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ERP for the leasing industry

TotalSoft is fully aware that, from hardware and software implementation to support services, the investments in ERP projects are significant. If deadlines slip or the ERP system does not function as intended, it can quickly derail business decision-making, productivity and profitability.

Leasing companies are often under great pressure to complete ERP projects based on tight schedules and budgets, so missteps often occur. This can lead to costly problems during the implementation process, which can persist long after go-live.
We present below some of the problems that the leasing industry companies usually have, problems which can be solved by a proper implementation of software:
  • End-to-end, multi-currency, multi-language, multi-country application;
  • Fully integrated system with all activities in the same database without transfer;
  • Achievement of all activities required in a lease or finance company;
  • Contract change management, with fully preserving history;
  • High configurability for managing customer-specific requirements;
  • Parallel accounting systems, multiple, adaptable to any country.
From our experience, the critical pain points for ERP implementations in the Leasing sector are:
ERP software misfit
Due to poor ERP selection and evaluation process, ERP software can be found to be ill-fitting with the business requirements. For instance, if the ERP software is not in compliance with the legislative environment, the leasing companies will not be able to provide its users activities with the right legal framework.
High turnover rate of project team members
If the project team members suffer from high work stress and workload when coping with the implementation, some member teams may resign from their job, which means insufficient ERP knowledge and skill transfer among project teams during the ERP implementation life cycle. In the end, users and project team members will have insufficient ERP knowledge for performing their daily tasks when using the ERP system.
Over-reliance on heavy customization
Due to software mismatch, heavy customization will be required in the areas of program
customization and report customization. Customization could cause project delays, overspent budget and an unreliable system (due to poor quality of customization, unresolved system bugs and insufficient testing). Customizing the ERP to fit with specific leasing business processes might lead to sacrificing "best practices" embedded in the ERP system.
Poor consultant effectiveness
Some of the consultants can be considered to be inexperienced with ERP systems and unable to provide a professional level of advice on EPR project planning.
Consultants that communicate ineffectively during the project phase and just suggest workarounds without applying professional skills to conduct BPR (Business Process Reengineering) to bridge the gap between ERP systems and business processes are considered inefficient.
Poor IT infrastructure
If the top management has insufficient financial resource provided for the implementation process, then a low performance IT infrastructure hardware will be proposed by the consultants and project manager (so as) to reduce the costs of ERP implementation. The poor IT infrastructure will most probably lead to a slow processing capability of the ERP system.
Poor knowledge transfer
Inexperienced consultants that are not aware about the specificity of the leasing industry and try to practice during training sessions will not deliver professional ERP training to the users. Also, if the training material is not written properly, all the information will be found to be too brief and unhelpful.
Poor project management effectiveness
If there is limited ERP knowledge, capability and poor project management skills, the ERP project will be considered to be challenging and demanding, as it involves managing systems, people (project team, users and external consultant) as well as re-designing business processes. It is important for the project manager to effectively manage the consultants, for example, in evaluating their communication and training performance, when conducting BPR (Business Process Reengineering), and when testing the system performance.
Poor quality of Business Process Reengineering (BPR)
It is also possible that some of the project team members to have an unclear vision of
why or how to conduct BPR because their consultants provided unprofessional advice for conducting BPR. It will be difficult for project team members to collaborate and contribute to BPR, and the poor quality of BPR will lead to incorrect system configuration problems. If the business processes are not successfully reengineered to fit with the ERP systems, and the project teams are not ready for the adaptation of new business processes, they will not have the mindset for implementing or using the ERP system.
Moreover, during the BPR process, if the consultants will not conduct mapping analysis to map the software functionalities with business requirements, this will lead to a mismatch between ERP and business processes.
Poor quality of testing
An over-tight project schedule and an insufficient knowledge in testing ERP systems, will conduct in a rush and low quality. The ERP testing result is an indicator for revealing the readiness of the ERP system to “go live” (from the perspectives of examining IT infrastructure capacity, correct configuration of ERP system, if people - including users and project team - were equipped with sufficient knowledge and skills, and data was of good quality).
Poor top management support
Top management is expected to provide support in the areas of committing to the ERP project, sufficient financial and human resource, and the resolution of political problems if necessary. Limited financial support will contribute to a rushed ERP implementation process, project team members will be overloaded and high staff turnover rate, ineffective knowledge transfer, and political problems will occurred. Insufficient commitment will lead to political problems which will hinder the implementation process (causing poor BPR, widespread user resistance to change and low user satisfaction).
Too tight project schedule
If the top management and the project manager will like to reduce the budget of the ERP project and they will set the project schedule too tight, the implementation activities will be conducted in a rush (e.g., project planning, BPR, training, testing and so on) in order to meet the project deadline. The project team and users will overload the system.
Unclear concept of the nature and use of ERP system from the users’ perspective
Due to poor quality of training and insufficient education delivered by the top management and project team, users will not have a given clear idea of the nature and use of the ERP system. Conclusions: they will not understand the rationale for implementing the ERP system or the process of implementation and they will not be prepared for the implementation, they will take resistance to change, which will lead to political problems, poor quality of BPR and a resistance to using the system.
Unrealistic expectations from top management concerning the ERP System
If top management will assume that the ERP implementation will provide great solutions without considering the complexity of the ERP system, this will lead to possible implementation process complications and associated risks. This gave the whole project team and users unrealistic expectations. This misconception will lead to superficial project planning and an underestimation of budget and resource allocation, and will result in failure of ERP implementation from a project management perspective.


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