Promotion and adoption of elements that facilitate supply chain management is essential in the modern environment due to the need for efficiency, cost management, and other issues defined by the industry of specialization. This is illustrated by the two featured Australian companies and the need for implementation of enterprise systems in supply networks in these companies. The first company specializes in the manufacture of varied products including pillow cases, quilts, and other products that are relevant in the target markets. Most of the items are exported constituting the bulk of the business thus creating the need for efficient supply systems.

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The other company is involved in the production and distribution of ladies wear for the number of years it has been in operation in the Australian market. Although there are some local employees, most of the production takes place overseas while the balance is done from the localized facilities. Since the process involves the movement of significant amounts of commodities, the company has faced supply challenges that have made the management adopt strategic options that meet the specified organizational needs. In addition, the business is customer driven with the high goal of designing fashionable elements that are characterized by constant turnover throughout the financial year.

Problem being solved
In the company in case study 1, the manufacture of pillows and other products is accompanied by problems in the flow of inputs into the company. As explained by the authors, Sohal, Power, & Terziovski (2002), the problems have created deficiencies in the supply networks from the difficulties experienced during importation. Identification, bulkiness, and value of the inputs have increased logistical costs in the company. In addition, challenges in the supply networks have resulted in an increase in turnaround times where deliveries were not made within the specified timeframes. With time, these problems have made the organization lose control of its manufacturing processes due to the uncontrolled flow of inputs.

On the other hand, the company in case study 2 dealing with the production and distribution of ladies wear has varied problems in spite of sourcing for majority of products from overseas. Although the decision to source materials from overseas was considered viable, local competition required the integration of technical solutions since they were critical in the industry. The problems in the market segments included delivery times, professionalism, and qualities of service. Therefore, the company was supposed to consider the supply side aspects and delivery rather than pricing perspectives so that sufficient information can be gathered to enhance coordination and decision-making.

Implementation of the system
After application of the systems, it was evident that the first company dealing with pillows and assorted products of the enterprise systems was successful in terms of costing, scheduling, transport management, and performance of the supply network. The resultant success was based on effective information propagation, coordination, and inventory management. In this case, the company was able to track the sourced materials, reduce delivery times, and control its manufacturing processes. The company learnt that successful implementation of the enterprise system was because it was implemented in a strategic fashion as per the moderating factors (Henry, 2011).

Similar success was experienced by the company in case study two especially when dealing with supplies within the local market. Using the barcode technologies, the company was able to track its production inputs and the resultant products until they were delivered to the recipients. In fact, the success is supported by the efficient scheduling, transport management, and delivery times from the company, as well as the associated partners in the supply network. With time, the success has become a lesson that the enterprise solution is fundamental for higher performance levels and quality of service due streamlined supply networks.

Evaluation of the implementation
Although the application of the enterprise solution was viable, the methodologies used by the companies did not necessarily produce the intended outcomes. In case study one, the company conducted technical research, requirement identification, and procedures to introduce the system in the organization. In addition, it was right to incorporate coordinated, negotiated, and realistic production planning to facilitate the achievement of its defined goals. In comparison, the company in case study two did not conduct extensive research as the company in case study 1 did; thus making it reactive to the changing conditions. The implementation phase was handled in house thus creating opportunities for trial and error, missed implementation phases, and poor techniques to handle the increasing product databases.

Considerations before making suggestions
According to Jones (2009) and Persson & Virum (2010), technological solutions require extensive considerations before their application due to cost, time, and labor implications. Both companies are set to experience benefits such as the collection of accurate data irrespective of the diversified products and market segments under consideration. In addition, they have the ability to identify, track and monitor their inventories resulting in improved customer service, reduced delivery times, and control of their production processes. Further, creation of information databases is important for streamlining business processes and forecasting in order to implement decisions that reflect the changing market conditions.

In spite of the benefits associated with the enterprise systems, there are factors that introduce implementation limitations. Some of the limiting factors include cost implications, employee training processes, backward compatibility issues, and system stresses. If the implementation process is not planned according to the organizational specifications, it may lead to losses, poor performance, and inefficient production processes with increasing workloads. Therefore, determination for the best fit systems depends on situational factors, company operational requirements, and the overall long and short term goals. Planning and implementation must also consider the structure of internal processes, nature of information, and development cycles since they are essential in creating the best fit systems for the concerned companies.

  • Henry, A. (2011). Understanding Strategic Management. Oxford: OUP Oxford.
  • Jones, M. (2009). Supply Chain Management Case Study: Colgate-Palmolive. Supply Chain Management Based on SAP Systems, 161-188.
  • Persson, G., & Virum, H. (2010). Growth Strategies for Logistics Service Providers: A Case Study. The International Journal of Logistics Management, 53 – 64.
  • Sohal, A., Power, D., & Terziovski, M. (2002). Supply chain management in Australian manufacturing. Computers and Industrial Engineering, 97-109.