ENTERPRISE RESOURCE PLANNING
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Of Men and Mice: An ERP Case Study
Source: Based on the article by Katz, D XXXXXXXXXXOf Men and Mice: An ERP Case
Study, CFO.com, March 21.
Jackson Laboratory is a non-profit, independent, world-renowned genetic research
institute founded in 1929. Located in Bar Harbor, Maine, it had a budget of $80
million and 1,200 employees, including 32 in IT. Jackson Laboratory decided to install
an ERP system with a $5 million budget and a one-year time frame. Despite the
installation challenges, the project’s actual cost was close to the budget and took only
about six months longer than expected.
Jackson Lab’s major installation challenge was the integration of its unique mouse-
development functions into Oracle’s ERP system. One of the problems faced by
Jackson stemmed from an internal HR issue (i.e., the risk that the action or inaction
of the software provider would hinder the implementation). Jackson Lab coped with
these challenges by modifying the ERP system to accommodate its business process,
placing special emphasis on training, seeking a fixed-fee contract with Oracle, and
purchasing a surety bond to reduce project risk. The surety bond was issued by an
entity on behalf of a second party, guaranteeing that the second party would fulfil an
obligation or series of obligations to a third party.
In the event that the obligations are not met, the third party would recover its losses
via the bond. Every year about $3 billion worth of surety bonds are generated by
construction projects compared with a mere $8 million for IT (mostly for
governmental contracts); however, there is insufficient commonality and
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standardization in the IT industry on the bonds. A surety bond works well only for a
fixed-fee contract because it provides the benchmarks needed to frame a bond price.
Jackson Lab selected an integrated ERP suite from Oracle rather than a best-of-breed
option. The Oracle applications suite included modules for process manufacturing,
accounting, e-procurement, and HR, among others. Their biggest challenge was
modification of the Oracle Process Manufacturing (OPM) module to accommodate
the lab’s unique business processes of raising and distributing mice. The OPM module
was designed for companies that mix ingredients together to produce such products
as bread or beer, not for a lab environment.
The implementation team chose a phased-implementation approach instead of a big
bang approach. The first phase initially went live in February, including the
management of production capacity, accounts receivable, some general-ledger
functions, and the purchasing of manufacturing material; in April, they launched
other modules including accounting for research grants, the rest of general-ledger
functions, accounts payable, and fixed assets.
For the second phase, which began in June, the remaining modules including process
management, human resources, payroll, labor distribution, and a grant filing
application were installed. Jackson faced personnel problems during ERP installation
when the best and brightest employees were involved in the implementation
process, leaving them shorthanded to do the everyday work. In addition, Jackson’s IT
staff lacked experience with ERP, only one person had some experience in installing
Further cost overruns resulted from training, an especially big-cost item. The time-
and-materials basis contract would have increased the risk of overtime and going
over budget because vendors and consultants have an interest in quoting low and
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seeing the work grow as the project proceeds. There is a natural competitiveness
between the buyer and the ERP vendor.
The vendor benefits by placing a “veil of complexity” over their work; the buyer wants
to get the system up and running with the least amount of work and customization.
The service-level agreements generally tend to be very complex because a much
clearer definition of roles and responsibilities between client and service provider is
needed. From a consultant’s and vendor’s perspective, a high (>25 percent)
contingency is quite reasonable depending on the nature of the work, whereas this
is too much from the buyer’s perspective.
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This assessment item relates to the unit learning outcomes as in the unit descriptor.
This assessment is designed to improve student collaborative skills in a team
environment and to give students experience in constructing a range of documents
as deliverables for different stages of the Enterprise Resource Planning using a
simulated industry case study.
Major Study Assignment – 30% (week 12) Group Assignment
In this assignment student will work in small groups to develop components of the
phased implementation approach discussed in lectures. Student groups should be
no more than four. Each group needs to complete the group participation form
attached to the end of this document. Assignments will not be graded unless a
group participation form is completed.
Carefully read the associated case study above and from this Assignment you are to
prepare the following documents.
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1. System Description
2. Scope of the System
3. Executive Overview
3.1 Project Identifiers
3.2 Project Summary
4. Software Requirement Specification
4.1 Functional Requirements
4.2 Non-Functional Requirements
5. ERP Selection & Implementation
5.1 ERP Selection
5.2 Vendor Satisfaction
5.3 Deployment Options
5.4 Implementation Approach
6. System Description
6.1 Analysis and Design
6.4 Acquisition & Development
6.4.1 Hardware and Software
7. Feasibility Analysis
8. Issue, Risk & Change Management
8.1 Open risks
8.2 Open change requests
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9. ERP implementation costs
9.1 Project costs
9.2 Project duration
9.3 Success & Failure
The above list of documents is not necessarily in any order. The chronological order
we cover these topics in lectures is not meant to dictate the order in which you collate
these into one coherent document for your assignment.
Your report must include a Title page with the title of the Assignment and the name
and ID numbers of all group members. A contents page showing page numbers and
titles of all major sections of the report. All figures included must have captions and
Figure numbers and be referenced within the document. Captions for figures placed
below the figure, captions for tables placed above the table. Include a footer with the
page number. Your report should use 1.5 spacing with a 12 point Times New Roman
font. Include references where appropriate. Citation of sources is mandatory and
must be in the Harward style.
Only one submission is made per group. The group should select a member to submit
the assignment by the due date and time. All members of the group will receive the
same grade unless special arrangement is made due to group conflicts. Any conflict
should be resolved by the group, but failing that, please contact your lecture who will
then resolve any issues which may involve specific assignment of work tasks, or
removal of group members.
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What to Submit
All submissions are to be submitted through turn-it-in. Drop- boxes linked to turn-it-
in will be set up in the Unit of Study Moodle account. Assignments not submitted
through these drop-boxes will not be considered.
Submissions must be made by the due date and time (which will be in the session
detailed above) and determined by your Unit coordinator. Submissions made after
due date and time will be penalized at the rate of 10% per day (including weekend
The turn-it-in similarity score will be used in determining the level if any of plagiarism.
Turn-it-in will check conference websites, journal articles, the Web and your class
member submission for plagiarism. You can see your turn-it-in similarity score when
you submit your assignment to the appropriate drop-box. If this is a concern you will
have a chance to change your assignment and re-submit. However, re-submission is
only allowed prior to the submission due date and time. After the due date and time
have elapsed you cannot make re-submissions and you will have to live with the
similarity score as there will be no chance for changing. Thus, plan early and submit
early to take advantage of the feature. You can make multiple submissions, but
please remember we only see the last submission, and the date and time you
submitted will be taken from that submission.
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Please Note: All work is due by the due date and time. Late submissions will be
penalized at the rate of 10% per day including weekends.
Group Participation Form
This form is to be completed by the group and returned to your tutor/lecturer as soon as possible.
We, the undersigned, agree to contribute individually and as a team to complete the Group Assignment for MITS 6004 Enterprise Resource
Planning in the time specified. (It should be noted that failure to participate in a group may result in a fail for the assignment component of the
Surname First name Student ID Date Signature
1. / /
2. / /
3. / /
* All members in the team will receive the same mark for an assignment, unless there are extenuating circumstances whereby an
individual’s mark has to be altered by the tutor/lecturer, or if the peer group assessment warrants it.
** Team members should contact their tutor/lecturer immediately if problems arise within the team that may cause completion of an
assignment to be severely delayed, or the quality of the submission to be substantially lowered.