Part 1: Thinking about the organization that you are working for currently, which enterprise application do you think your organization will benefit from the most: ERP, SCM, CRM, or a combination? Why and how? Explain your answer.
I work for a mid-sized technology integrator, currently ~ 750 million a year in revenue and growing. We use ERP, SCM and CRM applications within our enterprise today. Some of these systems are tightly integrated, some of these systems leverage EDI to move data between our systems, our suppliers and our vendors. We also have many other operational systems which we use such as ITSM (IT Service Management) for incident and CMDB, ITOM (IT Operations Management) and ITBM (IT Business Management) applications.
- For inventory and order management and finance and accounting activity we currently use NetSuite (http://www.netsuite.com).
- For CRM (Customer Relationship Managment) and SFA (Sales Force Automation), we currently use Saleforce.com (SFDC) (https://www.salesforce.com/).
- We also use SFDC for certain aspects of PSA (Professional Services Automation) including things like tracking project milestones against opportunities, tasks like time tracking and accounting are done in SFDC.
- For SCM (Supply Chain Management) we have developed a homegrown platform which leverages data from NetSuite, Salesforce, and ServiceNow (ITSM, ITOM, ITBM). The core of the platform is built on ServiceNow because it allows us to easily facilitate EDI between our organization, our customers, and our suppliers many of whom also use ServiceNow for ITSM (IT Service Management), ITOM (IT Operations Management) and ITBM (IT Business Management).
- For HRM (Human Resource Management) we leverage the ADP platform (https://www.adp.com/solutions/services/human-capital-management.aspx) and iCIMS
We also heavily leverage cloud-based applications like Smartsheets, Tableau and others tools for data analysis (BI) and visualizations.
In addition to these systems, we bi-directionally integrate with many other systems such as Pardot (http://www.pardot.com/) for B2B marketing automation, Xactly for Sales Commissions and Compensation Tracking (https://www.xactlycorp.com) ChatOps, discrete ITOM platforms, CI/CD tools, etc… all via API integration.
Almost all of these systems facilitate and automate core business operations like lead-to-cash, order-to-fulfillment, and procure-to-pay processes.
There is an active initiative working to consolidate ERP applications (Finance and Accounting, CRM, SFA, and SCM onto a single platform, Infor (http://www.infor.com/). The cost of this project is significant as is the timeframe. The endstate will leave us with a consolidated ERP platform which will hopefully ease the amount of integration and EDI we need to do between internal systems. At the end of the rainbow we hope to be left with two key platforms we will use to operate our business, these systems will be Infor for ERP and Service Now for ITSM, ITOM, and ITBM.
I am an engineer, with a heavy focus on incident, change, problem and knowledge management so the ServiceNow platform adds the most value for me. I also rely heavily on pipeline and backlog reporting, and this data is all housed in SFDC with bi-direction EDI with NetSuite. Pipeline and backlog management and reporting are critical for me to run my business.
Part 2: If a company wants to implement an enterprise application, it had better do its homework. Discuss the implications of this statement.
“Enterprise applications are difficult to implement. They require extensive organizational change, large new software investments, and careful assessment of how these systems will enhance organizational performance” ((Laudon & Laudon 2015 p 373)
Architecting and deploying an enterprise application is a costly and lengthy process, and the deployment is just the beginning. Once an enterprise application is deployed adoption and assimilation need to be facilitated, this means getting people to use the system, the biggest challenge of any enterprise application deployment. When deploying an enterprise applicaiton it’s inevitable that you will encounter a crossroads, regardless of how much due diligence you do before choosing a platform. Do you customize the platform to match the process or do you change the process to meet the platform? Everyone has a different perspective on this question, and there are pros and cons to either approach, the reality for most is the process is the process will change to meet the platform and the platform will be customized to meet the process.
Doig, C. (2015, November 19). Calculating the total cost of ownership for enterprise software. Retrieved February 15, 2017, from http://www.cio.com/article/3005705/software/calculating-the-total-cost-of-ownership-for-enterprise-software.html
Laudon, K. C., & Laudon, J. P. (2016). Management information systems: managing the digital firm. Boston: Pearson.
Schiff, J. L. (2014, July 30). 9 Tips for Selecting and Implementing an ERP System. Retrieved February 15, 2017, from http://www.cio.com/article/2458889/enterprise-resource-planning/9-tips-for-selecting-and-implementing-an-erp-system.html
Other options which I did not respond to:
Case 1: What do you think Hilton leadership should do after the Blackstone acquisition? Should they further invest in CRM or simply maintain the status quo? What aspects of Hilton’s CRM should be strengthened, if any, and how?
Case 2: If you were asked to become the successor of the current managing director, what would you try to do in order to extend current levels of ERP systems use?