Relying on "snail mail" or U.S. Postal Service delivered mail is a huge competitive disadvantage as well. In short there needs to be a much greater level of decentralization of both order capture, order management, and the use of information throughout the company. The company's highly centralized organizational structure is constricting its ability to move information to the departments most in need of it to compete in the market.
Management Plan for Improving Healthlite's Business
The following management plan defines the list of objectives, timeframes, major milestones, and an assessment of the plans' costs and benefits for creating an entirely new distributed order management system throughout Healthlite Yogurt Company. While this specific plan details how a distributed order management system is critical for Healthlite to remain competitive, a recommended second phase is to look at creating a single consolidated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that coordinates and synchronizes production across all seven processing centers to ensure the highest level of efficiency. The proposed distributed order management system must also be combined with a portal-based platform that allows for the sales force to create, edit and deliver quotes, pricing exceptions and order status reports directly to customers electronically as well.
List of Objectives
To create a distributed order management system that links all seven processing centers and provides for real-time integration of pricing updates, price exception handling, quoting, and availability checking of product stocks by sales personnel.
To design the distributed order management system to also allow for members of the Healthlite supply chain management and planning organizations to also have visibility into existing inventory and planned incoming shipments from suppliers.
To provide marketing with analytics that provide insights into how pricing decisions are impacting demand by customers in the 20 specific sales regions and also create a sustainable pricing model to ensure Healthlite gets the maximum margins possible on their products.
To provide sales with a portal that has a series of applications included that give members of this department the flexibility of creating quotes, creating pricing exceptions, checking on the status of orders, tracking customer order history, and getting visibility into when large orders will ship for customers. In addition, many automated tools for managing multiple accounts will be included in the portal, integrating real-time order management applications along with customer relationship management (CRM) applications to make it possible for members of the sales force to get as much done electronically as possible. This will free up the sales force to spend more time with customers in person, getting more sales.
The timeframe for replacing the existing manually-based centralized order management system is six months, and this includes re-engineering and defining the processes that today are making Healthlite so uncompetitive and unresponsive in the market. The creation of the sales-based portal will take an additional sixty days. The entire projects' duration will be eight months.
The following are the major milestones for the implementation of a distributed order management and sales portal for Healthlite Yogurt Company:
Process Structure Assessment - the existing state of the processes are analyzed and presented in this first major milestone of the project.
Process Redefinition and Systems Analysis - This phase concentrates on revising existing manual processes to be more efficient while at the same time analyzing all existing systems to see how they can be made more effective. The resulting analysis of these two steps leads to the development of the systems requirements plan.
Definition of systems requirements plan - the intent of this plan is to define how the components of the plan will be aligned to the needs of the marketing, manufacturing, sales, supply chain and pricing departments.
Scoping of distributed order management system based on systems requirement plan
Scoping of Sales Portal based on systems requirements plan
Coding and Quality Assurance of Distributed Order Management and Sales Portal
Beta Testing of Applications
Formal Launch of the Two Applications
Assessment of the Plan's Costs and Benefits
The following are the costs associated with both programs:
Distributed Order Management System and sales portal
Distributed order management system and portal
It is assumed that the distributed order management system will cost $400,000 to acquire as Healthlite is