Purpose – This paper aims to present a discussion of the critical success factors (CSF) that affect the acquisition process for enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Design/methodology/approach – The research strategy was a multiple‐case design with three organizations that had recently completed the acquisition of an ERP solution. The rationale for the multiple‐case design was that, as a research strategy, the focus could be directed to understanding the dynamics and complexities present within each case, these being critical success factors of the ERP software acquisition process within the organization. Findings – This study identified ten factors critical to the successful outcome of acquiring an ERP solution. Their omission would have resulted in a less than optimal outcome for the organization. For each of the three cases, the elements that stand out the most are as follows: clear and unambiguous authority, a structured, rigorous and user‐driven process, its planning, the establishment of criteria, and the sense of partnership that the team works to establish not only with various user commitments, but also with the potential vendor. Originality/value – It is important to note that no one CSF alone is going to make an ERP acquisition successful. It is rather the combination of several critical factors that will result in its successful outcome.
Journal of Enterprise Information Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 1, 2005
Keywords: Manufacturing resource planning; Computer software; Critical success factors
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