Mature organizations generally adopt competency-based structures which lend themselves to talent management, succession planning and individual development plans
A good HCM system with Strategic Excellence is critical for building objectivity into the system
What are the different technologies available for companies to support their increasing need for productivity and efficiency in manpower management?
A Human Capital Management (HCM) system is best suited for the purpose of increasing productivity and efficiency of the manpower. In my opinion, there are three basic elements of a good HCM system - Administrative Excellence, Service Excellence and Strategic Excellence. Of these three, the latter plays the most important role to increase productivity and efficiency.
Which companies should opt for standalone HR products as opposed to investing in HR modules as part of ERP solutions?
Corporates which have mature HR practices in place or are looking forward to adopt the same should opt for standalone HR products; having said that, they should also ensure integration with the customer’s existing ERP.
Most HRMS companies stop at administrative level excellence, that is, the focus is more on basic elements like payroll, leave management etc. But mature organizations generally adopt competency-based structures which lend themselves to talent management, succession planning and individual development plans. Obviously there is a fair upfront cost that has to be borne even before the purchase of such high end software.
By saying so, the cost of implementing the HCM package as standalone software is much cheaper when compared to implementing it as a part of an ERP solution.
How can companies decide which technology/product suits best their requirements? How to choose the right product/vendor?
I would urge the Corporates to look for a HCM which provides them with process-led, end to end solutions, as well as softwares that allow for flexibility and some amount of customization as no two HR practices are similar!
In terms of choosing the right vendor, I firmly believe that corporates should go for companies that have domain knowledge and not those which sell just HR products per se. One must also ensure that whichever vendor they choose should first clearly demonstrate how the company can achieve its various HR objectives by using that particular product or technology.
From your experience, what are the main reasons for implementations to fail or to derive less value than expected?
Clearly, the most important factor here is the clarity as to what are the final expectations of the company as a whole and of the HR Head who is spear heading this very important function. Once this has been agreed to, the next and equally important task is to involve representatives at all levels and make them understand what is expected to be achieved. Finally, the vendor should carry out a complete Gap Analysis to match the expectations of the client with the HCM package. At all times, this process must be led by the CEO and not just left to the HR head.
When it comes to return on investment in technology, how to set a realistic target? How does one measure it?
Whenever anything intangible has to be measured, it is always a difficult task. Having said that, it is possible to indirectly measure and work out a simplified ROI by looking at improvement in overall productivity and efficiency factors; looking at reduced attrition; carrying out a customer survey specifically targeting overall customer satisfaction; looking at improvement of percentage attainments of company and individual targets etc.