This paper is the continuation of Bandon Group Inc. integrated case study. This part of the case study mines feasibility of an ERP system at Bandon Group and evaluate alternative ERP and CRM packages for Bandon Group and make recommendations for a solution which will meet their needs. Step 8: Determining the feasibility of an ERP system
From the description of the executive managers of the divisions, it is pretty clear that Bandon Group has encountered big challenges with the current IT situation. Many of the issues discussed possibly will be solved by restructuring and re-engineering the organization, the business process and by placing the legacy systems with an ERP system. ERP provides the backbone for an enterprise wide information system. A primary benefit of ERP is easier access to reliable, integrated information. A related benefit is the elimination of redundant data and the rationalization of processes, which result in substantial cost savings (Lau, 2003).
From the case study, we have learned that the co-owners are requesting eBusiness know-hows, on-demand reports that generates electronic reports, the need to address for more information for tactical and strategic management, the need to standardize business process and the need for more targeted marketing (Sumner, 2005). The dilemma was to decide whether the system should be centralized or decentralized. The implementation of the CRM softwares in the divisions were decentralized and the division mangers were seeking better management information but they were encountering data relational problem. In general, when we look at the current IT situation especially the use and implementation of CRM and OMD application, it is intolerable. The problem get worse when the company plans to expand its business with the existing situation. The answer for Bandon Group should pursue and EPR solution absolutely is yes.
That would be my recommendation. Basically ERP implementation requires organizations to re-engineer their key business in fundamental ways and restructuring the overall organization system because the ERP is there to address business issues and to place the company in a better competitive environment and position. Kumar (2010) emphasize that managers must conduct a feasibility study of the current situation to assess the organization’s needs by analyzing the availability hardware, software, database ad in house computer expertise and make the decision to implement ERP where integration is essential. To decide whether Bandon Group should purse for ERP solution, we should reconsider the benefits of implementing ERP. As Sumner (2005) outlines the benefits. Some of the main benefits ERP he mentioned. ERP maximizes throughput of information
Minimize response time to customers and increase interaction with customers, Increase interaction across the enterprise,
Improve on-time delivery,
Reduce direct operating expense,
Increase interaction with suppliers, etc.
When we come to the Bandon Group practical case, integration problem was critical for all divisions. Some of the areas that ERP overcome are: Coordination: after implementing ERP, it has been confirmed that ERP has the ability to support coordination across business functions. Database: by implementing ERP, it is possible to integrate data so that data will have the same meaning across multiple functions. Process: after implementing ERP, it has been realized consistent business processes which are based upon an information model. Information: Pursuing ERP makes real-time information consistent Information system: ERP has enabled stand-along systems to become integrated systems.
Once again, it is my recommendation to Bandon Group to purse CRM solution. Like ERP, it is an integrated approach to managing relationships by focusing on customer retention and relationship development (Chen and Popovich, 2003) and CRM initiatives increases competitiveness. Adding to their notes, they said that CRM offers customization, simplicity, and convenience for completing transactions, regardless of the channel used for interaction. Sumner (2005) share their idea. The main characteristics he distinguished CRM facilitates customer contact and call list management,
It maintains information on customer contacts in a database and forecast customer’s needs, It organizes marketing campaigns,
Enables queries to a product marketing database, Delivers on-line systems that enables customers to configure products on-line, Handles customers’ services.
It my recommendation to Bandon Group to implement EPR firs and CRM follows because ERP provides CRM software. Conceptually, ERP covers all the basic business process but CRM systems focus specifically on processes at the customer interface (Schubert, 2010). The current situation at Bandon Group is not limited to customer relationship or the problem of Bandon Group is not limited to lack of sales and marketing data, the billing system, web enabled support system, better invoice or the integration of the software but the company and its process need overall business restructure and re-engineering because that is all about ERP.
Step 9: Determining ERP/CRM design issues
Business processing workloads are among the most demanding workloads in the enterprise. These include transactional workloads reflecting the “engine” of a business’ orders and sales, ERP workloads for managing workflows, and CRM for managing customer relationships and decision management solutions. These workloads need to be available to end users, end customers, and business partners. To achieve that goal, they are typically supported by a combination of hardware characteristics, such as built-in reliability and scalability features, and software characteristics, such as system management and support for high availability. In light of this, my recommendation of ERP and CRM packages for Bandon Group would be implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The Microsfot Dynamics ERP and CRM is designed to help any organization acquire and retain customers (Microsoft, n. d). The software enables to perform and automate common business tasks including:
Easily access information about business records from one place. Schedule activities, track them, and send e-mail.
Manage marketing lists.
Track advertising and marketing campaigns.
Sort customer responses to sales and marketing initiatives. Keep detailed notes and an activity history for each business record. Microsoft Dynamics CRM also can run from within Microsoft Office Outlook. On top of the other benefits and functionalities mentioned above, Rhodus and Paris (2013) said that Microsoft CRM and ERP helps the company in integration by creating one view of customer experience, building stronger relationship and creating customer intimacy, improving management visibility, provide visibility and access to customer relationship, etc. I believe that Microsoft Dynamics is the best software solution for the current situation at Bandon Group.
Chen, I, J. and Popovich, K. (2003) Understanding customer relationship management (CRM). People, process and technology. Business process management journal, Vol. 9 No 5. Retrieved from http://cis.csuohio.edu/~ichen/CRM.pdf Kumar, P. (2010). Successful implementation of ERP in a large organization International journal of engineering science and technology. Vol. 2(7), 3218-3224. Retrieved from http://www.ijest.info/docs/IJEST10-02-07-151.pdf Lau, K, L. (2003) Developing successful implementation plan for issues and challenges. Retrieved from http://iacis.org/iis/2003/Lau_ERP.pdf Microsoft (n. d) Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 User’s Guide. Retrieved from http://blogs.msdn.com/b/crm/archive/2008/07/21/crm-4-0-user-s-guide-now-available-in-pdf-and-word.aspx Rhodus, B. and Paris, E. (2013) CRM & ERP – better together. Retrieved from http://www.bkd.com/docs/webinars/2013/8-21-13-presentation.pdf Schubert, P. (2010) Realizing Benefits from Current ERP and CRM Systems Implementations: An Empirical Study. Retrieved from http://www.uni-koblenz-landau.de/koblenz/fb4/iwvi/agschubert/publication/mate
rialien/bled-23.06.2010 Sumner, M. (2005) Enterprise resource planning. Pearson Prentice hall, Upper saddle river, New Jersey