ERP Post-Implementation: A Study of a Small-and-Medium-Sized Enterprise

ERP Post-Implementation: A Study of a Small-and-Medium-Sized Enterprise

Eli Hustad (University of Agder, Norway) and Dag H. Olsen (University of Agder, Norway)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3664-4.ch005
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This exploratory study focuses on ERP post-implementation issues in Small-and-Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs). The authors conducted a case study in a small Norwegian retail company, which experienced a performance dip that lasted longer than expected. The case demonstrates how overwhelming the ERP competence requirements can be for an SME. Errors in the configuration of the ERP system and improper training led to frequent workarounds. The workarounds, in turn, led to significant problems and many errors in the database. This led to a general level of frustration with the system and a high stress level in the company. This study has implications for SMEs planning to implement ERP systems.
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In this section, we further elaborate on the ERP concept and review relevant ERP literature. We also outline different learning processes and explain why informal learning may be important to the successful adoption of an ERP system.

The Concept of ERP

There are several definitions of the ERP concept. Klaus et al. (2000) define an ERP system as “a comprehensive, packet-based software solution that attempts to integrate all the processes and functions within a company to create a complete overview of the enterprise from a single IT architecture.” Moon (2007) defines an ERP system as an information system that is designed to integrate and optimize business processes and transactions in a company. Implementation has several benefits: seamless information flow, access to real-time data, process-orientation, and improved communication across the enterprise (Davenport, 1998). During implementation of an ERP system, functional systems (e.g. legacy systems) are normally being phased out, and there is less maintenance of several systems such as silo-structures that cause integration problems and data redundancy(Davenport, 2000).

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