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28th Feb'09, 10:00 Hours Ten days before Holi one of my contractors submitted his AMC bill for the 3rd quarter. He requested me , 'Sir , please get the bill passed before Holi, I have to make payment for my labors'. I make the mental calculation and found that the time is sufficient. If I forward the bill today, Sh Nadkerni , Sh Venka and Sh Ravi if take all the time the bill will be paid at least by 7th March. For an ERP driven system 7 days are too much for a bill to pay. So I forwarded the bill with the service-entry-sheet & the parked-invoice number marked boldly on my payment note sheet. I also got the bill signed by my boss and delivered to the table of Sh Nadkerni in next one hour time. 1st March - 5th March. I had to be at Nagapattam for organizing a VVIP visit. After the visit I came back on 6th March. I almost forgot the bill until my Vendor Sh Tilak reminded me about it. 6th March I talked to Sh Nadkerni for the payment of the bill. He said that he would take another day as he was busy for the internal audit. I requested him as it only takes
couple of minutes for making the voucher. He accepted that of course it takes couple of minutes but before that he has to examine all the documents. My foot !. Documents !. It's only a one page bill of 10 lines and my 5 lines payment note sheet. For that he needs a full day to examine. 7th March 3 PM I talked to Sh Nadkerni for the bill. He said that he has made the voucher, Now Sh Venka and Sh Ravi to follow up. Both of them I meet and as per their assessment the bill won’t be paid before another two days as both of them were busy in internal audit. Now they have to check up all the pending bills, enter them in the ERP , and then only the payment can be made. I asked if the ERP was going to take all these two days ? The answer was negative. The two days time was for checking , entering in all the manual books of account, creating tallies etc. In fact the ERP is the extra burden for them. After doing everything on books they have to enter in the ERP again and that ‘extra’ will cost one full day. It is quite a number of screens they have to update in ERP….. I was amazed to see that besides having a full blown ERP system they are still maintaining manual books. I talked to the HOD , finance department. As per him this was only the start up glitch, with passage of time this would be ironed out. I reminded him that it was
more than a year the ERP was rolled out in his department.
He knew that I was not satisfied. I pursued with the corporate centre but alas ! there also the same system is continuing , especially in the bill payment part. I told Sh Tilak to collect his cheque on 9th . I also gave his number to Sh Venka to call him as soon as the cheque gets ready. Later I came to know that his cheque was handed over on 8th evening. ERP is integration, It increases visibility and speed. If works properly, it will increase bottom line impact. Like the errors in manual bill preparation is completely eradicated. You can judiciously set the time so that the money stays in the bank till the end of accounting period to get full interest yet make your customer satisfied. But the way it is operating , it creates reverse effect. ERP is supposed to reduces the usage of paper but I find the same old practice of supplementing the bills by manual printout is continuing everywhere. The ERP has come but the old standards are continuing. Unless these old rules and standards are changed the actual benefit is not going to achieve. I remember 15 years back when we first rolled out the on line MMS package in our plants, people used to continue with the manual work order book despite
repeated reminders by management to them until one day the general managers of the plants went to the unit control rooms and took away all the manual workorder-books with him. The next day all the stations were on the MMS package. Take one more example….. Twenty five years back when we had only type writers then for making a 20 copy letter we could happily wait for one hour in front of the PA’s desk. But today with the omniscient computer and printer can you have the same one hour patience? No way. The typewriter was a limitation that day. Today the limitation is removed and with that you have also changed the standard. Today you demand the same 20 copy letter to be ready in not more than 10 minutes time. But in case of ERP we have forgotten to change the standards and rules. We are working at the typewriter style. We need to do something. Let's talk to the boss… [all the characters are imaginary] S. Bera Mumbai