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The Key To Reap The Fruits Of ERP Is Successful Implementation

by Srinivas Sagi, VP- IT, GVK Industries Limited December-2015

GVK Industries Limited is a leading Indian conglomerate with diversified interests across various sectors including energy, resources, airports, transportation, hospitality and life sciences. GVK was a pioneer in PPP model and was the first company in India to build a power plant and toll road in India under the PPP model.


Every organization, be it a large organization or a SME, requires an agile and affordable business management system which provides benefits of real-time capabilities for their business. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution contributes as a major game changer for most businesses. However, an ERP system must be implemented after much deliberation on the requirement matrix and meticulous planning.

ERP implementation is not entirely a technical job. A lot of planning and analysis is required keeping in mind different functional nodes. While implementing ERP at GVK, we chose ERP system/hardware/implementation partners from the Tier I space who are global leaders, as we did not want to compromise on the functionality or quality. Our strategy was to go live on all modules concurrently i.e. Finance, Supply Chain Management, Plant Maintenance and other functions. This was done to ensure that we develop processes that are well integrated and provide the anticipated benefits quickly. We also chose to go live first with companies that are in operational mode and can get maximum benefits from an integrated system.

Implementing an ERP is a complicated task. It not only takes a considerably long time but also involves a large amount of fortune. So, it is not surprising that a large number of ERP implementations fail putting dents in the pockets of those looking to implement a business transformation solution. Listed below are some of the top challenges faced at GVK while implementing the ERP.  

Organizational Challenges:

  • Associates think of ERP implementation as a transactional system and not as an information repository that can be used for problem solving or better decision making
  • Resistance to make organizational changes such as centralizing AP/AR and creating COEs to take full advantage of the system and improve process efficiencies
  • Resistance to online approvals, they are more comfortable signing on a piece of paper
  • Ownership from department heads that the system belongs to them and not IT department
  • Articulating business issues and how the system can be used to solve them


Technical Challenges:

  • Data input is not intuitive and too many fields/screens to navigate for a simple transaction
  • System response time is slow for remote locations
  • The user interface is not exciting or intuitive for the user to explore the system
  • Online approvals/workflows are not as effective/flexible as they should be without investing into 3rd party tools
  • Any process change is cumbersome and takes time
  • It gets prohibitively expensive to provide licenses to once in a while users

To summarize, ERP in our industry is at a cross road, where business users are still struggling to articulate the benefits they derive from implementing a complex ERP system from major vendors. I think a lot needs to be done in creating an ecosystem of vendors, implementation partners, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) along with simplifying user interfaces, licensing policies to increase the quantum of implementations and getting measurable benefits. (As told to Deepshikha Singh)