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Chapter 8. Building the e-Business Backb... > ERP Decision = Enterprise Architectu...

ERP Decision = Enterprise Architecture Planning

According to Jim Prevo, CIO of Green Mountain Coffee, "An ERP implementation is like the corporate equivalent of a brain transplant. We pulled the plug on every company application and moved to PeopleSoft software. The risk was certainly disruption of business, because if you do not do ERP properly, you can kill your company, guaranteed."[7] Green Mountain had no choice. The company was unable to manage its inventories electronically, even though its revenues grew by 30 percent annually. Green Mountain maintained extra-high inventory levels to ensure that orders could be filled. Increasingly, the management at both large- and medium-size companies must resolve their firms'enterprise architecture issues before selecting an ERP suite of products. In order to see whether ERP apps are a proper fit for their organization's business requirements, managers must ask, What kind of company do we want to be? rather than What are each application's features?

Getting the fit wrong can destroy an organization's competitive capability. FoxMeyer Drugs, a $5 billion pharmaceutical wholesaler, filed for bankruptcy protection following a bad case of ERP "implementitis." FoxMeyer filed a lawsuit against SAP's U.S. subsidiary and its implementation partner, Andersen Consulting, for $500 million each for allegedly making false assurances about the software. FoxMeyer argued that the implementation, which began in 1993, did nothing but drive the company to the wall. After filing for bankruptcy protection in August 1996, FoxMeyer was bought by competitor McKesson Drugs.


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