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In the past, college graduates would embark on careers in the business world with book learned business theory. Now the college curriculum can include practical use of real world situations in a web-paged virtual organization. This virtual organization allows students experience to review, analyze, troubleshoot and resolve real business problems. This paper will review the virtual company, Riordan Manufacturing, allowing students to review existing business systems, identify improvements or introduce new business systems to allow the company to thrive in the growing technology of the business world.
Riordan Manufacturing, a company that is wholly owned by Riordan Industries, a Fortune 1000 enterprise specializes in the field of plastic injection molding. Riordan Manufacturing was initially Riordan Plastics, Inc., a company founded by Dr. Riordan in 1991 to process polymers into high tensile strength plastic substrates. Due to its initial success and venture capital obtained, it was able to expand and take on a new identity hence the name change. Its products include plastic beverage containers produced at its plant in Albany, Georgia, custom plastic parts produced at its plant in Pontiac, Michigan, and plastic fan parts produced at its facilities in Hangzhou, China. The company's research and development is done at the corporate headquarters in San Jose. Riordan's major customers are automotive parts manufacturers, aircraft manufacturers, the Department of Defense, beverage makers and bottlers, and appliance manufacturers.
Riordan has identified criteria in four areas that define the company’s mission statement. First, the company focus is to have attitudes and abilities that exceed industry standards to provide solutions for customer’s challenges and lead the industry in Research and Development. Second, the mission for customer relationships is to be a solution for the customer, maintain quality, innovation, and customer service at a reasonable price. Third, to ensure the long-term viability of the company, the mission to the employees is to have an innovative and team oriented working environment, in addition to keeping the employees informed and supported. Lastly, the future of the company depends on maintaining profitability to allow growth in the company (Apollo Group, 2004).
To meet the company focus of being the industry leader in R&D, there must be a commitment by management to stay ahead of the curve in technology for R&D. For Customer Relationships, combining systems for each of the divisions would help ensure Riordan was not part of the customer’s challenges. Existing business systems and hardware need to be the same or compatible between each of the divisions of the company in order to operate efficiently. In addition, support, maintenance and licenses need to be current on all systems to avoid situations such as service contracts being discontinued, expertise being lost to attrition or systems and hardware becoming obsolete. If these situations occur, customer service and delivery is compromised. To meet the mission for the employees to be a team, each division will need to talk and understand the same technical terms, combine systems to bring employees together with a common goal, provide training on new systems, match and enhance pay structures and improve communication with vehicles such as a news letter to share goals, accomplishments and company news. For the future of the company, maintaining profitability and growth is easy to accomplish if the other portions of the mission are achieved successfully.
The internet site is too static. It needs to be set up as a dynamic one and allow some interaction between those who visit the site just for information, as well as incumbent and potential clients who may want to transact business over the internet. Letting visitors to the site know their mission is also a good way of making the site and the company more appealing. There should be more information concerning the products they offer and how people can place orders or correspond with company personnel. There should be some sort of portal to an extranet where clients can place orders for their needs in an easy and secure way. This may mean acquiring some business systems which will integrate with the systems they already have, in order to provide a seamless online experience for clients. This may involve getting some form of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to integrate their several data sources and processes into a unified system. They can achieve this by using multiple components of computer software and hardware to access data from a unified database which stores data for the various system modules. To ensure good customer service, more information can be given as to how to get in touch with personnel of the various branches they have. They can also implement some Customer Relationship Management (CRM), a multifaceted process, through the use of information technology that creates two-way exchanges with customers so that they can have an intimate knowledge of their needs, wants, and buying patterns. Through the use of CRM they can understand as well as anticipate the needs of current and potential customers.
Finance and Accounting
The finance and accounting systems of the three primary locations for Riordan Mfg. are substantially different. The system in San Jose, the corporate location, has a system that is stand alone and works well in and of itself. The San Jose location is fully licensed to the corporation and is designed to cover the needs of a plastics company. This license is for the software as is, with no permission to access the source code. This means that integration of another system into this system is not feasible.
The Michigan location has a wholly owned license for a different type of software that is written for the needs of the company. The license includes the source code and the ability to integrate other systems into the program. The issues here are that the company that designed the software is out of business and the system it runs on is antiquated.
The Georgia location has yet a different software system. This software system is custom written by the vender for the application and the license includes the source code access. The system is perhaps the most compatible with the PC environment and represents the best feasible possibility for an integrated system.
The current systems do not interface with each other completely, leaving a series of report formats. The formats range from a hard printout to spread sheets. This makes compiling a company financial statement and reports labor intensive. There is a need for an integrated system that can compile the information for the income statements and balance sheets in a reasonable amount of time, not the 15 to 20 days after month end they are currently experiencing.
Riordan Manufacturing has made a great attempt to set up a foundation for the company by providing an internet site, mission, and setting up a finance and accounting system. But based on the review of these components there are many more improvements to be made in order for Riordan to be a successful business. Riordan has to come up with a strategic plan that will aid them in accomplishing their mission and goals. To achieve the mission and goals it is imperative that the business systems within Riordan Manufacturing have continuity. It will help the business to keep important information organized and easily accessible. Lastly, there is always room for creativity. The business world is all about competition. In order to gain competitive advantage over other companies Riordan must use creative as well as critical thinking in order to come up with new ways to lure the customer in while gaining the trust of the customer. As Riordan Manufacturing strives to meet the competitive needs of their customers and employees they will be one step closer to success.
Apollo Group, (2004). Riordan Manufacturing. Retrieved June 16, 2008, from Apollo Group database.
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"Riordan Manufacturing." 123HelpMe.com. 24 Apr 2014