Using Knowledge-based Processes to Improve Enterprise
                 System Effectiveness
                      Sanjay M...
2. Research Approach
The focus of this paper is to better understand the effectiveness of enterprise systems
technology in...
4. Enterprise System Benefits
The justification for adopting ES centers on their business benefits. To receive benefit fro...
Table 1 - A Framework of Business Benefits

   Dimension                          Subdimension                            ...
Figure 1: A Model of How ES Data are Transformed into Knowledge and Results

                  Context                    ...
the world’s largest single-location forging capacity and is the second largest and most
technologically advanced commercia...
The product forecasting process also required improvements. Managers only discovered that
they had shortage of manufacturi...
6.2.4 Data Context
Quality of data plays an important role for decision making to achieve good results. Some of
the factor...
analysis, price/volume analysis, market and customer segment analysis, sales forecasting and
operations planning analysis,...
operations. It also assists the company in awarding contracts to vendors on current and
competitive terms and ensures bett...
6.4.4 Financial Impacts
Decisions led to new behaviors, new initiatives and process changes, and the ultimate result
were ...
8. Acknowledgement
The authors acknowledge review and valuable comments by Dr. Mohammad Rashid,
Massey University, Albany,...
[14]   Jenson, R. L., & Johnson, R. I. (2002). The Enterprise Resource Planning System as
       a Strategic Solution. Inf...
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  1. 1. Using Knowledge-based Processes to Improve Enterprise System Effectiveness Sanjay Mathrani Dennis Viehland Navman NZ Limited Massey University smathrani@navman.com d.viehland@massey.ac.nz Abstract A significant investment in resources is required for implementation of integrated enterprise systems while the effectiveness of these systems to achieve business benefits remains unclear and empirically largely unexplored. Organizations are realizing that it’s not enough to put in an enterprise system and expect an automatic improvement. The business benefits can be achieved from improvements through transformation of enterprise system data into knowledge by applying analytic and decision making processes. This study explores a model of transforming enterprise system data into knowledge and results, through a case study that examines the impact of enterprise systems information on organizational functions and processes leading to business benefits. Keywords Enterprise systems (ES), enterprise resource planning (ERP), effectiveness, data, knowledge creation, knowledge management, business benefits 1. Introduction Enterprise systems (ES) also called enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems have an organizational impact and in most cases are implemented to improve organizational effectiveness (Davenport, 1998, 2000; Markus & Tanis, 2000). These are software applications that connect and manage information flows across complex organizations, allowing managers to make decisions based on information that accurately reflects the current state of their business (Davenport, Harris, & Cantrell, 2002). These systems are implemented to bring about definite business benefits which justify the investment. Return on investment (ROI) comes from process improvements ES supports and not from just the new ES software. The difference is that ES software alone, no matter how good it is, makes little impact on improving business performance. If organizations continue to follow the same pre-ES business processes after implementation, they can expect the same or possibly worse performance. ES software can however, enable and support many new processes but not without the organization deciding what those process are and accepting their use. Positive ROI can come from changing the way business was performed in the past to more streamlined, faster and lower cost processes that better serve the needs of the customer and if that is done well, it will be a winner (Donovan, 2003). One of the key mistakes most companies make is that they view an ES project as completed when the system goes live, which greatly limits their ability to achieve benefit. They view the output of the system as a set of information transactions and do not take advantage of the information to manage the business differently. ES do a good job of automating many business transactions from taking orders to paying suppliers; however there is another set of potential benefits that can be captured by the utilization of the high quality information that is available (Davenport, Harris, & Cantrell, 2004). 1
  2. 2. 2. Research Approach The focus of this paper is to better understand the effectiveness of enterprise systems technology in an organizational setting, by the creation and utilization of ES knowledge leading to business benefits. A field study is conducted in a large manufacturing organization that has implemented an ES, in order to understand one company’s experience in achieving growth by leveraging data from its ES investment. This organization had aggressive growth plans with an objective to achieve better penetration capability into the competitive market by improving its operations. In this study, a qualitative research methodology is used to explore the application of knowledge processes on ES data, and by applying qualitative data analysis techniques, the observations and inferences have been documented. 3. Business Intelligence and Knowledge Management Information technology plays a central role in today’s knowledge intensive business environment. IT systems must be able to integrate disparate organizational systems to provide seamless and consistent data flow, connecting individual processes so that data are useful for decision-making throughout the entire business system. Information systems effectiveness is therefore defined as the perceptions of decision makers’ of the usefulness of information available to them which meets their “business intelligence” requirements (Nicolaou, 2004a). In the information processing view of knowledge, two technologies have been key to improving the quantitative and qualitative value of knowledge available: business intelligence and knowledge management. Business intelligence (BI) is an activity that supports business strategy. It is described as a rational approach to management, which is fact-based and analysis-based, converting data into information, and empowering organizations to make better decisions faster (Vitt, Luckevich, & Misner, 2002). It creates needs for collecting, analyzing, and reporting on data at the interface between internal and external activities in an organization’s supply chain (Nicolaou, 2004a). Knowledge management is the ability to selectively capture, archive, and access the best practices of work-related knowledge and decision making from employees and managers for both individual and group behaviors (Bergeron, 2003). Knowledge management processes are necessary to transform information – in this study ES data – into beneficial outcomes for the organization. There is a driving need for businesses to collect information, analyze results, predict future trends and make well informed knowledgeable business decisions. These decisions affect a myriad of corporate subjects, from customers to products to suppliers and distributors, for a wide range of industries (Moncla & Consulting, 2000). Data warehouses help to combine and aggregate valuable data from multiple sources (Mathrani, 2004). Organizations therefore deploy enterprise systems to create data sources which provide valuable information to meet their business intelligence and knowledge requirements (Vitt et al., 2002). 2
  3. 3. 4. Enterprise System Benefits The justification for adopting ES centers on their business benefits. To receive benefit from ES, there must be no misunderstanding of what it is about and its usability and even more importantly, organizational decision makers must have the background and temperament for this type of decision making coupled with the right quality of information (Donovan, 1998). Many researchers have evaluated benefits from ES investments (e.g. Cooke & Peterson, 1998; Davenport et al., 2002; Deloitte, 1998; Donovan, 1998, 2001; Hedman & Borell, 2002; Ittner & Larcker, 2003; Jenson & Johnson, 2002; Markus & Tanis, 2000; Robey, Ross, & Boudreau, 2002; Shang & Seddon, 2000; Shanks et al., 2000; Soh, Kien, & Tay- Yap, 2000; Yang & Seddon, 2004). ES’s are designed to help manage organizational resources in an integrated manner. The level of integration that is promoted across functions in an enterprise closely relates to the primary benefits that are expected as a result from their implementation. The types of benefits that companies might anticipate from their ES and to the extent organizations had actually attained those benefits on a post-implementation basis are an area being proactively pursued by professional literature. After adoption, expectations for improved business performance may result from both operational and strategic benefits (Irving, 1999; Jenson & Johnson, 2002; Nicolaou, 2004b). In a study of 85 global companies (Deloitte, 1998) tangible benefits (e.g. cost savings, faster processing) and intangible benefits (e.g. improved information visibility, new/improved processes, and improved customer responsiveness) were reported (Deloitte, 1998; Yang & Seddon, 2004). In a survey of 163 large firms (Davenport et al., 2002) key benefits realized by organizations adopting enterprise systems have been reported such as better management decision making, improved customer service and retention, ease of expansion/growth, increased flexibility, faster, more accurate transactions, cost reduction, and increased revenue (Davenport et al., 2002; Yang & Seddon, 2004). In another study (Jenson & Johnson, 2002) some cases of achieved benefits have been compiled: Fujitsu, after a successful 10-month installation of SAP, reported 90 percent reduction of cycle time, 60 to 85 percent improved on-time delivery, and 50 percent reduction for financial closing times. Separately, Boeing officials commented: “BaaN forced us to look for ways to simplify our processes, and because the software is integrated, end users must now work together to solve problems within the internal supply chain” (Jenson & Johnson, 2002 pp. 28). However, some companies have difficulty in identifying any measurable benefits or business process improvements (Donovan, 2001). In the past decade, increasing numbers of companies have been measuring customer loyalty, employee satisfaction, and other performance areas which they believe ultimately affect profitability. But the reality is that only a few companies realize these benefits because they fail to identify, analyze, and act on the right non-financial measures to achieve strategic objectives (Ittner & Larcker, 2003). A comprehensive framework of business benefits has been presented (Shang & Seddon, 2000) that organizations might be able to achieve from their use of enterprise systems. The 21 enterprise system benefits presented were consolidated across five benefit dimensions, as illustrated in table 1. 3
  4. 4. Table 1 - A Framework of Business Benefits Dimension Subdimension Explanation 1 Operational 1.1 Cost reduction ERP systems automate business 1.2 Cycle time reduction processes and enable process changes. 1.3 Productivity improvement Therefore one would expect ERP 1.4 Quality improvement systems to offer all of these types of 1.5 Customer services improvement benefits. 2 Managerial 2.1 Better resource management With a centralized data base and built- 2.2 Improved decision making and planning in data analysis capabilities, it seems 2.3 Performance improvement likely that ERP systems will provide informational benefits to management. 3 Strategic 3.1 Support business growth Enterprise systems with their large 3.2 Support business alliance scale business involvement and internal 3.3 Build business innovations and external integration capabilities 3.4 Build cost leadership could assist in achieving these strategic 3.5 Generate product differentiation (including benefits. customization) 3.6 Build external linkages (customers and suppliers) 3.7 Worldwide expansion 3.8 Enabling e-commerce 4 IT Infrastructure 4.1 Build business flexibility for current and Enterprise systems with their integrated future changes and standard application architecture 4.2 IT cost reduction provide an infrastructure that could 4.3 Increased IT infrastructure capability support this dimension. 5 Organizational 5.1 Support organizational changes The integrated information processing 5.2 Facilitate business learning capabilities of enterprise systems could 5.3 Empowerment affect the establishment of 5.4 Build common visions organizational capabilities. 5.5 Change employee behavior 5.6 Better employee morale and satisfaction Source: Adapted from Shang and Seddon (2000) 5. Turning ES Data into Knowledge A model conceptualized and used by Davenport (2000) and his team of researchers for turning ES data into ES knowledge is shown in figure 1. The model comprises of three major steps. The first is the context. This includes the factors that must be present for transformation of ES data into knowledge and results. The second is the transformation of ES data into knowledge which takes place when the data are actually analyzed and then used to support a business decision. The third are the outcomes which are the events that change as a result of the analysis and implementation of the decisions made. As per Davenport’s model, the process of ES data transformation into knowledge, leads into organizational changes. The most basic potential outcome of this process is the changes in behaviors of individual managers, employees, customers, suppliers, and all stakeholders in the value chain. Another outcome from the decisions or results of behavioral changes may be new initiatives to bring about improvements in business or make changes in existing projects. The results of decisions can also include process changes, which may also be the result of many small initiatives or behavioral changes. On determining that an existing process is not working effectively can lead to changes in the existing process or design and implementation of an entirely new process. 4
  5. 5. Figure 1: A Model of How ES Data are Transformed into Knowledge and Results Context Transformation Outcomes Strategic Behaviors Knowledge creation and management processes Organizational and Cultural Initiatives Analytic Decision Skills and Process Making Process Knowledge Process Changes Data Financial Technology Impacts Source: Adapted from Davenport (2000) The ultimate results of all these activities are the business benefits which lead to financial impacts in the organization. “Decisions lead to new behaviors, new initiatives, and processes, which do not matter unless they improve the bottom line and the return to share holders” (Davenport, 2000 p. 225). It may be difficult to draw a direct chain of influence from prerequisites to transformation to non-financial outcomes to financial results, but establishing that linkage should be the objective of an organization that invests effort and resources in ES data transformation (Davenport, 2000) and is the focus of this study. 6. Leveraging ES Information: A Case Study This case study is about understanding a company’s experience in achieving growth by leveraging data from its ES investment through knowledge creation and management processes. The case also illustrates Davenport’s conceptual framework (see figure 1) that managers can use to evaluate their own situation and identify areas that need special attention to make sure their organization’s ES investment enables improvement in how the business is managed. 6.1 Company Overview Growel Limited1 is a US$1 billion forging manufacturing company and is one of the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter of automotive engine and suspension components. It has 1 A pseudonym. The name was chosen to symbolize growth 5
  6. 6. the world’s largest single-location forging capacity and is the second largest and most technologically advanced commercial forge shops in the world. Growel has been a publicly traded company whose stock has appreciated more than 200 percent. With manufacturing facilities in India and Germany, the company manufactures a wide range of forgings and machined components for the automotive, diesel engine, railway, earthmoving, cement, sugar, steel, coal, ship building, and oilfield industries. An ISO 9001:2000, ISO/TS 16949:2002 accredited company, Growel is internationally reputed for its cutting edge technology, established quality processes, and capabilities to meet the exacting standards of the most demanding customers in the world. Growel Limited is a global corporation with world class engineering capabilities, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, and a global customer base that includes General Motors, Toyota, Ford, Daimler Chrysler, Honda, Renault, Volvo, Caterpillar - Perkins, Cummins, Arvin Meritor, Mitsubishi Motor Corporation, Dana Corporation, and several others. It is the largest manufacturer of axle components for heavy trucks with a 35% global market share, with a 10% global market share in engine components. 6.2 Context 6.2.1 Strategic Context Growel’s journey towards becoming an international player began in the late 1990’s. The company wanted to grow exports; widen its global footprint and secure new customers. It wanted to become the world’s largest manufacturer of axle components for heavy trucks and one of the key global players for engine components. Growel undertook the process of doubling its manufacturing capacity by implementing a major capacity expansion program, to be completed in 8-10 months. On completion, Growel would have augmented its forging capacity to over 350,000 tones per annum and the crankshaft machining capacity in excess of 650,000 crankshafts per annum. However, this involved large investments and risks. The company had no other options but to resort to major cost controls, improve operational efficiencies and optimize its business processes to counter the adverse financial effects of the major investments. Senior managers in the company chose to pursue a strategy to achieve operational excellence. The company historically lacked integration between its order-to-cash, shipping, and accounts receivable processes. There were disputes on invoices, and purchase orders relating to price, and terms of business with customers and suppliers. There was a lack of visibility into finished goods inventory and overall accuracy of inventory was poor. Visibility of material requirements and inventory throughout the value chain was inadequate and did not provide decision support at all stages of operations. The company had not integrated the design and development practices with the operational systems; therefore the time lag between development and marketing of products was large and resulted in poor customer service and dissatisfaction. Human resource services also needed improvement. The information on internal work efficiencies of workmen and the process efficiencies was insufficient. Product quality was another aspect which required attention along with smoothening of the pre-production approval process. Capabilities for design and validation of components were inadequate and needed improvements which would allow the company to interactively participate with its customers at the early stages of product development avoiding rework at a later stage. 6
  7. 7. The product forecasting process also required improvements. Managers only discovered that they had shortage of manufacturing capacity when the line ran out. On the sales side, management had limited visibility of who its most and least profitable customers and products were. They also did not have information on whether they were buying in the most cost effective manner. In general, the management lacked the detailed understanding of its business and needed to improve operations. The management team recognized what types of decisions had to be made to support their strategic objectives but could not utilize the operational data. The company had to improve its operations in order to achieve better penetration capability into the export market, which was their prime objective. 6.2.2 Organizational and Cultural Context A company is as good as its people and Growel has the privilege of having a highly qualified and motivated manpower base. Since its inception, Growel has attached great significance to “people power” and considers its employees as the most important of all factors of production. Even in the present times, when path-breaking technological developments are the order of the day, Growel has not budged an inch from its philosophy of “people first”, for people are without a doubt, the single most precious assets that a company can have. Growel enjoys the enviable reputation of being one of the few corporates that has successfully maintained harmonious industrial relations year after year and the credit for this goes to all its employees who have always been open to and welcomed change. With interactive communications at all levels, Growel continues to provide a congenial and peaceful working atmosphere to its employees. The organizational and cultural elements were aligned to support the use of transaction data at Growel. All the major areas of the company including the sales and customer service departments have their own set of dedicated analysts who work closely with the management, using SAP data to support decision making. Management understands the complexity of the problems requiring analytic support. More complex issues, requiring sophisticated modelling and data analysis, are better served when analysts and decision makers are closely linked. The compensation system was also changed to reward sales people for sales volume and profit. The company created a congenial atmosphere within the organization which fostered orientation to change. The organization also adopted a data- oriented culture and pushed hard to develop norms that would encourage employees to behave as members of a data-driven organization. The quality of management reviews improved dramatically because executives were now much more reliant on numbers in explaining their performance. This behaviour trickled down throughout the organization. 6.2.3 Skills and Knowledge Growel has a high quality, motivated work force. The company employs about two thousand workmen of which over four hundred are engineers with a high ability to learn and implement modern manufacturing methods using high tech equipment. No non-skilled worker has been hired in the last fifteen years. The company provides extensive training both in house and externally, including overseas exposure. Within the group of knowledge workers and analysts, the skills include detailed knowledge of the organization’s underlying business processes. They possess extensive skills for interpreting the SAP data, including understanding how key elements relate and their limitations for analysis. They also have a thorough working knowledge of several analytic and data presentation software packages, along with strong interpersonal skills to train and support end users. 7
  8. 8. 6.2.4 Data Context Quality of data plays an important role for decision making to achieve good results. Some of the factors which required controlling were data integrity, synthesizing data from other sources, completeness of data, timely data extracts, and housekeeping of data to maintain accuracy and currency of information. Issues of data quality were less at Growel, where transaction data captured in the SAP system were created internally based on all transactions from sales orders to shipping invoices. Monitoring and updating of data was a regular feature and the transaction data was made available in a timely fashion to support decision making. 6.2.5 Technology Context Growel had historically been using a home-grown legacy system which provided disparate information which lacked proper integration and utilization. However, this lack of operational data to support decision making changed with the implementation of SAP’s R/3 in 2000-01. The modules implemented were financial, sales and distribution, material management, production management, and human resources. The company now had unprecedented visibility into its operations and customer base. Microsoft’s Access and Excel were used as tools to analyze the data and put it in a format that managers would understand. 6.3 Transformation The transformation process at Growel was a result of putting core activities into action. How this happened is explained below. The value creation process in its context and time was initially described in detail. A general framework with subject area was created as a guideline. The measures for these processes of business focused on the critical success factors for each functional area, including additional parameters for measuring the broader strategies, goals, and objectives of the company as a whole. A strong linkage between departmental performance indicators and top-level metrics for gauging the effectiveness of company strategy was put in place. Task groups within each functional area were assigned and the general framework was translated into team-specific programs to leverage innovations for achieving strategic goals and plans. The model was shared with all the relevant team-players. On the basis of this model the decision rights were partitioned and allocated. Descriptive indicators of the improvement and corrective-action plans were identified to facilitate decision-making. The implementation plans for these decisions to achieve the desired results along with the steps to create the results were identified. Forms were designed to describe these plans and their measures. The indicators were documented choosing the reference for benchmarking and external validation along with time-line. The SAP data, required for each of the indicators were identified, extracted, and interpreted, to create useful information for monitoring the progress for achieving the objectives. The signals and messages coming from each indicator were analyzed and evaluated to support decision-making. The analytical process involved the means by which ES data became knowledge. These were statistical and numeral analyses, which involved a combination of simple, straightforward reports with insightful observations and judgments by humans. The decision-making process was based on high-quality, well-analyzed ES data on a multitude of other factors. There was a definite link between data, decisions, and actions. Some key areas where ES data were utilized for improvements were customer and product profitability 8
  9. 9. analysis, price/volume analysis, market and customer segment analysis, sales forecasting and operations planning analysis, theory of constraints in manufacturing analysis, raw material cost analysis, inventory analysis, activity-based costing, headcount analysis, salary forecasting, new product development analysis, process efficiency analysis, and design and validation analysis. All actions likely to improve the likelihood that the result will be coherent with the strategic intent were identified evaluated, and implemented. 6.4 Outcomes 6.4.1 Changing Behaviors One of the major outcomes from the above initiatives was changing behaviors. Improved information sharing, transparency, and openness with customers, suppliers, employees, and all stake holders resulted in improved inter-personal and business relations. Having easy access to invoice and purchase order data and a clear transaction history enabled Growel to improve price synchronization with customers and suppliers. The earlier disputes on invoices and purchase orders relating to price and terms of business diminished. The online visibility of demand and supplies with customers and suppliers through the integrated supply chain management (SCM) system led to less volatility in sudden spurts of demand which existed earlier. This resulted in more streamlined supplies and a dramatic change in customer and supplier behavior since Growel could react better to change orders now and was able to be more flexible in the manufacturing environment. "We have reduced our lead times by providing good, quality information to the talented people that make our products; we are now able to change orders quickly and efficiently so we can get shipments out the door in time to meet our customer demand. Our delivery performance has reached nearly 100 percentile and has completely changed our customers’ outlook towards us. We look forward to continuing the success we have already seen”– Production Control Manager. 6.4.2 New Initiatives With the ability to analyze customer and product profitability came a new initiative of value engineering to improve or change the design to make the product more profitable. Decisions on product price increases or reduction of business with customers identified as unprofitable could be taken. This resulted in the elimination of 20 percent of the division’s product line, which analysis had shown as unprofitable and which was replaced by more profitable new product lines. New initiatives towards implementing just-in-time inventory systems were undertaken which decreased inventory costs substantially. 6.4.3 Process Changes Growel recognized that the SAP data created opportunities for redesigning some business processes which could create entirely new sets of decisions. Growel is moving at full speed to re-design some business processes and build e-commerce applications with SAP as a backbone for their legacy systems and other collaborative software like SCM (Supply Chain Management), and PLM (Product Lifecycle Management). SAP also provides in-built capabilities such as CRP (Capacity Resource Planning), and BPR (Business Process Re- engineering), and thus offers a powerful link between the entire value chain extending from the customers to the suppliers. The company has also set up an integrated supply chain management system which enables real-time visibility of material requirements and inventory throughout the value chain and provides decision support at all stages of 9
  10. 10. operations. It also assists the company in awarding contracts to vendors on current and competitive terms and ensures better execution of contracts. A majority of the company’s suppliers have been logged into its supply chain and with Growel e-enabled with its customers; the company has a real time total demand management system in place. A virtual private marketplace has been created for Growel through which the company engages in e- procurement and reverse auctions. The company has already started selling scrap online. In a development that will substantially reduce product development time and bring the company closer to its customer, Growel is in the process of implementing a Collaborative Product Commerce (CPC) module. CPC will enable the company to work online with its customers in designing and developing products and share information and knowledge with the customer. This will result in reducing product development time and costs and, more importantly, forge close ties with the customer from an early stage. Use of information technology has led to smoothening of the pre-production approval process and is bringing Growel closer to its customers. Growel has also created capabilities for design and validation of components using finite element analysis and validation testing. This further enables the company to interactively participate with its customers at the early stages of product development. Growel has also put in place an online Human Resource Management System to personalize HR services and reduce process time, thus improving employee satisfaction and internal work efficiency. The company is also aggressively using information technology to drive process efficiency. In 2000-01, the company installed a three-dimensional, hot forming, metal flow software that enables simulation of the entire design and production process. This has led to significant time and cost reduction and, more importantly, getting the process right, the first time. As stated by one of the senior managers in the company, “Growel has been effectively leveraging information technology as an important tool for reducing costs by enhancing efficiency, reducing product development time, and creating a responsive and nimble organization. The net result has been better customer service, improved quality, reduced time lag between development and marketing of products, and better penetration capability into the export market”. By improving processes, the key successes achieved by Growel are as follows: • Fastest product development time of around three weeks as compared to six months to one year taken by other manufacturers • 100 percent on-time delivery • 80 percent improvement in inventory levels • 50 percent improvement in cost efficiency • Much improved relations with customers and suppliers • Highly motivated human resources 10
  11. 11. 6.4.4 Financial Impacts Decisions led to new behaviors, new initiatives and process changes, and the ultimate result were in the improvement in the bottom line and the return to share holders. The Financial outcomes of Growel as a result of all of these along with witnessing accelerated growth on the back of strong global demand are: Last year’s financial outcomes as on January 15, 2005 • Total revenues up 46% • Exports up 76% ; contributes 48% of total revenue • Profit before tax up 37% • Profit after tax up 26% • Growel has surpassed the last full year’s total revenue and exports in the first nine months. Today, Growel has achieved the distinguished position as the largest manufacturer of axle components for heavy trucks world wide and one of the key global players for engine components. 7. Conclusion and Future Research This case illustrated Davenport’s conceptual framework of how business benefits are achieved from ES data transformation into knowledge through the process of analysis and decision making. It explained the effectiveness of enterprise systems by creation and utilization of knowledge. However, it is important to note that such successful cases may only be possible when management demonstrates the political will to act and follow through in applying the new insights and capabilities made possible by better ES data. Business results follow only in a culture that supports bold, proactive decision makers. This study has highlighted that in order to succeed in today’s competitive world businesses must now shift their focus from improving efficiencies to increasing effectiveness. Integrated access to pertinent information captured by ES must be available so that effective decisions can be made towards successfully implementing strategies, optimizing business performance, and adding value for customers. Knowledge is a key factor in this process. Success or failure is often attributed to enterprise systems or their implementation process. However, it is evident from this study that enterprise systems provide a platform of functionalities and information to an organization. The ability of an organization to extract value from data, distribute results from analysis, apply knowledge, and establish decisions for strategic organizational benefits will lead the path towards business success which would eventually emerge from the process of ongoing transformations over a period of time. Further research should evaluate and prioritize the critical effectiveness constructs of an organization that will benefit the long term development of the organization. In relation to the growing need for organizational transformation, future research should emphasize and broaden understanding of how different IT and knowledge management initiatives can maximize potential and leverage growth. 11
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