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Computer Based Information Systems For Managers

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University of Technology, Sydney (Graduate School of Business) 21749: Computer Based Information Systems For Managers Group: Deepak Karamchandani 10056683 Heminder Phoolka 10076964 Class: Flex (Summer School) Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm. We declare that the work in this assignment is our own. Date: January 15, 2004 This report is submitted as part of the partial fulfilment of successful completion of "Computer Based Information Systems for Managers" subject in MBA (LWE). EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The purpose of this report is to critically analyse the strategic value added by ERP systems in e-business environments. In today's dynamic and turbulent business scenario, there is a strong need for the organisations to become globally competitive. This report highlights the role played by ERP systems in various spheres of business operations. ERP systems streamline operational processes resulting in cost reductions; provide accurate and timely information to managers helping them to make informed decisions and enhance business growth through differentiated and innovative products. Integration of various systems by ERP helps in effective communication between various departments and aids in data accessibility and sharing. These systems automate the processes and synchronise the business supply chain thus resulting in labour cost reductions and optimal management of inventory. ERP systems give way to E-Procurement enabling customers to order products and check their status online thus creating transparency across the entire value chain. Additionally, they eliminate data redundancy and inconsistency through real time updating of data. In this day and age of advanced technology, every company is trying to structure its value chain around e-business and ERP not only to improve its operational efficiency but also to create economic value. The amalgamation of ERP systems with e-business provides a roadmap for managers intending to create an infrastructure where all its customers, suppliers, partners and employees are interlinked. With a strong backend support and a highly secure transaction medium of ERP, e-businesses are promising customers' best value for their money. ...read more.


* Inventory Management: Controlling inventory involves much more than just counting receipts and issues. Knowing the stock amounts based on historical evidence based on different factors, establishing outdated components, tracking inventory movements include few of the activities needed to properly manage an inventory for a business firm. Using various inventory management techniques, like Just in Time (JIT), ABC etc., ERP helps to minimize the cost of managing and storing of inventory, be it raw materials or finished goods. By automatically and optimally managing the inventory management and reordering process, ERP manages to eliminate human error and thus prevent incorrect reporting which could eventually lead to huge costs. By accurately anticipating replenishment requirements it eliminates the high-picking, handling, and shipping costs of rush replenishments. http://www.accoladepublications.com/Macola/InventoryControl/inventory_control_techniques.htm) * Optimization: With up to date information and data, ERP helps in maintaining the supply chain as a well oiled machine working at maximum efficiency and highest level of optimization. * Labour Costs: ERP greatly reduces labour costs associated with manual inventory checks, manual ordering, and cumbersome handling of errors, rework, returns, and deductions thus cutting the cost of supply chain. MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL AND SPS INTERNATIONAL have launched a new software product called SmartLink designed to integrate procurement information from MasterCard purchasing cards with popular ERP systems including SAP R/3. This allows enterprises to streamline monitoring, management, and other administration overheads. SmartLink provides corporations with a solution for driving effective (http://www.technoforte.co.in/images/scm.jpg) e-procurement as well as greatly enhancing paperless transactions. In addition, MasterCard SmartLink enables a business to automatically approve transactions, generate invoices, merge data with the general ledger, make split payments, and download individual transaction information without having to wait until the end of the month to receive the statements to track expenses. SmartLink and a MasterCard corporate purchasing card also enable a corporation to link its business processes with those of customers and suppliers, both online and offline, thus helping the company achieve the right balance between supply and demand. ...read more.


However, a clear cut company vision is required to achieve the best results. Only those processes that support the company's vision and relate back to business plans should be considered for re-engineering. (http://www.to-be.co.jp/SAP/mysap_bpr-e.html) The UK based selling operation of one of the world's largest motor vehicle producers was experiencing increasing difficulty in meeting targets due to weakness in its sales channels and retailers. The company worked with Red Queen Consultants to restructure its retailing operations processes. This resulted in the establishment of a small number of powerful field sales managers who became responsible for all aspects of the company's product and commercial relationship with its dealers. With the managers having complete control over internal company resources, the focus of the company shifted to supporting these key field personnel instead of constantly requesting information and support from them. This reconstruction resulted in more effective business processes ensuring that critical dealer information went into the hands of relevant managers. (http://www.redqueen.demon.co.uk/client%20examples.html) CONCLUSION ERP systems when properly employed, improve companies internal business processes, thereby allowing them to achieve an external source of competitive advantage. These systems provide a secure means of exchanging classified information and allow clients to access valuable and pertinent information. From an operations point of view, it allows businesses to optimize their supply chain, reduce order cycle times, automate processes and impeccably integrate business units across all geographical locations of companies value chain. Companies invest heavily in ERP systems with a view to cut long term costs, improve supplier and customer relations, increase returns and thus establish a superior position in the market. However this process is not a one time investment. Companies often expect immediate gains not realising that this is an ongoing process requiring dedicated and focussed endeavour by all parties concerned. The onus of a successful implementation lies on the organization rather than the ERP vendors. Vendors play a crucial role in facilitating the project success, but it is the business with a clear understanding of its processes and its vision, that should take final responsibility for carrying out the project's implementation successfully. ...read more.

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