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Enterprise Resource Planning System

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Enterprise Resource Planning Finance System works by aiding in the integration of the internal as well as external information system in the company. The system will embrace information in regards to finance, sales, production, customer relations and warehousing among others. By integrating all this information the system is able to provide the management with information on the company performance and help to connect with other stakeholders. The system attempts to integrate all the departments of an organization into a one computer structure which can be used by any department to meet their needs.

The following presents an analysis of a Governance Structure chart for an Enterprise Resource Planning Finance System for a GENERIC midsize organization that only operates domestically.  The governance structure has three levels: executive, program implementation, and ongoing operations.  This governance structure will oversee the entire System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) process of the organization.  The GENERIC organization chart displays this governance structure and a description of how each board member promotes organizational goals is presented.  The analysis describes, by title, who would sit on the governance structure and the roles and responsibilities of each. 

Enterprise resource planning implementation is a challenge since there are multiple barriers to consider.  For example, when an organization strives for several improvement initiatives at the same time, this can create a situation of information overload that is stressful for employees (Chakravorty, 2011; Shirouyehzad, Dabestani, & Badakhshian, 2011).  Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) allows for Product Lifecycle Management.  Companies must manage in a modern global economy, where organizations continually face increasing challenges for shorter time periods to market, occupy the market, and get a return from the market (Gecevska, Anisic, & Chiabert, 2011).

The ERP system will integrate all management systems across the organization.  These systems will include: finance and accounting; manufacturing, service and sales, customer relations, life cycle control, supply chain management, project management, data management, and access; and human relations.  Each person on the governance structure has the responsibility to facilitate the flow of information between all units and manage the communications to outside stakeholders as well (Bidgoli, 2004).

The CIO for this organization will oversee the execution, program implementation, and ongoing operations. It is the responsibility of the CIO as the senior manager to ensure that the implementation of the system goes on as planned. He needs to ensure that all the staff who will implement the system share in the vision and know how to use it. The executive systems will include the Vice President of Finance, who would have the roles and responsibilities of governing the Chief Accountant and Budget Analyst.  The Chief Accountant and Budget Analyst would have the roles and responsibilities of governing the finance and accounting aspects of the organization.  These will include handling the general ledger, cash management, fixed assets, payables, budgeting, receivables, and consolidation (Sheilds, 2001). The system is crucial to the finance department as it will offer the necessary information needed in making financial decisions. This is because all the financial information from all the departments shall be consolidated and a single report provided.

The program implementation systems will include the Vice President of Manufacturing, who would have the roles and responsibilities of governing the Plant Superintendent and Maintenance Superintendent.  The Plant Superintendent and Maintenance Superintendent would have the roles and responsibilities of governing all aspects of manufacturing process and projects and flow, workflow management, scheduling, work orders, quality control and cost management, capacity, and product lifecycle management.  Responsibilities will also supply chain management with issues of purchasing, product configurator, inventory, order to cash, supplier scheduling, claim processing, commissions, and inspection of goods.  Responsibilities of project management will include costs and billing, performance units and activity management, and time and expense management.  Customer relations management will include responsibilities for service, sales and marketing, commissions, customer contact, and call center management.  Additional responsibilities will be for data services related to suppliers, employees, and customers, and access control management user privileges for systems processes (Sheilds, 2001).

The ongoing operations systems will include the Vice President of Human Resources, who would have the roles and responsibilities of governing the Training Specialist and Benefits Administrator.  The Training Specialist and Benefits Administrator would have the roles and responsibilities of governing training, benefits, 401k, human resources payroll, recruiting, and diversity management (Sheilds, 2001). The department has a crucial role of ensuring that all the staff are properly trained. The system will truly be effective when all the staff can use it with confidence. It is important that the human resource department organizes staff training on the system.

Each of those governing operations will collaborate with each other and all stakeholders and developers. The CEO and Vice Presidents will collaborate with each other and with those they govern.  This collaboration will reduce risks and barriers and improved communication will make for a tighter feedback cycle. All stakeholders will be involved in decision making and implementation priorities. Ongoing assessments will determine needs for requirement changes to meet needs of stakeholders; these assessments will be part of the responsibilities of the Maintenance Superintendent. Communication between this Superintendent and the Vice President of Manufacturing will provide information to be communicated to the Vice President of Finance and Human Resources so that changes can be made to budgets, schedules, training requirements, and more. This communication will also determine and implement requirements and changes to ensure adequate designing and development. Quality will be ensured with ongoing communication and collaboration among governors of operations. Throughout the SDLC processes of the organization, all processes will be continually analyzed for each level of governance structure (Ambler, 2011). A common database will be used to integrate systems and support all applications. Technology will enhance operations and ensure a consistent view and updating of each operation and process (Bidgoli, 2004).

With proper installation of Enterprise Resource Planning Finance System by the organization, all the departments in the company are bound to benefit greatly in their functions. It is the responsibility of the management to ensure that the system is always functional, properly utilized and passed the gain to ensure that the customers are well served and their expectations are exceeded. The management should also identify any possible barriers that are inevitable to occur in the process of development of the system. Some of the barriers include the development of poor project plans which might result in poor development of the system. Also challenges may arise as a result of conflicts due to the various functional areas in the company. Time can also be a barrier which has to be overcome; proper planning is necessary and there is a need to devote enough time to developing the system fully. While the senior management may be working hard to ensure that the system succeeds, middle managers who have the crucial role of implementation of the system may not show commitment and this could be a serious barrier. If priorities are not clearly stated, it can be a barrier to proper development of the system. Another barrier is the limitation of financial resources. It is important that the planning factors in adequate resources needed for the implementation of the system and there are not too many projects thus there is no strain to the available resources.

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