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Riordan Manufacturing: Information System Proposal

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The service request sR-rm-004 to analyze the human resource system from John Korzeniowski was received on May 14, 2008. The IT team will examine the current information system and the possible design and development of an integrated, robust application in accordance with Riordan’s vision, mission, time-frame and strategic growth plan.

AnalysisIn order to design and development an integrated state-of-the art human resources information system, the initial step is to define Riordan’s business needs and its current technical resources. Riordan’s ERP system was installed in 1992 and independent from its branch offices. This system is an integral part of the finance and accounting application. Riordan employs over 550 people and has offices located in California, Michigan, Georgia, and China. Each branch office has an independent finance and accounting system that is consolidated at the corporate headquarters in San Jose, California. A brief overview of Riordan’s current information system and dependent software applications confirmed a business need for an integrated, high-performance information system. The factors that suggest the business needs are documented employee dissatisfaction, labor intensive procedures, and pertinent data located in various locations. This proposal will ensure that Riordan’s present and future business needs are met in a cost-effective manner without diminishing its requirements and effectiveness.

Prior to addressing the design of the system, the affiliated departments were examined in order to determine the functions its information system perform and project future tasks that may be required. The initial examination commenced at corporate headquarters to observe the daily operations and review documents and reports. Additional interviews were conducted with branch office staff throughout the investigative process.

Human Resources/ Finance and AccountingIn order to obtain the information needed for further projection and planning, a day was spent at corporate headquarters observing the daily operations in Riordan’s human resource and finance and accounting departments. The finance and accounting department receives information from human resources for payroll and tax purposes. The ability to exchange data between the two divisions will be a factor in selecting an application and design. Each finance and accounting department has its own software application and forwards the necessary data to corporate for consolidating purposes. Several employee interviews were conducted to understand the relationship between the departments and to receive user input from managers and staff. According to Riordan’s intranet documentation it has the following applications:•San Jose has a license for a fully integrated Windows based ERP manufacturing, distribution and financial management software application specifically designed for plastics processors and process and assembly manufacturers. The license does not include application source code.

•Michigan had purchased a vendor developed software application and the attendant source code for their F & A and process application. The vendor is no longer in business. The application runs on a pair of DEC Alpha’s, using the VMS operating system, VAX4000 work stations and programmed in C.

•Georgia had purchased a vendor (different from Michigan) developed software application and the attendant source code for their F & A and manufacturing process applications. The systems run on a pair of AS400’s, using UNIX operating system, use PC’s (Windows) as workstations, and are programmed in RPG400.

Daily input and output procedures were reviewed in addition to Riordan’s documents, storage methods and routine reports. The team is currently documenting Riordan’s hardware, OS, security, and networking components. This compounded information will assist in the primary components of the new information system model.

The human resources department currently stores the following data:•Employee information.

•Pay rate.

•Personal exemptions for tax purposes.

•Hire date.

•Seniority date.

•Organizational information (managers and departments).

•Vacation hours

Health insurance information is stored in file cabinets and the pertinent employee details are sent to accounting via email in an excel spreadsheet.

ScopeAn integrated system is vital to reduce labor costs but also to enable the system to become more user-friendly and less error prone. The level of automaton will be determined once the temporal events are clearly defined. The data that Riordan stores should reside in a shared environment so that authorized personnel have access to pertinent data. The scope of the information system project is to, at a minimum, accomplish the following functions:•Have a relational system for effective information sharing and updating.

•Automate routine reports and functions.

•Create a digital, file sharing environment•Keep sensitive data stored securelyThe outcome will be a highly automated information system that is accessible or integrated with Riordan’s existing data. Equally important are the current business functions that may be affected. The current method that the branch offices use to store employee files may need revising. Although some level of training will be required, the transition to the new application will cause minimal disruption and a solid support system is mandatory to our final design selection.

FeasibilityThe HRIS proposal investigated the feasibility of integrating an information system that improves the competency of the related components. The project constraints are to complete the project by the second quarter of next year and deliver cost benefits within 6 months. The budget allotted to this project is $150,000 dollars. Peer reviews will be utilized throughout the process to ensure successful roll-out. The goal of the HR information system request is to integrate its data and build a system that generates routine reports automatically. Equally important are the financial benefits it brings to Riordan. Eliminating unnecessary manual labor will reduce labor costs and the errors that associated with user input. The feasibility is further strengthened by denoting the lack of security Riordan currently has regarding sensitive employee data. Employee files are listed on the company’s intranet and stored throughout various unsecured locations. Employee reviews, resumes, and salary are sensitive data and should be stored accordingly to avoid legal issues and maintain corporate integrity. The legal and integrity issues extend to employee benefits and health insurance.

ConclusionThe analysis method employed is a top-down approach to understand and define the Riordan’s business needs. Although this service request pertains only to the human resource division, the IT team denoted the manual intensive procedures within the finance and accounting division. This can be remedied by a VPN so that all branch office finance personal have access to the system.

The team will speak with the vendor of the current ERP system to see if upgrades and customization options are available. Due to the budget and time constraints assigned to this request, it may be more beneficial to upgrade the current application and provide global access. The company’s database is also under review to see if better relationships can be joined to further enhance automation.

References

Mayfield, Milton. Mayfield, Jackie., & Lunce, Steve. (2003). Human resource informationSystems: a review and model development. Entreprenuer.com. Retrieved May 14, 2008, from http://www.entrepreneur.com/tradejournals/article/110733614Project Perfect. (n.d.). Defining the scope in IT Projects. Retrieved on May 15, 2008, from http://www.projectperfect.com.au/info_define_the_scope.phpSatzinger, J.W., Jackson, R.B., & Burd, S.D.2004. (). Systems and analysis & design in a
changing world (3th ed.). Boston: Course Technology.

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