Information Technology

ERP Selection Process In SMEs Factor #7 & Final: Focus On Running The Business

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<p>The seventh and final observation wrapping up the series of articles is around the emphasis the SMEs attributed towards the importance of focussing on <strong>running their business</strong> with as few distractions and disruptions as possible which can cost them dearly and impact their competitive levels.</p><p>Hence the importance of making the right decisions once, and investing for the long run, through the avoidance of mistakes due to short sight. Some of the SMEs has acquired such attitude through hard lessons learned in the past, as Verville <em>et al.&nbsp;</em>(2011) affirm that the wrong Enterprise Software acquisition can lead organizations towards chronologically exceeded budgets, harming drastically the organizations bottom-line and existence, hence high levels of disruption and the ability to run a smooth business.&nbsp;</p><p>SMEs are naturally very sensitive where capital investments are concerned, so they do them once, disrupt the operation in a planned and organized manner, secure business continuity in parallel, and then build a solid foundation of further growth, innovation, agility, automation, time to market, market reach and all the advantages the investment is intended to. This study is confirming earlier literature findings by Buonanno <em>et al.&nbsp;</em>(2005) and Shiau&nbsp;<em>et al.&nbsp;</em>(2009) that price is not the major deterring factor for SMEs to adopt ERP solutions, at least for those who have opted for a Tier 1 ERP system.&nbsp;</p><p>As a result, SMEs interviewed throughout the course of this research all stressed on the importance of partnering with the best and sought reliability in their business partners. The margin of error is tight whilst operating in a highly competitive market. In parallel, they constantly seek growth and do more with less. They cannot afford to risk their luck, one major error will jeopardize their future existence. They need to adopt best industry practices and secure their agility and competitiveness also thanks to the processes and systems they implement. They cannot settle for second best as it may drive them towards isolation, they need to replicate what their &lsquo;big brother&rsquo; enterprises adopt, despite their limited resources.&nbsp;</p><p>The Tier 1 vendors&rsquo; history in the ERP domain goes back to over 40 years. Year on year they invest billions of dollars in research and development to ensure to continue their pursuit towards innovation and automation and infuse best industry practices into their offerings. This rock-solid history, constant innovation, and appetite to serve the SME market, drives selective SMEs to put their ERP investment into either of these two vendors&rsquo; hands, and hope to move forward focus exclusively on running their business with the peace of mind that the selected ERP system can serve their needs for the long run and meet their ever-changing demands.&nbsp;</p><p>As a conclusion, this empirical study pursued to fill an identified gap in literature focussing specifically in a niche area of enquiry that was until now untapped by academic researchers. The combination of Tier 1 ERP, Selection Process, and SMEs together with a focus on the emerging markets of Eastern European was a domain with very specific research requirements and necessitated a researcher who has access to this market through his professional experience and solid knowledge of the subject. Several earlier studies that came any close to this domain were conducted based on a quantitative research model, or else merely on extensive literature review. This study is unique compared to current literature in the sense of:&nbsp;</p><ul><li>Looking into a focussed way into SMEs (as per European Union definition) in the context of Tier 1 ERP systems and the factors influencing the selection process.&nbsp;</li><li>Exploring SMEs within an international context, specifically within emerging transitional economies of Eastern Europe through an empirical approach.&nbsp;</li><li>Contributing from a methodology perspective using an innovative method of grounded theory within this domain, gathers rich insight through 26 interviews spanning over 13 countries, and answer these types of &lsquo;why&rsquo; and &lsquo;what&rsquo; questions.&nbsp;</li><li>Contribution from a theoretical perspective through pointing to the importance of understanding of the contextual condition in order to determine the factors influencing the SMEs ERP selection behavior&nbsp;</li><li>Uncovering factors through a scientific empirical approach what other studies failed to tap into due to the very specific market domain, requiring direct&nbsp;</li></ul><p>Hope you found this sharing of knowledge useful, feel free to reach out if you are interested to learn more.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Kevin Attard