Implementing Enterprise Resource Planning While Adhering to Lean Principles
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I learned more than just the basics of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and the mining industry while interning with Global Integrated Solutions. Adhering to the lean business process is a way to ensure that a firm will be successful when implementing an ERP system. A complete restructuring of business processes to match lean principals, satisfy consumption while eliminating waste, is absolutely necessary in ERP system deployment. ERP systems are a way to run all aspects of a business from a single integrated software program. Implementing these systems is a difficult task best handled by a hired implementation team. Education of top-management and a "core-team" is imperative to the success of the implementation. Failed ERP implementations arise from a lack of commitment, communication, planning, and support from both the ERP vendor and the client. A full ERP deployment includes examination of core processes from the ground-up; in parallel with the ERP implementation. Analysis of current business processes is the start to allow an organization to go lean. In order to maximize return on investment of an ERP system the client finn needs to exercise value stream mapping in order to eliminate non-value adding processes. Once these processes are modified to fit lean principles, customization of the ERP software will compliment the lean processes giving the firm a competitive advantage. ERP systems enhance lean processes by removing unnecessary, time consuming practices; scheduling maintenance before there is a breakdown, restocking before resources are depleted, anticipating and solving problems before they arise. However there needs to be a commitment to a full ERP deployment by both the client firm and the ERP vendor, in order to have a successful implementation. It is the responsibility of the top-management in the client firm to advocate the new processes and software that are bringing change to the organization. Support from the vendor, and •planning and commitment from the client, will ensure consumption is satisfied and maximum return on investment is achieved.