Enterprise Resource Planning Systems: An Assessment of Applicability to Engineer-to-Order Companies
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Many ERP vendors claim that their systems are widely applicable and supports all pro- cesses of a company. But literature suggest that engineer-to-order companies may present some challenges. ERP is developed from MRP and MRP 2, which is developed on the basis to fit make-to-stock production. Make-to-stock production differs a lot from engineer-to- order production. However, ERP system has evolved a lot since they first emerged, a lot of functionality has been added, as well as extensions, and the opportunity to integrate with other systems and programs. Because of scarce literature on ERP, and ETO in an ETO context, it remains unclear if ERP systems fit the ETO situation. This thesis will try to assess the fit between ERP and ETO.The research is structured according to three research questions: RQ1: What are the main characteristics of an ETO company? RQ2: What are the functionality of modern ERP systems? RQ3: Does an ERP system fully support the requirement of ETO companies?The scope is limited to processes concerning customer enquiry, design & engineering, and production planning and control. These are the business processes considered to be the most special for ETO companies, compared to simpler manufacturing strategies as make- to-stock and assembly-to-order.The research has been conducted through a literature review on engineer-to-order, and enterprise resource planning, and case study in an ETO company which has recently im- plemented a new ERP system.Literature on ETO manufacturing is scarce, and even more scarce on ERP in an ETO setting. Contribution to literature will include overview of key characteristics of ETO com- panies, with focus on customer enquiry, design & engineering, and production planning; ERP functionality to support ETO requirements; and an assessment of the fit between ERP systems and ETO companies.