G-MHW50WK6Q8 Pages – eBodhisathva Solutions

ERP Selection Process – Venkat Manthri

Enterprise Resource Planning applications revolutionized the way Organizations function with high level of collaboration among different Departments/Functions. The integrated view offered by ERP allowed organizations to streamline their internal processes and plan more empowerment at different levels with complete control on the overall framework planned.

Considering the extent of coverage ERP applications provide and capability to process multiple transactions in parallel, ERP applications are very complex to understand and adopt.

Organizations generally initiate ERP Adoption when they are on growth path and it makes the selection process further complex.

ERP Adoption is a very difficult decision for the organizations considering the complexities associated with it –

– It costs huge sum of money to acquire, implement and maintain these applications

– Since it covers all departments of the Organization, it is very difficult to make assessment of fitment of appropriate application

– It increases transparency and fixes responsibility that many people may not like

– It democratizes the knowledge across the organization which may meet with some resistance

Considering various challenges, ERP Selection needs a systematic approach where all possible challenges are addressed and most suited application is selected.

This course is to demystify the ERP selection process for Strategy Consultants, Organizational Decision Drivers such as CIOs, IT Heads, Solution Architects and so on and the Decision Makers for ERP Adoption.

In case you like the Introduction Video and want to enroll, use this URL for special price from UDEMY. https://www.udemy.com/course/erp-selection-process/?referralCode=316F67BACF76CD29004B

Application Health Check – Venkat Manthripragada

Application Health Check

By Venkat Manthripragada

Measure the benefits of complex mission critical packaged Enterprise Applications is a complex task. Organizations often look at intangible benefits or joining the bandwagon of the peers while making the decision of implementing a Packaged Enterprise Application are missing the critical factors to be focused for maximizing the value of the Applications. The new generation CIOs and CTOs challenged by the value addition from their divisions are critically reviewing the applications implemented and realizing that the value of the application is not maximized owing to some unknown reasons. Over focusing on Change Management which was traditionally termed as a major reason for failure of packaged Enterprise Application Implementation is not true any longer because new knowledge workforce is more tuned to change than its previous generation.

To confirm the gut feeling of not maximizing the value and establish the key reasons for such a gut feel, Organizations should look at employ an independent expert group to conduct a Health Check of the application and bring up the issues associated with the way the application has been deployed or being used.

Why Health Check

Application Health Check
Application Health Check.

Packaged Applications deployment for business is a comprehensive and complex exercise. Making the pre developed application fitting to the requirements of a typical business environment will lead to multiple deviations plugged by either customizations or by work around solutions.

As the modern business environments are highly dynamic and the pressures of new global model of business keeps forcing the businesses to change the way the business is conducted, new business processes keeps emerging continuously. Existing business processes will become redundant because of new process or new technology emerging to bring in huge value and savings. In those conditions, packaged applications deployed sometime ago considering the business environment of that time may consist of some redundant and outdated processes.

As the pre developed packaged application used by an enterprise for conducting its day to day business, huge amount of deviation can creep in. End users of packaged applications deployed at a customer location will not align to the new process fully and will take deviations. They however will keep the requirements of MIS in view while deviating from the process.

In some of the cases the implementation partner may not deploy the best of the breed consultants to implement the product leading to redundancy, work around solutions and pieces of processes will be left disjoint leading to business processes to be executed outside the packaged processes. There is also a possibility of not exploring the capabilities of the packaged applications.

All the factors of disjoint processes resulted either because of poor implementation or because of persistent deviations from processes will lead to consuming more resources and de-motivate the workforce who normally expect streamlined business execution post implementation. This will lead to a negative return on investment for the company.

When you as a CTO/CIO/CEO/CFO started believing that the implementation of packaged application – be it any ERP product such as Oracle, SAP or PeopleSoft or a Banking Software such as Finacle or Flexcube or a Learning Management System such as OLM, Saba or SumTotal or CRM applications such as Siebel – is not giving you the expected return on investment and not smoothening the business processes or resulting into value add for your business, it is time for a health check. The packaged application deployed with certain goals in mind should be cross checked for the reasons for not meeting the goals.

Application Health Check is one sure way to assess the value of an application deployed at your business and bring up measures that can bring up value back into your business.

This article will briefly discuss about the intended value of an Application Health Check and the Methodology of conducting the health check. This document will be useful as a primer to understand the value and methodology and can be used as a high level guideline while choosing a partner to conduct the Health Check. Various points discussed in the article should be applied basing on the type of the application such as ERP or CRM and the context in which Health Check may be envisaged.

Key benefits

Packaged Application Health Check is a third party audit of the current configuration of the application and matches the same with the required configuration basing on the new business models emerging over a period of time. Application Health Check will bring the following key benefits –

      • Supporting the Evolving Business Requirements

As the business environments are highly dynamic and business processes keep evolving with time because of social changes and technology development, some of the configured processes will become redundant. There may be a lot of new business processes emerging because of new global business models emerging involving huge outsourcing efforts in various business areas. Packaged applications are highly flexible and it is possible to eliminate the redundancy and configure new processes if a conscious and synchronized exercise of assessing the same takes place with the help of a group that can view the application objectively and apply some lateral thinking.

      • Leveraging the Application fully

When an enterprise plans deployment of a packaged application, a usual step is to identify the key business processes that have to be automated to reap the maximum benefits. This will lead to ignoring other features which appears like a part of the minor features. Such features may become frontline issues leading to severe breakdown of business processes. Application Health Check can establish such cases easily and support leveraging the available features of a packaged application.

      • Leveraging the Application Evolution

Business Applications follow an evolutionary path with new features and technology continuously upgraded into future versions. Once a version of a packaged application gets deployed, installation of service packs or upgrading to next possible versions are not the easiest of the options considering the effort and investment. The teams believe that if we have 80% coverage we are doing fine but may be if a correct assessment take place we may realize that the loss because of dysfunctions in the applications may be higher than the cost involved in installing a service pack or upgrade to the newer version. Application Health Check will give the opportunity for such assessment. If we look at say the work around solutions designed at the time of implementation of the application because of non availability of a feature or a feature not completely supported we may realize that majority of dysfunctions of the applications are located here only and because of completion of features or availability of new features we can eliminate some of the workaround solutions leading to improvement in productivity.

      • Streamlining Reporting

Reporting is one area that requires maintenance continuously throughout the lifecycle of a packaged application. With dynamic changes in management in business, the reporting requirements keep changing. If not a new report required each manager may like to see the reports in the way easy for him/her to interpret easily. Some of such issues may be handled with the help of specific reporting tools attached to the packaged applications such as Crystal Reports. A majority of the emerging requirements relates to redefining the whole structure. Because the application cannot be changed continuously for emerging reporting requirements the users may resort to use the system to bring up a basic report and dump the result into any easily editable application such as Excel and keep sending the MIS reports from there. This leads to lower productivity. Application Health Check can establish cases where flexibility is required basing on the experience and suggest development of a few new reports. Change of configuration sometimes can help bringing up reports in required format.

      • Fitment to Organizational Dynamics

As enterprises emerge continuously and new addition of business lines or businesses themselves may come in, business processes keep changing dramatically. An organization with a certain set of business lines and number of employees will keep evolving dynamically with growth and will require new controls and processes. A mid size organization may prefer to centralize the Purchasing function which may require new process mapping and approval cycles. Continuous updating of Workflow with the dynamics is required.

      • Support for future application deployment

If the feelers of utilization of the application is maximized it is important to conduct a health check. If there is a plan to deploy more features of the applications, Health Check will be a good starting point. Health check establishes the new features required for new business processes.


Application Health Check should be conducted with an Objective view of the system and preferably by an independent partner to establish the gaps and find remedies for maximizing the application value for the enterprise.

A systematic seven step approach will help in conducting the Application Health Check and bring up a report.

Step 1Assess the existing Application Deployment

Before conducting the health check it is important to understand the existing deployment model of the application. The current application business processes.

This study is more of a study through the artifacts generated during the implementation of the application such as As-Is scenarios at the time of implementation of the application, the expected business scenarios, Gap Analysis, Functional Design documents if there are customizations.

The technical architecture comprising of the structure of the instances used, server configurations, load balancing if used across a cluster of servers and so on should be studied.

Step 2Identify the Major Issues from User Perspective

After studying the documents created during implementation, discussions with the user groups that are using the application to assess their view of the current system, the difficulties, and bottlenecks and so on should be taken up.

Step 3Understand the typical business requirements

Understand the business requirements that were attempted to be mapped in to the packaged application with the help of key users, project managers and stakeholders to establish a business case.

Step 4Study the Application

The actual application deployment should be studied to understand how the application has been configured, how the workflows configured, what customizations were built, list of the issue tickets created ever since the application went live and the resolutions. This is through checking the application deployment on the clone of production instance of the application.

Step 5Identifying the Gaps

Compare the business requirements understood as a part of study with the current configurations to identify the gaps in the application. Also the comparison of the gaps with the features of next versions should take place.

The issues identified may relate to performance such as response times or execution time for a background or nightly scheduled process or running of planning engine or may relates to in efficient processes leading to consumption of higher physical resources than expected.

Step 6Prioritization

The list of gaps generated basing on study of the application deployment should be prioritized basing on criteria where urgent improvement areas should be highlighted. The prioritization depends on multiple factors such as business show stoppers or high business impact scenarios, budget required for making required corrections, time required to reach the desired results and so on.

Step 7Reporting and Recommendations

The issues from the current system identified basing on the Health Check conducted on the applications should be incorporated in the final Health Check report in a structured way showing business critical and easily solvable issues toping the list.

The recommendations may include suggestion of a small focused project for correcting the prioritized issues or installing a service pack or a patch set with functional corrections or even a suggestion towards upgrading the application to the next versions.


Application Health Check is a sure way to approach the decisions relating to

      • Maximizing the value of the applications implemented
      • Upgrading the applications from previous versions to current versions
      • Moving towards newer technologies to attain better value than on old technologies
      • Eliminate waste and redundancy in processes consuming more resources leading to loss of physical and human resources.

Health Check should be conducted by a highly experienced team that has experience across versions of the target applications and can interpret the functional and system related issues correctly.

Coaching in Knowledge Workplace – Venkat Manthripragada

Coaching in Knowledge Workplace

By Venkat Manthripragada

Unlike the skilled and unskilled manpower of yester years belonging to traditional industry, knowledge workers involved with the new age industries require more direction and guidance. With high knowledge and restlessness much higher than the yester year workers, knowledge workers take more managerial time if not properly coached and directed. This article touches some important aspects of coaching the knowledge workers.


Coaching and Mentoring in Knowledge workplace

The modern day workers are knowledge workers and are highly empowered.

They are as forceful as the river water; always find ways to direct their energies in directions that allow them to. Because of the dynamism and flexibility the knowledge workers may go in all directions which was not the case in case of skilled and unskilled workers of yester generations.

It is said that knowledge workers probably require more direction and guidance than skilled and unskilled workers of manufacturing era. Because they can see more world than what their predecessors could see, the opportunities to loose themselves into the wilderness are more.

Be it a research assignment, new product development, a short term engagement or a long term project, directing the workers is the only way to achieve even intended results. One of the effective ways of directing the high power knowledge workers is coaching.

Coaching in the knowledge environment

Coaching in the knowledge environment needs to be handled with a high degree of involvement from the coach who is normally the leader in charge. The leader may or may not hold a formal managerial position in the team to act as a coach. A senior member of the team with sufficient maturity can act as a coach in directing the energies of the team in to intended directions.

Modern day workers can be motivated, their energies can be directed and can be guided but these workers cannot be controlled by organizational barriers. It is important to motivate the employees to improve continuously. The knowledge workers possess inherent urge to learn and move up both from learning and organization perspectives. In the absence of proper direction, the learning can go into directions which may not be useful to the organization and can prove to be hindrances to achieve the target performances.

Why coaching

Coaching is a technique aimed not just to help the employees to achieve a specific intended goal. It should trigger a success which can engender another and instill the self confidence that leads to high levels of performance and productivity of all subsequent tasks. The employees under coaching should eventually transform themselves into high power dynamos to energize the rest of the workforce.

How to coach

Coaching is a leadership function that calls for directing and influencing skills of the leader. While coaching the leader in charge should follow some fundamental principles to influence the team under coaching. Some of the very basic principles of coaching are :

Taking responsibility

Being a coach involves taking responsibility. Coaching is an exercise taken up to impact and improve someone’s workplace behavior be it interpersonal behavior or executing assigned tasks.

The coach should take the responsibility of observing the team member under coaching, providing positive feedback without distracting the employee from the focus, keep providing the required inputs during the coaching period and rewarding the positive response.

Coaching requires complete attention and time of the leader and the commitment of the leader to act responsibly to direct the team members under coaching is the key factor for a successful coaching exercise.

The coach should be assertive enough to keep the focus on the intended results. Team members under coaching can offer justifications for a specific act/behavior pattern the leader is focusing and thus try to get away from going through the painful process of change.

Showing path

The leader who has taken the responsibility to coach an individual or team should show the path by walking the talk. The leader should resist temptations of following shortcuts while executing tasks because the team members under coaching look up to the leader to mould their personalities.

The leader if commits a mistake should accept the mistakes candidly. Any attempt of justification for a specific behavior can bring the leader’s position in the eyes of the team member down and the leader will loose the ability to influence the team members.

In the conditions of formal authority where the leader’s decision can impact a team member’s growth opportunities, the team may show patterns of following the leader’s advice but the intended results of coaching can be achieved only if the leader can exercise individual influence because of the strength of personality and principles.

Taking team’s advice

Often coaching exercises may not target entire team as such. Growing a team started fresh is different from coaching a team. Coaching often is required to motivate the team members to work towards a positive result when they are showing the behavior away from the goal.

In majority of the cases, leaders try to use their single heads to generate ideas to resolve team’s issues in turn wasting the most valuable asset – the good ideas of the team.

Often the ideas generated within the team results to be much simpler and close to the intended solution.

To generate good ideas from the team, it is important for the leader to show that the team’s opinion is valued and used. Also while taking ideas from the employees the

leader should use active listening skills – to listen, understand and respond. If the leader does not respond to a team member’s advice, the team may stop talking to the leader.

Two important issues while dealing with the ideas generated by the team are – leader’s ability to handle the ideas on their merits and tendency to assign the task to execute a specific idea to the person who came up with the suggestion.

Leader’s often try to interfere their own interpretations or small diversions to the ideas generated within the team and try to claim the credit of generating the ideas or innovating the basic common thought. This will de-motivate the team leading to new issues rather than resolving the existing issues.

It is also a general pattern to assign the task of executing a good idea to the same person who generates the idea. Generating idea is a different skill from executing the same. The act of assigning the idea back to the owner can lead to closing the team’s ability to generate good ideas.

Putting challenges

Coaching is a two level exercise. The coaching exercise should start at the team level and then focus on individual. The common direction for the team should be established at the group level and individual different should be observed to focus individual coaching.

To make the coaching effective, the team members should be challenged with some achievable results rather than just involving in motivational lectures. The motivational lectures often become idealistic leaving the team members bewildered about their fundamentals and action points required to reach the levels mentioned as a part of the motivational lecture.

It is important to put a challenge with clearly defined goal, provide necessary resources and the leader just need to stand back observing the team members emulating themselves to meet the challenge. If executed carefully, this can become a better learning exercise for the team than direct class room teaching or motivating lecture.

Reward the deserving

It is important to have a fair system of rewards for the team under coaching. When the team responds to the challenge, it should be rewarded. A fair system of rewards doesn’t mean that the rewards will even out over time. All workers must have an equal opportunity to compete for the reward, but the rewards must go to those who earn them. Rewarding the group evenly can impact the team’s cohesiveness and balance. It is important to establish the acceptable parameters transparently; the rewarded can be admired within the team resulting into a good balance of providing internal guidance within the team.

Coaching Individually

The actual coaching takes place in one on one session with each individual employee. The group level coaching direction through lectures and challenges will have individual impacts. Each of the team member takes the challenges at different levels depending their maturity and confidence. It is important to have one on one coaching sessions where the leader should bring out the topic directly, positively and honestly.

One on one session may involve review of individual performance or behavior patterns. How the leader is communicating with the team member in individual coaching session is as important as what is being said. The tone and eye contact are as important as the content itself. As much as possible, the coaching discussions should focus on the issues positively rather than touching individual limitations which can divert the team member from the topic leading to counter productive results.

When a leader is resorting to coaching, the key intention is to convert the team member into positive and more productive and these outcomes should be clearly communicated to the team member through the conversation and tone and body language play a vital role in establishing the same.

Keeping the focus on the subject

While designing the coaching for an individual or team, it is important to keep the purpose very clear and staying honest about the motives.

The discussion and questions during the coaching session should strictly be on the subject and on target. If the answers are straying off the point, the discussion should be refocused tactfully. Because the coaching deals with behavior patterns and improvements, it is highly probable to get emotional and divert the whole discussion and thus defeating the very purpose of the coaching.

Giving feedback

During the coaching period, the leader should keep regular contact with the team members. It is important to move around the team members motivating them. The leader should provide feedback to employees – especially the positive feedback which can energize the team to achieve the intended results faster.

The feedback provided to the team members should be honest, strait and objective. The team members should not become conscious about their capabilities or behavior patterns which will lead to developing defense mechanism. The response from the team members to coaching should always be positive.

Closing the Coaching Exercise

The coaching session at individual level should be closed formally with clear feedback to the employee about the whole exercise from the beginning of the coaching session to achieving intended results.

The coaching session should not be left incomplete else the whole effort will leave the team members confused about the intended direction.

Often one successful coaching session motivates the team members so much that they keep on working towards continuous improvement consciously similar to the coaching session concluded.

Supply Chain Planning and Execution Practice Questions (200)

eBodhisathva Solutions prepared the Practice Questions to help the certification aspirants to test their knowledge. The Questions are associated with answers and detailed explanations. These explanations not only provide the needed clarity on the topic. They in addition, provide a small scale notes on the topic. Many clarifications include discussions around the topic, complementary terms and subjects as well as relevant examples.

As an example, please look at the Question and the corresponding answer and explanation.


The Least Unit Cost (LUC) approach produces an irregular interval between replenishment orders on the basis of the number of weeks that will minimize unit cost. (True or False)

Answer: True


In Least cost per Unit (LCU) Lot sizing method the order size is determined such that the demand for the next few periods will be met, with average cost per unit at the minimum.

For each possible number of period, the ordering and carrying costs are computed to arrive at the possible average unit price. The number of periods for which you want to order is determined on the basis of for which number of periods the average unit price is the least.


For the visible demand, the cost per unit in 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks and 4 weeks will be computed. If the least unit price is estimated at 3 weeks period, the order size will be equal to requirements in the coming 3 weeks.

Because the order size is always determined based on number of periods of requirements (against which the average unit price is minimum), the ordering intervals keep changing.

This set of Practice questions helps students refresh their knowledge by checking their level of understanding in Manufacturing Planning and Execution. There are four kits with about 200 well designed Questions The intention of making one large kit covering the diverse topics is to create an experience close to one of the REAL exams.

The topics covered include Manufacturing, Forecasting, Planning (Production, Procurement and JIT) Logistics, Distribution Requirement Planning, Capacity Requirement planning, Inventory, Production activity Control, Quality, Order Promising and Customer Service.

  1. Manufacturing Planning and Execution set 1 ( 80 Questions)Majority of Questions in this set are from
    1. Shop Floor Management,
    2. Performance measurement,
    3. Planning (MPS, MRP & CRP) and
    4. Inventory
  2. Manufacturing Planning and Execution set 2 (40 Questions)Majority of Questions in this Set are from
    1. Just-in-Time and Inventory Management
  3. Manufacturing Planning and Execution set 3 (40 Questions)Majority of Questions in this Set are from
    1. Inventory lot sizing, Valuation, quality (obsolescence, Non-Conforming etc)
    2. Customer service, Safety stock and Safety Time, order Promising
    3. MRP (planned, open and Firm orders, Lead times, Planning etc)
    4. Shop Floor management (Throughput, I/O control, Capacity planning etc)
  4. Manufacturing Planning and Execution set 4 (40 Questions)

While the questions are based on the Production and Inventory Management concepts many questions are scenario based. And good number of questions has combination of multiple options as the right answer to enable the aspirants consolidate their understanding to the full extent. The answers are associated with explanation on the correct answer option and why other options are not correct or not relevant in the context of the Question. Some of the answers can be correct in relevance to the scenario and best among the answer options given.

Students will agree there was long and deep thought process while designing the questions to sharpen the concepts, consolidate the understanding of concepts as well as the platform to check the level of knowledge attained. We wish you the greatest success in enriching the knowledge and certification.

We wish a great success to all our enrolled students.

Disclaimer: We are providing the practice questions with intention to help the students test their knowledge in the space of Supply Chain and prepare for certifications relevant to this Subject. We are however not associated with any Certification Providers or their partners.

Best Practices of Inventory Management

Many times the industries look outward for improvements by focusing areas like increasing revenue and Delivery Performance. While they are definitely important, you also have a lot of improvements within control for improving the bottom-line.

Inventory management is one such key area.

I wanted to share best practices based on my experience. Because it is all coming from my experience, the narration may not be classic, professional or conceptualized. But still I believe they will be useful to the people who are in the field. And I also want to emphasize that not all is achievable just by implementing an ERP, Item scanners, Robotics and other such options. They all enhance your want, but only after the basics are followed.



Many times the industries look outward for improvements by focusing areas like increasing revenue and Delivery Performance. While they are definitely important, you also have a lot of improvements within control for improving the bottom-line.

Inventory management is one such key area.

I wanted to share best practices based on my experience. Because it is all coming from my experience, the narration may not be classic, professional or conceptualized. But still I believe they will be useful to the people who are in the field. And I also want to emphasize that not all is achievable just by implementing an ERP, Item scanners, Robotics and other such options. They all enhance your want, but only after the basics are followed.