ERP implementation process

1 Introduction

This paper explores the ERP execution procedure in a transnational company by analyzing the outgrowth of its ERP system and passage of alterations to the system along with the purposes and actions of the persons involved in their company context. The chief intent of this paper is to understand the large-scale ERP execution in its organisational context ; in peculiar, how we can associate the ERP execution procedure to the underlying and frequently elusive influences within the context and to what widen ERP execution can be managed. Most early surveies of ERP execution concentrated on acquiring the ERP system implemented in the first topographic point. The findings of these surveies assume that ERP is merely another IS execution undertaking ( Milford & A ; Stewart, 2000 ) . They emphasise on the success factors of an execution procedure ( Aladwani, 2001 ; Dong, 2000 ; Holland & A ; Light, 1999 ; Nah, Lau, & A ; Kuang, 2001 ; Shanks et al. , 2000 ) presuming a planned deployment into an environment which is known in progress. This position assumes that operations of big entities can be rationalized by the usage of best patterns and standardized by the usage of similar procedures throughout the endeavor ( e.g. Aladwani, 2001 ; Deloitte Consulting LLC, 1999 ; Huber, Alt, & A ; -sterle, 2000 ; Taudes, Feurstein, & A ; Mild, 2000 ) . This position neglects the issues of organisational inactiveness, power, impetus from the original program and fortunes beyond the control of direction and implementers ( Allen & A ; Kern, 2001 ; Nandhakumar, Rossi, & A ; Talvinen, 2003 ; Skok & A ; Legge, 2001 ) . However, in many instances these are the existent issues that decide the destiny of the ERP execution undertaking ( Hanseth, Ciborra, & A ; Braa, 2001 ) . Several writers, such as ( Hanseth et al. , 2001 ) have taken this position and concentrated on placing the composite and lacerate nature of the alteration happening in both the organisation and the ERP system during the execution. They compare ERP execution with “ unleashing ” a animal into the organisation that assumes its ain authorization over things ( Koch, 2000 ) . This can be understood as the act of re-interpreting the package by the histrions in the organisation ( e.g. Orlikowski, 1996 ) . Sia et Als have used this as a starting point for seeking to explicate what the ERP system is really used for ( Sia, May, Soh Wai Lin, & A ; Fong, 2002 ) .

In this paper we explore the issues encountered during a big graduated table execution undertaking and suggest a more comprehensive theoretical account that takes into history every bit three facets of the execution: the organisation, the context and the engineering. We argue that the ERP execution procedure is triggered by directors ‘ purposes in response to internal and external contextual conditions. Their actions in footings of presenting new ERP faculties and their usage are shaped by the nature of engineering ( affordance ) , and the power and cultural scenes ( societal construction ) .

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The remainder of the paper is structured as follows. The following subdivision provides a treatment on the theoretical footing for our probe and improvisational theoretical account of alteration. This is so followed by a instance description of technology-related alteration procedure in a big transnational organisation. The organisation has streamlined its operations through a major concern procedure redesign enterprise and introduced an ERP system. Our findings are discussed in the concluding subdivision along with deductions for theory and pattern.

2 THEORETICAL Foundations

The relationship between the societal and technological elements of IT has long been of involvement to IS research workers. In order to understand IT acceptance and usage in our organisational life, IS research workers ( e.g.Walsham, 1993 ) have been pulling on societal theories such as Giddens ‘ Structuration ( 1984 ) and related theoretical constructs. Walsham ( 1993 ) argues that that such theoretical constructs could function as a sensitising and pointing device for the analysis of interpretative instance surveies. In this paper we draw on three, inter-related theoretical constructs: human intentionality ( Giddens, 1984 ) ; affordance of systems ( Norman, 1988 ) ; and societal constructions ( Giddens, 1984 ) .

Intentionality, Affordance and Social Structure

As knowing existences, interior decorators and users plan, develop and implement IT systems and proctor to see whether these perform every bit intended. Their activities are frequently organized “ programs and ends ” . This does non intend, as Jones ( 1998 ) argues, that human programs and ends are ever explicitly formulated or that human histrions are to the full cognizant of their motives or capable in recognizing them. Intentional human actions besides frequently result in unwilled effects ( Giddens, 1984 ) . Thus the interior decorators and users are involved in an active scheme of response to the inability of engineering to execute as intended, which involves adjustment of revised ends and purpose, every bit good as alteration to engineering and societal construction. Pickering ( 1995 ) refers to this procedure as “ end orientated and end revising dialectic of opposition and adjustment ” or the “ mangle of pattern ” .

Pickering ( 1995 ) claims that engineerings have stuff belongingss by which they may besides exercise bureau, that is “ making things ” similar to human bureau. However, Pickering ( 1995 ) points out that stuff bureau differs from human bureau because it lacks intentionality ( c.f. Giddens, 1984 ) and is non organized around “ programs and ends ” . Material bureau is more similar affordance ( Gibson, 1979 ; Norman, 1988 ) in that it represents users ‘ and interior decorators ‘ perceptual experience of whether some action is possible or non with the engineering. Thus, a computing machine system, with its keyboard, LCD screen, and mouse with choice buttons affords indicating, touching, looking, and snaping on every points of the screen. If the screen is non touch-sensitive it still affords touching, but this has no consequence on the computing machine system.

In mundane actions worlds struggle to capture material bureau in engineering, while the engineering may assist to determine human patterns. Pickering illustrates this with an illustration of engineering such as a lathe or a milling machine. A human can carry through things with the lathe that human bureau entirely can non carry through. However these machines need skilled operators to impart their bureau in coveted waies. He argues that in metal cutting the lathe and the operator come together as a humanmachine twosome, a individual collective of machine gaining control or a composite human/nonhuman agent ( c.f. Latour, 1987 ) . In an organisational context arrays of machines are operated by skilled staff that besides draws on societal constructions such as the norms and regulations in their patterns.

In the IS context the users and developers frequently add and modify the technological belongingss ( add mail filters, group get offing lists etc ) and are hence actively determining and crafting the engineering to suit our peculiar demands. The plasticity of the system may be based on the nature of the systems ( e.g. , local PC-based get offing systems or cardinal endeavor broad systems ) every bit good as our perceptual experience and apprehension of the engineering ( affordance ) .

The emerging IT system nevertheless may non ever execute as intended by human agents due to material features of the engineering. Hence, in the above case of the electronic mail system, we may hold to alter our behavior to suit the ways of working of the systems or seek to happen ways to change or work around the inscribed technological belongingss ( Latour, 1987 ) . For illustration, it might be necessary to maintain lists of electronic mail references in a word-processor to ease group get offing if the cardinal electronic mail system has no installation for user-defined groups. Ciborra ( 2002 ) notes such procedures of fiting between situated human intercessions of usage and unfastened engineering as ‘drifting ‘ . Technology drifting is frequently the consequence of procedures such as sabotage, inactive opposition, learning-by-doing, extremist displacements in conditions or field serendipity ( Ciborra, 2002 ) . Ciborra ( 2002 ) claims that “ an penetration into the drifting of engineering demands to recombine, on a different footing, the theory and pattern of systems development and usage ” .

This procedure of adjustment and opposition is non merely limited to engineering but societal constructions such as resources of authorization, norms regulating organisational behavior and hierarchal position and the cognition about the methods and processs besides shape the actions of interior decorators and users of engineering. For illustration, instability in power dealingss between two divisional caputs might curtail the advancement of IT undertakings. A strong hierarchal civilization may forestall executive users from interacting straight with the interior decorators of engineering. By pulling on the societal constructions such as power dealingss and cultural norms in their action, persons besides enact the constructions that shape their action and interaction with engineering ( Giddens, 1984 ) . Therefore, persons ‘ action in response to hierarchal norms helps to prolong the hierarchal construction.

Giddens ( 1984 ) positions human bureau and societal constructions as interacting dichotomy, by following a subjective construct of constructions. He offers a impression of construction as ‘rules and resources ‘ organized as belongingss of systems ‘ that mediate human action and interaction through three modes: interpretative strategies, resources and norms. Giddens ( 1984 ) describes constructions as ‘traces in the head ‘ pointing the behavior of human agents and suggests that they can non be apart from the human histrions who enact and interpret their dimensions. In this position, construction hence exists as time-space presence merely in its instantiation in ( reproduced societal ) patterns. While pulling on the regulations and resources ( constructions ) in their action, persons besides recursively instantiate and therefore restructure the constructions that shape their patterns ( Jones & A ; Nandhakumar, 1993 ) . In this survey we use the above three constructs: intentionality, affordance and societal constructions as theoretical ‘lenses ‘ to analyze the ERP execution procedure and to supply different positions associating to societal and proficient facets of the procedure.


The research survey was carried out in a big transnational company ( EURMOBIL – a anonym ) , which went through a major re-organization of its operations in the late 1890ss. The company changed its order fulfilment and logistics operations with the assistance of a standardised endeavor broad information system ( SAP in this instance ) . The survey chiefly focused on order-fulfillment undertaking as portion of a entire alteration plan. The research attack adopted in this survey is in-depth instance survey ( Walsham, 1993 ) affecting a aggregation of elaborate, qualitative informations on the execution procedure of ERP in a specific organisational context.

Data aggregation and analysis

The chief stage of informations aggregation involved intensive engagement in the undertaking from its induction in late 1997 to mid-1999. During 1998 – 1999 ( over 12 months period ) one of the research workers worked in EURMOBIL as a undertaking director for ERP execution, being given charge of the orderfulfillment portion of the ERP undertaking ( see Figure 1 ) . The research worker reported straight to the logistics director of the company and to the director responsible for the full alteration plan. The research worker had entree to the first-hand empirical informations: meeting proceedingss ; undertaking position studies ; workshop presentations ; certification on benchmarking, preparation manuals, undertaking enchiridion ; concern designs ; and elaborate work paperss. As the research worker was immersed he was able to develop an grasp of the immediate and broader context of ERP. The research worker maintained elaborate notes of events and observations along with research worker ‘s ain brooding histories of the twenty-four hours. Several followup visits were carried out until 2002 to the site to interview undertaking squad members. These informal visits were facilitated by the established relationships with EURMOBIL undertaking staff. The interviews carried out during the visits helped us to lucubrate our theoretical history of the ascertained flights of the events.

Figure 1: Euromobil Structure and the Organization of B-to-B Order fulfillment Undertaking

The analysis involved a critical scrutiny of big sums of qualitative informations. All paperss and other empirical informations were carefully examined to place statements and actions that reflected similar positions and significances with regard to ERP execution procedure.

Data analysis and reading focused on the relationship between the activities of interior decorators and users and the reproduced forms and signifiers at the institutional degree. The three theoretical constructs described above were identified during the informations analysis as depicting the of import facet of the ERP procedure. The analysis featured a cyclical procedure where we moved between theoretical constructs and our empirical informations ERP execution procedure.


EURMOBIL is a big, long-established transnational company in the telecommunication sector supplying high engineering merchandises. The company has more than 50,000 employees in over 100 states and has its central office in Europe. EURMOBIL has four major merchandise sections: I ) Mobile operations ( e.g. nomadic base Stationss ) two ) fixed line telecom operations, three ) endeavor communicating solutions and four ) consumer merchandises ( nomadic phones ) . The operations were divided purely into business-to-business and consumer solutions. Traditionally, the company had a really profitable fixed line concern, which had been the basis of the company. However, during the 1890ss the nomadic base station division had grown at a really fast gait and was at the clip of this undertaking, the most profitable portion of EURMOBIL.

Telecommunications switches, both nomadic and fixed line, developed for the telecom web operators are engineer-to-order type merchandises, which typically involve extended customization for the clients. Their gross revenues and execution rhythms range typically from 6 months to three old ages. Each switch is composed of constituents built in several workss and by up to hundred sub-contractors. Each switch is custom engineered harmonizing to local criterions, capacities and so on. Each station is besides assembled in a EURMOBIL installation to prove whether all of the parts fit together and the system works before deploying it to the client.

In nomadic web concern high volume comes from the nomadic base Stationss. Mobile base Stationss are besides really much of “ hi-tech ” merchandises, nevertheless they are extremely standardised and can be deployed as “ plug-in ” sweetenings into webs, where the basic substructure ( e.g. more standardised Mobile web based on GSM engineering ) is in topographic point. The bringing of base Stationss grew really quickly throughout the 1890ss and the logistics involved constituted a major job for the company.

Mobile phones are aggregate market merchandises, which are sold to stop users through retail channels and they have a really short life-span. In the nomadic phone concern the key to profitableness is the velocity of the logistics concatenation and any hold or repositing of the goods had inauspicious affect on profitableness.

Executive team/ Global concern direction B-to-b order fulfilment Project director ( research worker ) Undertaking support ( Systems & A ; process integrating alteration direction ) Product direction Team leader Team members Gross saless & A ; selling Team leader Team members Sourcing & A ; supply Team leader Team members Customer services Team leader Team members Projects & A ; implement.

Team leader

Team members

Traditionally EURMOBIL handled the sourcing and storage of natural stuffs and semi-finished goods and single providers ( there were several 100s of them ) delivered the goods straight to single workss. Similarly, each national organisation was mostly independent and had autonomy to secure goods in response to client orders. This worked good locally, but there was no reconciliation of the burden across boundary lines and divisions. With the roar in the telecom industry and fastening competition, nevertheless the direction of EURMOBIL saw that there was a demand for a new planetary vision and standardised operations across the Earth. To this terminal EURMOBIL had started a large-scale procedure development enterprise, which aimed at specifying a new planetary concern theoretical account for the company.

The end of this enterprise was to standardise the client handling and fulfilment procedures across the Earth. However, in the mostly independent and consensus goaded civilization of EURMOBIL the advancement of this undertaking was slow, which had an inauspicious consequence on the undertaking we are analyzing here. During 1997, EURMOBIL began streamlining the logistics and client response processes and standardized the procedures across divisional and national boundary lines, mostly in response to convergence of the telecom and IT industries and the quickly turning volume of EURMOBIL ‘s merchandise cargos.

The thought for a wholly new manner of managing the logistics procedure came from the freshly appointed CIO, who came from Microsoft and was used to a civilization, where the operations and package were standardized across the company. He saw that EURMOBIL was utilizing a batch of different applications ( even multiple installings of SAP ) and there were good chances for at the same time streamlining the procedures and salvaging money on package procurance, preparation and care.

Several state organisations in major markets ( North America and Western Europe ) already had working ERP installings in topographic point, and the U.S. works had a really advanced logistics system based on SAP R/3. It was decided that this would be used as a templet for the execution of the first version of the company broad logistics fulfillment procedure. The CEO and CIO paid a visit to the U.S. works and decided to travel in front utilizing their well working SAP execution as a design for the planetary ERP undertaking. Furthermore, the caput of IT of the U.S. works became the undertaking director for the planetary procedure development enterprise.

The ERP solution was designated to replace a figure of bequest systems that were used in assorted locations and tied together with usage built Bridgess. It was hoped that this would give the company a much better position of its stock list and bringing degrees on a planetary footing. Another ground for this was to forestall disconnected ERP executions by each national organisation that was seen as really expensive for the company ( there were legion ERP undertakings traveling on in different states and divisions ) . It was expected that all of these separate installings would be replaced by a common SAP ERP platform.

This enterprise represented a enormous alteration for the company which had traditionally operated so that each national organisation and even single mills had great freedom to make up one’s mind how to run the local operation. The new theoretical account underlying ERP was in crisp contrast to this, because it was based on a common platform, which would implement standardised planetary procedures. The whole execution was seen as a major alteration plan, which would hold reverberations throughout the whole organisation.

The undertaking squad responsible for ERP execution was organized into several functional groups ( e.g. logistics for business-to-business, logistics for consumer goods, human dealingss, accounting, footing execution ) , a proficient group, SAP competency centre and an execution pilot group. In add-on there were executives and direction squads who were responsible for the overall coordination of the undertaking. The functional groups addressed the concern procedures of Human Relations ( HR ) , Finance, Consumer Supply Chain and Business-to-Business Supply Chain. The proficient support group was formed from EURMOBIL ‘s SAP Competence Centre. Top degree sponsorship for the alteration plan was provided by senior company executives who had sought to advance the undertaking as a major enterprise for the company ‘s success. For illustration the CEO claimed, “ This is one of the most critical undertakings for our hereafter success and I expect you to acquire personally involved to guarantee that we, through co-operation, make a common company attack ” .

To hedge unfavorable judgment that this undertaking is non merely another operation from central offices removed from the existent patterns, the undertaking offices were intentionally positioned in the center of a trigon formed by the EURMOBIL central office, fixed line webs HQ and nomadic webs HQ. This was seen as a impersonal land for all parties involved. It besides ensured that all the parties had to go to the location, which was both positive and negative. To guarantee the committedness and the bargain in of local operations the undertaking direction did a batch of internal merchandising.

As stated above the research chiefly focused on the organisation of the business-to-business logistics undertaking ( see Figure 1 ) . This undertaking squad was assembled from more than hundred EURMOBIL employees manus picked from all over the universe. Almost a 100 external consults were assigned to the undertaking at its extremum. Three separate consulting houses were involved. Two houses worked with the fixed line webs and nomadic webs divisions, severally and the 3rd one was working with the consumer merchandises division.

The original thought of the undertaking was to alter all of the fulfilment processes into one standardised theoretical account. However, for this to go on, there was a demand for a common company history list and shared standardised merchandise catalogues, which were the duty of a separate sub-project. In the interim there were several pressing issues: the major state organisations, that had their ERP installings in topographic point, were loath to alter their theoretical accounts, and there were pressing demands to make speedy holes for the looming twelvemonth 2000 job.

This led to the overall long term undertaking theoretical account and vision, which is set out in the following subdivision. From the figure above we can see that the undertaking was functionally divided harmonizing to SAP faculty division. The process side of the matrix was defined by three separate sub-projects: the Y2000ERP undertaking handled twelvemonth 2000 state specific solutions, LogisticsERP ( logistics command solution ) and CorporateERP ( corporate solution ) development undertakings to supply short-run, mid-term and longterm solutions for the planetary concern theoretical account and its execution.

4.1 Origin

EURMOBIL employed an outside consulting group who carefully investigated assorted alternate supply concatenation organisation rules. They spent nine months looking at enforced solutions in other hi-tech industries, such as computing machine fabrication. Particularly the physique to order theoretical account of Dell and their supply concatenation optimisation was carefully studied. Subsequently, EURMOBIL was given a really good overview of the proficient solutions of several instance companies.

As discussed earlier it was decided that there would be merely one logistics theoretical account for the full company and this would be defined as the concluding merchandise of the CorporateERP undertaking. However to rush up execution it was decided to recycle one specific works theoretical account of fulfilment as a starting point. This U.S. works had already a working local execution of a logistics Centre based theoretical account utilizing SAP. In kernel this led to get downing the LogisticsERP undertaking, which was supposed to pattern the mention processed for the latter stages. This was the mention theoretical account for the SAP execution, because there was no chosen mention theoretical account for the overall planetary procedure.

4.2 Planning

The plan was launched in January 1998 by “ a figure of enterprises aimed at a more efficient company, which joined forces to make company ‘s vision and strategic aims ” by developing new, improved concern & A ; administrative procedures and system tools, utilizing SAP R/3 as the enabling package, and supplying the mechanism to back up execution globally. The pick of ERP bundle was hence fixed and it was non an issue. The work started with definitions of new fulfillment procedures.

The procedure designs were developed utilizing Intellicorp ‘s Live Model procedure design tool, and were based on constructions and be aftering attacks of SAP ‘s ASAP ( Brand, 1999 ) execution methodological analysis. These tools were common and non proprietary to any specific SAP consulting spouse.

The logistics fulfillment theoretical account chosen was vendor managed stock list, with a logistics supplier responsible for pull offing the operation. The initial program was to construct a cardinal logistics distribution centre and path everything through this hub. Besides all of the outgoing cargos would be traveling through this cardinal logistics hub. This theoretical account was really good suited for the complex edifice and fulfillment procedure of the shift Stationss. Subsequently this base would be enhanced to back up besides HR, care and planetary accounting patterns.

4.3 Planned execution of LogisticsERP

When the designs had been frozen, they were used as a program for the execution of the theoretical account in SAP R/3. This would organize the footing for all executions across 120 states. Before these could be rolled out there would be a demand to develop a proficient substructure and support for running the system. This was designed so that there would be three service centres, one located in the Nordic part, one in North America and one in Asia, to give a 24 hr support capableness and equilibrate the burden. There was besides a demand to develop a comprehensive preparation and deployment toolkit. Even before these could be developed at that place had to be serious sweetenings of the SAP system ( these would finally take to the development of the telecom industry solution for SAP itself ) .

The plan and therefore each undertaking had the authorization to guarantee that common concern procedures are instituted across all current concern units and countries. The alteration plan started to construct a common design for the procedures. These were developed based on current best patterns of the house. In pattern this means that the undertaking squads and the consulting houses developed elaborate procedure maps for each concern procedure utilizing the procedure modeling tools. They besides started configuring the SAP R/3 utilizing these procedure maps.

4.4 Y2000ERP undertaking

The Y2000ERP undertaking had to be developed in analogue with LogisticsERP, as it was severely needed by a few state organisations, which would hold been unable to go on their operation past the bend of the millenary. This meant that some of the resources would be off from the chief undertaking to assist this undertaking. On the other manus this gave a possibility to prove the roll-out of ERP on a state by state footing. The job with this undertaking was that it introduced a ‘drift ‘ from the planetary theoretical account into really state specific local solutions.

The undertaking was handled by EURMOBIL ‘s internal SAP competency centre and it was executed in clip and budget. This was fundamentally an out of the box SAP R/3 execution but the organisations that took it into usage found it to be really suited for their local intents. This would subsequently turn out to be the footing for opposition of the planetary theoretical account. The states that had this execution up and running saw no ground to travel for the EBGM theoretical account any longer. Although this was designed as a speedy hole for the twelvemonth 2000 job, it still continues to be in operation in one tierce of the state organisations of EURMOBIL. Furthermore, it has been given a new trade name and it continues to germinate under a new name.

4.5 Changed class

Harmonizing to the undertaking enchiridion: “ During the undertaking, any undertaking ensuing in the add-on of new deliverables, the omission of planned deliverables, the enlargement or contraction of planned undertakings, or the changing of the undertaking agenda due to handiness of user forces, will be recorded and managed through the formal range direction process. ” This means in pattern that one would necessitate the permission of the undertaking maneuvering commission to do a alteration. Due to the broad span of the maneuvering group the consensus on these issues was difficult to accomplish.

During the class of the workshops the exact range of the business-to-business fulfilment undertaking underwent major alterations. The undertaking deliverables, whilst seeking to reflect the concluding range, suffered as a consequence of the alterations. The specification of certain cardinal constructs within EURMOBIL that were still in the procedure of being defined besides affected the deepness and extent of some of the deliverables. One illustration was the argument refering the exact nature of the logistics hub and how it should be represented within SAP. There continued to be, throughout the plan meetings, a deficiency of lucidity sing the likely clients of LogisticsERP and hence exact concern demands.

Some six months into the undertaking several alterations took topographic point. First, the company went through convulsion, its gross collapsed and the CEO was replaced. The old CEO had been the patron of the plan and this caused subsequent jobs for the procedure. The new CEO came from the nomadic web division. At the same clip the CIO was demoted from the company direction squad into a line director place, describing to substructure directors. This meant besides the lessening of position and importance of the whole undertaking. Furthermore, most of the new direction squad members came from the really profitable Mobile web division. They saw the LogisticsERP plan as largely assisting the slightly less successful fixed line web division. In pattern they wanted the LogisticsERP plan to be shelved. This caused a alteration in focal point from the LogisticsERP theoretical account to CorporateERP theoretical account.

In a due class this led to the surrender of the CIO, who had been the primus motor of the planetary procedure supported by ERP. The new CIO came from the now powerful nomadic switch division and he was evidently in favor of the CorporateERP theoretical account.

One major alteration was that the thought of a individual logistics hub was abandoned and it was replaced with a new theoretical account. The execution was based on a logistics hub next to each of the fabrication sites and farther into a theoretical account, where fulfilment procedures would non necessitate any logistics hubs, but instead the external logistics supplier would deploy the Stationss straight to their concluding locations, where they would be assembled. This theoretical account was a good tantrum for the big graduated table bringings of “ pluggable ” base Stationss by the nomadic web division. This meant that most of the procedure descriptions and designs developed up to this point had to be abandoned and the modeling needed to get down from abrasion once more. Besides all of the constellation work done so far had to be abandoned.

There were internal concerns as good, as the theoretical account that was chosen, was a better tantrum for the nomadic base station order fulfilment than the traditional shift station package developers. This was rather natural, as the theoretical accounts studied were from make-to-order production alternatively of engineer-to-order. To do things worse, the procedure theoretical accounts were mostly adapted based on the streamlined procedures of the nomadic web shapers.

4.6 Epilogue

When revisiting the site, we found out that now 100 out of 140 national companies of EURMOBIL are utilizing SAP or are in the procedure of turn overing it out. Interestingly, out of these one tierce uses the Y2000ERP solution, one fifth has rolled out the LogisticsERP solution and the remainder is working on a continuance of the CorporateERP undertaking. The HR faculty has been implemented and is in usage in many states. The development of the planetary theoretical account continues in new undertaking, which besides adds characteristics needed by fiscal planning. This undertaking “ continues to suit these faculties of SAP better with the EURMOBIL manner of working ” . In general EURMOBIL is still seeking to acquire off from the state specific solutions and travel towards the planetary theoretical account. However, as the big figure of interim versions still in usage shows, this happens easy and seems to work best when accompanied by major alterations in SAP R/3 versions.


The EURMOBIL instance survey illustrates that at the managerial degree, there were clear purposes to replace several bequest systems, and an already disconnected suite of SAP installings in national organisations and to transform all the fulfillment processes into a individual, standardised planetary procedure.

The contextual conditions at the clip seemed to hold given rise to such purposes. For illustration, there were convergence of the telecom and IT industries. The volume of EURMOBIL ‘s merchandise cargos was quickly turning. There were different ERP applications in national companies that were seen as really dearly-won for the company. The freshly appointed CIO from Microsoft brought the thought of standardisation of package across the company as a manner to salvaging money on package procurance, preparation and care. Furthermore he saw the standardisation of planetary logistics operations accomplishable merely through a centralised system.

When the undertaking was launched nevertheless certain contextual forces kicked in and led to different results. Some of the forces were related to the societal construction: the freshly appointed Chief executive officer from the nomadic web division used his power place to sabotage the LogisticsERP as this benefited merely fixed line concern ( power ) ; and the construct of planetary systems and procedures was seen as conflicting with the civilization of national companies which ever had greater freedom to run their operations ( cultural ) . The other forces related to affordance of the systems: the ERP faculty would non work as intended without common histories and a standard merchandise catalogue. The whole execution procedure may be seen as the interaction of intentionality ; affordance and societal construction ( see Table 1 ) .

Intentionality Affordance Political/ cultural ( societal construction )

  • to replace bequest SAP systems in national organisations
  • to enable a much better position of its stock list and bringing
  • to forestall disconnected ERP executions
  • to hold control by each national organisation cut down costs
  • to acquire off from the state specific solutions and travel towards the planetary theoretical account
  • to alter all of the fulfilment processes into one standardised theoretical account
  • could non continue before a common company histories and standardised merchandise catalogues were in topographic point
  • could non continue with the planetary ‘unifying theoretical account ‘ as systems in many national organisations were non twelvemonth 2000 compliant.
  • demand improvise impermanent solutions to enable many national organisations to go on operation over the bend of the millenary
  • senior company executives promoted the undertaking as a major enterprise for the company ‘s success
  • national organisation had greater freedom to make up one’s mind how to run the local operation
  • freshly appointed Chief executive officer from the profitable nomadic division undermined LogisticsERP which had benefited the fixed line concern.

When the system did non execute as originally intended the undertaking squad had to acquire actively involved in suiting revised goals/ programs, and amending technological constituents ( SAP modules or bequest systems ) and organisational characteristics ( merchandise catalogues process ) . For illustration, there was clearly an purpose to make a incorporate procedure for all divisions in different states. The undertaking squad hence requested for standardisation of organisational processs such as merchandise cryptography, company histories and merchandise catalogues. However, this was non seen as a duty of the ERP execution undertaking that was seen as a technological squad. This forced them to make partial solutions to demo advancement. Subsequently, it was found that they could non continue with the planetary ‘unifying theoretical account ‘ as bequest systems in many national organisations were non twelvemonth 2000 compliant. As a agency of get the better ofing this ‘affordance ‘ of the system they hence had to improvize impermanent solutions ( Y2000ERP utilizing SAP ) to enable many national organisations to go on operation over the bend of the millenary. The affordance of the system may either accommodate directors ‘ purposes and realize directors ‘ ends or defy the advancement and coerce them to revise programs and ends.

Similarly, the advancement with LogisticsERP undertaking was constrained by other contextual forces associating to societal construction. The alterations in power dealingss at the top direction degree, such as the assignment of the new CEO from the extremely profitable Mobile web division and accordingly, the decreased duty of the CIO who championed LogisticsERP, undermined the LogisticsERP undertaking in the company. The LogisticsERP undertaking and related SAP faculties were hence cancelled and much of the original design attempt that went into this undertaking was subsequently reused in the new CorporateERP undertaking. Social construction hence constrained certain managerial purposes while enabling others in this context.

Both affordance of the system and societal construction therefore allowed or restricted the managers’ purposes with regard to ERP execution. When there were limitations they frequently resorted to revising development programs or rescheduled events ; altering bing or new technological constituents ; altering organisational procedures ; or abandoning their programs.


Situated action Enable/ constrain

Resistance/ adjustment

Social Structure


Figure 2: Model of outgrowth and effects of the impetus and control of ERP execution at EUROMOBIL

Whether directors ‘ purposes were resisted or accommodated, the results were frequently unintended and emergent. For illustration, the Y2000ERP undertaking was non an intended result but commenced in response to the demand to supply impermanent solutions. Y2000ERP nevertheless became established successfully in the national companies and there was no support later for implementing LogisticsERP faculty in national companies. While Y2000ERP was seen as a major drain on resources from the ERP enterprise, this undertaking besides gave an chance for proving the ERP system on a country-by-country footing, which was non intended antecedently. The effect of these emerging undertakings is technological impetus. Similarly, cancellation of LogisticsERP undertaking led to suggestion for recycling the constituents from this undertaking for the new CorporateERP undertaking. However, these constituents were based on incompatible fulfillment theoretical accounts ( do to order and applied scientist to order ) . In fact the ERP undertaking was an chance for conveying together a big figure of organisational members, who worked over 10 old ages at EURMOBIL in similar places, for the first clip to face their reluctance to proposed alterations and besides enabled new chances for co-operation that were needed to hold on the proposed planetary standardised theoretical account. The new system hence brought new spatio-temporal models of interaction in which assorted point of views conflicted and co-operated in a ‘power game ‘ to bring forth control and impetus of ERP execution.

The mechanism of outgrowth and effects of the impetus and control is depicted in Figure 2. This illustrates that ERP execution procedure was triggered by interior decorators ‘ and users ‘ purposes ( intentionality ) in response to internal and external contextual conditions. Their actions in footings of presenting new ERP elements and their usage were shaped by the nature of engineering ( affordance ) and the power and cultural scenes ( societal construction ) .

While the improvisational theoretical account ( Orlikowski & A ; Hofman, 1997 ) indicates that technology-related alteration such as the ERP execution is an on-going procedure of organisational patterns, we have sought to supply farther penetrations into the outgrowth and effects of the impetus and control of ERP execution ( see Figure 4 ) . The construct of impetus indicates that the alteration procedure involves purposeful action affecting serendipity and opportunity. The impetus emerged out of organisational members planned and unplanned actions in response to both old engineering and organisational belongingss they have enacted in the yesteryear. The technology-related alteration procedure is non purely a procedure from one phase to another as the traditional literature on alteration suggests.

Our conceptualisation of control and impetus of ERP execution seems to bespeak that the planning phase may non be able to predefine all alterations to be installed and foresee their organisational deductions. Management of such ERP undertakings would hence be debatable. How do we avoid the visual aspect of side-projects, such as the Y2000ERP undertaking, which diverts attempt from the chief undertaking? On the other manus many in EURMOBIL considered Y2000ERP as the best solution ensuing from learning-by-doing or merely serendipity. If we were to take advantage of germinating capablenesss and chances so we would hold to confront legion possibilities that the undertaking could germinate into.

What policy counsel can be given for managing external events that wholly change the class of the undertaking? Should we strongly insist that the squad attempt goes into the chief undertaking instead than on internal merchandising and little side undertakings? Learning-b-doing or following both engineering and organisation requires dedicated resources. How much slack should at that place be in the undertaking to manage possible emergent issues and chances?

The planetary fusion of procedures is a really complex undertaking even for a company like EURMOBIL that has more than a 100 twelvemonth ‘s tradition of transnational operations. Any attack to pull offing such a undertaking should take into history the impetus of ERP execution, and the demand for customization and improvisation to suit revised ends in response to affordance of the system and the demand to take advantage of emerging capablenesss and chances. We believe that our conceptualisation may be of value to research workers look intoing ERP execution in a assortment of state of affairss, by supplying constructs for understanding the acceptance procedure. The manner we related the contextual forces through the constructs of intentionality, affordance and societal construction could be elaborated theoretically by farther empirical foundation in other state of affairss.


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