Monday, July 12, 2010

BilkentMBA2010, Lessons Learned, Week 1

The ERP software as we know it today progressed from simple inventory systems, then to MRP (material resource planning), MRPII, ERP, and ERPII.
Basically ERP has MRP functionality in its core, with addition of other modules such as HR, and a financial system binding everything together.
I think it is important to know how ERP progressed because all new ERP features still serve the purpose of effective use of company resources. For example, some argue that CRM is not a part of ERP, but if you think of it as a system of managing company’s most valuable resource – its customers – that it definitely is.
ERP system providers can be divided into Major Players (SAP, Oracle), Smaller Companies (Epicor), and Open Source. Each have their own advantages:
• Major Players represent best practices in the industry
• Smaller Companies support simpler processes and provide niche solutions
• Open Source is free
I think it is important when choosing and ERP not to concentrate on particular features, but try to understand the overall impact. For example, Industry-Specific Solutions are required because different industries use different business processes. Business process reengineering – increasing effectiveness of processes can be coupled with ERP implementation to gain results.
In the end, successful implementation depends on consultants more than on the choice of system. Consultants may specialize in particular modules. It is best to pair one functional and one technical specialist for each module.

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