Status of implementation of ERP within the SMME consulting engineering sector.
Most companies have identified the need to incorporate Information technology (IT) in their companies in order to stay competitive in the current corporate world. The introduction of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems as a technological tool to enable competitiveness for enterprises provided many businesses with growth opportunities. For several micro, small and medium enterprises (SMMEs) it has, however, become almost impossible to implement ERP systems due to perceived high cost, lengthy timelines and high failures rates. Moreover, even though research has been conducted regarding these systems, literature on implementation methods are not extensive, thus making it complicated for enterprises to properly assess their decisions before considering installing the system. This study intended to study the status quo of ERP systems amongst SMMEs in the consulting engineering sector with an aim of also investigating possible challenges leading to non-implementation and benefits regarding the systems for those enterprises that have implemented the systems. The study incorporated a quantitative approach to study and was conducted amongst the consultants in the engineering sector involving 37 companies to which questionnaires were electronically distributed. The findings in this study indicated that there are still many companies within the engineering sector that have not yet implemented ERP systems. The perceived broad challenges with regards to ERP systems non-implementation included high costs, the complex nature of the systems, lack of training for end users and lack of involvement from top management. The recommendation was that there should be more involvement of experts in providing the industry with updated research about that value of having ERP systems installed in their companies.