*This course is based on PRODUCTION AND PROCUREMENT*
For this assignment, you will produce a 2 page paper (excluding the cover page and reference list)
Topic: Based on the case study, perform some additional research through the web (the case study is just for reference to understand the subject matter prior to writing the assignment below)
Prepare a 1000-word document in current APA format with a minimum of five refereed journal articles (references) on the main barriers to the adoption of ERP globally. In your paper, discuss the challenges associated and develop your recommendations to overcome these challenges.
The assignment will be marked on the level of depth and criticality, as well as how many additional references you have considered that are from academic resources.
*VERY IMPORTANT* The paper needs to have a title page, an abstract, an introduction, challenges and barriers, discussions, recommendations, a conclusion, and references.
Use research that is referenced appropriately in current APA format.
Include a title and reference page and at least five (5) references (preferably peer-reviewed). Make sure to use figures, tables, or graphs in your essay.
THE CASE IS PROVIDED BELOW
Anita Campos’s office phone buzzed. It was Tom, the chief information officer (CIO) of MedDev, Inc., a medical supplies company. “Hi, Anita, this is Tom. I just left Gary Franz’s office and I need to meet with you to discuss some concerns he and I have regarding the successful implementation of our project. Would it be possible to meet some time this afternoon? I have asked Gloria to set up some time for us to meet. You should be seeing an Outlook meeting request come through shortly.”
Anita was expecting this call. Tom had told her that he would be in an audit committee meeting with Gary Franz, the chief financial officer (CFO) of the organization. “Sure, I’ll look for the meeting request. Is there anything in particular I should be reviewing prior to our meeting?”
Tom had recently hired her as an internal organization development consultant to support a multimillion dollar enterprise resource planning (ERP) project. The scope of the project included all global operations across Europe and North America.
“Well,” Tom said, “It might be helpful to provide you with some background information right now. As you are aware, this project is the largest capital investment project the company has undertaken in its long history. As the CIO and project director, I feel a tremendous pressure to ensure we position the project for success this time around. I just left the monthly audit committee meeting with representatives of our external audit firm. As we discussed previously, the audit firm has been tasked by Gary to ensure we are on track for project success. In their most recent update, they highlighted an area of organizational risk and have recommended an area for change management focus. I would like to share the document with you and bring you up to speed on their recommendation.”
“Oh, good,” Anita said. “Can you tell me a little more about the change management focus area, perhaps provide me with some context?”
“The auditors have recommended that we implement a change readiness assessment for the organization,” Tom said. That, Anita thought, should not be a problem. She had conducted similar assessments for former clients; however, she still wasn’t sure of the context for the recommendation in this situation.
Tom added, “Gary has requested that we provide a high-level plan, approach, and timeline for execution for the change readiness assessment at our next steering committee meeting. I thought we should meet at the earliest possible.”
The steering committee was comprised of vice presidents (VPs) from different functional areas, including information technology, finance, legal, marketing, research and development, customer service/e-commerce, sales, operations, product development, and supply chain management. The role of the steering committee was to provide approval on project strategy and procedures, including timing and budget.
“Sure,” Anita said, “I’ll look forward to our meeting.”
To prepare for the meeting, Anita began reviewing some of the documents that defined the organizational structure of the company. She also thought through the historical background of the company.
Tom had spent his entire career rotating through various positions in operations and information technology (IT) at MedDev. Prior to taking on his recent assignment within IT, including a move from operational to IT roles, he had witnessed extensive changes in IT systems. He survived through various cycles of boom and decline that the company had experienced over the years.
Within the past year, he was named project director for the ERP project, the largest capital project undertaken within the organization to date. Within the organizational structure of MedDev, Tom reported directly to the CFO, Gary Franz. Anita had recently been hired as the change management leader (organization development) dedicated to supporting the project. MedDev had never had anyone dedicated in the role of “internal OD consultant” for any projects prior to her coming on board for this project. Anita’s role was created based on the advice of XL Infotech, a well-reputed technology and global IT management consulting firm. Both MedDev as well as XL Infotech had a stake in the success of this project. For XL Infotech, it was the first time a component of their technology was being implemented in the medical devices industry.
In her internal role, Anita reported directly to the CIO. However, indirectly she was responsible for advising multiple levels of the executive leadership team on all human capital and workforce transition issues. The levels assigned to her included the steering committee, the project management office (PMO), the project team, and all management and staff impacted by the project.
MedDev was the global leader in the medical devices industry. It had grown rapidly via acquisitions, resulting in the use of many disparate systems across the supply chain. Various technologies were in place from order entry to areas of procurement, planning, demand forecasting, planning, customer service, and inventory management.
The five-year growth projections for the organization were extremely promising, but the company was facing pricing pressures from global competitors and new entrants to the market.
The world headquarters for MedDev were located in a suburban location in northern Nebraska. Housed alongside the corporate headquarters was also the operations facility, where products were assembled, packaged, and shipped. Customer service, product development, research and development, quality, and sales and marketing departments were all located in an adjacent facility.
The headquarters had been built in 1977 and it was a simple non-assuming structure. The corporate campus was set in a small town and was completely invisible from the main intersection closest to the campus. Unless you grew up in the area or were directly involved in business transactions with the organization, you would never know that this global company was even located in this small community.
MedDev had a long and distinguished history of having been a major supplier to world renowned hospitals, leading medical centers, acute care, and long-term care facilities. The chief executive officer (CEO), Michael Zucker, started the business out of his garage while completing high school. Innovative products, smart marketing strategies, and a large market for the products allowed the company to grow rapidly. In many ways, it exemplified the often touted American business success story.
Michael Zucker is a key decision maker and influencer of policy, not only in the industry but also in many ancillary industries. The company’s chief operating officer (COO) also has seen the organization through its various stages of growth. The chief technology officer (CTO) has been the person responsible for delivering and receiving several patents for many of the products, which have delivered a competitive advantage to MedDev over the years. The remainder of the senior leadership team is varied in its tenure. Gary Franz had recently been hired to provide a focus on cost efficiencies. The senior vice president (SVP) of operations had come on board from a global automotive industry organization and was tasked with optimization and delivering value.
When Anita had joined the organization, the director of organization development, who had only recently been hired into a full-time capacity in the organization, had interviewed her. The senior vice president of human resources (HR) also had been recently hired. Anita had developed good relationships with the entire HR leadership team during her interview processes and within the first few weeks of being on site.
Anita was still in the process of assessing the factors that would influence and help drive the change management strategy. She had yet to meet with most of the key senior executives and leaders that she was supposed to advise and coach through the change process.
Having had solid experience in both internal and external consulting roles for multimillion dollar business transformation projects, she was well aware of many of the challenges presented by leadership, as well as the organizational politics that could undermine effective implementation of large-scale change initiatives. She had successfully delivered business results and productivity enhancements to global Fortune 100 companies, so she was confident in her capabilities of working effectively in global, matrixed, and complex organizational structures. She felt she was well-positioned for success in the role. The project management committee that interviewed her had emphasized that they were seeking someone with an easygoing management and leadership style who could quickly build rapport with leaders across all levels in an organization. It was communicated clearly to her that the competencies of developing trust, fostering creativity and innovation, and establishing a sense of teamwork were essential to achieve success on the ERP project.
MedDev had recently begun to diversify into other areas for which there were higher demands and some of these new business segments had become very successful enterprises. Unfortunately, the IT systems of the organization had languished: many of the applications being used were custom developed in the 1970s; it had become very expensive to maintain multiple disparate systems as the company had grown via acquisitions in the recent years; MedDev could not deliver the information leaders required to make informed business decisions or plan for future business growth.
The company had hired a VP of sales, customer service, and e-commerce to further develop the Web marketing and e-commerce strategy. With the successful business models of e-commerce companies such as eBay, Amazon.com, and Overstock.com, MedDev was keen on diversifying and growing the business via a multichannel marketing strategy.
A ping from her e-mail system brought Anita’s attention back to her computer screen.
Tom was requesting a meeting in an hour. A meeting at such short notice was unusual. This must be important, thought Anita.
An hour later Anita walked into Tom’s office. She had been to his office for meetings before. As always, the top of his wooden desk was littered with documents. She quickly glanced at the family picture clearly visible behind Tom’s seat. She had enjoyed meeting his family at one of the company picnics.
Tom greeted Anita. “Thanks for coming in at such short notice.”
“Oh, that’s fine,” Anita responded. “I wasn’t locked into any other meetings this afternoon.” She took a seat on the other side of Tom’s desk.
Tom began, “I would like to reiterate on behalf of the PMO and the steering committee how pleased we are to have you on board.”
Anita acknowledged the compliment with a smile. “Thank you. I am really keen on hearing more about your meeting with Gary and the audit committee.”
“Sure, let me print you a copy of the audit firm report.” Tom opened documents on his PC and sent them to the printer located in his office. He picked up the pages and handed them over to Anita. “Here’s the most recent audit firm risk assessment. Go ahead and take a few minutes to review these documents. While you’re doing that, I’ll check my e-mail and voice messages.” Tom smiled, then added, “I have been in meetings all day and this is the first opportunity I have had to check my messages.”
Anita quickly reviewed the documents she had been handed. As she read through the document, she circled the areas titled “Organization Risk” toward the end of the second page and underlined the areas of risk, action items, and watch items listed. In her role as an OD consultant, she had reviewed similar documents several times before. She had developed the skill to quickly focus on the most important elements related to her role. More than 10 minutes had passed before Tom turned away from his computer and addressed Anita.
“I wondered if you had any questions before I share observations from the meetings.”
Anita was glad for the opportunity Tom presented. “Actually, yes, I was wondering what you were referring to in our earlier phone conversation when you said that we should ensure that we position the project for success this time around. What did you mean by ‘this time around’?”
“Oh, yes, yes,” Tom said. “I guess I made the mistake of assuming that you know the history related to this project. See, MedDev had launched this project with limited success a few years ago. At that time, the organization had allocated insufficient resources to get the project accomplished and after implementing a few modules of the software in operations, the project stalled and was then put on hold due to lack of resources in terms of both time and money. I was leading up the European IT organization and there was another CIO leading the project efforts at the time. Many of the steering committee executives and middle level managers who are on our project team as business process owners (BPO) and technical leads went through the previous deployment. They have either been on the previous project team or have been in operations, customer service, and finance, or as end clients using the partial software system that is currently in place.”
With a grim face Tom said, “To put it lightly, that rollout was a fiasco. Anyway, coming back to the present project,” Tom paused, then continued, “After having conducted interviews with members of the executive and steering committee, the audit firm has identified multiple areas of organizational risk. There appears to be some confusion among members of the steering committee regarding the scope of the ERP project and its relationship to other current or potential business process improvement projects at MedDev. In order to address this, the change management team will need to look at the initial business case and compile a summary distinguishing the planned benefits of the ERP project from the other process improvement initiatives underway.”
“That is extremely useful information that I did not gather from the documents. Can you elaborate further?”
Tom added, “When we announced the launch of the project this time around, many managers voiced concerns to their leaders directly that they didn’t think the project would succeed this time around either.”
Anita was intrigued. “Why do you feel they are voicing their concerns to their leaders?”
Tom explained, “I sense they are bitter at their perceived loss of control once we put this new system entirely in place. During the last project, they were not included in the planning and definition efforts and were just told what to do. Here’s what helped me focus on this problem: I was in a meeting the other day and Bob, the manager of supply chain operations, asked if we would be repeating the last fiasco again. He tends to be a wild cannon when it comes to comments. However, in this case, I would consider his comments to be representative of the feeling across the operations team right now.”
“How did you respond?” Anita asked.
“Well, I informed him that this time around we had hired you to ensure that we place a primary focus on people during this rollout.”
“How did he react to that?”
“Well, he just smirked and made a wise comment about the effect of some more management layers on the project team.”
Anita made a few notes and said, “You have shared very useful information with me. There are a couple of methods we could use for the readiness assessment that come to mind so we can identify areas of resistance. I will review all the information I have gathered from you and consult with my team too. You and I can regroup after that to review my proposal.”
Anita stood up to leave, and then realized she needed one more piece of information. “Before I go, any idea when the next steering committee meeting is?”
“In two weeks,” Tom responded.
“Great, I will aim for a review of the proposal early next week. That will give us sufficient time to modify, if required, and develop the slides for presentation at the steering committee meeting,” Anita said as she picked up her planner and other documents off Tom’s desk.
“Good. That should work. I look forward to our next meeting,” Tom said.