Transportation, medical care, hospitality, courier service, telecommunication, banking and financial services, and entertainment represent the major components of service sector. At this time ERP implementation in the services sector is very limited – only a few hospitals and banks have done small-scale experiments. ERP market is very encouraging. But the time-frame for deployment may be an issue. Most of the categories with the greatest potentials in the market and the market leaders who are yet to implement the system are likely to go for the system sooner and so its market tends to grow with the industrial growth rate. The economy has now reached the level of maturity that demands advanced technology.
The implementation life-cycle of the an ERP consist of the following phases:
- Pre-Evaluation Screening: To select the best suited software solution, examination and comparison of all the ERP systems available in the market will help the company to identify the specific solution provided by each one of them and then matching them with the business requirements.
- Package Evolution: This is the step of the life cycle where the perfect ERP package has to be selected in agreement that fits your business environment. The right package has to be carefully selected and testified so as to determine the success of the ERP implementation.
- Project Planning Phase: This is the phase of team members and resource allocation according to the project planning of the implementation process and design.
- Gap Analysis: This is a tricky phase of implementation cycle where the manager has to not only meet the current requirements but also forecast or foresee the various future obstacles and positions which are something critical but unpredictable.
- Re-Engineering: Also known as Business Process Re engineering (BPR), This phase sometimes changes the department processes and alters the employee job roles and specifications. This restructuring is done to make the business processes more efficient. Therefore, an ERP system should be considered as an investment and cost-cutting measure instead of a downsizing tool.
- Configuration: This is a functional phase where the required modifications and synchronization is done in order to achieve the overall objectives.
- Team Training: The training is given on the working of the ERP system to avoid all contingencies during the working of the ERP system, before the vendor and external consultants leave the organization.
- Testing: The ERP system is verified by creating real situations to check the performances, overloads, invalid data entry, hacking attacks, etc. The required modifications are done in case of any discrepancy.
- Go-Live: At this stage, the ERP system is ready to replace the old systems and are fully used technically and functionally.
- End-User Testing: In this phase, the employees who need to work on the ERP system are identified and segregated into groups, so that they can be trained to work on the new .
- Implementing support: This is the last phase of the implementation, where the system is accepted by the entire organization to receive the full benefit of the ERP system. However, it should be upgraded timely.