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A User Specification for Business Process Re-engineering: customer order process of the computec, inc.

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Introduction

BACKGROUND Computec, Inc ("CI") is a computer software company in two Asian countries. The company was a pioneer in the industry responsible for designing, producing, marketing, selling and training of software for business applications. Due to the ineffective customer order process and keen competitions from competitors, the company is under tremendous pressure of shortening its product delivery time to their customers. OBJECTIVES The objectives of this Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) are: * to reduce the time required to convert a customer accepted proposal into a completed order; and * to increase CI's competitiveness and improve its customer satisfaction. CHARACTERISITCS OF RE-ENGINEERED PROCESS To shorten the time to convert a customer proposal to a completed order, the existing customer order process has been analysed. A modified customer order process map is in figure 1, which outlines the newly re-engineered process. Implementation of IT and Staff Empowerment Under the new process, the company will develop a database for mobile devices (mobile database), a central database for sharing of common data and provide each business representative with an appropriate mobile device, like a notebook or PDA. Before meeting a customer, the business representative connects his notebook to the central database and preloads updated customer information into the notebook. Such preloaded information saves into the mobile database, which contains credit limits and credit conditions of the customer and an electronic ordering form with validation rules for checking the completeness of an order. ...read more.

Middle

Before meeting a customer, the business coordinator connects his notebook to the integrated database and preloads updated customer information into the notebook. Such preloaded information contains credit limits and credit conditions of the customer and an electronic ordering form with validation rules for checking the completeness of an order. When a customer accepts a proposal, the business coordinator will enter the order into the electronic ordering form. If the information provided is invalid or insufficient, validation rules built with the ordering form shall detect and prompt the business coordinator for corrections. Regarding the credit issue, the mobile database will verify the amount of the order against the customers' credit limit from the integrated database. For an existing customer, the order can be made if and only if the amount does not exceed its credit limit and the inputted data is valid and complete. For a new customer, the business coordinator is empowered to accept the order if the amount does not exceed a permissible credit. In case of doubt or excess the permissible credit, the business coordinator shall collect all necessary information from the customer on the spot and refer the case to the Finance department for verification. Establishment and Implementation of New Policies When the order is completed, the business coordinator will transfer the information stored in the mobile database to the integrated database. ...read more.

Conclusion

The top management of CI should discuss and review the possibilities of deploying the excess manpower to expand their business and services. Elimination of Product Inventory There is no redundancy inventory. Instead of forecasting, products will be manufactured upon receiving the order. All products will be available in the right place and at the right time. The company will also reduce storage space. Improvement of Customer Satisfaction and CI's Competitiveness Delivery products on time result in good reputation and customer satisfaction. These benefits will improve customer loyalty and they in turn will bring more new customers to CI. LIMITATIONS AND THE WAYS AHEAD The limitations of the re-engineered process are: * restricting the quantity of order in the size of 10; * increasing the packaging and delivery cost about 3%, as a result; * imposing additional costs for upgrading software and hardware; and * adding extra costs for air delivery when a new hybrid product has been firstly ordered. Looking ahead, as of today, both the capital cost and running cost are relatively high for connecting 2 databases by real-time and on-line. Connecting the databases by means of off-line is recommended at this juncture. The top management of CI shall re-consider the suitableness of adopting the real-time and on-line databases when the costs drop and the mobile technologies become more mature in the future. ...read more.

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