Week 9 – Adopting an ERP System

1. If an organisation has business processes that do not match and commercially availale ERP, should the organisation adopt an ERP? Provide factors for and against and suggest other possible considerations that would factor in your reasoning.

ERP systems are designed to assist and suport organisarions business processes to help them reach their business goals. They have developed systems that fit around the existing processes to centralise them and it make it easier for businesses. The reasons for adopting an ERP system include:

  • Efficiency and cost. ERP systems simplify business processes making them more efficient and meeting dealines easier. ERP systems also reduce inventory costs.
  • Daily management: ERP systems simplify daily tasks, providing management with tools to make the processes more cohesive.
  • Strategic planning. As well as daily tasks, ERP systems help pave the way for succeding in long term goals.
  • Data. ERP systems are designed to obtain data quivkly and efficiently, and it is centralised, with no duplicates.

However, not all ERP systems meet an organisations processes, and could be little to no use to the company at all. These are reasons to not adopt, especially by organisations that have business processes that do not fit an existing ERP system out there:

  • Insufficient capital. It won’t be efficient to adopt an ERP system if the organisation has minimal capital.
  • Sophisticated Hardware and software Involvement. To adopt an ERP, sophisticated software, hardware, equipment’s will need to be provided if this is not possible; it is better not to implement an ERP system. This includes needing the IT staff suport to be able to implement the system.
  • Organisational Résistance. There may be high organisational resistance to change.
  • Maintenance cost. An ERP system requires constant maintance to stay relevant and helpful, if an organisation will not have the funds to keep up this maintenance they should not adopt.

Not all commercially available ERP systems are going to fit all organisations, there are some alternatives that an organistion should consider, if they are thinking about adopting:

  • Business Process Re-engineering (BPR).This option is taken to redesign the process to create value for the customer, and then develop in-house applications or modify an ERP system package to suit the organizations requirements. This would be a customized solution considering the organization’s structure, culture, existing IT resources, employee needs and promises relatively less disruption to routine work during the change programmer.
  • Business Process Management (BPM). Business Process Management (BPM) is the next natural step in the evolution of any business that wants to go beyond the transactional efficiencies accomplished with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to achieve competitive advantage.

2. Answer the following questions:

a) What was the most difficult assessment item you completed so far in COIS12073 this term?

While I found the blogs to be very demanding, the case study had to be the most difficult. Even with the research conducted in assessment item one, I found it a massive struggle to extensively talk about why I had choosen a certian path, making my assesment very bland and probably not meeting the critera.

b) What was difficult about it and how would you suggest it could be improved?

It was difficult discussing in lengths my theories, and did really highlight that I did not have a great depth of knowledge about the situation. I also founf the assesment to be rather ambigous, and I had many moments of doubt. Personally, I work better in a structured and well explained environment, and I felt I had too much room to explore, and was not sure where to go. But that is just how I am, and those were my personal struggles that may actually be very liberating for other students.

c) If you could provide three pieces of advice to a student who will be doing this course next term what would they be?

My three pieces of advice to a srudent taking this subject next term would be; 1. to keep on top of the blogs, if you can get them done the same day as your lecture, it is just one less thing to worry about before it all piles up. 2. All the assessment work is essentially one big assessment but it has been broken down, so spend the time needed on each component and you will end up with a quality assignment. 3. Read the text book, it can be very bland, but it really does help to make the slides make a lot more sense!

d) How will you be able to use this knowledge/these skills in your future career?

I want to move into a career of logisics, where ERP systems play a massive role in the success of the procurement and supply of products and materials. This subject has given me an insight into how it works and what is an efficeint system and what is not, depending on the business. I will be able to take with me, an understanding of whether the ERP system in place is practical for achieving maximum capacity.

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