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Enterprises Resource Planning

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What are the main characteristics of an ERP system? What are some newly developed features of ERP systems?
Imagine that your uncle owns and operates a construction company. The company owns a number of very expensive pieces of machinery, such as backhoes, for building houses and apartment buildings. Up until now, your aunt has “taken care of the books” by keeping financial records by hand. However, business is picking up, and she has gotten far behind in filing taxes, paying bills, and so on. Write a persuasive essay to your uncle about why he needs an ERP system and how it would help with not only the burden of billing, payroll, and filing taxes, but also with keeping track of the company’s expensive machinery. Use the Internet for research.

Much has been written in the news media about ERP systems, both in print and online. Using library resources or the Internet, report on one company’s positive experience with implementing an ERP system, and on another company’s disappointing experience. Some of examples shown in this chapter are from a traditional ERP system, SAP. Consider some smaller ERP systems. Look on the Internet at Business One by SAP, and an additional smaller system, such as Pronto software or Exact software. Compare two of the systems, and list the similarities between the module-type offerings. Are there any clear differences between them?

Visit CIO magazine’s Web site, www.cio.com, and conduct a search on ERP. Based on the search results, choose an example of an ERP implementation, and write a memo to your instructor describing the implementation. Discuss ways in which you think the company adopting the ERP system could have improved its implementation. From your university’s electronic library, obtain a copy of the article, “Management Based Critical Success Factors in the Implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning Systems,” by Joseph Bradley (International Journal of Accounting Information Systems, Volume 9, no. 3, pages 175-200, September 2008). Write a three-page paper on the findings of this study concerning factors critical to the success of an ERP implementation. Choose five factors you think are most important, and focus your writing on those five.

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