Baxter Manufacturing Company (BMC) is a metal stampings company. Its major customers include, Ford, General Motors, Honda of America, General Electric and Whirlpool. The company is made up of two divisions it makes brackets and other components that go into the finished product, they also make motor casings. BMC employees about 420 non-union employees and has been steadily growing for the last 6 years. They have been approached to build a factory in Mexico, and settled on building in Queretaro, which is about a 3-hour drive north of Mexico City. Don Collins, who is the MIS manager, felt that since a new plant was being built with top of the line equipment and computer systems that they might be able to implement a system upgrade for the entire company. One of the problems was that BMC wanted the new system implemented by the end of the year. Given the quick deadline they decided to focus on support for the Mexico plant, a felt that the following approaches: 1. Connect the Mexican plant to BMC’s existing systems through a high-speed communications line 2. Contract through an application service provider (ASP) to provide systems support to the Mexican plant. 3. Employ a piecemeal solution where they would acquire a number of software packages that could run on the networked PC’s in Mexico that would serve the basic needs of the Mexican plant. (MIS) The task force team ran into difficulties with language and cultural differences, the mindset of the employees and Mexico and the long distances between them. They met with resistance and self pride from the Mexican employees and were unable to communicate effectively with them.
As a result of the lack of communication and the language differences the task force decided to go with option 3. They were working on locating vendors to provide support and with basic language software to help the employees stateside. The main issues that they are having are support for the systems and training for the equipment. By outsourcing some or all of its IT work to a company that is familiar with the language and culture it could help expedite the time of getting the plant operational. In addition developing a training program that could be taught companywide could help benefit the entire company.
One of the main issues that BMC is looking for is international support. They are been unable to work directly with its own employees due to the language barrier that it faces. By using a company like Unisys, they could provide the infrastructure support, business service support and many other features. They offer support in English and Spanish and could help ease the burden of the local IT department. Unisys could also implement a Cloud, in which the entire company could use to help transfer information to and from different locations. “Business forces have caused IT to try to figure out how to provide flexible services faster, but, without large, up front investments. Unisys has a number of cloud solutions for providing the necessary flexibility and responsiveness needed to achieve significant business value.” (Unisys)
A great deal of time has gone into the development of this plant, but an equal or greater part must be present in training of the employees. In order for the plant to be fully operational at the level that is required by MBC, a training program must be designed. They would benefit greatly by having management train with how BMC currently runs its operation. By also setting up a video conferencing line they could help problem solve over the computer and or phone lines helping eliminate the distance between the two plants.
Unisys: A Worldwide Information Technology Company. Web. 04 Oct. 2011. <http://www.unisys.com/unisys/>. Brown, Carol V. . "Systems Support for a New Baxter Manufacturing Company." Managing Information Technology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009. 699-703. Web.