This Guide to ERP is meant to be read at various levels in organisations. Board members and managers can use this book to gain an overview of the concepts of ERP, the benefits that can be obtained from it, and the link between ERP and other managerial trends and issues. At program or project management level, the book supports the development of ERP business cases, describes parties involved in a typical ERP implementation, and explains a number of ERP risks and pitfalls. For ERP users, who often only see a limited part of the ERP system in their daily work, the book offers the bigger picture.
The theoretical basis of the book is clarified by a large number of examples of ERP, from the public as well as from the private sector. The examples, and an extended case study, make the book relevant for higher education, especially for students in management science, financial management and information management courses.
This book consists of three parts. The first part is a general introduction. The aim of this part is to make the reader aware of the most important characteristics of ERP. An overview is presented of the reasons why companies and other organisations apply ERP, and what they expect from their ERP systems. The extent to which these expectations are realised are discussed, as well as the impact of ERP in practice. The most important ERP suppliers are listed, and the technical foundation of ERP systems is explained for a non-technical audience.
The two themes of the second part of the book are evaluation and implementation of ERP systems. The objective of this part of the book is to introduce the phases that can be distinguished in the ERP life cycle in an organisation, the most important decisions that have to be taken in these phases, and methods that can be used for evaluation and implementation of ERP systems. The first phase of ERP, the ex ante evaluation, is discussed in detail. This part of the books concludes with an extensive case study in which an ERP business case is developed for an example organisation.
In the third part of the book, ERP is viewed from the organisational and managerial perspective. The aim of this part of the book is to give the reader an overview of recent managerial trends, and how they relate to ERP. Trends that will be discussed are open source software, corporate governance and shared service centres.
Undoubtedly, ERP is one of the most important and influential trends in information technology. This, however, does not imply that everyone automatically subscribes to the advantages of ERP. The main characteristics of ERP, and their impact on organisations have been criticised. In a guide to ERP this criticism should not be ignored. The last chapter of this book is therefore dedicated to this criticism.