Enterprise resource planning systems integrate information of the management system both internally and externally throughout the entire organization. It covers finances, manufacturing, sales and customer relations. Enterprise resource planning does this by the use of an integrated software application. Its main purpose is to facilitate the flow if information between the management and the stakeholders.

Background Information

A number of reports reveal that various ERP inventions do not meet the expectations of the respective companies in which they are applied. This indicates the extent of the problem that the ERP is meant to curb. The importance of the software has to be analyses first before implementing it to the system of the company. In presenting the importance of the ERP, this paper seeks to highlight and deeply evaluate the ways in which ERP extends its operation beyond improvements in the company systems. The ERP can be seen to be of strategic impact to the company considering its competitive position to the organization it is applied.  Due to the nature of the ERP system, there needs to be a critical organizational and technological approach towards the implementation of the system to the organization.

Information systems are very crucial in any company or firm that seeks to be globalized today.  The information systems are geared towards bringing together the elements of the firm together by optimizing social and technical systems in the organization. These systems serve as a forum in which results of the organization realized.

Case Overview

In view of the importance of the ERP systems, the information systems are another way of integrating assets of an organization together. In this effect, the General Motors Cooperation’s activities encompass logistics, sales, marketing, operations and service. The support activities include Human Resource, administrative management, technology and procurement. General Motors is widely spread throughout the world, reaching fifty countries and having over one hundred and sixty manufacturing plants. As at today, GM has employed more than 386,000 employees working in the manufacturing plants in all the fifty countries. It ranks among the top global corporations, taking most of the US.    

Conceptual Framework

In the past two decades, business information systems of various enterprises across the world have been exemplified by the implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. These systems are the current forms of business today for large organizations in the public and private sector. The need for the adoption of ERP comes from the desire to reduce system-operating costs such as the acquisition of software for supporting certain production modes.

Systems such as the ERP are aimed at increasing the flexibility of an organization in order to positively respond to customer demands. Back office applications cannot effectively deal with the dynamics of the world today. These systems enable the organization to easily cope with the changing trends in the world today. The evaluation of ERP at General Motors is based on the impact of competition as well as the cost of production. Financial controls such as discounts are usu8sally abused when they are used to evaluate IT decisions in the company.  This can be attributed to the difficulty in the quantification of the strategic systems’ value.

Conceptual framework

A number of scholars in various academic literature publications have proposed the ERP framework. The main point of concern is mainly in the identification of success factors, as outlined in the model above. Their needs to be a clearer understanding of the ERP as well as its cycle in order to effectively implement it to the locomotive sector such as the GM Corporation.  The main stages in the ERP model suggested include pre-implementation, implementation and post-implementation.  The main activities throughout these stages include definition of requirements, gap analysis, and roll out.

The first phase in the framework is the identification of the business vision. Investing in the ERP is a very wide step towards strategic planning. However, in effecting information technology and information systems require a clear business vision. The next step involves the evaluation of the needs and capabilities’ constraints. The financial inefficiencies of GM Corporation are analyzed at this stage. Requirements are also analyzed at this stage. These requirements may include operations efficiency of GM, supply chain, process integration and CRM. Constraints may ne technical, financial or organizational. Implementation is another step that is critical because it is the stage at which the system is applied to the organization structure. This resource consuming process involves very risky activity. Many companies think that after implementation, there is no other issue regarding the already installed system. Changes in the markets and technological expertise require companies to update their ERP system.  The last stage is the evaluation stage. It requires a great deal of understanding of impacts of ERP on business strategy and production. These include the benefits, risks, strategies, return on investment as well as the estimation of the value.  Therefore, ERP systems are very different from other systems that are used in various organizations. The flexibility of the ERP system makes it very productive wherever it is applied. In the General Motors Corporation, the ERP is likely to increase the profitability of the company. The GM Corporation is dependent on the ERP system that has been selected. This means that ERP influences the GM Corporation.

Research Proposal

Purpose: The study shall also find out the real facts regarding the system and its contribution to the company at large. The aim of this research shall be basically to find out if the Enterprise Resource Planning System is necessary in increasing profitability in the manufacturing processes of General Motors Corporation. The research shall also seek to outline the advantages of the system over traditional systems in GM.

Background: The research will be of descriptive nature, in which production and ERP are the main variables. GM Corporation has been chosen due to its diversity in producing many products that are recognized worldwide.

Scope: the research will be a six-period study that will look into the various ways in which the introduction of ERP has increased the profitability in the GM Corporation.

Method: the research shall include an extensive literature review on the usage of ERP in various corporations and compare to the GM Corporation. Interviews, questionnaires and situational analysis will be used to collect data. A report will be written based on the findings. 

Dependent and independent variables

GM”s business status is the dependent variable. It solely depends on the ERP system in order to give the desired output. If the ERP system does not contribute to the profitability, then GM does not benefit from the system. Therefore, ERP is the independent variable because the GM Corporation does not affect it. It remains constant because whether it is used on not, it remains the same system.

Research Schedule/time:

Activity

Duration

Proposal preparation

1 week

Complete literature review

2 weeks

Complete fieldwork

1 week

Complete analysis

8 days

Presentation

4 days

Complete final report

13 days

Problems Statement

GM’s main objective in the locomotive market is to create global processes that are a common platform for all major car portfolios. In doing this, the company has employed various strategies that are geared towards increasing the profitability. Strengthening of investment is another strategy that is aimed at increasing the profitability of the company. A clear study needs to verify the extent to which the ERP increases the profitability of the GM Corporation.

Research Objectives

  1. To find out which functional areas in GM Corporation can be benefited or streamlined from the ERP System Implementation.  Functional areas such as a)Sales & Marketing, b)Engineering, c)Production Control, d)Material Control, e) Material Procurement, f) Research & Development (R&D) , g)Inventory Control and h)Logistic and Shipping etc.
  2. To find out whether the ERP system implementation lead to tighten the cost control in areas of a)Inventory/material cost, b)production cost, c)labor and machine cost and d)Administration cost etc and  result in decreasing the direct and indirect cost ?
  3. To find out whether the ERP implementation increase the profitability of GM Corporation 

Research questions

          The research shall seek to answer the following questions:

  1. How the ERP system can improve customer satisfactions? Does the customer satisfaction improvement result in increasing in sales revenue?
  2. Can the ERP system implementation streamline operation process in various functional areas in GM Corporation:- Functional areas such as a)Sales & Marketing, b)Engineering, c)Production Control, d)Material Control, e) Material Procurement, f) Research & Development (R&D) , g)Inventory Control and h)Logistic and Shipping etc.
  3. Can the ERP system implementation lead to tighten the cost control in areas of a) Inventory/material cost, b) production cost, c) labor and machine cost and d) Administration cost etc. Is it resulting in decrease the direct and indirect cost?
  4. Can the ERP system helps to increase the profitability of the GM corporation 
  5. Can GM Corporation benefited from the EDP system implementation

Significance /Importance of this study

This study is very crucial not only to the GM corporation but also to all other organizations that wish to review thier information systems and increase the efficiency of the company inn  meeting the company’s customer demands.   The study shall also reveal the various ways of maintaining this system through its framework of the key concepts that will be discussed in the process of the study. The dynamic nature of today’s market and the advancement in technological knowledge has led to the establishment of systems that are able to withstand these dynamics and maintain a flexible operating environment.

Research Methodology

The study will be based on various sources of data. These are academic literature regarding ERP, web articles, magazines, and interviews that will be carried out in the field with the assistance of questionnaires.  Data will be collected using questionnaires, which will be designed for various individuals in order to get the absolute data required for this study. There will be a questionnaire for the department of IT officials at GM Corporation, another questionnaire for some of the ERP consultants, and a final questionnaire for the management of GM Corporation.  The research shall include an extensive literature review on the usage of ERP in various corporations and compare to the GM Corporation. Interviews, questionnaires and situational analysis will be used to collect data. A report will be written based on the findings

Questionnaires

Questionnaires will be very suitable in collecting data for this study. The main concepts that will be required by the respondent will be the application of the ERP and its eventual success in the company. There will be a questionnaire for the staffs of GM in the department of IT, the management and another questionnaire for the consultants of ERP.  The questionnaires will be tested for validity and reliability to increase the accuracy of the data presented.

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