Restructuring ERP for business success

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Executives are frustrated because they cannot get the information they require from the costly investments made in enterprise resource planning (ERP) and business intelligence (BI).

This is according to Dr James Robertson, founder and CEO of IT strategy solutions company, JAR&A.

“Recently, the CEO of a very large corporation, in Johannesburg, rated his executive information systems at three out of 10 (0 = non-existent) and told me he would rate them at one out of 10 if it were not for the fact that he had excellent staff that provided him with the information he needed,” Robertson says.

“Business process has often been seen as the most important thing in ERP implementations,” he adds.

The term ERP has replaced what was called management information systems (MIS), Robertson says.

Management information frequently does not happen, he notes. A survey by Gartner a few years ago suggested that most organisations are not making better decisions now than they did five years ago, he points out.

Robertson further explains that the term MIS is no longer used because surveys report high levels of satisfaction with ERP.

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This occurs because, if businesses implement an ERP system and expect it to improve management and executive information and decision support, there is a likelihood that frustration will be experienced, he says. However, had the system been put in place to manage workflows, the likelihood is that organisations may be reasonably satisfied, even if the costs are higher, he argues.

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel, Robertson says. If organisations want to get value out of ERP, then strategic precision taxonomies (SEPT) can be used, he says. This leads to precision configuration, which in turn leads to major overhauls for ERP, BI and data warehousing investment in order to support information delivery, he concludes.

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