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Business Systems Overview For Riordan Manufacturing Information Technology Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Information Technology
Wordcount: 2273 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The triumph of an organization can be very intricate if a business allow it to be. To be successful means establishing a compatible enterprise resource planning system (EDR) that supports the people, procedures and technologies that collectively process store and distribute information. These components assist the organization administration in the decision-making process, streamlined business practices, and protect the organization from making costly financial mistakes. A common mistake seen in most businesses is that they spend less money and little time investing in their intranet and Internet sites.

When an organization has an understanding of the effect and responsibility that goes into management of information systems and technology then they will have a complete understanding of why in today’s world information systems play an important role in any company.

The Internet and intranet sites of Riordan manufacturing is one of many issues plaguing this company. The intention of the service request is to provide a clear analysis of the existing environment and to provide guidance for the upcoming development of Riordan manufacturing Company. While keeping the company’s budget in mind our team plans to implemented a long-term plan that will not only be beneficial to Riordan manufacturing company but also cost efficient.

Business Systems Overview for Riordan Manufacturing

Executive Summary

Today Riordan Manufacturing has a combined paper and basic electronic inventory tracking system. This tracking system is antiquated by today’s standards of integrated information management. Manual interfacing is error prone. Opportunities exist to automate the entire inventory control process. Automation would significantly reduce man hours expended, increase accuracy, reduce shelf-time for inventory, and significantly enhance reporting. Supplementing the existing on-site product review process with web-based technology providing a secure, user-friendly environment, would significantly increase customer satisfaction and project Riordan Manufacturing as the clear industry leader in innovation.

Riordan Manufacturing has three operating locations: Georgia, Michigan and California and a joint venture in China. Every location has financial and accounting system. There is no connection or synchronization between each location.

In order to remain competitive the company needs to continue to develop different designs. The survival of the company depends on new designs and products, so it is crucial that Riordan continue to revise their range and design of products, especially due to the technology changes and development, as well as the continued changes in preferences from customers. Research has shown that companies who have a persistent research and development strategy will more than likely outperform a company that doesn’t take the time to invest in a research development program. Team D qualified project management team will work hand-in-hand with Riordan executives to accomplish this goal.

Operations Review – Current Systems in Use

Riordan Manufacturing’s Research and Development team is continually reviewing new technologies and concepts. Their current product review system requires on-site meetings to physically review the product. The current information management system will not support web-based virtual reviews without extensive enhancement.

Inventory Management and Control is comprised of paper charts and basic computer programs. The inventory control process entails completing hard-copy forms for “raw materials received,” “orders received,” “raw materials usage”, “sub-assembly usage”, and “Final Product”. These hard-copy forms are given to the inventory clerk who manually enters the data into a database on a daily basis. Yearly closeout “physical inventories” are conducted to reconcile physical inventory against the database numbers.

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Customer orders arrive at Riordan Manufacturing via phone or fax. Sales staff also place orders for customers. Sales orders are entered into a customer shipping and billing database. Based on the shipping documents generated, trucks are loaded and a hard-copy document is given to the driver. Shipping documents are given to the inventory clerk for manual entry.

With the implementation of the Sigma Six on a companywide scale, there are many different business subsystems that will be addressed. The sales team is probably one of the most important components of Riordan Manufacturing. For without sales any given corporation would never be able to procure new accounts and maintain a decent revenue stream. As part of the Sigma Six upgrade to procedures there will be many new enhancements to the structure of the sales department. New software, workstations and a revision to the commissions structure just to name a few of the improvements on the docket.

After the sales team upgrades there are still some important internal systems that need analysis and revision. Inventory and delivery are essential subsystems that will be greatly improved by the new Sigma installations. All of Riordan’s factories throughout the world will be brought up to a certain inventory and fulfillment requirements.

Supply Chain management is the same at all U.S. production facilities. Yearly contracts are negotiated with customers. Customers provide release orders sporadically throughout the year as their demand fluctuates. As orders are received, stock is released from their yearly-negotiated total. China’s plant operates as a decentralized unit of Riordan. It prepares its own sales forecast and sets the production schedule accordingly.

The Research and Development team at San Jose utilize a Post Project Review system used to track “projected” versus “actual” numbers. Data tracked includes budget, staffing, effort estimates, work product size estimates, scheduling, and requirement changes, rework statistics, production quality targets, and risk assessment. Survey templates, progress, and goal scorecards are also incorporated in the system.

Opportunities for Improvement at Riordan

Riordan Manufacturing has some major obstacles with its systems. Most of the departments do not have a fully functioning system to keep track of the data. In fact, most of it is done using paper and pencil. In a company that needs to keep track of raw materials, income, profits, and personnel, there is no possible way they can continue running this business on paper.

In the finance and accounting departments, each facility has their own system, each very different from the other. All of the information collected at the facilities is supposed to send the information to the main office in San Jose, but because the systems are not compatible with one another, they have to send it via hard copy. Then when it gets to the San Jose facility, they have to enter in the information into its system, which is very time consuming.

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The HR department does have a Human Resource Information System that keeps track of pay rates, hire dates, and vacation hours. However, there are some problems with maintaining this system. It is located only at the San Jose office, and as a result, if information needs to be updated, the managers from each of the other facilities will send the changes to the payroll clerk via hardcopy. Sending important information like this via the post office does not seem very secure. There is not a centralized location for the employee files. The HR department should keep all of this information together, but the managers in each office keep this information. The Legal department does not have any type of system in place.

The information for the sales and marketing departments are kept on microfiche and paper. They now have a CRM system, and are attempting to enter this information on paper and microfiche into this system. The individual sales associates keep the customer information, and they can keep this information in whichever format they would like. This makes it hard to find information about a particular customer when needed.

Riordan Manufacturing uses an inventory control system to keep track of all the supplies coming in, what materials are being used, and how much. Unfortunately, inputting this information is not an automated process. Currently Riordan Manufacturing has an inventory clerk who receives all the documents from the various departments determining what was received and what was used. He then manually enters this information into the inventory system. This obviously is not an ideal way of entering the information into the system. With information being passed along from one person to another, there has to be errors in the data.

Riordan also does not have a system for forecasting or estimating future product needs. Without a good system, they will not be able to know how much raw materials they need for the following year, and it could cause problems if they do not have enough. They also do not have a system to keep track of the Project Reviews or Scorecard Progress Reports. These reviews and reports are designed to find any problems with certain projects, and they try to resolve these problems, so the next project will run more smoothly. If they do not have a good system to keep this information, they may lose what they wrote down, and they will not be able to use the resolutions they discussed for the next project.

Overall, the Operations Department has a very poor system to track what is coming in, being used, what is discussed, and how the operations as a whole, are doing. There needs to be some tactical system changes to the Operations department to keep up on all the product demands.

Proposal to Optimize Operations at Riordan

Riordan Manufacturing has achieved outstanding results with aging and non-integrated systems. Team D has structured a proposal to collaborate the business and manufacturing expertise of Riordan Manufacturing with Team D technical solutions to allow Riordan to lead the industry in custom plastic molding manufacturing well into the 21st century. Team D identifies three major steps to take manufacturing and sales to the next level:

Phase 1. Design and develop

Phase 2. Implement automation of inventory management and manufacturing

Phase 2. Enterprise contact management sales, marketing and fulfillment solution

In order to accomplish this task Riordan must create a budgetary culture that understands the necessity to leverage existing market expertise into future growth. Riordan should allow 3 years to complete the recommendations listed. This three-phased strategic approach will power efficiency gained through phased rollout measures into the complete restructuring of Riordan’s technology.

Phase 1. Team D will do a comprehensive market, business, and technical analysis to insure designs and developments for Riordan, based on best practices, and meet the mission, vision, and values of the Riordan executive team. Team D’s professional services group will manage, collaborate, and consult with all Riordan business groups to develop the automation RFID and architecture of the inventory control and manufacturing solution written in the .NET framework.

Phase 2. The second initiative is have Team D’s professional services group implement the custom scalable inventory control solution. Infrastructure for systems will be required; the four U.S. production facilities will require technology upgrades to Windows compatible environment on all servers and desktops, all database components will be Microsoft SQL. Inventory control systems will be RFID enabled, purchasing will need to re-negotiate with suppliers to RFID all incoming inventory. Strict processing and purchasing controls should be stratified into inventory movement points to track use, thereby reducing the amount of inventory residing at Riordan’s fulfillment centers. The manufacturing process should be tailored to maximize the current quality control system and add the functionality of monitoring pieces in the production line.

Phase 3. Riordan will purchase and integrate Microsoft Dynamics GP to organize and centralize contact management, reduce office paper traffic, increase workforce productivity and provide the necessary infrastructure to manage HR, Finance and Accounting and Collaboration tools for Riordan’s front and back office groups. Microsoft Dynamics will fully integrate with the RFID inventory control system to provide dashboard controls to management about inventory, manufacturing, sales, and fulfillment. Significant improvements in business processes will be tailored to make best use of the new technology.


Riordan Manufacturing has proven to be a capable and lean competitor in the plastics manufacturing market, the same innovative thinking that made Riordan a global force can be used to propel them to the next level. Through a multi-phased technology rollout, Team D and Riordan can optimize efficiency and enterprise output to fulfill fresh contracts as they materialize. Team D’s recommended solutions are fully scalable using of both mainstream and forward thinking environments, which are both robust and open.


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