The case study will assess your knowledge of key content areas in information systems using real world case. For successful completion of the case study, you are required to study the material provided (lecture slides, tutorials, and reading materials), engage in the units activities, and the discussion forums). The prescribed textbook is the main reference along with the recommended reading material. By completing this assessment successfully, you will be able to identify key aspects of information systems. This will help in achieving ULO3, ULO4, and ULO5. Case Study- Aldra Manages Workflow
The case study will assess your knowledge of key content areas in information systems using real world case. For successful completion of the case study, you are required to study the material provided (lecture slides, tutorials, and reading materials), engage in the units activities, and the discussion forums). The prescribed textbook is the main reference along with the recommended reading material. By completing this assessment successfully, you will be able to identify key aspects of information systems. This will help in achieving ULO3, ULO4, and ULO5. Case Study- Aldra Manages Workflow to Support Customization Aldra Manages Workflow to Support Customization Aldra Fenster und Türen GmbH, or Aldra for short, is a leading door and window manufacturer with over 300 dealers in Germany and Scandinavia. Aldra is well known for its precision craftsmanship in manufacturing intricate, custom-designed windows. In the early 1970s, the company developed a unique method of manufacturing windows from plastic. Combined with its customization service, this cost-saving manufacturing innovation gave Aldra a leg up on the competition. Aldras custom window design and manufacturing has created challenges in its corporate workflow and information processing. Mass-producing windows and doors in standard sizes is far easier than creating custom designs, where production techniques change from one item to the next. At Aldra, most orders have unique requirements in terms of size, shape, materials, function, and embedded technology. To support custom orders, Aldra must provide considerable flexibility in both its manufacturing processes and its information systems. Providing customized manufacturing does not excuse Aldra from meeting the tight deadlines imposed by costly construction projects. Aggressive construction schedules rarely allow for the extra time required to produce custom products. Aldra found that the complexities of building its high-quality products were causing confusion in the order processing system and delays in manufacturing, leading to missed deadlines. Order specifications were sometimes incomplete or incorrect, and correcting orders is time consuming. Lack of coordination among departments resulted in additional errors that occasionally resulted in costly idle time on the production line. The lack of coordination also led to errors in calculating manufacturing costs, which reduced profits. Aldra set out to implement a new system that would assist the company in managing its value chain and corporate workflow. Aldra purchased information systems from Infor Corporation that allowed the company to better coordinate efforts across departments. Using the software, Aldra now models its critical core processes (workflows) and then uses the models to improve communication across the value chain. The models define the specific employees involved in the various stages of the process. The system then generates daily activities for each employee displayed in a particular area on the computer desktop. As activities approach their deadline, they are moved to the top of the list. Employees also receive e-mail notices of new or pressing actions needing attention. Aldras new workflow management system depends on a corporate-wide system that stores and manipulates all order details. Top managers can view orders to see how they are progressing through the value chain so that they can intervene when necessary. Aldra implemented the new system in an unusually short amount of time. The company spent three days installing the system, another three days training managers in how to model workflow processes, and two weeks to model processes and train users. Page 8 of 9 The benefits of the new system were almost immediately apparent. Within weeks, the companys adherence to delivery dates was improved by over 95 percent. Cost estimates are now reliably calculated. Employees make more productive use of their time, and customers are happy. Aldra is looking to expand the use of its new systems to other areas of its business. SOURCES: Infor Staff, Aldra Fenster und Türen GmbH, Aldra Customer Profile, accessed December 24, 2009, www.infor.com/content/casestudies/ 296661; Infor ERP systems Web site, accessed December 24, 2009; Aldra Web site (translated), accessed December 24, 2009, www.aldra.ed. Exercise: Imagine you work as a consultant for Aldra. You are in need to introduce a workflow management system to help improve organisation workflows. In deciding whether this system suit your business needs, you are required to investigate the following through considerable amount of research including literature review and relevant examples. 1. Summarize the case study objectives. 2. What problems did Aldras new information systems address, and what was the root of those problems? What people, organisation and technology factors contributed to this problem? 3. How did Aldras new systems assist employees in being more productive? 4. What lessons can be learned from this case in terms of managing information in a value chain? 5. What is a workflow management system? What benefits and challenges does this system provide to organisations? 6. How does an organization determine when it is worthwhile to invest in a system such as Aldras workflow management system? 7. Identify and discuss the information security systems for protecting business information such as Aldras?
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