In reviewing the current and historical sales and marketing information for Riordan Manufacturing, Inc., it became clear that there is a need for a new streamlined system to track the past and present workings of the company. There are past marketing plans being stored in one location in a file cabinet, limiting the personnel that has access to it (Riordan Manufacturing, Inc., 2012). Sales employees are using different methods to track their numbers, in some cases using pencil and paper (Riordan Manufacturing, Inc., 2012).
We propose a new cloud based system that will compile all of the past sales and marketing information and current customer contacts and needs. This system will allow employees from all areas and locations access to marketing tools and sales data. Producing this system will allow management to generate periodic reports showing important information regarding the health of the company. It seems that Riordan stores and maintains documents and files in multiple locations. The use of data management will expand the company’s productivity, by decreasing the man hour time it used to take an employee to conduct searches for the actual file or files that the employee is searching for. Riordan would be able to manage data, text, and document management as a communication simplicity tool. As in any company, data is an informational asset that brings in earnings, investing in data management. Simply spoken, it helps to raise customer relationship management (CRM), while cutting expenses.
This type of database will enable increased speeds for locating the products the customers want. It will reduce, considerably, the unauthorized purchases, and improve the efficiency in the operation, helping to also reduce errors in customer purchases. Part of the restructuring, would involve a need for Riordan implement consolidating software applications for all of the branches. It would create a means to consolidate, manage, analyze, and transmit data, located in any of the branches throughout the company. This task will be of major challenge because the data volume will increase with time. There will, constantly, be new incoming information, but added to this will be old data that must be kept for a certain depth of time for legal reasons. Dealing with a branch in China, might require different lengths of time that documents are required to be stored. There might also be a large amount of repetitive data that is old or no longer accurate and this can create a scrupulous maintenance issue.
Another challenge involves the data that originates outside of Riordan that will be necessary to keep for decision making reasons. Having four different branches, means that there is bound to have data scattered throughout. Being that most of Riordan’s data is kept in paper files, those will have to be scanned as PDF files, to grant access to those searching, however; there are different database formats filed throughout that would now be centrally located. We could offer data management solutions, allowing for increased security and efficiency to massive volume data processing.
Traditionally the process is managed in one location, but being that Riordan has several locations, this restructuring will initially be time consuming, but once this centralized database is setup and running, it will create a smooth flow of data, not only for entry, but also for locating and sharing. The data for a company this size has an exorbitant amount of data created and stored and its traditional methods of management are antiquated. This is why we offer a solution to Riordan, where it will have to implement relational databases, helping to support end user decision making and computing.
Data Quality and Integrity
Data collection is a highly complex process that can create problems concerning the quality of the data that is being collected. Therefore, regardless of how the data is collected, it needs to be validated so users know they can trust it. Classic expressions that sum up the situation are “garbage in, garbage out” (GIGO) and the potentially riskier “garbage in, gospel out.” In the latter case, poor-quality data is trusted and used as the basis for planning. You have encountered data safeguards, such as integrity checks, to help improve data quality when you fill in an online form. For example, the form will not accept an e-mail address that is not formatted correctly.
Document management systems (DMS) are simply a combination of hardware and software that help manage and collects electronic documents, converting paper documents into PDF documents, indexing and storing them for easier access. (Fig.1). This facilitates searches for such documents in the future, vice going through boxes in the archives basement. This system can support the large demands that Riordan has, especially as a growing company. If mobile access is an issue, this system is accessible via Internet. We can also look into implementing an integrated system called enterprise content management (ECM). Riordan will be saving an enormous amount of money with this change. Traditionally, this company has been maintaining paper documents in different warehouses; file clerks running around most of the day searching for documents in different locations. DMS will clearly demonstrate an improvement in the turnaround time related to any requests for documentation, relieving the stress related with the historical lack of efficiency that has been a pattern in the past.
Figure 1 – Database Management System can provide access to any information in the database. As a quick reminder, DMS will not eliminate paper in your company, but it will reduce cost considerably by automating many processes; allowing this enterprise to facilitate access to documents, it will reduce the time spent looking for data, it will improve security; by limiting access to those in need, and finally, it will reduce the costs related with storage. Think back at the process for getting a particular document from the headquarters, in San Jose, California, to the Albany, Georgia plant. One would send a file clerk to the file room, or warehouse and have them find the document. The clerk would look for it, bring the document back to the office, make a copy, collate, punch holes, put it in a binder, and then mail it first class or priority mail to Georgia. Now look at the process with DMS: You can look for that same document, in the DMS, and forward it directly, by email to the Vice President of Operations in Albany, GA.
That took exactly minutes, saving time and creating efficiency not experienced before at Riordan. Granted, it will take time for the change to be that efficient, taking into consideration the vast amount of documents that are required to be transformed into digital data. At your disposal, DMS will implement workflow software, multimedia tools, scanners, and databases. Think about being able to enter the stage with other enterprises into green computing; conserving our natural resources, by reducing the effects on the environment of computer usage. This database system will enhance timely access to data; allowing to promptly anticipate the needs of your customers. DMS would also add security to your data by authorizing only those with edit authority to be able to modify data remotely, the rest, would simply have viewing capability, especially for the newest option: Mobile access.
Why does Riordan need this System
Riordan is currently, with an antiquated data management system. Data is stored in different computers throughout the enterprise and paper documents are spread out through the headquarters as well as the other three plants. The reason Riordan needs this DMS is so that they have a set data infrastructure, meaning a fundamental structure of an information system (IS). A well set IS can help establish its functions and adaptability for the future of this enterprise, meeting foreseen requirements. The data storage (DS) (Fig 2) will improve operation and output of supervisors, data sharing, daily routine, as well as meeting all prescribe laws as far as data storage for electronic records. Along with the DMS, comes a beneficial program called “Data Warehousing”. A system that is dual bladed in interest; business and digital data related. Looking at it from the business side; Riordan would be able to make better informed decisions due to its increased ease of use and accessibility of data.
If we look at the data side, we can see that DW will be providing faster and more efficient delivery of information, benefitting Sales and Marketing; with the use of product information and specials, product success, and making the most profit per customer. Sales Performance would benefit as well, by displaying earned gains from all of Riordan’s plants; breaking down data by plant. The Fiscal Department would be able to make any type of calendar choice query for increased fiscal supervision. Data Warehousing has nine typical characteristics: Organization; data can be categorized easily by the user and such data can often help with decision support. Real Time; easily capable of being setup to run as real time capability.
Time Variant; The data is kept to show trends or comparisons throughout the years as well as aiding in forecasting. Nonvolatile; Once data is entered, it is not updated. Relational; the type of structure DW uses. Consistency; The DW will code in a harmonious manner (Some systems code differently from each other). Integration; There will be tumultuous sources from which data is received and the DW will integrate such data. Web services are usually the source supporting integration. Web-Based; there are efficient applications that will be accessible through the Internet. Client/Server; this provides the end user access to the data being searched in an easy fashion.
Figure 2 – Data Warehousing Model
The only reason why we are implementing this DM to Riordan is because of its pay off. Initially, the building and implementation will be costly due to the size of the warehouse is enormous, but success will reign soon after the system is operational. Some of the questions that we looked at before implementing the DM into the DMS were: Does the administration bless this idea? Do the personnel at IT and those data workers approve of this system? Do those with computer access want access to this rich data field?
What Information will be Used
The most time consuming part of incorporating this new DMS will be inputting all of the filed information that is scattered across multiple departments, buildings, and countries. Past sales and marketing information will give Riordan Manufacturing a solid base of past performance to build the future of the company. The initial investment of man hours put into the uploading of past data will pay dividends as the company refocuses on a business plan and growth opportunities.
The proposed system will compile and track information from all departments within Riordan Manufacturing. Sales numbers must be tracked to develop a running log of performance during certain times of the year. Based on this information, materials and inventory can be forecast to keep up with busier times and scale back when demand is lower so as not to tie up financial assets. Marketing can use sales information to determine where to focus attention and money to further their place in the market.
Changes to the System
The new system will have a tab for customers only; where they can make their own private account. Once they have their private account set up they can place orders for what they need, they can view their order already placed, and they can see the status of their order. For example: whether or not the order has been accepted, filled, or sent out for shipment. Once the order has been sent out for shipment, the tracking information for their order will be displayed with a hyperlink to the shipping company to be able to track their order. Here the customer will also have an option to pay their bill online or set up a corporate account so that it will either bill the company they are ordering for, or they will be able to have the bill sent to them. For the company personnel there will be a tab just for employees to access under their own company issued profile; where the employees can see information for their specific department.
For example: the factory will see what orders need to be processed and then the shipping department will see what orders need to be shipped and they can enter in a field for that order the shipping tracking number and shipping company is being used. At headquarters the personnel that use the orders to stock supplies for the warehouses or the offices; also, can use the information for different department like research and marketing. Each personnel depending on their department will have their own information that they need to use to do their assigned job.
They also will not be able to see some information of other departments if they do not need that information to do their job. All the information will be held in a cloud based database and will also have a mobile application to be able to have the access on the go or on hand if needed; or for personnel to be able to have communications between them and management of the company. This communication would be in the form of memos or personal emails between an employee and Human Resources, or etc. Security and Ethical Concerns
Keeping customer information secure and limiting access to authorized employees
Riordan Manufacturing, Inc. (2012). Marketing Information System. Retrieved December 16, 2012, from Riordan Manufaturing: https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/aapd/cist/vop/Business/Riordan/Marketing/MIS.asp