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Critical Success factors for Enterprise Resource Planning implementation in Indian Retail Industry: An Exploratory study

Critical Success factors for Enterprise Resource Planning implementation in Indian Retail Industry: An Exploratory study

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Enterprise resource Planning (ERP) has become a key business driver in today’s world. Retailers are also trying to reap in the benefits of the ERP. In most large Indian Retail Industry ERP systems have replaced nonintegrated information systems with integrated and maintainable software. Retail ERP solution integrates demand and supply effectively to help improve bottom line. The implementation of ERP systems in such firms is a difficult task. So far, ERP implementations have yielded more failures than successes. Very few implementation failures are recorded in the literature because few companies wish to publicize their implementation failure. This paper explores and validates the existing literature empirically to find out the critical success factors that lead to the success of ERP in context to Indian retail industry. The findings of the results provide valuable insights for the researchers and practitioners who are interested in implementing Enterprise Resource Planning systems in retail industry, how best they can utilize their limited resources and to pay adequate attention to those factors that are most likely to have an impact upon the implementation of the ERP system.
Enterprise resource Planning (ERP) has become a key business driver in today’s world. Retailers are also trying to reap in the benefits of the ERP. In most large Indian Retail Industry ERP systems have replaced nonintegrated information systems with integrated and maintainable software. Retail ERP solution integrates demand and supply effectively to help improve bottom line. The implementation of ERP systems in such firms is a difficult task. So far, ERP implementations have yielded more failures than successes. Very few implementation failures are recorded in the literature because few companies wish to publicize their implementation failure. This paper explores and validates the existing literature empirically to find out the critical success factors that lead to the success of ERP in context to Indian retail industry. The findings of the results provide valuable insights for the researchers and practitioners who are interested in implementing Enterprise Resource Planning systems in retail industry, how best they can utilize their limited resources and to pay adequate attention to those factors that are most likely to have an impact upon the implementation of the ERP system.

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(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 8, No. 2, 2010
Critical Success factors for Enterprise Resource Planningimplementation in Indian Retail Industry: An Exploratory study
Poonam Garg
Professor, Information Technology and Management Dept.Institute of Management TechnologyGhaziabad-India
 Abstract
Enterprise resource Planning (ERP) has become akey business driver in today’s world. Retailers are also tryingto reap in the benefits of the ERP. In most large Indian RetailIndustry ERP systems have replaced nonintegratedinformation systems with integrated and maintainablesoftware. Retail ERP solution integrates demand and supplyeffectively to help improve bottom line. The implementationof ERP systems in such firms is a difficult task. So far, ERPimplementations have yielded more failures than successes.Very few implementation failures are recorded in the literaturebecause few companies wish to publicize their implementationfailure. This paper explores and validates the existingliterature empirically to find out the critical success factorsthat lead to the success of ERP in context to Indian retailindustry. The findings of the results provide valuable insightsfor the researchers and practitioners who are interested inimplementing Enterprise Resource Planning systems in retailindustry, how best they can utilize their limited resources andto pay adequate attention to those factors that are most likelyto have an impact upon the implementation of the ERPsystem.
 Keywords:
 Enterprise Resource Planning, Retail, CSF 
 
I.
 
I
NTRODUCTION
An ERP system may be defined as a packaged businesssoftware system that enables a company to manage theefficient and effective use of resources (materials, humanresources, finance, etc.) by providing an integrated solution forthe organization's information processing needs (Nah
et al.
,2001). ERP systems provide firms with two new and differenttypes of functionality: a transaction processing function,allowing for the integrated management of data throughout theentire company, and a workflow management functioncontrolling the numerous process flows within the company.ERP facilitates the flow of information between all theprocesses in an organization. ERP systems can also be aninstrument for transforming functional organizations intoprocess-oriented ones. When roperly integrated, ERP supportsprocess-oriented businesses effectively (Al-Mashari, 2000).Recently, several practitioners have stated that ERPimplementations have so far yielded more failures thansuccesses in large organization.Economic liberalization has brought about distinct changes inthe life of urban people in India. A higher income groupmiddle class is emerging in the Indian society. Demographicchanges have also made palpable changes in social culture andlifestyle . In this environment Indian Retail Industry iswitnessing rapid growth . AT Kearney has ranked India asfifth in terms of Retail attractiveness. Indian Retail Industry isthe largest employer after Agriculture (around 8% of thepopulation) and it has the highest outlet density in the worldhowever this industry is still in a very nascent stage. Thewhole market is mostly unorganized and it is dominated byfragmented Kirana stores. A poor, supply chain and backwardintegration has weakened the whole process. A McKinseyreport on India says organized retailing would increase theefficiency and productivity of entire gamut of economicactivities, and would help in achieving higher GDP growth.Enterprise resource Planning has become a key business driverin today’s world. Retailers are also trying to reap in thebenefits of the technology. Enterprise Resource Planning-ERPis, essentially, an integrated software solution used to managea company's resources. Retailers are using ERP for productplanning, parts purchasing, maintaining inventories,interacting with suppliers, providing customer service, andtracking orders. With ERP, retailers can save money inmaintaining inventory, reduce the respondent time to themarketing demand, and get competence. More and moreenterprises in the world are using it since its initial adoption.A typical ERP implementation in a large retail industry takesbetween one and three years to complete and costs laks tocrores. For these reasons, there is an urgent need to understandthe underlying critical success factors that lead to thesuccessful ERP implementations in such firms.This paper is organized as follows. Section 2 describes thereview of the literature on CSF of ERP implementation incontext to retail industry. The third section and forth section of the paper describes the research objective and methodologyadopted for this paper. The fifth section elaborates on the
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(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 8, No. 2, 2010
finding and describes the factors that play a role in success of ERP implementation in Retail industry. The last section drawssome conclusion.II.
 
C
ONSTRUCTS FROM
L
ITERATURE REVIEW
Past studies have identified a variety of CSFs for ERPimplementation, among which context related factorsconsistently appear. Some top CSFs which can be foundfrequently in literatures are including: well communicated topmanagement commitment, "Best People" on team, "can-do"team attitude, other departments participation, clear goals andobjectives, project management, reasonable expectations,project champion, vendor support, careful package selection,cooperation between enterprise and software company, Usertraining and education, steering committee, strong vendoralliances, Effective communication, organizational size andstructure, High Priority in company, Middle managementcommitment, Rapid, iterative prototyping to build knowledge,Initial " No modification" strategy, tight control on proposedmodification, "seasoned", experienced consulting support, topmanagement involvement etc. These factors have been foundrelevant as reported in some of the earlier studies.In order to adopt a suitable research methodology, Followingare the commonly identified CSFs identified by severalresearchers.ERP teamwork and composition is important throughout theERP life cycle. The ERP team should consist of the bestpeople in the organization (Buckhout et al., 1999; Bingi et al.,1999; Rosario, 2000; Wee, 2000). Building a cross-functionalteam is also critical. The team should have a mix of consultants and internal staff so the internal staff can developthe necessary technical skills for design and implementation(Sumner, 1999). Both business and technical knowledge areessential for success (Bingi et al., 1999; Sumner, 1999). TheERP project should be their top and only priority (Wee, 2000).As far as possible, the team should be co-located together at anassigned location to facilitate working together (Wee, 2000).The team should be familiar with the business functions andproducts so they know what needs to be done to support majorbusiness processes (Rosario, 2000). The sharing of information within the company, particularly between theimplementation partners, and between partnering companies isvital and requires partnership trust (Stefanou, 1999).Partnerships should be managed with regularly scheduledmeetings. Incentives and risk-sharing agreements will aid inworking together to achieve a similar goal (Wee, 2000). Topmanagement support is needed throughout theimplementation. The project must receive approval from topmanagement (Bingi, 1999; Buckhout, 1999; Sumner, 1999)and align with strategic business goals (Sumner, 1999).Top management needs to publicly and explicitly identify theproject as a top priority (Wee, 2000). Senior managementmust be committed with its own involvement and willingnessto allocate valuable resources to the implementation effort(Holland et al., 1999). Policies should be set by topmanagement to establish new systems in the company.Business plan and vision Additionally, a clear business planand vision to steer the direction of the project is neededthroughout the ERP life cycle (Buckhout et al., 1999). Thereshould be a clear business model of how the organizationshould operate behind the implementation effort (Holland etal., 1999 ), Project mission should be related to business needsand should be clearly stated (Roberts and Barrar, 1992). Goalsand benefits should be identified and tracked (Holland et al.,1999). The business plan would make work easier and impacton work (Rosario, 2000). Effective communication is criticalto ERP implementation (Falkowski et al., 1998). Expectationsat every level need to be communicated. Management of communication, education and expectations are criticalthroughout the organization (Wee, 2000). Communicationincludes the formal promotion of project teams and theadvertisement of project progress to the rest of theorganization (Holland et al., 1999). Middle managers need tocommunicate its importance (Wee, 2000). Good projectmanagement is essential. An individual or group of peopleshould be given responsibility to drive success in projectmanagement (Rosario, 2000). First, scope should beestablished (Rosario, 2000; Holland et al., 1999) andcontrolled (Rosario, 2000). The scope must be clearly definedand be limited. This includes the amount of the systemsimplemented, involvement of business units, and amount of business process reengineering needed. Any proposed changesshould be evaluated against business benefits and, as far aspossible, implemented at a later phase (Sumner, 1999; Wee,2000). Additionally, scope expansion requests need to beassessed in terms of the additional time and cost of proposedchanges (Sumner, 1999). Then the project must be formallydefined in terms of its milestones (Holland et al., 1999). Thecritical paths of the project should be determined. Timelinessof project and the forcing of timely decisions should bemanaged (Rosario, 2000). Deadlines should be met to helpstay within the schedule and budget and to maintain credibility(Wee, 2000). Project management should be disciplined withcoordinated training and active human resource departmentinvolvement (Falkowski et al., 1998). Additionally, thereshould be planning of well-defined tasks and accurateestimation of required effort. The escalation of issues andconflicts should bemanaged (Rosario, 2000). Delivering earlymeasures of success is important (Wee, 2000). Rapid,successive and contained deliverables are critical. A focus onresults and constant tracking of schedules and budgets againsttargets are also important (Wee, 2000). Employees should betold in advance the scope, objectives, activities and updates,and admit change will occur (Sumner, 1999). Project sponsorcommitment is critical to drive consensus and to oversee theentire life cycle of implementation (Rosario, 2000). Someoneshould be placed in charge and the project leader should``champion'' the project throughout the organization (Sumner,1999). There should be a high level executive sponsor whohas the power to set goals and legitimize change (Falkowski et
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(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 8, No. 2, 2010
al., 1998). Sumner (1999) states that a business leader shouldbe in charge so there is a business perspective.Transformational leadership is critical to success as well. Theleader must continually strive to resolve conflicts and manageresistance. Change management is important, starting at theproject phase and continuing throughout the entire life cycle.Enterprise wide culture and structure change should bemanaged (Falkowski et al., 1998), which include people,organization and culture change (Rosario, 2000). A culturewith shared values and common aims is conducive to success.Organizations should have a strong corporate identity that isopen to change. An emphasis on quality, a strong computingability, and a strong willingness to accept new technologywould aid in implementation efforts. Management should alsohave a strong commitment to use the system for achievingbusiness aims (Roberts and Barrar, 1992). Users must betrained, and concerns must be addressed through regularcommunication, working with change agents, leveragingcorporate culture and identifying job aids for different users(Rosario, 2000). As part of the change management efforts,users should be involved in design and implementation of business processes and the ERP system, and formal educationand training should be provided to help them do so (Bingi etal., 1999; Holland et al., 1999). Education should be a priorityfrom the beginning of the project, and money and time shouldbe spent on various forms of education and training (Robertsand Barrar, 1992). Training, reskilling and professionaldevelopment of the IT workforce is critical. User trainingshould be emphasized, with heavy investment in training andreskilling of developers in software design and methodology(Sumner, 1999). Employees need training to understand howthe system will change business processes. There should beextra training and on-site support for staff as well as managersduring implementation. A support organization (e.g. help desk,online user manual) is also critical to meet users' needs afterinstallation (Wee, 2000). Another important factor that beginsat the project phase is BPR and minimum customization. It isinevitable that business processes are molded to fit the newsystem (Bingi et al., 1999). Aligning the business process tothe software implementation is critical (Holland et al., 1999;Sumner, 1999). Organizations should be willing to change thebusiness to fit the software with minimal customization(Holland et al., 1999; Roberts and Barrar, 1992). Softwareshould not be modified, as far as possible (Sumner, 1999).Modifications should be avoided to reduce errors and to takeadvantage of newer versions and releases (Rosario, 2000).Process modeling tools help aid customizing businessprocesses without changing software code (Holland et al.,1999). Broad reengineering should begin before choosing asystem. In conjunction with configuration, a large amount of reengineering should take place iteratively to take advantageof improvements from the new system. Then when the systemis in use reengineering should be carried out with new ideas(Wee, 2000). Quality of business process review and redesignis important (Rosario,2000). In choosing the package, vendorsupport and the number of previous implementers should betaken into account (Roberts and Barrar, 1992). Softwaredevelopment, testing and troubleshooting is essential,beginning in the project phase. The overall ERP architectureshould be established before deployment, taking into accountthe most important requirements of the implementation. Thisprevents reconfiguration at every stage of implementation(Wee, 2000). There is a choice to be made on the level of functionality and approach to link the system to legacysystems. In addition, to best meet business needs, companiesmay integrate other specialized software products with theERP suite. Interfaces for commercial software applications orlegacy systems may need to be developed in-house if they arenot available in the market (Bingi et al., 1999).Troubleshooting errors is critical (Holland et al., 1999). Theorganization implementing ERP should work well withvendors and consultants to resolve software problems. Quick response, patience, perseverance, problem solving andfirefighting capabilities are important (Rosario, 2000).Vigorous and sophisticated software testing easesimplementation (Rosario, 2000). (Scheer and Habermann,2000) indicate that modeling methods, architecture and toolsare critical. Requirements definition can be created and systemrequirements definition can be documented. There should be aplan for migrating and cleaning up data (Rosario, 2000).Proper tools and techniques and skill to use those tools will aidin ERP success (Rosario, 2000).III.
 
O
BJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
 The objective of this paper is identify and validate the criticalsuccess factors empirically for ensuring successfulimplementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)packages in context to retail industry in India.IV.
 
R
ESEARCH
M
ETHODOLOGY
 The research process involved the following steps. First, aliterature review was undertaken to identify what parametersto consider in research. It outlines the previous research andcritical success factors for ERP implementation in retailindustry were studied. Second, questionnaire was constructedand it was piloted. Last in depth interviews were held (withfirm which have implemented ERP) to establish the evaluationcriteria and factors were identified which result in Criticalfactors for ERP implementation in retail industry.Reviewing the existing literature in ERP, we find out that 51success factors have been recognized and studied. Furtherinvestigation revealed that 22 success factors were morefrequently mentioned and studied in the previous research.The questionnaire which was developed for this research wasbased on these 22 CSF and the scaled used was a 5 LevelLikert Scale. To ensure data validity and reliability of thesurvey instrument, an iterative process of personal interviewwith eight knowledgeable individuals (i.e. two IS faculty, twoERP supplier, two ERP consultant and two managerial leveluser) were conducted to modify the questionnaire before
360http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500

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