1. Perfection Company Needs to Get an ERP System to Facilitate Integration
California University of Management and Sciences
2. ERP SYSTEM FOR PERFECTION COMPANY 2
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Business
Administration at California University of Management and Sciences
March 11, 2015
3. ERP SYSTEM FOR PERFECTION COMPANY 3
Table of Contents
Abstract ……………………………………………………………..…………………..…….. 4
Introduction …………………………………………………..………………………..…........ 5
Implementation Plan ………………………………………..………………………………… 7
Where is ERP? .......................................................................................................................... 16
Jordan: A Good Place to do Business………………………………………………………… 18
Case Study…………………………………………………………………………………….. 21
4. ERP SYSTEM FOR PERFECTION COMPANY 4
This paper discusses implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system as a solution
for issues currently affecting the Perfection Company, a new firm specializing in architecture and
design based in Amman, Jordan. The ERP method is designed to greatly upgrade the company’s
internal organization in order to boost its performance and make it more competitive.
Specifically, the ERP will target five principal areas within the company for improvement which
will significantly enhance integration both within and among Perfection’s departments. The ERP
program will do much to save time and effort, thereby reducing operational costs and increasing
5. ERP SYSTEM FOR PERFECTION COMPANY 5
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has a lengthy history reaching back into the mid-
1900s (Anselmo, 2014). The predecessor to ERP was called Manufacturing Resource Planning
(MRP). During the 1960s, MRP kept its acronymic identification but was known as
Manufacturing Requirements Planning (Anselmo, 2014). Both MRP and its ERP successor were
initially designed solely as software systems for organization and scheduling at manufacturing
companies (Anselmo, 2014).
Friedman (2009) has observed that American society blends religion, technology,
tradition, and new ideas (p.61). Thus, as American technology never idles for long, ERP
software began to forge on outside of internal usage. Other businesses—both customers and
suppliers of those pioneering in ERP—began to see the pluses of ERP systems and started to take
advantage of them. In particular, the government and service sector agencies were featured
among those availing themselves of ERP.
In the 1970s, as hardware and personal computers were introduced, ERP shifted to
specific business activities and accounting. During the 1980s, closed-loop ERP business
software, mostly produced by IBM, made its debut (Anselmo, 2014). Computer organizations
such as Oracle, JD Edwards, and SAP that had formed in the previous decade joined the team of
major ERP producers (Anselmo, 2014). This gave rise to the boom period of growth for ERP
systems in the 1990s, especially with respect to integrating the multiple areas of companies.
By the time of the new millennium, software vendors were merging and many among
their fold that could not survive alone were lost forever. Oracle and SAP endured, and Microsoft
Dynamics GP, known before as Great Plains, became part of the group of leading suppliers of
ERP systems. Today, they are still among the elite in dealers of ERP (Anselmo, 2014). ERP is a
6. ERP SYSTEM FOR PERFECTION COMPANY 6
software system serving the three main branches of many businesses around the world: finance,
human resources, and the warehouse. Normally, each of these branches or departments has its
own computer system customized to fit its unique way of overseeing its affairs on the job. ERP
simplifies matters and blends all three departmental systems into one software program operating
from a single database. An integrated approach such as this bypasses difficulties often
encountered with customer orders while increasing productivity, satisfaction, and profits
The Perfection Company is an emerging enterprise in Jordan with a new vision.
Committed to enhancing the architectural and interior design experiences among businesses
today, Perfection is staffed by highly motivated and creative architects. Their ultimate purpose is
to create original, formed, products in the fields of architecture and design that establish optimal
value for each client. Like many other newer outfits, Perfection is in need of greater organization
to function more efficiently and effectively. The solution is ERP.
As we will see ahead, ERP is here at just the right time. It is appropriate and can fit well
with Perfection’s needs at an early phase of development, and with Sermon Business solutions of
Jordan as its supplier. There may be challenges stemming from those who do not wish to, or do
not see the need for, change. Those issues will be handled through extensive training and public
warnings issued by company chiefs to comply with the changes or face dire consequences.
ERP is a rising, all-in-one package for business organization strongly supported by
Sermon Business Solutions, a provider of ERP based in Amman, Jordan. The ERP approach
addresses five key general areas: financial management, supply chain management,
manufacturing resource planning, human resource management, and customer relations
7. ERP SYSTEM FOR PERFECTION COMPANY 7
management. With these central points as its focus, ERP removes the menaces to corporate
structures or functions such as those at Perfection (Al Khateeb, 2007).
ERP responds to something authors on technology seem to have always known: since
technology is man-made, and because mankind is imperfect to begin with, then technology has
its limits and we must honor and address those limits rather than simply ignore them in the
pursuit of speedier development. ERP is like the aging parent, grandparent perhaps, abruptly
called in to settle a crisis among his or her children (who thought they knew everything and
could manage nicely without any guidance). And yet, there is a timeless newness to ERP because
it has often been reinvented to adapt to previously uncharted waters. We too must adapt along
with ERP, and not only with an understanding of its strengths, but also its possible weaknesses
(Cukier and Mayer-Schoenberger, 2013).
Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Krauthammer (2013) has noted: “We are in for abnormal
times… There are things to be done. Resist retreat as a matter of strategy and principle. And
provide the means to continue" (p.365). When you work for a company for a while, you come to
know its strengths and weaknesses. The strengths are easily embraced. They are the company’s
assets, its plus column points. However, the weaknesses take time to absorb and adjust to, for the
most part. At first, you do not really know how to react at all. You see that those problems
exist—there is no denying their presence (like a mole on someone’s nose). But, to do, let alone
say, anything about them is out of the question. It might end up costing you your next raise,
maybe even your job.
The demand for ERP shows us that, within a short period, perhaps only two decades,
technology has quickly pushed our lives ahead, making itself a major part of the ways in which
8. ERP SYSTEM FOR PERFECTION COMPANY 8
we conduct ourselves. The manner in which we talk, do business, or learn of events occurring
worldwide has been greatly influenced by the Internet, Facebook, cell phones, and other
technologies. The U.S government alone now spends approximately $80 billion on technology
each year (Shirky, 2014). All of this points to a mounting need for ERP. It is a replacement or
breakthrough technology referred to by Friedman (2011). ERP is a means of coping with the
unanticipated new problems mentioned by Diamond (2005). The efforts behind ERP will
hopefully result in other alternative, ‘Plan B’, solutions to manage today’s challenges in
As a former employee of the Perfection Company, I can say with certainty that the outfit
should integrate an ERP system as soon as is feasible. In my time at Perfection, I worked in both
its Human Resources and Procurement departments. I interviewed, hired, terminated, and
explained policies and procedures to employees.
There was much frustration in all of this for me. Perfection’s computer system was
outdated and unable to keep pace with necessary changes. It could not even maintain vital links,
both internally and externally, among departments on all company tiers. The company is still in
its youth, but it must now labor to attain higher levels of internal organization or it will not
remain competitive, let alone function in the most basic sense. How could any business do so
under those conditions?
Perfection urgently needs ERP to facilitate essential processes and to assist the company
in its drive towards greater success. Action should be taken as early as next year with an ERP
upgrade. That will be possible through the services of Sermon Business Solutions noted
previously. Since its founding in 2007, Sermon has dedicated itself to becoming the Arab
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world’s premier provider of ERP, with offices in Jordan, Libya, and Saudi Arabia (Al Khateeb,
There are a lot of risks involved in the processing of customer orders. There can be delays,
lost orders, typos in orders keyed in by rushed sales representatives that cause confusion, and an
inability to check on the status of orders when one department’s system cannot access another’s
system. ERP does away with all of that by replacing standalone computer systems with one basic
software program divided into modules (Wailgum, 2008).
The good news is the modules are very similar to the previously employed standalone
systems to help employees transition more comfortably to ERP. Every department still receives
its own software, but the software is integrated so that each department can access another
department’s software to monitor activities. ERP also allows for the installation of certain
modules without the requirement of purchasing the full package. Thus, many users will only
install an ERP module for finance or human resource departments and will wait to see if the
warehouse can get by without one (Wailgum, 2008).
Here is more good news. Once the ERP modules are installed and everyone in the
company is, literally, “on the same page”, everything moves faster. The customer service
employees can complete order forms for customers very quickly with customers’ credit ratings
and order histories supplied by the finance module. Those same representatives may also rapidly
locate the inventory levels via the warehouse module. Further, they can access trucking
schedules from logistic modules. Meanwhile, people in the various departments are able to
review the same information and, if necessary, update it. As one department completes its
portion of the order, it right away routes it to the next department with ERP.
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The bottom line: customers notice how much faster, and with fewer mistakes, their orders are
executed (Wailgum, 2008).
Finally, there is still more good news. ERP modules can take care of the internal affairs
of employees just as well as they can the external affairs of customers. Mid-level management
and their staff will appreciate that issues such as employee benefits and financial reports can be
dealt with through ERP, too (Wailgum, 2008).
In 2012, the cost of an ERP installation registered at $2, 000 to 4,000 per user. (Dillon,
2013) The reason for the sizeable range of that estimate was that the price depended on the size
of the company. A larger outfit meant a more complex system with a higher price tag per unit
(Dillon, 2013). Fortunately, the above quoted price (possibly prohibitive for firms at the time)
remained the same, if not better, for the following year. In 2013, it was reported that the cost for
an ERP installment ranged from $1, 500 to $4, 000 per user. Again, size mattered: the larger the
company, the more users, and the greater the number of functions necessary, thus the higher
price (Johnson, 2014).
Since the implementation of ERP will involve an appreciable change for all, or nearly all,
Perfection staff members, there will need to be extensive training offered by the company to
assist in the transition to ERP software. The training might be provided by Perfection itself,
through a select group of individuals from within the company who have made a careful study of
the new software. This could save on training costs.
More likely, however, the training would be supplied contractually through technicians at
Sermon Business Solutions as part of the installment of ERP equipment. In that case, Perfection
may expect that a limit on the number of Sermon training visits would be expressed as part of the
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written agreement between itself and Sermon. That ushers in the topic of company morale, as
employees who are particularly hostile to change may not be receptive to training efforts.
Fareed Zakaria (2008) reminds us: “It feels like a very dangerous world. But it isn’t”
(p.9). A lot of people do not enjoy having to change their ways of performing tasks, especially at
work. ERP calls for change at the work place. That makes it difficult to gauge the success of
ERP, since the software that provides ERP turns out to be only one, less significant factor. The
changes the company is willing to make to introduce ERP into their environment are far more
important. Employees have to be ready to improve the way they take orders, produce items, and
request payment for goods and services. That is how companies will witness the gains from ERP
The difficulty surrounding ERP essentially mirrors that of globalization. Journalist
Thomas Friedman, who introduced the concept of globalization at the end of the last century,
described it as a stage in world development marked by a powerful, continuous mixing of
industries, countries, and technological expansion unlike anything else in history (Moisi, 2009).
Once all three were united, Friedman metaphorically declared that the world had been made flat,
enabling people, products, and ideas to extend farther around the planet more quickly, more
inexpensively, and more profoundly than ever. Yet the one thing Friedman had not counted on
was the negative response from those who felt betrayed or isolated by the seemingly superior
new approach (Moisi, 2009). The advancement of ERP evidently faces the same challenge at
The ERP software cannot just be installed without altering the fashion in which duties are
executed. Doing so may prevent companies from noticing anything positive from switching to
ERP. In fact, the new software could further hinder progress as something too unfamiliar and
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disquieting to employees when compared to the old software everyone had mastered (Wailgum,
The Perfection Company must make it known to its employees that the switch to ERP is a
very necessary change and is in the company’s best interests. The staff has to be told—
repeatedly, if need be—that without ERP the company is in trouble, both as a business
organization and as a competitor in a tough market. Those who find themselves unable or
unwilling to cooperate with training efforts designed to bridge the switch to ERP should be
prepared to tender their resignations or face termination.
That may sound harsh and quite unreasonable. Yet, the costs of the software and its
installment, plus whatever amount of training is agreed to, will be significant and at a time in the
company’s early development when such costs are felt that much more deeply. The training is,
therefore, to be taken seriously and with an eye towards making all staff as competent and
knowledgeable in ERP as possible within the span of a few sessions. It is urged that the above
points be established clearly through at least one written memo circulated via company mail to
all employees and at least one all-staff company conference in which those points are plainly
reiterated verbally by a senior official.
Once that has been established, Perfection must turn to the issue of securing the new
technology. The issue of security is, today, central to the successful installation of advancements
like ERP. There are hackers, unwanted viruses, unexpected breaks in service, crashes in which
information is lost, and, therefore, the need for backup data in the event of crashes. This is where
Firewall protection comes into play. Perfection will insist that Sermon Solutions include Firewall
protection with the ERP, even at added cost.
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From my experience, Firewall is either software or hardware that assists in blocking
hackers, viruses, or worms that attempt to invade computers via the Internet. Yet, Firewall is
only one way traditionally used to upgrade ERP security. There is also limiting access to data,
maintaining user logs, and encryption. Some of these may be built into the ERP software, but
that is not always the case. As well, these solutions may now be viewed as somewhat outdated.
Perhaps something more modern is in order.
In that sense, Perfection should look into something known as two-factor authentication.
It is better to have an added security layer—something on top of only a password. There is, for
example, a cloud-based, two-factor answer which is much easier to deal with than going out to
purchase, install, and oversee more hardware and software. The biggest benefit to all of this is
data protection, both for the company and the customer. Internal and external data are protected.
For the interior data, of the organization, we look at how to protect the data against the hacker or
unallowed (guest) usage. Firewall and DMZ will be used. DMZ specifies users and then further
limits usage by insisting on other security codes.
Perhaps the implementation of ERP most closely demonstrates what technology authors
have recently stated. New York University’s Professor Clay Shirky (2014) comments, “The
hardest challenge in creating new technology is not eliminating uncertainty in advance but
adapting to it as the work uncovers it” (p.54). Shirk (2014) uses an example of two intersecting
lines, one showing flexibility, the other completion. The two lines, together, represent a tech
project in action like an ERP installment. At first, flexibility is the rule, with full control of the
situation. Completion of the project has no influence at that point. However, at the end, matters
are reversed. That is because, as decisions are made and carried out, flexibility becomes less
possible and completion is more of a reality. He concludes that success in managing tech projects
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like ERP implementation means balancing flexibility with progress in the correct amounts—and
at the best times.
Yet, Neil Gershenfeld of MIT and JP Vasseur of Cisco Systems assert that there is at
least a little more room to maneuver, even at the end. Gershenfeld and Vasseur (2014) find that
technological development exhibits an openness, by design that allows for the unexpected. It is
that allowance for the unexpected that permits for the introduction of ERP and the prosperity
resulting from it.
ERP belongs to the world of technology. As such, it represents change. Change can be a
good thing. It can mean a change for the better. Yet, even when change means progress, new
issues will arise. There are new responsibilities with new developments. Responsibility can often
mean legal obligation. ERP is like anything else: it must be used responsibly. Here, we will study
the legal consequences for improper usage of ERP merchandise.
Some people might say that the problem with ERP is that employees have a hard time
adjusting to it after it is installed. However, the biggest challenge presented by ERP would
appear to be the costly litigation it has produced. Interestingly enough, the experienced observer
of recent legal technology issues probably would conclude that something like ERP would
generate disputes mostly over perceived patent infringements. That would mean one person or
organization had used another person’s or organization’s ERP concept—known as intellectual
property in the law—without permission or used it for profit without paying royalties to the
inventor. (Freedman, 2013) This has evidently not been the case with ERP. Most of the lawsuits
filed on ERP matters have revolved around issues of a contractual nature, with one party failing
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to live up to another party’s expectations based on a signed agreement existing between them
Between 1999 and 2010, over two dozen major lawsuits were filed involving ERP in
one way or another (Kimberling, 2011). Most of the top suppliers of ERP, including SAP, JDA
Software, Delotte Consulting, Epicore Software, Infor Global Solutions, Axon, Lawson
Software, Oracle Corporation, IBM, EDS, and JD Edwards were faced with costly litigation
aimed at their pocketbooks and reputations (Kimberling, 2011). In one case, however, it was
reported that a provider of ERP sued a client. SAP was hit by far the most often with claims
against it during that time—nine lawsuits in all, or about one-third of the total (Kimberling,
2011). Infor Global followed with four suits leveled against it, then Oracle with three
(Kimberling, 2011). The only thing we can say is that not every company can be an ERP success
A sampling of the cases filed exhibits a wide variety of reasons for the actions taken.
In 2000 Tri Valley Growers sued Oracle for fraud, negligence, malpractice, and breach of
contract (Kimberling, 2011). Tri Valley asserted that Oracle’s ERP did not modernize its
production and management systems as promised. That same year, Evans Industries sued JD
Edwards and IBM for defective equipment and the failure to live up to an original agreement to
reinstall better operational equipment in the event of a breakdown in the system (Kimberling,
2011). In 2003, British Sky Broad-casting sued EDS for damages, specifically for late delivery
that resulted in lost benefits (Kimberling, 2011). Additionally, there were charges of dishonestly
exaggerating abilities and resources when EDS bid the contract between them (Kimberling,
During 2008 to 2010, bigger and better known names appeared on the legal dockets in
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ERP litigation (Kimberling, 2011). In 2008, Levi Strauss sued SAP for having forced the
company to remove shipping systems from three U.S. distribution centers for a full week,
causing loss of business and customer orders (Kimberling, 2011). In 2009, the City of San Diego
terminated a software installment under-standing with Axon as a consequence of poor project
management practices that caused the ERP project to run $11 million beyond its budget
(Kimberling, 2011). In 2010, Marin County, in northern California, sued SAP and Delotte for
fraud and misrepresenting their skills and experience (Kimberling, 2011).
In a seemingly rare instance for the time period, supplier Infor Global retaliated and sued
Western Textile Co. in 2006 for in excess of $100, 000 for exceeding the number of training
sessions agreed upon by contract (Carver and Jackson, 2006). The case was settled in March
2007 (Kimberling, 2011). Also, to show that not all legal actions taken against providers of ERP
end in favor of consumer plaintiffs, in 2010 Lumber Liquidators sued SAP for malfunctions in
equipment, however it was found that the alleged problems were due primarily to issues
employees were experiencing in adapting to the new system (Kimberling, 2011).
The great quantity of litigation surrounding ERP reminds us that technology is still a
gamble, even in this period of great technological knowledge and development. It is a gamble for
those who claim to have the expertise to effectively provide ERP to users, and it is a gamble for
the users themselves who test the uses and limits of ERP technology once it is installed. In
addition, the many large expenses reported above show just how high the stakes are for such
gambling (Freedman, 2013).
Where is ERP?
As we already know, ERP has had decades to evolve as we know it today. That means
it has had the opportunity to spread to every corner of the globe. Surely, some areas have found
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greater use for it than others. That is either because certain nations or continents are more
technologically developed than others, or because the actual need for it has not been fully
realized in various locations. This section examines the differing levels of usage within the U.S.
ERP is now found everywhere. First of all, it is found in all branches of the U.S. Military.
Articles such as “US Army’s Use of ERP Highlights Benefits” of 2014 (Hamlin, 2014) or “A
Case Study of the U.S. Navy’s ERP” of 2006 (Carver and Jackson, 2006) are testimony to that
So, too, tragically, is the 2013 piece entitled “The U.S. Air Force Explains its $1 Billion
ECSS Bonfire.” It says that just over one billion dollars was wasted by the USAF over a period
of seven years (Roberts, 2015).The money was earmarked to replace about 210 of its outdated
computer systems with a lone ERP system designed to upgrade the service’s world supply chain
via integration (Charette, 2014).The U.S. Congress was demanding an explanation from an
embarrassed Air Force (Charette, 2014). In all fairness to the USAF, a sizeable part of the
problem may have been an inability to adapt to the new technology due to deeply ingrained
traditions rather than a fiasco in mismanagement or even embezzlement.
In terms of U.S. law enforcement, ERP is utilized in several ways. It helps in managing
caseloads both inside and among jurisdictions. ERP also assists in planning and research to keep
agencies prepared for larger emergencies like terrorist attacks and natural disasters. It is also a
valued public relation tool, as it aids in the establishment of strong police-community ties
through outreach programs. The Oracle Corporation has especially comprehensive ERP system
to assist all branches of law enforcement, including criminal justice, corrections personnel,
police, and sheriffs’ departments (Miner, 2014).
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We already know about the U.S. and Middle Eastern usage of ERP. In Latin America, the
top ERP consumers are Brazil (with a 31% share in the business), Mexico (with 26% of the pie),
Chile (with 10% of the total) Argentina (with 10%), Colombia (with 6%), and Venezuela (with
3%) (Richardson, 2014). Not surprisingly, Brazil and Mexico lead that pack. Fareed Zakaria of
Newsweek International notes that, by 2040, those two nations will belong to a group with three
others--China, India, and Russia—that , together, will have a bigger economic output than the G7
states of the west that have been globally dominant for hundreds in the world (Friedman, 2009).
In Europe, SAP, Oracle, Aspect Software, SAS Institute, and Genesys Labs are the top-
rated Customer Relations Management (CRM) software solutions carriers of ERP (Richardson,
2014). The African continent has Sage South Africa Party, Ltd. (Botha, 2013). Clearly, when
ranking by continent, North America is way ahead of others in terms of total software revenue
for CRM product like ERP. In 2008, the three North America countries (two of which are ERP
superpowers, the U.S. and Mexico) had 58% of the action. Europe was a distant second place
finisher with 24%. Asia was, surprisingly, in third place—considering the demand that exists
there with the world’s two most populous nations, India and China with just 13%. Latin
America, minus Mexico, had only 3% of the global CRM revenue pie. The Middle East had just
2% of the total (Richardson, 2014).
Jordan: A Good Place to do Business
We in the U.S. are truly blessed with a government able to invest an amount like the one
cited just above in the field of technology. Very few governments, even if able, are willing to do
so. But it is not only on the America home front that the power of technology has been felt so
keenly. Technology has affected people globally.
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The world is now considerably more connected than ever before. That means ideas are
shared between individuals across continents and oceans much more easily. This freer flow of
information has made business transactions and trade of all kinds much simpler. In the Arab
nation of Jordan, a company called Sermon Business Solution, based in the nation’s capital of
Amman, has joined the information technology revolution by becoming a main provider of ERP.
Though the chief focus of this paper is ERP, the company it is proposed to improve,
Perfection, is a Jordanian enterprise. It is thus worth touching on the mixed foreign perceptions
of Jordan as a place in which to carry out business. In fairness to all viewpoints, the negative
ones should receive more immediate consideration. In her book World on Fire, Yale Law School
Professor Amy Chua finds:
“Large portions of the Middle East are characterized by poverty, squalor, and mass a
frustration despite the region’s enormous wealth…Jordan, too, writes Stephan Glain, considered
a ‘bright spot’ in the Middle East, ‘has the same problems as the rest of the Arab world: hordes
of disenfranchised, unemployed, hopeless young men susceptible to poaching by extremist
group’” (Chua, 2004).
Retired U.S. Colonel P.J. Dermer, deemed a top military adviser on the Middle East, and
Marine Corps Reserve Major Steven White, an independent consultant on Middle Eastern affairs,
promote the same, very concerned, position. As contributors to Pathways to Peace, a compilation
of essays from both U.S. and Middle Eastern analysts, they hold that “even Israel’s most reliable
security neighbor, Jordan, is now seen as being at risk—with the stability of the Hashemite
Kingdom being slowly chipped away by internal and external threats” (Dermer and white, 2012).
Thankfully, there are those with more positive outlooks whose views are aired as publicly as
those just expressed.
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Perfection Company’s home, officially called the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, has
always been a forward-thinking country with lasting ties to the West, especially the U.S. Jordan
is a buffer state of sorts with a small population of now scarcely 6.5 million, and is sandwiched
between Israel, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia (World Almanac, 2014). In such a location, its
attachments to the U.S. have been vital to its progress. Acclaimed futurist George Friedman
refers to Jordan’s Hashemite rules as “key allies of the United States” (Frideman, 2011). Fareed
Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International, contends that “most Middle Eastern countries—
Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, for example—are booming” (Zakaria, 2008). Former U.S.
envoy to the Middle East, Dennis Ross, expands upon both points:
“Take the example of the qualified industrial zone (QIZs); they were conceived by the
Clinton administration and supported by the U.S. Congress in the aftermath of the Israel-Jordan
peace treaty of October 1994. The QIZs permit textile and other products made in Jordan that
have some Israeli content to be exported to the United State without tariffs and…have succeeded
beyond all expectations. Jordan’s exports to the United State grew by fully thirty fold from $5
milion in 1998 to over $1.5 billion in 2006, and in an economy that has a gross national product
of no larger than $10 billion” (Ross and Makovsky, 2009).
These last three authors offer compelling reasons for opting to do business in Jordan.
Hopefully, their perspectives will sway the casual observer (and venture capitalist) in Jordan’s
favor. But, whether they succeed in accomplishing that or not, the time for ERP has arrived with
the demands of modern enterprise.
As we will see ahead, ERP is here at just the right time. It is appropriate and can fit well
with Perfection’s needs in an early phase of development, and with Sermon Business Solution as
its supplier. There may be challenges stemming from those who do not wish to, or do not see the
21. ERP SYSTEM FOR PERFECTION COMPANY 21
need for, change. Those issues will be handled through extensive training and public warnings
issued by company chiefs to comply with the changes of face dire consequences.
Case Study: Marwood Metal Fabrication, Ltd.
When studying something like ERP, a case study is in order. Through the case study, we
can see ERP in action. This is important in assisting prospective consumers of ERP in making
the decision to employ it, and to its fullest potential, at their businesses. It is also a valued
approach for industry analysts who are trying to better understand a product in terms of its
efficiency and effectiveness. The case study is the reality check for something such as ERP.
It shows how a particular product has progressed to its most current use. We will now review
ERP’s success at one location.
Marwood Matal Fabrication, Ltd., is a Canadian company located in the province of
Ontario with several facilities. Marwood is a producer of a wide range of parts used in
automotive manufacturing. As was the case with numerous other manufactures in the past,
Marwood needed to upgrade an outdated computer system. The company’s management had to
decide whether it should invest more money into is old DOS-based system or switch to
something new. The company decided to replace the old system with PlexCloud ERP (Long,
PlexCloud ERP has enable Marwood to score tangible gains. Marwood’s Vice President
of Operations, Steve Spanjers, boasts: “We’ve improved our inventory costs by 50%.
Our overall productivity has increased, and we are beating the Precision Metalframing
Association to which we track our performance in every single category… (PlexCloud ERP) is a
highly reliable system” (Long, 2014).
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When Steve Spanjers says “every single category,” he is referring to the fifteen measured
areas cited (with evidently more that were not listed) later in the above article. So, he is crediting
ERP integration with improving these areas through integration of financials, bills of materials,
purchasing, receiving, inventory, manufacturing, quality planning and scheduling, shipping, EDI,
engineering change tracking, subcontracting, document control, program management, human
resources, supply-chain management, and more (Long, 2014). Truly, we can say Marwood is a
successful an ERP story.
Marwood’s great triumph can be traced back to that one crucial initial decision to switch
to ERP. That must be a very difficult moment in a company president’s life after relying for so
long on a particular (albeit obsolete) system. He or she has to admit that, after all the money that
has been spent on that system—which may have served the company quite well for many
years—it has outlived its usefulness and begun to cause too many problems to justify its
continued use. The company’s welfare is now at stake. As well, upon making the choice to
change, that same CEO then has to shop for a new system that will be in the company’s best
interests. There are issues of choosing the right new system, its costs, contractual details and
obligations, and balancing all that with continuing to oversee matters while using an old system
on its way out. All of that comes into play, and one cannot enter lightly into such things. Our
sympathies should be with that team leader on the day of that decision, and it is for that reason
that I will try to be as supportive as I can when Perfection’s leadership hopefully opts for change
(and ERP) as Marwood did.
The company must do some soul searching. It has to review its problems, as well as its
triumphs, thus far. In so doing, it will come to see (hopefully as quickly as possible) that
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Perfection is the way to go. This sort of “inner” search can be difficult for many organizations. It
is painful to self-criticize. However, Perfection has many factors in its favor that lend themselves
to a positive result in such an undertaking. It should reflect upon these carefully.
First, it is a young company. It is not so set in its ways. Perfection understands more
easily than older companies that change, or the ability to change, is a means of survival.
The company realizes many younger outfits will struggle, even die, in their first few years of
operation without alternatives (plans B, C, etc.). Perfection’s youth is an asset, a blessing, in this
sense. Its young age grants it the willingness to view something like ERP with an open mind and
a readiness to adapt. In a highly technological period such as this one that is essential—
especially for newer enterprises.
Next, it is small. A smaller business has a smaller chain of command. It is not burdened
by so many decision makers. Thus, decisions to act come more easily. Fewer people to persuade
makes for speedier decision matters. The company will be able to commit to ERP that much
faster. Perfection will not fall victim to internal divisions like the rivalries and “power plays” of
larger companies’ politics.
Third, it has experienced a degree of success already. Perfection does not have to view
ERP as something designed to pull it out of a grave. ERP should be presented as a way of
reaching enhanced, or further, victories. It is an addition to winning hard for the company. As
such, it will improve the company’s profitability. That means all employees will benefit. The
company staff can know that it has already performed admirably, and will continue to do so that
much more with ERP.
Perfection is also fortunate to be located in Jordan. Jordan itself is not a wealthy country,
but, as mentioned before, its economy is improving with increasing opportunities. At present,
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there is still not that much competition in Perfection’s industry in the Hashemite Kingdom. Even
if a company like Perfection is young and small, it has a good chance to succeed. ERP would
offer Perfection an advantage that could move it forward much faster than without it.
Within the Jordanian business community, that says a lot with ERP, Perfection could become a
regional industry leader.
The company has a solid knowledge and understanding of its business. It is in its youth,
but it knows, overall, what it is doing, or needs to do to remain profitable. Hence, it is guided to
do what is best for it. A careful review of its priorities will lead it to conclude that ERP makes
the most sense as an addition to its organization. Perfection will logically elect to install ERP as
quickly as is feasible.
Finally, because it is still in an early phase of functioning, Perfection is not weighed
down by as much debt as other companies. It possesses the ability to move more freely on
decisions without concern for already accrued money problems.
With its finances more in order at this time, it is in a better positioned to opt for an
improvement like ERP. However, time is of the essence. Perfection should not delay for too long
on this point. If it allows too much time to elapse (as in more than one year), it may no longer be
in the optimal financial position to move on something like ERP.
Clearly, Perfection will need to shop around for the best deal on ERP (once it has made
its decision). It would be wise to take two months for this effort. ERP is expensive, and, as a
major investment, the proper amount of time should be devoted to getting it at the best price.
There will be several suppliers of ERP that should be contacted and explored for the best
25. ERP SYSTEM FOR PERFECTION COMPANY 25
The owner and office manager should coordinate on this so that they will not disturb the
employees at work. The office manager may wish to survey their needs, however, in helping to
make a decision on ERP equipment.
A recommendation for an extensive internal examination such as the above is unique in
the sense that it does not involve the taking of concrete, physical steps in response. However, it is
equally as necessary in both the short and long term. Self-review can only assist companies in
day-to-day, as well as long run, planning. The sooner that Perfection, or any company, realizes
this, the better off it will be. It is therefore, also recommended that Perfection continue to foster a
highly democratic environment welcoming of opinions from all employees, and no matter what
their duties may be.
The world is now 15% of the way through the twenty-first century. Matters seem to be
moving faster than ever. Can we keep pace with that change? Some have said “no.” But, I
believe we have shown that we can. For those times that mankind gets knocked to the ground in
the race for answers to life’s burning questions, we, the humans, appear able to get right back up,
ready to go more rounds. We are not invincible or indestructible. However, we are strong enough
to see our way to the next set of challenges.
We have examined ERP in a variety of ways. It turns out to be another intriguing
phenomenon in the computer world. For those at a young company like Perfection, it is actually
an old concept (now about 60 years of age) with sudden value. ERP is like the aging parent,
grandparent perhaps, abruptly called in to settle a crisis among his or her children (who thought
they knew everything and could manage nicely without any guidance). And yet, there is a
26. ERP SYSTEM FOR PERFECTION COMPANY 26
timeless newness to ERP because it has often been reinvented to adapt to previously uncharted
As a young company like Perfection makes its way towards change, whether in the form
of ERP or some other solution, it does so at a time of perceived danger in the world. For this
reason, among others, it may display that much more hesitancy to make any changes, even when
necessary. There are, after all, many individuals who are as frightened by some events today as
they are fascinated by others.
There are the challenges and pitfalls that have been studied here, to be sure. For the
corporate consumers of ERP, there is all of the possible doubt and dissension. There are financial
costs that some, even many, might find too much to bear. There is even the chance of gross
mismanagement as in the case of the U.S. Air Force. And, from the vista of the suppliers, many
of the original or early ERP vendors are now long since defunct. Then there is the litigation that
has affected both providers and users of ERP. But ERP has weathered all of that and will
continue to do so.
ERP responds to something authors on technology seem to have always known: since
technology is man-made, and because mankind is imperfect to begin with, then technology has
its limits and we must honor and address those limits rather than simply ignore them in the
pursuit of speedier development. In my opinion, Russia’s former Prime Minister, Yevgeny
Primakov, captured the essence of how we need to think in this case. He once explained that a
pessimist is a well-informed optimist. He added that he did not think he should be categorized as
a pessimist, though he did regard himself to be at least fairly well-informed (Primakov, 2009).
That would seem to be the best way for companies like Perfection to approach changes that come
with things like ERP: with well-informed optimism.
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Nobody has a crystal ball. Probably the best we can do is to examine trends of the past.
We may learn from such study that there are patterns that continue to recur. If we can find our
spot on those patterns’ lines, curves, or waves, we may be able to gain a good idea of what lies
ahead. The world’s great visionaries try this all the time. We are fortunate. Some of our best
minds are working at it around the clock, every day. There is definitely hope for us.
ERP calls to mind that people are still the world’s most valuable asset. After all, it is
designed to serve employees’ needs. True, too, is the fact that Man invented ERP. One thing we
should not forget is that ERP can be used for everyone’s benefit.
We have seen that some parts of the world have more ERP than others. It would seem
that the more developed peoples of the world could use their ERP to benefit the less privileged
on our planet. In that way, technology would be a globally unifying force at a time when such
unity is very needed.
The study of ERP technology is an enjoyable experience. It sheds light on things
otherwise less visible to the casual observer. ERP study is recommended for those who wish to
move up on the learning curve of technology. It can serve almost anyone. It is clear that ERP can
only add to our knowledge.
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