Research proposal Topic: Implementation of cloud based ERP in Retail Business Sector-88494

 Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction. 2

1.1 Background of the topic. 2

1.2 Aims of the Study. 3

1.3 Objectives of the Study. 3

1.4 Research Questions. 3

1.5 Rationale of the study. 4

1.6 Problem Statement 4

Chapter 2: Literature Review.. 4

2.1 Cloud Based ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) System.. 4

2.2 Implementation process of cloud computing in Business. 5

2.4. The Evolution of ERP system.. 6

2.5. Important factors affecting the successful implementation of cloud based ERP system.. 8

2.5.1. A thorough knowledge of planned goals. 8

2.5.2. Top management commitment 9

2.5.3. Outstanding management of a project 9

2.5.4. Accuracy of data. 9

2.6. Information processing need reduction. 9

Chapter 3: Research Methods. 10

3.1 Laboratory Measurements: 10

3.2 Field observation: 11

3.3 Survey Questionnaire: 12

3.4 Archival Data. 13

3.5 Interview.. 15

Ethical Consideration: 15

Reference List 16

Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 Background of the topic

Enterprise Resource Planning is one of the most useful and effective system that assists the large as well as small organization in running their business frequently and also allows the control the overall business process in a systematic way. However, in reality, majority of organization in corporate sector fails to implement ERP system successfully due to lack of management engagement and proper selection of ERP vendors as well as software packages (Al-Johani and E. Youssef, 2013). However, cloud based ERP system is the current technology that developed by the ERP vendors in terms of monitoring the organization activities from any locations.

An ERP system actually maintains a flow within an organization to maintain the basic functions of an organization like purchasing, manufacturing, marketing, business, human resource, sales, customer service etc (Lv and Dong, 2013). The marketers in retail business environment faced lots of issues with the implementation of ERP system within their business operations. According to Vimalkumar (2012), implementation as well as execution is depended on the appropriate selection of ERP vendors and software packages.

Therefore cloud based ERP actually saves our extra time which can be lost at the time of installing hardware. Cloud based ERP also saves our money as it cuts out the additional price which is associated with these roll out. Cloud based ERP acquire more user when one’s business grows as it is really very easy to handle and it also give flexibility to the user.

1.2 Aims of the Study

This research study will help for the better understanding of the importance of implementing of the cloud based ERP for retail business sector. The main focus of this research proposal will be on the importance of the cloud based ERP used in retail business sector. This research proposal will help the researcher to better understand the situation and importance of the use of cloud based ERP in the retail business sector.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

  • To identify the potential benefits of cloud based ERP system in retail business sector
  • To evaluate the cloud based ERP system in retail business management
  • To compare the ERP system with cloud based ERP system in retail business industry
  • To recommend the effective cloud based ERP solution for retail business organizations

1.4 Research Questions

  • How to identify the potential benefits of cloud based ERP system in retail business sector?
  • How to evaluate the cloud based ERP system in the field of retail business sector?
  • What are the main differences between the ERP and clod based ERP system in the sector of retail business?
  • What will be the recommendation on the effectiveness of the cloud based ERP solution for the retail business organisation.

1.5 Rationale of the study

This specific research proposal is selected for better understanding the importance of the implementation of the cloud based ERP system I the sector of the retail business. The study emphasizes on the importance of the cloud based ERP solution to take the business pathway better (Shkurskii and Sabel’nikova, 2011). The ERP system actually maintains the flow between the internal parts of a business also retains the touch point of the external stakeholders. Cloud based ERP helps the user to save their time as it does not require any additional hardware to install, and along with this it is also cost effective as it cuts out the extra price of rolling out to the various regions (Vimalkumar, 2012). An ERP solution has the effect on the company’s overall result, therefore it is recommended to take advice of all the stakeholders before applying it.

1.6 Problem Statement

The problem of studying the implementation of cloud based ERP appears when someone owe their own ERP system but don’t have the appropriate trained staff to handle this system. Another problem arises in this system is that one cannot be able to find out the individual who has accessed one’s system. Therefore any organization who has houses its own cloud based ERP system should acquire trained IT staffs to control who is accessing the company’s cloud based ERP system as this will be not good that anyone else is checking other company’s data. In short this will create security problem and may even leak any company’s private data. Another problem arises in the time of maintenance of cloud based ERP system as it requires some investment if something happened wrong, therefore it can be a cost problem.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

Literature Review is the part where analysts analyze the relevant information of the selected research topic. In this particular research, analyst represent the supportive materials of cloud based ERP system in terms of providing support to the selected research topic Implementation of cloud based ERP system in retail business sector.

2.1 Cloud Based ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) System

Cloud ERP s have become popular in areas such as customer relationship management, human resources and accounting. ERP software slower as compare to the cloud system. So the ERP vendors started to offer their system in the software as a service, cloud, Model etc (Al-Johani and E. Youssef, 2013). There are only a few options of cloud ERPs in the current market, all ERP vendors offers various types of web services to their system.

Usually ERP systems tracks and automates business functions of the departments of a company. It keep tracks of monetary transactions of the organization. Traditional ERP software has to be installed and maintained on the site of work where as cloud ERPS is purely a web based software.

In the cloud ERP model, the software buyers have to pay for the service on annually or monthly basis. This service helps the organization in removing extra effort of maintenance.  In this case organization records can be accessed via internet, enabling to remotely access their business data through any appliance with internet access (Khaparde, 2012).

The structure of conceptual framework will provide guidance to the researcher in dividing the number headings that are implied in theories and models in order to have a better knowledge of the topic of research work (Chen and Zhang, 2011). The purpose of this topic is to frame the concepts of implementing cloud ERP System in organizations.

The above framework depicts that various factors are effective in implementing cloud based ERPs software in organizations that can benefit the organization in maintaining its system data, lowering the cost of maintenance, and support the management. The cloud ERPs system is effective in scalability and lowering hardware costs (Perreau, 2013).

2.2 Implementation process of cloud computing in Business

The main platform for Cloud based ERP is internet. Clouds include a wider range of software deployment models and applications known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Accessing hardware, software and other resources using internet to perform work id the main definition of cloud computing. ERP software that worked in a cloud environment is cloud based ERP software.  Most of the cloud environment are made using virtualization and load corresponding technology that allow application to be deploy across various servers and record resources.

Cloud ERP is a move toward to ERP system that uses of cloud computing services to provide an organization with more flexible industry process change (Rajan and Baral, 2015). It helps small and medium companies to release their trading potential. Empowerment of employee, having control over business and maintaining strengths are the main functions of cloud based ERP.

Implementation process of cloud based ERP system

Figure 1:  Implementation process of cloud based ERP system

(Source: Zhang, 2014, pp- 233)

2.4. The Evolution of ERP system

The evolution of ERP system is related with the magnificent development in the field of computer hardware and software system. As it become ubiquitous among the large business as well as in the small business, it evolutes from the time of its appearance in the market.

Concept of ERP system

Figure 2: Concept of ERP system

(Source: Anon, 2015, pp- 70)

1960 is the time of the growth of EIS (Enterprise Information System). The programming languages to send were ALGOL, COBOL and FORTON. During this time most of the computer designer company started to design, improve, and ultimately implement the computer system using their inventory control package (IC) and the systems were based on automation of their own function like inventory management and financial accounting. 1970 was the time for the development of MRP system (Material Requirements Planning).

This system mainly allows the business to plan their parts and requirements of the products. 1980, the time when a new software named MRP II (Manufacturing Resource Planning) was introduced in the market. This system actually emphasized on the optimized process of manufacturing and it includes the shop floor, human resource, finance, project management, and engineering and distribution management. In the early 1990 Enterprise Resource Planning comes in the market.

MRP II system actually renamed into Enterprise Resource Planning.  Main feature of ERP system is that it uses a single database where it keeps all the data and keeps the procedure running uninterruptedly, accessibility, ensuring visibility, and consistency. In 1990, vendors of ERP added more parts and functions to the core module and form the extended Enterprise Resource Planning. Extended ERP system involves supply chain management (SCM), customer relationship management (CRM), advanced planning and scheduling (APS) along with the cloud, analytics, and mobile.


     Figure 3: Evolution of ERP system

                                                 (Source: Sommer, 2011, pp-11)

2.5. Important factors affecting the successful implementation of cloud based ERP system

There are various important factors that affect the Implementation of a cloud based ERP system. Implementation process of an ERP system involves cost and risks factors. Some main factors are analyzed below.

2.5.1. A thorough knowledge of planned goals

Implementation process of ERP system requires that the management personals of the organization should have a compelling and clear vision about the various operations of the organization in satisfying the users, employee empowerment, assist supplier up to next 4 to 5 years. They also should have aware of organization’s goals, deliverables and prospect. The organization must aware of the reasons of implementation of an ERP system and its business requirements.

2.5.2. Top management commitment

Top management commitment plays a vital role in ERP implementation since the ERP implementation requires strong management, dedication and involvement of top manager .The ERP implementation process should have one executive management planning committee who will analyze the whole business objectives. This project mostly requires the involvement of highly respected, executive level project champions.

2.5.3. Outstanding management of a project

Success of an ERP implementation also requires an excellent management over a project. This includes a clear knowledge about the project plan, development of both resource and work plan. A thorough knowledge about the objectives of the project would help the firm in cost effective ERP implementation. The project range should have clearly defined at the start of the development and also identify the module for implementation. If it is decide by the management to implement a standardized ERP module and will reduce the need for any changes in essential ERP code (Anon, 2015). This will reduce complication in the project and also will help in the implementation.

2.5.4. Accuracy of data

The functioning of an ERP system is also affected by accuracy of the data. Due to integration nature of ERP system the wrong data may do harm to the entire system. So proper training about the data accuracy and proper entry of data to the users must be the main priority in implementation of ERP.

2.6. Information processing need reduction

Uncertainty of high environment tends to escalate the number of exceptions forwarded up to the top management. This situation makes the firm unstable in the area of coordination mechanism of work. As a result the top management has to find a easy method to unload the amount of information essential to coordinate activity. Processed information can be reduced by three simple steps –by creating slake resources, by managing the firm’s environment, or by creating self contained tasks

Slack resource creation: Count of exceptions of a firm can be dropped by dropping their level of performance. For an instance A firm can take a long time for the product delivery. By doing this the probability of job completion of that firm gets higher as they can count some extra time in their hand. Customer satisfaction may become slightly negative as they get a late delivery as an outcome of this technique and firm could face a loss in their revenue collection. Real time information can be managed by a virtual EPR system with a huge amount.

Self-contained task creation: Groups or teams can handle products, customers and projects by implementation of self –contained task creation. This withdrawals the use of the resources, which are being shared in a firm as well as the division of labor also gets reduced. For instance, a firm is having their own units for coloring, assembling and testing. By this the conflicts in the process of scheduling can be eliminated as well as the time of product delivery gets improved. But the cost associated with this can be a big concern of the management where implementing a virtual ERP process and configuring that to handle all situations like operations, activity of business, process of business.

Management in work environment: Using the mechanism of co-operation an environment of a firm can modified. Virtual ERP modules of supply line and consumer relationship can be easily managing their firms domain.

Chapter 3: Research Methods

Research method is a part where a researcher can investigate by various methods and get a path to successfully process the study. The main focus of the research is on the retail management executive toward the implementation of cloud based ERP. The advantages as well as the limitations of the methods are briefly stated.

3.1 Laboratory Measurements:

Before taking a product into the market its utility and working process should justify the benefit make out of it. Here the benefit of working with the cloud ERP in retail management organization has been measured. The comparison between previous ERP facilities with the new cloud ERP facilities will clear up the concept of benefit.  The user’s acceptability and preferences are also taken concern in laboratory measurements. Cloud ERP is web based system which can be operated from anywhere through internet, but in case of those traditional ERP systems needs an infrastructure of Information technology. This kind of laboratory measurement will be helpful for research outcome (Basu, Upadhyay and Dan, 2011).

3.2 Field observation:

Field Observation


Figure 2: Field Observation

(Source: Garg and Chowhan, 2012, pp- 77)

Field observation is a correlation type or non experimental type research activity where the evaluator searches for ongoing behavior. Strengths as well as weakness can be found in this type of research. Field observation compiles of social science. Observation on the participants is dully collected by the researcher to differentiate between the comparable products. Case study of the individuals is maintained for the outcome. The limitations like incapable exploration of the actual reason of behavior.

Field observation is a hand on practical experience research of the users of an ERP in the retail management work force to evaluate the efficacy of this new implementation (Zhu et al., 2010). Old traditional ERP’s advantage and disadvantage in comparison with new cloud based REP’s will come in light.   Field observation was done with the retail chain employee to see the opportunity of the new techniques implementation (Liu, 2012).

3.3 Survey Questionnaire:

Survey over the population by question on the topic of the implemented product is a great tool for researcher to evaluate the value of the new introduction. For the new implementation questionnaires are being asked from the management authority personnel to the end user like the retail management executives. By survey questionnaire’s answer, researcher can get the statistical outcome.

Questioner for retail executive:

How many hours you are working with ERP system?

1)      Less than 2 hours.

2)      2 to 5 hours.

3)      5 to 7 hours.

4)      More than 7 hours.

Does your traditional ERP help to solve and store every work?

1) Yes

2) No

Do you ever bother with the processing method of previous system?

1)      Yes

2)      No

Is it difficult to manage your work without any ERP system?

1) Yes

2) No


How much you rate your current ERP out of 10?

Are you fully satisfied with current ERP system?

1)      Yes

2)      No

Questioner for management authority personnel:

Do you think this implementation can make a revolution in work force?

1)      Yes

2)      No

Do you think this new system can help your retail executives?

1)      Yes

2)      No

Do you think a low cost cloud based ERP can give better opportunity?

1)      Yes

2)      No

3.4 Archival Data

This is a collected data which is previously done by someone other’s file. Which are original and done for the purposes of researches?

Most common archival data sources are-

Public data and records of the government agency

Organizations research work

Educational institutes, colleges and schools data

Various businesses – industry data

Computer hard disk, compact disc or paper files are the main storage from where a archival data can be obtained. Sometimes archival data can be stored outside of that organization (Jutta, 2012).

Purpose of the data: Easy to collect and takes less time- This kind of data is usually used because it takes very little time to gather and huge amount of data.

Expert statistician can do some archival previously: Already some good data can be there by a good statistician previously which would be more good and less time consuming for data mining.

Source data can be useful:   Sometimes the raw archived data are useful, from where required data can be obtained and new modified form could be generated (Uwizeyemungu and Raymond, 2012).

Archival data can solve problem of existing data.

Relevant source: Relevant data if found can be useful and reliable too.

Participant Pool: A huge amount of participant pool can be found in this kind of data as a researcher can use this kind of data of same topic from various sources. Like the previously used earpiece user from more than one retail management organization (Wei, 2012).

3.5 Interview

Interview is one of the best research tools for a researcher where a researcher can directly interact with the participant pool. In time of interview direct thought of the participant can be summarized as well as opinion of the participants can be get over researcher’s thought. No severe limitations are there in this technique as any clarification needed by the researcher can be resolved at the same time (Vimalkumar, 2012).

In this implementation of cloud based ERP in retail management, interview can be done to the retail chain executives as well as on the management persons of an organization. The comfort ability of using Cloud based ERP could be found in interviewing user.

Ethical Consideration:

Research will be followed as per the institution’s guideline by the researcher, no other individual cannot interfere research procedure. Research will be submitted in a timely manner by researcher and the research data should be accurate as per researcher’s best knowledge.

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