Customer focus operational revolution introduced

JKUAT has acquired a Sage ACCPAC Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software meant to integrate all its operational systems. The system which will in particular link all the University’s Campuses and centres to the main financial module at the Main Campus in Juja will play a devolved function by empowering users of the cost centres as they will be able to know their expenditures and balances in place, thereby controlling their own expenses.

The system will contribute towards quality service provision in line with the ISO 9001:2008 and customer satisfaction.

With this new system, the University will be able to effectively, efficiently, transparently and with the desired speed, serve its customers through this Customer Relations Management module, will be able to digitize e-procurement, have automatic generations of all financial traditions and reporting. The system also has inbuilt controls aimed at helping avoid waste.

The ERP system has capability of integrating all business functions and processes in an organization to achieve numerous benefits. It offers a single point of data entry that helps in reducing data redundancy while saving time in entering data, thereby reducing labor and overhead costs. The system also centralizes information, decision-making, and control hence leading to increases in efficiencies of operations and productivity, as well as coordination function. The sharing of a centralized database will provide the university management with accurate and up-to-date information to make well-informed decisions.

For the students community, they will be able to view their fees status, the courses they will have registered in online, know their results, know their accommodation status, among other records or information necessary to them.

In May 2009, JKUAT hired Sage ACCPAC consultants from Britain who trained a team that is spearheading the implementation of the system. The system has been successfully installed and data entries and migration is on going. A training program for all users in Finance Department and cost centers began mid June 2007. The ERP implementation which is being done in phases is expected to be ready for use in preparing 2009 financial reports by September 2009.

The training targets mastering of the concepts and architecture of Sage ACCPAC ERP system, including actual screen shots of the function modules now customized and aligned with JKUAT requirements.

Different kinds and levels of training shall be provided to all categories of uses, including University top management, Deans, Directors, CODs, HoDs, managers, end users, customers, and vendors, before the system is considered fully implemented.

The ERP implementation will require JKUAT to reengineer some of its key business processes where necessary, revamping old ways of conducting business, redefining job responsibilities, and restructuring where need be in order to rip the numerous benefits that come along with ERP.

This is so far the largest ICT project any  University has implemented so far focusing on key areas of its operation.

The writer is the ERP Team Leader

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