Week 3 – ERP Processes

ERPs are often touted as providing ‘best practice’ in functionality and business processes. However, many organisations have their own business processes and often do not want to change. If an organisation is unwilling to change its business processes, can it gain any value from an ERP? how could this be achieved? What are the risks?

An ERP is a system designed to integrate all business processes and data into a single system that can be used throughout the organisation to help the sharing of data in real-time. However, this integration will alter business processes in order to make the single system consistant throughout the departments, and organisations can be timid to this change.

Although the organisation may be unwilling to change their business processes, it can still gain value from the ERP system. ERP’s are often touted as providing ‘best practice’ because there has research proof that an implementation of an ERP system has allowed organisation to fulfill business objectives such as flowing communication between departments, quicker response time between customers and suppliers, accurate and speedy decision making, and cost reductions. The ERP ensures these objectives because of all the data and processes being in the same place it ensures that all departments have got access to the correct and current information. Customised ERP systems can be developed for business unwilling to change, however this rather undiserable to organisations, as it can be very costly. so most organisations install, what is reffered to as a ‘vanilla’ system, which is generic to most organisations.

Implementing an ERP systems comes with many risks, a big one is failure. The organisation could invest their money into the ‘vanilla’ system and it could completely clash with all business processes. It may be to difficult, to timely and costly to train the staff to use the new system as it could stray completely from the old system. By insatlling a ‘vanilla’ system the organisation is not gaining any competitive advantage, as they have not added anything to the organistion that another may have. While there are risks in implementing an ERP system, they do offer many long-term benefits.

 

Reference 

Sarmad Alshawi, Marinos Themistocleous, Rashid Almadani, (2004) “Integrating diverse ERP systems: a case study”, Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 17 Iss: 6, pp.454 – 462

In this reference they discuss what an ERP system is, the problems with ERP, the importance to use ERP’s to integrate data, and use a case study and methodolgy to demonstrate the need for ERP integration.

This reference is helpful to my assessment because it talks about the importanc of integration, and I need to use that an opening argument as to whether CQU should modify their existing student ERP system or should they start from scratch by purchasing a new ERP system to put both CQU and CQ Tafe on one. The case study they use is helpful because it lays out how I should be coming to my own conclusion about what I should do with my case study.

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