Sunday, June 22, 2008

Day 2 Key Points of the Articles

After all the in class discussions and reading the book the article readings were more a summary and review of what we have covered so far. There were not many key new learning for me in these readings. However below I sum up the main points discussed in the articles under the titles of each.

1) Decision Making in the Evaluation, Selection and Implementation of ERP Systems

The article explains different methodologies that can be used to evaluate select and implement ERP Systems. An example is given and the approaches applied are discussed.
As discussed in the class the implementation of an ERP system has a major benefit of removing inconsistencies in a company and achieves consolidation of all the data however this process is costly and might take from 6 months to 2 years. Another point that is mentioned is that the reason for implementation is not always financial but may be strategic or political.
The evolution of ERP is briefly mentioned, that it started with manufacturing based MRP systems and grew throughout the organizational units, now evolving to include CRM and SCM. The still growing market is promising.
The six different models in decision making discussed in the article are;
1) The classical model; the best alternative is chosen which maximizes goal achievement. This approach requires and extensive research and evaluation of all the possible alternatives.
2) The administrative model; the selection process is done among alternatives that meet the requirements.
3) The incremental model; the objectives are clear and the small incremental changes with limited comparison is made.
4) The adaptive model; incremental decision making for existing policy.
5) The irrational model; the decision is not due to a problem; the solution is found and applied when a problem occurs.
6) The political model; organizational goals are replaced by politics
There is not just one single model applied in the decision making process as seen in the example given while at some stages a political model might be observed in other stages administrative, incremental models might be used.

2) ERP Software
ERP is a transactional system that collects and consolidates information throughout an organization. In the article an example is given and with this example costs, benefits, etc of an ERP system are evaluated.
The example of the City of Winnipeg who installed an ERP system is given. Their main goal was to eliminate paperwork, to be able to track transactions, and to be able to put pressure on vendors knowing how good a customer they are to them.
However besides these benefits there were still drawbacks; legacy paper work had to be done in parallel to store some data and therefore there was still duplication in information, which is very likely to occur in an institution that requires paper based information storage.
Also there was a lot of information stored but the software does not really analyze it.
The price is difficult to predict and is dependent on the number of users.
To be on time and on budget one should be very careful and success is usually achieved if a company has lower customization.
The next step in enterprise wide software is predicted to be as business intelligence software which will provide management analysis.

3) Assessing ERP Software

Larson Manufacturing was using an ERP program which could not keep up with the company’s growth. They wanted to integrate the supply chain actions and found out that there are different ERP packages to manage supply chain execution/planning. PeopleSoft Enterprise is one of them. There are major players in terms of market share and functionality that are SAP, Oracle and PeopleSoft.
In the article mainly the providers are described.
People usually are aware of their needs but they want best breed solutions however they don’t ensure a good supply chain management. The ERP vendors who lack in discrete functions have a broad vision to make up for that shortcoming.
As a final point it is said that the ERP software is regarded as a seamless integration but there is a misperception.

4) The ERP Purchase Decision: Influential Business and IT Factors

This article does not provide much information different from what we have discussed in class and learned so far from the other articles.
Briefly the article mentions purchase reasons of ERP software are; to be competitive, reengineer business processes, and access integrated data. Then it continues with the capabilities of ERP, what it can do for a company.
A survey was done on the ERP capabilities affecting purchase decisions however the results which would have been interesting are not presented in the article.

No comments: