Businesses today confront new markets, new competition, and increasing customer expectations. Thus, companies constantly have to update their business practices and procedures to be even more responsive to their customers and competition. Within the last few decades, information technology emerged as an essential tool to give businesses a competitive advantage. More specifically, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems are a major information technology being used, in hopes of obtaining this competitive advantage. The efficiency of an enterprise relies upon how quickly information flows across the complete supply chain i.e. from the manufacturer to the supplier to the consumer and so forth. The main purpose of an ERP system is to expedite the supply chain and to make it more efficient.
In reviewing the effects of Hansen's Products implementation of its new ERP system (Microsoft Business Solutions Axapta), it is also good to note why it was necessary for the company to implement it in the first place.
In attempting to manage its production planning and scheduling needs, Hansen had been using a nine-year-old financial system in conjunction with multiple disparate spreadsheets. The company had outgrown that accounting solution. Their raw materials were processed outside of the main system, which made their planning difficult. Their previous solution possessed several constraints in handling their export documentation and multi-currency requirements. Once Hansen realized the decision had to be made to adopt a new and integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, it evaluated seven potential applications before short-listing three and examining their functionality in more depth.
In this case, the implementation of the new ERP system allowed the company to integrate at all levels and utilize important ERP applications such as supply-chain management, human resource management and customer relationship management. These applications represent large, complex, computerized and integrated systems, which will strongly influence Hansens's products...