Where there are high levels of resistance from the employees, it is also necessary to provide behavioural and psychological support in order to ensure that the necessary buy in from the employees and other stakeholders is given and that the implementation of the system is successful. For example, the employees may be trained in order to update their skills in line with the demands and new skill levels required by the systems.
Since some systems lead to employee redundancy, employees likely to be laid off should be given support such as life skills training and attractive severance pay in order to reduce their level of resistance to the implementation of the systems (Ngai, Cheng and Ho, 2004). With the implementation of supply chain systems that involve the use of internet technologies, another critical success factor to the implementation of the system is the resolution of security risks that such technologies expose the company to.
To ensure that systems are successfully implemented therefore, the authors state that a high level of data security must be provided (Ngai, Cheng and Ho, 2004). The other essential must-have is that training and education. In order to ensure that the system is successfully implemented, end users have to be given adequate training and education on how the system operates. This allows the organization to be able to reap the full benefits of the system (Ngai, Cheng and Ho, 2004).
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Where the systems involve some degree of automation, Ngai, Cheng and Ho (2004) also write that it is essential that the software and hardware used have the highest degree of technical reliability possible (Ngai, Cheng and Ho, 2004). Ramayah et al (2007) have carried out a study that sought to identify critical success factors that affect the implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems in Malaysian organizations.
Like Jing and Qiu (2007), Ramayah et al found that resistance to the introduction of new systems is often the main drawback to successful supply chain management according to Ramayah et al (2007), while resistance plays a significant role in reducing the effectiveness of the implementation of supply chain management systems, various techniques (or CSFs) can be used to reduce this resistance and guarantee the successful implementation of the systems.
These include ensuring that the top management of the organization are involved in the project and committed to it, and that effective communication about what the change is and why it is necessary must be made to all the stakeholders. Additionally, Ramayah et al (2007) state that a vision for the change which the new systems will introduce has to be established. It is also essential to enlist the support of the vendors who supply the systems.
Other critical success factors identified by Ramayah et al (2007) include enlisting high levels of teamwork and cooperation, putting in place a change management team that must comprise of people with the right skills and commitment from different organizational areas. Additionally, for the system to be successfully implemented, the implementation has to involve all the affected stakeholders and draw upon the participation of each one of them.
Hua, Hua and Heng (2006) studied systems implementations at two organizations in China: Cisco and Xiao Tong. , at which they evaluated the critical success factors that helped facilitate effective implementation of systems at the two organizations. They identify seven critical success factors that are essential if the implementation of the supply chain management systems is to be successful.
These include having a vision that is shared by all the members of the organization, with other CSF’s including “intensive stimulation, shared vision, cross-organizational implementation team, high integration with internal information systems, inter-organizational business process re-engineering, advanced legacy information system and infrastructure and shared industry standard” (Hua, Hua and Heng, 2006, p. 401). Bhatti (2005) examines critical success factors that affect the successful implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.
For ERP systems implementation to be successful, he argues that the organization must modify its business model to suit the ERP system. Bhatti (2005) also states that offering training and education to end users of the ERP system is also essential to ensuring its successful implementation. Additionally, good project management, which involves the effective coordination and control of activities necessary to achieve the identified objectives, is essential to the success of the project.
For an ERP system to be effectively implemented, Bhatti (2005) also states that the right hardware and networking infrastructure must be present if the implementation of the ERP system has to be successful. Effective change management practices which help minimize resistance to the implementation of the systems also has to be present. Additionally, risk management, which involves forecasting likely unplanned events that may adversely affect the implementation of the system and handling them when they occur, is essential to the successful implementation of the ERP system (Bhatti, 2005).
Yet another factor which Bhatti (2005) identifies as critical to the successful implementation of ERP systems is top management support. Management needs to provide leadership, as well as all the requisite resources. The provision of effective communication is also critical to the successful implementation of supply chain management systems. Communication is essential because it helps enlist the support and approval necessary to implement the systems. it helps explain the nature of the new system and the rationale for its implementation (Bhatti, 2005).
For the ERP system to be successfully implemented, the team behind its implementation must also draw on the involvement and participation of members from all the departments and functional areas of the business. Bhatii (2005, p. 5) writes that “The ERP team should be balanced, or cross functional and comprise a mix of external consultants and internal staff so the internal staff can develop the necessary technical skills for design and ERP implementation.
” User involvement is the other essential factor that has to be present for the system’s implementation to be successful, with the use of both internal and external experts being necessary to drive forward the system’s implementation (Bhatti, 2005).
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