Modern Material Inc Case Study

Topics: Project management, Management, Customer relationship management Pages: 16 (4332 words) Published: May 28, 2013
Company Background2
Introduction of Supply-Chain-Management2
Key Individuals and their Effectiveness3
Companies Involved5
Organizational Issues:6
Business Processes Impacted7
Management Takeaway10
Areas of Agreement10
Areas of Disagreement/Concerns11
Lessons Learnt16

(What do you think the author is trying to demonstrate or bring out in the case?)

* A company’s competitive position and profitability can be improved through the use of Supply Chain Management System (SCMS) which if successfully implemented will lead to exemplary customer service. (Oz, 2009) * System requirements should be clearly defined and the necessary processes analyzed and agreed upon by all key players/groups before software is coded to avoid reworks and unnecessary spending. * Cohesiveness, coordination, communication and leadership should be evident between stakeholders and management for the successful implementation of a project. * Information systems strategy must be in alignment with business strategy and processes to ensure business continuity.

Company Background
Modern Materials, Inc. (MMI) was established in 1927 and grew through a series of small mergers and acquisitions ultimately earning its name in 1991, when it took over a major competitor and subsequently broadened its product line. MMI manufactures products that are used as raw materials by large manufacturers and the construction industry and was described as one of the giants in the manufacturing industry with two of its facilities producing basic products with special properties and shapes. However, due to difficulties being faced by the manufacturing industry such as overcapacity, foreign competition and reduced profits; spiralled by a depressed manufacturing economy, the company came under immense financial pressure. Ultimately, the company lost money in two of five years and downsized in 1998 which left the remaining workers stretched thin and working at a hectic pace. After the mergers, MMI had several issues as each premerger company became a division of MMI, and each division inherited the Information System (IS) organization of the company from which it was formed, hence, reducing effectiveness. To ensure that a single IS strategy was being maintained and adhered to; MMI outsourced its IS operations to STC, a major player in the IT outsourcing business in 1994. As part of the contract, STC offered employment to all of MMI’s IS staff, most of whom accepted the employment offer. Notably, STC did not evaluate the software and hardware employed by MMI to determine efficiency and applicability. In addition, only a small group of analysts was retained by MMI to address concerns regarding problem definition and process analysis.

Introduction of Supply-Chain-Management
In 1995 Harvey Woodson was hired as vice president for quality to improve MMI’s competitiveness and profitability. He believed exemplary customer service was the best strategy to do this using the supply-chain management technique. Oz (2009) describes supply-chain-management as the coordination of purchasing, manufacturing, shipping, and billing operations, often supported by an enterprise resource planning system. This system involves entering an order, creating a manufacturing order to guide it through to the required manufacturing process, scheduling it into production, producing, warehousing, shipping and routing it so that it arrives at the proper time, invoicing and billing it, and handling any testing issues or claims that might arise. The company’s information systems however needed to be aligned to Woodson’s plan as supply-chain-management is dependent on efficient processes supported by appropriate information processing systems.

Key Individuals and their Effectiveness
Several persons were involved in Modern Materials Inc’s attempt to implement a Supply Chain Management system...
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