Source text - English Seven keys to ERP Success
BY JIM WELCH AND DMITRY KORDYSH
Many companies have invested heavily in enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to seamlessly link themselves to their customers, suppliers, and part¬ners. Although the goal was to optimize these relationships and boost operational performance, the results were often disappointing. The good news is that best practices have been revealed. Here is what works and what you need to do to reap the bene¬fits of a fully integrated business.
Serving as a company's central nervous system, ERP systems orchestrate many functions; including order management, materials planning, warehouse management, payables, receivables, and general ledger. Staunchly believing in the ERP promise, companies have spent more than $70 billion worldwide on software licenses in the past 10 years. In addition, implementation resources cost them several times more than the license fees. Implementation time ranged from six months to four years, depending on the number of busi¬ness units, functionality scope, and the configuration's complexity. From the time of the initial investment decision, it took medium-size to large companies at least five years to achieve steady-state performance levels and recoup their investment.
Companies can learn from lessons of past implementations. Many programs were overly focused on IT functionality at the expense of business process development. As a result, their expected benefits were compromised or delayed. Conversely, the best performers ensured that process management, governance, and other nontechnical issues were addressed properly.
ERP implementations encounter a set of common challenges (see Table 1). Fortunately, there's also a defined set of best practices, which we discuss in this article. They include:
1. Secure executive alignment for the broad-based ERP plan,
2. Establish the right governance model,
3. Emphasize business process transformation,
4. Ensure ongoing ERP support,
5. Address organizational needs head-on,
6. Keep the business mission top of mind, and
7. Manage IT infrastructure relentlessly.
These practices apply long after the ERP go-live event. When a management team takes a second look, it often uncovers issues that had been neglected before. In this "post-implementation" phase, companies work to realize the originally planned (but often underachieved) results by addressing business process management, adding new func¬tionality upgrades, and driving continuous improvement.
1. SECURE EXECUTIVE ALIGNMENT FOR THE BROAD-BASED ERP PLAN
Top performers clearly articulate the planned changes and show how these changes will support the company's strategy. A well-engineered plan, with a robust, multiyear roadmap and measurable milestones, is a must for ensur¬ing alignment throughout the ERP project and beyond. The executive team must commit to the initiative and ensure the organization understands what needs to change and when.
Even if the executives aren't on the same page at first, building a comprehen¬sive ERP roadmap can help generate the necessary alignment. Consider a Mid¬-western medical device company (MMDC) that outgrew its original com¬puter systems through its business suc¬cess. IT expenditures were high, and users complained about functionality limitations and unneces¬sary constraints. The executive team agreed the time had come to upgrade to a high-end ERP system, but disagree¬ments soon surfaced: Was the estimated $75 million investment worth it? Would corporate or business units fund it? Who should be accountable for achieving the benefits? How much ERP customization would be allowed by the business units? Which business unit should be the guinea pig by going live first?
To break the impasse, a cross-company team—representing each business unit, corporate management, and IT—developed a broad-based but rigorous ERP roadmap. This helped build consensus and guide the project's implementation. Here are some important success factors in achieving executive alignment:
¨ A senior executive took charge of each improve¬ment initiative to ensure focus and accountability, and bonuses were tied to achieving project goals.
• The company used benchmarks to set aggressive yet achievable targets along with a multilevel dashboard that linked enterprise-level business results to detailed opera¬tional metrics.
¨ Each initiative in the ERP portfolio was independent, with its own business case to prove adequate results. The development of each initiative proceeded through a gate review process to ensure interim milestones were met.
¨ To understand the true financial impact, a project controller was appointed to diligently track project costs and benefits.
The roadmap provided the planning details and rigor¬ous analysis the executive team needed, and it facilitated alignment among the respective stakeholders. Finally, the roadmap became a basis for evaluating progress and a constant reminder of the targets ahead.
Translation - Chinese 成功实施企业资源计划(ERP)的七个关键
Having gained bachelor’s degree in Public Management, I am now studying towards an MA in Conference interpreting and translation study with commitment to ‘go the extra mile’ on language. I will graduate this July. I am a fast learner and my objective is to gain a position as a professional interpreter and translator, involving the application of business and management knowledge gained in my undergraduate study alongside the analytical skills and translation skills.
March 2008 I am a free-lance interpreter of Sporting Talk Ltd in West Yorkshire. I did an interpreting job for Chinese National Sports Team in 36th International Association of Athletics Federation World Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh. I accompanied the team on a day to day basis helping them with communication problems, such as in the technical meeting.
June 2007 Interpreter for University of Southern California and Sichuan University in a project called “Focus Groups” focusing on the smoking problems in ShuXing Vocational School in Chengdu. I successfully organized these middle school’s students while interpreting for them and students from University of Southern California in their discussions.
May 2007 Interpreter for mayor of Chengdu (Capital of Sichuan Province) and Sino-Dutch Biopharmaceutical Technology Ltd in a Trade Match-Making Conference with Dutch SU Biomedicine Company.
June 2006 interpreter for the mayor of Columbia city of US, E.W. CROMARTIE, Ⅱ in the Sino-US companies Match-making Conference during Western China International Economy & Trade Fair