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Service Request Riordan Manufacturing

Essay by   •  February 24, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  3,887 Words (16 Pages)  •  1,829 Views

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Service Request Riordan Manufacturing

Riordan Manufacturing began business as Riordan Plastics in San Jose, CA in 1991 as a research and development company and licensing of its polymer processing patents. Over the years, the company has acquired a fan manufacturing plant in Pontiac, MI, a plastic beverage container manufacturing plant in Albany, GA and most recently expanded to a new manufacturing plant in Hangzhou, China. To expand on its product offerings, the company moved its fan manufacturing operation to the new China plant and the Pontiac, MI location now handles custom plastic parts. Some of the company’s major customers include the Department of Defense, automotive parts and aircraft manufacturers, appliance manufacturers, and beverage bottlers. The expansion of operations has increased Riordan Manufacturing’s customer base, but has also led to some issues with disparity and compatibility among the business systems between the independent operating locations, some of which need attention to improve business operations.

Sales and Marketing

The sales and marketing division of Riordan Manufacturing has critical business systems issues to address. Their main issue is that they have historical records saved in numerous databases, as well as on paper and microfiche. As stated in Riordan’s 2006 sales plan, the company would like to consolidate their information into a Customer Relations Management (CRM) system (Riordan Manufacturing, Sales, 2006). A CRM is a system that manages customers and is used as a tool to track everything the company does that relates to its customers.

Riordan should decide to go to a completely new CRM system and replace their current system, which is not giving them the functionality they desire. However, this is a long process with many considerations. Many issues must be addressed in order to help the company find and implement not just a new CRM system, but more importantly, the right system. The first issue is Riordan must decide what it wants from a CRM system, as it is not exclusively a sales and marketing tool; it is a tool that everyone in the company can use to track customer information. Therefore, the best approach to beginning the search of the right system is to assemble a cross-section of all company staff that will use this system and determine the capabilities everyone needs (Anicich, 2003).

The desktops that are being used by the sales and marketing staff are functional for the tasks at hand but could use an upgrade in software to bring them up to date. The desktops are currently running the Windows 2000 operating system and have Microsoft Office 2000 installed locally (Riordan Manufacturing, Information, 2006). Although this software is over five years old, and newer, more functional software is available, this current configuration should prove functional for the business needs. However, the company should consider upgrading the software image package when the need for newer, faster desktops becomes apparent.

Currently, Riordan is utilizing several methods of management to maintain records for its 15 to 20 major customers, as all members of the sales force maintains their own set of customer records. The historical sales data for Riordan Manufacturing was recorded using pencil and paper. Riordan currently is using electronic measures of managing sales processed, however this applies to sales data only (Riordan Manufacturing, Sales, 2006). An effective CRM system will help consolidate and better organize this important data.

The marketing organization also has similar dilemmas as the sales force. Past market research studies are currently being stored in a filing cabinet within the marketing department. The company would like to have these documents scanned and stored electronically in a centralized database. Implementing a sound CRM system will not only allow Riordan to store these documents electronically, but will provide easier access in locating these documents when needed (Riordan Manufacturing, Sales, 2006).

After assessing the sales and marketing department’s current status, it appears that implementing a new CRM system is a very good idea. The CRM system should be universal throughout the sales and marketing department, as well as the company as a whole. The CRM should include a centralized database with forms for the sales and marketing department as well as the other departments within the Riordan Manufacturing organization. Each form will act as a database for each department, with the ability of querying all the data into necessary reports. This type of centralized database will not only help alleviate the disorganization of previous data collecting and storage methods, but will improve the access to the data as well. Another benefit of the of these queried reports is that customers can interact with different people or different contact channels within the company over time without having to repeat the history of their interaction each time (Outlaw, 2004).

The software to build this database can be created using Microsoft Access, as this is a well-known program and should be relatively easy to maintain. As the sales and marketing staff have Microsoft Office 2000 currently installed on their desktop computers, the need for purchasing additional software probably will not be necessary. Additionally, many of Riordan’s staff should be proficient with the program which eliminates the need for extensive training.

A database of this magnitude will require a large amount of hard drive space as well as maintenance and security. Therefore, it may be necessary to invest in a server with enough capacity to store all the data that this database will process. The current server in the San Jose facility has 1GB of RAM, which may prove to be adequate for the amount memory needed. The processing speed of the server is 2.8 Ghz, which is fairly standard today (Riordan Manufacturing, Information, 2006). However, as the company and clientele grow, it may be in the company’s best interest to purchase an additional server to accommodate the growing needs of the database.

The recommendation on the implementation of the new CRM system should be approved immediately. Riordan should assign a CRM team to test the functionality of the new system and to report any issues that need to be addressed. Once the CRM team is comfortable with the new system, the CRM system should be implemented throughout the entire organization.

Finance and Accounting

With the recent acquisitions of the additional manufacturing plants in Georgia, Michigan, and the expansion into China, the existing finance and accounting systems have been retained at each location which has resulted in disparate

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