Thesis: Enterprise Resource Planning

Sample Thesis Paper

Study Background

An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is process whereby organizations use information systems to integrate all their back office operations. These ERP operations include financial and accounting details, asset management, material planning, sales data, and distribution planning, marketing data among other systems (Davenport, 1998). According to Parr and Shanks (2000), not all ERP achieve their purposes going by the reports of failed projects. However, if well established, the ERP has advantages of synchronizing all these systems to a unified process so that the organization achieves competitive advantage (Majed et al., 2003). The ERP system if preferred by many firms because of incremental build up of information as opposed to information systems built from scratch (Parr and Shanks, 2000). Various ERP systems have been implemented in the past and these include SAP and Oracle E-Business Suite (Gargeya, 2005).

Past studies by Themistocleous et al. (2001) establish that disharmony amongst the consultants is a key cause for ERP failure. This disharmony arises despite the strength and synergy that consultants can derive from each other to tap new skills and collaborate in the most efficient manner (Gable, 2003). Another study by Umble et al, (2003) established that wrong choice of ERP by the organization accounts for sizeable failures across the world. In mitigation of such failures, Soh et al, (2000), proposed that organizations should customize ERP to suit their operations. Specifically Soh et al, (2000) preferred expert assistance to organizations to select the best software that align with their business operations. In the contrary, Markus, et al, (2000) propose that organizations focus on a life cycle implementation approach of ERP to minimize failures.

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