ERP Implementation Service Supply Chain: A Modular Perspective

ERP Implementation Service Supply Chain: A Modular Perspective

Yong Lin (University of Greenwich, UK), Zhenkun Zhou (Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China), Li Zhou (University of Greenwich, UK) and Shihua Ma (Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3914-0.ch015
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Abstract

ERP system plays a critical role in gaining competitive advantages; however, the implementation of the ERP system is a critical success factor but a difficult process to both the software providers and the buyers of the ERP system. Designing and delivering the implementation services becomes a key challenge to the ERP suppliers. This chapter applies modular logic into service design in order to reduce complexity and increase the service variety and quality, and develop a conceptual structure of service supply chain for delivering ERP implementation services.
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Background

ERP Implementation

ERP system is regarded as a key approach to gain competitive advantage, streamline operations, improve business processes, improve communication and interaction, and enhance productivity and working quality (Al-Mashari et al., 2003; Willis and Willis-Brown, 2002). However, managers are often confronting difficulties and challenges in comprehending the full potential advantages and benefits of ERP system (Marnewick and Labuschagne, 2005; Maditinos et al., 2012).

One of the key reasons is because of the complexity of the ERP system itself (Finney and Corbett, 2007; Markus and Tanis, 2000; Somers and Nelson, 2004). Most of the arguments believe that the success of ERP systems largely depend on its implementation (Hong and Kim, 2002; Gargeya and Brady, 2005; Marnewick and Labuschagne, 2005; Finney and Corbett, 2007; Maditinos et al., 2012). Gaining a better understanding of the complexities of ERP implementations is helpful to managers to avoid barriers and increase the likelihood of achieving desired results from the ERP system (Dezdar and Ainin, 2011). Thus the challenges of ERP solutions lie in the design and management of the implementation services (Muthusamy et al., 2005; Kim et al., 2005; Singla and Goyal, 2006). The ERP implementation service is kind of professional knowledge-intensive complex service and this highly customized service to meet customer’s individual requirements. As a complex IT project, ERP system project is not a pure technology work but a program of management reengineering involved information technology, business process, and organizational strategy, which increase the difficulties of the ERP implementation. As a result, better defined implementation services become a key to the success of ERP system project.

In addition to the integration scopes of ERP system have been extended from internal to external covering resources in supply chain level, hence including upstream and downstream partners are required to get involved into the implementation process. Furthermore, EPR implementation actually leads to many positive effects on supply chain performance (Yang and Su, 2009; Forslund and Jonsson, 2010). However, at the same time it enlarges the difficulties of designing and delivering the ERP implementation services (Chen et al., 2008). Obviously, it is important to consider the implementation services delivery from a view of supply chain.

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