Articles on Enterprise Resource Planning - I

ERP combines several traditional management functions into a logical integrated system and facilitate flow of information across these functions.

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ERP was introduced in late 1980s to integrate business functionalities not covered by MRP or MRP II systems. It is not confined to manufacturing only but covers all facets of the organization.

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The advent of internet and intranet technologies since mid 1990s saw the exponential growth of electronic commerce (e-commerce). ERP vendors responded to this challenge by their effort to web enable their product.

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During the starting phase ERP market was dominated by few vendors namely SAP, BaaN, Oracle, People Soft and JD Edwards, who were also known as big five of ERP market.

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ERP architecture should provide technical functionality, user interface and platform support and also should be able to absorb emerging technologies.

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Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) evolved at the same time. Both are related to radical redesign of an organization at a relatively short period.

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ERP life cycle, which encompass entire 10 to 20 years of effective operating life, are often confused with ERP Implementation Life Cycle. The phases of ERP life cycle are discussed in detail.

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Implementation of ERP System involves many process alterations and several legacy issues. Organizations need a implementation strategy encompassing both pre-implementation and implementation stages.

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Evaluation and selection of ERP package is a very important factor for successful ERP implementation. This evaluation and selection process normally comprises of various activities which are discussed in detail.

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There are various Dos and Donts effecting success or failures of an ERP implementation. Some of critical success factors, needing focused initiative, are discussed in detail.

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ERP implementation goes through various interconnected phases. The phases of ERP implementation, for a typical ERP project, are discussed in the article.

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There are several organizational issues that could lead to failure of ERP projects. To minimize these risks, adoption of proper change and risk management process, plays a crucial role.

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A ROI for ERP project represents metric of completed due diligence and a time phased plan that define when finance will be needed and for what purpose it will be used.

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ERP packages contain several modules and main characteristics of ERP system is that all its modules function in an integrated manner. The quality of data as inputted in master tables, is a major reason for success or otherwise of an ERP system

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Financial accounting module of an ERP package provides company wide control and integration of financial information. The General Ledger (GL) module is the heart of finance package of an ERP system.

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Accounts payable and Accounts receivable modules are two important modules under finance segment of an ERP system. The article discusses these modules in detail.

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Asset management module primarily maintains asset register, which provides information about asset related transactions. Budgetary control (BC) module is another important finance module which helps in planning and comparison of actual results with budgeted amount and quantity.

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Cash management module in ERP provides information relating to cash flow of the organization, by processing and analyzing all cash and bank transactions.

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Bill of Material (BOM) is a base functionality of setting up production module of an ERP system and Routing is another important base of production module, which defines the method of manufacturing.

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To support the need to reduce cost and time to market, we need - Well-organized manufacturing process, resulting elimination of bottleneck and waste, necessitates greater reliance upon flexible and user friendly production planning and control system.

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Subcontracting of production orders is of great importance in the age of production outsourcing. Lets study the process of subcontracting production order in detail with the help of a flowchart.

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