ERP User Perceptions and Service Delivery Challenges

ERP User Perceptions and Service Delivery Challenges

Amos Chege Kirongo (Meru University of Science and Technology, Kenya) and Guyo Sarr Huka (Meru University of Science and Technology, Kenya)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7678-5.ch007
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This chapter introduces the service delivery challenges experienced by users of enterprise resource planning systems (ERP) by discussing the user perceptions. The authors administered questionnaires to users of ERP systems and user perception of ERPs was found to affect them in service delivery. Software complexity, software usability, and user resistance were found out as challenges contributing the challenge of service delivery. Attribution theory, diffusion of innovation theory, and compatibility maturity model are discussed; existing theories are discussed in the chapter. Findings are outlined and conclusion made based on the questionnaires addressed to the respondents.
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Generally, individuals tend to interpret their sensory impression in order to give meaning to their environments thus influencing groups and organizations at large to think in certain way regarding their daily works. Application of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software in a business function forms important part of such environment which is perceived to aid in enhancing efficiency and effectiveness of academic and support service activities, support decision making and further meant to improve their Return on Investments (ROI). Realization of these objectives is largely dependent on the perceivers of ERP. The programme developers, academia, support service staff in universities and university students hold certain attitudes, motives, interests, experience and expectation of the ERP to deliver expected result. On the other hand, ERP programme is viewed to be the solution to complex data management and source of competent decision making by managers. Reliability of this view is subject to novelty of the programme, past successes associated with the programme, size and complexity of the functions in an organization. However, the overriding determinant will be the situation in organizations that embrace application of the ERP, including appropriate timing for introduction, work setting, organizational structure and socio-technical environment prevailing. Thus, analysis of ERP effectiveness and efficiency necessarily have to employ multi-faceted approach encompassing the synergy and integration of human, technical, social, structural and leadership variables of an organization.

Features that have made ERP systems attractive for adoption and implementation within universities include: a common data set, standardized data definitions, adaptability of the system and external systems intercommunication (Basir, Khoumbati, Ismaili, & Nizamani, 2014). Functional processes within a university context include and are not limited to student management, faculty management, human resource, finance, procurement, assets management, library services and research. In the adoption and use of Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERPs), some of the benefits enjoyed by Universities include easier and fast access of information for better planning and management of the institution; improved services to students, faculty and other administration staff; better ways of risk management and improved data management for better decision making (Robert Kvavik, 2003).

Service delivery management in ERP faces a myriad of challenges in the quest towards automation of manual processes. It affects the areas of customers, projects, resources and programs. The challenges surround the areas of communication, relationship, problem identification and solution, planning, 24/7 support, technology, implementation, quality and integration (Sanjay, 2003). However, these challenges are both real and perceived. Therefore, management of ERPs service delivery, ought to functionally discriminate between perceived challenges and real challenges that hinders effective development and implementation of ERP.

Economic Success perception of ERP systems have a direct impact on productivity, fulfillment of industry specific requirements for documentation and traceability of business processes, quality, and customer satisfaction. In addition, it will significantly contribute towards enhancing quality work life, thus promoting conducive work environment.

With the growing complex business environment having different functional areas and requiring more inter-functional communication through sharing of enterprise data across the organization, Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERPs) have become the obvious choice in managing organizational data and business practices (Perera & Withanage, 2008). Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERPs) are tools that integrate functional processes within an organization or institution to enable greater efficiencies to be achieved (Izamani, Khoumbati, Ismaili, & Amani, 2013). Just like corporate businesses, Universities are facing similar challenges in achieving operational excellence, reducing costs and creating a competitive edge for her. To increase on their efficiencies and competitiveness, Universities have replaced and /or integrated their existing information systems with ERPs.

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