Journal of Information Systems Education


Large parts of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) processes are automated. One example is the item values in the sales order process. To execute a sales order, the ERP system applies a specific “find” strategy on a wide variety of data sources such as customer master, material master, and customer price-specific data tables, and extracts information such as customer class, discounts, and dates for computations of line items, namely, prices, discounts, and taxes. While completing their ERP assignments on the sales order process, students often see only the final sales order amount and ignore—and thereby fail to appreciate and understand—the intricacies of the automated method that executes “behind the scenes” to achieve the sales order numbers. This leaves a gap in students’ learning process, as they treat the ERP automation mechanism as a black box and do not appreciate the finer details of the business process that come into play. To illustrate the general method involved in a business automation process, we have developed a teaching technique where students—without the use of ERP software—complete a sales order by manually searching for values in a sequence based on the business processing logic. This task helps students understand and appreciate the internal processes of business automation in ERP systems.



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