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Re: ot: Please reference to excellent Enterprise Resrouce Planning book references

From: Dennis Williams <>
Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2006 09:34:28 -0500
Message-ID: <>


You've set a rather ambitious task for yourself. First of all, ERP is mainly a buzzword. It consists of whatever a company decides it should. As you have stated, an ERP consists of modules. The modules are where the real significance is, the real brains. The rest is just how you get the modules to communicate. Usually the key module is the general ledger module, since money is the key resource in an organization and the general ledger tracks the money. There are other modules that usually round out a fully-fledged accounting system such as budgeting, accounts payable, accounts receivable. Then there are other modules that companies have come to expect from a fully-fledged ERP system such as payroll, support for human relations, and perhaps inventory control. But the point is that at some point there is discretion whether to include particular modules or not in a vendor's ERP design, depending on what the vendor's clients are requesting, and where the vendor's competence lies.

    To develop any of these modules would take an education in that subject and years of professional practice. A company which wishes to develop one of these modules first hires a team of competent professionals in that subject area to design that module.

    Once you've developed individual modules, then you must decide how the modules will exchange information. A key decision is how frequently the modules need to exchange information. Sometimes it must be real-time. Sometimes you want an overnight cycle. Sometimes it is a month-end accounting cycle.

    In summary, ERP systems, even small ones, tend to be vast, sprawling affairs with complexity that boggles the imagination. But the number of features varies according to the size of organization which purchases them. Take payroll for example. Say you are a payroll clerk paying a dozen employees at a small organization. You just need a very simple payroll program to assist you. Maybe only one employee has a garnishment against his/her wages. You just handle that manually without assistance from the program. Now, suppose you manage a payroll department for a medium-sized company and you pay thousands of employees. Now there will be hundreds of people with garnishments against their wages so you must have a payroll program with a good garnishment feature or you'll spend a lot of time each month handling the garnishments manually. So small organizations use simple, cheap programs with few features, while large organizations use complex, expensive programs with many, many features. Hopefully this gives you some small insights into the ERP landscape.

    From the point of view of a database administrator, it is all tables and demanding users. You aren't expected to be an expert in any of the ERP modules. But you must ensure the users don't encounter any database errors and fix any errors promptly and courteously. You should have a professional demeanor that lets you work with many types of people.

Dennis Williams

Received on Tue Aug 08 2006 - 09:34:28 CDT

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