The modern day organizations have become quite advanced in regards to implementation of strategies, technologies and tactics for attaining the goals and objectives. It has been observed that all business sectors are making prolific strides in implementing advanced technologies that helps in achieving competitive advantage over others. Based on the fact, enterprise resource planning system has become quite popular among all organizations. Assessing the various issues persisting within the business sector, the implementation of ERP system is quite valuable in overcoming the issues and properly executing the operations that enables organization in generating adequate profitability and smooth functioning. Considering the fact that implementation of ERP can be quite beneficial, this particular research report would elaborate the ways of implementing ERP in an organization. Thus, King’s Ply a furniture manufacturing organization has been chosen for completion of the project and the key aspects of ERP implementation will be discussed in the following sections elaborately.
Enterprise resource planning also termed as ERP is referred to as a modular software system that is designed for integrating the major functional areas of a company’s business processes into a unified system. Implementing of ERP system has become a major aspect considering the benefits the core software components referred to as modules provides. Moreover it enables in focusing on the essential business areas like human resource, finance, accounting, management of materials, consumer relationship management, production and supply chain management. It based on the core modules that organization uses the systems as per their requirement. Considering the key operations carried out by organizations in distinctive sectors, ERP provides wide range of services which enhances the performance level impacting the overall attainment of objectives and goals (Kallunki, Laitinen and Silvola, 2011). Though enterprise resource planning software provides immense benefits it is essential to consider the fact that it do comes with certain drawbacks which needs to be assessed for effective functioning of all operations. Thus, it is quite essential on the part of the organization to consider emphasizing on effective planning and management before the implementation of the ERP system is done. In regards to the chosen King’s Ply it can be stated that the organization has been facing immense issues related to the supply chain management, consumer relationship management, production, and finance and accounting. Thus, considering the fact these issues can be eliminated by the implementation of ERP systems, therefore this report in prepared for analyzing the procedure of implementation and how objectives can be attained.
The King’s Ply is a modern day furniture manufacturing organization located in Manchester, United Kingdom. Founded in the early 90’s the organization has been quite prolific in providing new designer furniture as per the requirement and demand of the consumers. Over the years the organization has been able to gain immense popularity as it manufactures the required furniture after checking the interiors of the house. This particular feature provided the consumers with enhanced satisfaction and attracted potential consumers which have resulted in attaining profitability as well as the objectives and goals. With enhanced success, the organization has opened a couple of branches in Bristol and Belfast. The organization was operating successfully but with immense competition over the past couple of years there has been a sudden decline in sales which has directly impacted the profitability rate of the organization.
It has been observed that King’s Ply has been facing multiple issues within the operations, which has started impacted the overall performance of the organization. Investigating the operations the following issues has been experienced for which the enterprise resource planning will support.
It has been observed that in King’s Ply basic accounting system is used where manual entry is done. In various instances employees associated with the accounts of the organization have been facing constant hassles of entering all related information manually. The tedious manual process of entry has caused significant delays in orders which have led in extra costs due to the necessary orders (Shaul and Tauber, 2013). It has been observed certain small mistakes have led to major hassles that has caused not only delays in the business, but has also deflated the trusting relationships which have been developed with loyal consumers.
It has been observed that King’s Ply has been using multiple systems for keeping the inventory track; this has led the information being inconsistent. By not having proper knowledge regarding the inventory there has been insignificant number of transfer of products and the lists of old products. The list of products which are out of stock or overstock has completely unnoticed which has led to unrepresented information in the reports of the inventory. This has specifically led to inaccuracy for the entire business segment (Monkk and Wagner, 2012). In a similar fashion, the production unit has also facing issues as there has been no accurate information regarding the products which would be needed for manufacturing of furniture. Moreover due to miscommunications some products have been manufactured which are not ordered by the consumers. Due to these issues there has been increased loss of resources which is enhancing the overall expenditure of the organization.
Considering the immaculate number of issues persisting with the King’s Ply organization it can be stated that the organization is in urgent need of technological implementation which can enable in overcoming such problems and put the organization in the driving seat. Evaluating the first issue, the implementation of the Microsoft Dynamics ERP system can help in making order management error free. By the help of this particular system i.e. Microsoft Dynamics GP there is no need for entering the invoices (Tsai et al. 2012). The implementation of the system would allow in saving the works directly in the program so that the operations can be carried out as per convenience. The editing abilities make altering orders, creation of quoted and converting the invoices in an easy manner via the ERP software. The customized enterprise resource planning system will also enhance the consumer relationships and allow in making constant progress in the business.
In a similar manner for the second issue it is necessary to avoid miscommunication regarding the production unit and inventory. The implementation of ERP system enables in attaining inventory accuracy. No matter which devices are used the levels of inventory will appear consistently which will help in saving both money and time (Leon, 2014). This also will help in overcoming the stock mishaps. Moreover ERP solution will also enable in knowing the purchases across the business so that every individual can make accurate and informed decisions that are beneficial for the entire organization.
The implementation of ERP system is recommended for King’s Ply as it can enable in overcoming the persistent issues and enhance the competitive advantage for generating profitability. In regards to the chosen ERP systems this can help in tracking down the root causes of the misalignment within the organization and make effective strides for figuring out the issues (Morris, 2011). Additionally, not only it will let the operations to be carried out smoothly but will also enhance the organization in regards to accuracy of implemented strategies. On the other hand, the ERP systems also manages the consumer relationships which can be attained by making continuous progress and resolving any issues in regards to production and inventory. The accurate financials are customized in a proper manner which reduces the double check time. Similarly the management can also track down the orders of the consumers and also keep an up to date record of the stocks which are needed for the final end products to be delivered.
This aspect basically implies the applicability of a significant strategy in regards to a certain organization. Assessing the scenario of King’s Ply the implementation of the ERP system is feasible enough for enhancing the profitability. Regardless of the factor whether the business organization has the abilities, capacities and assets for execution of the implemented technological system, it is essential on the part of the management to evaluate the financial related possibilities by estimation and investigation of cash flow, performing the break even analysis along with other financial analysis (Beheshti and Beheshti, 2010). As per the feasibility analysis of implementation of the ERP system is concerned, the organization needs to analyze the human resources, effectiveness of the managers, materials etc. These aspects need to be inquired for having a profound knowledge about the capacities of the organization. As the implementation of ERP system is necessary and depends upon the execution all related operations and aspects must be analyzed beforehand so that the implementation of ERP system can be feasible enough for King’s Ply.
The implementation of the ERP system enables an organization in becoming integrated entirely rather that just being a collection of respective functions, departments or locations. It also enables in bringing suitable business practices which helps the organization in attaining future growth. In regards to King’s Ply the implementation of the ERP system would provide automation to all the functionality and departments of the organization (Da Xu, 2011). Therefore marketing as well as sales will be entirely running on this particular system along with the finance and accounts, management of human resources and production. It needs to be known that these functionalities did not have any sort of automation prior to the enterprise resource planning implementation; just after the process of implementation all these functionalities share all the data in a seamless manner, the information flow across all locations and functions is process driven (Magal and Word, 2011). Therefore it can be stated that this particular technique can help the organization by enabling King’s Ply integration, information silos get eliminated and every individual is able to work by emphasizing on the shared goals.
Enterprise resource planning system specifically frees up distinctive management levels from large number of operational issues. This helps in having a clear image about the things are going on. It is important to understand the ERP cannot define the objectives of the organization, but it can enable in measuring the distinctive parameters which are associated with the strategic objectives. As per the scenario of the chosen organization King’s ply the strategic objectives of the organization seek in enhancing the revenues by 20% by 2019 year end compared to the sales revenues in 2018 (Gronau, 2010). In a similar manner the organization seek in revamping the production and inventory system which can actually help in controlling the wastages of resources and most importantly the organization seeks in achieving smooth business operations. All these strategies needs to be translated to measurable targets by the management and with ERP being implemented the performance level can be measured in a regular manner and all obstacles in attaining the strategic objectives can easily be tracked. This process of tracking helps the ERP in benefiting the organization by identification of the corrective action which is required, by which King’s Ply can operate on stream to attain both strategic and corporate goals.
Considering the issues persisting with King’s Ply it can be stated that ERP implementation can be the only way out to sort all the problems and bringing back the operations of the organization in track. Thus, the most suitable and effective ERP software that can be implemented by the organization is Microsoft Dynamics.
- The Microsoft Dynamics enables in simplifying the process with a significant solution and deployment options which are specifically designed for attaining the desired outcomes without any expensive development or enhanced manpower.
- The Microsoft Dynamics implemented as a partner hosted cloud solution or deployed on premises or the combination of both helps in reducing the upfront investment (Handayani, Hidayanto, and Budi, 2013).
- Among all the different ERP systems available the Microsoft Dynamics is one of the most compatible and highly scalable with any technology that is already in use. This enables in delivering value for long term without any additional cost over the due course of time.
- Implementation of the Microsoft Dynamics enables in offering adequate and accurate business solutions from Microsoft which helps an organization in getting ahead and staying ahead by prolifically enhancing the operations for smooth functioning of the overall organization (Ruivo et al. 2013).
- The Microsoft Dynamics comes with various other additional features like job scheduling and configuration, KPIs, sales management, development, performance management and training, inventory management, expense management, budgetary control, distribution planning, order promising, project invoicing and accounting, resource management, capacity and material planning and various others.
When it comes to Microsoft Dynamics, it not only comes with the advantage to be considered but also with unparalleled enterprise resource planning and the functionality of inventory management which makes organizations in managing all sorts of project, completing the accounting operations, controlling of sales, controlling of supply chains and various others. Moreover the Microsoft Dynamics also offers various human resource management features which include training, development and performance management (Tenhiala and Helkio, 2015). Precisely this particular ERP system provides with the much needed digital intelligence that is required for making the business to grow and scalable in nature. It can be used for gaining full visibility in sales, marketing systems, distribution and accelerating the introduction of a product.
Considering the advantages, Microsoft Dynamics helps in delivering memorable and exceptional consumer experience as it provides the sales persons with the consumer information which can be used in an effective manner for personalized approach. It benefits from wide range warehousing features, budgeting, transportation, e-commerce functions and POS. This particular system is quite essential in managing the finances and accounts as it provides all live view of the financial numbers along with data analysis (Okezie et al. 2012). The accurate and immediate financial information provides each department of an organization more efficient, as well as drive the strategies for attaining growth. Additionally this system is hosted in cloud and it helps in integrating with all necessary legacy systems and imposes no such restrictions. It provides the I.T needs of an organization in the most suitable cost effective manner and also adjusts the pace of growth to the conditions of the market.
- The Adoption Decision Phase: This phase the examination of a new ERP system is carried out by the organization. Assessing the scenario of King’s Ply, the examination is carried out on Microsoft Dynamics. The requirements of the business, the operations nature, objectives and goals and the impact of the system is determined before adoption of the system (Kahkonen et al. 2014).
- The Acquisition Phase: In this phase, the vendor selection and the ERP system that addresses the business needs are analyzed. Some of the key factors include the pricing models that are offered by vendors; the functions of different ERP systems, the need for training etc are considered. Selection of the appropriate package enables in minimizing the risk.
- The Implementation Phase: The significant efforts are specifically made for synchronizing the business process along with the implemented ERP system. The customization of the ERP may be needed for meeting the needs of the business. It also includes testing of the system and training is provided on the new ERP system. All processes and procedures needs to be tested before launching (Kahkonen et al. 2014).
- The Maintenance Phase: This particular phase highlights the running of the new ERP system. It is essential to check and corrected if there are any sort of malfunctions. The users are trained for using the system in an effective manner so that advantages can be gained.
- The Evolution Phase: For improving the business performance alterations and upgrade of the ERP system is necessary. In this phase the capabilities are integrated into the organization’s ERP system for attaining additional benefits. In regards to upward evolution functionality is provided so that it helps in decision making with significant applications. In case of outward evolution the system is specifically integrated by e-commerce and web. It helps in providing added value (Wan & CLEGG, 2011).
- The Retirement Phase: In the long run, it is evident that an ERP system like Microsoft Dynamics just like in the case of King’s Ply becomes quite vulnerable to the legacy system issues as the business state and technologies change. Thus it is important to change the ERP system as it can be difficult in modifying and evolving. Therefore it is important to replace with new ERP system with advanced functionalities.
The following ways can be used for testing the Microsoft Dynamics ERP system before implementing in the chosen organization.
- Using the SysTest Framwork for authoring the component/unit test code.
- The creation of test module for managing the FormAdaptors and test code.
- Importing the recording of the Task Recorder into the visual studio for generating the test code (Clegg and Wan, 2012).
- Integrating the Test module with a build machine
Dynamics Management Reporter: It can be tested via the extension using the generic windows library.
Dynamics Web Portals: It can be tested by various web portals utilizing the web browser libraries/
Considering the scenario of King’s Ply implementation of the ERP system needs to be carried out effectively by following certain regulations. Implementation can be carried out firstly by identification of the issues, as noticed in the chosen organization the production and inventory unit is not functioning effectively so it can be stated that the real objective for implementing the ERP systems is for enhancing the operational activities. In a similar manner for execution of the ERP system, emphasis should be given on the scope (Bahssas, AIBar and Hoque, 2015). The features of the ERP need to be synchronized as per the company needs depending on the core necessity and budget. Following the scope evaluation of options has to be evaluated. It is the role of the management to successfully invest the time in an effective manner for evaluating the available options.
Once the particular ERP solution has been identified which is Microsoft Dynamics in the case of the King’s ply the most significant step that needs to be taken in migration of data that helps in future utilization and smooth transition of the software. It needs to be assessed that only the relevant and necessary data should be transferred with great care so that data can be retrieved whenever required (Sekar, 2018). After this procedure the infrastructure has to be checked as it is the core aspect for the implementation of the ERP software. The infrastructure on which the particular ERP system will run must have the scalability scope along with distinctive options as per the requirement. Once this process is carried out emphasis should be provided on change management and transfer of technology and knowledge to all the associated members of the organization. This helps in clearing all questions regarding the change that would take place and the need for the ERP system (WAN and CLEGG, 2011). Proper training and knowledge transfer can help in understanding the requirement and can also help in reducing the time gap. After all these aspects have been evaluated implementation of the ERP system is carried out with proper monitoring process.
It is quite important for the management of the King’s Ply in emphasizing in the post implementation activities of the Microsoft Dynamics ERP systems. This can enable in enhancing the performance and getting adequate results for which the particular system has been implemented.
- Project Initiation: It is the first phase of the lifecycle of a project where the feasibility and value of the project is measured. In regards to the scenario King’s Ply the estimate of the potential benefits needs to be measured along with preparing the goals, objectives, costs, time of the project will be executed. The main requirement of the project is to look if implementation of the ERP system which is the project does make sense.
- Project Planning: Once all the key aspects are decided and the management decides on the implementation of the ERP system a proper plan needs to be framed keeping the budge and time on mind. Emphasizing on the project plan can help King’s Ply with proper guidance for attaining the required resources, procuring the necessary materials and financing (Gronau, 2010). Planning can also be helpful in overcoming obstacles that might be encountered.
- Execution of the Project: In case of King’s Ply the project is about implementation of the Microsoft Dynamics ERP system. Therefore the deliverables like enhancing the production and inventory along with enhancing the consumer relationships are the key. Therefore the management must make prolific strides in allocation of resources in a proper manner. All team members need to take active part in this phase.
- Project Control and Monitoring: Both control and monitoring are combined along with execution and therefore it needs to be monitored (Magal and Word, 2011). Assessing the implementation of ERP systems this monitoring needs to be done for understanding the progress. Continuous vigilance can help in successful implementation of the ERP system and the entire operations can work smoothly.
- Closure of Project: The management and the teams play the key role for the project closure. In regards to King’s ply the successful implementation of the ERP implementation. After all the requirements are met the project is considered to be completed and it enables in evaluating all the necessary documents related to the project (Ruivo et al. 2013). This helps in managing complex projects by prolifically using the resources and time efficiently.
It is universally known that every ERP implementation which consume resources, money, time and attention do face certain number of risks. In regards to King’s Ply the risk can be quite dangerous as it can impact the overall organization not only from the failure of the new system but also from the perspective of change management. Thus the following risk management techniques need to be taken into consideration for successful management of risk in ERP implementation.
- For effective management of risk related to ERP implementation at King’s Ply five key ways needs to be followed for dealing with the risk i.e. prevention of risk, reduction of risks, transference of risk, contingency of risk and acceptance of risk. Developing a plan based on this aspect can help the management to overcome the risk associated with the new ERP implementation (Aloini et al. 2012).
- On the other hand, educating the employees of the organization in articulating the risks in an actionable manner can be a significant way in managing the ERP implementation risk (Hakim and Hakim, 2010). Educating them about the ways the risk can be mitigated and how the ERP can be beneficial can be beneficial from both change management viewpoint and risk management viewpoint.
- In managing the risk compliance assurance review is must as it is reviewed and driven by the present situation of the business. As noticed with King’s Ply the organization needs an overhaul change the major goal is that the organization understand the reason behind execution of the change, This will help in preparing risk management plan so that if anything goes awry during operational time quick decisions can be made to overcome the risk.
In regards to implementation of ERP systems in the King’s Ply organization widespread organizational change management is quite essential to the implementation success of the chosen ERP system. Thus the following needs to be assessed by the organization.
- All employees of the organization need more training and understanding about the specific need for the ERP system. Thus organizations must take prolific strides in enhancing the communication and letting the employees know about the need for implementing ERP system, how it can impact the organizational effectiveness and how it will enhance the daily operations (Altamony et al. 2016).
- Similarly, training and education is quite essential in regards to the ERP related training so that the employees are ensured about learning the new software and the business processes. The significant changes in the business processes which are necessary in successful implementation of ERP create significant changes in the corporate climate and culture. Therefore it is essential in managing the staff for avoiding fear, resentment and anxiety.
- In regards to organizational change management due to ERP implementation the higher management authorities needs to showcase commitment and support (Dezdar and Ainin, 2011). Lack of management can impact both the organization and failure of the ERP implementation and therefore the management needs to overcome the resistance to change by bridging the gap and communicating with the employees.
- The Microsoft Dynamics is a solution for long term and for getting utmost value out of it, it is essential to work towards the efficient use of the application. Thus, this particular section frames all the necessary ingredients of a project in light of the adoption of the user.
- It has been observed that implementation of this particular system needs planning and strategy and therefore it is the role of the organization to analyze all the necessary aspects before expecting any solution. In case the goal is for self supporting then it is important to learn about the application to the fullest.
- If waterfall approach or the agile approach to implementation is considered by the organization it is important to analyze the processes of business and develop the CRM design for supporting all those processes.
Assessing all the key aspects from the implementation viewpoint of ERP implementation in King’s Ply it can be concluded that it is quite necessary as well as important because it can bring a significant change in the key operations of the organization and enhance the profitability. But it should be taken into consideration that every aspect comes with certain weakness which needs to be evaluated rather than avoiding. Thus, based on this significant factor the management of the King’s Ply needs to plan and manage all processes before the implementation process as it can be quite beneficial for the organization to attain the key objectives and strategic goals by the implementation of the Microsoft Dynamics ERP System.