Possibilities and Justifications
In accordance to the primary research, in which was identified the different KPIs used to gather data and asses farm productivity, and the secondary research in which was identified the essence of data collection on SMEs and their aid in expansional procedures. It can be said that an Information System in the heart of OAC would assist them to coordinate data, store it and analyze it to enhance operations.
Standing for Enterprise Resource Planning, an ERP system is a type of information system that refers to a type of software used by small-medium size businesses to foresee general business operations such as financials, supply chain, manufacturing, HRM, and sales (Oracle,2022) all fundamental areas of the clients’ sectors of up-coming work and expansion.
ERP systems can either be acquired through a commercial off the shelf software or tailored with specific specifications by a 3rd party developer. (IBM,2022) In the case of OAC, an ERP system would be highly beneficial in the sense that they would enhance farm management, help them prepare for B2C operations, (as per primary research), get an overview of farmer productivity, and insight on the supply chain of cocoa beans as they turn into a bar, net income, the revenues of different products and future marketing effectiveness.
ERP systems would also integrate data in the different countries of operations (Sierra Leone, US and the EU), killing any geographical limitations, allowing executives and employees to have hand on access to data at any given moment from any of the operational cites. Furthermore, an ERP system helps store business data in a more usable format and centralize operations. (University of Scarleton,2022)
Solution A: Acquiring a commercial of the shelf (COTS) ERP information system software for OAC for Managerial Level Employees.
Generally, off-the-shelf ERP systems cover the fundamental needs common amongst all businesses financial management, human resources, supply chain management and manufacturing.
An off the shelf information system software is one that is made for mass markets and can be used upon purchase. (Quilliam,2021) An off-the-shelf ERP system may be infeasible for a client because they may have too many or too little functions. Off-the-shelf ERP systems may also cause organizations to reconsider common business procedures to match those of the software. (Quilliam, 2021)
The benefits of an off the shelf ERP solutions is that they are ready to install, require less labor hours, cheaper and have been used before, making insights and reviews available. However, As Enterprises differ from one another, and practices that are considered the effective under many assumptions for one enterprise may not be beneficial for the other enterprise. (Christiansen,2013)
Solution B: Outsourcing a “Made to Measure” Cloud based ERP system
A made to measure information system is one that is a tailor-made software that revolves around the company’s communicated needs and desired metrics. In comparison to an ERP system a made-to-measure system. A made to measure ERP system is specifically designed for a narrowed done, set of requirements. (Jangwal,2018) Which satisfies OAC as they engage in unique, agricultural operations which accommodates assessing farmers and tracking a unique supply chain of “Bean to Bar” A cloud-based system refers to one that will function on any smart device with an active internet connection.
An SFA matrix is one used to evaluate criteria of different options, categorizing them into 3 different categories. Suitability, feasibility, and acceptability. (Johnson,1997) Then scoring the criteria from 1-5, then adding the values to find the most viable option amongst many. Making it an effective way to critique and distinguish between the two potential solutions shown above. Suitability assesses the extent to which a proposed strategy fits the situational analysis of the project. Feasibility scales the success of the solution implementation. Acceptability relates to acceptability rate of peoples (stakeholders) expectations. (Johnson et al,1997)
SFA Matrix Analysis
Identifying figure 10, solution B, scores one point over solution A for the following factors. As was previously stated, a tailored ERP system is built towards the clients’ needs as appose to the mass market’s needs. Since the operations of OAC are unique to mass markets and include various agricultural and complicated supply chain logistics, the suitability and feasibility of solution B ranks higher. When it comes to acceptability, both solutions scored relatively low the acceptability factor because implementing an ERP system does not align with the company’s organic and social approach, also as a tailored ERP system is highly more expensive than an off-the-shelf one and may interfere with the company’s total capital and stakeholders’ acceptance, giving solution A minimal advantage. After the SFA Analysis, Solution B was assessed to be the viable option.