2009 - CIO - ERP Defn & Solns

2009 - CIO - ERP Defn & Solns - ERP Definition and...

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From: www.cio.com ERP Definition and Solutions – Thomas Wailgum , CIO March 07, 2007 Compiled by Christopher Koch and Thomas Wailgum Editor's Note: This article was updated April 17, 2008 to reflect changes in ERP technology. c What is ERP? c How can ERP improve a company s business performance? c How long will an ERP project take? c What will ERP fix in my business? c Will ERP fit the ways I do business? c What does ERP really cost? c When will I get payback from ERP and how much will it be? c What are the hidden costs of ERP? c Why do ERP projects fail so often? c How do I configure ERP software? c How do companies organize their ERP projects? c How does ERP fit with e - commerce? c How do on - demand and software - as - a - service ERP applications work? c How do I know my ERP data is any good? c Just how important have ERP systems become? What is ERP? Enterprise resource planning software, or ERP, doesn’t live up to its acronym. Forget about planning—it doesn’t do much of that—and forget about resource, a throwaway term. But remember the enterprise part. This is ERP’s true ambition. It attempts to integrate all departments and functions across a company onto a single computer system that can serve all those different departments’ particular needs. That is a tall order, building a single software program that serves the needs of people in finance as well as it does the people in human resources and in the warehouse. Each of those departments typically has its own computer system optimized for the particular ways that the department does its work. But ERP combines them all together into a single, integrated software program that runs off a single database so that the various departments can more easily share information and communicate with each other. That integrated approach can have a tremendous payback if companies install the software correctly. Take a customer order, for example. Typically, when a customer places an order, that order begins a mostly paper-based journey from in-basket to in-basket around the company, often being keyed and rekeyed into different departments’ computer systems along the way. All that lounging around in in- Print Article Close Window Page 1 of 12 ERP Definition and Solutions 11/17/2009 http://www.cio.com/article/print/40323
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baskets causes delays and lost orders, and all the keying into different computer systems invites errors. Meanwhile, no one in the company truly knows what the status of the order is at any given point because there is no way for the finance department, for example, to get into the warehouse’s computer system to see whether the item has been shipped. "You’ll have to call the warehouse" is the familiar refrain heard by frustrated customers. ERP vanquishes the old standalone computer systems in finance, HR, manufacturing and the
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2009 - CIO - ERP Defn & Solns - ERP Definition and...

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