Casestudy on ERP implementation (Aux BonsSoins)
Thewhole issue of implementing information technology in the actualbusiness, corporate majorly involves the socio-technicalinfrastructure at the workplace. A good example of an enterpriseResource Planning (ERP) implementation is the project at Aux BonsSoins. This is a typical case of ERP implementation which show thechallenges involved as well as the key success factors during theimplementation process. The objective of this paper is to discuss thekey element that led to the success of the project at Aux Bons Soinsas well as the major challenges experienced during the process.
Theprincipal purpose of implementing ERP software at Aux Bons Soins wasvirtuously to integrate the entire functions and departments of thecompany into a single software. The said functions and departmentsincluded marketing, finance and HR (Bernier et.al 2006). Theimplementation of the ERP led to a significant success in addition toenhanced efficiency within the firm.
Itis important to note that the success that was achieved in theimplementation process was not just something that came by itself.There existed key elements that were in a way positively inspired theprocess. It is therefore important to look into those key successfactors.
2.1Key Success Factors
Thecompany never sped up the process of implementation. Adequate timewas provided for and patience was a virtue which was heartedlyembraced during that period. The management of Aux Bons Soinsprovided plenty of time to the team that was responsible for theimplementation process. This gave them ample time to look into theolder aspects and were then able to design the system in detail.Adequate time was responsible for helping the team to understandabout the ERP requirements as well as the organizational structure ofthe company. Suppose the implementation process was to be donehurriedly, accuracy could not be attained as analysis of the companycould not have been effectively done(Bernier et.al, 2006).
Top Management Involvement
Inthe implementation of the ERP system at the project at Aux BonsSoins, it is crucial to note that the high level management wassignificantly committed to the whole process. There is no one pointthat they top level management shows detachment. This was criticalfor success as it showed approval from the managers thus maximumsupport was pledged to ensure accomplishment. By doing so, theyplayed a huge role in the creation of an environment that wasfavorable and accepted ERP implementation. They provided continuousand consistent monitoring to ensure everything was in control. Thetop level management established a project management team that waswell defined thus was given considerable freedom to make decisionsthat meant good for the activities of the implementation process.Such delegation of authority in regard to decision making enhancedflawless work flow. Tracking of the project timeline and developingwork and resource plan was a responsibility of the project managementteam. The implementation of an EPR system demands asturdy commitmentto come from the upper management, this is for the reason that thewhole implementation process significantly encompasses modificationand changes to existing business procedures and practices in additionto a huge disbursement of capital investments. Top most level ofmanagement possess a key role to play in the management of change anERP brings into an organization(Bernier et.al 2006).
Theimplementation process, though a success, was not accomplishedwithout any challenges. The problems that were encountered involvedcost implications, reduced employee morale and difficulty intraining.
2.2.1.Difficulty in Training Employees
Amajor challenge that faced the company was training and updatingemployees. ERP turns out to have people as one of its hidden cost.Training employees on ERP systems was not simple as Excel trainingwhereby employees are given a few training weeks, they are put backto carry their tasks and blunder their way through (Bernieret.al 2006). Thesystem of ERP is a complex one thus a rigorous training was anecessity. There is difficult for the consultants and the trainers topass on the knowledge to the employees within a short time frame.With ERP systems in place, there is a need for continuous training inorder to cope up with the changes in place.
High Implementation cost
Althoughthe price of the pre written software can be considered to be fairwhen comparison is made to with the in house development it isimportant to note that the total implementation cost is far higher asit eclipses the cost of purchasing the software more than thrice. Itis also important to note that this cost increased as there was anincrease in the degree of customization. A challenge that themanagement now faces is retaining their employees after investing ahuge sum of money to train them. This turned out to be a majorchallenge that the company had to deal with during the implementationprocess. As easily as it may look, the allocated resources are neverenough for the whole program and thus the company had to dig deep forsupplementary budgets. This brings constrain in the resources of thecompany as there exist competing needs which need the depletedresources. It is only through good planning, risk taking andopportunity cost criteria that the company managed to pull throughthis hurdle that could have created a standoff.
Employees’morale was a big issue as they had to put in long working hours toensure accomplishment of the ERP implementation. Although theexperience is one which is good for one’s career growth, the stressthat comes with it combined with other job task rapidly decreases themorale of the employees. The company pulled out of this problemthough consistent and continued support and leadership from the toplevel management(Bernieret.al, 2006).Asindicated earlier that the implementation process was a demandingone, it was necessary for much devotion and sacrifice to be put. Whenemployees are stretched to the limit their morale on the job in placefalls as they receive less resting time due to devoting much of theirtime in stabilizing the system.
Fromthe case study of theproject at Aux Bons Soins,it can be deducted that ERP solutions revolutionize the way firmsproduce services and goods, they happen to be a dream come true withthe integration of various components of the company and they enhanceworkflow. They are complex and large and warrant that theimplementation planning and execution be carefully undertaken. Thereis a need for a collective effort as the energies of both themanagement and the employees should work for the common objective ofensuring the stability of the system. This is because cooperationduring the implementation process is important in ensuring successfulimplementation process.
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