Lamar University is among the early higher education pioneers of the specialized MBA in enterprise resource planning (ERP). Working in conjunction with leading employers of all sizes, across industries, the university has developed a cutting-edge curriculum with core business courses, supplemented with a deep dive into ERP in e-commerce, business intelligence, supply chain management and other key business areas.
What Is ERP?
Enterprise resource planning, according to CGS, is “business management software that allows an organization to leverage a suite of integrated applications to streamline and automate processes, creating a leaner, more accurate and efficient operation. ERP provides complete visibility into core business processes and optimizes systems through superior resource tracking and reporting, database management and data sharing and overall improved information systems.” ERP is beneficial across industries and is especially prevalent in the logistics, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, defense, healthcare and retail industries.
This increasingly core component of business structure and strategy has become the lifeblood of business operations for a variety of broad reasons:
- Business Integration: ERP applications link data about human resources, finance, sales, production, distribution and other departments together.
- Cost Efficiency: ERP systems unify fragmented software systems and workflows, making teams more cohesive. They also enable expansion without additional IT or staffing costs.
- Visibility: ERP enables access and sharing of information, as well as communication and collaboration between departments and with stakeholders.
- Business Analytics: ERP collects data and insights about the state of a company and its divisions, enabling leaders to customize reports and make informed business decisions.
- Automation and Efficiency: ERP automates and/or makes time-consuming business processes more efficient, enabling staff to work more productively.
- Data Accuracy: ERP improves data accuracy by reducing manual and redundant operations that lead to data errors.
- Production, Inventory, Logistics: ERP solutions simplify and optimize manufacturing, production, inventory, supply chain logistics schedules and more.
- Regulatory Compliance: ERP helps businesses comply with regulations related to the Federal Information Security Management Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and others.
- Customer Relationship Management: By improving sales and marketing, as well as customer service functions, ERP enables companies to better serve customers.
- Happier Employees: Successful companies today run on ERP, which makes them more competitive and able to provide better working conditions and compensation.
Running ERP Systems Successfully Requires ERP Expertise
Enterprise resource planning software solutions make a business more productive, agile, competitive and responsive to changes in the operating environment. They make workers more productive, workflows more efficient and systems more secure. Yet, these are highly complex systems, requiring intensive training in the business and technical aspects. Implementations of new ERP solutions are fraught with challenges, from the recognition of company pain points, to the ERP consideration and selection processes, and from data migration, through training of employees, to “go-live” and beyond.
Nearly 50% of implementations fail the first time around. ERP implementations take 30% longer than estimated on average, and about 65% of the time, implementations go over budget. ERP investments are considerable, so failure is not an option. The right investments must be made at the right times, and ROI must be achieved within a reasonable time frame. Indeed, transitions to new ERP solutions are “make or break” pivotal moments for organizations. Expertise is required from the vendor and client side in order to choose a system that works for the business and to ensure that the system functions well with minimal transition headaches.
Consider the Statistics
Businesses implement ERP to improve performance, drive growth and reduce the need for working capital. The statistics point to a high-growth career opportunity for those who choose to specialize in ERP:
- 95% of companies improve their processes following ERP implementation. (Panorama-Consulting.com)
- The worldwide ERP software market was worth over $35 billion in 2018 and is projected to touch $78 billion by 2026. (PR Newswire)
Salary and Career Prospects
Salary.com places the U.S. median annual salary for ERP project managers with an MBA between $131,514 and $140,287, as of December 2019. It also states that roughly 50% of ERP project managers hold a master’s degree.
Enterprise resource planning is revolutionizing nearly every industry it touches, and businesses need ERP experts to guide them along the way.
Learn more about Lamar University’s online MBA program in Enterprise Resource Planning.