Many retail businesses implement ERP systems simply to integrate the business processes of the organization (Markus, Axline and Petrie, 2000). This eventually enhances the organization’s attainment of a competitive advantage. Whereas CRM systems are designed for support of client relationship, ERP systems integrate the business’s operational activities (Markus, Axline and Petrie, 2000). For instance, my organization recently implemented an ERP system by simply integrating all operational activities. It integrated logistics, accounting and manufacturing with customer support. In particular, it keeps track of employee issues like time sheets, pay and entitlements. Besides, supplier information and its finances are keenly tracked using the ERP systems software.
This initiative was motivated by the absence of collaboration between functional areas of the organization. Initially, there was no collaboration between sales, administration, accounting and management. The collaboration could only be obtained by synchronizing the operational important parts of the organization. Also, the organization wanted to streamline its workflows and processes which could only be realized through implementing the ERP system activity. There was also dire need for centralization of information and reduction of data loss which the implemented ERP system has greatly rectified. The ERP system implemented has been successful. The workflows and business processes have effectively been streamlined as well as centralization of information and reduction of supplier and employee data loss.
The organization used its objectives and expectations, reliability of information as the standard for defining and measuring success. Besides, system functionality relative to original scope was another metric of measurement. There were however challenges that related to time and budget. The implementation of ERP system was associated with high costs and implementation problems. Generally, system integration, software modification, product and implementation consultants as well as project personnel turnover greatly challenged the success of the process (Tsai, et. al. 2010). The system has changed since the original one was implemented. Due to modernization and for the need to remain competitive, the system has evolved overtime to make use of updated software.
Markus, M. L., Axline, S. and Petrie, D. (2000). Learning from adopters’ experiences with ERP: Problems encountered and success achieved. Journal of Information Technology. 15, 245–265. Retrieved 28 August, 2012 from http://www.farrell-associates.com.au/BPI/Papers/ERP%20Research.pdf
Tsai, W., Chen, S., Hwang, E, and Hsu, J. (2010). A Study of the Impact of Business Process on the ERP System Effectiveness. International Journal of Business and Management Vol. 5, No. 9.