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IS6600 - 3 Global ERP Cases: Integration and Planning for the Extended Enterprise Learning Objectives See how systems can be integrated Appreciate potential problems associated with the design, implementation and use of ERP systems Culture, People, Process

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is6600 3

IS6600 - 3

Global ERP Cases:

Integration and Planning for the Extended Enterprise

learning objectives
Learning Objectives
  • See how systems can be integrated
  • Appreciate potential problems associated with the design, implementation and use of ERP systems
    • Culture, People, Process
  • Case based illustration of what works and what fails in organisations
  • IT has the potential to integrate information
  • IT can enable distributed people to communicate with ease
    • Indeed, it is hard to imagine life without IT
  • IT can extend the enterprise beyond its traditional borders
    • Li & Fung, Amazon, HSBC, cTrip, Alibaba, etc.
    • These organisations are truly IT-dependent.
    • They also leverage IT to ensure their competitive advantage
  • IT-based change is not without problems
  • Indeed, the changes associated with implementing major systems is a bit like ‘open heart surgery’, without the anaesthetic!
    • You are cutting away at the very core (culture) of the organisation, implementing new systems and processes – while the organisation is still functioning.
erp enterprise resource planning
ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning

Potentially integrated systems that

  • allow information to enter at a single point in the process (e.g., at the materials receiving stage of a manufacturing process), and
  • update a single, shared database in real time for all functions that directly or indirectly depend on this information.
why erp
Why ERP?
  • To reap benefits from integrated data
    • Including control over remote data
  • To create an integrated, not fragmented, organisation
    • Which is centrally controlled, not broken into factions
    • With organisational functions mapped onto software
  • To reduce or eliminate organisational chaos and redundancy
for example
For Example
  • CityU has an ERP called AIMS (v.8.1.1)
    • Staff, Student, Alumni
    • Payroll, Leave, Benefits
    • Course management, Contacting students
    • Various tools, Reports, Documents, etc.
  • The data in this ERP is integrated – there is a single set of databases, which all programmes access.
  • Moderate level of security
  • Is designed to support many academic administration functions
  • It incorporates best practices
    • Are these culturally specific? How?
  • Does everyone like AIMS?
  • Does anyone try to subvert AIMS, or just ignore it?
erp is
ERP is…
  • Commonly seen in
    • manufacturing and production
    • finance, banking, trade, services, education
  • Often perceived as expensive and large scale
  • Adopted mimetically
    • Because our competitors have it
  • Not carefully planned
    • Integration is important, but ERP is much more than integration alone
    • Poorly implemented ERP can destroy an organisation

SAP Enterprise Solution

Integration & Interoperability



Bar Coding



Investment Mgt









Financial Accounting


Sales &






CS Cable







Imaging and Archiving









Fixed Assets Mgt

PP Production Planning

Modular Design

& “Plug-In”









PS Projects


QM Quality Mgt



MSM Maintenance and Service Mgt

WF Workflow

RF / Mobile Dispatch



IS Industry Solutions

HR Human Resources

Scalable Open Systems

IS-T / RF & NF

- R/3 Core Financials

Network Mgt

- R/3 Core Logistics

- R/3 Core HR

- R/3 Technology



GUI & Internet Enabled

Workforce Mgt


- Industry Solutions

  • - Partner Solutions C/W
    • Certified Interfaces (Existing, Developing, Planned)

Enterprise data


Source: SAP

  • Integration is continuous, not finite.
    • Databases must be updated continuously.
    • No more reports, just online information
    • Most business functions can be integrated
  • But while it is **relatively** easy to integrate technology, it is **not at all* easy to integrate people and the way they interact with technology
erp illustration

ERP System Managed Process Flow

ERP Illustration

Re-order miscellaneous supplies

Send Shipping date estimate to customer

Issue Payment to Suppliers

Update A/R

Customer Order: 2,000 PCs

Order 2,000 MBs, CPUs, RAMs, …

Update Order Book

Track order completion

Ship Order

Bill Customer

erp vendors
ERP Vendors
  • SAP – the market leader
    • 89,000 customers, 120 countries
      • SAP R/3 released from 1992-2005
      • SAP ERP 6.0 (Business Suite), 2005-
    • Also CRM, SRM, SCM and PLM applications
  • Oracle – the market contender.
    • Has bought up many smaller firms including Peoplesoft (2004: $10.3B), Siebel (2005: $5.8B), Hyperion Solutions (2007: $3.3B) and BEA Systems (2008: $7.2B).
  • Microsoft, Sage, Kingdee,
industry overview
Industry Overview
  • Software vendors sell a vision of an integrated package.
  • Systems consultants are big and have ample resources
  • Development of SME market segment.
    • This is recognised as an area of huge potential, so the major developers are trying to ‘downsize’ their products
erp culture
ERP & Culture
  • ERP packages may be cultural “misfits”
  • Multiple sites make implementations challenges worse
  • The “extended enterprise” must also be integrated
sap in singaporean hospitals
SAP in Singaporean hospitals,…
  • Company-specific misfits
    • System’s patient management module does not allow for billing individual patients on an installment plan
  • Public sector-specific misfits
    • System uses internally generated patient ID, instead of government issued ID number
  • Country-specific misfits
    • Package did not provide reports needed for government reports
    • System requires names entered in Western name format (first, middle, last): operators had trouble parsing Indian, Malay and Chinese names
multi site implementations are worse
Multi-Site Implementations Are Worse
  • Local autonomy:
  • Legitimate country differences?
  • Or an obstacle to progress?
  • Cultural values.


Consolidated Information

One Face to the Customer



organizational implications of erp implementations
Organizational Implications of ERP Implementations
  • Individual departments begin to recognise they are all part of larger business processes (“visibility”)
  • Dissolves boundaries between previously independent units.
  • Blurs job definitions (job broadening)
  • Changes power structures
  • Standardises processes
organizational implications of erp implementations20
Organizational Implications of ERP Implementations
  • Creates demand for:
    • team work,
    • process expertise,
    • business knowledge.
  • Devolves authority/responsibility to front line employees.
  • Hub, or multi-point?
  • How much chaos would you like?
hub and spoke integration
Hub-and-Spoke Integration


how to succeed in implementation
How to Succeed in Implementation
  • This project is a business initiative, not IT!
  • Put the company’s best people on the project!
  • Have a strong project leader (VP).
  • Continued commitment of senior management.
  • Get all affected parties to “buy in”.
  • Communication about expected change is essential; prepare the organization for change.
  • Smart contracts with vendors, consultants.
  • Provide the necessary resources.
  • Try not to customise.
the future of erp
The Future of ERP
  • ERP’s are getting easier:
    • to use
    • to implement
    • to adapt to individual user needs.
  • ERP’s are moving away from being a product towards being a service
    • ASP style
Hosted E-business platform solution (on SAP’s computers)
    • Link organization to supply chain
    • Link organization to consumers
    • Exchange (B2B Hub)
  • Expands ERP use to medium sized companies.
  • A local (HK) HQ-ed home entertainment product manufacturer
  • Annual revenues – HK$5Billion +
  • Late 1990s – boom in DVD players helped push the market share up.
  • Business processes still 1970s style
    • Patched up, unintegrated, manual
    • The business was changing - fast
      • New features in each product cycle
      • Retail costs down 80%
  • Top Mgt realised that change was needed
  • … selected as an ERP provider
    • “because it is famous”
    • “because the software is available”
    • “because the consultants recommend it”
  • Then the consulting firm died, so they employed the lead consultant directly
  • No customisation to reduce costs
  • After two years, the project was stopped. HK$15M spent.
  • Many causes of the failure.
critical failure factors
Critical Failure Factors
  • Business practices grossly misaligned with Oracle’s software
  • Considerable employee resistance
  • No attempt to re-engineer old business processes
    • And so no real understanding of what they wanted to change to
    • No one person at SF actually understood all the business processes
    • Most unit managers spent all their time fighting fires
  • Oracle was not just a process shift. It was a cultural shift as well: centralisation and control.
the it manager was a dinosaur
The IT Manager was a Dinosaur
  • He chose to focus only on IT issues
    • Ignoring the rest of the business issues
  • He made no attempt to secure buy-in from functional managers
    • Later on all the functional managers refused to do anything that was requested
    • The IT manager was powerless
more problems
More Problems
  • Data conversion
    • A very messy process
      • Useful data scattered all over the place
      • Much of it offline in old paper documents
      • Lots of errors, questionable integrity
  • Skills
    • All staff needed to learn new skills
      • But many lacked the education or willingness to do so
  • All this time, the old legacy system was kept running
    • So the staff could just point at the old system and say “Look! It works! It’s better!”
    • There was no appreciation for the benefits of the new system at all.
erp in china
ERP in China
  • Some common lessons from a survey of eight firms
    • (4 Joint Venture; 4 State Owned Enterprise)
  • Lenovo’s Positive Experience
  • Olmec’s Positive Experience
  • Farina’s Negative Experience
common characteristics i
Common Characteristics I
  • Seldom completed on time
  • Seldom exceed the planned budget
  • Lots of information resource allocation – even though this is inconsistent with the usual ERP mantra of a core team
  • Projects seldom improved cycle times or customer satisfaction
  • Most benefits are reduced labour costs and inventory levels
common characteristics ii
Common Characteristics II
  • Projects initiated by the CIO/CTO usually fail.
  • Projects initiated by top management usually succeed.
  • CIOs/CTOs seldom have the political clout and business knowledge to resolve disputes between functional managers
private venture vs soe
Private Venture vs SOE?

Primary Project Aims

Improving Competitiveness through process streamlining & integration in PVs.

Cutting costs and automating processes in SOEs.

Role of Top Management

Hands-on leadership to demonstrate commitment in PVs.

Tendency to delegate ERP responsibilities in SOEs.

Role of Consultants

Greater reliance on outside help and more emphasis on ERP-specific expertise by PVs.

Role of Steering Committee

More frequent meetings and sharper focus on problem resolution in PVs

Pace of Implementation

Faster implementation with more simultaneous modules in PVs.

Scope of Implementation

Broader and more cross-functional ERP application in PVs.

Implementation Problems

Less frequent, less serious problems in PVs, due to differences in employee reward systems & data maintenance. SOEs characterised by Acc-Fin & Pur-Mfg squabbles

Evaluation & Outcomes

PVs undertake more systematic evaluation and control,

achieving more substantial quality and SC improvements

lenovo s sap r 3 experience 1
Lenovo’s SAP R/3 Experience 1
  • Recognise that we need
    • a clear Information Strategy
    • to understand that an ERP may conflict with our established procedures.
  • Use the ERP project as a way of
    • re-engineering the business and improving internal management
      • Many PRC organisations have poor information management
    • creating both internal and external value chains
lenovo s sap r 3 experience 2
Lenovo’s SAP R/3 Experience 2
  • Extensive knowledge transfer is essential
    • From consultants to local champions
    • From local champions to all end users
    • It has to be done right – or errors will perpetuate for ever
  • But Knowledge Transfer is not easy!
  • And many end-users are rather “passive”, showing little interest in either information or the ERP.
lenovo user perspectives
Lenovo – User Perspectives
  • 联想刚开始上ERP时,大家都认为这只是一个软件系统,把ERP当做一个IT项目来做,
  • When Lenovo began their upgrade to ERP, many people thought that it was only a software system. They classified ERP as an IT project and assigned the technical department to lead the project.
lenovo leadership
Lenovo - Leadership
  • … 企业信息总管CIO的领导艺术对信息化的推进非常重要,他(她)不必是信息技术专家,但他(她)一定要懂业务,懂管理。
  • … the art of leadership of the CIO was critical to the informatisation process.
  • S/he did not need to be a technical specialist but s/he had to have a good understanding of the business and its management.
lenovo generalise then optimise
Lenovo – Generalise, then Optimise
  • … 牵涉到业务流程的时候,实际业务流程与ERP业务流程还是有一些矛盾,创造性地解决这些矛盾非常重要。有些时候只能先按照ERP流程去做,再逐步优化,也就是所谓的‘先僵化后优化’”。联想在实施在整个ERP项目中,成功清理、规范和优化了77个业务流程。
  • …when dealing with business processes, the actual business processes conflicted with ERP workflows. Without creative solutions, we would not be able to solve these problems. Sometimes, we had to follow the ERP processes at the beginning, and then optimize them. This was what ‘first generalize and then optimize’ means. Lenovo finally successfully cleared, standardized and optimized 77 business processes in the whole ERP project.
olmec nationwide shoe manufacturer
Olmec – Nationwide Shoe Manufacturer
  • Old IT infrastructure cannot cope with increased data and new processes caused by rapid expansion.
    • 2000 products (shoes) in over 10 sizes
  • Need for org. change recognised by top management
  • One year planning in advance
    • Strong top mgt support
    • Clarification of individual team member responsibilities
    • Alignment of business processes via BPR with IT and software
farina luxury fashions
Farina – Luxury Fashions
  • Nationwide luxury goods retailer (not manufacturer)
  • IT project
    • IT manager is the champion
    • Poor communication with other parts of the firm
    • Many unresolved internal conflicts, which top mgt failed to contain/resolve
    • IT Mgr resigned; Vice-IT mgr promoted
  • No attempt to align software with internal processes
    • Top mgt refused to change business processes
  • No customisation initially
    • Later, many modifications to software needed
  • Systems failed during use and no back-up, so reinstallation is necessary
  • Eventually, the project was abandoned.
plan for the worst and then expect worse still
Plan for the Worst – and then Expect Worse Still!!!
  • It is impossible to predict all the variables, all the contingencies.
  • But one can be better prepared
  • One can have spare supply at hand
    • Whether in order processing or manufacturing
  • CIOs tend to rely on excellent project management skills to get the job done.
  • Perhaps a more flexible approach is needed.
    • Contingency is not only an IT issue, but a whole-of-business issue as well. The contingency plan must be holistic too.
erp lessons learned
ERP Lessons Learned
  • ERP system implementations are not just technical projects
  • They’re strategic business decisions and major organizational changes, involving
    • International and business culture
    • Corporate governance
    • Extended enterprise issues
lessons for it based org change
Lessons for IT Based Org Change
  • Top Management must be the change architects
  • IT cannot transform an organisation – IT enables transformation
  • Enterprise-wide business-IT Partnerships are needed
  • The pace of change must match the rate of acceptance
  • Individual transformation is as important as organisational transformation
  • Change champions must be diverse, yet work together
  • Offshoring IT development sounds attractive, but it is not just an IT project.
consequences of transformation
Consequences of Transformation
  • Organisational culture and identity
    • There will be pressure for change here too
    • People who support ‘the old way’ will feel left out, marginalised or discriminated against
  • A new, more flexible set of cultural norms may be necessary
    • Guided by new principles, new values, … and perhaps new managers?
    • A Culture of Blogging? The CEO’s blog-desk?