Advantages, Limitations, and Solutions in the Use of ERP Systems: A Case Study in the Hospitality Industry

Advantages, Limitations, and Solutions in the Use of ERP Systems: A Case Study in the Hospitality Industry

Paula Serdeira Azevedo (Universidade do Algarve, Portugal), Mário Romão (Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Portugal) and Efigénio Rebelo (Universidade do Algarve, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3667-5.ch012
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Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems have emerged as solutions oriented to manage organizations’ resources in an integrated way. They allow the automation of department activities, make information available to users at the right time, and support more accurately their decision-making needs. However, although the implementation of these systems has brought considerable benefits to users, they do not cover all processes from all industries. Many organizations have recognized this limitation and consequently felt the need to implement specific solutions to their industry, sector, or line of business. From the collected case study business drivers and objectives, the authors analyze the advantages and limitations of ERP Systems in the hospitality industry in order to understand how this industry uses ERP Systems and solves the challenge of integrating information spread through several heterogeneous information systems.
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2. Erp Systems: Literature Review

2.1. Key Features of ERP Systems

Organizations aim to use information as a means of maximizing productivity gains, which tends to choose the problems of integration of information as one of the most debated issues in the context of IS (Information Systems) in recent years (Lee, Siau, & Hong, 2003), mainly because there are many isolated tools in their most varied environments, leading, in most cases, to the duplication of information in the organization and to different results in its various “islands” (Muscatello & Chen, 2008; Alshawi, Themistocleous, & Almadani, 2004; Davenport, 2000).

The main problems of fragmentation of information are the difficulty of obtaining consolidated information and the inconsistency of redundant data stored on more than one system. ERP Systems solve these problems by aggregating, in one integrated system, the various business processes and support of organizations (Pang, 2001).

ERP Systems emerge as management systems that allow the administration of an organization's resources in an integrated manner by automating most of the departments or functions, so as to make the information available in real time (Ilfinedo & Nahar, 2006; Themistocleous, Irani, O'Keefe, & Paul, 2001). They provide decision makers with an overview of the organization’s situation, globally and in each of its departments (Ross & Vitale, 2000) and along the entire value chain (internal and external) (Shang & Seddon, 2002). It is against this background that the efforts of software companies fit, seeking to present products that integrate all these information centers.

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