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Web-based Enablers for Engineering and Management
Transcript of Web-based Enablers for Engineering and Management
The Business environment in which all profit-seeking enterprises operate is changing rapidly due to advanced technologies and globalization. To remain competitive, companies need to adjust to trends developing in the 21st century economy.
The specific objectives of Chapter 12 are manifold. The chapter discusses current examples of management and engineering functions that can be made more efficient by the use of web-based technologies.
Customer Relationship Management Customers, back-office workers, and supply-chain partners are the three major stakeholders that form the backbone of a progressive enterprise. Their participation in the business activities of the enterprise makes it possible to generate and deliver customer value through integrated business applications. Enablers for web-based management are software tools for managing these stakeholders.
Customer relationship management (CRM) focuses on the process of understanding and satisfying customers’ present and future requirements. Engineers are usually engaged in some part of customer relationship management activities. They are involved when the products of the company are of high technological content and require product customization, operations assistance, problem solving, application support, maintenance and repair assistance, spare parts, and other such services.
All customers are important, but some are more important than others, depending on the magnitude of their lifetime value (LTV). The LTV is the total revenue realized by the company from the purchases made by a customer over the period in which the customer continues to buy from the company. High-LTV customers should be managed differently from low-LTV customers.
Enterprise integration and
resource planning To achieve sustainable profitability, companies must plan, align, execute, and control all basic business processes. By streamlining all transactions and effecting data exchange between operations, companies can minimize inventories, shorten the cycle time to market, reduce costs, upgrade overall operational efficiency, and support customer service. Web-Based Project Management project management of human and physical resources required to attain a well-defined project objective on time and within budget. CABALLERO SHATA • It costs five times more to sell to a new customer than to sell to an existing one.
• A typical dissatisfied customer tells 8 to 10 people about the bad experience.
• A company can boost its profit by 85 percent by increasing its annual customer retention by only 5 percent.
• The odds of selling a product to a new customer are 15 percent; to an existing customer; 50 percent.
• Seventy percent of complaining customers will do business with the company again if past service deficiencies are quickly resolved.
Importance of customer relationship: The key success factor for customer relationship management is the efficient integration of the following front-end activities: •Sales –capture customer information, link sales and service functions, and cross sell and up-sell other company products.
•Direct Marketing- market new products and fulfill new orders.
•Customer service- access customer profiles in real time, create new value, instill loyalty, and deliver support functions.
•Call centers- respond with a human voice.
•Field service- delivers the needed maintenance or repair services and other special activities.
•Retention management- induces customer loyalty.
Three specific components in
enterprise integration systems Procurement Resources Management Procurement deals with the acquisition of typical operating resources, such as office supplies, services, travel, computer equipment and software, MRO (maintenance, repair, and operations) supplies, fuels, and training. Procurement activities involve identifying and evaluating vendors, selecting specific products, placing orders, and resolving problems and issues after purchase. Marketing and Sales
Management to service customers well, companies need to devise an easy ordering process, add value for the customers, increase sales force effectiveness, and coordinate team selling. The following processes are readily automated by the use of self-serve centers:
3.Quote and proposal generation
4.Commission and contract management
5.Order entry management
Decision support and
knowledge management The function of decision support and knowledge management focus on (1) business analysis, such as filtering, reporting, “what if” analyses, forecasting, and risk analysis; (2) data capture and storage, including data warehousing, data mining, and query processing; (3) decision support, such as expert systems, case-based reasoning modules, and intelligent knowledge modules; and (4) data dissemination via proper means, including wireless or mobile front ends.
1.Identify vendors who make engineered parts needed for the company’s equipment and who satisfy a specific set of requirements defined by the company
2.Exchange and review technical documents, such as drawings and product specifications.
3.Solicit bids and evaluate available offers.
4.Process the purchase orders within the company and obtain approvals.
5.Register orders and subsequent payment transactions into the company’s back-office systems, involving accounts payable and the factory-receiving department.
6.Resolve human errors and transaction mistakes, such as wrong parts ordered, shipment dates entered incorrectly, and receiving locations improperly specified.
Traditional procurement follows a number of manually implemented and time consuming steps that are subject to frequent human errors. These steps include the following: In contrast, web-based procurement makes this process significantly more efficient, decreases administrative costs per item purchased, and is adaptable to the evolution of business models, because it can do the following: 1.Use on-line catalogs provided by suppliers.
2.Make use of an electronic data interchange (EDI) network to process documents, a network that currently has 400,000 members in active participation.
3.Utilize CAD software to communicate through drawings.
4.Monitor inventory levels and automate the procurement process.
•Task and Resource Management - the first and foremost step in managing a project is for the project manager to define the overall project objective and the associated budgetary, time, and other constraints, in consultation with company management.
•Cost Management - tools commonly used to manage costs include spreadsheet programs integrated with databases and automatic time entry systems. When incurred, actual expenses related to purchased items and capital assets are reported instantly. The total, cumulative cost incurred for the project is then determined and plotted graphically to compare with the planned budget. Progress reports are issued to keep company management informed of the project status.
•Risk Management – The successful completion of diverse projects is inherently subject to uncertainties beyond the control of the project manager or team members. Example of such uncertainties include weather conditions, labor strikes, priority shifts, delays in the delivery of materials, and the unavailability of key team members due to emergencies. Forward thinking project managers should be aware of the relative impact of such uncertainties and be prepared to respond effectively.
•Communication – communication between team members is a key factor for success in any project. As project numbers increase and project scope expands, team members may become diversified in composition and geographically dispersed. Team members communicate with one another through voice, text, video, data, and documents. Specific technologies must be actively applied to make communication between team members faster, easier, cheaper, or high quality, and more productive.
•Knowledge Management – managing knowledge within a project is a job of critical importance. At the end of the project, all team members usually gather to celebrate, give recognition to those who performed well, congratulate each other for the success achieved, and then immediately dash out to take on the next assignment. There may be debriefing meetings that summarize what went well and what did not go so well. In general, preserving the learning from each project is not always done systematically.
The best practices in project management focus on five key management issues: tasks and resources, cost, risk, communications, and knowledge. •Offer easy access to the project status
•Have a portal for project-related information
•Import from and export to other project management tools.
•Run programs on a Web server.
•Manage contact information about team member
•Map projects and assign tasks to team members.
•Assign different views to allow each team member to see
only the information and assignments pertinent to him or her.
•Enable members to update tasks
•Permit easy installation and use.
•Offer sample templates
•Possess the capability of tracking any number of tasks and milestones
with associate links to Web sites, documents, and every other project.
•Hold on-line, text-based chats for virtual meetings
•Track resources allocation
•Organize user interfaces.
•Perform scenario analyses (“what-if”).
•Facilitate risk-adjusted modeling.
•Documents project outcome and learning.
A good Web-Based project management tool should be able to do the following tasks: Supply-Chain Management Supply-Chain Management involves the formation and maintenance of a complex network of relationships with business partners to the sources of, for example, raw materials; the manufacture storage of intermediate products and finished goods; and the delivery of products. It focuses on the management among the partners of the flows of materials (tangible goods), information (demand forecast, order processing, and order status reporting), and finance (credit-card information, credit terms, payment schedule, and title ownership arrangements).
The goals of supply-chain management are to lessen the time to market, reduce the cost to distribute, and supply the right products at the right time. Achieving these challenging goals requires an integrations of various operations, including market-demands forecasting; resources and capacity utilization subject to imposed constraints and real-time scheduling; and the optimization of multiple-objective functions involving cost, time, service , and quality. Web-Based tools are available to assist in the management of such a complex supply-chain. Examples of software products for supply-chain management include advanced planning and optimization by SAP, and Rhythm by 12 technologies.
A.EDI Linkage. For automotive companies, the supply of engineered parts in a multiple-tiered vendor system requires a major managerial effort. Companies in other industries also recognize the efficiency gain and cost reduction that can be realized by streamlining the supply process.
B.mySAP ERP. mySAP ERP is a commercial, off-the-shelf enterprise resource-planning software package. It supports 25 specific functions related to accounting and finance, production planning and material management, human resources, and sales and distribution. It also supports order entry, facilitates supply-planning processes, and assists in customer service.
C.Supply-Chain system. The specific goals are to (1) enable the suppliers to meet the company’s annual demand forecast; (2) track delivery dates and lead tie on-line and identify production bottlenecks; and (3) facilitate communications between the parties.
There are number of additional Web-Based supply chain management enablers as illustrated in the next list. Web-Based Enablers for Engineering Functions Aside from the enablers for Web-Based management already deliberated, there are Web-Based enablers for engineering functions that may involve engineers and engineering managers more directly. Web-Based Product Design and Development The principal goal of product design and development has always been to come up with products with suitable features that satisfy the needs of customers. A.Communication – the first, most important step in product design and development is to understand the needs and wants of customers. Missing or poorly defined customer requirements are the number-one reason for product failure. Proactive market research using such Internet-based tools as e-mail, discussion groups, chat rooms, and surveys via Web portals is essential to identify and define these requirements as key inputs for the conceptual design of a product.
B.Information Sharing – Design data are usually proprietary in nature, and they must be managed with care. On the other hand, team members must have constant access to data to iteratively refine a product design to meet the overall design goals of low cost, high quality, valuable features, and short time to market. Ready accessibility of design data also maximizes the use of available design expertise
C.Collaboration - Many key product design activities are typically carried out concurrently and involve a number of team members with relevant expertise. For them to work collaboratively, they need to view the same product model at the same time. To hold a collaborative product design session. Team members use PC-based standard browsers to simultaneously access the server.
D.Design Verification – the product design needs to be verified before the finished product is made in large numbers. Traditionally, design verification is done by producing physical prototypes that are then tested for functionality, reliability, and serviceability.
E.Configuration and Team Management – configuration management tools used to assist the team leader in planning and controlling product configurations, managing product design changes, coordinating concurrent activities, modifying the supply-chain infrastructure in response to shifting customer requirements, solving problems, and achieving “right-first-time” product design and development execution. The team leader must manage the efforts of the product design and development team in essentially the same manner as a project is managed. One of the key preparatory steps is to ready the team for those parts of the product design and development process executed by Web-Based technology tools. Training everyone on the team to become familiar with the technical aspects of all of the tools is relatively easy.
For companies to succeed in such a challenging environment, attention must be given to several success factors, including communications, information sharing, collaborations, design verification, and team management. Web-Based Manufacturing and Plant Operations The operations of manufacturing plants, machine shops, chemical process plants, assembly plants, warehouses, distribution centers, customer contact centers, and others are important to any enterprise. In recent years, Web-based tools have become increasingly available to assist in planning, benchmarking, analyzing, optimizing, controlling, monitoring, and correcting plant operations. •CIMX
•RF Navigator EMMS
•The “Build to Order” Concept
Some Web-based tools
are as follows: Web-Based Engineering Innovation Continual innovation is the key to success for many enterprises. Among the few best practices that foster corporate innovation are recognizing innovation as a key to corporate survival in the long run, committing sufficient resources to pursue innovative activities, encouraging innovation from all organizational units in addition to R&D, and selectively implementing innovative ideas to ensure business viability. Web- Based Maintenance Once they become world-class manufacturing operations, firms realized the critical need to effectively maintain production facilities and systems. Benchmarking awith industrial companies via the Internet to define the best practices in maintenance is a good first step toward drafting a comprehensive plan. This plan may include activities such as maintenance targets, performance metrics, analysis and monitoring tools, and corrective measures.