In order to keep advantage in the competitive environment, organisations are seeking methods to improve their distinctive competencies. Business information systems (BIS) play a significant role in developing the competitive merits among other competitors. Through the contribution on the five competitive forces described by Porter (1980), information systems could assist an organization to achieve the strategic advantage (Greasley, Bocij, & Hickie, 2008). BIS is a complex process of converting data to information which facilitates the planning, operational activities and decision making (Hardcastle, 2008). People, computers, processes and communication interact in BIS, and thus it is ...view middle of the document...
As one of the leading manufactures in China, it has to take the challenges of dealing with massive data and information from internal and external environments efficiently and accurately.
Diagram1: External and internal information flow in Bohi
As can be seen in diagram 1, Bohi needs to gain the material from the supply market to support the production. This demand is usually submitted as the plan by the production department and achieved by the purchasing department. The sellers sell the processed products to the customers and transform the information about market reflections which determine whether the production department should increase or reduce the yield. In addition, there are many factors that are essential to be considered. For example, in upstream, the supply market affects the time, quantity and price of the raw material, and it would influence the cost of the company. Similarly, the changing market in downstream would affect the sale strategies at all times. In order to maximise the revenue, the sales department would guide the production to match their selling plan. The different sectors would attempt to meet the requirements by transforming the information, but there might be limits in operations to react the external factors. Therefore, the multidirectional and changing information raises the complexity to make the correct decisions in time.
Objectives of the organisational and ERP system
It appears that only depending on the manual work to record and transport data could not simplify the complexity mentioned above. A large number of paper documents were used to record the original data and transported to the different departments to sustain the information could be carried out. However, although the data is filled in the specific forms, it is still needed to be processed to the information which becomes meaningful to the managers. This work normally would be finished by the office staffs as the last task of the day, and information would be generated in an electronic document such as excel. Managers could receive the e-documents by emails and provide the strategic adjustments the next day. There is no doubt that inefficient information delivery would make the firm lose the opportunities or even fall in crisis. Because of numerous data happening per day, office staff complained that there was the shortage of employees and heavy work stress. But in reality, about two third of the office staff are those responsible to input data. Even so, the high rate of mistakes caused by manual work would also cause the firm to struggle. Therefore, it is the priority for the organisation to speed up the delivery of information, increase the accuracy and reduce the high labour cost.
ERP is the system which could integrate the separate data across the value chain such as supplement, production, finance and sales...