Teaching Integrated Business Processes via ERP Configuration

Teaching Integrated Business Processes via ERP Configuration

Bret Wagner (Western Michigan University, USA) and Thomas Rienzo (Western Michigan University, USA)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-349-4.ch015


The business world has recognized the importance of managing business processes rather than functions. Business education has begun to embrace this transformation, although the organizational barriers between departments in most business schools have limited the suc-cess of teaching business from a process-oriented perspective. ERP technology provides an opportunity to illustrate the management of integrated business processes. One approach to using ERP software to teach business processes is through a dedicated con?guration class. In this class structure, students con?gure an ERP system to manage the basic business pro-cesses of a small company. Because of the integrated nature of ERP systems, students must con?gure the system in a number of functional areas — accounting, operations, sales, etc. — many of which are not in a student’s major. The necessity of con?guring an ERP system in a number of functional areas illustrates the importance of having a background in all basic business functions to successfully manage a business enterprise. This chapter will provide a review of an ERP con?guration course that is currently being taught at Western Michigan University using SAP R/3 business software. The context of the course, its mechanics, key learning points, and areas for future development will be presented.

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