Case Study – Can Brady Corporation Redesign Its Systems for Success? Executive Summary: The Brady Corporation is branded as the oldest & the most successful companies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin founded in 1915; and a leader in high performance labels, signs and related industrial safety products. They have 44 business units that produce and distribute its labels from 47 locations in 20 countries on five continents around the world. Despite its growing success, the company found it was running into trouble in the mid 1990’s that fear of falling behind with its competitors in the use of Internet to save costs on already –low profit margins.
In 1997, Brandy launched a major Web project; the new digital system was called Web-to-Workbench; which enable customers to be able to design and order their own signs online and the website would automatically forward the new order to its production facility. However problems were encountered; Brady relied heavily on information systems (IS) to support most of its business process, but were antiquated (out of date), & could not communicate with each other.
In February 1999 Hudson’s assess the company could not continue growing because it was “Stymied by an infrastructure that had reached well beyond practical limits” She concluded that the company must overhaul its business process totally to move fully into the digital age. Brady needed to revamp al its system. The goal “business-led Project for the whole company” and not just a software or information technology project was made clear by CFO David Schroeder Brady. I. Viewpoint From the Brady’s CEO KATHERINE HUDSON II. Time Context In year 2000
III. Statement of the Problem SAP enterprise software was not a good foundation for Brady’s new systems creating problems in various areas of the company. IV. Statement of the Objectives 1. In year 2000, SAP will tie-up with other systems projects 2. In year 2003 upon installation and testing of all systems and then if it fails, it’s time for Brady to redesign its system 3. Hire people for maintenance of the new information system for the company simultaneously with the installation of the system. V. Areas of Consideration TOWS MATRIX |Strengths |Weaknesses | | | |Business units act independently from each | | |The pioneer in high performance label and |other. | | |signs. |Information systems are not in synch with each | | |Has 44 business unit for the manufacture of its|other. | |products |Information systems are out of date. | | |Has a unique system that lets customers | | | |customize their own design in the product they | | | |intend to purchase. | |Opportunities |SO |WO | | | | | | | | | | |“Maxi-Maxi” Strategy |“Mini-Maxi” Strategy | | | | | | |Use a firm’s internal strengths to take |This are strategies aimed at improving internal| | |advantage of external opportunities |weaknesses by taking advantage of external | | | |opportunities | |Threats |ST |WT | | | | | |1. Brady is falling behind with its competitors|“Maxi-Mini” Strategy |“Mini-Mini” Strategy | |in the use of Internet to save costs on already| | | |–low profit margins. Use a firm’s strengths to avoid or reduce the |This are defensive tactics directed at reducing| | |impact of external threats |internal weaknesses and avoiding external | | | |threats | | | | | | | | | | | | | VI. Assumption Computers and Information Systems: Year In Review 2001 The recession year 2001 hit the computers and information systems sector hard. Already reeling from the collapse of dot-com companies a year earlier, the industry had to deal with reduced demand for its products and services. That in turn produced a steady stream of corporate cutbacks and layoffs. The terrorist attacks in the U. S. on September 11, which stunned the world and sent the U. S. Source: Encyclop? dia Britannica. om, retrieved from Analysis: The information age had run a wall in its technological advances. After the millennium bug the news about the dot. com collapse and the terrorist attacks, people begun to question the reliability of computers and the system. Companies began searching for a cheaper and more reliable system to place. SAP Needs More than Tech Help to Fix Problems SAP has made a lot of bad headlines. An SAP rollout at Levi Strauss went awry, leading to delayed product shipments for a whole week during the second quarter, which in turn caused a bad earnings quarter. News of price hikes and a forced transition to the new SAP Enterprise support. Silicon. om best summed up the problem that this SAP is claiming this as an enhanced offering, it is difficult to see how it will be able to justify this level of fees for customers whose deployments are complete or which do not wish to upgrade. Source: ITBusinessEdge, Lorraine Lawson, July 2008 Analysis: Systems had become unreliable that companies in the US had become hesitant in installing new and improved information system in their production. Another bad scenario that had come up is the burst of the dot. com bubble leaving most Americans awry about computers and the system that runs them. VII. Alternative Courses of Action ACA 1: Change for Oracle System ACA 2: Hire technicians to troubleshoot and upgrade the system ACA 3: Extensive use of the internet for the unification of transaction of all units of Brady corp. VIII. ANALYSIS ACA 1:
ACA 2: Hire technicians to troubleshoot and upgrade the system Advantages: By hiring technicians, they can do preventive maintenance of Brady’s system and at the same time can upgrade the system. The can install programs that can help Brady in its information system problems. Disadvantages: More costly because of the human factor that is attached upon the ACA ACA 3: Extensive use of the internet for the unification of transaction of all units of Brady corp. Advantages: Internet usage had been proven less costly and the vastness of its reach is unlimited. Disadvantages: Brady might just replicate the problem that it already has. IX. Conclusion Decision Matrix Criteria |ACA 1 |ACA 2 |ACA 3 | |Cost-driven | |1 |3 | |Effectiveness | |4 |4 | |Easy to implement | |3 |4 | |Total | | | | Rating: 1-4 (1 is the lowest and 4 is the highest) X. Plan of Action Activities |Person in-charge |Costs |Timeframe | | | | | | |ACA 1 | | | | | |HRD |The minimum wage it has to pay |2001 | |ACA 2 | |for the technicians that will | | | | |handle the information system | | | | |(44Business Units/One person | | | | |per unit) | | | |I. T. /Engineering Dept. |Internet usage is said to be |2001 | |ACA 3 | |free of charge but the system | | | | |that a company has shell out to| | | | |have a decent internet | | | | |connection varies | |