B&R, Inc., is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of consumer products, including household cleaning supplies and health and beauty products. Last year, net sales revenues exceeded $5 billion. B&R has multiple information systems, including an integrated accounting system, a computerized manufacturing information system, and a supply chain management software system. The company is considering an ERP system to be able to conduct more of its business over the Internet. B&R hired National Consulting Firm (NCF), and NCF recommended the move to an ERP system, which would have e-commerce interfaces that will allow B&R to sell its products to its business customers through its Web site. The cost-benefit justification for the new software, which comes with an estimated price tag of $100 million (including consultant fees and all implementation and training costs) shows that B&R can expect great cost savings from improved business processes that the ERP system will help the company to adopt. NCF implements the ERP, adopting the industry’s best practices for many of the business processes.
a. What are the likely advantages of an ERP system for B&R?
b. Visit the Web sites of the major ERP vendors. What are some of the characteristics you notice about their customers?
c. B&R has heard some horror stories from other CEOs about ERP implementations. What are some of the concerns B&R should address as they move forward with this project?