Monday, April 07, 2008

ERP.....what is ERP?

Well....first impressions of this tough day!

Originally I planned to attend another class named "luxury marketing", completely different with where I am this week! I am specializing myself in Audit and Management Control.

I decided to take this class because I am curious! Before today I didn't know much about ERP, only that it is a usefull tool for companies and that being able to use SAP when you are management controller is a plus!

This morning was nice and not boring! Not like some class of management control. I liked the way it was taught, going forward then going back and going forward! It might not be the best way to always follow the idea but it is more dynamic and makes us more thinking.

So, what is an ERP system? What are the benefits/failure of this system? What considerations should be taken into account? Lot's of questions that I am wondering about this Information System.

Actually, ERP is what I thought to be but my definition was to narrow at 8:OO pm this morning(a tool for company to be more efficient by gathering data)

ERP is indeed more than a tool, it is a system that gather all data that a company needs to work. Data coming from every department of the organisation, data can be orders, information, processes and sometimes people. ERP can be implemented totally (in all the company) or partially (just one part of the organisation).

Implementing an ERP system is a long term work, it easier said than done. It requires time and money. Stakeholders (employees and managers) have to be trained and accept the huge project. In case, communication isn't done, employees might be reluctant to change and won't be efficient.

ERP can be useful for the strategy of the company, the loss of information will be reduced, managers will have a better overview of the needs of the organisation and so will be able to readjust their strategy.

ERP system aims at improving the communication between each service of the organisation, it will save time for employees.
However, ERP can't work if employees aren't enough trained and involved in changing their habit. A bad diagnosis of the needs of the organisation can lead the implementation to failure or won't match the organisation's expectation.

I think that to implement this kind of system, there are several dimensions that managers have to take into account, the individual dimension (employees), the industry / sector dimension (services or manufacturing company), the number of stakeholders, the time scale, the cost, the culture of the organisation. Implementing an ERP system can be a great JUMP for organisations but it can worth it in case it is done correctly.

Tomorrow Tuesday, I still have lots of question:
How long does it take to implement this kind of system? In which kind of organisation? Does it fit exactly the organisation or it is the same for every kind of industry?

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