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Cisco Corporation and Factory Overview

1.Using the web, research some background information on Cisco factories - What do they do? What do they produce?

Research information on setting up a factory in Vietnam and Nigeria – consider Cisco markets, who their customers are, economic and non-economic factors such as Economy, Politics, Infrastructure, Competence, and Cultural dimensions. See for example Google search parameters: “offshoring to Nigeria”, “culture and work in Nigeria”, “offshoring to Viet-Nam”, and “culture and work in Viet-Nam”.

https://www.vlerick.com/en/research-and-faculty/knowledge-items/knowledge/how-cultural-differences-can-have-a-positive-impact-on-the-success-of-offshoring-initiatives

http://www.everyculture.com/To-Z/Vietnam.html

http://www.everyculture.com/Ma-Ni/Nigeria.html

2.Your analysis can be presented in a table format similar to the one below.

3.Using the analysis you have conducted and in no more than 200 words for each country, provide an overall review of each country’s potential as the best location for the new factory.

4.Based on the analysis and review, recommend the country you would select for the new factory and in 400 words, justify your selection.

Example of table to summarise analysis of the two countries

 

Economy

Politics

Infrastructure

Education

Competence

Culture

Nigeria

 [add text here for strengths/

weaknesses]

[add text here for strengths/

weaknesses]

[add text here for strengths/

weaknesses]

[add text here for strengths/

weaknesses]

[add text here for strengths/weaknesses]

[add text here for strengths/

weaknesses]

Vietnam

 [add text here for strengths/

weaknesses]

[add text here for strengths/

weaknesses]

[add text here for strengths/

weaknesses]

[add text here for strengths/

weaknesses]

[add text here for strengths/

weaknesses]

[add text here for strengths/

weaknesses]

4.1 Additional sites that could be useful depending on the approach taken

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/220198747_The_Impact_of_Cultural_Differences_in_Offshore_Outsourcing_Case_Study_Results_from_German-Indian_Application_Development_Projects

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/d953/43eec927f569eb045f15802502628026fb5e.pdf

http://shura.shu.ac.uk/6465/1/Crone_-_Service_offshoring_and_cultural_difference_(AIB-UKI_conference_version%2C_with_minor_changes).pdf

Task-2

For this task we need to:

Read the two papers provided. There may be sections in the papers that we find hard to understand, especially in terms of the research methods used in the analysis. We will assume that these have been carried out with competence.

For paper “What is ERP?”, please note the following:

  • Read Sections 1.1 (first paragraph); Section 2, 2.1; Section 4 (first paragraph), 4.2, 4.3, 4.4.
  • Give a brief introductory statement on your understanding of what ERP is.
  • Comment on the meaning of the following:

a) The dream of integration was too complex for in-house development

b) A desire to fulfil the promise of BPR / move to a process-orientation/recognition of ‘best practices’
c) Best practice' process models
d) A need to integrate across functions for competitive success
e) Cross-functional integration (intra-organisation)
f) Cross-enterprise business processes (inter-organisation)
g) Componentization of ERP

For paper “Developing an ERP Triggered Business Process Improvement Cycle from a Case Company”, please note the following:

  • Evaluate the information provided in the paper. In particular, take note of what the paper claims it will do and why, how the paper is going to achieve what it set out to do, what the findings reported in the discussion section (if there is one) are, and what the paper concluded.
  • Based on the evaluation, we then adopt a position statement on the relevance of some of the benefits related to ERP adoption.

Some suggestions that may be helpful for paper “Developing an ERP Triggered Business Process Improvement Cycle from a Case Company”

1.Paper description:

a. describe and list key (most essential) ideas/points

b. what are the main contributions?

2.Detailed comments on the paper

a. what did we learn reading the paper?

b. what are the technical points that we appreciated?

3.What are the most compelling reasons of why we like this work?

a. It adds to our knowledge domain (how)

b. It puts into perspective what we’ve learned in the course (provide examples)

c. It provides empirical evidence supporting the theories covered in the course (be specific)

4.Comments on related work:

a. how does the paper relate to other works/projects/readings covered in the course?

5.Does the paper leave unanswered questions?

Cisco Corporation and Factory Overview

TASK 1

Cisco incorporation was founded with an aim to promote and provide digital platforms. What they do in Cisco factories is to provide a wide range of products in the field of networking as well as technical services provision.

The factory has been there for;

  • Operational technology
  • Global IT networking
  • Increasing visibility
  • Operations intelligence
  • Global supply chain

The organization is also recognized for their corporate social responsibility which is accomplished by providing education to the communities encompassing their facilities, provision of financial aid and supporting sports and entertainment (Collier and Evans, OM6). Cisco has collaborated with different companies to ensure that they provide quality products and services, by so doing; the company has set up its factories in multiple locations (Australia et al., 2018). As the supply chain manager in Cisco incorporation, I would wish to conduct an analysis of where the next factory that will be located in either one of the two shortlisted countries i.e. Vietnam and Nigeria.

Economy

Politics

Infrastructure

Education

Competence

Culture

Nigeria

There has been a recent development of the Nigerian economy a factor that makes the country have countless entrepreneurship opportunities. Over the decades, investors have viewed Nigeria as an entrepreneurial hub in Africa. This is because the country is developing and it has a large population that has potential to make the country a stable marketplace. However, the Nigerian economy faces recession and inflation severally, therefore investing hugely in such a country can be perilous hence the market can endure tremendous losses as a result of economic recession (Radwan and Strychacz, 2010).

Nigerian political state is stable as compared to other countries in Africa, however, the country faces challenges emanating from political practices that ooze from corruption and unscrupulous political acts that can scare away investors.

The infrastructure in Nigeria is swiftly growing. As a result, the economic growth has sky-rocketed despite the political challenges, this has contributed to the increase in the cost of living, however, and Nigeria is still the second leading country in terms of infrastructural development in Africa.

Nigeria              Despite that 70% of Nigerians speak fluent English; a recent study has shown that Nigeria literacy level stands at 56.9%, suggesting that 70% of Nigerians are uneducated, However, the government has executed approaches to restrain the illiteracy levels and slow progress has been seen.

Education is the pillar of competence, holding that almost half of the Nigerian adults in the population cannot read or write fluently they often cannot be competent or liable in any given situation.    

Just like any other African country, Nigerians are still conservative with their archaic cultures and religious beliefs that make them lag behind and worsen the rate of illiteracy. The recent world is a technologically advanced world where one of two people must be technologically literate, which is not the case in Nigeria due to retrogressive cultures and beliefs(Everyculture.com, 2018).

Vietnam

    Vietnam has had a remarkable economic growth over the past few decades. A research conducted in 2017 portrayed Vietnam rapid increase in export-oriented manufacturing, as a result, the growth has expanded trade and manufacturing. However, Vietnam economy will still struggle with inflation but at moderate levels which are less risky for investors.

The Vietnamese government is aiming to adopt a democratic and civilized society that will develop equality in all its citizens. Currently, the political situation in Vietnam is stable and favorable for investors (Australia et al., 2018).

       Vietnam infrastructure in rapidly improving, According to infrastructural forecasters, in the next 5 years Vietnam will have developed very significantly in terms of infrastructure, However, the Vietnam war which has affected its growth in the past few decades has left permanent impressions on the infrastructure which could take a long time to heal(Lawrence, 2007).

   Vietnam is developing in every aspect. The education sector in Vietnam has eradicated illiteracy and led to 98% literacy level, meaning that 80% of the population in Vietnam are educated and are accountable for laudable positions, the schools in Vietnam courtesy of the ministry of education have improved and advancing (Laderman, 2009).

Owing to the fact that the illiteracy level in Vietnam has been curbed with the largest percent, most of the youths in Vietnam are qualified and can handle leadership positions conveniently.

Apart from religion, most of the Vietnamese cultures are based on etiquette, Unlike most Asian and African countries Vietnam communities are nit conservative with their cultures, due to the rapid growth of the country in terms of education, technology, and infrastructure, a large number of the population is shifting to modern ways (Everyculture.com, 2018).

Architecture of Cisco Connected Factory

 

                                                                

My recommendation on the country to set-up Cisco factories is Vietnam because Vietnam has portrayed great potential that can see the company to its success within a short period of time. Regarding that Cisco is a company that is technologically oriented, if  the education growth in Vietnam is focused on technological trends, this  can lead to provision of  a huge workforce for the factory hence improving the human capital and reducing labor costs. In addition, the Vietnamese economy has implemented efforts to support foreign investors by creating favorable conditions to enable the investors to trade import and export goods, Besides the government has promised to provide security and remove tariffs that may be hindering he investors from carrying their operations(Australia et al., 2018).

Task 2

ERP is packaged application software. It refers to Enterprise Resource Planning systems, its main purpose in business is to integrate a comprehensive range of business processes and provide the organization with a holistic I.T and automated information system hence allow businesses to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. ERP is considered a commodity rather than a service, moreover, ERP can be regarded as a development objective of outlining and mapping all the business processes and information. In addition, the commodity can be viewed in the approach of an infrastructural system that delivers solutions to businesses (Huang et al., 2001).

Economy

a) The dream of integration was too complex for in-house development

A company that has its own staff programmers might find the implementation of ERP systems too complex. In-house development can be described as the process of organizations hiring or training their staff to develop software applications internally. The implementation of in-house development might be a difficult task in organizations this is because it requires thorough staff training, secondly in-house development requires the organization to update its technology hence it involves specialized implementation process. Thirdly, in-house development might be unhelpful for organizations that hasten to see the results of any strategy implemented, this is because it requires time to mature and begin being effective. Finally, implementation of in-house development will require the appropriate resources to be put in place this means the organization has to have the financial muscle to execute the implementation processes (Rashid, Hossain and Patrick, 2002).

b) A desire to fulfill the promise of BPR / move to a process-orientation/recognition of ‘best practice

Business Process Reengineering is the process of rethinking the business practices and restructuring them, with an objective to reduce costs and improve productivity. BPR holds major benefits, a desire to fulfill the BPR promises basically means the need to accomplish the objectives of restructuring existing business process. Further, the process that has been adopted must be the best practices for the company that will ensure its productivity.

c) Best practice' process models

Best practices are described as human resource strategies that have positive impacts on the organization's performance. Various practices can be adopted in an organization, for instance, information and management strategies such as ERP can be very useful in an organization.

d) A need to integrate across functions for competitive success

This is the essence to integrate business processes that are the main functions of an organization with an aim to leverage success. Competitive advantage is obtained from business functions that are reliable and appropriate for the business to compete with other organizations. Different functions in organizations are implemented differently if the functions are interlinked conducted and linked together they might enable the business to achieve maximum productivity.

e) Cross-functional integration (intra-organization)

Cross-functional integration is defined as the interaction and collaboration of multiple operations with other functions, such as product development, production, and marketing. Research profoundly insinuates that the functional order of priorities by mutual approval leads to an increased possibility of achieving competitive advantage. Consequently, certain functions integration with other functions is essential to effectively address the marketing and consumer needs as well as objectives that support the organization in achieving its overall competitive targets.

Politics

f) Cross-enterprise business processes (inter-organization)

Inter-organizational integration is referred as the integration of different functions in two different organizations. Both businesses that are integrating their functions have to be at similar technological levels. However, one of the main challenges is the modeling and specification of inter-organization processes especially in supply and management

g) Componentization of ERP

Componentization is the process of breaking down resources into separate reusable sections that can be easily recombined. To improve the reconstruction and evolution of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, a methodology of Business Process-driven Componentization of ERP (BP ERP) was developed. The meaning of BP ERP was discussed. A meta-model of business process was built and the steps of business process modeling were given. Furthermore, business components of ERP were classified and acquired. To improve operation capability of component assembly-based ERP construction, a software asset reuse-based hierarchical platform for constructing ERP systems was developed (MIPRO, 2018).

The relevance of some of the benefits related to ERP adoption

Enterprise Resource Planning has enabled companies to easily manage workflow management information connecting internal and external organizations that are either out-sourcing or off-shoring partners. Organizations such as Epicor that are leading providers of ERP software solutions allow a variety of organizations in America manage their accounting and monitor their marketing operations (Huang et al., 2001). The corporation basically automates the system of a company and innovates the information systems in the entire organization with an aim to enable organizations to accomplish their marketing objectives as well as leverage management. Companies globally are compelled to adopt the use ERP strategy, currently, most organizations that are successful worldwide have subscribed to the technical approach. As a result, the organizations have been experiencing endless possibilities. Nonetheless, many organizations fear the adoption of ERP systems for their tremendous challenges involved in the installation processes and enactment.

Process Improvement Cycle from a Case Company
1. Paper description: The paper focused on ERP and how it is implemented, it further has a detailed analysis of the benefits of ERP in an organization.
a. describe and list key (most essential) ideas/points

Definition of ERP

Evolution of ERP

Limitations of ERP

b.what are the main contributions? 

Business automation

Organizational functions

2. Detailed comments on the paper 

This is generally a perfect paper with a distinct principal idea. The details were well explained hence clear to understand, in addition, the writer provided very persuasive and formal content that passes useful information throughout the paper.  Perhaps the length of discussion of various complex words could be shortened.
a. what did we learn reading the paper? 

Infrastructure

The paper was very educative, it provides an insight on business process explains the benefits of ERP and its limitations. On question three the writer predicts and explains the developments that can be experienced on ERP systems and its relation with cross-functional processes.
b. what are the technical points that we appreciated? 

3.What are the most compelling reasons of why we like this work?

While different organizations are taking the step of automating business and engaging in productive business processes, much information will need to be shared to people globally on the systems that are being invented, most of the people still use convectional business practices that are futile. This work is very helpful in providing the relevant information in major areas that comprise business operations.

a. It adds to our knowledge domain

The information provided in the paper gives the reader a profound knowledge on different aspects in businesses. Various topics have been covered such as business automation by the use of ERP, Intra-organizational functions as well as inter-organizational functions that business can adopt to achieve productivity

b. It puts into perspective what we’ve learned in the course (provide examples) 

The course we learnt generally entails a large percentage of what is discussed in the paper. Firstly the paper has discussed the topic of supply chain management which was a major topic on the course.
c. It provides empirical evidence supporting the theories covered in the course (be specific) 
the paper provides a brief explanation of how ERP has evolved over the past few decades beginning from the field of computer hardware. In the 1960S this was when ERP began emerging significant focus as it was seen having potential benefits on management and transferring information. It further provides examples of organizations that have automated its process and implemented ERP systems as well as organizations that are vendors of application soft wares.

4.Comments on related work: 
a. how does the paper relate to other works/projects/readings covered in the course? 

The paper covers a number of topics on businesses practices that can lead to sustainable competitive advantage.
5. Does the paper leave unanswered questions?

The paper is clear and detailed, no question is unanswered.

References:

Grabot, B., Maye?re, A. and Bazet, I. (2008). ERP systems and organisational change. London: Springer.

Huang, J., Newell, S., Pan, S. and Poulson, B. (2001). ERP Systems Implementation: a Knowledge-focused Perspective. Journal of Decision Systems, 10(1), pp.99-117.

MIPRO. (2018). PeopleSoft Accounting Software. [online] Available at: https://www.miproconsulting.com/what-we-do/solutions/peoplesoft-financial/peoplesoft-accounting-software/ [Accessed 1 Jun. 2018].

Rashid, M., Hossain, L. and Patrick, J. (2002). The Evolution of ERP Systems: A Historical Perspective. New Directions for Evaluation, 2002.

Australia, A., Philippines, A., Malaysia, A. and Vietnam, A. (2018). What Makes Offshoring in Vietnam the Ideal Destination? | AS White Blog. [online] Aswhiteglobal.com. Available at:

Everyculture.com. (2018). Culture of Nigeria - history, people, clothing, traditions, women, beliefs, food, customs, family. [online] Available at: https://www.everyculture.com/Ma-Ni/Nigeria.html [Accessed 31 May 2018].

Everyculture.com. (2018). Culture of Vietnam - history, people, clothing, traditions, women, beliefs, food, customs, family. [online] Available at: https://www.everyculture.com/To-Z/Vietnam.html [Accessed 31 May 2018].

Laderman, S. (2009). Tours of Vietnam. Durham: Duke University Press.

Lawrence, M. (2007). The Vietnam War. New York: Oxford University Press.

Radwan, I. and Strychacz, N. (2010). Developing an Africa Off-shoring Industry the Case of Nigeria. The Case of Nigeria.

Bradley, J. (2008). Management based critical success factors in the implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning systems. International Journal of Accounting Information Systems, 9(3), 175-200.

Kallunki, J. P & Silvola, H. (2011). Impact of enterprise resource planning systems on management control systems and firm performance. International Journal of Accounting Information Systems, 12(1), 20-39.

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