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e-business solution planning

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Two unrelated companies are starting to plan for their respective implementations of an e-business solution.

Company A has decided to keep the scope of its e-business very small and to keep the work and time necessary to implement its e-business solution to a minimum. They are planning to implement only an ERP system without implementing other possible solutions such as customer relation management, selling chain management, and e-procurement capabilities. They have decided to keep all older (legacy) information technology solutions in place, and they will have some of their internal programmers develop interfaces to those legacy systems and databases. They have also decided to keep all business processes as they have historically been, and they merely want to automate those processes. Finally, they have decided the e-business solution will be applied only internally and will not involve any of their suppliers or selling partners.

Company B has decided to have a very broad scope for its e-business solution. They are planning to implement an integrated set of solutions for enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, selling chain management, and e-procurement. They have decided to look very hard at all existing legacy systems and databases, to see if any can be integrated directly into the new e-business environment. They have also decided to look at every high-level business process to see if any can be re-engineered to streamline their flow of information, products, and services. Finally, they plan on including their key suppliers and selling partners as integral parts of their e-business planning and solution.

Describe your views of the two planned e-business solutions--Company A and Company B. Among other things, you might consider discussing and contrasting the potential benefits, risks, and challenges of each, as well as how each company's e-business solution planning and implementation might have to be managed. You might also discuss how well each company will be positioned to meet competitive challenges after its e-business solutions are completed and operational.

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If we compare both the approaches, each one has its own merits and demerits. Let us first take A's approach. The major benefit of such an approach is its simplicity and its cost effectiveness. The scope of the project is small and the company is keeping its existing processes and systems intact, thereby minimizing training needs among the employees. However, the major disadvantage of such an approach is that it may not serve the needs of the organization and the newly implemented ERP system may not interact or operate ...

Solution Summary

Two unrelated companies are starting to plan for their respective implementations of an e-business solution.

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Analyze readiness for an e-business venture; develop a plan

Address each of the following steps that will assist you in analyzing your business' readiness for an e-business venture and aid you in developing an e-business plan. (There is no set style requirement for the plan.)

A. Describe your business:

1. What is the name of your business?

2. What is the nature of your business? Product? Service?

3. How long has your business been in operation?

B. Analyze and self-diagnose your business' readiness for e-business:

Are you in the innovator or market leader category. If most of your answers are yes, you are in the early adopter or visionary category. Which category are you in?

2. Examine your business' ability to reverse the value chain.

3. Choose a narrow focus.

C. Develop a plan for your e-business by addressing the key elements of an e-business case and business case checklist.

? How do you plan to be brand intensive rather than capital intensive?

? How do you plan to meld voice, data, and video?

? How do you plan to use innovative business designs to deliver value?

? How do you plan to meet the customer's needs?

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