Part A Identifying problems in the case
Vicro Communication (Vicro) was supposed to improve its performance to boost a revenue and share via business process reengineering (BPR) via data-centric enterprise software called High Profile Technology (HTP). However, without rethinking of existing software and obtaining feedback from employees, the top management made the mistake by completely relying on software application. Consequently, having invested 280 million dollars in Information Technology (IT) infrastructure, the software was redundant. Additionally, Vicro was put in a risky position. Issues and consequences
According to the case, there are four main issues when Vicro using the new software as follow.
* Between shareholders and Vicro management
The intension of the investment was to redesign processes, by which, improving overall system performance. The stakeholders believed that the information system would address the needs and complement BPR efforts (Paper, D., Tingey, K. B., & Mok, W., 2003). Unfortunately, the management simply deployed the software to solve problems without considering stakeholders requirements.
* Between top management and other managers and process workers There were no efforts be made to obtain opinions and feedback from technical experts, legacy systems people, even senior managers like Ron. Actually, process workers were clear about the mismatch between their existing processes and the new one. The research found out many people at Vicro were unsatisfied with HPT and BPR. Some attempted to report these problems to management, but never got the response. * Between business objectives and the technology
Before investment, the management never fully considered the legacy system and processes. Moreover, technical engineers were not allowed to alter HPT to match existing processes, or vice versa. As some processes at Vicro were rather unique, Legacy systems were still used to handle many current processes (Paper, D., Tingey, K. B., & Mok, W., 2003). As a result, HPT doubled efforts rather than improving efficiency because both HPT and legacy systems were concurrently managed.
2. Not fitting the company process
HPT, which was expensive though, has been existence for more than 30 years with worldwide name recognition. Nevertheless, it was not meant to be the “best practices” for Vicro.
The best practices of HPT was adopted to streamline processes and standardize all processes on one platform, which could help the boards of directors, especially an less-technical CEO, easier to understand the company situation and make decision. That was also the reason top management to choose HPT. This might be suitable for some organizations but was not flexible enough for a company with many divisions and plants, like Vicro. 3. Resistance to change
After investing millions of dollars, the executive team thought they would get some results immediately without considering employees’ learning curves. As discussed, HPT did not fit the company process and did not accept clients’ information to its databases; thus, no one was willing to change. With the existing process, employees performed a good job but were forced to change, without real support from the management or a standard guideline.
4. Skills shortages of management
Because BPR were extremely complex, successful implementation required the management to have various skills, such as planning, communication and negotiation skills, especially the learning ability of new software. During the last few years, Vicro changed three CEO, and it seems none of them neither understood the fundamentals of IT-enabled process flow redesign, nor they had a clear view of how data-centric enterprise software could implement business processes.
Part B Lessons learnt from the case
Learn from the case
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a logical solution for improving business...
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