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Environmental Resource Planning Systems And Software: 1. Gm Locomotive Says The Problem Wasn't With The Erp Software. Then What Did Cause The Major Failure Of The Erp System? Explain.

1133 words - 5 pages

1. GM Locomotive says the problem wasn't with the ERP Software. Then what did cause the major failure of the ERP system? Explain.ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. It is a single computer system that attempts to integrate all the functions and departments across a company. This allows the system to have an overall view of the entire company, enabling all the different departments to align their particular needs with that of the goals of the company (Computerworld, 2005).There were many reasons for the failure of GM Locomotive's ERP system. Firstly, the software did not reflect the complexity of the distribution process. That is, the locomotive unit's "software wasn't configured well enough to match internal business processes" (Computerworld, 2002, p. 12). The SAP R/3 Software, also adopted by Farmland Industries and Colgate-Palmolive (O'Brien, 2004, p. 195 & 368) performs quite well in the right circumstances. The problem noticed is that there was either (or both) insufficient time and input spent on modifying the technology to suit the direct requirements of the locomotive unit, or there was a lack of expertise when modifying the software to fully integrate all the components required by GM.GM, like many other companies, underestimated the complexity of planning and development needed to prepare for the new system. It appears that GM introduced the ERP system and expected the results to be immediate without considering the changes required. Through implementing the system to take over many operations at once, GM were doomed.The conversion process was also rapid and it appears that the expectations of the software were unrealistic. Further to the expectations, top management's view was that they were anticipating results in an unrealistic time-frame. According to a Meta Group Study it takes an average 31 months to see any benefits of the implementation of ERP systems (Computerworld, 2005).It also becomes apparent that the Locomotive Group is outsourcing functions relating to the new ERP system, more so than during the rollout of the software in 2001. Outsourcing can provide the necessary skills, support, backup and increased level of quality required for such an operation of the rollout of the ERP System.Finally, the mistake companies make is assuming that changing people's habits will be easier than customising the software. It's not. Getting people inside your company to use the software to improve the ways they do their jobs is by far the harder challenge (Koch, 2005).2. What major shortcomings in systems implementation, conversion, or project management practices do you recognise in this case?I largely contribute the failure of the implementation of the new ERP Software to that of top management. From the reading it seems both Mike Duncan and David Scott were happy to pass the blame directly to the first consulting firm that implemented the new software. It leads to the conclusion that senior management were not prepared for...

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