In recent years, a significant volume of industrial and academic research has been directed toward understanding the evolution and development of ERP systems and their associated applications. However, the associated technological and social changes are significant, and although many corporations have successfully implemented ERP, there have also been many reported cases of failed implementation.
This has led several researchers to examine in detail the causes of these failures in an effort to identify critical success factors associated with successful implementation.
This dissertation reports on an action research study that arose from an initiative designed to improve the likelihood of success when implementing a particular UK developed ERP system in China, namely “System 21” from JBA International. The project in which this research is embedded was a joint venture between JBA and a leading US beverage company, Pepsi Cola.
The dissertation initially focuses on the analysis of underlying reasons for pilot project failures in this joint venture. This draws upon qualitative data from managers, consultants, and other stakeholders involved in the ERP implementation at three geographically dispersed sites. The research then turns to an examination of ERP implementation methodology in the context of joint venture collaboration and associated issues such as change management and business process (re)engineering.
This is grounded in a literature review of several approaches adopted by the major ERP solution providers.
The literature review phase is followed by the design and distribution of a detailed questionnaire aimed at identifying, and subsequently addressing, the concerns of various customer stakeholders in a number of Hong Kong based businesses spanning a range of industrial sectors. Its aim was to secure the necessary improvements in methodology required to underpin the successful implementation in future Pepsi joint venture projects in China. Ultimately, this led to a set of recommendations in the form of a strategic framework for implementing ERP systems in China.
In summary, a key deliverable arising from the research was the production of a business model for the achievement of success when implementing joint venture ERP systems in China. A second related deliverable is the improvement of the generic implementation methodology currently available to customers of “System 21.” This has been achieved by developing a framework evolved from an adaptive approach to the implementation of ERP systems. To a great extent, the findings and recommendations are also applicable to other multinational companies that are operating in China and keen on implementing ERP systems within this particular setting, with its associated cultural and other restrictions.