Company or Organization, Preferably Essay

Pages: 15 (5736 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business

¶ … company or organization, preferably the organization or company you work for. All below questions must be addressed

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Cincom Systems was founded in 1968 and is in the business of providing enterprise application software to the world's manufacturing, manufacturing services, and marketing services organizations globally. As a result of this primary business, Cincom has moved aggressively into offshore application development in conjunction with creating partnerships with Microsoft and SAP, an enterprise systems provider who is a leader in the field of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. The primary mission or purpose of the company is to create enterprise software applications that enable companies to be more efficient and profitable over time. This includes streamlining their quote-to-order process, manufacturing and execution systems, and service systems as well. The organizational culture is one that relies heavily on knowledge and in fact cherishes it; the company itself looks like a very large multistory library inside. The CEO and founder is an avid reader and therefore have one of the most extensive collections of books in all of the Cincinnati, OH area where the company is based. The primary strategic objectives and long-range plans of the organization are today focused on growing its Acquire Suite of channel management, sales configuration and product configuration applications in addition to growing the sales of its ERP systems as well. The role of partnerships within Cincom is to serve as the technological foundation of development, as evidenced by the heavy reliance on Microsoft for the core platform of the Acquire product line for example.

How well in your estimation is the company's present strategy working?

Essay on Company or Organization, Preferably the Organization or Assignment

At present, Cincom is struggling to gain the necessary traction in the smaller businesses that rely on channels for their majority of their revenue. The small and medium business (SMB) marketplace is difficult to penetrate as there are engrained approaches to managing channel partnerships and relationships that small business owners are reluctant to change from. There is significant resistance to change in smaller organizations as a result. Conversely, Cincom has excelled in the area of complex manufacturing processes where engineer-to-order workflows that are used for creating one-of-a-kind products are the dominant need. Companies including Trane Air Conditioning, American Power Conversion and others where the production and manufacture of highly customized capital equipment dominate their needs are where Cincom is excelling today with their Acquire suite of channel management and product configuration software. The reliance on manufacturing complexity as the pain point they based their unique value proposition on has helped Cincom weather the economic downturn better than its competitors as well. In addition to these markets, Cincom excels in the Aerospace & Defense market, where the ERP suite of applications known of as CONTROL are used for manufacturing resource planning (MRP), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and interlinking manufacturing workflows to pricing and logistics to deliver products. Cincom concentrates on the manufacturing workflows that are difficult to accomplish with off-the-shelf enterprise software. The Cincom suite of application is highly customizable for complex manufacturing processes, hence their success in more capital-intensive industries.

(NOTE I broke this into a separate question given its length)

What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of the organization? How strong, if applicable, is the company's competitive position? What strategic issues does this organization/company face in the next year? Next five years?

Cincom's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats emanate from their unique approach to defining customer engagements from a customer-centric approach first and then selectively applying software to areas where automation can provide the greatest financial impact. For Cincom their greatest strengths include a short delivery cycle for installing and implementing ERP systems, deep expertise in the areas of key success factors relating to ERP system integration success (Ngai, Law, Wat, 2008), and a solid methodology for mapping process performance to system implementation success over time, which has proven to be a critical success factor in the development of successful ERP systems (Law, Ngai, 2007). The weaknesses the company has include a difficulty in implementing ERP systems for small and medium enterprises or businesses, an area fraught with challenges due to change management and lack of system integration possibilities from a system design standpoint (Poba-Nzaou, Raymond, Fabi, 2008). Cincom also struggles to compete against open source-based ERP systems that have been able to catch on in small and medium enterprises and businesses (Johansson, Sudzina, 2008). Another weakness that Cincom has the lack of ability at managing competitive threats from vendors who rely on the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, as Cincom is entirely based on licensed, on-premise software. Despite these weaknesses the company has many opportunities, including the ability to quickly move into Web Services, which will drastically reduce implementation timeframes for ERP systems overall and also provide Cincom with entirely new revenue streams (Fei, Olson, 2007). There is also the opportunity to create distributed order management systems that can combine both services offerings and pricing in the same order as products, which is a key requirement of manufacturers who rely on indirect channels and resellers as well (McGaughey, Gunasekaran, 2007). Threats include the continued consolidation of the industry as evidenced by Oracle continuing to acquire companies, the latest being BEA Systems. There is also the threat of open source software taking more market share throughout the broader market segments Cincom excels in today (Johansson, Sudzina, 2008).

Despite these threats however the competitive position of Cincom is exceptionally strong relative to the smaller enterprise software companies it faces throughout the complex manufacturing and Aerospace & Defense markets today. Their competitive position has been strengthened by their reliance on Microsoft as a partner for development of their Acquire enterprise sales portal and associated applications. The most pressing strategic issue for 2010 is the ability to stay continually focused on pricing and not drop licensing fees in light of open source and SaaS-based competition. This would significantly impact the company's financial viability and would be incredibly risky given its value. There are significant risks and opportunities in the coming five years, with the growth of Web Services for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) being the greatest potential threat and opportunity (Fei, Olson, 2007). Web Services in enterprise computing is without question the unifying aspect of how Web 2.0 technologies (O'Reilly, 2005) will impact the enterprise. Cincom will need to have solid strategic plans going forward to make this risk into an opportunity.

The impact of globalization and the Internet presents real challenges for corporate strategic planners across the world. What is the impact of globalization and the Internet on corporations? Why is astute strategic planning a must in today's competitive business world?

The Internet set the foundation for Web 2.0 technologies (O'Reilly, 2005) and with it the growth of the groundswell effect of anyone with access to a computer and the Web being able to voice their opinions of products and services either through blogs or social networks. This has been called "the groundswell effect" (Bernoff, Li, 2008) and has significantly leveled the playing field of how companies interact with their customers. For any strategic planner this aspect of globalization, in conjunction with the fact that many nations are reacting to both the pervasiveness of the Web and globalization with a retrenchment to their core values, especially in Islamic countries (Woodward, Skrbis, Bean, 2008) shows how complex, not simple, the world is becoming from a strategic planning standpoint. Globalization is as a result forcing strategic planners to concentrate more on how they manage to navigate the significant cultural differences between countries. The use of the Cultural Dimensions Model (Hofstede, Neuijen, Ohayv, Sanders, 1990) and its continued refinement by Dr. Geert Hofstede (1993) illustrate how deeply divided regions of the world are. For strategic planning these cultural dimensions must be taken into account, regardless of the product or service delivered. These concepts of cultural relevancy in conjunction with the pervasiveness of the Web and its egalitarian influence on customers being able to say whatever they like, whenever they choose to is significantly changing the competitive landscape of virtually every industry today. This translates into the most challenging times ever for a strategic planner.

Compare and contrast extrapolation with the writing of scenarios as forecasting techniques. Why is creative thinking using scenarios, extrapolation, brainstorming, the Delphi technique or statistical modeling helpful in the strategic management process?

For any organization there must be a balance between the intuitive and often unquantifiable on the one hand and the quantitatively based on the other. In the best run organizations this balance provides a measure of validation of perspective and strategic direction. To be overly focused on one vs. another is to lose significant insight the other approach can provide, or the insights gained from the synthesis of the two. The techniques of extrapolation using written scenarios are deliberately designed to bring out the more qualitative factors that would never be found in purely quantitative analysis. The use of the Delphi technique for assembling useful insights from industry experts has been used for decades to accomplish the same result… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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