Enterprise Resource Planning and Implementation

The article “A Conceptual Model for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)” by Marnewick and Labuschagne (2005) aims at providing the managers with a conceptual model, explaining the sophistication of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The goal of the researchers was to provide information in a simplified manner that a non-technical person would understand easily. The authors used the following methodology approach to achieve the goal.

As a starting point, Marnewick and Labuschagne (2005) chose the business model based on 4Ps since the majority of the managerial staff is familiar with it and it can be used to develop further understanding of the ERP concept. A usual ERP system was divided by the authors into four main parts such as the software, change management, the mindset of a customer, and the processes’ flow within the system. The methodology as the fifth component was used to assure seamless integration and implementation of the components into the ready-to-work system.

The findings of the authors state that ERP is not a simple software implemented within an organization to support one of several business processes. It is more of a complete system that can help to run a business easier in the case when there is a clear understanding of what has to be done with all components of the system and how they should be integrated into the complete ERP product. Marnewick and Labuschagne (2005) emphasize the importance of the research conducted as follows: “This model is applicable to any ERP system as it is generic and vendor-independent and helps in determining the scope of an ERP project” (p. 144). In other words, the article provides a conceptual model of an EPR project, discusses only the concepts of the software that can be used, change management that should be utilized, the mindset of a potential customer that needs to be considered in each situation accordingly, and the processes’ flow within the system that only needs to be built.

The authors provide a comprehensive evaluation of each component. The software component is reviewed through the lens of the generic modules it has to have. They are as follows: finance, human resources (HR), supply change management (SCM), supplier relationship management (SRM), customer relationship management (CRM), and business intelligence (BI). The process flow component evaluation explores the interconnections and interrelations of these modules. The customer mindset component utilizes the following modules: user interface module, team influence, and organizational influence (Marnewick & Labuschagne 2005).

The component discussing change management includes the following modules: user attitude, project changes, business process changes, and system changes. The authors continue with the explanation of the necessary ERP methodology to be used. The following phases are explained: pre-implementation phase, analysis phase, design phase, construction phase, and implementation phase. Thus, Marnewick and Labuschagne (2005) present the full cycle of an ERP system implementation.

The article is concluded by the authors’ explanations of the utter importance pf the appropriate implementation of an ERP system. The emphasis of the article is on the need in ERP systems but only if they are designed, developed, and implemented properly. Otherwise, such a system can bring more drawbacks to the performance of a business than benefits. The authors state that EPR is a complex but very useful system that can provide any business with substantial advantages if the approach to the process of an ERP system is based on the concepts described in the article.

It should be said that the article provides a comprehensive review of ERP concepts, and it may serve as the background for further research in this area. The authors have managed to explain in simple words what needs to be done to create a concept of an ERP system for nearly any business and the relevant processes. The strength of the provided research is in the simple but not simplistic language used. It is easy to understand the ideas and concepts even having no or little experience in the area. The comprehensiveness of the approach is another strong side of the study. It provides all the necessary information that can be useful for managers. However, there are weaknesses as well.

The article does not provide examples that could have add visualization to the process of understanding of the proposed concepts and ideas. Illustrations, based on the examples, would provide the article with more depth and relevance to the modern business world.

The article’s contribution to a better understanding of the importance of ERP and the theoretical background of its implementation is significant. It can be used as the guide to an ERP system creation, development, and implementation. However, since it does not have examples of practical implications, there is room for further research. It can be focused on aligning an ERP system implementation and business strategies that can be useful for modern businesses. Practical examples should be used in future studies to add value and depth to the research. The contemporary pace of changes in the world of business requires more thorough and, most importantly, quick reactions to the new trends.

Reference List

Marnewick, C & Labuschagne, L 2005, ‘A conceptual model for enterprise resource planning (ERP)’, Information Management & Computer Security, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 144-155. Web.