Integrating the segregated IT operations
It is often mentioned that the most common mistakes made in this chapter is generating a vague decision criteria, a criteria that cannot actually define which option is the best and which ones are rejected ones. Thus, in this chapter I would like to define the problems faced by SYSCO s management, before defining the criteria. • Integrating the segregated IT operations Every single one of SYSCO’s 83 operating businesses operates with their own separated IT systems.
The data could be reconciled to form companywide financial information, but the process require days and even weeks to produce such a report. It is quite impossible for SYSCO’s executive officer to generate ideas that leads to cost savings for the entire company when the overall sales and production data are not readily available. Thus, integrating the segregated IT operation in SYSCO is one of the most important objectives of installing the Business Intelligence IT system. • The lack of trained staff
Management of the company also stated that SYSCO lacked the training, so that only a little of SYSCO’s employees can take the benefit of existing information system. Thus, the new IT system should provide employees of the company with sufficient training and license to operate the software package. This is important so that most employees would be able to take advantage of the new IT system. • The lack of predictive powers Another factor that SYSCO’s management has been complaining about is the lack of predictive power within SYSCO ’s current IT system.
Thus, the criteria of evaluation for this new IT system should include forward looking capabilities. Thus, since the BI software already has the capability to integrate the entire operating facilities of SYSCO and to provide SYSCO with the predictive powers it required, the criteria would only need to contain the following values: 1. The system should be available for the large part of SYSCO ’s management, strategic team, and employees 2. The system should be available for sufficiently long period, so corporate strategy would not be disrupted
3. The system should be cost effective 1. Critique of other options • Scenario 1 Considering the criteria mentioned above, this scenario is unacceptable because it does not meet any points of the criteria. It doe not provide availability for large part of SYSCO’s employees. It does not provide a long-term availability of the system. Within six months, corporate management would have to renegotiate terms regarding the purchase of more licenses. It also does not pose as the option that will provide the highest cost efficiency. • Scenario 2
This scenario is also unacceptable because it could only provide availability for a single year and generated more initial cost of investment. • Scenario 3 This scenario best fulfill all the three points of the criteria. The only weakness of the scenario is the large amount of initial investment it required. It would be fairly offset however, by the long-term availability of the system. 2. Proof of remaining option The third scenario is the best one because: • More people have access to the data • It generates the least cost at the longer term
• It provides the ability to make longer term planning to integrate the business intelligence to improve the supply chain and the overall services. 3. Recommended decision Like other software, ERP system composes of data manipulation process in which it collects data and presents it in different manner. There are hundreds of such data tables, which store data generated from a diverse transaction, but the data are not confined to any departmental or functional boundaries, rather integrated to be used by multiple users, for multiple purposes and at multiple places.
SAP R/3, a version of ERP from SAP AG, has offered features of connectivity to Internet and the business through it for the mobile and distantly located users. Other vendors also provide more or less similar functionality in their bundle of product. Moreover, ERP helps the enterprise link its resources, utilize, allocate them in the best possible manner, and control them on a real time basis. Therefore, the deployment of ERP systems in organizations will help them to achieve excellent performance by streamlining its processes and optimizing the resources.
There are five issues that SYSCO may benefits from ERP: a) On-line/real time information throughout all the functional areas of an organization b) Data standardization and accuracy across the enterprise c) “Best-practices” included in the applications d) The efficiency they force an organization to undertake e) The analysis and reporting that can be used for long term planning For the effectiveness, companies must remember that ERP is an opportunity for business re-engineering. One gets the opportunity to restructure and reorganize people and departments to meet new challenges and global competition.
Information is a vital factor along with quality, cost, and delivery to establish competitive advantage. In most cases, it is not possible to run both old and new systems simultaneously. The software is tested and used in many organizations in different situations across boundaries. Hence, one can assume its accuracy and reliability as such in most cases errors are because of incorrect data, poor understanding, or improper tuning of the package.
“ERP White Paper. ” Scoopsoft. 2002. 17 March 2004 http://erp. ittoolbox. com/search
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