Integrated Case Study: Brandon Group, Inc
November 23, 2021
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Bandon Group, Inc. has four divisions that are decentralized to meet the requirements of customers. The corporate headquarters is charged with handling administration and information support tasks. An efficient enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is, therefore, critical in ensuring that the company remains competitive in the delivery of high-quality services to the customers. Such an ERP ensures that the organization offers professional services all the time. Integration of a feasible enterprise resource planning system can go a long way in helping the company manage its offsite locations. Several issues need to be dealt with before embarking on the process of implementing such a service in the company. But to address the issues caused by a rising number of clients, Bandon Group should implement an ERP system to act as a tool of dealing with current issues.
Customer relations management can be handled easily using an ERP system. Critical researches and findings at the company’s information technology infrastructure reveal significant redundancy and challenges in supporting huge external clients as well as organization of internal operations to ensure that they are in line with the organization’s strategic objectives. This has been caused by the lack of a well-connected integration of company’s systems with the databases throughout various divisions and departments.
Due to the differences in information and systems at Brandon Group, it has been difficult for the company to deliver accurate and precise information regarding custom billings. It has also been a challenge for the Brandon Group, Inc. to keep track of large volumes of transactions and store accurate information, such as expenses and revenues throughout many departments in the company (Epicor Software Corporation, 2014). Such weaknesses have been witnessed particularly when the departments post different information in the system. As a way of minimizing redundancy and providing efficient support to clients so as to maintain competitive advantage over other companies in the same industry, it is prudent for a company to integrate an enterprise resource planning system. The system would help Brandon Group provide a friendly web-based application to the clients. The system would ensure real-time delivery of services and maintenance of up-to-date information.
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Using an enterprise resource management system would enable customers to get information regarding their billing and accounts instantly. It would provide the customers with a professional tool to retrieve accurate information quickly and cheaply. Customers would have a chance to inquire on any details regarding their past transactions and engagement with the company with little hassle. Integration of enterprise resource planning system would also ensure that customers can get timely information through other means, such as telephone or in person at the company.
Feasibility of enterprise resource planning system at Brandon Group is relatively promising, and it can greatly aid the company in eliminating current challenges in pursuit of its strategic goals, which is stipulated in the company’s mission statement. It also ensures that the company remains competitive and responsive to the customer needs and external changes. ERP systems can also help the company adapt quickly to the inevitable changes in the field of information systems.
Discovery of full potential of information technology at Brandon Group can, therefore, be achieved if an ERP system is implemented. It will ensure that the company’s goals, objectives, and missions are met (Syspro, 2014). It will also ensure integration of data from all the departments to avoid duplication hence reducing additional expenses to the company. Realization of the value of an ERP system to the company by the management will help to the company in countering competition from other companies that have already implemented such systems. ERP will facilitate database control to allow the transfer of processes in the uniform manner across all departments. It will also provide an eBusiness platform for supply ordering, meter click reporting, and service call entries.
Operation of branches at Brandon Group independently causes a crisis. It results to running of departments using different copies of documentation requirements. With an enterprise resource planning system, the company can obtain cohesion in the management of information technology tools. When each a department runs its own reporting, sales management system, and customer management systems, it becomes difficult to plan for future growth. Due to this non-compatibility issue, the headquarters division must collect reports from all the branches and reformat them to make them analyzable in the company environment. The matter is made even worse by the fact that each system used at each department is completely incompatible with others.
Putting the data obtained from various departments in a format that is easily understood amounts to a waste of time and resources. This time-consuming and expensive process can be solved through implementation of an enterprise resource planning system at the company. An ERP would provide a flexible yet cheap method of making the company adaptive. It also provides each department with the ability to use the system to fulfill its needs at the regional level while retaining compatibility with information and data from all other branches. The headquarters division will, as a result, find it easy to obtain business intelligence from the gathered information.
Investigations reveal that the current information management system at the company is not in any way feasible for long term strategic plans. Due to this, the company should go ahead and implement an ERP system to weaken the competitive advantages that other companies have over Brandon Group. This will also result into rerouting of time spent on reformation of data to other activities aimed at ensuring better customer services.
Design of enterprise resource planning system is regarded as a cumbersome, costly, and complex process. It requires huge amounts of initial resources. Many organizations find it to be a challenge to implement enterprise resource planning systems due to the associated design issues. Brandon Group would with no doubt experience challenges when designing an ERP system. The process requires thorough examinations of the company’s business processes. It also entails selection of the most efficient software that matches the activities of the business. The existing business system also needs to be evaluated so as to extract important information need in crafting a satisfactory ERP system.
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Design of ERP can result to the massive changes in the company that can adversely affect the business. It is, therefore, prudent for the management to devise a proper mechanism to ensure that the organization reaps all the benefits that come with a comprehensive ERP system. It is critical to consider the support of the top management in designing the ERP system. Another issue encountered in the design of ERP system is reengineering of the existing process so as to integrate it in the business information systems. The designing team needs to be aware of the importance of consulting the employees who will be the main users of the new system. Winning the employee’s interest is an important but expensive process. It ensures that the designed ERP system is accepted in the company at all levels.
Designing of ERP system is a vast process that can take several years. In fact, the process is not as much technological undertaking, but a process that ensures organizational revolution. It requires extensive preparations to ensure easy integration of the designed system in all the departments of the company. If the design is done without careful planning and patience, it can turn to be corporate root canals instead of boosting the competitive advantage of the company.
Researchers have shown that for any design of an ERP system to succeed, top management support is critical. This is because the design of an ERP system is not analogous to changing the software used at the business level. It is rather a process to reposition the company and transform it in terms of business practices. The top management must, therefore, consider the implications that designing of ERP system could have on the strategic position of the company compared to other businesses in the same field (Bingi, Sharma, & Godla, 2014). The process of designing must be in line with the organizational structure and culture. It must encompass the scope of the company by including all the functional units in the company. It must prove to be more relevant than the existing system.
Designing of the ERP requires re-engineering of existing business processes to transform them to the more productive process at a minimal cost. Reengineering is an expensive task that is also time-consuming. The cost is even higher when the system is rolled out in many departments like in the case of Brandon Group, Inc. It is not easy to have everyone agree with the design model to be adopted therefore lowering the rate, at which the design process can be executed.
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There is also the issue of integration. Designing a single ERP system that is integrated throughout the company is not easy. This is because it is difficult to design a single system that carries out all the tasks of the company. The company is, therefore, required to use other secondary support systems. Designing a system that easily integrates with such support and secondary systems requires time and expertise. ERP solutions can change the methods used by Brandon Group in delivering services if these design issues are well dealt with.