Currently, various activities going on in the business arena ranging from competition, management to architectural designs. The senior management is not resting to ensure they compete successfully. One of the primary tools that have helped businesses to scale up their sales and have easier control is the enterprise systems. The enterprise systems have enabled the companies to widely access the business knowledge, increase the productivity of the employee as well as an elimination of the duplication of company data (Themistocleous et al., 2011). They have also been used to reduce the cost of information technology as well as reduction of the manual input of data. With the enterprise systems, different applications are integrated reducing the independence of departments within a company. There are three types of enterprise systems that include the customer relationship, enterprise resource planning, and supply chain management systems. Depending on the requirements, a company chooses one of the methods that best suit the needs.
From the three enterprise systems, I would recommend the enterprise resource planning (ERP) order to the senior management of SugarSquared Inc. Out of the needs and the present characteristics of the company, this type of system suit it best. First, the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is such a versatile system that integrates different software applications such as purchasing, human resources, and inventory management. The system is modular such that a module can be purchased and be incorporated as the need arises. The company is characterized by the fragmentation of its operations and currently has embraced the silo mentality. Silo mentality makes it difficult to share information with the departments and between the three different units. ERP finds its application here since the company could purchase different modules and the integration makes the flow of information easier in real time. The company is formed of many departments such as sales, human resource, and accounting departments. Currently, the activities in SugarSquared Inc. are being carried out manually in that whenever a customer request an order, and the sales department has to contact the accounting department for the client set up and approval. Once approved, the accounting department notifies the sales department for the processing of the order. At the same time, there will be a need for coordination with the warehouse department and human resource for confirmation of enough supplies and the workers to process the order. This makes the company to be run slothfully through restless phone calls until the customer is served successfully (Basoglu, 2007). The company could purchase various modules that are integrated automatically reducing the dependency on human interaction hence speeding up the process and reducing the human error. It could purchase the sales module that quickly updates the client information which automatically notifies the accounting department through the accounting module. The order is approved, and the inventory module confirms the available stock while the production module notifies the manager of the amount of candy that needs to be manufactured. By such a system, there is a smooth flow of information within the business units as well as easier management.
The benefits of ERP to SugarSquared Inc. are uncountable. First, the company would be able to promote efficiency. Although ERP is a significant investment, its cost cannot be compared with the advantages. It unifies the company that currently operates in silos. The unification of the systems helps in reducing the time wasted in the hunt for the pieces of information across networks. The central database makes the retrieval of data easier (Nicolaou et al., 2008). There is also the anticipation of the improvement of productivity due to the reduction of tedious activities such as monitoring of inventory levels and timesheet tracking as well as processing of orders. Such actions would reduce the morale of the employees and lead to increased human error. Customers would be pleased due to the integration of the customer relationship management module that handles all the matters related to the customers. In response, the company would have more sales and increased revenues. ERP also provides better analytics and reporting to the company. Within ERP, the user’s data is input hence becoming a perfect business intelligence tool.
One of the main challenges in the implementation of ERP is ensuring that the employees are fully trained and equipped with the know-how of the system. It is time-consuming and may involve the employment of more skilled personnel. Additionally, although the system may meet all the requirements of the company, it could lead to the downfall of the company if not tested sufficiently. Lastly, the installation of the system is capital intensive as well as running it. The company may be required to compromise some of its operations to cater to the acquisition of the system, training, and maintenance.
In order to reap all the benefits and meet the expectations of the system, is vital for the company to ensure sufficient amount of testing of the system to ensure that it performs as expected with less tolerance for failure. Testing will be crucial in screening out the issues that will be taken care of before the system is fully implemented (Ramdani, 2009). In the budgeting, SugarSquared Inc. should take into account the financial costs and the training costs to avoid the halting the process of transiting to the system due to lack of funds. For the unification and all the benefits to be realized from the system, it is essential for the company to ensure thorough training of all the employees.
There are a variety of vendors of the ERP systems and are categorized according to the size of an organization and needs. They include the Oracle, Microsoft, Sage, and NetSuite. Oracle would be preferable vendors since it leads in the efficiency of its systems as well as being the provider of the systems for large companies such as SugarSquared Inc. Many factors influence the choice of Oracle as the vendor. For instance, Oracle has long term continuity in the market. It has a strong record of success that makes it a reliable vendor for SugarSquared Inc. Oracle has a successful implementation in the past. Its technology is easily implemented and always in compliance with the governance activities to ensure that the objective is met. It also worth to note that the company offers post-implementation support and training of the operation of the system. Its team is specialized in ensuring the installation, the equipping of the employment as well as continually keeping a monitor of how the system is running. This is essential in providing that the system is beneficial and leads to no downfall through mishandling by employees without the required expertise.
Nicolaou, A. I., Dehning, B., & Stratopoulos, T. C. (2008). Financial analysis of potential benefits from ERP systems adoption.
Themistocleous, M., Soja, P., & da Cunha, P. R. (2011). The same, but different: enterprise systems adoption lifecycles in transition economies. Information Systems Management, 28(3), 223-239.
Basoglu, N., Daim, T., & Kerimoglu, O. (2007). Organizational adoption of enterprise resource planning systems: A conceptual framework. The Journal of High Technology Management Research, 18(1), 73-97.
Ramdani, B., Kawalek, P., & Lorenzo, O. (2009). Predicting SMEs’ adoption of enterprise systems. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 22(1/2), 10-24.