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Importance of Processes in an ERP Implementation

At ESS, it is our constant endeavor to improve performance, and the performance of our businesses. We achieve this by continuously moving from one strategic milestone to the next. The first step, a step that most of us do not adequately focus on is reducing the effort which is required to maintain current levels. Performing the same task more efficiently results in the release of resources which can then be channelized for further production. This is precisely where processes come into place.

A process is a series of activities or steps taken in order to produce a particular service or product. We first establish processes that are in line with our business strategy. We then move on to managing and controlling processes. This is when we start improving quality, reducing costs and accelerating schedules. Many quality management systems are available to gauge this improvement. Some of these are the ISO 9000 series of standards managed by ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, Six Sigma and CMM, Capability Maturity Model.

The real challenge before any management is to ensure that the entire organization, both horizontally and vertically, develops a new mind set. Only then can the old, ineffective ways be left behind. It is only with an open new mind, that an organization can adopt new and better business processes, which give an enterprise the momentum to be a stronger and a better performer.

ERP implementation is one such means that can bring the best industry wide practices to any business. An ERP implementation ensures that wasteful inefficient processes of yesteryears are phased out and replaced with contemporary tried and tested processes and templates. Furthermore, the fact that an ERP is itself designed using software processes that comply with worldwide quality models such as those maintained by the ISO and CMM, is undoubtedly an added advantage.

Growing organizations need to establish the strength of their processes in a global arena. Using a methodology which conforms to international quality frameworks like the ISO naturally increases the likelihood of success in the ERP implementation. Moreover, ERP implementation is itself a process involving careful selection of the consultant, the product, its planning and monitoring and its resource allocation.

Companies need to understand the complexities of aligning an ERP software with their own business processes. This is because creating a duplicate process from the competition is something which can restrict growth and shift the focus of an organization from its basic business goals. A successfully customized ERP implementation should not only be aligned with company’s objectives, but must also optimize processes to keep the business going.

ESS recognized the need for its own quality system to be in place way back in 1998 when it started with its ISO implementation. This was followed by ESS initiating the CMM model in 2000. ESS was ISO 9001 certified in 1999 and was assessed at CMM level 5 in 2002. ESS continues to undergo routine ISO Surveillance Audits by its certifying body, Bureau Veritas.

ebizframe©, ESS’s flagship product is designed using processes that are ISO and CMM compliant. ESS also understands that adapting a wholesale version of somebody else’s process logic may not be the best fit for your company. Therefore ESS has established implementation steps and customization processes to meet your specific needs when you implement ebizframe©. Needless to say, these steps and processes are again ISO and CMM compliant.

About the Author

Rajyashree Agarwala is Chief Manager Quality Systems with Eastern Software Systems.