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ERP is designed to improve data exchange among different functional areas of an organisation with the primary aims of improving management efficiency and business benefit. However in practice, for some companies this benefit does not always balance with cost. Effective data and information exchange relies upon business standardisation which, has also caused a misfit between implementing non-standardised organisation processes and ERP systems. Many solutions have been proposed, however ERP implementation still remains difficult and troublesome. In this paper, we have discussed the mismatch between the pragmatic requirements and the semantic capabilities of existing ERP systems. The current process-oriented ERP system does not provide a flexible business solution and easy implementation. We proposed a new ERP design principle to ensure seamless data exchange under current organisation structure. Instead of developing ERP according to the functional structure, we extended the concept of workflow management and proposed the concept that the ERP application should be based on product outputs. Each application is made to facilitate the creation of a product and can easily be configured for a new product line and modified for changing production flow. A product-level information sharing structure can potentially solve current ERP implementation issues and therefore be the subject for further research.
Date of Conference: 2-4 Nov. 2010