EVALUATION OF HOSPITAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS

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EVALUATION OF HOSPITAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS
ERP SYSTEMS EVALUATION
FROM
VENDORS POINT OF VIEW
Tsali Eleni
MSc Thesis
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree
of Master of Science
in Finance and Financial Information Systems
University of Greenwich
ABSTRACT
ABSTRACT
Introduction: ERP systems integrate organisation’s processes and
functions. For the realisation of benefits from the ERP as an organisational
investment, the effective use of information technology (IT) and the
satisfaction of the IT users are crucial.
Purpose of the study: This research is focused on the software companies’
environment and more specifically, to the Greek software vendors sector.
However, the main scope of this project is to examine the ‘user satisfaction’ as
success measure and more specifically, whether vendors believe that they
keep their customers/users satisfied or not from the use of their ERP
products.
Materials and methods: Three major Greek ERP vendors were selected in
order to investigate the critical success factors for implementing an ERP
system. The investigated vendor companies, which provide the proposed
Greek ERP systems for large and medium size companies are: LogicDIS,
Singular, and Altec.
For the purpose of this study, a questionnaire was designed for the persons
occupied in the ERP vendor companies in order to measure:

The quality of after sale ERP support that the Greek ERP vendor
companies provide to their customers/users.

What the Greek ERP vendor companies believe concerning the
quality of ERP systems/products that they provide to their
customers/users.
Data analysis: The results of employees’ responds are demonstrated
separately for its item of the questionnaire.
Conclusion: The questionnaire used for the purpose of this study proved
flexible. The Greek vendor companies believe that keep their customers/users
satisfied. However, future research is necessary.
5
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I wish to thank the staff from Altec and Singular vendor companies who
have participated to this study. I would like also to express my gratitude to my
supervisor, Chatzoglou Prodromos, for his support.
‘’ The contents of this thesis are entirely my own work. This work has not
previously been submitted, in part or in full, for a degree or diploma of this or
another University or examination board’’.
Tsali Eleni
December 2005
6
CONTENTS
CONTENTS
LIST OF TABLES
3
LIST OF FIGURES
3
ABSTRACT
5
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
6
CHAPTER ONE - LITERATURE REVIEW
1. LITERATURE REVIEW
8
1.1.
INTRODUCTION
8
1.2.
ERP
10
1.2.1.
ERP- Definition
10
1.2.2.
Literature on ERP Implementations
11
1.2.3.
Implementation Strategies
14
1.2.4.
ERP Cases: Failures
15
1.2.5.
ERP Cases: Successes
17
1.2.6.
Critical Success Factors for ERP Implementations
18
1.2.7.
Vendor Quality
20
1.2.8.
ERP systems customisation
20
1.3.
USER SATISFACTION
21
1.3.1.
User Satisfaction and ERP
21
1.3.2.
Factors Affecting User Satisfaction
23
1.3.3.
Theories and Models Affecting User Satisfaction
24
CHAPTER TWO – MATERIALS AND METHODS
2. MATERIALS AND METHODS
2.1. MATERIALS
2.1.1.
27
27
Singular
27
2.1.1.1.
The Company Profile of Singular
27
2.1.1.2.
Manpower of Singular
27
2.1.1.3.
ERP Products of Singular
27
2.1.2.
Altec
28
2.1.2.1.
The Company Profile of Altec
28
2.1.2.2.
ERP Products of Altec
29
2.1.3.
LogicDIS Group
30
1
CONTENTS
2.1.3.1.
The Company Profile of LogicDIS
30
2.1.3.2.
Manpower of LogicDIS
30
2.1.3.3.
ERP Products of LogicDIS
30
2.1.4.
Participation
32
2.1.5.
Questionnaire Structure
33
2.1.6.
Filling in the Questionnaire
33
2.2. METHODS
34
2.2.1.
Data Collection
34
2.2.2.
Data Protection
34
2.2.3.
Contact with the Respondents
34
2.2.4.
Confidentiality
34
2.2.5.
Consent Form and Information Sheet
34
2.2.6.
Selection Criteria
35
2.2.7.
Statistical Methods
35
CHAPTER THREE – DATA ANALYSIS
3. DATA ANALYSIS
37
3.1. Statistics for Each Item
3.1.1.
Age and Years of Occupation
37
37
3.1.1.1.
Age of the Respondents
37
3.1.1.2.
Years of Occupation in the Vendor Companies
37
3.1.2.
Support Quality of ERP Systems
38
3.1.2.1.
Trust and Security
38
3.1.2.2.
Sincere Interest to Solve Problems
38
3.1.2.3.
The Vendor Company is Dependable
40
3.1.2.4.
The Company Provides Prompt Services
40
3.1.3.
Quality of ERP Systems
41
3.1.3.1.
ERP Systems are Easy to be Used by the Users.
41
3.1.3.2.
The ERP is not Cumbersome to be Used by the Users
41
3.1.3.3.
ERP Functions’ Integration
43
3.1.3.4.
The ERP system is easy to be learned how to use it
43
3.1.3.5.
ERP Systems Perform Problems Rarely
45
3.1.3.6.
The User has to Learn a Lot of Things to Use the ERP
45
3.1.3.7.
ERP Systems Provide Easy Information Transmission
46
2
CONTENTS
3.1.3.8.
ERP Systems Provide Information Accuracy
46
3.1.3.9.
ERP Systems Provide Information On Time
48
3.1.3.10.
The ERP Systems Increases User’s Productivity
48
3.1.3.11.
ERP Systems and User’s Timesaving At Work
48
3.2. Correlations
50
3.3. Crosstabulations
52
CHAPTER 4 – DISCUSSION
4. Discussion
54
4.1. General Considerations
54
4.2. Correlations
55
4.3. User Satisfaction: The ERP Evaluation Mechanism
57
4.4. Conclusions
58
REFERENCES
60
APPENDICES
1. Questionnaire: ERP Systems’ Evaluation from Vendors’ Point of View
A1
2. Information Sheet
A2
3. Consent Form
A3
4. SPSS Statistics
A4
List of Tables
Table 1.1: Critical success factors for ERP implementation
19
Table 2.1: ERP products of Singular
28
Table 2.2: ERP products of Altec
29
Table 2.3: LogicDis ERP products
30
Table 3.1: Correlations- Quality of ERP System
50
Table 3.2: Correlations- Quality Support to Customers/Users
51
List of Figures
Fig. 1.1:
The five-stage implementation process
12
Fig. 1.2:
ERP Implementation framework
13
Fig. 3.1:
Percentages concerning the age of the respondents working
in the vendor companies.
37
3
CONTENTS
Fig. 3.2:
Years of participants’ occupation in the companies (in percentages).
Fig. 3.3:
Percentages of the respondents concerning the opinion that the
38
company in which they are occupied inspires or not trust and
security to the customers.
Fig. 3.4:
39
Percentages presenting whether the respondents believe that the vendor
companies are truly concerned to solve possible after sale problems in
ERPs or not.
39
Fig. 3.5:
The company is dependable. Respondents’ beliefs in percentages.
40
Fig. 3.6:
The company provides prompt services to the customers.
The beliefs of the respondents in percentages.
Fig. 3.7:
The respondents’ beliefs as far as if the ERP is easy to be used by
the users (in percentages).
Fig. 3.8:
42
The ERP is not cumbersome to be used by the users.
Respondents’ beliefs in percentages.
Fig. 3.9:
41
42
The respondents’ beliefs in percentages as far as concerns the
integrity of ERPs’ functions.
43
Fig. 3.10: The beliefs of the respondents concerning the easiness of the
ERP systems to be learned (in percentages).
44
Fig. 3.11: The beliefs of respondents as far as the frequency of performing
problems in ERP systems.
44
Fig. 3.12: The user has to learn a lot of things to use the ERP.
The beliefs of the respondents in percentages.
45
Fig. 3.13: Respondents’ opinion in percentages as far as for the
easy information transmission that ERP systems provide.
46
Fig. 3.14: Subjects’ opinions in percentages as far as for information
accuracy provided by the ERP systems.
47
Fig. 3.15: The ERP systems provide information at the moment that
the user needs it. Respondents’ opinions in percentages.
47
Fig. 3.16: ERP systems increase user’s productivity.
Presentation of subjects’ opinions in percentages.
49
Fig. 3.17: The opinions of respondents concerning users’ timesaving
in their work using the ERP systems.
49
Fig. 4.1.:
Correlations related to ERP system’s quality.
56
Fig. 4.2.:
Correlations related to quality support to customers/users.
57
Fig. 4.3.:
Links among user satisfaction, usage, usefulness and ease of use.
58
4
CHAPTER I
LITERATURE REVIEW
7
INTRODUCTION
1. LITERATURE REVIEW
1.1. INTRODUCTION
The fact that business environment is dramatically changing pressures the
companies “to lower total costs in the entire supply chain, shorten throughput
times, drastically reduce inventories, expand product choice, provide more
reliable delivery dates and better customer service, improve quality, and
efficiently coordinate global demand, supply, and production” (Umble et al.,
2003, p. 241). Nowadays, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are
viewed as technological advances that make organisations active in the
competitive business environment by standarising processes, integrating
systems, reducing workforce, and increasing productivity (Dillard and Yuthas,
2006). Firms adopt or develop ERP systems in order to organise all processes
throughout the organisation (Benders et al., 2006). The ERP systems
influence company’s internal and external operations and, therefore, their
successful implementation is decisive for the organisational performance in
the business environment (Boonstra, 2006). Although a number of studies
regarding the success factors in information systems’ implementation projects
have been presented (DeLone and McLean, 1992), there was not
consideration on enabling practitioners with effective interventions in ERPs
and customer relationship management (CRM) (King and Burgess, 2006).
ERP systems assist organisations to reduce costs and improve efficiency
(Jones et al., 2006). However, many implementation projects have resulted
negative economical outcomes (Davenport, 2000). Although these expensive,
large and time-consuming projects dominated the IT industry (Wu and Wang,
2005; Zhang et al., 2005), sufficient research into how to implement such
systems effectively should be established. It is, however, worth-mentioning
that companies focus on “the optimisation of information systems”, which is
based on the ERP systems, in order to use efficiently the available technical,
human and organisational resources and reach their performance targets
(Botta-Genoulaz and Millet, 2005).
Software companies in Greece are continuously improved providing to
organisations/companies better IT infrastructure as technological aid in order
these organisations/companies to expand their performance. Botta-Genoulaz
and Millet (2006) stated that “ERP systems are expected to reduce costs by
8
INTRODUCTION
improving efficiencies through computerisation, and enhance decision-making
by providing accurate and timely enterprise-wide information”.
Three major Greek ERP vendors were selected in order to investigate the
critical success factors for implementing an ERP system. Such a research site
is interesting as represents the project implementation team, which
implements the system, management, consultants and generally the ERP
vendor.
The investigated vendor companies, which provide the proposed Greek
ERP systems for large and medium size companies are:

LogicDIS,

Singular and

Altec.
This project involves the critical factors for implementing an ERP system
and issues regarding the software vendor sector. It is worth mentioning that
no current research is addressed to critical success factors for implementing
an ERP system from vendors’ point of view. This research is focused on the
software companies’ environment and more specifically, to the Greek software
vendor’s sector. However, the main scope of this project is to examine the
‘user satisfaction’ as success measure and more specifically, whether vendors
believe that they keep their customers/users satisfied or not from the use of
their ERP products. This scope was selected due to the fact that customers’
satisfaction is one of the main business drivers resulting from the ERP
implementation (Somers and Nelson, 2004).
On the other hand, ERP implementation cases and critical success factors
have been studied targeting on implementations occurring from customers’
perspective, but few studies have been performed involving implementations
from vendors’ point of view. This project will therefore attempt to focus on the
combination of ERP implementations and critical success factors for ERP
implementations, in accordance with ERP vendors’ perception.
9
LITERATURE REVIEW
1.2. ERP
1.2.1. ERP- Definition
Aladwani (2001, p. 266) defined that an ERP system is “an integrated set of
programs that provides support for core organisational activities such as
manufacturing and logistics, finance and accounting, sales and marketing,
and human resources”. ERP systems assist organisations in managing
effectively money, staff, products, customers and suppliers (King and
Burgess, 2006). An ERP system is an integrated software solution allowing
companies to achieve a holistic view of the business enterprise (Ehie and
Madsen, 2005).
The ERP systems derived from the Material Requirements Planning (MRP)
and Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRPII) systems, which were used by
large enterprises for planning and scheduling (Koh and Saad, 2006). The ERP
system is a software application, which is installed in a company in order to
meet the needs of people and optimise workflows in different core processes
such as warehousing, finance, manufacturing, sales and marketing, human
resources management (Davenport 1998; Xue et al., 2005). ERP systems are
seen as an enterprise wide integrated information system for wide enterprises
(Koh and Saad, 2006), which use a sole central database allowing the interorganisational exchange of information to be convenient and effective
(Dechow and Mouritsen, 2005). ERP are thought to be theoretically related
with almost each IS’s research area (Markus and Tanis, 2000) representing
“the most ambitious application of administrative and computer-based
technologies in developing management information systems” (Dillard and
Yuthas, 2006, p. 202).
ERP systems are highly integrated large software packages (Gefen, 2000;
Dechow and Mouritsen, 2005). It is well documented in the literature that ERP
systems incorporate organisation’s processes and functions in order to
integrate business’s operations (Brown and Vessey, 1999; Boonstra, 2006).
Nowadays, Systems, Applications and Product (SAP), Oracle, PeopleSoft,
J.D. Edwards, and BAAN embody the 60% of the ERP market (Stensrud,
2001; Botta-Genoulaz and Millet, 2006; Dillard and Yuthas, 2006).
10
LITERATURE REVIEW
1.2.2. Literature on ERP Implementations
ERP systems provide to companies competitive advantage through crossfunctional integration by improving productivity and customer service while
lowering costs and inventory (Xue et al., 2005). The ERP implementation
impacts on the planning, the scheduling, and the control systems of
business’s operations (Yen and Sheu, 2004). Nevertheless, due to the
successful ERP implementation, organisational issues are more difficult to be
determined rather than technical ones (Ward et al., 2005). It is, however,
worth-mentioning that the ERP implementation should be associated with
firm's competitive strategy (Yen and Sheu, 2004). The tangible and intangible
benefits resulted from the ERP implementations are “information quality,
system integration, real-time accessibility, inventory reduction, productivity
improvement, logistics/order management improvement, cash flow and
forecasts improvement” (Botta-Genoulaz and Millet, 2006, p. 205).
Ehie and Madsen (2005) presented the five-stage implementation process,
which is presented at the Fig. 1.1. and is represented as follows:

The phase of project preparation includes the determination of the
leadership roles, the budget targets and the project plan to be followed.

The phase of the business blueprint provides the analysis of current
business processes and the system selection.

During the realisation phase the technical foundation is established and
each process design is piloted.

In the phase of final preparation the entire process design is tested
under full data load and extreme situations. The prevalent education and
training of people intended to use the system and those influenced by it, is
mandatory on this stage in order the project team to comprehend the data
flow operated by the system.

Finally, the go live and support phase underlines options for expansion
of the system in order to gain competitive advantage.
As far as the five steps in implementation process it is important to be sure
that the outcomes of each step have been achieved before moving to the next
11
LITERATURE REVIEW
step. Otherwise, the cost to go back and correct mistakes is extremely
excessive (Ehie and Madsen, 2005).
Shang and Seddon (2002) presented a detailed list of benefits through
ERP systems implementation. This list of benefits combines five dimensions:

Operational (such as cost reduction, productivity, service and quality
enhancement)

Managerial (for better decision making, planning and performance),

Strategic (options for growth, innovation, product differentiation and
other strategic advantages),

Organisational (offering capable work patterns and easy organisational
learning, as well as structuring powerful organisational visions) and

IT infrastructure (cost reduction, flexibility, better IT infrastructure for
beneficial organisational change).
STAGE 1: PROJECT PREPARATION
Project Organisation
Vision and Target Definition- Based Performance
Detailed Project Plan Creation
STAGE 2: BUSINESS BLUEPRINT
1)
Current Business Processes Analysis
2)
ERP System Selection
STAGE 3: REALISATION
1)
Technical Development
2)
Conference Room Pilot
STAGE 4: FINAL PREPARATION
1)
Tuning and Testing
2)
Educate and Train Project Team
STAGE 5: GO LIVE AND SUPPORT
Bring ERP Modules
Improve and Expand ERP system continually
Fig.1.
implementation
process.process.
Modified from
Ehie and
Madsen
Fig.
1. 1.:
1: The
Thefive-stage
five-stage
implementation
Modified
from
Ehie
(2005).
and
Madsen, 2005.
12
LITERATURE REVIEW
Motwani et al. (2005) highlighted the critical issues that should be taken
into account during the pre-implementation, implementation, and postimplementation phases, and are presented at Fig. 1.2..
Pre-Implementation Stage
(Setting Up)



Strategic goals identification
Top management support
Cultural and structural issues management
Implementation Stage







Careful project administration
ERP package selection in accordance with the current
organisation’s processes
Open information and communication policy
Detailed analysis of current business processes
Data accuracy assurance
Capable implementation team
Performance measures’ selection
Post Implementation Stage
(Evaluation)



Post-implementation audit
ERP success documentation (regarding
correspondence, processes, interaction and
expectations)
Benchmarking
Fig.1. 2.: ERP Implementation framework. Modified from Motwani et al. (2005).
ERP implementation may help firms to improve their performance. Hunton
et al. (2003) signified that return on assets (ROA), return on investment (ROI),
and asset turnover were significantly better in firms that adopted ERP
systems, helping them to gain a competitive advantage over non-adopters. On
the other hand, Botta-Genoulaz and Millet (2005) supported that operational
13
LITERATURE REVIEW
results did not meet managers expectations as 70% of the companies
expected no more than 25% of ROI and 50% did not even try to estimate the
ROI. However, the ERP implementation should be accompanied with valid
ROI expectations and metrics and the ERP should continually be improved in
order to result these ROI expectations (Donovan, 2000).
The ERP implementation is complex to be carried out, as it is affected by
social, technical and political factors/issues (Boonstra, 2006). Yen and Sheu
(2004) in their study underlined the following:

Firms that want to become more flexible and consistent should pay
attention on centralisation, software customisation, information sharing, type
and effort of adaptation, and data accessibility and the competitive priorities
that affect these aspects.

Managers
should
become
more
effective
in
planning
and
implementation in order to gain competitive advantage through the ERP
implementation.
1.2.3. Implementation Strategies
The decision to install an ERP system must be combined with the
mechanisms’ selection for deciding whether the ERP is needed (Wu et al.,
2002; Wu and Wang, 2005). Markus et al. (2000) stated that the appropriate
implementation strategy should be selected according to the organisational
structure, the complexity of the organisation, economical issues, strategic
partners, time constraints and geographical locations of the organisation.
According to Al-Mudimigh et al. (2001) the ERP implementation should be
based on behavioural processes and actions as macro-implementation
involved at the strategic level, and micro-implementation at the operational
level.
Recently, the three most common methods for ERP installation, as have
been described from Koch (2005), are:

The Big Bang approach.
This approach requires simultaneous
implementation of multiple modules of an ERP package, while
“companies cast off all their legacy systems at once and install a
single ERP system across the entire company”. However, this
14
LITERATURE REVIEW
approach is very ambitious and complicated, due to the difficulty that
everyone should cooperate and accept a new software system at
the same time in lack of supporters.

The Franchising Strategy. This is the most common way of
implementing an ERP. According to this strategy, independent ERP
systems are installed in each unit, while linking common processes
across the enterprise.

The Slam Dunk. The focus of this approach is on just a few key
processes of the ERP. The slam-dunk is generally for smaller
companies expecting to grow into ERP.
It is also worth noting that simulation can help in terms of cost, schedule,
and achievement to accomplish an organisational schedule with lower
implementation cost (Sun et al., 2005).
1.2.4. ERP Cases: Failures
One of the main topics regarding the ERP systems is the possibility of ERP
implementation failure (Davenport, 1998). According to Umble et al. (2003),
the main factors reasons for ERP systems’ implementation failure are:

The poor planning or poor management,

Changing the business goals during the project, and

The lack of business management support.
Many researchers define the failure as an implementation that does not
reach the ROI that was selected as target during the project approval phase
(Umble et al., 2003). ERP systems are expensive and time-consuming to be
installed and once they are implemented, the evaluation whether they are
successful or not is needed (Wu et al., 2002; Wu and Wang, 2005; Zhang et
al., 2005).
The effects of failures in ERP implementation projects are economically
negative for the organisations in which these systems were applied and may
lead to bankruptcy (Davenport, 1998; Markus et al., 2000; Boonstra, 2006).
Most of the ERP implementation failures happened due to companies failures
in matching the true organisational needs and systems in order to solve the
business problems (Ehie and Madsen, 2005).
15
LITERATURE REVIEW
When an ERP system is implemented correctly the success to the
organisation is guaranteed (Scheer and Haberman, 2000). ERP systems due
to their generality and complexity are prone to problems and low performance
and they are difficult to be maintained and implemented (Vogt, 2002).
However, the implementation process through a balanced perspectiveaccording to which, socio-technical considerations are taken into account and
the strategic, tactical and operational steps are clearly defined- will assist to
the failure prevention (Al-Mudimigh et al., 2001).
There are many cases of ERP software failures due to the fact that
companies did not spend enough time or money to training and to managing
culture matters (Motwani et al., 2005). On the other hand, an ERP system in
order to avoid failure should be usable. A usable ERP system can be defined
as a comprehensive software package supporting tasks effectively and
efficiently in a given work context (Calisir and Calisir, 2004).
On the other hand, cultural issues must be taken into account for the
successful ERP implementation. Most ERP systems are designed by Western
IT professionals, reflecting basically to western practices. This has as a result
the ERP implementation’s tendency to failure in an attempt of western ERP
adoption from other than western companies (Xue et al., 2005; Zhang et al.,
2005). However, ERP systems cost a lot of money and in many cases people
who implement these systems are not trained in using it or do not know how
to use it effectively, resulting to insufficient outcomes (Motwani et al., 2005).
However, Zhang et al. (2005) suggest that failure on the implementation of
ERP systems occur because of:

The need for business process change during the implementation of
an ERP.

Lack of top management support, data accuracy, and user
involvement.

Underestimation of education and training.

The lack of culture recognition versus business models based on
western practices.
16
LITERATURE REVIEW
1.2.5. ERP Cases: Success
ERP implementation success depends on the adequate management of
the ERP context on strategic, operational and tactical level (Tchokogué et al.,
2005). There are few approaches regarding the evaluation, selection and
project management of ERP systems and ERP success (Motwani et al.,
2005). Wang et al. (2005) supported that ERP project success depends
seriously on human factors such as project leaders’ and team members’
efforts and dedication. On the other hand, “a cautious, evolutionary,
bureaucratic
implementation
process
backed
with
careful
change
management, network relationships, and cultural readiness can lead to
successful ERP implementations” (Motwani et al., 2005, p. 541). According to
White et al., (1982) successful ERP implementation could be accomplished
along two dimensions:

Improved performance and

User satisfaction.
On the other hand, as Delone and McLean have stated in 1992, the ERP
systems implementation success measures are:

User satisfaction,

Individual impact,

Organisational impact, and

Intended business performance improvement.
However, according to Zhang et al., (2005) there are seven measures used
as surrogates of ERP implementation success:

User satisfaction

Intended business performance improvements

Oliver White's ABCD Classification Scheme

On time

Within budget

System acceptance and usage and

Predetermined corporate goals.
17
LITERATURE REVIEW
1.2.6. Critical Success Factors for ERP Implementations
The ERP implementation success and how to be accomplished was topic
analysed by many researchers (Sun et al., 2005; Zhang et al., 2005; King and
Burgess, 2006). For that reason and in order the ERP projects’ failures to be
avoided, the Critical Success Factors (CSF) had been introduced (Ehie and
Madsen, 2005; Motwani et al., 2005).
According to Holland and Light (1999, p. 31) CSFs are “factors needed to
ensure a successful ERP project”. The following table 1 lists 32 factors that
other papers and research on CSF’s have focused on. CSFs should focus on
how to achieve “productivity improvements and improved decision-making
which, after all, are the reason for the investment in the new technology in the
first place” (King and Burgess, 2006, p. 67). However, CSFs should be related
with implementation methodologies (Esteves and Pastor, 2001).
It is worth mentioning that CSF’s must be taken into account in accordance
with the determined priorities and all CSFs must be kept in mind during
various phases of implementation (Sun et al., 2005). Top management plays
a critical role in ERP implementation by continuously supporting and
monitoring of the implementation process (Ehie and Madsen, 2005).
According to King and Burgess (2006) the most CSFs for ERP
implementation are:

Top management support

Project team competence

Interdepartmental co-operation

Clear goals and objectives

Project management

Interdepartmental communication

Management of expectations

Project champion

Vendor support

Careful package selection
Another decisive factor for successful ERP implementation is the
methodical understanding of project management principles and its
application, which can be achieved “by establishing the scope of the project,
18
LITERATURE REVIEW
establishing the project team and their responsibilities with clear statement of
work, and defining the performance objectives” (Ehie and Madsen, 2005, p.
555).
CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS FOR ERP IMPLEMENTATION
No.
Critical Success Factors
Key Authors
1
Decision making
(Light, 2005; Soffer et al., 2005)
2
Management structure
(Somers and Nelson, 2004; Le Loarne, 2005; Soffer et al., 2005).
3
Top management support
4
External expertise (use of consultants)
(Holland and Light, 1999; Motwani et al., 2002; Umble et al., 2003; Somers and
Nelson, 2004; Wang and Chen, 2005; Wang et al., 2005; King and Burgess, 2006).
(Somers and Nelson, 2004; Wang and Chen, 2005; Wang et al., 2005).
5
Balanced project team
(Somers and Nelson, 2004).
6
Clear goals, focus and scope
7
Project management
8
Change management
9
User participation
(Holland and Light 1999; Umble et al., 2003; Somers and Nelson, 2004; Ehie and
Madsen, 2005; King and Burgess, 2006).
(Holland and Light, 1999; Markus and Tanis, 2000; Umble et al., 2003; Somers and
Nelson, 2004; Ehie and Madsen, 2005; King and Burgess, 2006).
(Holland and Light, 1999; Umble et al., 2003; Somers and Nelson, 2004; Ehie and
Madsen, 2005; Wang et al., 2005).
(Ehie and Madsen, 2005; Despont-Gros et al., 2005; Wang and Chen, 2005).
10
Education and training
11
Project champion
12
Minimal customisation
13
Business process reengineering
(Esteves and Pastor, 2001; Koch, 2001; Somers and Nelson, 2004; Light, 2005;
Dillard and Yuthas, 2006).
(Somers and Nelson, 2004).
14
Discipline and standardisation
(Sumner, 1999).
15
Effective communications
(Somers and Nelson, 2004; King and Burgess, 2006).
16
(Umble et al., 2003; Ehie and Madsen, 2005).
17
Best people full-time – great implementation
team
Technical and business knowledge
18
Culture
19
20
Monitoring and evaluating of performancePerformance measures
Software development testing
(Botta-Genoulaz et al., 2005; Motwani et al., 2005; Wang and Chen, 2005; Xue et
al., 2005; Zhang et al., 2005).
(Umble et al., 2003; Ehie and Madsen, 2005).
21
Management of expectations
(Somers and Nelson, 2004).
22
Vendor/customer partnerships
(Somers and Nelson, 2004).
23
Vendor support
(Somers and Nelson, 2004; King and Burgess, 2006).
24
Careful package selection
25
26
Interdepartmental cooperation and
communication
Hardware issues
(Umble et al., 2003; Somers and Nelson, 2004; Ehie and Madsen, 2005; King and
Burgess, 2006).
(Umble et al., 2003; Somers and Nelson, 2004; King and Burgess, 2006).
27
Information and access security
(Umble et al., 2003).
28
Implementation approach
(Ehie and Madsen, 2005).
29
Management of expectations
(Somers and Nelson, 2004; Ehie and Madsen, 2005; King and Burgess, 2006).
30
Data analysis and conversion
(Umble et al., 2003; Somers and Nelson, 2004).
31
Architectures choices
(Somers and Nelson, 2004; Ehie and Madsen, 2005).
32
Dedicating resources
(Somers and Nelson, 2004).
(Umble et al., 2003; Somers and Nelson, 2004; Ehie and Madsen, 2005; Motwani
et al., 2005).
(Somers and Nelson, 2004; King and Burgess, 2006).
(Sumner, 1999).
(Umble et al., 2003; Ehie and Madsen, 2005).
(Umble et al., 2003).
Table 1.1: CSF’s for ERP Implementations. All this CSFs can contribute to the success of an ERP
implementation project (Modified from Nielsen, 2002).
19
LITERATURE REVIEW
1.2.7. Vendor Quality
According to Zhang et al. (2005), there are three dimensions of vendor
quality, which are:

Service response time of the software vendor,

Qualified consultants with knowledge ability in both enterprises’
business processes and information technology including vendors’ ERP
systems, and

Participation of vendor in ERP implementation.
ERP vendors should not only try to improve the ERP products’ quality, but
should also focus on how to improve user’s knowledge and involvement and
to select suitable consultants and suppliers (Wu and Wang, 2005). Nowadays,
ERP vendors provide improved web-based solutions for faster information
flow and try to enlarge the capabilities of their products “by adding
functionality for new business functions such as sales force automation,
supply-chain, order management, data warehousing, maintenance-repair-andoverhaul” (Stensrud, 2001, p. 414).
However, software vendors play a very important role in ERP
implementation, and therefore their careful selection from the users/
customers is imperative (Zhang et al., 2005).
1.2.8. ERP systems customisation
ERP customisation is regarded as part of systems’ expansion and
organisational decision-making’s improvement (Light, 2005). ERP systems
can be customised in order to organise specific needs of an organisation
(Esteves and Pastor, 2001) when ERP’s available processes do not meet
these organisation’s needs (Dillard and Yuthas, 2006). During the ERP
system’s implementation companies have to decide the changes and the level
of customisation that should be performed in order the specific ERP system to
be fitted in accordance to the needs of the company (Cornford and Pollock,
2001).
According to Light (2005, p. 616-617) customisation might occur:

As a form of maintenance or

As a form of resistance or protection or
20
LITERATURE REVIEW

In many cases where it is not needed or

Due to the nature of the consumer organisational environment.
Alshawi et al. (2004) supported that the heavy customisation required by
most ERP implementations can be minimised by choosing the best modules
from each vendor and integrating them using enterprise application integration
technologies, to create one integrated system. However, most of the
organisations prefer to fit their organisation to the ERP system rather than to
follow another option (Koch, 2001).
1.3. USER SATISFACTION
1.3.1. User Satisfaction and ERP
For the realisation of benefits from the ERP as an organisational
investment, the effective use of information technology (IT) and the IT user’s
satisfaction are crucial (Somers et al., 2003). According to Ives et al. (1983),
user satisfaction is the sum of one’s feelings and attitude regarding to a range
of aspects associated to information products and services. User satisfaction
is used as surrogate of success (Li, 1997; Zhang et al., 2005) and as an IS
evaluation mechanism (Wu and Wang, 2005). Additionally, user satisfaction is
one of the most important determinants of the success of IS (Somers et al.,
2003; Zviran and Erlich, 2003; Calisir and Calisir, 2004; Botta-Genoulaz et al.,
2005) measuring subjectively the information system’s success (DespontGros et al., 2005).
Trust and satisfaction are totally correlated (Flavián et al., 2006). One of
the main questions that is required to be answered before the ERP adoption is
how, how much and when this ERP system will improve the customer
satisfaction (Donovan, 2000) based on the fulfilment of customer’s
expectations (Flavián et al., 2006). According to Wu and Wang (2005), the
key-user’s satisfaction evaluation for ERP system is multidimensional
consisted of three factors, which are interrelated and the interest should focus
on all of them rather than on each of them exclusively. These factors are:

ERP product,

Contractor service,

Knowledge and involvement.
21
LITERATURE REVIEW
According to Zhang et al. (2005), user satisfaction, intended business
performance improvements, and predetermined corporate goals (where the
latter two factors can be combined) could be used as success measures.
Additionally, implementation issues are related to satisfaction (Bradford and
Florin, 2003). Therefore, user satisfaction is a very important measure to be
taken into account for the ERP implementation.
As Wu et al. (2002) identified in their survey, the user satisfaction patterns
are the following:

For key users: system integrity, domain knowledge of the
consultants, consultant's project management, training and system
understanding, and,

For end users: feelings of user involvement, system understanding
and system integrity.
Furthermore, top management support and training are positively related to
user satisfaction (Bradford and Florin, 2003). It is also worth mentioning that
“the end-user computing instrument (EUCI) comprises the five-measure of
user satisfaction: end-user trust in the system, presenting accurate
information, using a clear presentation format, ensuring timeliness of
information, and perceived ease of use”. Zviran et al. (2006, p. 159)
User satisfaction is a very good IS’s success measure, although it would be
more desirable to measure system success in terms of monetary costs and
benefits. Usability and customer/user satisfaction are two critical objectives
that should be adopted in company’s strategy (Flavián et al., 2006). However,
such measures are complicated to be approached, due to the difficulty of
quantifying intangible system impacts and of isolating the effect of the
information system from the numerous intervening environmental variables
that may influence organisational performance (Wu and Wang, 2005). It is
also worth mentioning that schedule, cost, and achievement in conjunction
with CSF priorities can be utilised in a manner that can drastically improve
successful ERP implementations in accordance with the user satisfaction
(Sun et al, 2005).
22
LITERATURE REVIEW
1.3.2. Factors Affecting User Satisfaction
User
satisfaction
is affected
by top
management’s
support
and
participation, user’s confidence and user’s participation (Bailey and Pearson,
1983). Furthermore, user’s satisfaction is also verified by the quality and the
quantity of productivity tools supporting the organisation’s functions (software,
hardware and peripheral devices) (Li, 1997).
On the other hand, it is also suggested that user satisfaction is determined
by the perceived usefulness, the perceived ease of use (Calisir and Calisir,
2004), the perceived quality, the perceived value, and the usability
disconfirmation (Chiu et al., 2005). Ease to use is important but usefulness is
much more important (Davis et al., 1989). According to Flavián et al. (2006)
perceived usability is directly and positively related with user’s satisfaction and
trust. User satisfaction is strongly related to the perceived usefulness of the
IS, as a user who perceives an IS as providing value, is more likely to be
satisfied with the IS than one who does not (Calisir and Calisir, 2004).
Amoako-Gyampah (2005, p. 14) supported that “both the perceived
usefulness and ease of use of the ERP system contribute significantly to a
behavioural intention to use the technology”. Additionally, satisfaction
depends on the difference between what a user wants and what the user
obtains (Flavián et al., 2006). However, perceived usefulness influences
peoples' intentions strongly (Amoako-Gyampah, 2005) and assists in
predicting users intentions (Legris et al., 2003), where on the other hand,
perceived ease of use effects slightly on their intentions (Davis et al., 1989).
On the other hand, both perceived usefulness and learnability are
determinants of end-user satisfaction with ERP systems, among which,
perceived usefulness most impacts on end-user satisfaction.
Expectations on a system should be kept to a realistic level; otherwise
users may discontinue using the system (Szajna and Scamell, 1993).
Furthermore, users are not keen to deal with difficult interfaces of ERP
systems and search for alternatives when centralised IS development fails to
meet user needs. Therefore, the design of an ERP system's interface should
allow easy navigation among different modules (Calisir and Calisir, 2004)
23
LITERATURE REVIEW
Moreover, in order an IS to be successful or failed the way that users
approach computer technology is determinant (Grémy, 2005). It is however
very important to mention that according to Amoako-Gyampah (2005, p.15)
“while the participation of users in implementation activities may be important,
… it may be less important when the users are intrinsically involved in the
implementation process. Similarly, while intrinsic involvement may be
important, it may be less important in an environment where the users clearly
understand the perceived usefulness of the technology being implemented”.
1.3.3. Theories and Models Affecting User Satisfaction
Several theories have been used regarding the variables that affect the
user satisfaction. The technology acceptance model (TAM) and the Theory of
Planned Behaviour (TPB), which both are extensions of the Theory of
Reasoned Action (TRA) (Hung et al., 2003), focus on variables that
encourage users to accept and use an IS (Lin et al., 2005).
The TPB explains how targets and objectives guide behaviour (Song et al.,
2006). Lee et al. (2006, p. 3) defined that “TPB asserts the behaviour is a
weighted function of intention and perceived behavioural control and that
intention is the weighted sum of the attitude, subjective norm, and perceived
behavioural control”. According to Davis et al. (2006) the TPB assumes that
the individual's intention to perform, or not to perform a specific behaviour is
influenced by three factors: the attitude, the subjective norm (to perform or not
to perform the behaviour in accordance with social pressures) and the
perceived control (personal perception concerning the ability of performing a
specific behaviour). Finally, Song et al. (2006) supported that the individual’s
intention to perform a given behaviour is the immediate determinant of his or
her behaviour.
Both Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) (Legris et al., 2003) and
Expectation Confirmation Model (ECT) (Lin et al., 2005) are useful models for
examining the information technology acceptance by the user. The TAM was
based on perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use (Davis, 1989)
predicting the factors that lead to an IS’s acceptance or rejection by the user
(Despont-Gros et al., 2005). However, TAM should incorporate variables
related to both human and social change processes (Legris et al., 2003). On
24
LITERATURE REVIEW
the other hand, ECT has been used in order to underestimate user
satisfaction and both pre-behaviour and post-behaviour variables (Lin et al.,
2005). Both TAM and ECT are focused on three factors that influence user’s
decision:
satisfaction,
perceived
usefulness
and
loyalty
incentives
(Bhattacherjee, 2001).
25
CHAPTER II
MATERIALS AND METHODS
26
MATERIALS AND METHODS
2. MATERIALS AND METHODS
2.1. MATERIALS
2.1.1. Singular
2.1.1.1. The Company Profile of Singular
Singular Software (Singular Software, 2003) is a software house according
to the international standards incorporating many years in the Greek and
South-East European markets. Singular Software products are addressed to
small, medium and large companies
The activities of the company include:

Development and marketing of business application products,

Services such as (training and support, project management and
application consulting, business consulting, implementation and
customisation services.

Marketing and support of third-party applications.
2.1.1.2. Manpower of Singular
The company has in total 161 employees. The 121 of them are employed
in the Athens’ department of the company and the rest 40 are occupied at the
Thessalonica’s department (Singular Software, 2003).
2.1.1.3. ERP Products of Singular
The ERP products of the company are demonstrated at the table 2.1.
As far as for the provided software support services (Singular Software,
2003), these are:

Consulting services for the integration of software products in the
company operational processes.

IT operation and management services.

Training services.

Software product and solutions maintenance solutions.

Support services through telephone or e - mail.
27
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Singular Enterprise
What is it?
An Integrated Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP) for medium-sized
and large enterprises.
Financial management
Accountings
Commercial management
Warehouse management
Distribution management
What does it
include?
Management Information System (M.I.S.)
RF terminals management
Asset management
Budget management
Administration of Production
Third Party Logistics
Singular Enterprise e-Order
Who is it for?
Logistics planning and controlling
Medium-sized and large commercial and industrial enterprises of private
sector, as well as in enterprises of wider public sector.
Enterprise 4U
What is it?
What does it
include?
Who is it for?
An Integrated Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP) for medium-sized.
Extensive functions, having possibility of adaptation in the particularities of
enterprise.
Complete expansion ability for the needs of logistics administration,
warehouse management, resources and services administration, while at the
same time it can be enriched and be extended with dynamic, separate models
of operation, sector-based character.
Medium-sized and large commercial and industrial enterprises of private
sector, as well as in enterprises of wider public sector.
Table 2.1: ERP products of Singular: Singular Enterprise and Enterprise 4U (Singular Software, 2003).
2.1.2. Altec
2.1.2.1. The Company Profile of Altec
The company offers integrated solutions, carries out large-scale projects,
designs and produces products, equips modern enterprises with tools,
procedures, methods and information (Altec, 2005).
The objective of ALTEC's activity is to provide equipment, software,
networks & communications, training & services. ALTEC undertakes important
investments both in Greece and abroad. ALTEC supports the enterprises in
Romania and Bulgaria technologically; while at the same time is expanding to
other countries (Altec, 2005).
28
MATERIALS AND METHODS
2.1.2.2. ERP Products of Altec
The ERP products of ALTEC Company are represented at the table 2.2.
ATLANTIS II E.R.P.
What is it?
It is an integrated Information System for Large Industrial and Commercial
Enterprises and for Large Enterprises in the private and Public Sector.
Accounting
Financials
Sales/Distribution
Asset Management (ΑΑ)
What does it
includes?
Controlling (CO)
Materials Management (MM)
Business Strategy & MIS
Production Planning (PP)
Project Management (PS)
Plant Maintenance (ΡΜ)
Function Management
For Large enterprises in the private and Public Sector as well as manufacturing and
commercial enterprises
Who is it for?
ATLANTIS II ERP/Auto
What is it?
It is an ATLANTIS II ERP System including additionally functions for the management
as far asthe vehicle market
Commercial management
Assets
General ledger and Cost accounting
Fleet Sales Management
Quantity Model Management
What does it
includes?
Automated Dealer Order
Used Vehicle Management
Service Management
Guarantees
Parts Management
Techncians Management
Candinadte customer visit entry
Customer Order
Who is it for?
For companies specialising in long-term selling of vehicles.
ALTEC xLINE E.R.P.
What is it?
An integrated Information System for medium-sized companies
Commercial Management Module
What does it
includes?
Financial Management Module
Management Information/Programming Module
Production Module
Who is it for?
For medium-sized companies
Table 2.2: ERP Products of Altec: Atlantis II ERP, Atlantis II ERP/Auto, Altec xLINE ERP (Altec, 2005).
29
MATERIALS AND METHODS
2.1.3. LogicDIS Group
2.1.3.1. The company Profile of LogicDIS
The LogicDIS Group provides Integrated Information Technology (IT)
Solutions, both for the Private and the Public sector. The companies in the
Group offer a wide range of IT solutions to modern enterprises and
organisations (LogicDIS Group, 2002).
2.1.3.2. Manpower of LogicDIS
The Group today has more than 700 employees. 40% of the Group's
personnel hold a degree from a highest educational institution, 17% from a
higher educational institution and 13% has completed postgraduate studies
(LogicDIS Group, 2002).
2.1.3.3. ERP Products of LogicDIS
The ERP products of the company are demonstrated at the table 2.3.
What is it?
An Integrated Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP) for
large enterprises.
Accounting
Financials
LogicDIS
SOLUTION
ERP
Sales/Distribution
What does it
include?
Manufacturing M.R.P. II
Business Strategy & MIS
Add Ons
Plus-Specialized Applications
Multi-Currency, Multi-Company, Multi-Lingual
All large enterprises with a turnover of more than 7,5 million
Who is it for? Euro.
What is it?
Integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system for
medium-sized enterprises, which have shown significant
growth.
Commercial Management Module
Financial Management Module
LogicDIS
BUSINESS
ERP
Management Information/Programming Module
What does it
include?
Who is it for?
Production Module
Euro ready,
Foreign Currency Management,
Multi-Company,
e-business,
Security System,
Other
Advanced Customisation Capabilities
Medium-sized companies with a minimum turnover of 2,9
million Euro.
30
MATERIALS AND METHODS
What is it?
An integrated Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP) for
medium-sized enterprises which show rapid growth.
Commercial Management module
Financial Management module
LogicDIS
PRIME
ERP
What does it
include?
Who is it for?
What is it?
Management Information / Programming Module
Euro ready,
Foreign Currency Management,
Multi-Company,
e-business,
Security System,
Other
Advanced Customisation Capabilities
Medium-sized companies with a turn over of 1 to 2,9 million
Euro.
An Integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System for
large enterprises.
Configurable Enterprise Accounting
Configurable Enterprise Financials
BPCS
What does it
include?
Supply Chain Management
Multi-Mode Manufacturing -MRP II
Business Strategy & MIS
Add Ons LogicDIS Modules
Who is it for?
What is it?
Multi-Currency, Multi-Company, Multi-Lingual
All large enterprises with a turnover of more than 7.5 million
Euro.
An integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)/e-Business
System and e-Collaboration System.
Supply Chain Management
Customer Relationship Management
Supplier Relationship Management
Product Lifecycle Management
Business Information Warehouse
e-Procurement
Financials
enterprise portal
e-Marketplace
mySAP.com
What does it human resource(HR)
include?
Industry Solutions
General Ledger/Cost Accounting (FI)
Asset Management (ΑΑ)
Controlling (CO)
Materials Management (MM)
Sales Management (SD)
Production Planning (PP)
Project Management (PS)
Who is it for?
Plant Maintenance (ΡΜ)
For Large and demanding enterprises in the private and Public
Sector as well as commercial enterprises, manufacturers and
service providers.
31
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The only Enterprise Resource Planning System which was
What is it? developed specifically for the needs of Securities Companies.
BackOffice - Middle Office - Front Office
Trade & Order Routing
Management & Portfolio Management
Custody
Security & Audit
Internet Brokers (ELDE) Client
LogicDIS
What does it
SECURITIES include?
ERP
Internet Personal Client
Creditworthiness Index System / Average Market Price
(Μ.H.Α.) & Official Reports
CRM
Financial management
MIS - Decision Support System
Collaboration Server
Alert Server
MIS Generator
Object Model
Human Resource
Who is it
Payroll
All Securities Companies seeking the advantages of the ERP
for? philosophy.
What is it?
LogicDIS
LEASING
ERP
A complete ERP system which covers the computerization
needs of Leasing companies.
Leasing Modules (contracts, branches, leases)
What does it
include?
Commercial management
Assets
General ledger and Cost accounting
Who is it for? Leasing companies
What is it?
LogicDIS
CAR
LEASE
ERP
An integrated ERP system, which covers the computerization,
needs of companies specializing in long-term leasing of
vehicles.
Fleet management Modules
What does it
include?
Commercial management
Assets
General ledger and Cost accounting
Who is it for? For companies specializing in long-term leasing of vehicles.
Table 2.3: LogicDis ERP products. These include LogicDis Solution ERP, LogicDis Business ERP ,
LogicDis Prime ERP, BPCS, mySAP.com, LogicDis Securities ERP, LogicDis Leasing ERP and
LogicDis Car Lease ERP (LogicDIS Group, 2002).
2.1.4. Participation
For the purpose of this study, 47 persons working in the above companies
in posts related to ERP systems (support, sales etc) were asked whether to
complete the questionnaire. The percentage of these persons that denied
32
MATERIALS AND METHODS
taking part to the study was very small (4,3%). The overall of the persons
participated to the study was in total forty-five. Nineteen of them were
employees in Singular and the rest twenty-six were occupied at Altec.
As far as for LogicDis, the researcher could not contact any person working
in that company, due to company’s deontology according to which any survey
from outside the company is not permitted.
2.1.5. Questionnaire Structure
For the purpose of this study, a questionnaire was structured. This
questionnaire is designed only for the persons occupied in the ERP vendor
companies. Subjects were asked to complete a paper-based form of this
questionnaire given to them hand-to-hand, written to the Greek language and
attached with the consent form.
This questionnaire was designed in order to measure:

The quality of after sale ERP support that the Greek ERP vendor
companies provide to their customers/users.

What the Greek ERP vendor companies believe concerning the
quality of ERP systems/products that they provide to their customers/users.
The questionnaire is a simple fifteen-item scale assessing subjectively a
variety of aspects of ERP systems. The first two statements regard the age of
the respondents and the duration that they are occupied at the specific vendor
company. The questionnaire is consisted of two chapters. The first chapter
examines the quality of after sale ERP support that the Greek ERP vendor
companies provide to their customers/users. The second chapter examines
the quality of ERP systems/products.
This questionnaire is simple, flexible and covers many aspects as far as for
ERP systems in order to evaluate customer/user satisfaction from the
vendor’s point of view.
2.1.6. Filling in the Questionnaire
In order the filled questionnaires to be valid, all items should be checked
and participants should response to each question immediately without
33
MATERIALS AND METHODS
thinking a lot. In case of the subjects are not certain what to response to a
particular item they should check the number three of the scale.
2.2. METHODS
2.2.1. Data Collection
Sufficient primary data were gathered, as in the early stage of the research,
the study of the literature review revealed that there is a great amount of
articles covering the theoretical approach of enterprise resource planning
systems. In order to gather secondary data a survey was conducted that was
addressed to the above ERP vendor companies in Greece.
2.2.2. Data Protection
The person responsible for the collection and the statistical evaluation of
the data was the researcher. The results may be published in a Greek or an
international journal or conference by all means. The anonymity of the
subjects was secured by using index numbers.
2.2.3. Contact with the Respondents
Respondents were contacted directly. Firstly, the name of the researcher
the purpose and the benefits of the study were briefly illustrated. Therefore,
the respondents were encouraged to participate to the study and to fill in the
questionnaire truthfully.
2.2.4. Confidentiality
Respondents’ privacy rights were respected. The privacy guarantee was
stated in order the research to be valid and respondents to be protected.
Respondents’ personal information, such as names, telephone numbers or
addresses, were not required for the needs of the study, in order to protect
their confidentiality.
2.2.5. Consent Form and Information Sheet
An information sheet and a consent form, which were written in the Greek
language for the convenience of the respondents, were given to all subjects.
The purpose of the study was notified to the participants both orally and by
34
MATERIALS AND METHODS
reading the information sheet. The participation was limited to that specified in
the information sheet. All the subjects agreed signing the consent form to
participate to the filling in the questionnaire.
Additionally, as far as about the consent form, participants were informed of
their right to answer any question and therefore they could either agree or
disagree to take part to the study.
2.2.6. Selection Criteria
The study considers the quality of ERP after sale support and the quality of
the ERP systems from the vendors’ point of view. For this reason, only
persons occupied to ERP vendor companies were asked to participate to this
study. The purpose of this study comprises only Greek ERP vendor
companies. Therefore, international ERP vendor companies were excluded.
Consequently, the vendor companies that satisfied the above selection criteria
were Altec PC, Singular and LogicDis.
It is also worth noting that all the persons participated to this study had
work positions in the vendor companies related to ERP systems (ERP-sales
department, ERP support etc.).
2.2.7. Statistical Methods
The statistical package used was SPSS 12.0. The statistical methods used
were descriptive statistics (frequencies and crosstabulations), bivariate
correlations and non-parametric tests.
35
CHAPTER III
DATA ANALYSIS
36
DATA ANALYSIS
3. DATA ANALYSIS
3.1. Statistics for Each Item
3.1.1. Age and Years of Occupation
3.1.1.1. Age of the Respondents
The statistical evaluation of the data disclosed the majority of the
respondents are aged between 31-40 years in the 84.4% of the cases. The
rest of the respondents are aged between 21-30 years (15.6%) (Fig. 3.1).
100
80
60
40
20
0
21-30
31-40
Respondents' Age
Fig. 3.1: Percentages concerning the age of the respondents working in the vendor companies.
3.1.1.2. Years of Occupation in the Vendor Companies
Over the forty percent of the respondents are occupied in the respective
company for 5-7 years. On the other hand, about the one fourth of the cases
are occupied for 3-5 years and the 20% of the cases are occupied for more
than seven years in the companies. It is also worth mentioning that only the
6.7% and the 4.4% of the respondents are occupied for less than one year
and 1-3 years respectively (Fig. 3.2).
37
DATA ANALYSIS
50
40
30
20
10
0
0-1
1-3
3-5
5-7
7 and more
Years that respondents work in the company
Fig. 3.2: Years of participants’ occupation in the companies (in percentages).
3.1.2. Support Quality of ERP Systems
3.1.2.1. Trust and Security
Concerning the opinion that the vendor companies inspire trust and
security to their customers, it is worth mentioning that none of the respondents
disagreed or totally disagreed with the above opinion. Furthermore, almost the
90% of the respondents believe that the companies in which they are
occupied inspire trust and security to their customers and only the 11.1% of
them had no specific opinion on that subject (Fig. 3.3).
The latter results are significant (p<0.01), using the Chi-square statistical
test but imprecise because of the quite wide 95% confidence interval [95%
confidence interval= (0.797, 0.981)].
3.1.2.2. Sincere Interest to Solve Problems
Over the three quarters of the respondents agree that the vendor
companies present genuine interest to support the after sale problems relating
to ERPs. Only the 11.1% of them disagreed with that opinion and a same
percentage neither agree nor disagree accordingly (Fig. 3.4). These results in
accordance to Chi-square statistical test are significant (p<0.01) but imprecise
[95% confidence interval= (0.121, 0.656)].
38
DATA ANALYSIS
80
60
40
20
0
Totally agree
agree
nor agree, nor disagree
Trust and Security
Fig. 3.3: Percentages of the respondents concerning the opinion that the company in which they are
occupied inspires or not trust and security to the customers.
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
totally agree
agree
nor agree nor
disagree
disagree
Sincere Interest to Solve Problems
Fig. 3.4: Percentages presenting whether the respondents believe that the vendor companies are
truly concerned to solve possible after sale problems in ERPs or not.
39
DATA ANALYSIS
3.1.2.3. The Vendor Company is Dependable
The statistical evaluation of the data revealed that over the 95% of the
respondents believe that the vendor company in which they are occupied, is
dependable. It is also worth noting that none of the respondents disagreed
with that attitude and only a small percentage had no specific opinion (Fig.
3.5). The above results are significant (p<0.01) and precise due to 95%
confidence interval [95% confidence interval= (0.895, 1.015)].
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
totally agree
agree
nor agree nor disagree
The company is dependable
Fig. 3.5: The company is dependable. Respondents’ beliefs in percentages.
3.1.2.4. The Company Provides Prompt Services
Approximately the three quarters of the respondents believe that the
vendor companies, in which they are occupied, provide prompt services to
their customers. A quite extensive percentage of them (26.7%) neither agree
nor disagree with the above opinion. Moreover, none of the respondents
support the opposite opinion (Fig. 3.6). However, these results are statistically
insignificant (p>0.05).
40
DATA ANALYSIS
50
40
30
20
10
0
totally agree
agree
nor agree nor disagree
The company provides prompt services
Fig. 3.6: The company provides prompt services to the customers. The beliefs of the respondents in
percentages.
3.1.3. Quality of ERP Systems
3.1.3.1. ERP Systems are Easy to be Used by the Users.
The majority of the respondents believe that the ERP system is easy to be
used by the users. However, a great proportion of them had no specific
opinion on this subject. On the other hand, only a small percentage of the
respondents believe that the ERP systems are difficult to be used by the users
(Fig. 3.7). These results are statistically significant (p=0.01) but imprecise due
to the wide 95% confidence interval [95% confidence interval= (0.433, 0.723)].
3.1.3.2. The ERP is not Cumbersome to be Used by the Users
The 40% of the respondents agreed with the fact that the ERP systems are
not cumbersome to be used. However, over the 20% of them disagreed with
that opinion. It is worth mentioning that a wide proportion neither disagree nor
agreed with the above opinion (Fig. 3.8). According to Chi-square test, these
results have no statistical significance.
41
DATA ANALYSIS
40
30
20
10
0
totally agree
agree
nor agree nor
disagree
disagree
The ERP is easy to be used by the users
Fig. 3.7: The respondents’ beliefs as far as if the ERP is easy to be used by the users (in
percentages).
40
30
20
10
0
totally agree
agree
nor agree nor
disagree
disagree
The ERP is not cumbersome to be used by the users
Fig. 3.8: The ERP is not cumbersome to be used by the users. Respondents’ beliefs in percentages.
42
DATA ANALYSIS
3.1.3.3. ERP Functions’ Integration
The majority of the subjects (64.4%) believe that the ERP systems have
well integrated functions, where on the other hand, the 13.3% of the
respondents disagreed with this statement. However, the 22.2% of this group
neither agrees nor disagrees whether the ERP system have well integrated
functions or not. However, these results are statistically insignificant (Fig. 3.9).
40
30
20
10
0
totally agree
agree
nor agree nor
disagree
disagree
The fuctions of ERP are well integrated
Fig.
3.9: The respondents’ beliefs in percentages as far as concerns the integrity of ERPs’
functions.
3.1.3.4. The ERP system is easy to be learned how to use it
The respondents in 35.5% of the group agreed that it is easy to learn how
to use the ERP systems. Nevertheless, over the half of the subjects either
regards ERP systems as easy to learn how to use them or complex. Only the
13.3% of the respondents consider the ERP systems as complex in learning
how to use them (Fig. 3.10). These results are significant (p<0.01) when
performing test statistics, but the confidence interval is quite wide [95%
confidence interval= (0.101, 0.345)].
43
DATA ANALYSIS
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
totally agree
agree
nor agree, nor
disagree
disagree
totally disagree
The ERP is easy to be learned how to use it
Fig. 3.10: The beliefs of the respondents concerning the easiness of the ERP systems to be learned
(in percentages).
40
30
20
10
0
agree
nor agree nor
disagree
disagree
totally disagree
The ERP has problems rarely
Fig. 3.11: The beliefs of respondents as far as the frequency of performing problems in ERP
systems.
44
DATA ANALYSIS
3.1.3.5. ERP Systems Perform Problems Rarely
The one third of the group have defined that ERP systems present
problems rarely. In contrast, one third of the same group, disagreed with the
above statement. It is however worth-mentioning that the rest third of the
subjects neither agreed nor disagreed with the above statement (Fig. 3.11).
According to Chi-square statistical test, these results have statistical
significance but they are imprecise due to the wide 95% confidence interval
[95% confidence interval= (0.529, 0.805)].
3.1.3.6. The User has to Learn a Lot of Things to Use the ERP
One in four of the respondents believe that users have to learn a lot of
things in order to use the ERP system. However, the largest percentage of the
subjects (66.7%) had no specific opinion on this statement (Fig. 3.12).
Although, the total proportion of the group supported that there is no need to
learn a lot of things in order to use the ERP systems was less than 7%, driving
also to significant results (p<0.01), the confidence interval is fairly wide [95%
CI= (0.138, 0.396)] suggesting poor precision.
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
totally agree
agree
nor agree nor
disagree
disagree
totally disagree
The user has to learn a lot of things to use the ERP
Fig. 3.12: The user has to learn a lot of things to use the ERP. The beliefs of the respondents in
percentages.
45
DATA ANALYSIS
3.1.3.7. ERP Systems Provide Easy Information Transmission
Regarding the easy information transmission that ERP systems provide,
over the 75% of the respondents. The second most common response was
neither negative nor positive in 17.8% of the individuals in the same group.
Finally, less than 5% of the subjects regarded that the ERP systems provide
difficult information transmission (Fig. 3.13). Even though these results
sequenced to significant results (p<0.01), 95% confidence interval was wide
[95% CI= (0.657, 0.899)]
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
totally agree
agree
nor agree nor
disagree
disagree
The ERP provides easy information transmission
Fig. 3.13: Respondents’ opinion in percentages as far as for the easy information transmission that
ERP systems provide.
3.1.3.8. ERP Systems Provide Information Accuracy
Over the 90% of the respondents strongly considered that ERP systems
provide information accuracy. The opposite opinion was reported only in 4.4%
of the group (Fig. 3.14). The latter results are significant (p<0.01) using the
Chi-square statistical test but imprecise because of the wide 95% confidence
interval [95% confidence interval= (0.828, 0.994)].
46
DATA ANALYSIS
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
totally agree
agree
nor agree nor
disagree
disagree
The ERP provides information accuracy
Fig. 3.14: Subjects’ opinions in percentages as far as for information accuracy provided by the
ERP systems.
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
totally agree
agree
nor agree nor
disagree
disagree
The ERP provides information in time
Fig. 3.15: The ERP systems provide information at the moment that the user needs it. Respondents’
opinions in percentages.
47
DATA ANALYSIS
3.1.3.9. ERP Systems Provide Information On Time
The great majority of the respondents (88.9%) believed that ERP systems
provide information in time. On the other hand, small proportions supported
the opposite statement (4.4%) or had no specific opinion (6.7%) (Fig. 3.15).
These results are statistically significant (p<0.01) but with an inadequate
precision [95% confidence interval= (0.819, 1.003)].
3.1.3.10. The ERP Systems Increases User’s Productivity
The opinion that ERP systems increase user’s productivity was supported
by the 91.1% of the group. Finally, two small proportions- equal to 4.4% eachsupported ERP systems do not increase user’s productivity or had no specific
opinion on this subject respectively (Fig. 3.16). These results are statistically
significant (p<0.01) but with an inadequate precision [95% confidence
interval= (0.819, 1.003)].
3.1.3.11. ERP Systems and User’s Timesaving At Work
Over the 86% of the subjects supported that ERP systems contribute to
users’ timesaving at their work. The proportion that supported the opposite
opinion rated to 4.4% (Fig. 3.17). These results have a statistical significance
(p<0.01). However, the confidence interval is fairly wide [95% confidence
interval= (0.768, 0.966)], suggesting poor precision.
48
DATA ANALYSIS
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
totally agree
agree
nor agree nor
disagree
disagree
The ERP increases user's productivity
Fig. 3.16: ERP systems increase user’s productivity. Presentation of subjects’ opinions in
percentages.
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
totally agree
agree
nor agree nor
disagree
disagree
The ERP saves user's time in work
Fig. 3.17: the opinions of respondents concerning users’ timesaving in their work using the ERP
systems.
49
DATA ANALYSIS
3.2. Correlations
Significant correlations were found at the 0.05 or 0.01 level using Pearson’s
Correlation test, which are performed at the tables 3.1 and 3.2, demonstrated
below.
CORRELATIONS
QUALITY OF ERP SYSTEM
Pearson
Correlated Statements
Correlation
[r]
The ERP is easy to be used by users- The ERP system is not
cumbersome to be used by the users
The ERP is easy to be used by users- The functions of ERPs
are well integrated
The ERP is easy to be used by users- The ERP is easy to be
learned how to use it
The ERP is easy to be used by users- The ERP performs
problems rarely
The ERP is easy to be used by users- The user has to learn a
lot of things to use the ERP
The ERP is easy to be used by users- The ERP provides easy
information transmission
The ERP is easy to be used by users- The ERP provides
information accuracy
The ERP is easy to be used by users- The ERP provides
information at the moment that the user need it
The ERP is easy to be used by users- The ERP increases user's
productivity
The ERP is easy to be used by users- The ERP saves user's
time at work
The ERP system is not cumbersome to be used by the usersThe ERP saves user's time at work
The ERP system is not cumbersome to be used by the usersThe ERP increases user's productivity
The ERP system is not cumbersome to be used by the usersThe ERP system perform problems rarely
The ERP system is not cumbersome to be used by the usersThe ERP is easy to be learned how to use it
The ERP system is not cumbersome to be used by the usersThe functions of ERP are well integrated
The functions of ERP are well integrated- The ERP is easy to be
learned how to use it
The functions of ERP are well integrated- The ERP system
performs problems rarely
The functions of ERP are well integrated- The ERP provides
easy information transmission
The functions of ERP are well integrated- The ERP provides
information accuracy
The functions of ERP are well integrated- The ERP provides
information at the moment that the user need it
The functions of ERP are well integrated- The ERP increases
user's productivity
The functions of ERP are well integrated- The ERP saves user's
time at work
The ERP is easy to be learned how to use it- The ERP saves
user's time at work
The ERP is easy to be learned how to use it- The ERP
increases user's productivity
Level where
correlation is
significant
0.658
0.01
0.551
0.01
0.458
0.01
0.421
0.01
0.317
0.05
0.361
0.05
0.469
0.01
0.386
0.01
0.480
0.01
0.488
0.01
0.331
0.05
0.356
0.05
0.612
0.01
0.642
0.01
0.577
0.01
0.608
0.01
0.546
0.01
0.546
0.01
0.547
0.01
0.388
0.01
0.625
0.01
0.483
0.01
0.316
0.05
0.408
0.01
50
DATA ANALYSIS
The user has to learn a lot of things to use the ERP- The ERP
provides information accuracy
The user has to learn a lot of things to use the ERP- The ERP
provides easy information transmission
The ERP provides easy information transmission- The ERP
provides information accuracy
The ERP provides easy information transmission- The ERP
provides information at the moment that the user need it
The ERP provides easy information transmission- The ERP
increases user's productivity
The ERP provides easy information transmission- The ERP
saves user's time at work
The ERP provides information accuracy- The ERP saves user's
time at work
The ERP provides information accuracy- The ERP increases
user's productivity
The ERP provides information accuracy- The ERP provides
information at the moment that the user need it
The ERP provides information at the moment that the user need
it- The ERP increases user's productivity
The ERP provides information at the moment that the user need
it- The ERP saves user's time at work
The ERP increases user's productivity- The ERP saves user's
time at work
0.380
0.01
0.402
0.01
0.759
0.01
0.667
0.01
0.616
0.01
0.623
0.01
0.696
0.01
0.715
0.01
0.809
0.01
0.730
0.01
0.682
0.01
0.840
0.01
Table 3. 1: Correlations using the Pearson correlation test concerning the quality of the ERP systems
CORRELATIONS
QUALITY SUPPORT TO CUSTOMERS/USERS
Pearson
Correlation [r]
Level where
correlation is
significant
Trust and Security- Sincere Interest to solve problems
0.397
0.01
Trust and Security- The company is dependable
Trust and security- The company provides prompt
services
Sincere interest to solve problems- The company
provides prompt services
Sincere interest to solve problems- The company is
dependable
The company is dependable - The company provides
prompt services
0.597
0.01
0.354
0.05
0.494
0.01
0.347
0.05
0.462
0.01
Correlated Statements
Table 3. 2: Correlations using the Pearson correlation test concerning the quality of the support that
the vendor companies provide to customers.
51
DATA ANALYSIS
3.3. Crosstabulations
In an attempt to investigate associations between respondents’ age and
each attribute of both ‘quality of after sale support to customers’ and ‘quality of
ERP systems’ group, the Using the Continuity corrected asymptotic
significance was in all of the cases more than 0.05 (p>0.05). The same
resulted as well, using the ‘years that respondents are employed to the vendor
company’ attribute respectively.
52
CHAPTER IV
DISCUSSION
53
DISCUSSION
4. DISCUSSION
4.1. General Considerations
This research examined the opinion of employees of two Greek vendor
ERP companies on user/customer satisfaction with (ERP) systems as
products. The most noticeable aspect of this project is that user/customer
satisfaction from vendor’s point of view was evaluated among several aspects
that impact users.
The questionnaire that was used for this project seemed to be flexible. The
questionnaire’s scale type and the small number of items that were required to
be checked contributed to the agreement by the majority of the participants to
fill it in. Only a small percentage of them (4.3%) denied filling in the
questionnaire.
Therefore,
the
questionnaire
donated
to
participant’s
convenience and to the little work’s time consuming. Thus, this questionnaire
proved to be successful for the evaluation of vendor’s opinion concerning
whether they believe that they keep their customers satisfied or not.
The statistical evaluation of the data revealed that employees in the Greek
vendor companies believe that the vendor companies are dependable and
inspire trust and security to the customers. Additionally, they believe that
these companies provide prompt services and sincere interest to solve
possible after sale problems.
Another noticeable aspect of the results was that employees believe that
ERP systems are easy to be applied by the users and they are easy to be
learned how to use them. However, according to respondents’ opinion, these
systems comprise hardly ever after-sale problems and the things that the
users have to be taught in order to use these systems are a lot.
Although it was expected from the employees to answer positively to all
questions in order the vendor companies to seem perfect, in many questions
the answers were baffled. That probably happened due to the protection of
respondents’ confidentiality rights. Employees were certain that the top
managers of the companies would not be negatively influenced by these
questionnaires, as only the researcher knew their contents and responses. In
addition, the anonymity of the participants was guaranteed and their personal
information was not asked. Therefore, respondents were free to express their
54
DISCUSSION
exact opinion without to be afraid of any negative influence. Thus, as far as
whether using the ERP system is cumbersome or not and as far as ERP
systems have functional integration, employees’ opinions were baffled.
Another significant finding of this study relates to the effects of ERP
systems on information flow. The participants of this study evaluated the
information quality by supporting that these products make the different levels
of information sharing comparable in terms of accuracy, timing and
transmission. They supported the reliability of ERP systems both through
transaction accuracy and easy information transmission at the time that the
user needs it.
According to the findings of this project, system capability also has a strong
impact on productivity and, therefore, on business performance. The increase
in the productivity also corresponds with a decline in production costs,
allowing by this way valuable staff time, so that staff can concentrate on
managing customers’ demands (Soliman et al., 2001). When users realise
that the systems cannot provide information management without improper
impact on response times, they choose seeking for another system (Zeng et
al., 2003). One of the main reasons that companies undertake ERP systems
is in order to standardise automated processes using an information system
and therefore increase productivity and save time (Koch, 2005).
ERP is catalyst for change on productivity enhancements and on
timesaving and therefore assists the company to obtain competitive
advantage without any undesirable impacts. Therefore, ERP systems promote
both
customer
satisfaction
and
vendor
performance
(Garg
and
Venkitakrishnan, 1999).
4.2. Correlations
The findings of this study suggested that employees in the vendor
companies believe that ERP systems are not cumbersome to use as they are
easy to be learned how to use them and easy to be used. On the other hand,
the ERP systems are easy to be learned how to be used due to their well
functional integrity, while integration affects significantly the productivity of
users.
55
DISCUSSION
Easy to learn
how to Use it
Information
on time
Integration
Information
Accuracy
Easy to be used
Timesaving
Increase
Productivity
Not Cumbersome
Have
problems
rarely
The user has
to learn a lot
to use it
Easy
information
transmission
Fig. 4.1: Correlations related to ERP system’s quality.
However, easy information transmission that the ERP systems provide
increases considerably the user’s productivity and staff’s timesaving.
Accordingly, when an ERP system provides easy information transmission it
will provide also accurate information at the exact moment that the user needs
it. On the other hand, when the ERP systems provide information accuracy
the staff saves time and get the information they need at the exact moment
that they need it, as well as their productivity is increased accordingly. An
ERP system that provides information on time affects significantly the
productivity and timesaving of the staff. Finally, when an ERP system is
productive contributes to staff’s time saving. All correlations related to ERP
system’s quality are demonstrated at the table 4.1.
56
DISCUSSION
The Vendor Company
is Dependable
Trust and
Security
The Company
Provides
Prompt Services
Sincere Interest to
solve problems
Fig. 4.2: Correlations related to quality support to customers/users.
The most strongly supported bilateral relation as far as the quality support
to customers/users, is that the vendor company is dependable providing trust
and security and vice versa. Additionally, the company provides prompt
services and sincere interest to solve possible after-sale problems of ERP,
inspiring to users/customers trust and security and dependability. All the
interrelations
among
the
aspects
related
to
quality
support
to
customers/users, are demonstrated at table 4.2.
User satisfaction: The ERP Evaluation Mechanism
Definitely, the user satisfaction is a factor that vendors should take under
consideration. According to ISO 9241, satisfaction is one of the metrics that
usually evaluated in the context of use as well as effectiveness and efficiency
(International Organization for Standards, ISO 9241). Satisfaction is linked
with the trust, as “the degree of trust is a consequence of the capacity of a
business to satisfy the needs of its clients” (Flavián et al., 2006, p. 4.).
According to the results of this study vendors believe that inspire trust to the
users and therefore they keep their customers satisfied.
On the other hand, there is a strong link among ease of use, usefulness,
usability and user satisfaction, which is demonstrated at Fig. 4.3. However,
users are willing to adopt a system primarily because of its functionality and
57
DISCUSSION
secondarily because of its ease of use (Davis, 1989). Therefore, vendors
should not overstate ease of use and neglect functionality and usefulness.
Consequently, vendors who wish to keep their customers satisfied they focus
mainly on the functionality of the system in order the system to be usable for
the user.
Regarding the items of questionnaire that has to do with the functionality of
the ERP system (II5, II7, II8, II9, II10 and II11) and taking into account the
statistical evaluation of the data, vendors believe that their products are
functional. In the only item of the questionnaire concerning the functionality of
the ERP, which’s statistical results were imprecise, was the item II3 (functional
integrity). However, functional integrity is a very crucial topic proposed for the
successful ERP implementation that systems’ designers should take more
seriously into account.
Usefulness
Ease of Use
are linked with…
(Calisir and Calisir, 2004)
User
Satisfaction
are linked with…
(Davis, 1989)
So, they are
linked
Usage
Fig. 4. 3.: Links among user satisfaction, usage, usefulness and ease of use.
4.3. Conclusions
The questionnaire used for this study proved flexible. However, future
research is necessary as the validity of the proposals cannot be truly founded
on the base of a single study. Vendors should inspire trust and security to
their customers and they also should emphasise to undertake as functional
and useful ERP systems as possible in order to keep their customers/users
satisfied. Therefore, the need of investigating the determinants of ERP user
satisfaction and the link between ERP implementation stage and user
satisfaction is eminent.
58
REFERENCES
59
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