Development of a knowledge-based system for supporting post-implementation issues in ERP operations

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Development of a knowledge-based system for supporting post-implementation issues in ERP operations


Author: Lee, Yan-yan
Title: Development of a knowledge-based system for supporting post-implementation issues in ERP operations
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2008
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Business planning.
Knowledge management.
Information resources management.
Business enterprises -- Computer networks -- Management.
Department: Dept. of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Pages: ix, 106, xlv leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, which supports many aspects of a company's information needs, has become a trend in integrating partners of the global supply chain network for companies. Its integrated feature reduces the need of using system interfaces. In other words, the corporation's functions are integrated hence lower costs. However, going live with ERP system is only a beginning of a long journey. Operating issues handling, user support requirement and knowledge management (KM) of ERP system usage require tremendous effort in order for benefits to be realized. In this dissertation, the 'what, why and how' questions for ERP system post-implementation operating issues were analyzed. Based on the literature review, it is found that there is a common problem for organizations treating system goes live as project completion. Even after a smooth implementation, many problems can still be revealed as time goes by. Operating issues refer to the failure to process system transactions due to a lack of sufficient knowledge to interpret system error messages, to rectify the problem or troubleshoot root causes, any erroneous entries resulted from the human input, or any negative output caused by manual input of other people. Lack of continuous user training and education stops enhancing users' literacy with the ERP system and bad data quality hampers the credibility and reliability of the system. Knowledge management and organizational learning go hand in hand. ERP operating issues are usually handled through user experience. One may have encountered the same problem before and therefore, similar solution can be used when the problem happens again. During the ERP implementation and on-going support process, the knowledge obtained should be translated, adapted, and combined with knowledge of the company's business processes, and then internalized into company specific new organizational contexts. ERP system vendors do provide various support tools, but, these are made for each vendor's standard functionalities which cannot fit for the specific needs of all customers. Various technologies were reviewed, with a particular interest in case-based reasoning (CBR) and knowledge-based technologies. A prototype of knowledge-based system (KBS) was designed and built in this dissertation by gathering inputs from a group of ten experts and key users after analyzing their ERP system post-implementation issues in the past year. Feasibility study, Knowledge Acquisition, Knowledge Representation and Case Modeling were conducted as part of the prototype process. It is an intelligent system using case-based reasoning technology to provide decision support when users encounter operating issues in ERP system. Users are able to search for the closest answers of their current problems from the case library and adopt the answers. Expert Help and Case Suggestion functions are available for users to interact with the Experts. On the other hand, Experts use the system to review users' problems and update case library for future reuse of knowledge. The system has been trial implemented in a semiconductor company, particularly the supply chain area. In the trial period, Key Performance Indicators were setup to evaluate the system effectiveness by using both the traditional and knowledge-based system approach. It is proven that the time of getting the resolution, user satisfactory rate and case growth rate has improved in the knowledge-based approach. On the qualitative aspect, the knowledge-based system can as well boost knowledge transfer in the enterprise. The single true case library allows users to retrieve past cases and share lesson learnt at anytime and anywhere. It provides a learning loop between end users, experts and case library which generates new information back to them. The cycle goes on and becomes a solid growing knowledge source for a company. With the successful development and implementation of the KBS, the methodology can be used not only in semiconductor industry, but also other industries using ERP systems. With the trend of supply chain collaboration nowadays, this tool can be extended to the vendors who performs system transactions for their customers as well.

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