Raytheon CIO Rebecca Rhoads was tapped earlier this year to lead the defense contractor's newly formed Global Business Services unit, whose goal is to improve operations and services by optimizing resources.
In a global mobile environment, organisations are looking for ERP systems that do more than integrate with a legacy system. But with so many solutions available, how do you choose the software that's right for your enterprise? IT executives and ERP experts offer 11 tips to get a return on your software investment.
As if data quality and stockouts weren’t enough of a day-today worry for CIOs, added pressure to serve demanding online customers and keep up with changing legislation are creating new challenges. With several retail giants lumbering online and the looming introduction of the government’s new carbon tax, CIOs need to be working with procurement, financial and other business leaders to ensure supply-chain systems are up to today’s new challenges.
If supply chain experts can spend so much time and effort improving efficiency and still have more work to do, how are smaller companies meant to get their supply chains right? It’s not as if they have been standing still: CIOs at FMCG organisations and other companies of all sizes have long focused on using high-end supply chain management solutions to trim fat from their company supply chains. Many embarked upon massive enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementations a decade ago as they stared down the end-of-life of existing systems and the spectre of the Y2K bug. Yet while their intentions were good, the same can’t be said for the methods of resolution.
Whatever the incarnation, Enterprise Resource Planning is at the heart of every business with the world’s largest software companies are all clamouring for a piece of the action. The big vendors may scoff at the idea of an open source ERP suite, but given the success rate of traditional ERP projects, CIOs could do worse than take a look at free options. In this edition of 5 open source things to watch, we take a look at ERP suites where the barrier to entry – for testing, at least – is on the small side.
The saying goes something like this: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The statement is, of course, embraced as dogma by those fearful of change and by automobile owners praying for a reasonable bill of charge while waiting at the mechanic's garage.
In late 2008, Monsanto licensed a seed coating that helps corn, soybean and other seeds fight insects and disease during the tricky germination stage. By early 2009, company scientists had finished work on that cocktail of fungicides and insecticides, dubbed Acceleron, and the company wanted to get the coating to market in time for the 2010 planting season. "We were going after that opportunity very aggressively. If we don't hit season, that opportunity is another 12 months away," says CIO Shirley Cunningham.
Remember Aron Ralston? He was the mountain climber who, back in 2003, was forced to cut off his own arm, which was trapped under a boulder, to save his life. Ralston had recklessly hiked alone and neglected to tell anyone where he was headed. His grave six-day ordeal was extraordinary and captivating.
Since the fall of 2004, I've invested a lot of time, given way too much thought to, and probably annoyed plenty of people over all things Lost. Like a crazy, unpredictable friend in your life, the show has consumed me, frustrated me, surprised me, exasperated me and kept me on my toes.
ERP investments have long held a stranglehold on corporate IT investments. The Great Recession, however, has pushed boards and budgeting committees to examine IT spending like never before. Not surprisingly, ERP's juicy slice of the corporate spending pie has come under closer scrutiny.
Kennametal, a $2 billion maker of construction tools, has spent $10 million on ERP maintenance contracts during the past 13 years and not once could the company take advantage of upgrades, says CIO Steve Hanna. The company's implementation was too customized: The time and effort needed to tweak and test the upgrade outweighed any benefits, he says. But Hanna kept trying. Late last year, he priced the cost of consultants to help with an ERP re-implementation and was shocked by estimates ranging from $15 million up to $54 million.
Corporate IT budgets may have gotten slashed in 2009, but that apparently didn't stop companies from investing in their ERP software this year.
Lately, much of the furor encircling ERP costs has revolved around software maintenance and support fees. The global recession has forced customers of Big ERP vendors-SAP, Oracle, Lawson, Infor-to question the value they receive from the fees.
Steve Berg knows what intense pain feels like: The man has been Tasered, in fact-not because he ran afoul of the law, but as VP of IT at Taser International he's partaken in a corporate rite of passage. "It's the worst five seconds of your life," he says. "You cannot move."
According Jon Reed, ERP consultant, author and SAP analyst, there is no shortage of SAP ERP upgrade advice available to companies and IT departments today. One problem: "Most of this advice, as truthful as it is, has reached the point of cliche," Reed writes in a new report on SAP ERP upgrades.
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