Information Systems Study for Bandon Group Inc.
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Bandon Group is a family owned distributor of office equipment. It is famous for its good customer service, technical support, and innovative products, and excellent in providing products with quality and services at cost-effective price. The Group now has four divisions, and they decentralize to meet the different needs of their local markets. Corporate headquarters handles the central administrations and information systems support. The primary objective of Bandon Group is to generate 10% profit for the reinvestment. They hope to establish excellent sales organization and professional service organization. To achieve these goals, Bandon Group has taken many measures. As to the information systems, they have administrative information systems, most of which are generic, and in which the meter click billing software unique for industries. However, the legacy system can not satisfy its growth and expansion now. Their director of information technology has searched for commercial off-the shelf package to support the administrative information system, and selected OMD. The OMD system supports meter-based billing, and has Web-based interface.
However, it is not built with relational database, which makes the ad hoc difficult. Sales tools of Bandon Group such as sales prospecting still have many problems to be solved. The current information systems still lack integration and create duplication. Date inconsistencies can also be seen in the current systems. Moreover, there are troubles with migrating data, and the central IT staff of Bandon Group is too small to solve these problems. Therefore, Bandon Group is seeking for an ERP solution to complete its information systems. And such a solution will surely greatly improve its information quality and management ability. ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning Enterprise Resource Planning system, is built on the basis of information technology, systematic management thinking, for business decision-makers and staff to run the means to provide decision management platform. Information technology and the continuous development of management thinking, combined with the product. 2. Overview Of What I Do
a. According to the internal and external environment and resources, analyzed the feasibility of the establishment of the ERP system and the scientific development of the strategic objectives of the ERP project. b. Determined the business needs of the ERP, including functional, time and efficiency requirements. c. Analyzed the implementation of enterprise management status and the gap between the ERP systems, develop business process reengineering and management improvement program. In the implementation process, I will continue to work on the diagnosis, identify gaps and make business process reengineering programs, standards and data management business preparedness programs specifically by the company to perform. d. Consulting and training. The implementation of ERP project not only needs to improve knowledge and skills, but also requires proper attitude and behavior change. The “attitude”, “knowledge”, “capacity”, “action” must be implemented by training. 3. Reasons For Pursuing An ERP Solution
Bandon Group should pursue an ERP solution to maintain its competitiveness by using the ERP systems to standardize and improve processes. As the competitions in market are getting fierce, the external factors determine that Bandon Group must be engaged in e-Business. At the same time, internal factors of Bandon Group also contribute to the evolution of its management. The existing applications of Bandon Group lack integration. And the advanced ideas of ERP integrate the needs of customers outside the enterprises and the business processes inside the enterprises with the resources from the suppliers, which reflect the purpose of customer-centric and integrated management. If Bandon Group can pursue the ERP solution successfully, it will achieve fast growth of the Group’s business and services, and have a significant improvement in its information quality. With the development of the Group’s businesses, the existing management information system has become the company’s bottleneck. ERP is surely the significant task for enhancing the company’s needs for gaining more competence.
And ERP determines the development of the overall strategy of the Group. As a good information systems can not only increase the efficiency of existing processes, such as order processing, inventory control, accounts receiving, and so on, but also automate the manual processes, the information systems can greatly enhance the business processes. The objects that Bandon Group hopes to accomplish contain technical expertise, effective customer service, product knowledge, better defined targeted markets. These facets can all be accomplished with less cost by adopting ERC solutions. For example, a sales prospecting tool can be very helpful for the creation of sale leads. The president of Bandon Group has also put the understanding of the customer and value-added marketing approach customer centric as part of the high-level business direction statements. Both of them can be well achieved with the help as ERC as ERF can provide better interaction and more frequent communications between customers and the Group.
ERP systems provide enterprises with a unified business management information platform, and uniformly manage all the resources and information on the internal and external supply chain. This kind of integration can eliminate the separation of departments within the enterprise because of the gap caused by a variety of information and information silos. Also, if the ERP system software, customer relationship management (CRM), and supply chain management SCM software integrate together, they will constitute a complete e-commerce business solution. 4. Reasons For Pursing A CRM solution
CRM should also be integrated, so that ERP system can help the Group to realize the automatical interact of information between the Group and the customers, which will significantly improve the efficiency of the entire service chain and the customer relationship management. Meanwhile, it can also constitute the comprehensive link with the third-part B2B websites, realizing the online e-commerce. Then the intermediate costs will be largely decreased, and the Group will have an improved competitiveness in the market. Bandon Group pays great attention to their responsiveness to customers. However, the traditional way to communicate with customers and provide services to them is less efficient than the ERC solutions. As the competitors are dealing with better ERC system, Bandon Group faces challenges to maintain its place in its good customer services. CRM application should become more centralized and under the control of the core department to decrease the expense and make it easy for centralized IT to support this environment. The CRM module also satisfies the second listed goal of the company and needs to be implemented as soon as possible to build upon the already existing relationships with the customers. ERP and CRM can integrate from the software function and data structure aspects, which are explained as follows: a. Customer management: CRM system and ERP system both require the customers’ basic information.
ERP system also should be able to query the history of communication with business customers, while the CRM service module can query not only the history of contacts with business customers, but also the customer’s service history; b. Product management: CRM system and ERP system both use the basic product information, BOM table, product configuration and customized quotes, etc; c. Workflow management: Although CRM system and ERP system both have work flow management, but there are differences in the involved areas: CRM mainly referred to the market, customers, and its workflow is around the customer; but ERP is more involved in the production, manufacture and supply, so that companies can control them; 4. Staff Management: CRM system and ERP system must be involved in the basic conditions of employees and organization of work, but clearly the scope of the management of CRM system is much smaller. The other way round, the ERP system makes a relatively comprehensive human resources management; 5. Marketing Management: ERP marketing is simply to provide some key market information and marketing materials, relatively simple, while the CRM provides very comprehensive marketing and management functions, with particular emphasis on one to one marketing ideas;
6. Sales Management: CRM system stresses the processes in the sales management and pays attention to the opportunity management, one to one management, contact management, etc. But ERP system puts greater emphasis on results, and pays attention to marketing plans and sales performance, etc.; 7. Customer Service and Support: ERP system offers a simple record of customer complaints and resolves the situation, and not comprehensively manages the customer services and supports. But CRM achieves this overall management, with particular emphasis on customer care; 8. Order management: ERP and CRM both have order management. They can said to overlap, but this overlap is built on top of the ERP, because the production plan order is an input variable; 9. Information exchange: the exchange of information is just like a general statement. Many users of CRM and ERP systems need to query each other’s systems. Based on the above analysis for the ERP and CRM systems on functional modules, and on the principles of consolidation of strong functions, integrate ERP and CRM. 5. Analysis Of The Current Situation
It’s a strength that Bandon Group has taken efforts to set up a management system and have the long-term development strategy. Then the leaders of the Group have to own the will to do progressive reform. And we can see that the management of the Bandon Group has done this well. However, they still have to own a clearer goal and try to be more united. Bandon Group’s strengths in expertise can be played out better by using ERC solutions as it can make the technicians share the expertise and communicate with each other more conveniently. As Bandon wins in its competitive environment by cost-effective prices in regional markets, it can enhance this strength by decreasing the costs. Their existing administrative information systems are too old to adapt to the new environment and has little innovation and competence. In the current, an enterprise should have a better ERC solution to gain its competence in the fierce environment, so it is not enough to only select the OMD system.
Moreover, OMD was not built with a relational database which resulted in the difficult ad-hoc query and reporting. It lacked flexibility, and too complex for the managers to transfer data extracts to the microcomputer-based database files from it. As to the sales prospecting tool, since the OMD and Pivotal were not integrated, the datasets between them got inconsistencies and made duplication of effect in maintaining them. Duplication also happened between divisions in different places. Sales representatives in different areas created their own local prospect databases, which wasted the human and resources. Division presidents in different areas also adopted different solutions, and they felt the applications were too expensive to satisfy their unique needs. The IT department was too small to provide full support for the date migration, network, technique, and training. All divisions of Bandon Group are striving for bigger share in their local market and better services, so they get the same goal.
Their information can be better integrated by which the cost can be greatly decreased. However, the integration of information needs the technology of IT. As Internet is common these days and it can make life more convenient, Bandon Group should put a higher priority to develop web based services to achieve better services. As Bandon Group has a lot of branches all over the world, the implementation of ERP is very complex. So it seemed better to pursue the ERP solution according to different geographical area and divide into multiple phases. However, this method proved to create duplication of effort, sub-optimize the outcome, and cause a great deal of extra expense. Bandon Group has to increase integration of information in the future. And it is necessary for it to combine the network services with traditional lines of business. The existing OMD also has two limitations. It can not bill for non-copier related services or handle online transactions, which makes the meter reading function not be able to play out its full part. Sales model may be integrated with:
Assess current business processes.
Tangible and intangible benefits.
Identify business processes to be supported
“Best practices” offered by a range of vendors
Models of supported functions
Checklist of activities and factors. Vanilla
Main parts of ERC system:
a. Sales and marketing systems (Order processing, pricing analysis, sales trend forecasting) Identifying customers
b. Manufacturing and production system(Machine control, production planning, facilities location) Assembling the products
c. Finance and accounting systems (accounts receivable, budgeting, profit planning) Creating financial statements
d. Human resources systems (Training and development, compensation analysis, human resources planning) Hiring employees
Manage product planning
Interacting with suppliers
Providing customer service
6. Excutive Recommendations
Bandon Group can use the supply chain module to achieve the demand balance by collaborating the e-procurement and supplier, such as automated procurement, automated replenishement and so on, using the business intelligence module to help the Group to make decisions. The Group should adhere to the innovation of the management and deepen the reform of the enterprise. At the same time, comprehensively implement the recombining of business processes, in order to improve the core competitiveness of the Group. It also has to integrate the external resources with the internal flows, and knows that the key point of ERP is to meet the management needs. The Bandon Group should also develop a realistic goal for the ERP project. The implementing organization of ERP project should be set up. The basic management of the Group should be complete, which requires the adequacy of the rules and the smooth implementation of the policies. As the base of implementing the ERP solution successfully is the date management, data should be reliable, and documents should be complete. Employees should understand the necessity and urgency of the pursuing of ERP project. So some trainings are necessary. It is also necessary for Bandon Group to choose the right software and software supplier to cooperate with. What need to do in an ERP solution:
(1) Design of the information platform and technical architecture a. to standardize the system-wide information technologies
In the Group’s processes of information construction, in order to enable the information processing systems to exchange data, and realize the sharing of information, Bandon Group has to establish a system of information which can be identified by the different information processing system in the Group, enabling the information can be transferred smoothly and easily, such as uniform financial accounting rules.
To guide the company’s information technology on the basis of a unified standard can ensure the consistency of the company-wide information technology construction, and avoid unnecessary duplication of investment and islands of information in the process of building the information technology investment. b. to establish the prototype of the information systems group integrated platform At present the Group’s ERP platform can build up the prototype of the financial system, distribution systems, purchasing and sales systems, real estate sales systems, human resources management, and performance appraisal management. Currently, only the financial module applications, financial management systems, micro-credit module will have been finished completely. Integrated information platform to the financial core, and the business processes with basic blocks to form an integrated and efficient financial operations rigorous platform. 3. Network security building
Network security has always been the weak link. In order to protect the security of data and network flow, the Group has to ensure the physical data security from the purchase of hardware firewalls, storage servers, tape drives, etc; make sure the firewall’s VPN capabilities, anti-virus software, backup software technology and logical system to protect data security and network security. 4. Infrastructure
Based on the existing network, do some continuous improvement and replace the core switches, which can not only improve the business efficiency, but also save the administrative costs. Use “vanilla” ERP for core systems and build customized modules for others. Increase availability of operational data and have better use of data for analysis. 7. IT Plans For Bandon Group
The entire ERP system will consist of three parts: the operational system, operational support system and enterprise portal. The ERC system should meet these requirements:
To integrate internal and external resources: production allows companies and departments to share information, to avoid lengthy processes and production management blind spots; integrating of supply chain resources to improve their core competitiveness. To quickly meet customer’s demand: the market and customer information, order information, products and customer service feedback process through the ERP system analysis, and timely delivery to the ERP system and corporate planning departments, enhance the dynamic response capabilities, full reflect the needs of manufacturing companies according to market the idea. To improve customer’s satisfaction: to strengthen customer loyalty and trust, to further strengthen the customer-centric business philosophy. To improve cost management and profit, and to do loss analysis of efficiency: the product, inventory, and purchasing, administrative costs of the four processes of full control to ensure that the Group maximizes the benefits. To develop new and highly integrated software-based system: to build up more intelligent business and scientific management.
The system should be developed according to the requirement of easy operation, friendly interface and flexible use safety. It is a customer relationship management system. According to Bandon Group’s overall business development strategy, conbined with the operating system, mechanism, management, innovation and technology, the ERP system have to continue to make full use of modern information technology. On the basis of the established information system integration, Bandon Group should set up and form a comprehensive information system which meet the requirements of the Group’s cooperating operations, efficient management and scientific decision-making requires. The ERP solutions of the Bandon Group should cover business, services, management and other aspects, and base on different roles to open up to the upstream suppliers and users from the external aspect, and open up to all the employees from the internal aspect, so that it can provide effective means to develop information resources, accelerate the flow of information and share the information resources. Bandon Group should also take measures to promote business processes, improve and optimize the management and decision-making methods to support new business development, improving the overall innovation, economic efficiency and market competitiveness.
Then the Group’s operations management will be effectively promoted. Based on customer development, management, operation and maintenance center, the Group should build up the business system with operational efficiency, service standards, and service quality, and bring the nature of business transactions into a unified business system. It belongs as part of an integrated information system, is the backbone of integrated information system architecture, and other related systems with a yellow design and play a key role. Since early in the information technology, the overall lack of demand to build the overall analysis and planning has resulted in the frequent use of information systems, and each system has a lot of basic data can not be shared use, the application accuracy and efficiency of use of a more big impact. Should be lessons learned and fully understand the company’s information technology needs, determine the information technology general idea of the situation and information needs in-depth analysis of the overall item level information architecture for overall planning and a phased, planned implementation of the deployment, to ensure data standardization, business process optimization, and integration and sharing of information resources.
System-wide business system is the core part of the whole system. It is based on business management system and service management system, and supported by logistics management systems, CRM management systems, online mall, communication platform, and so on. With the combination of various systems, we can manage and support the businesses of full range, which will effectively promote the optimization of business processes, improve operational efficiency of the transfer, and support new business development. Business support system is a system to protect business system, including decision support system, project management system, financial systems, administrative office system, and human resources system. Business support system provide the support management and data for the business system. At the same time, it also has a separate management function. Enterprise portal is the information system interface and display platform, including enterprise portals and outside the enterprise portal. Enterprise portal for internal staff, outside the enterprise portal for tax customers, suppliers, customers and channel distributors. The portal platform is divided into functional modules according to application needs the public version of the module and other modules, the public version of the module are for the system, other modules are optional modules, the platform needs to set different roles according to different functional modules and interface to facilitate different roles of specific operations.
The core database systems in support of, the exchange flow through the interface of the Corporation, with the realization of efficient management of information technology. Under the protection of the security check, online banking data through middleware such as an external docking system, and co-operation, the combined total of all employees based on individual rights in different positions, unity will be authorized to visit the different management module, management authority , data sharing permissions. This can be achieved to reach a company-wide identity management system in full participation. In the next five years, Bandon Group has a lot of things to do to set up its ERC system: to sort out the business processes, to integrate the group-wide distribution business data, to develop the management of human resources, to ensure data security, to understand the organizational structure, to standardize the data, to establish an integrated information platform, and develop the system integration programs.
Implementation of the programs should ultimately build up a unified information application platform which integrates the existing functionality modules of information systems, and achieve: smooth data flow; office automation, telecommuting, collaboration; document management, workflow management; the establishment of information transmission and feedback mechanism which ensure information transfer accuracy and timeliness; the integration with the existing financial systems, and the establishment of financial budget management system, financial management system; gradual establishment of enterprise data warehouse, the basis for decision-making, and finally the progressive realization of e-commerce. Now, the most important goal of Bandon Group is to increase its sales, so sales and marketing systems are put in the first place. The second consideration of Bandon Group is the customer services. So to implement web-based services has a higher prior. As a big group, Bandon Group hopes to improve ists administration procedures, which can greatly keep the consistency and improve the efficiency of the Group. According to the analysis above, and considering the sales methods of Bandon Group, we set down the orders of ERP implementation as follows:
The main processes to build up ERP system in Bandon Group in 5 years: The first phrase: put the emphases on strengthening the Group’s market competitiveness, complete the basic framework of the ERP system which focuses on the finance, sales, and material supplies. And use the remote network to manage the sales network effectively. By controlling the internal logistics, capital flow, information flow uniformly and comprehensively, further enhance the internal management of the enterprise and allocate the internal resources properly, so that the Group can decrease its operating costs. The second phrase: focus on the reduction of operating cost. Through the tight control of the operating process, reduce the resource consumption and cost. The third phrase: comprehensively improve the management quality of the Group. Referred to as CRM, Customer Relationship Management is a development strategy that “regard customer as the centre”. As it is built for the enterprises to improve the customer satisfaction and loyalty, enhance the core competitiveness, and achieve the goals of gaining victory in the competitions and fast growth, it’s necessary for Bandon Group to adopt CRM. Bandon Group should also realize the integration of CRM and ERP system, and form the network-oriented information application platform of the management of the Group. 8. Package Evaluation
Business development strategies of an enterprise and its business needs determine the choice of what kind of ERP. After analysis, we think an ERP solution should meet the following requirements: a. Use pathes to connect different applications and databases, ensuring the independence of the application without modifying the application business logic of their own. This method can also solve the problem of data sharing. b. Share the business data model for core processing and support. c. Automate the business processes. Ensure that all departments use different systems and can work together to complete the shared objective. d. Support the continuous changes in application architecture. The system should be easily re-formulated to increase or remove without affecting other systems. e. Provide real-time interface and batch interfaces, and provide synchronous and asynchronous interfaces.
f. Ensure the security of data, and only the destination application can read them. g. Ensure good performance and data throughput, as well as scalability with the flexibility to adapt to the development of enterprises. h. Have a recovery mechanism which starts when the data connection is lost during transmission and other abnormalities can ensure data recovery. i. Provides predefined generic models and industry models for the process management. j. Not only provide real-time interface and batch interfaces, but also provide synchronous and asynchronous interfaces. Reasonable customization is necessary, so the choice of ERP system should not only focus on the comparison of the amount, but also on the more customization costs. Comparisons between main ERP systems:
Microsoft CRM package lacked integration with the OMD databases and operating system. SAP has diverse functions, and associations between different modules are very strong. Therefore, it is expensive and difficult to implement. So, it is more suitable for the enterprises with better management and larger scale. As the world’s leading database vendor, Oracle has a dominant position by establishing a framework in its own data. Its core strength lies in its integration and integrity. These strengths are integrated in a technical system, which makes it become a good choice for the enterprises which demand high integration. SSA’s BPCS system designs with smart functionality and great flexibility of use. Each module contains a number of user-defined parameters of design features, which makes the system can be combined and cut to meet the special needs of users. SSA designed solutions for users to quickly implement the system program, which reduces the implementation time cost and risk cost. Because of BPCS’s powerful customization features, the users who implement BPCS do not need to abandon the original work template, and can cut or combine the system according to the user’s finished work. So SSA enables the ERP to be applied in a short time.
As we have analyzed the different goals and requirements of Bandon Group as well as what the various packages can satisfy, we have decided for the Bandon Group what package to use. We think mySAP CRM is the best solution for Bandon Group. Here are some reasons: a. MySAP is not only an integrated system but also a standardized system, which well satisfies the urgent requirements for integration and standardization of Bandon Group. b. It has better compatibility to the third-party platform. c. Rich functions and meet nearly all the needs of Bandon Group. d. mySAP CRM is a complete, customer-centralized, e-business solution. The most important, mySAP CRM’s main advantage is its large and dense system customization functions. The customization system includes almost all points of contact: the Internet, call centers, e-mail, fax, mail, and face to face personal contact. At the same time, mySAP CRM provides businesses with scalability features. SAP Netweaver technology platform to open easily and mySAP CRM to SAP or SAP’s e-commerce, supply chain planning and execution, financial management, human resources and strategic business management and intelligent life is connected. So, an enterprise just need to understand the basic rules of mySAP CRM, and can find the configuration they need quickly.
MySAP CRM enables users to call “full access to persistent information.” The interaction center system allows the user by phone, fax, E-mail, website and other means to keep in touch with customers. Meanwhile, sales, marketing, customer service can access multi-channel market data and analysis results, including via mobile devices such as laptops, mobile phones and PAD using mySAP CRM. MySAP CRM enables companies in sales, marketing, service process to keep pace with customer interactions to help companies optimize the source of information to better understand customer trends, and enable enterprises to co-suppliers, partners and customers work together to improve the production process, meet customer needs. Thanks to all the features of information sharing. A variety of information can be read, processed, reproduced and disseminated through the entire mySAP Business Suite environment in a consistent, intelligent way. MySAP CRM needs the enterprises to have good business management infrastructure, and Bandon Group satisfies this well. The modules chosen for implementation in order of priority are:
2. Sales & Distribution
3. mySAP CRM
4. Materials Management
The current OMD system of Bandon Group had a propriety database which makes it hard for integration, and lacks the foundation of administrative systems. Therefore, we conduct this MIS study for Bandon Group Inc. to help it implement an ERP system which includes CRM solutions. And after detailed analysis, we choose mySAP CRM and think the customization functions of it can be an improvement in the future applications. However, ERP system is not accomplished overnight. It should identify problems and solve problems in constant use in practice, continuously improving itself. Therefore, Bandon Group should also set up a system of evaluation and improvement to ensure the implementation effects of ERP.
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