ERP system implementation in UK Joinery SMEs
2014-04-17T10:36:48Z (GMT) by
The capabilities of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to integrate all necessary business functions into a single system with a shared database efficiently and effectively has persuaded organisations to adopt them. Research shows that ERP implementation in both large and small to medium enterprises has been a difficult challenge for organisations throughout the years. Despite the many advantages of ERP systems, there isn t a clear and easy way of implementing them in Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The motivation for the research is to investigate the barriers to ERP software system implementation in an SME using a case study approach, and to identify the steps to overcome these barriers and investigate the claim of ERP vendors that their ERP solutions improve the performance of their customers, the profitability and efficiency of work processes. This research identifies the barriers to ERP implementation in an SME, provides an overview of the traditional and current approaches of ERP implementation and discusses the effects of adopting an ERP system on the company s overall performance. The research uses a mix of methods including case study research and action research. Un-structured interviews and semi structured interviews approaches with negotiation and change management techniques were also used in order to generate knowledge concerning the problems at the case study. The case study has determined reasons for failed implementations, unlike previous research which suggests education level impact upon the implementation of the ERP system, the study demonstrates that an insufficient education level is not a necessary condition for resistance to change. It has also been shown in this research that high level management can have a direct influence on the ERP implementation in SMEs. This research suggests that SMEs need to standardize processes into business routines which will influence the introduction of a different knowledge store that helps the development of the new system; however employee s resistance to change, lack of trust of the new system and lack of knowledge has limited the implementation process by increasing mistakes and duplication of data. The ERP system has been evaluated by the end users at the case study organisation, and the results suggests that the implementation of an ERP system has improved the overall business and has increased the performance, the profitability and the efficiency of work processes. This research adds to the overall knowledge of ERP implementation in SMEs by deriving a better understanding of the problem in the body of knowledge and identifying the barriers to ERP implementation in SMEs. It provides recommendations that have been tested in the case study organisation for overcoming ERP implementation barriers in SMEs, and a financial model of the implementation costs and benefits. Finally, the recommendations presented in this thesis and suggested areas for further research set out the potential way forward to advance knowledge in this area.