ERP Selection Process In SMEs. Factor #5: Supply Chain External Influence
<p>Speaking of external influences exercised on the SMEs especially through their supply chains.....Being part of a wider value chain did leave its mark of influence as these SMEs form part of a bigger picture and do not operate in complete autonomy. As confirmed in literature by Li <em>et al</em>. (2006), in today’s competitive landscape, for organisations to stay competitive, they need to recognise the importance of supply chain practices, in pursuit of not only improving their own performance, but coordinate with their supply chain partners towards improving the mutual performance of their respective organisations. </p><p>The supply chain dictates a strict level of compliance and quality assurance that at most of times imply external audits by these companies to ensure all is strictly adhered to. Compliance, quality assurance, and external audits are all elements also identified as influential factors as a result of this study. Interesting to make remark to the recent study published by Hwang and Min (2015), whilst different from this research as it does not exclusively focus on SMEs, suggests that the company’s ERP adoption and subsequent implementation is primarily influenced by the internal factors, although the findings pursue to suggest that yes, the external environment still indirectly has impact on the ERP adoption and the implementation decisions. External environmental conditions, such as the type of industry, the marketplace, the competitive pressure, and external ICT support are confirmed in Ramdani <em>et al. </em>(2013) study to be of influence for SMEs adoption of enterprise applications. </p><p>It is interesting to note that from the 11 academic studies analyzed as part of this research literature synopsis, only the study of Bernroider and Koch (2001) and that of Buonanno <em>et al</em>. (2005) attribute some importance towards supply chain influence within the ERP selection process. Hence the importance of this research is establishing the influence the supply chain has on SMEs towards their choice of ERP and reflecting this new finding in literature. From a practitioners perspective, those with vested interest to position their ERP solutions within the SMEs market, the more the prospective target is forming integral part of a value chain, the more the chances they need to abide to strict rules of participation within the chain, consequently impacting their choice of ERP to remain eligible and compliant with the rest of the participants. </p>
KR Expert - Kevin Attard
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