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Maximizing Return on Investment Using ERP Applications by Frank J. C. Andera, Thomas R. Weirich, Arthur J. Worster

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BUSINESS EDUCATION IN AN INTEGRATED BUSINESS WORLD

We have covered the most obvious training and education needs, but perhaps the most important (for long-term business health) is typically not even considered. As cross-functional business process understanding has been developed during the last 50 years or more, knowledge of how it works was held in the hands of a trusted few, later disseminated to a few more, and eventually communicated to much larger constituency groups but always within artificial boundaries. This is true of such programs as MRP I, MRP II, and Project Management, as well as the design capabilities of modern ERP systems. In both of the earlier cases, certification programs were developed by industry groups such as APICS (American Production and Inventory Control Society) and PMI (Project Management Institute), and large numbers of people were encouraged to take these programs to become certified. In fact, this includes a much larger number than ever who became practitioners of the particular skill sets. Understanding these concepts and how they apply to business design and execution became components of ongoing individual learning programs to develop these advanced skill sets. ERP programs tend to be much broader than either of the aforementioned and have progressed more slowly as part of general educational awareness in industry. Yet the time to address these needs becomes more apparent every day, as businesses get past managing ERP as a cost center and an ...

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