It is scalable, customisable, can be integrated with vendors/clients (if they use SAP), and they've ironed out numerous previous GUI and user accessibility problems.
But, SAP is not cheap. But, it will get your job done which in itself will save on efficiency costs, remove current process & procedural redundancies, and accelerate integration of future automated functions.
If SAP isn't acceptable to your organisation, then I suppose the solution will be a motley crew of independent vendors with each providing a certain proportion of your requirement. While some vendors will be better than others, you will need to build stringent and almost unilateral contractual elements re: quality, delivery criteria, service, upgrades, maintenance etc... Why? Because with multiple vendors playing in your organisation's IT space, it will be difficult to identify who is responsible when the chips are down - and, fall they will.
Having a single vendor (although that in itself comes with significant challenges of its own) at least provides a degree of assurance that liability cannot be re-directed or ignored by the vendor.
I realise I didn't answer your question by suggesting vendors, but I'll leave that for those knowledgeable to do that. I have provided a couple of ideas which I advise my clients when they contemplate automating function, processes, and procedures.
I hope this adds value to your deliberations!
19th August 2012 From India, Gurgaon
Thanks for your valuable inputs.
As per my understanding through your text, it seems that i have 2 options either to go with SAP or with individual vendors who can provide integrated online solutions catering to the specific requirement.
Or 3rd option is we can opt for a vendor who can build this one customized integrated solution which caters to all requirements mentioned. i wanted to know your opinion on this?
I can refer all these 3 options to the Management and then can go further accordingly.
Also, if we go with SAP, what exactly we need to do? are there any vendors available in market who provide customized SAP services?
Please keep posting your valuable inputs. it can help us a lot to take a right decision.
20th August 2012 From India, Delhi
You've rightly summed up the essence of my previous post.
Re: your 3rd vendor - effectively you're looking at re-creating customised ERP functionality on a budget.
I agree with this suggestion. The reason I didn't suggest it earlier is for the same reasons that I suggested considering SAP (or equivalent) than going for a custom in-house solution.
My aversion for this approach is based almost entirely on the enormous challenge it poses for the client (in this case your organisation) from the first step. And, that first step would be to hire a bloody good ERP Business Consultant who can gather every organisational requirement, map them thoroughly, identify cross-function and cross-departmental relationships and dependencies, and then create a robust information and data architecture.
This is a highly specialised task and whilst there are many half-baked IT guys bouncing around who claim to do that, the very real risk of using any of them is that whilst they are good at what they do technically, over 99% of them do not and cannot understand business. So, hiring those guys is like licencing the tail to wag the dog!
As you can appreciate, if the very first step in creating an in-house solution from the ground up is fraught with a serious risk, those steps that follow will depend entirely upon how competently this consultant has done their job. And, for most organisations, when they do realise that their solution is not even close to their requirements, its almost always too late into the piece. The system wireframe would have been developed and turning the clock back is either contractually impossible, or financially debilitating. This is the primary reason why the bulk of organisations suffer in silece with systems that don't even meet 50% of their core requirements. Why do I know this, because I've managed and implemented multi-million dollar IT and ERP projects in Sydney. So, what you're getting from me is an insider's view.
And, if one thinks that this risk only arises from freelancers or smaller to medium IT service providers, the truth is it gets even worse with the big boys (don't want to name them here - for obvious reasons). Why? Because first, their rigid operating structure demands that at least 75% of the times (post contract signing), the client only deals with the juniour consultant. Second, if during this process the client wishes to communicate with those who signed the contract (partner or equivalent) the process of escalation can be as frustrating as that in a government department. Third, their fees are almost always double (at minimum) of their lesser organised compatriots.
With the smaller guys there is a far higher likelihood of client speaking directly with the owner. And, this definitely has its advantages.
I am over-simplifying what in reality is truly a very complex and messy reality. Did you know that 73% of IT systems build in-house never see light of day! Why? Well we can meet over a coffee or beer and talk about that.
This is why I am suggesting an existing ERP which has done the bulk of the dirty hard work. Yes, they do cost money, but at least you don't have to re-invent the wheel. But, even with an ERP solution, I seriously urge you to hire a project manager who will represent your organisation's best interests to the vendor. You don't want to be taken for a ride without being completely aware of, and conversant with, downline risks and potential integration issues. While this project manager will cost you money, but believe me, the right one will save you tonnes of heartache and potential aneurisms.
Hope this helps you!
20th August 2012 From India, Gurgaon
If I go with a existing ERP solution or SAP please correct me if i am wrong , we need to purchase it through a no of licenses and renewal year after year etc etc.... and each additional license would need to pay extra cost. if its like that way, Can you please give me an idea of its approximate cost - for SAP & any other ERP.
21st August 2012 From India, Delhi
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Mechsoft Digital Technologies
21st August 2012 From India, Pune
1. Basic cost that relates to SAP modules based on their extensive body of knowledge (relative to your industry)
2. Customisation and implementation costs - specifically to meet your organisation's requirements - This is always done by an authorised SAP Partner
3. On-going costs. These will include annual licencing
3a. If your organisation's requirements are such that they need to be continually scaled, new features introduced, enhanced modules need further customisation and integration etc then it may well be that you need a couple of SAP engineers camped in your business either for the duration of that project, or permanently
And, don't forget your additional cost of hiring a 'client-side' project manager whose role is to keep the vendor honest and accountable to cost, quality, and time.
Speaking with my clients, their SAP implementations have ranged from anywhere between Rs 50Lacs to 2.5Cr.
I believe you should identify a range of core organisational requirements in some detail and if possible map them in a UI model as extensively as possible. In fact, the project manger you hire should definitely complete the user requirement process and the UI mapping prior to calling for SAP quotes. This will not only enable you to compare apples with apples once various SAP vendors quote you, but will also give you a thorough appreciation of how extensive (or not) your requirements are. And, in case you identify that the requirements are not that extensive, you can relegate ERP and perhaps think about a motlew crew of cloud based or SaaS options. Although these may not be central and integrated, at least you will have made a thoroughly informed decision.
If you require any more information, I suggest that we speak on the phone. My number is in the signature panel below. Feel free to ring me!
I hope this helps you!
21st August 2012 From India, Gurgaon