MIS2101 Section 702 – Amy Lavin – Spring 2014


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Supply Chain News: IBM, Indian Auto Groups Launch Ambitious Connectivity Hub to Integrate OEMs, Parts Suppliers.

Supply Chain News: IBM, Indian Auto Groups Launch Ambitious Connectivity Hub to Integrate OEMs, Parts Suppliers.

Published April 2, 2014



While there are always individual company leaders which drive connectivity for their own benefits, rarely if ever has an entire sector really tried to address the issue, other than perhaps developing electronic communication standards, such as the VICS EDI standards in consumer goods to retail.

After reading this article

  1. Do you think lack of connectivity and integration is a key limitation in the progress of the supply chain in any industry sector, from consumer goods to health care?
  2. How do companies such as IBM improve their Supply Chain Management (SCM) system using the new system  and do you think it will be industry standard?
  3. How will developing new electronic communication standards benefit industries comparing to present system.

In Surprising News, Toyota is Replacing Some Robots with Humans


In today’s day and age, the usage of robotic machinery has become commonplace among the driving forces of the automotive market, two of those main companies being Honda and Toyota. Honda and Toyota, long-term rivals both hailing from Japan, have been at the forefront of innovation in robotics usage for automative supply chain networks for the past decade. However, Toyota has now made a bold move in their supply chain processes by placing importance on getting back to the basics of the process by tranisitioning back to a more traditional process with the usage of more humans. “We need to become more solid and get back to basics, to sharpen our manual skills and further develop them,” states Mitsuru Kawai who is spearheading the increased usage of humans  manufacturing plants for Toyota. With this new direction, Toyota hopes to maintain their high market share  in the United States with this transition.

1. If you were Akio Toyoda, CEO of Toyota, would you want to take a step back in your machinery by using humans over robotic machines? Why or why not?

2. Do you believe that by using humans in the supply process will slow down the supply chain process at Toyota? Why or why not?

3. In a field such as the automotive industry this is a particularly odd move at first sight, especially in the eyes of competitors who are consistently raising the bar on their robotic processes. If Toyota becomes noticeably successful with their reduction in the usage of robotics, do you think others will follow them on this backtracking path? Why or why not?

SAP Invades Silicon Valley Via Acquisitions

German software giant SAP (SAP), the 41-year-old maker of financial and supply-chain software, has been slow to shift to cloud computing and has struggled for years to catch up to U.S. competitors such as Oracle (ORCL) and Salesforce.com(CRM). Among other things, it’s broken some of its brightest engineers into startup-like teams far from its main campuses. While waiting for them to spawn new products, the company is doubling down on plan B, for “buyout.”


1) Do you think that once this wave of buyouts subsides, one ERP company will dominate with superior cloud computing capabilities? Or are these ERP giants just trying to stay on even ground with one another?
2) When SAP is consuming tech companies in the silicon valley do you think they are more concerned with making sure they can create the best product, or keeping the best technology from their competitors?
3)Do you think the rush to move SAP to the cloud will create a better user experience or a partially finished system that will create problems for users?

Coca-Cola SAP

Coca-Cola Supply Chain Management Success Story

A Modern Supply Chain for a Classic Beverage

When it comes to the world’s most powerful brands, Coca-Cola is still number one. The iconic beverage maker, which has dominated the global soft drink market for more than a century, continued its 12-year reign at the top in 2011, according to Interbrand’s latest global rankings.

For Coca-Cola, achievements like this are byproducts of a vision and an operating framework that is built on excellence. At Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), the exclusive Coca-Cola bottler for its territories in Western Europe, the company’s goal is to be the number 1 or strong number 2 choice in every category it competes in.

But on the road to long-term, sustainable growth, CCE faces similar challenges to many other manufacturing and logistics businesses. A top priority is replacing dated systems with a modernized platform across markets to create a cohesive view of metrics and streamlined processes.

Bottling iconic brands in Europe

CCE is one of the world’s largest marketers, producers and distributors of Coca-Cola products. CCE buys concentrate from The Coca-Cola Company and combines it with other ingredients to create some of the most popular beverages in Belgium, Great Britain, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

In 2010, CCE completed a significant transaction with The Coca-Cola Company, selling its North American operations, while retaining its European territories and acquired new bottling rights for Sweden and Norway.

CCE’s executives recognized that establishing a uniform IT program across all of its business units would be critical for expanding CCE’s footprint in Europe.

“It is very important for us to have a set of consistent standards and processes, so that when we acquire and integrate new territories into our business we can easily put those practices in place in a short time,” says Kemal Cetin, vice president of European deployment at CCE.

Driving regional expansion with IT

As part of its Genesys program, CCE set out to deploy a new supply chain management solution at all 17 of its European plants. The new system would replace and automate many of CCE’s supply chain processes and required new skill sets to ensure the required speed of deployment.

CCE needed a partner to help deliver this new SAP-enabled business transformation. This would involve not only delivering a technology solution, but also training users on the new processes to ensure the full benefits were realized.

CSC was selected because it has combined a strong ‘front office’ business transformation and change management consulting capability with a ‘back office’ technology delivery capability for CCE since 2008. Prior to Genesys, CSC had already been supporting CCE’s applications with SAP, including order processing, manufacturing, financial transactions, human resources, procurement and other related processes.

“We started Project Genesys not as an IT project, but as a business transformation project to enable CCE’s day-to-day business to work in a harmonized way,” says Cetin. “Since CSC knew our processes, people and solutions, we thought that would carry over very well into the deployment process, and especially from an acceleration perspective, because the learning curve would be relatively short.”

“Beyond that,” Cetin adds, “CSC has very experienced and capable people from an implementation perspective. And, we needed to make sure the cost-quality equation worked for us. CSC met our criteria and satisfied us from that perspective as well.”

Filling a gap between supply and demand

The Genesys program is an integrated SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution that will replace CCE’s legacy systems in the processes of “order to cash,” “requisition to payment,” and “record to report.”

Genesys will allow CCE to shorten cycle time in these processes and be more productive. It will also help bring more visibility into the business and improve decision making.

“We are a shelf-replenishment company, a supply chain company, a sales and customer services company,” says Esat Sezer, senior vice president and chief information officer of CCE. “It is very important for us to integrate our manufacturing plants all the way up to the replenishment of shelves in the retail outlets. Through the information side of the equation, we are basically tying those two ends of the business process together: the manufacturing side, which drives the supply of our product, and the shelf-replenishment side, which drives the demand part of our product.”

CSC is playing a major role in expediting the delivery of Genesys across CCE’s operations, allowing CCE to deploy Genesys at multiple-country locations at a much faster pace than if CCE had forged ahead alone.

“There are a lot of technology areas that require some capacity that we might not have or some technology areas that we might not have the knowledge about,” says Sezer. “So whenever we have those knowledge gaps, we turn to our strategic partner CSC to fill in. Whenever an accelerated deployment need arises, we leverage CSC, and we can generate value much more quickly.”



1)  If you were the Chief Executive Officer of Coca-Cola Europe would you develop your own team to customize a Coke SAP system or hire an outside company to implement the new SAP system?   

2) How would you approach transitioning the 17 manufacturing plants, secondary bottling companies and numerous warehouses?  Would you transition one plant at a time and have two systems in place for a period of time or transition all of the locations at the same time?      

3)  If you were Esat Sezer (CIO at CSC) would you be nervous knowing that if your transition does not go well, you could cost Coca-Cola Europe millions of dollars as well as hurt their brand equity? 



AVON’s failed SAP implementation.

AVON incorporates a new management order system for its processes but shut it down after employees found it difficult to use and it disrupted operations.SAP refuses to take full blame for this pointing out the fact that their software is “woking perfectly as designed despite any issues with implementing it”



1. Do you think an enterprise software is efficient or ” working perfectly as designed”  if the end user cannot use it?

2.If enterpise software is going to keep up with the way the world is moving, do you think it will get easier to use or will it get more detailed and complicated to use

3. Are people less patient with technology more now than they were in past years?

Why Fieldglass sold to software giant SAP

SAP recently announced it’s plans to acquire Fieldglass,  a cloud-based vendor management system for procuring and managing contingent labor and services.



1 – With services such as these becoming cheaper and easier to use, will companies move more towards crowdsourcing instead of hiring permanent workers?

2 – Will cloud based procurement systems for labor and services increase the “pool” of potential employees? Will it become more commonplace for a small to mid-size company to hire employees in different states or countries?

3 – With SAP being one of the largest and most notable sellers of ERP products, are they forcing society to change to cloud-based vendor management systems when they acquire these companies?

ERP’s Future Is Hybrid Cloud

This article briefly explains that cloud computing is the future of ERP systems and that they will be more successful if they integrate the two. It states that many systems are already a “hybrid” and that it is a lot easier to integrate an ERP system as this hybrid than it is alone.


1. The article stated that cost for this “hybrid” would be lower than integrating a regular ERP system. Do you feel that reduction of cost out weighs some of the risks of cloud computing?

2. Do you agree or disagree that the “hybrid” way is the way of the future or should the two systems continue to be separate? Why?

3. The article also mentions a project that Microsoft is developing where users with no programming experience could soon develop applications. Do you think this will be successful? Would it be bad for IT/programming job security?



Will Disruptive Cloud Computing Kill Enterprise Resource Planning?

This article supplies several points on why the author believes enterprise resource planning has the potential to become obsolete.  With the growth and demands of cloud computing, can ERP systems adapt?

1.  As the article suggest, do you believe the expansion of cloud computing will phase our ERPs in the near future?  Why or why not?

2.  Are ERPs better for the manufacturing industry as opposed to service based organizations?

3.  How can ERPs change to better serve their customers withing the next 5 to 10 years?


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