SECTION A

QA1

Cloud-based ERP systems provide flexibility, scalability and offer ease to keep in contact with the rapid innovation. This service does not need to be managed by any IT staff. With the help of this software development, the RP software of a company and the linked data are managed on a central basis by the software vendor and are utilized by the customers and users through a web browser. In the current digital business world, workers and businesses can collaborate in essential documents, spreadsheets and essential data from various locations. this ERP software is highly efficient when it is used through the cloud. The advantages are:

  • Real-time analytics

This helps organizations to view information as it gets available so that the company can rely on the data as it is relevant and updated. Real-time analytics can help organizations to make important business decisions and improves process optimization (Hustad et al. 2019).

  • Security

Cloud ERP software offers viable security to the business of different sizes. The data cannot be backed by a third party as the systems keep a track of all the activities and completely encrypts the data that is kept in the ERP (Nguyen and Luc, 2018).

QA2

Conventionally enterprises have believed in supply chain management to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Currently, enterprises fight in a digital economy that needs a digital supply chain. Customers have the power of several options and information. They demand products, experiences and results that are customized to their needs. SAP S/4HANA is a digital core that links the total business and also links a company to other businesses. Collaboration tools ease the process of working with partners throughout the supply chain. Simulation tools help in making better decisions and more precise forecasts (Marmolejo-Saucedo and Hartmann, 2020). The digital change abilities of SAP S/4HANA comprise of simplified data structures, and personalized user experience and also better business process. These push out end to end across the entire company throughout finance, procurement, manufacturing and the supply chain. Several levels of data structures are eliminated and therefore material data is made available in real-time. this decreases latency and inaccuracies for understanding the demand and supply. This helps in the status of production, inventory and procurement to be accessible in real-time and for the modern demand signals to be used in planning decisions. The improvements provided by SAP S/4HANA provides advantages throughout the supply chain functions and processes. This helps several businesses in their production and delivery. For example in a car manufacturing company having different car models, each requires an approximate of 3500 materials to be made daily. With a regular production of 500 cars, the company needs to process more than 10 million material per day. The earlier technology limitations of the supply chain stopped large transactions to be used in real-time and thus the company had to delay the movement of goods (Zhang, 2019). This signifies that during production, the company did not have complete and precise visibility in the material ledger for responding to any production issues. With the help of SAP S/4HANA, there is digitization in the supply chain and postings can run simultaneously, providing the company real-time visibility in the material ledger and permit it to respond precisely to production issues.

SECTION B

QB1.

 The top management of Maxima did not make the right choice in selecting the ERP package. The management should have used JD Edwards as an ERP software package instead of Oracle. Implementing JD Edwards could have been beneficial to the company as this package had complete knowledge of the business requirements that are needed in the distribution industry, whereas Oracle software is more used in manufacturing firms. JD Edwards could perform a FIFO costing which was a need of the finance department of the firm which could not be supported by Oracle. The RMA module of JD Edwards is a dedicated RMS tool and was considered as the best fit for the existing functions of Maxima.

The graphical user interfaces could be personalized easily and were also user friendly. This software package also was competitive in price and gave satisfactory support for the customers in the area. This was also web-enabled which was suitable to the requirements of the company. implementing JD Edwards would have helped the company to get a step closer to use e-commerce quickly in the company. By integrating Oracle in the company there were problems in maintaining integration with several developing countries where the sub holdings functioned. There was an increased cost of buying new hardware and software that impacted their budget (Delen and Dalal, 2015). By implementing oracle in the company it could nit support the business processes and required more time and effort for inputting data and was also prone to errors.

The available workarounds were tedious and increased processing time. For example, in the new Oracle system, to generate a return order, the company would have to perform 40 steps contrasted to 16 in the JD Edwards system. As a consequence, the RMA module plummeted from the project scope. This could have been avoided if the company used JD Edwards instead of an oracle. Implementing Oracle was not the right decision taken by the top management as most of the SC consultants were inexperienced and had no knowledge of this software system. The consultants were involved in training practices of using oracle while implementing it at the company. Therefore they could not provide useful suggestions on the business requirements, best practices and process improvements. This could have been avoided if JD Edwards was installed. Data conversion is an essential procedure when any new system is initiated. This process becomes intricate when it comprises of different systems and data formats. Because of the dissimilar system formats at Maxima Inc., data needed to be exported to worksheets and again formatted before import into Oracle. This was a physical procedure and had chances of several errors.

The data migration implementation was not victorious (Haddara and Elragal, 2015). Only a division of the master data was transformed properly. The remaining, which incorporated procurement orders, invoices and monetary data were physically reentered into the fresh system throughout six weeks. Until the data was penetrated productively, the ERP system was not completely practical. The firm also invited extra charge as provisional staffs were recruited to do manual data entry. This could have been completely avoided with no extra cost if JD Edwards was implemented in the company by the management. The JD Edwards enterprise system if was implemented in the company, it would provide the tools to the company for managing the benefit plans which was not provided by oracle. JD Edward had a better knowledge of the demands and needs of the distribution industry and therefore would have been appropriate for managing the business requirements of Maxima. Inc.

QB2.

The challenges seen in an ERP implementation are:

  • ERP vendors

 In a competitive business environment, there are several ERP products available in the market. Selecting the correct product is important to receive productivity gains. Selecting the wrong ERP system can be harmful to the company as the wrong ERP system might not fulfil the requirements of the company and incur more costs (Babaei et al. 2015).

  • The commitment of top management

Senior executives have an important role in ERP implementation. Their association is important for the success of any project. Any kind of ignorance can lead to ineffective decisions and late operations. This is a challenge for maxima as the wrong decision and ignorance of the top management caused harm to the company.

  • Adequate training

 This is also a challenge faced by the company. Most of the consultants and employees were unfamiliar with the systems and had no adequate training to successfully implement the system (Babaei et al. 2015).

  • Implementation time

 There is a high time consumption in the implementation of ERP systems. A system needs to be integrated step by step and must be handled by the company as it requires. The implementation time was also a challenge faced by maxima

  • Proper project management

For successful implementation, the company required competent workers. However, most of the workers were inexperienced and also freshers and did not know. This was a challenge as the business process was delayed and hiring of external and temporary workers lead to more costs (Babaei et al. 2015).

The strategies for ERP implementation success are:

  • Thorough planning

Planning is fundamental to take full advantage of the potential of ERP software. It is significant that the company completely appreciate the present procedures, and how these can be developed to progress efficiencies (Altamony et al. 2016). 

  • Outlining responsibilities

 The most well-known user acceptance issue rises from uncertainty, that is, users are hesitant of things they are accountable for. Because new procedures and structures are being applied, workers have to be made openly aware of their positions and responsibilities inside the new surroundings (Altamony et al. 2016).

  • Framework for long-term success

Most of user adoption concerns occur after it is implemented. Therefore, firms need to set up an acceptance and directorial change management structure that provide users with the methods essential to not merely accept the system, but also persist to develop performance after implementation (Altamony et al. 2016).

Reference list

Altamony, H., Al-Salti, Z., Gharaibeh, A. and Elyas, T., 2016. The relationship between change management strategy and successful enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementations: A theoretical perspective. International Journal of Business Management and Economic Research7(4), pp.690-703.

Babaei, M., Gholami, Z. and Altafi, S., 2015. Challenges of Enterprise Resource Planning implementation in Iran large organizations. Information Systems54, pp.15-27.

Delen, D.U.R.S.U.N. and Dalal, N., 2015. Successful business process transformation at JD Edwards. Business Process Transformation, pp.237-250.

Haddara, M. and Elragal, A., 2015. The Readiness of ERP Systems for the Factory of the Future. Procedia Computer Science64, pp.721-728.

Hustad, E., Olsen, D.H., Jørgensen, E.H. and Sørheller, V.U., 2019, September. Creating business value from cloud-based ERP systems in small and medium-sized enterprises. In Conference on e-Business, e-Services and e-Society (pp. 691-703). Springer, Cham.

Marmolejo-Saucedo, J. and Hartmann, S., 2020. Trends in digitization of the supply chain: A brief literature review. EAI Endorsed Transactions on Energy Web7(29).

Nguyen, T.D. and Luc, K.V., 2018, November. Information Systems Success: Empirical Evidence on Cloud-based ERP. In International Conference on Future Data and Security Engineering (pp. 471-485). Springer, Cham.

Zhang, T., 2019. How Do Information Technology Resources Facilitate Relational and Contractual Governance in Green Supply Chain Management?. Sustainability11(13), p.3663.

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