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Qn. 4; ERP Systems and How They Have Evolved
According to Wallace & Kremzar (2001), ERP is a management tool that organizations often use to balance the needs and the resources they have. ERP assists an organization to anticipate several aspects such as supply and demand, linkage between customers and suppliers in various supply chain portals and creating a smooth relationship between various departments such as sales, marketing, manufacturing, operations, finance, product development, human resource and logistics. The core premise guiding ERP is to use feasibly the available resources and to offer the highest level of output.
ERP has gone through a series of transformation that can be summed up in three steps. The first step is material requirement planning also known as MRP. MRP arose as a need to resolve problems with ordering materials. The underlying premises that have been guiding MRP are concerned with what an organization will make, how they would do it, what is available, and whether there is anything else to add. The second step is MRP II also known as manufacturing resource planning. MRP II is a complementary platform to the first aspect. It factors into three more elements, the role of the sales and operation-planning department, financial interface and simulation in the whole planning process. The last step is ERP, which is the latest in the evolution stage. ERP factors into the same principles, only that it complements much more systems just as noted above (Gunasekaran, 2009).
Qn. 6; a Contrast to Internal and External Systems
According to Epstein, Manzoni & Dávila (2010), just as the words imply, there are major differences between systems on these two platforms. Internal systems are more concerned with setting decision-making platforms. Internal systems guide all the operations and actions that an organization will opt to do. On the other hand, externally focused systems seek to harmonize operation between the external factors by usurping knowledge from them. The most notable factors are the customers, suppliers, or business partners all of which have a significant level of influence in an organization.
Qn. 8; Components of an ERP System
Applying ERP usually considers the most basic components. The most notable of these are the financial management aspect, which are the financial systems that factor into the needs of an organization. For example, organizations that are opting to go global might have their system supporting several currencies. The second aspect is the business intelligence, and it involves analyzing and sharing all the data of an organization to all nodes or departments. There is also the supply chain management, which seeks to harmonize demand and supply through logistics, planning, scheduling, and procurement. Other components are the human resource management, which tracks the workforce and the manufacturing operations, which seeks to establish a balance between products to be produced and the standards that an organization has set (Epstein, Manzoni & Dávila, 2010).
Qn. 9: Successfully Implementing an ERP System
Implementing an ERP system begins by setting three notable goals. Ways of integrating financial data, setting standards for the processes and establishing the human resources that can achieve these roles. In these goals, an organization focuses on the first two aspects through conducting a confident selection and thorough planning. Confident selection involves setting the requirements that the systems should achieve while it also involves setting a solution on an expected outcome. Thorough planning involves harmonizing the systems in a way that it works to achieve the set objectives. Other aspects are skilled implementation, which is setting the means through which it can follow the set principles and the last aspect, which is referred by Wallace & Kremzar (2001) as the Go- live support. Go-live involves verification of all the previously set goals to ensure they work as planned.
Epstein, M., Manzoni, J. & Dávila, A. (2010). Performance measurement and management control innovative concepts and practices. Bingley: Emerald.
Gunasekaran, A. (2009). Global implications of modern enterprise information systems: technologies and applications. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.
Wallace, T. & Kremzar, M. (2001). ERP making it happen: the implementers’ guide to success in enterprise resource planning. New York: Wiley.