Erp Systems Essay

1147 words - 5 pages

What is an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system?ERP is the latest technological incarnation in the developmental history of"planning and control‟-based systems, which were originally designed to cope with the difficult task of effectively managing the information resources of firms. Organizations often have overly complicated business processes within their separate divisions and units and ERP offers IT- based solutions in the form of unified, centralized and streamlined systems which facilitate more effective integration of diffuse systems, thereby allowing manager‟s to make better sense of the organizational whole (Slack et al: 438-9).The primary objective of ERP is to collate and integrate all organizational data from across the functional spectrum into a "single central data repository" by using software that has been specifically designed for this purpose (Laudon et al: 61; Slack: 452). It is then theoretically possible to utilize all available "planning and control‟ information-related resources in the pursuit of realizing optimal efficiencies across a whole range of processes throughout the organization. This leads to improved co- ordination, speedier decision-making, increased productivity and ultimately superior operational performance vis-à-vis the competition.Key features of ERPERP systems transform disparate, complex, and fragmentary sets of data into a clear and logically structured format which facilitates decision- makers to action the material in a speedy manner. ERP also facilitates sophisticated processes which enable firms to undertake complex volume and timing decisions relating both to the present and future (Slack: 437). In essence, ERP systems are centralized databases within which sophisticated software automatically picks up data from across the whole range of business functions and proceeds to update related information across the entire organizational network; thus enabling greater organizational coherence.Business processes often need to be adapted to fit ERP systems, which are of necessity generic in nature, and therefore not designed to cater for every conceivable eventuality in a firm‟s strategic ambitions.Main benefits of ERP systems to businessBenefits include:- enhancing business process efficiency providing a platform for improved communication channels which enable speedier actions between units a mechanism for seeing the organizational whole and not simply distinct parts of the overall business facilitating an all-encompassing and seamless merging of the entire supply chain networkMoreover, the overall IT architecture of ERP systems is comprised of all of the necessary features that facilitate external extranet access, which means that operational people can access real time information on common platforms (e.g. Microsoft Windows) that are user-friendly (ibid:452-53).ERP systems are inherently flexible, which is essential in today‟s...

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