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ERP implementation at SMEs: analysis of five Canadian cases

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to explore the critical success factors (CSFs) of enterprise resource planning (ERP) system implementation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Design/methodology/approach ‐ Five case studies of Canadian SMEs were conducted. They included interviewing individuals from five roles at each organization and gathering project documents. Following an evaluation of each project's success (within-case analysis), cross-case analysis was conducted to elicit influential and distinctive factors. Findings ‐ Factors were identified that appeared to explain variation between successful and unsuccessful implementations at SMEs, besides factors that appeared to be innovative or counter-intuitive in light of the established literature. Research limitations/implications ‐ The study reinforces the need for more research that is focused on SMEs. All cases were of Canadian SMEs with either a manufacturing or distribution focus, potentially limiting the generalizability of findings to other industries or countries. Practical implications ‐ By identifying relevant CSFs for SMEs, managers can better prioritize implementation efforts and resources to maximize success of ERP implementations. Originality/value ‐ The paper appears to be one of the first studies to focus on the CSFs of ERP implementation at SMEs.
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Keywords: Canada; Critical success factors; Manufacturing resource planning; Small to medium-sized enterprises

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 9, 2009

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