Implementing ERP-What Happens to Competitive Advantages?

Implementing ERP-What Happens to Competitive Advantages?

David Sammon, Frédéric Adam, Kevin Higgins, Mark Synnott
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-188-9.ch008
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Over the last 30 years, the enterprise-wide systems movement has been gathering momentum and has now reached a global dimension, with companies across the world and, more importantly, across very different industries jumping on the ERP/SCM/CRM bandwagon. The pace of implementations has been such that SAP alone have now implemented their software in 30,000 sites and have a user population well in excess of 10 million. However, studies carried out since the ERP epidemic broke out have revealed that the rationale pursued by managers in acquiring ERP packages has sometimes been weak and not well informed. Moreover, the track record of ERP implementations has not been good with many examples of implementation failures. It is our contention that the problems reported in ERP projects are due to a failure to link the business model underlying ERP packages and the unique assets of organisations. In this research study, we carried out two in-depth case studies of organisations having just implemented ERP packages and focused on the preparation stage of their projects. We also carried out a survey of organisations having implemented ERP to confirm quantitatively how well managers prepare themselves for ERP. Based on these, we uncover patterns of ERP project preparation which may explain the low success rate of ERP projects and put forward some proposals which should help managers and researchers to increase the likelihood that ERP projects are successful.

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