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Selecting student information system system in Malaysia/Software Selection

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What is an student information system or Student Management System?

Student Information System, or Student Management System “SMS” for short, was targeted at schools and colleges, especially in Malaysia. Today, Student Management System has become an important software that can be used to improve productivity in any type of school. The “best Student Management System ” system is one which is most suitable for the school's size, budget and operations.

Although the term SMS has become more common today in Malaysia, there are still confusions over the purpose it serves and the extent of its capabilities. In addition to the common requirement of accounting and students management, trainer management, classroom management can be used to manage other functions such as human resources. It is highly customisable and can be scaled as required for use in Malaysia schools and students, be they large school or small school.

Choosing and implementing ERP

The biggest advantage of ERP is the capability to break down organisational silos and create a truly integrated entity in which its operations are aligned with its strategy. This is in addition to the ability for resource planning, and being a business application software used by multiple departments.

However, purchasing and implementation of ERP system can be a huge commitment of time and money for a company. It can mean down-time for manufacturing companies with production facilities if not done right.

Thus, it is critical to decide how an ERP system can benefit your company, and select the right system to fit your company's business goals. You might want to consider a web based software, so that users can access and update information real time anywhere with internet access. For example, sales staff at manufacturing companies would be able to give a better estimate of delivery time when giving quotes to customers, if they can find out the inventory status on their web-enabled mobile phones or computers real time.

It is also important to consider the language factor, especially for a multi-racial, multi-lingual society like Malaysia. For example, machine operators or shift leaders may already be familiar with Chinese menu of existing manufacturing software and may not be comfortable with ERP system that is in English. Thus, in addition to deciding if you should get an online ERP, you would want to consider a Malaysia software developer who can customise software in various languages.

Anyone considering an ERP system should start with an analysis of its current situation, as shown in the table below. Then subsequent steps can be followed through to make ERP comparison, select a suitable Malaysia software company, and increase success rate in implementation of ERP.

This table below details the actions to be taken, where to find the necessary information, tools available, people to be involved, the reason behind the actions, and the desired output from each step.

Steps

Actions

Where to find?Tools available

Who?

Why?

Output

  1. Situation Analysis

  • Find out the “Business Objectives for next year and next 5 years”

Business plan

Head of departments, CEO

The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software objectives must be aligned with the business objectives.

List of business objectives with explanation


  • Study the existing business process flows and department functions

  • If process flow is not available, draw out the existing process flows.

ISO documents

Process owners,

QA department

The ERP work-flow must follow the ISO work-flow or change existing work-flow to follow ERP work-flow

Flow diagrams

Standard operating procedures


  • Work with IT department to know the existing IT infrastructure

  • Data include the different types of workstations and their operating system

IT Asset list,

Personal own assets who need to access to the system.

IT manager

As ERP is an IT project, it needs to take into consideration of the existing IT infrastructure as ERP implementation will be done in the existing infrastructure

List of the existing hardware, software used in the organisation, network diagrams (especially for ERP online), configuration etc.



  • Analyse areas of weakness of existing business process flows

LEAN tools,

Queue theory

Theory of constraint (balancing process) ,Swim Lane Diagrams,

Principles for business process re-engineering.


Process owners, functions heads

One of the benefits of ERP system is to reduce waste in an organisation. By studying the existing process, one can identify the areas of wastes.

- LEAN- list all the wastes based on 7 types of wastes.

- Queue theory – identify the areas bottleneck.

- Theory of constraint

- Swim Lane Diagrams, all the swim lanes AS-IS.


  • Gather the head of department and users to understand the existing problems and wastes.

Root cause analysis (Fish bone diagram,

6 sigma, etc.)



All head of departments

Make potential users see that current situation needs improvement and advantage of ERP

Fish bone diagram

5 Whys


  • Analyse the benefits of solving these problems and cost if not solving them in the short term and long term. The benefits can be tangible and intangible.

Cost analysis

All head of departments

Get buy-in from potential users. Emphasise the ERP advantage

Table with challenges and cost if not solved. and benefits if solved.

  1. Establish an objective of the purpose of an ERP solution.

Select problems to solve based on the benefits and cost. Break down the objective into the following areas

    1. Increase customer satisfaction

    2. Increase Quality

    3. Increase market share

    4. Increase productivity

    5. Reduce Cost

    6. Increase revenue

    7. Increase profit

Compare these objectives with the overall objectives of the company's business plan and make sure that they are aligned.

Prioritise the objectives based on benefits, cost and speed of ERP implementation.


All head of departments

Written document will be used to evaluate the success of the project 1 year after implementation of ERP.

Inside the Request for Proposal (RFP) document.

  1. Work out the requirement of the ERP

Based on the objectives of the ERP, work out a detail specification.

This specification will be for functions areas like

  • Sales

  • Purchasing

  • Manufacturing

  • Accounting

  • Stock management

  • Customer relationship management

  • Reports requirement.

  • All transactions layout requirements (e.g. quotation layout, invoice layout etc)



Feature list of ERP comparison charts etc.

ERP vendors in Malaysia

Users need to know what is in the market and what the technological limitations are.

Initial specification to be given to a Malaysia software company (vendor) to determine which one(s) can potentially meet the requirements.

  1. ERP infrastructure requirements

Based on IT Asset list – work out the hardware requirements

Ask for a “wish list” and what other gadgets the staff will want to purchase in the next 6 months.

IT manager

This to ensure that the ERP can be used with existing infrastructure. If not, determine changes and the cost involved.

Initial specification to be given to a Malaysia software developer (vendor) to determine which one(s) can potentially meet the requirements.

  1. Preparing demo data

Collect a set of data as follows:

  • 5 customers

  • 5 suppliers

  • 5 products

  • 5 Bill-of-Materials (BOM)

  • work center for the Bill-of-Materials


Create the type of transactions you want the software company to demo


Specify language requirements for the ERP system, and if the software needs to be web based


Test the demo on the necessary hardware.


Existing database, systems, excel sheets etc.

All head of departments

This is to ensure consistency of data and work flow to be used for demo of the ERP system and how it can fit into the organisation.

Information to be given to vendor to create a prototype

  1. Create flow diagrams and checklist to evaluate each vendor

This is the final flow diagram that you want the software company to show you in their system.


Examples of areas of concern:

  • ERP functions meeting your requirements

  • Ease of use

  • Speed


The Evaluation Checklist can be on a scale of 1 to 5 for meeting the requirements.

Flow diagrams

All head of departments

To ensure consistency in demo, the Malaysia software company need to show functions of the software based on the flow diagram and users can answer the checklist.

  • Flow diagram for demo

  • Evaluation Checklist for demo

  1. Arrange for demo session with vendor

Ask the head of departments to come in for demo and determine if concerns in the Evaluation Checklist are addressed.


All head of departments

Ensure that each vendor is evaluated fairly.

Completed Evaluation Checklists.

  1. Shortlist of vendors

Compile the results of the Evaluation Checklist and have a meeting to shortlist the vendors.


Look at cost, and benefits of ERP system provider.

Excel worksheet to calculate all the results

Internal project manager (for the ERP implementation)

To get the buy-in and determine why the vendor is selected. This is part of change management.

Benefits and costs of each Malaysia software company.

  1. Diligence check

Check the Malaysia software company's experience, case studies and carry out customer visit.

Account department.

Internal project manager

To ensure that what the Malaysia software company said was correct.

Diligence checklist.

  1. Negotiation of contract

  • Project scope

  • ERP Implementation time line

  • Payment terms

  • ERP Implementation style

  • Cost

  • etc.

Sample contract.

Internal project manager, senior management

To tighten the final details and ensure that all the agreements are in the contract.

Customer and Malaysia software company's contract.

After diligently carrying out the ten steps outlined in the table above for comparison and implementation of ERP system, a company would have greatly enhanced the chances of success in achieving its organisational aims through the project. In a competitive and multi-racial environment like Malaysia, improving productivity is important to stay ahead. This can be made easier with an online ERP which users can access anywhere.

ERP implementation can be made smooth with cooperation from users, especially when the Malaysia software company understands the company's requirements well. With Heads of Departments taking the lead in encouraging adoption of the new technology, the promises of the ERP system can be realised for the company.

About Tigernix Pte Ltd

Tigernix is a one of the leading Malaysia software companies and software development provider that offers state-of-the-art software across all technology platforms, operating systems, and infrastructures to clients worldwide. Based in Malaysia, Tigernix has its presence in China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Tigernix's extensive line of software and customized software services enable organizations to choose based on their specific requirements or even customize to make it personal. We deliver Applicant Tracking System (ATS), Student Management system(SMS) , Enterprise Resource Planning software (ERP), Customer Relationship Management software (CRM), web portal, Content Management System (CMS) software and E-commerce software with comprehensive and useful features catering to every business-need. Our software helps you to largely reduce operational costs and improve efficiency.

Tigernix's information technology consulting and software training services act as a catalyst to your success in business from idea-generation to implementation and training.

We provide top-notch enterprise software solutions and services to assure you of steady profits and a definite ROI (Return On Investment). Our core competency is in delivering quality software solutions, on time and always.



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