Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the critical success factors (CSFs) of enterprise resource planning (ERP) system implementation in small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). Design/methodology/approach – Five case studies of Canadian SMEs were conducted. They included interviewing individuals from five roles at each organization and gathering project documents. Following an evaluation of each project's success (within‐case analysis), cross‐case analysis was conducted to elicit influential and distinctive factors. Findings – Factors were identified that appeared to explain variation between successful and unsuccessful implementations at SMEs, besides factors that appeared to be innovative or counter‐intuitive in light of the established literature. Research limitations/implications – The study reinforces the need for more research that is focused on SMEs. All cases were of Canadian SMEs with either a manufacturing or distribution focus, potentially limiting the generalizability of findings to other industries or countries. Practical implications – By identifying relevant CSFs for SMEs, managers can better prioritize implementation efforts and resources to maximize success of ERP implementations. Originality/value – The paper appears to be one of the first studies to focus on the CSFs of ERP implementation at SMEs.
International Journal of Operations & Production Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 9, 2009
Keywords: Manufacturing resource planning; Small to medium‐sized enterprises; Critical success factors; Canada
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