Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Industrial and Systems Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Chin-Sheng Chen

First Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

W. Kinzy Jones

Third Advisor's Name

Shih-Ming Lee

Fourth Advisor's Name

Ronald Giachetti

Keywords

ERP, Selection, Methodology, Small-Business, Medium-Sized Business

Date of Defense

4-20-2011

Abstract

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are software programs designed to integrate the functional requirements, and operational information needs of a business. Pressures of competition and entry standards for participation in major manufacturing supply chains are creating greater demand for small business ERP systems. The proliferation of new offerings of ERP systems introduces complexity to the selection process to identify the right ERP business software for a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME). The selection of an ERP system is a process in which a faulty conclusion poses a significant risk of failure to SME’s. The literature reveals that there are still very high failure rates in ERP implementation, and that faulty selection processes contribute to this failure rate. However, the literature is devoid of a systematic methodology for the selection process for an ERP system by SME’s. This study provides a methodological approach to selecting the right ERP system for a small or medium-sized enterprise. The study employs Thomann’s meta-methodology for methodology development; a survey of SME’s is conducted to inform the development of the methodology, and a case study is employed to test, and revise the new methodology. The study shows that a rigorously developed, effective methodology that includes benchmarking experiences has been developed and successfully employed. It is verified that the methodology may be applied to the domain of users it was developed to serve, and that the test results are validated by expert users and stakeholders. Future research should investigate in greater detail the application of meta-methodologies to supplier selection and evaluation processes for services and software; additional research into the purchasing practices of small firms is clearly needed.

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