RM Foods Fuels Productivity with ERP, assignment help


1) What advice would you give to RM Foods if it decided to choose a different ERP software
solution? 2) How can integrating SCM, CRM, and ERP help improve business operations at RM
Foods?i have upload 2 sample one is the sample case and the other one is sample report so you can try to make looks like it.and i have upload the article for the class so you can work on it


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Case study: How traditional ERP helped meet modern business expectations | ZDNet
Case study: How traditional ERP helped meet modern business
RM Foods took a phased approach to implementing Sage ERP X3 to minimize risk
and improve customer responsiveness.
By Guest Contributor | May 1, 2013 — 16:05 GMT (09:05 PDT) | Topic: The Evolution of Enterprise Software
By Will Kelly
RM Foods, a 50-year-old food and beverage manufacturer and distributor, has grown
from a supplier to El Torito and Acapulco restaurants into a much larger customer
base that now includes Trader Joe’s, Costco, Sam’s Club, and Whole Foods. The
company started with no functional ERP system, which put them at a disadvantage
when it came to managing and tracking their business.
In a world full of ERP implementation failures, RM Foods conducted a very successful
phased implementation of Sage ERP X3. The ERP now enables RM Foods to run its
business more profitably by increasing data accuracy with more visibility into product
and production data. This is especially critical as they transform from a food distributor
to a manufacturer. According to Michael Siegmund, president of RM Foods,
previously they had no capability for manufacturing or manufacturing resource planning
prior to the implementation.
Building a base for a successful ERP implementation
Siegmund was already familiar with Sage Software products and their approach from
his previous work as a food and manufacturing consultant. He used this experience to
his advantage in establishing the foundation for a successful ERP implementation.
Case study: How traditional ERP helped meet modern business expectations | ZDNet
Siegmund and RM Foods approached the project by adopting their operating
procedures to the software and not the other way around.
“Systems such as Sage, or any other ERP, are generally
designed to accommodate not only common industry
practices but more often than not worldwide best practices
and standards”
—Michael Siegmund, president of RM Foods
“Then you start writing code, and you get into trouble,” warns Siegmund.
“Systems such as Sage, or any other ERP, are generally designed to accommodate not
only common industry practices but more often than not worldwide best practices and
standards,” says Siegmund. “For any company to say ‘My way is better’ is the height
of conceit. It’s a whole lot easier to train users in the system then it is to rewrite code
and then find that something screwed something up and you get into a hopeless mess.”
Siegmund adds: “Not only does it become much more expensive and fraught with
errors and problems but it will take a lot longer. It’s kind of a losing proposition all in
The project team
Siegmund explains the composition of his ERP implementation team by saying it’s most
important to have people skilled with the business and how systems work within the
business that you’re in.
“I had Sage consultants, but I also had my own consultants who were knowledgeable
of the way I did things, what our business is about, and some of the unique aspects
about what we did and how we did it. RM Foods had employee representatives from
logistics, manufacturing facility, finance, and purchasing.”
This helped in instances particular to RM — like when RM Foods would lose 3
percent in yield in a particular process and then program that into the ERP routings
Case study: How traditional ERP helped meet modern business expectations | ZDNet
telling how the product is being made for proper costing.
“This helped us do the implementation is such a way that everybody in effect was
speaking the same language by talking through these interpreters who were the
The food industry consultants could talk to Sage’s consultants and both were talking in
the same language. As a result, Siegmund and his crew were able to implement the
ERP system in a short amount of time, going live in only six weeks.
“That included training, setup, and everything. We don’t have the most complex
business, but at the time we were a $120 million business so we weren’t chump change
Elements of a successful ERP implementation
RM Foods chose to do a very basic ERP implementation upfront. They wanted all of
their users using the system properly and well grounded in its form and function and
using the system the way it was intended.
After the initial phase implementation, Siegmund advises, “Once that is mastered, you
go onto the next feature or capability and prioritize as you see fit. If I were still in the
distribution business, for example, I would choose to implement a bar code scanning
device with the warehouse management system. That capability exists. If I were in mail
order retail, I might choose to implement a website capability. There are so many
things you can do, but you don’t have to do them instantaneously.”
RM Foods continues to use outside consultants on an ongoing basis to help phase in
new ERP features. Siegmund said it was almost a year before they turned on lot
control, for example.
The food industry consultants could talk to Sage’s
consultants and both were talking in the same language. As a
result, Siegmund and his crew were able to implement the
ERP system in a short amount of time, going live in only six
Case study: How traditional ERP helped meet modern business expectations | ZDNet
“We wanted to make sure that we could manage our business in a manner consistent
with the systems tracking of code dates, shelf life, and lot codes. By taking a
progressive approach we minimized risk. The chance for failure and that helped us a
Spending the time to enter the data into the system is also key. Otherwise, you only
achieve minimal function. Not entering data caused the RM Foods ERP
implementation some issues in the accounting department.
As RM Foods transitions into more of a contract food manufacturer, it plans to phase
in Sage ERP X3’s manufacturing features. According to Siegmund, “The product that
is being made is a little different to that in another manufacturing facility, and you have
to be able to account for those differences. That’s what the system is trying to help you
do. You can come in with a generic template to put around the business because that’s
what you know how to do. That’s OK, but you aren’t going to have a full solution.”
Towards success
Siegmund says the definition for project success for the implementation was a bit
clouded. Around the same time, the corporate parent was attempting to implement
Sage and failed. The failure was due to people not understanding the new system.
They responded by returning to their legacy system.
He relates, “Our implementation went smoothly. We set a timetable. Achieved it.
Turned it on and started working with it. Within three weeks I didn’t have people going
to consultants or super users with questions. No hiccups.”
He takes a long-term view of the project’s success. “Without this information it would
cause me to work in a less efficient fashion. As you have information about what you
are doing, you can tweak your operation, tweak your procedures, and become more
efficient. You can’t put a dollar figure on it. But as the business grows there would be a
limit to which I could expand and beyond that there would be a need for an ERP
Case study: How traditional ERP helped meet modern business expectations | ZDNet
The parent company of RM Foods came out of bankruptcy nearly a year ago, which
nearly killed Siegmund’s division. Post-bankruptcy growth is at triple the amount of
revenue in less than a year. Siegmund expects RM Foods to double that growth in
another year and couldn’t do it without an ERP system like Sage ERP X3 in place.
According to Siegmund, part of the food manufacturing industry is being responsive to
questions like: “Hey I need you to make cheese balls. What’s it going to cost me?”.
Formerly, they used Excel spreadsheets with a two-week turnaround time to get
quotes to prospective customers.
“The Sage ERP X3 system shortens the response time to 48 hours. The only reason it
takes that long is because I haven’t finished the routing in Sage. When that’s done it will
go down to two hours.”
The RM Foods Sage ERP X3 implementation shows how best practices, including a
phased implementation using ERP and using industry expert consultants, lead to an
ERP system that supports greater customer responsiveness and business
Tal Benamor
Krishma Bhandari
Kenneth Bauer
MNGT 337
– 1­
Maybelline began as a smalL family-owned company in 1915. This small makeup
line has grown and expanded into the number one line of cosmetics in the world today
(Maybelline, 2008). Maybelline representatives started off advertising and selling
completely by mail, until popularity of the brand initiated Maybelline’s selling in
drugstores, supermarkets, retail stores, etc. Additionally, sales representatives for
Maybelline began to work in the field and visit stores around the area to sell Maybelline’s
makeup in-person. They would also travel to the stores already selling Maybelline, and
check up on how their products were displayed, sold, and other important information
regarding the inventory of their products (Turban, pg. 70).
From the 1990’s to 2000, Maybelline sales representatives used the IVR system,
or Interactive Voice Response system, while in the field to do their work. This system
enabled them to call in their daily work activities every night after work. But eventually,
a lack of accuracy was noticed, sparking a change in information technologies.
Maybelline then employed the MSP, or Merchandising Sales Portfolio system. Through
its advanced technology, the MSP system has increased accuracy and the way of life for
reps and managers. However, despite the success of the MSP system, improvements will
continue to be made to further thc success of Maybelline sales representatives, and its
company as a whole.
IVR, or Interactive Voice Response system, allows for the capability to enter or
retrieve data through a telephone. It gives the caller automated questions to either respond
to verbally, or by pushing certain numbers on the phone that correspond with automated
responses (HR-Software, 2007). The IVR system falls under the category of more than
one information system as it represents a TPS, or Transaction Processing system: and an
MIS, or Management Information system.
A Transaction Processing system processes the transactions executed within a
company. Transactions include ordering inventory, purchasing products and materials,
providing input for other information systems, collecting data, or performing any core
operation (Turban, pg.43). IVR systems collect, store, and process the data that the
company needs to know about Maybelline’s products. The sales representatives collect
all the necessary information from the stores and the IVR system processes that
information and sends it to the managers. Transaction Processing systems are necessary
for a company because they provide all the essential data in order to perform the required
actions for the operations of a company.
Furthermore, IVR falls under MIS also known as a Management Information
system. These systems are geared towards managers; they include summaries and batches
of necessary information. Management Information systems provide the information that
the management needs in order to make key decisions regarding improvements. The IVR
system sends this necessary information to management by telephone. Management
Information systems are known to be rigid and inflexible and thus IVR responses tend to
be this way based upon their automation.
During the 1990’s, the IVR system was very popular in the Maybelline Company.
It benefited their work procedures and was a great improvement from their previous
method of direct mail. Compared to older systems, the IVR was quicker and easier. It
allowed for sales representatives to complete their work and infonn their managers of
necessary infonnation as soon as they reached a phone to call from. As a result,
transportation time and money decreased because the need to go to a post office was
eliminated. Field workers only needed to go to one place to complete their work.
Although the IVR did improve work perfonnance before the 1990s, it is no longer
in use at Maybelline today. Due to increases in technology, the inaccuracies of the IVR
responses were detected, and new ways were created so that field workers did not have to
submit completely automated responses. The automated responses only gave managers
menu-driven infonnation that did not infonn them on specifics or special cases. Also, it
was very time-consuming as employees had to listen to the entire automation on the
phone although they only needed to answer the questions that addressed their situation.
Therefore, thc IVR took up unnecessary time compared to new ways of communication
and technology, and Maybelline’s decision was to employ a new system, called the MSP
The MSP system, the Merchandising Sales Portfolio, began being used by
Maybelline in 2000, and replaced the older IVR system. Sales representatives for
Maybelline now carry around a PDA, which is a small handheld device with handwriting
capabilities. The representatives write down all of their daily activities into the POAs and
the MSP system records it, and transfcrs it into the Microsoft SQL Server at Maybelline
headquarters. The MSP system enables reps to include specitic infonnation in thcir daily
reports so that managers do not waste time listening to unrelated questions and sec only
the important infonnation that they need to know. The Microsoft SQL Server, where the
PDAS send the representative’s infonnation, is a large server that helps organize,
analyze, and report data. This data can be seen anywhere at anytime, including on mobile
devices such as PDAs (Microsoft, 2008). The Microsoft SQL Server sets the infonnation
right into the corporate intranet of the manager. where they can complete all of their
assessments on the infonnation and other necessary work.
MSP can be categorized under various infonnation systems, similar to the IVR.
An MSP system is an example of a Transaction Processing system, a Management
Infonnation system, as well as a Decision Support system. The actual PDAs are classified
as personal infonnation management systems (PIM), because they support individual
daily activities in order to make lives easier and increase productivity (Turban, pg.43).
MSP represents a TPS because it processes the data that the sales representatives
collect on the field. The difference between MSP and IVR is that the infonnation is
processed faster and more efficiently with the MSP system. The data is collected on the
PDAs, and is directly sent to the manager’s computer database. This TPS is more
advanced and flexible than the IVR because it allows for more specific data to be
The MSP system is also an example of a Management Infonnation system
because the MSP enables managers to retrieve infonnation immediately after it is sent.
The MIS gives managers summary reports, batch reports, detailed reports, and others that
display necessary infonnation to them. The MSP sends this data straight to the manager’s
computer, which allows for much easier access and much quicker response time to
The MSP system also illustrates a Decision Support system in which managers
are aided in their decision making processes. The system not only gives the managers the
infonnation they need to know, but it helps them decide what to do with that infonnation.
Decision Support systems cater to rapidly changing decisions which is necessary in the
business world. In the case of the Maybelline sales reps, the MSP system helps managers
to know what the causes are for certain situations: for example, what is affecting sales if a
product isn’t selling well (Turban, pg. 71). The managers can then take this extra
infonnation and use it to help them in their plan of action to make improvements.
The MSP system is a .b’Teat improvement for Maybelline. It offers many more
benefits than the IVR system, for both employees and managers. Due to the PDAs, and
its handwriting capabilities, the data sent to managers is much more specific and accuratc
than the automated responses of the IVR system. Because the PDAs directly send the
infonnation to the SQL Servers in Maybelline headquarters, the MSP systcm is a lot
quicker than IVR, allowing the managers to reach the important data right away. The
MSP really benefits the Maybelline sales representatives due to its efficient nature as it
reduces overtime by almost and hour. They can complete all of their reporting work
within seconds with the MSP system. Also, the elTor-checking and validation features of
the MSP decrease elTors made by representatives and their daily schedules can be sent
directly to their PDAs, all enhancing their ways of life and reducing their levels of stress.
Moreover, MSP benefits managers because they can respond to problems much
quicker than they could with the IVR. This increased efficiency for employees has
decreased turnover, saving the company money. Also, MSP takes over some of the
capabilities of EDL the electronic data interchange system. The electronic data
interchange system is the process of “computer-to-computer exchange of business
documents between companies” (CovalentWorks, 2008). MSP replaced the feature that
sent infonnation regarding inventory replacement straight to the shipping departments.
This past exchange between computers now occurs simply by scanning inventory data
into the PDAs, which in turn notifies shipping if inventory is too low once the data
reaches the database. Managers are also benefited because of the decision making
capability of the MSP system. As a DSS, MSP provides managers with the causes for
problem situations, and helps them decide how to solve them. Lastly, MSP has been
working to improve ties with retailers by figuring out the best ways of customer service.
The MSP system has been a great help to the Maybelline Company in many ways,
however there is always room for improvement. The PDAs cannot send the
representatives’ data from anywhere because it still requires internet to transmit the data
into the managers’ databases. If traveling to a computer is necessary, then transportation
time and cost will not have been reduced from when IVR was in use.
Based on the major advantages of the MSP system, there isn’t much more
improvement needed to better the lives of Maybelline workers. However, setting up a
wireless system would make the MSP even more beneficial then it already is. With a
wireless system, Maybelline sales representatives could transmit their data to Maybelline
headquarters from anywhere. Furthermore, with wireless connection, there is no need to
upload the data onto a computer first, and travel time and costs will be reduced …
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