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Introduction to ERP system

Discuss about the ERP System  and Planning Of  Woolworths.

The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is system software which enables various organisations to manage their day to day business activities, such as manufacturing, project management, accounting and procurement. The ERP system brings together the business process and enables a flow of data among various departments of the organisation.  By collecting shared transactional data from multiple sources eliminate duplication of data and provide data integrity with single source of truth. ERP system allows centralisation of data for the user accessing the system. The system contributes in effective decision making for the company and provides competitive advantage over others. It allows companies to bring changes in the level of performance. The system provides cross- functional business for an organisation (Nwankpa, 2015).  Beside advantages there are few disadvantages attached to ERP system, hackers find easy to hack the system privacy due to out-dated version of the system. ERP systems are prone to security vulnerabilities like DDOS Attacks (Kilic, Zaim and Delen, 2015).  This report contains the uses of ERP for an organisation and systematic approach that is used by various companies to enhance their business procedure efficiently and effectively. This report contains information regarding ERP system use by Woolworths to manage its business process.

Woolworths Group Ltd, formerly known as Woolworths Limited it is an Australian company, which was established by Percy Christmas, Cecil Scott Waine, Ernest Williams, George Creed and Stanley Chatterton in 1924. It is a second largest company in Australia in terms of revenue.  The company has retails interest throughout New Zealand and Australia. The company segment includes Australian petrol and food, New Zealand supermarket, BIGW, Endeavour Drinks Group and hotels. Woolworths Group is a largest takeaway retailer of Australia, the largest gaming poker machine operator and hotels in Australia. In 2008 the company was awarded as a 19th largest retailer in the world (Woolworths group, 2018).        

Business process is a series of steps perform by a group to achieve organisational goals and objectives. A business process can be automated or manual. This process is based on rules and policies which are to follow by the organisation strictly (Hammer, 2015).  The systematically planed business process is an asset for an organisation. As time changes there is change in business process is noticed in current scenario business process is playing very important role in the organisation. If the business process of any company is well planned and goal orientated, will create a value for business economically and provide an advantage over its competitors (Berg, and Kilambi, 2014). 

  1. Primary Process: The primary process is closely related to the value chain and the core value of the business. Primary process is a process, with the help of which the company can reach out its service and products to its clients. Primary process is very important and crucial because it is fundamental process plus it is core of the complete process, as it directly links to the clients. The main aim of this process is to add value at every level of business (Gedda, 2010). 
  2. Support Process: Support process is not directly related to the clients but it creates a favourable environment that can support or smoothen the functioning of primary process. This process does not generate value directly to the customers. Support process is important for the organisation as it include, accounting process, management process and human resource process, these processes facilitate the working of an organisation (Rouse, 2018).
  3. Management Process: As support process, the management process also not adds value to the clients. Management process is more related to analysing and monitoring of the business activities. This process deals in bring new and innovative changes in an organisation. Management process main aim is achieving and designing intangible and tangible targets as it is goal oriented process. Management process helps in creating the brand value by standing out and providing its clients a value of intangible terms (Bailey, Seymour and Belle, 2017).

Woolworths - An overview

The Woolworths business process solid foundation is there hard work and honesty in resolute. They have created down to earth culture and family friendly values. The main aspect of the business is to focus on making the lives of their customer easy, simple and better. They always take care of their team members, customers, manufactures and producers. As a result they serve almost around 28 million customers every week and have a happy family of more than 190000 team members (Reuters, 2018).       

Business requirements are the critical activity of an organisation which is performed to meet the objectives of organisation. The main goal of Woolworths is Customers first across all their brands. For that goal Woolworths wants to achieve five priorities as its business requirement these are:

  1. Building a customer and store led culture and team,
  2. Generating sustainable sales momentum in food,
  3. Evolving Drinks business to provide more convenience and value to customers,
  4. Empowering portfolio business to pursue strategies to deliver shareholders value, and
  5. Becoming a lean retailer through end to end process and systems excellence (Woolworths group, 2018). 

The change will start by building a great retail team which listen to its team members, suppliers and customers. With the use of voice of customer programme across brands, store teams and support office team the company receive daily feedback from the customers. This means that the team of company can focus every day to improve companies offer and shopping experience for the customers. The Australian Food team help in achieving the requirement of business (Reuters, 2018).      

For determine the system requirement staff members share the documents which consists the set of statements. The statement specifies the requirements of external and internal stakeholders of the company. The main aim of the system requirement is to collect the quires from the customers and evaluate the requirements. The system requirement mainly includes software and hardware devices to build an ERP system. The ERP system is all about business process transformation with modern ERP technology. So the ERP requirement should focus on defining the future state of business processes and evaluating the ERP solution against the future state business process model (Lethbridge and Laganiere, 2015). 

The ERP system make devices able to save data automatically for the user which will provide easy retrieval of information in future whenever required. The system will be reliable and will help the user in perform better.

  • Online Shopping: The online shopping option on Woolworths site enables its customers to buy products online. There are various products which are listed on the company’s online shopping site, that will provide benefits to the customers, the customers can buy and select the choice of product from the variety of products. The company provide home delivery service for the goods which are selected by the buyer. The company site also offers the option of making payment through debit and credit cards or cash on delivery which ever option suites to the customers. In this ERP system enable the customers to know each and every detail of the sites and make their works easy (Delayne, 2018). 
  • Log In/Registration: To log-in into the ERP system or on site the customer first has to register themselves, for registration the customer need to provide few personal details such as name, e-mail address, contact details, communication address, city name and few more. After providing the details the customers can log-in into the online shopping site of the company and can start shopping. And if the customer is already registered on the site they can directly log-in into a system (Delayne, 2018). 
  • Accessibility: The system can be access by users who all are register on it. The system provides a user manual which contain steps to use the system and enable better and proper use of system (Cox, 2017). 
  • Reliability: The system provides an option of auto update and auto detection of issues which will help the system to get update automatically which make the work of the user easy. This will reduce the cost of maintenance and due to that the company can gain the reliability of the user.
  • Performance: The ERP system helps in improving the performance of the employees of Woolworths. The system will enable the management to make effective decision. The system maintains the data from the starting and while making the new strategies and policies the previous data is been use by the management. The system is capable of tracking market trends and that will provide an advantage to the Woolworths over its competitors (Cox, 2017).
  • Security: Security is a most important factor of ERP system. The System of Woolworths provides a full security to its customers. The ERP system of the company is fully safe and the personal data of customers are secure with the company.
  • Accuracy: The company can fully rely on the ERP system because it data is 100% Accurate. The system provides a full efficiency in billing, payment and maintains records of the company. While using the software the data is automatically got saved in the system and that data can be used in future to make new policies or strategies. (Delayne, 2018). 

The system software is became a basic required for the almost every business as the working of the companies are spreading worldwide. The system software is different for every business, it depends on the type and need of the company. Software system increases the work efficiency of the management and staff which will really helpful in maintaining business process. It is very important for the company to select the right software and purchase the software from a well-known and authentic Vender (Dutta, Gwebu and Wang, 2017).

Business Process and Requirements of Woolworths

Selection of the software includes few steps:

  1. Objectives and goals of company: Before selecting the software it is important for the company to identify its objectives and goals, because the gaols and objectives of companies are different from each other, so while selecting the software it is important to find objectives and goals. Goals can be classified:
  • Growth Goals: In this the company will focus on the growth before selecting the software. The management will think that the motive of purchasing the software is growth or not.
  • Efficiency goal: This type of software is purchase by the company when their motive is to increase the efficiency of the business.
  • Speed to market goals: This type of software is installed by the company when they want to bring products in the market fast by satisfying all regulatory requirements and gain market share (Babic and Peric, 2014).
  1. Functional software Requirement: Every company has few common functions like marketing, accounting but in terms of function the company need to think about the details of specific industry. The need of particular industry and the company will lead the features of the functions required (Schiff, 2013). 
  2. Underlying technology and future scalability: There is been noticed many times that underlying technology of ERP system was not a primary consideration for the business. The software dominates when the company chose its system. This is because the cost of updating or changing ERP system is much higher than the price of software and in current scenario technology becomes absolutes very fast. Choosing a system which is based on new technology will give a long lasting life and it will be a better investment of the business (Smith, 2018). 
  3. Budget and resource: There is a big variation in prices is been noticed by the company in the market. The highest priced system software is five times higher than the lowest cost. Sometimes the reason of high cost is advanced functionality includes in the system software to make it more efficient. If the company want some additional or advance functions in their system they have to pay the more prices for the ERP solution. But it is not always right that more expensive is better, the company need to think about their priorities and functionalities if it not required the advance feature then they should buy the less expensive system software (Smith, 2018). 
  4. Trusted team: To implement any new ERP system in the business function the company will need to think that the person or employees who are going to manage the project or system are trust worthy or not because the system contain many internal and external details of the company and of the customers (Vaidyanathan and Fox, 2017).

After considering these steps the company can reach to the conclusion and select the software which is more appropriate for the functioning of the business. And after selecting the software the issue of selecting a right and reasonable vendor will arise. It is very important to select a right vendor for the software, vendor should be a person or company, whose software is good in functionality, effective and efficient. And whenever is assistance is required the help desk always ready to help and solve the quires (Aburub, 2015).    

The ERP software provides many benefits to the company. It deals with the day today challenges of the business and executes the business strategies. The system software ensures that the business of the company will continue to prosper and grow. The ERP system is used by the companies in every part of the world to enhance the efficiency of the business and become more productive in less time. The system can helps the Woolworths in marketing a new product in the market, creating a new business model, enhance a decision making, and maintain a good relationship with the customers. Because of these reasons the Woolworths give more priority to the ERP system and keeps on updating and employing new functions in the system (Lall and Teyarachakul, 2011).  As it is not possible for the employees to maintain the huge amount of data manually on daily basis as the size of company is big, hence the primary and secondary data of the company is also be in huge numbers. To manage these types of records the company need ERP system.

Woolworths is utilising ERP system to improve the business efficiency:

  1. Fosters Communication and Problem Solving: A proper Communication between the team members is necessary for the business. There should be no space for miscommunication is to be left, due to which the company will suffer a loss. Miscommunication may lead to complexity in the working of the business and reduce the productivity of the business. To solve this type of problem Woolworths introduce the system of video conferencing. As the company is working mainly in Australia and New Zealand, and other part of world the chances of miscommunication or misunderstood of massages will rise, to reduce out these drawbacks the company has introduce the concept of video conferencing with the help of which the management will able to communicate easily and it will reduce the chances of miscommunication as the person they are talking with they also may able to see them while conversation (Ahn and Choi, 2013).
  2. Task Management: The system software enables the management and staff to manage their respective task. Basecamp and Wrike are some examples of software which provide the facility of task management. With the help of task management system software the employees can draft their schedule according to the activities associate with business. The system software also enables employees to work efficiently (Santos, Pache and Birkholz, 2015).
  3. Meet consumer requirement and expectation: The Customer are aware of what all latest technology are running in the market and if the company are not meeting the standards the customers will make a negative perception about the company. To solve these types of errors the Woolworths has introduced few ERP modules. Firstly, Research and development module which are effective enough to perform difficult calculation quickly and accurately and that will add innovation in the business. Second the Customer Relationship module which analyse and store customer data. The system allows the company to analyse the customer buying behaviour, help in tracking purchase history and enable them in plan their strategies accordingly (Lall and Teyarachakul, 2011).

To measure the effectiveness of the business process, the organisations introduce the integrated system. Every organisation wants to grow in the market by having proper economic growth and development. But most of the organisations are not able to attain the goals due to improper utilization of resources. Not only this there many factors which are affecting the working of the organisation. To improve the condition of the business many organisation has introduced integrated system to manage their business. The integrated system allows the companies to manage the data of international clients, internal and external business process. To get the competitive advantage in the industries the Woolworths is looking forward to introduce integrated system (Karsak and Ozogul, 2010).   The better working of business will be possible with the help of ERP system. For the business of the company the ERP system is the best option and if the business is a new start up then they must introduce ERP System in their work processing. ERP is a system which is work as single process. By single process it means all the working of the company will be done on the single software there is no need to purchase different software for the business one ERP software is enough and that will increase the level of performance. There are modules which provide the ERP systems which allow business activities to perform efficiently these are:

  1. Management Integration: The ERP system enables the management level to access the complete database and there is little functionality which allows the Management level of Woolworths to restrict their employees to access complete database, and allow only that information which are useful in working of employees. This system work even when there are multiple users are working on it. The users are provided the guidelines which help them accessing the system more efficiently so that they can perform their assign functions properly (Shen, Chen and Wang, 2016).
  2. Cost Benefit: ERP enables the system software to performed functions which are cost efficient with the help of Inventory Management. The inventory management system manages the cost that is used to by company to purchase its resources. The operating cost will reduce as it builds a communication between the different departments like sales, marketing and accounts. The ERP system increases the efficiency of the business (Kilic, Zaim and Delen, 2014).
  3. Strategic Planning: As the ERP system manages the complete data of the company it will help Woolworths in making the new strategies. The system helps in identify the target market and target audience for the company which will help the business to expand and grow in the market. The ERP brings the communication between the external and internal sources of market (Zach, Munkvold, and Olsen, 2014).

Software Selection for Woolworths

Out dated system and integration of issues: There are new versions lunched by the software provider time to time according to the market requirements and conditions. If the software is out date it will become unsupportive to perform a business activates (Tenhiala and Helkio, 2015).

Loss of data control: There are many experts hackers are available in the market that can enter into the system of the company and can harm the data or can change the actual data. The company can loss there data if the system got interrupted.

Delayed Update: As discussed earlier that hacker can enter into a system, for that the company need to update its complete system time to time to reduce the chances to getting hacked (Tenhiala and Helkio, 2015).          

Major issue for Woolworths was to implement a risk free ERP system:

  1. Demand-Driven MRP: It will help Woolworths in analysing the demand of its products and increase the reliability in supply chain. Customer behaviour and marketing trends can be analysed with the help demand driven manage risk which will fulfil the demand of customers (Efe, 2016).
  2. Automate record: The system provides the facilities of maintain the data of company automatically. The company can rely on the on the system software for the authentication of data as it helps in maintaining daily transition of sales marketing and supply chain (Ali and Miller, 2017).  
  3. Financial Control: The finance is the most important part of the company everything depends on the availability of the finance. Using the business analytics tool, the manager can check the transition details of its finance and accounting department (Nwankpa, 2015).

Conclusion

To conclude, as competition arise in market, the ERP system software is been introduced by Woolworths to improving the quality of its business process and for making better strategic decision. The ERP system makes the working of the company quick and easy that will increase the efficiency of the business. Woolworths in current marketing condition focusing on improved and updated ERP system which will help business in generating more profits and help in maintaining good customer relationship.

References

Aburub, F. (2015) Impact of ERP systems usage on organizational agility: An empirical investigation in the banking sector. Journal of Information Technology & People, 28(3), pp.570-588.

Ahn, B.S. and Choi, S.H. (2013) ERP system selection using a simulation-based AHP approach: a case of Korean homeshopping company. Journal of the operational research society, 59(3), pp.322-330.

Ali, M. and Miller, L. (2017) ERP system implementation in large enterprises–a systematic literature review. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 30(4), pp.666-692.

Babic. Z. and Peric, T. (2014) Multiproduct vendor selection with volume discounts as the fuzzy multi-objective programming problem. International journal of production research, 52(14), pp.4315-4331.

Bailey, L., Seymour, L.F. and Van Belle, J.P., (2017) Impact of ERP implementation on the quality of work life of users: A sub-Saharan African study. The African Journal of Information Systems, 9(3), p.3.

Berg, E. and Kilambi, K. (2014) Method and apparatus to facilitate development of a customer-specific business process model. U.S: Patent 8,639,542.

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Delayne, J. (2018) Business Requirements Document: A High-level Review. [Online] Available from https://www.isixsigma.com/implementation/project-selection-tracking/business-requirements-document-high-level-review /[ Accessed on 25 May 2018].

Dutta, D.K., Gwebu, K.L. and Wang, J. (2017) Strategy and vendor selection in IT outsourcing: is there a method in the madness?. Journal of Global Sourcing Of Services: Strategies, Issues and Challenges 6, pp.451-477.

ERP Benefits for Woolworths

Efe, B. (2016) An integrated fuzzy multi criteria group decision making approach for ERP system selection. Journal of Applied Soft Computing, 38, pp.106-117.

Gedda, R. (2010) Woolworthss adds BPM to supply chain. [Online] Available from https://www.computerworld.com.au/article/210094/Woolworthss_adds_bpm_supply_chain/ [Accessed on 25 May 2018].

Hammer, M. (2015). Handbook on Business Process Management. pp. 3-16. Available from: https://www.springer.com/in/book/9783642450990#aboutBook. [Accessed on 25 May 2018].

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Karsak, E.E. and Ozogul, C.O. (2010)  An integrated decision making approach for ERP system selection. Journal of Expert systems with Applications, 36(1), pp.660-667.

Keynes, M. (2018) How to Write a Business Requirements Document. [Online] Available from https://www.requirementsnetwork.com/documents.htm [Accessed on 25 May 2018].

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Kilic, H.S., Zaim, S. and Delen, D. (2015) Selecting “The Best” ERP system for SMEs using a combination of ANP and PROMETHEE methods.  Journal of Expert Systems with Applications, 42(5), pp.2343-2352.

Lall, V. and Teyarachakul, S. (2011) Enterprise resource planning (ERP) system selection: a data envelopment anaysis (DEA) approach. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 47(1), pp.123-127.

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