|Acadian Furniture is a large furniture manufacturer located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It sells to furniture wholesalers across Canada and internationally. Revenues last year exceeded $50 million. Currently, the company has over 25 legacy information systems. Recently, Wendy Stewart (CIO) met with Bruce Preston (CFO) and Patricia Fisher (CEO) to discuss some technical problems occurring in these systems. Patricia noted that several competitors have implemented ERP systems, and she wondered if maybe it wasn’t time for Acadian to do the same. Wendy and Bruce agreed, with some reservations. Each had heard that Hershey couldn’t ship its candy bars one Halloween because of problems with an SAP implementation. They’d heard other horror stories as well. Bruce thought maybe a best-of-breed solution would be less costly. Patricia suggested that they all meet with a team from Warren-Williams (WW), a global consulting firm. The meeting takes place the next week. Present are Wendy, Bruce, and Patricia, as well as Clarence Martin (Analyst, WW), Rosalita Jones (Analyst, WW), and Steve Johnson (Analyst, WW). Opens the meeting. Her role is to manage the discussion and look for a decision. She talks about what she thinks an ERP might be able to do in terms of providing competitive advantages, particularly with respect to business processes. Discusses what the dollar costs and benefits of an ERP are and the expected effect on the bottom line. Explains the architecture of an ERP and explains the technical issues associated with implementing these systems. Tries to sell the project any way he can. He also tells the company representatives what his firm will do for them, the expected cost of the system, and the implementation schedule to be expected. Explains the potential risks and benefits of such a system for Acadian, focusing on the benefits. Describes the functionality of an ERP—what the various modules are and so on. He also talks about options for extending the ERP through the Internet to integrate the supply chain. This case is designed for in-class role play. Each actor and assigned support staff have 20 minutes to prepare for the meeting. The support staffers are the other class members. During the meeting, one support staff member for each role will capture the main points brought out during the meeting, relative to that role. For example, a scribe for Wendy Stewart would make a list of every technical issue brought out in the meeting. The meeting is scheduled to last approximately one half-hour.|
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