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Case study : an evaluation of the implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP) at a South African municipal entity.

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Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a computer based software application that is widely implemented in many business organisations. These systems have evolved over the years into component based modules with the ability to easily integrate with other systems, provide real time information and improve information sharing and collaboration. Choosing an ERP system is a complex process and the literature clearly illustrates the failure of organisations to effectively specify, select and implement ERP systems resulting in the inability to effectively harness the associated benefits. This study focuses on a South African water utility and the processes followed in procuring and implementing an ERP system. It is interesting to note, that in this study, despite the utility having experienced a failed ERP implementation decided to replace the same? ERP system. A rigorous process was followed to find a replacement ERP system only to set aside all alternate commercial of-the-shelf systems and re-implement the original failed ERP system. To gain insight of the processes followed, the COTS theoretical framework is presented to bring the reader’s attention to associated theoretical studies. In this study, we will conduct a systematic literature review on ERP systems, its background, implementation processes and associated implementation outcomes. This research, presents a case study that will describe and explore the process of ERP implementation at the water utility. We will document the process the utility followed in acquiring and setting up functional and non-functional evaluation criteria for the ERP system. Further, we have considered the processes of preparation, evaluation, selection and implementation. The analysis of the implementation process has brought to light the importance of defining ERP scopes based on business requirements, specifications based on the business scopes and evaluation criterion. The findings and results from this case study will contribute to the conceptual and contextual understanding of the specification, selection and implementation of ERP systems.


Master of Commerce in Information Systems and Technology. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2018.