Academic journal article JITTA : Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application

Development and Evaluation of a Customer-Centered Erp Implementation Method

Academic journal article JITTA : Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application

Development and Evaluation of a Customer-Centered Erp Implementation Method

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are widely implemented in companies' operation management and there are already a number of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) ERP products on the market. However, companies often have difficulty in identifying the requirements for selecting an ERP system, and also in specifying their objectives in an ERP implementation project. Despite the available information on ERP implementations, companies need a how-to method to support them in gathering and analyzing their ERP requirements. This qualitative empirical research deals with the development of a Customer-Centered ERP Implementation (C-CEI) method for the analysis of ERP system requirements. The development is conducted using an action research approach. The C-CEI method utilizes the principles and process of User-Centered Design (UCD) that aims at involving end users in the early stages of the product development. The results of this research are divided into four parts: (1) the C-CEI method itself, (2) the lessons learned from four companies that participated in the development of the C-CEI method, (3) content analysis of C-CEI documents produced in the companies, and (4) interviews of the companies' personnel who had participated in the development of the C-CEI method. This research guides practitioners in how the ERP implementation can be approached employing a pre-defined method, and how the shared understanding of the ERP project objectives and activities are achieved within the organization. For academics, this study directs the research interest towards developing scientifically-based ERP implementation methodologies to complement those currently provided by ERP vendors and consultants.

INTRODUCTION

In order to be competitive, companies need real-time information on their orders, materials, production, costs, etc. However, the information may be scattered in multiple information systems that are not connected to each other. In order to increase the efficiency of information systems, it is necessary to integrate the company's multiple systems in such a way that the data has to be entered only once in the system. This integration enables the data to be used for various purposes across the enterprise. For example, the same order ID can be used in production planning, materials order, forwarding, and invoicing.

An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is usually based on a database and includes all business processes of a company, for example, ordering, production, and logistics processes. The ERP system is utilized in planning the production and financials, and monitoring the realization. For instance, sales personnel can establish delivery time on the basis of the current production load instead of giving the total production time. SAP Business Suite (2007) and Oracle E-Business Suite (2007) are two ERP system products among many alternatives. One reason for using an ERP system is to collect the financial data related to operations automatically without the need for additional reporting work. In order to use an ERP system efficiently, all the data collection should be as automated and real-time as possible. For example, operations data can be accurately collected directly in real time from the automation systems' logics.

Since the late 90s many companies representing various sizes and types of business have taken ERP systems into use. The implementation projects have usually proven to be challenging; for instance, scheduling, budget, training, system utilization, and change resistance have been obstacles to implementation success (Shehab, Sharp, Supramaniam, and Spedding 2004). In order to understand the nature of the challenges, the implementations have been studied employing both qualitative and quantitative research methods. For example, case studies (Lee and Lee 2000, Parr and Shanks 2000, Bagchi, Kanungo, and Dasgupta 2003, Vilpola and Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila 2005), Delphi method (Bernroider and Koch 1999 and 2001, Chang, Gable, Smythen and Timbrell 2000, Huang, Chang, Li, and Lin 2004), and statistical analysis (Bagchi, Kanungo, and Dasgupta 2003, Buonanno, Faverio, Pigni, Ravarini, Sciuto, and Tagliavini 2005, Mabert, Soni, and Venkataramanan 2003) have all been used as methods in ERP implementation studies. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.