Jul 14, 2013

How to create 120 Inventory Organizations in 3 hours...

As an ERP Consultant sometimes you do exceptional work without even being aware that you just pulled off a phenomenal feat.

One such incident happened to me when I was implementing finance and costing for a leading Jewellery manufacturer in India. Jewellery industry is perhaps the most complex industry to implement ERP. This industry has an 'Inverted Pyramid' bill of material with a few raw material producing upward of 200000 (and growing !) finished products. 

The sales are through franchises, both owned and outsourced. Due to the heavy demand of the product (gold), the winner in this game is one who has presence in many states, districts and villages of India. My customer had (at the time of implementation) about 120 Depots across India, which we had to configure as Inventory Organization in Oracle. 

There are two steps to configuring Inventory Organization in India. First is to configure the Base Application and second is to configure the India Localization Requirements. 

There is a set of about 50-60 information that one has to configure for each organization. It is a tedious process and takes about 30 minutes to configure each organization. We decided that we will configure all the 120 organizations in one sitting. We will have a team of about 20 people, few of whom were not familiar to Oracle, each configuring six organizations.

The team was identified and on the previous day, were shown a demo of how to create and organization in Oracle. We prepared a checklist for each organization and  we printed 120 copies of the checklist.

The process started at 9.00 AM on the appointed day. The twenty people were assembled in one room and each was given a PC with access to application. Each was given a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) document on how to navigate to the Inventory Organization Creation window in the application. We also created separate Logins for each user to track the performance of each user. 

The team got going and in about three hours 120 organizations were created in the Production System !!!

After creating the organization, I did a sanity check and found that in just two organizations (created by the same user) some configuration was missed out. The root cause was identified as an error in the checklist. The same was rectified.

120 Organizations created in three hours with an error percentage of less than 2%. Id dont know my Standard deviation, but it should probably fall within Six Sigma. 

When you see the haphazard way in which data get created and configured in many an implementation, I can't help but to remember that if only the work that is being done were planned thoroughly, much of the error could be avoided. 

It is not the time to crib. It is time to savor my achievement of creating 120 organizations in three hours with almost zero error...

Not a mean feat that....

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