Information technology (IT) has long been effectively applied in the operation of many enterprises across the world. It has helped businesses better manage their production and operational system.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software - an IT solution aimed at improving businesses’ visibility by connecting business processes and reducing costs - is a case in point. More and more Vietnamese businesses, either big, medium or small enterprises, are trying to apply this IT solution.
Many companies are currently using different application software for different departments and offices. Therefore executives often end up with fragmented data and processes. As a consequence, it becomes extremely difficult to collaborate and access information across different locations and processes. To achieve the greatest profitability, companies need to seamlessly connect all their business processes and ideally store all their information in one database so that executives can make appropriate final decisions.
Doctor Truong Gia Binh, chairman of the Vietnam Software Association, said that the ERP solution will help automate all business operations, thereby increasing their efficiency and competitiveness.
"Previously, the price of ERP solution was very high and only big corporations could afford it, Mr Binh elaborated. "However, nowadays even small- and- medium-sized enterprises, which are very typical in Vietnam, can have access to ERP."
"In Vietnam, through the FPT Corporation, for example, the ERP software can be adjusted and customised to suit the size, scale and business of each company with an average price of only US$50,000," Mr Binh added.
Businesses can gain a lot of benefits from the implementation of ERP. However, they should take into consideration four important issues while investing in the project, which are the technology, businesses processes, strategy and competitiveness.
"The first thing we need to do in implementing ERP is to keep top management involved because we need to have the commitment," Mr Binh said. "ERP is not a small package, therefore it is not only applied for one individual but also for the whole system. Hence, we need to select the right project measure, with which the process of the implementation would be properly exercised at the right time."
"After that we need to set up the cross-functional implementation teams, because different departments have different business processes, so if we focus on only one department we won’t be able to get all the information from different offices," he explained. "We also have to make sure that we match the strategy to the organization of the businesses. We need to motivate people to understand that strategy is everyone’s job from workers to top managers."
Vietnam’s economy is in the process of integration into the region and the world, therefore there will be fiercer competitions in the near future. Vietnamese businesses will face a lot of challenges and difficulties when trade protection barriers will be gradually removed as the country joins the World Trade Organisation (WTO). As a result, they need to quickly improve their business processes and management so that they can compete with those from other countries.
VOV - (21/09/2005)