical success factors in the sustained end user adoption of the delivered system. The strategy also reflects the guiding principles, assumptions and dependencies that ultimately shape and drive the overall approach.

In my next blog, I will talk about best practices around training program in Oracle implementations and how we can address the specific challenges.

If you have any ERP training and overall strategy related challenges to share with us, please drop by with your comments and feedback!
  

Go Lean: Minimize customizations and reduce overall TCO in Oracle ERP implementation (Part 2)

To get an answer to the question raised in my previous blog Go Lean (Part 1), first we need to understand the primary reasons why organizations tend to develop custom code in typical Oracle ERP implementation program, and then what are the best practices or guiding principals they can adopt to go leaner.

Why Organization Customize?

Best Practices/Guiding Principles to Go LEAN!!

Lack of industry specific processes and features in the vanilla ERP solution

 

For the industry specific missing functionality, explore the edge products, and also partner with Oracle to work out a joint case to incorporate the required features as part of their next release or major patch set

ERP vanilla functionality cannot satisfy many unique business process requirements of the organization that business users are practicing in legacy system since many years, so numerous gaps get identified for customization during solution design phase

In case of major gap, the implementation team should instead of saying direct 'No' to business, explain them about how ERP will meet their requirements through alternate solution approaches. Understand their requirements and vanilla functionality gap, perform detailed analysis, and come up with multiple possible solution options with pros and cons, and take collective decision to choose an option which is not as pervasive as a direct customization (seems more effort, but worth it!!!)

Implementation team members avoid change in As-Is business process of legacy system, and introduce changes in ERP standard business processes to maintain status quo with business user

To avoid such scenarios, conduct the solution design workshops to bring functional consultants, business analysts and power users (business key stakeholders who has authority to make decisions for their departments) together to review the overall solution and to make conscious effort towards vanilla ERP

Integration of  the ERP system with all the available legacy applications and external systems, leads to development of multiple inbound and outbound Point to Point (P2P) interfaces

Evaluate and implement the appropriate Middleware solution to address integration requirements with plethora of legacy applications and external systems to avoid development of Point to Point  (P2P) interfaces

Development and enhancement of custom management and operational reports within ERP system

Evaluate and strategize towards an integrated Reporting platform or data warehouse at the beginning of the ERP program for all the management and operational reporting requirements, and avoid any new custom report within ERP. Only reports that need  dynamic data from transactional system might be considered in ERP, else always push it to the chosen reporting platform

Addressing the specific needs of individual department/business unit over and above a common ERP business process cutting across business lines

Always perform detailed To-Be process mapping with elaborated fit-gap analysis and business process reengineering with the objective of breaking the silo approach of departments and drive the business community towards a common platform and standardized processes

Inability to deal with specific statutory or regulatory requirements for the geographical regions  being rolled-out

Explore availability of region specific localizations of Oracle ERP to address statutory or regulatory requirements. If not available, raise Enhancement Request with Oracle Support

 Beyond what is stated above, there are certain ground rules which the organization must follow to go leaner on customizations:

  • Ensure senior management commitment and executive sponsorship to keep the ERP vanilla. And, this message needs to trickle down from them to all levels. There has to be strong questioning by the management in case of any major process change which results in heavy customizations
  • Ensure to implement robust Decision Making framework like preparation of Key Decision Document for foundation element and critical major design solution, maintaining key decision logs etc.
  • Ensure effective change management processes, awareness and focused approach of organization towards vanilla implementation by keeping the right mix in PMO (Program Management Office) comprising key business stakeholders as well as IT leads

For more on this topic, remain tuned for my next blog. If you'd like to share your viewpoints/experiences on this topic, please write back through the comments section on this blog for sharing your learning for a Leaner ERP.

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