Michael C Logan:
Project management is a subject of many surveys, studies and programs. The nature of project management is such that it keeps on changing with time and technology. The main aim of project management is to streamline and automate business and manufacturing processes. This increases productivity and profits with the minimum number of people.
Before the advent of the computer and software, project management was industry specific. The same process could not be applied to different businesses. Computers and the Internet changed all of that. Now all processes are linked to a computer in one way or another.
One of the most famous management software or protocols is ERP. ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning is software designed to manage both the internal as well as the external aspects of a business. This includes financial and human resources, materials and other processes. it also manages the connections between the company and the clients. The system can be installed on a centralized server which is connected to the other units or it can be installed on separate units where it is needed. This system can be applied to the following aspects of a business –
1. Manufacturing – this includes all the aspects of manufacturing like materials, engineering, quality control and cost management.
2. All the aspects of the supply chain. This includes inventory management, and orders and billing.
3. All the financial aspects are taken care of as well.
4. Human Resources – It takes care and keeps a track of processes like training, attendance, timing and benefits.
5. It also takes care of customer relationships.
The ERP system became gained fame in the 1990s when companies were looking for alternatives to the Y2K problem. The system was not web based back then and this was rectified and the new system ERP2 was launched.
Companies that are looking to implement this system usually hire consultants to do it for them. This is because of the complexity of the project and since most in-house software engineers lack the experience in implementing it. Shifting to this new system of management is difficult and time consuming. The time required to implement depends on the size of the company, the number of modules to be changed and the amount to which the system needs to be customized. On an average it takes 14 months and 150 consultants to implement the system. The implementation occurs in the following stages.
2. Selecting and Training
The price of the implementation depends on the degree of customization and the number of sites it is implemented at. The company that implements the system also provides support after it has been implemented.
The best thing about this system is that all the data can be kept up to date and viewed in real time since it integrates all the modules of the business.
But it has its disadvantages as well. The system can be expensive and there can be problems if the personnel using the system are not trained adequately.
Written By Michael C Logan