The paper intends to bring out a real life experience encountered during actual implementation of a large scale Tier-1 Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system in a multi-location, discrete manufacturing organization in India, involved in manufacturing of auto components and aggregates. The business complexities, prior to the implementation of ERP, include multi-product with hierarchical product structures, geographically distributed multiple plant locations with disparate business practices, lack of inter-plant broadband connectivity, existence of disparate legacy applications for different business functions, and non-standardized codifications of products, machines, employees, and accounts apart from others. On the other hand, the manufacturing environment consisted of processes like Assemble-to-Order (ATO), Make-to-Stock (MTS), and Engineer-to-Order (ETO) with a mix of discrete and process operations. The paper has highlighted various business plan areas and concerns, prior to the implementation, with specific focus on strategic issues and objectives. Subsequently, it has dealt with the complete process of ERP implementation, starting from strategic planning, project planning, resource mobilization, and finally, the program execution. The step-by-step process provides a very good learning opportunity about the implementation methodology. At the end, various organizational challenges and lessons emerged, which will act as guidelines and checklist for organizations to successfully align and implement ERP and achieve their business objectives.
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