Sample Admission Essay Paper on ERP Systems

ERP Systems

Question 1       

            Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is an industrial tool or software that aids most business in the management and control of business functions. The ERP assembles and organizes all information relating to the business and help in the analysis of the same information for performance trends. The type of data/information managed by the ERP include the inventory, finance data and even the supply chain information. The significance of the ERP systems in an organization include:

  1. Product planning
  2. Inventory management
  3. Assessment of the Service delivery
  4. Marketing and sales analysis  

            Every organization would like to integrate free communication channels between the various departments; this would allow free flow of information and better operating efficiency.

            The implementation and the use of ERP would enable this as the information would be in one database that could be accessed by the different departments. ERP improves the effectiveness and efficiency of an organization by promoting error-free transactions as the accurate information will be easily accessed for subsequent processing.

            The critical factors for the success of an ERP system in an organization include the implementation strategy and the hardware applications (Zhenyu Huang, 2001). The type of hardware used will determine the efficiency of the ERP operations. Successful integration of the ERP system in an organization will be helped by the implementation strategy.

            Traditional management systems upheld the tedious communication and processing channels; these reduced the general organizational efficiency. The organizational efficiency can be increased by integration of better communication and processing channels (ERP systems) which can only materialize if there is a change in the management systems.

            Some organizations do not use or implement ERP systems in their normal operations because the financial resources needed to maintain such system are high, for example, the cost of the hardware used and its subsequent maintenance.

Question 2     

            ERP systems have increased the organization’s operating efficiency in the long run. When considering short-term basis, the implementation of the ERP systems will drive the inventory costs up, for example the hardware costs and that of training personnel. Generally, implementation of ERP systems in an organization is advantageous in the long run though initial costs might be higher (Schwartz, 2007).

            In order to overcome some of the initial costs incurred during the implementation of the ERP systems, the organization can delegate or sub-contract the maintenance of such systems instead of training a team of personnel. Customer responsiveness can be improved by developing interactive interfaces in the ERP systems which may also provide a way to rate the organization’s services.

            In the government sector, the amount of data/information involved is huge considering the scope of devolved organs. Therefore, security measures have to be introduced in the ERP system to safeguard the information used and manipulation by unauthorized organs unlike in the private sector where the scope of devolved departments of the organizations is small and the data/information is related.

Question 3     

            ERP systems is a management tool that would increase the company’s effectiveness as it would provide a range administrative functions, for example, the work orders, quality control, budgeting, recruiting and keeping track of the bill of materials used by the company.

            The questions that I would ask to help her think about ERP in her company include (the responses are also given):

  1. How do you keep track of an order placed by a customer from acceptance to the fulfillment of the order?

    ERP systems would automate order tracking since the state of the order will be recorded automatically when its progress is input in the database.

  • How do you manage your employees and their subsequent payroll?

ERP systems will manage your employees’ roster since their arrival and departure times from the company will be stored in the database and when you would like to calculate their pay, you input the number of days in the database and the rate of pay per day.

            The Army Material Command needs to implement and utilize the ERP systems as soon as possible in that it would be used majorly for security purposes besides management purposes; sensitive data regarding the Army will be stored in multiple security system-enabled database unlike the owner of the surfboard manufacturing company who would require the ERP systems majorly for management purposes.

            In preparing myself to answer the owner’s (or director’s) question, I would require background information about the configurations of the ERP systems, its capabilities, range of special-purpose applications and its advantages over traditional systems

Question 4     

            To determine the need for ERP system by an organization, an analysis of the processes involved in the organization, their efficiencies and possible solutions to improve their efficiency should be done. The steps involved in determining the essence of any type of ERP system for an organization include:

  1. Conducting the review and analysis of the processes involved in the organization
  2. Evaluate the technological aspect (how the ERP system will fit in your organization)
  3. Comprehend the costs involved as well as the risks of implementing a given ERP system
  4. Develop a feasible implementation guideline (This would help you understand the activities and the costs involved when implementing the ERP system so that you prepare the funds and manpower needed)
  5. Keep track of the probable benefits that could be drawn from the system (this would held you measure the ERP system to find whether it benefits the organization)
  6. Look for independent professional advice about the system so that you gain insight of that system and probable setbacks of the same.

            Considering an organization has settled on a given ERP system, the organization should use the component approach. The organization is considered as a set of departments: the HR, finance, customer service and the transport departments. The ERP system is also composed of several modules with the general organizational outline. The organization should first assess its architecture and if the same could be found in commercial ERP systems. If not, developing an in-house system would be appropriate. The steps needed in the selection of suitable ERP system, for example, SAP or Oracle include the size of the organization, the desired functionality and the scope of the implementation as some ERP systems are more effective and cheaper for larger scope.

            The manager/director and the IT specialist of the company should be involved in the analysis and decision-making processes. I would ask for their opinion about the different ERP systems and even develop the list of contentious issues about the systems from the financial to the technical perspective.

            The discussion relates to the theme presented by Jacobs in the book Why ERP? as the book focusses mainly on the technical aspects and the range of its application in the different sectors but the discussion focusses on the implementation of these ERP systems, when they should be used and the approaches to be used in the different situations when implementing an ERP system (Zhenyu Huang, 2001).

Question 5     

            The current business environment is dependent on the access to accurate information. Access to accurate information will enable the business organizations make informed choices necessitating the need for knowledge management.

            ERP systems provide easy access to dependable information which are critical when making key decisions. ERP systems organize the information and can be accessed from a central location which would increase the efficiency of information processing.

            ERP enables us achieve advantages by being virtual while mitigating the disadvantages (Schwartz, 2007). This is achieved by offering ready access to real-time information anywhere making the decision-making process easier and reliable.

            The technological advancement and the ERP systems have a potential to change our organizational spectrum in that better and efficient modules will be developed that would ease management structure and activities.

Question 6     

            The process view of an organization focusses on the procedural practices to be accomplished for the attainment of the company’s goals while a functional vie focusses on the purpose/functions to be satisfied for the accomplishments of the company’s goals.

            Business process engineering is the design and analysis of the business strategies and even the enterprise management for better development/growth (Kupusinac, 2013). Business process engineering plays a key role in the enterprise growth in that it helps identify hurdles in the business workflow and the proposed solutions that aid in the redesign of the process.

            The critical steps needed in the implementation of business process engineering in an organization include:

  1. Identification of the problematic areas
  2. Compare and contrast with the business goals/mission
  3. Propose feasible solutions
  4. Develop the redesign considering the business objectives
  5. Implement the redesign
  6. Evaluate the redesign for continued improvement of the business system.

            The expected results from implementation of the business process engineering in an organization include:

  1. Streamlined activities/operations as non-valuable processes would be reduced
  2. Improved organizational efficiency as the processing times will be improved enabling better operating environment and cycle 
  3. Aids in identification of performance indicators in the organization.

            Business process engineering is critical in the implementation of an ERP system since it would complement the overall functionality especially the operating functionality since the efficiency of the ERP system would be improved by business process engineering as non-valuable processes/data would be given lesser priority during processing or accessibility.

Question 7

            The main goals of software installation include projected growth, integrating the company systems like the one for Green Mountain and also for better managing of the supply chain. The goals for the software installation are different in that Green Mountain focused more on the integration of the company systems while the Starbucks looked to increase its growth and the supply chain management.

            Starbucks and Green Mountain chose different approaches to the same problem because of the difference in size of the companies and the scope of the problem. Considering the Starbucks approach, the implementation time is longer and the costs were high as compared to the Green Mountain’s approach.

            Current technological trends like the tier system and the modules that make the implementation of the ERP system easier and cheaper unlike traditional methods/trends.

            The efforts by the two companies are outstanding, but inclusive research of the system to be applied is recommended as it would save the companies time and cost of implementation of ERP systems.

References

Kupusinac, D. L. ( 2013). The impact of ERP Systems on Business Decision-Making. TEM Journal, pp. 1-4.

Schwartz, K. D. (2007, May 22). IT governance definitions and solutions. CIO. Retrieved from http://www.cio.com/article/111700/IT_Governance_Definition_and_Solutions

Zhenyu Huang, P. P. (2001). ERP implementation issues in advanced and developing countries. Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 7 Iss: 3, pp.276 – 284.