Tuesday, 3 February 2015

ERP Systems Interview Questions and Answers

31. What is 'big bang' approach to ERP?
This has already been explained elsewhere. See previous answer.
ERP being integrated software does one benefit by implementing only specific modules?
Yes. The full benefit of ERP would accrue if all the ERP modules are implemented. However many organizations implement ERP only in those functions, which are, considered to be of strategic importance. Some of the modules, though they appear to be limited to specific functions, in fact integrate with many other functions indirectly. For example finance module primarily targets the accounting and finance functions. However the accounts payable module address all the material purchases and in turn impacts the entire materials management functions. Many more examples can be quoted to reinforce our viewpoint. The process orientation of ERP software definitely contributes to a better management of the organization. Even partial implementation of the ERP therefore leads to significant benefits.

32. What is the role of process-modeling tools ERP implementation?
Process Modelling provides a means to map the organization processes and visualize it in a graphical manner. This helps in communication, clarification and documentation of the "AS IS" and "TO BE" processes. Process modelling can be used to reinforce the central theme of ERP, namely, a shift from function orientation to process orientation.

33. What is the ERP life cycle?
The set of activities through which ERP is implemented in an organization constitutes the ERP life cycle. This can be compared to the well developed System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) in the traditional Structured System Analysis and Design (SSAD). Typical ERP project consists of the following steps:

Step 1: ERP readiness assessment
Step 2: Preparing the organization for ERP
Step 3: ERP Feasibility Study
Step 4: Process modelling and documenting the "AS IS" processes & "TO BE" processes (along with BPR)
Step 5: Detailed plan for ERP implementation (includes ERP software selection, selection of implementation partners, implementation methodology - "Big Bang" or Modular Implementation - and the final and precise extent of implementation)
Step 6: Detailed implementation including development, quality assurance and production system
Step 7: Preparing to "go live" including data migration
Step 8: Going live
Step 9: Performance assessment, documentation, training (continues in early stages also) and future plans.

34. What is customization in ERP?
Customization is the job of fitting the ERP software to meet the demands of a particular organization. This would mean the mapping of the organizational structures, processes & environment of the organization into the corresponding model of the organization that is embedded in the ERP software. In other words, it is a mapping of the real world into the model world of the particular ERP software. The structure and processes represent one part of customization; the creation of master data, input-output forms, validations, reports, queries, formats, authorization, backup / restore procedures, data administration procedures, disaster recovery processes etc., represent the full gamut of customization.

35. What is the ideal background for ERP Consultants?
An ideal background of ERP Consultants would be several years of domain knowledge (HR, Finance, Material etc) followed by extensive software training and implementation experience with at least a couple of real-world implementations. Technical knowledge by way of deep IT training helps but not mandatory. Knowledge of business process by way of formal business school education, once again is of help but not necessary. However business knowledge by the way of experience and consulting is a must.

36. Is there a benchmarking tool to fine tune ERP performance?
Every ERP vendor provides performance guidelines that can be used by system administrators to fine tune performance. Some of them are very comprehensive and address fine-tuning at the application, database, operating system, processor and even the network level. Other ERP vendors provide tools that can leverage the leading edge database tuning, operating system tuning and network performance tuning tools.

37. Where do you get ERP software market information?
Once again Gartner group and IDC, Data Quest are the prime sources of ERP market related information. India specific information is made available by IDC India.

38. Is there a segmentation of the ERP market?
There is no easy way to segment the ERP market in a precise manner that can be readily adopted by an organization as a thumb rule. However SAP R/3, Oracle Applications, BaaN Series, People Soft & Ramco Marshall represent the high-end of the ERP market. SSA BBCS & JD Edwards represent the medium-end market. Scala, Intentia Movex & QAD MFG / PRO represent the low-end of the market. This division is generally based on past installation, pricing and positioning of the products by the ERP vendors themselves. It does not necessarily mean that low end products lack features or high end products have all features. It may be instructive to note that a large company HLL uses QAD MFG/PRO (a low end ERP) and a small company Microland uses SAP R/3 (a high end ERP).

39. Who is the market leader in ERP?
Undoubtedly SAP is the market leader in ERP and has almost one-third the market share. Interestingly SAP has captured two thirds of the market share in India though ERP business is less than two years old in India.
{2/3rds of market share in terms of revenues but not number of sites/organizations}

40. What is the role of process-modeling tools ERP implementation?
Process Modelling provides a means to map the organization processes and visualize it in a graphical manner. This helps in communication, clarification and documentation of the "AS IS" and "TO BE" processes. Process modelling can be used to reinforce the central theme of ERP, namely, a shift from function orientation to process orientation.
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1 comment:

  1. Tks very much for your post.

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