Business Process Management With Sap Erp Essay Example

Introduction

The enterprise resource planning (ERP) is integrated software used to manage and coordinate various departments across the company. It is therefore used to efficiently centralize and combine the activities and operations from different departments. Basically, the ERP software enables information sharing between different departments; thus enhancing a smooth flow of information which positively impacts on the organization’s management and the decision making process. The ERP is usually formal and follows a piecemeal implementation process. The convectional IT projects are the alternative software that firms usually installs to assist and enhance the information sharing within its departments. They are usually simple and easy to implement within the firm. Moreover, the businesses process management with the SAP ERP is also aimed at establishing efficiency within the various organizational departments. This paper seeks to analyze the business process management with the SAP ERP.

Why the ERP projects are time-consuming and expensive?

The lengthy process required to fully and successfully install an ERP project makes it time consuming and more expensive than the other conventional IT projects. In addition, the project complexity and broad perspective demands for lengthy training sessions to the organization’s staffs. Since the project focuses on meeting the overall business objective, it involves practically almost each and every person in the organization. The project also requires very expensive infrastructure which includes computers, networking cables, and a special room which acts as a server to the project. It also requires that the organization hires a computer programming and networking specialist to oversee the overall project implementation. This is however not the case for the conventional IT projects which are user friendly and require minimum training sessions (Stefanou & Revanoglou, 2006, p. 120). The conventional IT projects are also simply designed in order to ensure user friendliness and acceptance in the market. The firm should therefore seek to address the market needs as that is the only way the project implementation can be efficient and successful.

The bit-by-bit ERP implementations process is also time consuming. The organization should therefore allocate longer period for the project implementation process. Indeed, this piecemeal implementation process is not a bad option though can lead to major delays if not well planned. Oftentimes, majority of firms fail to access the net present value of the project which will assist the implementers to check the viability of the project into the future. The ERP project also emphasizes on a certain implementation guideline which ought not to be violated no matter what. Ideally, this lengthy procedure makes it hard for the implementers to successfully hit the projects target (Adam & Sammon, 2004, p. 59).

The ERP is mainly perfect for the large organization with branches all over the world. For the small and medium sized enterprises, the ERP tends to be uneconomical due to the high cost involved in the implementation process. The computer integration involved in the ERP and the other relevant infrastructure makes it even more expensive to the small and medium scale enterprises. As an alternative course, the small and medium scale enterprise opt to use other convectional IT projects such as the enterprise CRM project and the datacenter efficiency project.

Why the ERP projects bare higher risks than conventional IT projects?

The complexity of the ERP projects increases their vulnerability as the users cannot effectively and efficiently utilize it without having difficulties. Their broad definitions also provide a room for errors and shortcomings during the implementation process. The complexity also makes it difficult to let the organization staff understand the main objective of the project in the firm. It is therefore vital for the organization to educate its members on the need and the core objectives of the new software implementation. Such knowledge can assist the firm to effectively embrace and see the need to have a change in the overall running of activities (Reed & Doane, 2004, p.27).

As a requirement, the ERP project requires total commitment of the organization’s top management. However, this is not accorded when it comes to the actual project implementation. Indeed, there is a risk of non commitment by the top management to the ERP project which translates to sluggish economic return within the organization. This is however not the case since the majority of people in the top positions fears technological changes. This project resistance therefore poses a great threat to the ERP implementation.

The fixed and rigid nature of the ERP projects fails to effectively cater for the current IT needs within the organization. Since this project is not as flexible as the current information technologies in the world, the firm will always be left behind as far as the technology is concerned (Madu & Kuei, 2004, p. 31). The ERP should therefore seek to adequately meet the current technology definition. This can only be done by allowing continuous improvement of the project in order to accommodate new technology changes as they come. The ERP is also poorly packaged; this is more so as the project mostly seeks to address the firm’s needs instead of the clients’ and customers’ needs.

The poor packaging of the ERP software increases resistance in its marketing. It is therefore appropriate for the ERP to address the basic functions of the clients such as the customers needs for it to be efficiently marketable within the market. In most cases, the ERP projects are expensive, making the clients to inadequately finance the overall project, and as a result the project fails to attain the expected results (Glenn, 2008, p. 60). It is therefore advisable for the clients to ensure that they have enough financial capacity to oversee a complete implementation of the ERP project for them to fully obtain maximum project’s benefits.

The ERP software is generally not user friendly. This therefore limits the client’s capacity as both technical and expertise knowledge is required to guarantee its success. This, in most cases, acts as an extra cost to the firm which intends to implement an ERP project design (Isaca, 2009, p. 234). The ERP is also coupled with unrealistic timeframe expectations which further frustrate the users. Basically, the ERP uses the bottom-up implementation approach which is usually resisted by the top management officials within an organization. The top management views this as a way of letting the junior staffs to make decisions which threaten their power and authority. Moreover, the ERP projects are more time consuming as they are partially implemented in an organization. The project also requires adequate staff training in order to familiarize them on how to use it in their daily organizational activities.

Discussion on how to deal with SAP configuration problem “lot-sizing”

The SAP business software assists the organizations and firms to effectively manage their resources towards the overall achievement of the firm’s objectives. SAP therefore assists the organization to optimize its resources as it improves the production efficiency and also advocates for quality services (Padhi, 2009, p. 168).The SAP software however has a wide product range as it seeks to adequately serve client’s needs. Among the bundles that the SAP provides includes the enterprise resource planning (ERP), the supply chain management (SCM), the customer relationship management (CRM) and the product lifecycle management (PLM). All these products are meant to improve efficiency within the firm’s operations (Su & Yang, 2010, p. 81), as well as ensure that the organization meets it core objectives in relation to resource planning, procurement, customer satisfaction and profitability among others.

The SAP configuration problem mostly emanate when the users are unclear to the new configurations. And since the whole operation of the project is automatically synchronized to operate on command, such unclear details may cause huge problem to the project. In order to effectively deal with such a problem, the project administrator should ensure that all the software users are much aware of all the relevant details in the project. This can be done through a thorough training sessions on how to use the SAP configuration. However, the problem usually arises since the configuration work should be given to a specialist in the IT department.

The overall SAP configuration manual should be fully documented in order to prevent errors during the implementation process. Since the lot-sizing procedure should seek to ensure maximum utilization of the available resources within the organization, a complete understanding of the project is required. For instance, the company can opt to configure its human resource department by establishing the maximum and the minimum workforce that is required in every department at a given period of time. This move therefore assists the organization to operate within its budget at all times. Such configuration also enhances accountability among the workforce (Coetzer, 2010, Para. 4).

The SAP configuration problem can also be established if the users are not aware of how the software integrates with other modules in the organization. Such problem occurs if the SAP trainer offers general context of the project thus limiting the understanding capacity of the users. This problem however can be solved by ensuring that the training session fully equips the staffs with specific details on how to handle the software configuration processes. Since the lot-sizing configuration is established to limit the operations of all the organization’s department, adequate training to all the staffs should be done (Anderson, Nilson & Rhodes, 2009, p. 532). The lot size restriction prevents the procurement department from purchasing order beyond the maximum lot size. The department is also restricted from purchasing quantity below the minimum lot size. In some instances, some organizations have a limited or fixed size lot that the procurement officer should purchase; any deviation to the size restriction is automatically detected by the SAP software.

Incase of a product lifecycle management, the firm can either use the optimizing, periodic or the static method to establish the demand plan (Jones & Burger, 2009, p. 276). The optimizing method can either use the demand-driven, consumption-base or the inventory holding cost to determine the appropriate time to purchase or manufacture products in a firm. Basically, the periodic method is similar to the optimizing method, but the static method usually ensures that the stock within the firm remain at the maximum level. The firm can therefore meet the stock requirement differently depending on the movement of the products within the market. for instance, the firm might use the hourly, shift, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or flexible lot size technique to replenish its stock whenever due (Law, Chen & Wu, 2010, p. 297). All these strategies are meant to ensure that the firm efficiently serves its consumers in due time. It is also aimed at ensuring that the organization does not incur extra cost in storing and maintaining the stocks within their premises. The storage and the administration cost are therefore significantly reduced and consequently increase the profitability level within a firm. The organization may further determine the size through which it will be selling its products. This is mostly applicable to the manufacturing companies which produce consumer goods (Sonkusare, Sharma & Mutsaddi, 2009, p. 209).

Through the use of the SAP software, the firm can limit the selling capacity as either big lot or small capacity. By so doing, the prices of the big lot will be stated as well as that of the small lot. This price fixation will ensure that the marketing department together with the accounting department do not collaborate to extort extra money in the process. The lot-sizing problem however can greatly affect the organizations operations as it can totally paralyze its operations. As quite a big number of people are involved in the procurement activities, the SAP lot-size restrictions always proves a hard task to effectively coordinate.

The time allocated for dealing with decision problem in a real SAP project

A good information policy will seek to use minimum time possible to solve a decision problem. This is because the project should seek to greatly reduce the risk level and thus increase its marketability. Generally, it is important to directly involve the human resource department in the decisions of SAP problems mainly because the HR department is the one which implements the project within the organization. The company should also use the project operational leader to effectively maintain and implement some of the SAP solutions within it. Such expert can either be permanently employed or even hired by the company on contract basis. In addition, the decision process can be speeded up if the expert has technical and communication skills to deal with the emerging SAP problems. It is also advisable for the company to obtain competent and experienced personnel who have wider knowledge on the SAP project. This is because such knowledge can also be used to speed up the decision making process. It will also increase confidence in the operation as the expert may have been exposed to a similar problem in the past. The time spent in the decision making problem will therefore differ between different companies since the approach will dictate the outcome and the time consumed. Basically, a company which strategically places itself well will take a considerably shorter time compared to others. The project knowledge will also speed up the decision problem in a real SAP project.

References

Adam, F. & Sammon, D., 2004. The enterprise resource planning decade: Lessons learned and issues for the future. Hershey, Idea Group Publishers. (Online). Web.

Anderson, G.W., Nilson, C.D. & Rhodes, T., 2009. SAP Implementation Unleashed: A Business and technical roadmap to success. Ontario, Jones and Bartleft Publishers. Web.

Coetzer, J., 2010. Real-time reporting is key. (Online). Web.

Cowan-Sahadath. 2010. Business transformation: Leadership, integration and innovation-case study. Kidlington, International Journal of project management. Web.

Crawford, L. & Nahmias, A.H., 2010. Competencies for managing change. International Journal of project management. Web.

Glenn, G., 2008. Enterprise Resource Planning 100 Success Secrets. New York, Oxford University Press. Web.

Isaca., 2009. Security, Audit and Control Features SAP ERP. New York, Oxford University Press. Web.

Jones, P. & Burger, J., 2009. Configuring SAP ERP Financial and controlling. Indiana, Wiley Publishing, Inc. Web.

Law, C., Chen, C. & Wu, B., 2010. Managing the full ERP life cycle: Consideration of maintenance and support requirements and IT governance practice as integral elements of the formula for successful ERP adoption. Computer in industry, Amsterdam. Web.

Madu, C.N. & Kuei, C., 2004. Erp and supply chain management. New York, Chi Publishers. Web.

Padhi, S.N., 2009. SAP ERP financial and FICO handbook. Ontario, Jones and Bartleft Publishers. Web.

Reed, J. & Doane, M., 2004. The SAP consultant handbook: your sourcebook to lasting success in an SAP. New York, eCruiting Alternatives, Inc. Web.

Sonkusare, A., Sharma, K & Mutsaddi, A., 2009. Configuring SAP ERP Sales and Distribution. Indiana, Wiley Publishing, Inc. Web.

Stefanou, C.J. & Revanoglou, A., 2006. ERP integration in a healthcare environment: a case study. Greece, Department of Accounting. Web.

Su, Y & Yang, C., 2010. Why are enterprise resource planning systems indispensable to supply chain management? Amsterdam. Web.

Understanding Biopsychology And Cognitive Neuropsychology

Biopsychology is the branch of psychology that studies the relationship between physiological events (biology) and psychological processes (behavior) (Kuther & Morgan, 2012). If human behavior is studied in the framework of biopsychology, cognitive processes such as perception, memory, speaking, thinking, etc., are studied within the scope of cognitive neuropsychology. Cognitive neuropsychology is situated at the intersection of cognitive psychology and biopsychology, studying the human mind as the information processor (Kuther & Morgan, 2012). As the research-oriented branch of psychology, cognitive neuropsychology has its “applied counterpart”: clinical neuropsychology (Kuther & Morgan, 2012).

Biopsychology and Cognitive Neuropsychology within the Field of Psychology

Biopsychologists study how various factors, such as genetics, social experiences, or hormones, influence human behavior. They work mostly in the research and academic settings, developing the theoretical base for the applied science (Kuther & Morgan, 2012). Cognitive psychologists study various processes of the human brain, such as calculation, reading, thinking, etc. They also investigate the differences between the ways these processes progress in the brains of different people. Similar to biopsychologists, cognitive psychologists are involved in research activity and are employed by universities, pharmaceutical companies, and research institutes (Kuther & Morgan, 2012).

Levels of Education

In order to work in the spheres of biopsychology and cognitive neuropsychology, one should achieve a certain level of education. Students with a bachelor degree in psychology might be science, psychiatric, clinical laboratory, and pharmacy technicians. These positions offer an opportunity to apply the general knowledge that students obtained during their studies as well as to learn more about the specialty area.

Graduate degrees increase the number of job opportunities. Students with a master’s degree will be welcomed in the teaching and research spheres, and a doctoral degree allows them to do the applied work (Kuther & Morgan, 2012).

Jobs and Incomes

Technicians with a bachelor degree can work in scientific, clinical, and biotechnological laboratories, assisting scientists in their research, maintaining laboratories and equipment, monitoring experiments, and recording data. Such jobs offer a comfortable work environment; however, the salaries are low (approximately $27,705 per year), and career progression is limited (Kuther & Morgan, 2012).

Research and academic settings offer more opportunities and higher wages. However, there is the problem of the expensive laboratory experiments. To obtain money for the equipment, scientists should be engaged in a great deal of paperwork in order to win grants from the government. However, this distracts them from their primary projects (Kuther & Morgan, 2012).

Applied work offers public recognition and the highest salaries. According to Kuther and Morgan (2012), the average annual income of biopsychologists and cognitive neuropsychologists that are occupied both in the research and applied settings starts at $80,000, “with a rise to six figures expected in a short period of time” (p. 93). An applied career presupposes employment in medical settings and private practices.

Possible Career

Personally, I am interested in cognitive neuropsychology. I was always curious about the relationship between brain activity and language. What is original: thinking or speaking? Should the science consider thought and speech as two different mental activities or one indivisible unit of cognition? Cognitive neuropsychology addresses this issue. That is why the research activity seems to be the most attractive. The studies in cognitive neuropsychology allow for contributing to the sphere of knowledge that has been developing already and will be developing in the future, after we are gone.

Interesting Facts

Previously, I did not think that clinical neuropsychology offered a wide range of opportunities. Clinical neuropsychologists can save people’s lives because their knowledge allows for operating on patients with severe brain damage. They can share their experience while training the interns and consulting with their colleagues. They can perform various research activities, making important discoveries and elaborating on the scientific theory. Clinical neuropsychologists may be involved in the theoretical and the applied sciences, making significant contributions to both branches.

Everyday Experience

Currently, people have become more concerned with the issue of brain training, especially memory development. Natural cognitive decline due to aging is a challenging problem. There is a common belief that brain training games are helpful in this situation, but unfortunately, the studies have shown that these games do not help to develop and train cognitive abilities (Britt, 2010). Indeed, after my grandfather’s stroke, many people advised him to solve Sudoku puzzles to retrain his mental activities that had become slightly inhibited. However, this only helped him to solve the Sudoku puzzles better and did not affect his cognitive abilities in any other way.

In spite of our expectations, the brain training games fail to perform their function. However, it does not mean that all psychological tricks are pointless for our brains and minds. For example, to decrease the number of car accidents on city streets, we may employ the works of 3D artists (Britt, 2015). It has been found that the image of a child on the road makes people slow down their cars more effectively than the special road signs. It seems to be a rather useful finding of cognitive neuropsychologists since it can be employed in everyday life.

Hot Topic

Neuropsychologists from the University of California, Irvine found how the two- to three-year cosmic flight to Mars that will take place in 2017 might adversely affect the cognition processes of the cosmonauts. Mastroianni (2016) reports that the “exposure to highly energetic charged particles” will lead to “various performance decrements, memory deficits, anxiety, depression and impaired decision-making” (para. 3). The consequences of such radiation may progress throughout life. For this reason, the same research team is looking for a drug that can prevent these consequences (Mastroianni, 2016). This is the example of how neuropsychology as a study of such cognitive processes as perception, memory, speaking, learning, and thinking may find its application in a wide range of other studies, saving people’s lives not only on the operating table but in outer space.

Conclusion

Biopsychology and cognitive neuropsychology are important and challenging branches of psychology. They are connected with many other sciences, for example, neuroscience and biology. The findings of biopsychologists and cognitive neuropsychologists may be applied in different spheres of human activity, from traffic control to space exploration.

References

Britt, M. (Presenter). (2010). Episode 128: Do brain training games work? Web.

Britt, M. (Presenter). (2015). Episode 252: How psychology gets you to slow down while driving. Web.

Kuther, T. L., & Morgan, R. D. (2012). Careers in psychology: Opportunities in a changing world (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Cengage Learning.

Mastroianni, B. (2016). Astronauts heading to Mars could risk chronic dementia. CBS News. Web.

Essay Voice-over

2012 Olympic Games: Sports Management

When it was announced in Singapore that Britain will be hosting the 2012 Olympic Games, not many British supported the idea then. But currently, public opinion is changing due to several reasons. After only one year’s lapse, research has shown that public support is rapidly increasing. 53% of those interviewed agreed that the 2012 Olympic Games will positively change sports in Britain.

The research by Sports marketing Survey further revealed that a hooping 33% of the interviewees felt the event will encourage young people to venture into sporting activities in the following 12 months, (CanadianContent, 2006). In addition, the financial support that continues to flow given that public funding alone is estimated at £5.906 billion, continue to further boost public morale about the success of the 2012 Games, (Great Britain: National Audit Office, 2007). The reason for these supports is because many British see a window of opportunity for firms and brands to sponsor the Games.

The greatest impact of the 2012 Games in the sporting field is that it has already encouraged the youths in taking sports seriously. Children are already being inspired to enter the sporting arena; yet, the real event has not started. This is a clear indication that the event will immensely give rise to new sportsmen and bring back the enthusiasm in sports. The organizing committee for the event should however take into consideration any possible risks; for instance, under budgeting, (Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accountants, 2007)

The sporting fraternity will benefit from the completion of the best stadium in the world that is bound to be completed in 2011 ahead of the 2012 Games. Several new venues have been built, for example, the Olympic Stadium in East London that will hold the opening and closing ceremonies. “An 80,000-seat Olympic stadium at Marshgate Lane at the hub of Stratford’s planned Olympic precinct is proposed,” (The Guardian, 2006).

The second most amazing venue is being constructed to host aquatic events. It is designed to include two swimming pools that are 50 meters long. In addition to the two pools, there will also be the diving pool and the new venue is built with 20,000 seat capacity. These two facilities are some of the facilities that our sport is bound to benefit from before and after the world Olympic Games. Besides the two facilities, other new and historic venues are being prepared in Britain to host the forthcoming event. The public has already been jovial about this swimming facility. “Swimming is already Britain’s number one participation sport. Swimming is the 2012 Games-it’s the launch of the competition, it’s the first week, and it’s the hottest ticket in town, (Whittingdale, 2008).

Positive and Negative Impacts of the 2012 Games on Professional and Amateurs

The history of the Olympic Games since the setting up of the International Olympic Committee in 1894 affirms that the event was mainly for athletes to showcase their prowess in sporting activities. As a result, amateur athletes whose main achievements were to demonstrate national pride did not only dominated the events but we’re also the only legally binding participants. The participants n Olympic Games were determined using IOC rules as they applied before being changed in 1986.

The amateur athletes were not driven by monetary rewards as the case is in the modern time. The 1896 Olympic Games in Greece witnessed the greatest crowd in the stadium cheering up for national pride amid a dismal performance by participating Greek nationals, (Young, 2004). The events were only meant for amateur athletes until 1986 when professional athletes were incorporated into the Olympic Games following the amendment of the rules.

The restriction to include only amateur athletes was meant to encourage the philosophy of love of the game. Another reason for excluding professionals in the Games was because of adequate time they had for training as compared to amateurs. As a result, professional athletes developed skills that were superior as compared to amateur athletes.

The change of rule by IOC in 1986 is seen as a reactive measure that was inevitable due to the changing world perception in the sporting arena. Currently, sports is seen as a business and if professional athletes are excluded from the Games, that means that best talents are being neglected. Inclusion of professionals in the Games once more maintains the Olympic motto: “Faster, higher, stronger.” Professionalism in Olympic Games has changed the scope of the game.

It is no longer a competition of honoring states with top finishes as amateurs used to do, but, benefit from the packages that come with winning. Another negative impact is that amateur athletes continue to be disadvantaged as they have to pay personal money to access training facilities. The amateurs also have a tight training schedule because they do need to work to fend for their families basic needs. In addition to this problem, amateur athletes also lack potential sponsors and this creates an unfair ground of competition with their professional counterparts. Generally, “It was considered the professional athletes had an unfair advantage over those with higher ideals, the amateurs,” (Hurley, 2010).

However, professionalism in Olympic Games has positive impacts in that it has brought credibility to the Olympic Games. Some sports personalities are ‘products’ with a serious impact on viewership on television. The inclusion of professional athletes has led to increased demand for television rights; a feat that has led to increased financial gain for the Games, (Toohey and Veal, 2007). The initial rule of including only amateur athletes in the Games did not give room for sourcing of best talents.

Professionalism brings the search for the best athletes to represent participating countries in the final events. “Each country would love to send their finest athletes to compete in every event, in hopes of garnering some medals and instilling in their people a sense of national pride,” (Coles Bobby, 2006).

Conclusion

In this discussion, the numbers of negative impacts of the 2012 Olympic Games in Britain seem to outweigh positive impacts. This is because of the impacts of modern sport on the participation of amateur athletes. However, the positive impacts hold more power given that the modern world trends demand the changes. The move to amend Olympic Games rule by the IOC to include professional athletes was a justified action due to success in the Game in recent times. The inclusion of professional athletes is something that even amateur athletes have embraced and because the Olympic motto still holds, I will advocate for the continued support of professional athletes in the Olympic Games in Britain come 2012. My view does not only stop after the 2012 event but also for the coming Olympic Games in the seeable future.

Reference List

CanadianContent, 2006. UK support for Olympic continue to grow. Web.

Cole, B., 2010. The impacts of professional athletes on the Olympic Games. Web.

Great Britain: National Audit Office, 2007. The budget for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. House of Commons papers. London: The Stationery Office.

Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accountants, 2007. Preparations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: risk assessment and management, thirty-ninth report of session 2006-07, report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence.” Volume 377 of HC series. London: The Stationery Office.

Hurley, L., 2010. The impacts of professional athletes on the Olympic Games. Web.

The Gurdian, 2006. Where the sports will be staged. New stadiums and historic sites. Web.

Toohey, K. & Veal, A.J., 2007. The Olympic Games: a social science perspective. CABI publishing series. 2nd Ed. Boston: CABI.

Whittingdale, J., 2008. London 2012 Games: Oral and written evidence, Volume 2. HC (series) (Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons); 2007-08 104. London: The Stationery Office, 2008.

Young, D.C., 2004. A brief history of the Olympic Games. Brief histories of the ancient world. Manchester: Wiley-Blackwell.

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