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INF60007 Introduction to Business Information Systems Assignment HelpResearch Essay


In a world of information technology (IT) abundance, competitive advantage (CA) has little to do with access to technology. Indeed, because enterprise systems (ES) are the most adopted technology by businesses, it would be difficult for a firm to achieve a competitive advantage purely on the basis of having an ES.

However, companies do use their ES systems to achieve competitive advantage within their industry sector. Hence, discuss one (1) of the following strategic approaches a company can use to achieve competitive advantage using their ES:

- Cost leadership across industry or Cost leadership within an industry sector

- Differentiation across industry or Differentiation within an industry sector

- Innovation

Use two(2) different case studies for the strategic approach selected to support any discussion. The paper should NOT be about introducing or implementing an ES in a firm but using an established system to achieve competitive advantage. Make sure your discussion clearly explains how the chosen strategic approach is achieved using an ES.

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Innovation: Enterprise System Strategies


In today's business innovation is a very important criterion for survival. Given the high level of existing competition, business enterprises are striving hard to make a better market position through improved competitive advantage. The role of Enterprise Systems (ES) in this regard is quite essential. This study throws light on the role of innovation in business strategies that would enhance the effectiveness of ES.

Importance of Enterprise Systems

Information Technology has been responsible for transforming the operations of modern business firms. The job roles have become easier and the employees can perform with greater efficiency. Enterprise systems are software that enables the storage of data in formats that are usable by lay people. This is very useful for identifying and addressing the needs of the customers. Modern organisations are quite dependent on the Customer Service Processes that ES enables. This is actuated by the application of ERP that enables the business to adopt automation in customer service, ensuring that each employee is responsible for consistent high consumer experience (Rodriguez et al., 2019). Customer relationships are improved and loyalty is gained, which helps the organisation in achieving greater competitive advantage though improved market share.

ES gives the businesses to have a better idea about the allocation of resources. The managers can easily identify the need for scaling up or down of particular resources for particular activities through the information gathered from ES. The most important aspect of using ERP systems is that the information can be processed on a areal time basis. Therefore, the effectiveness of the strategies based on ES is more accurate than that of the small scale IT solutions (Trantopoulos et al., 2017). Moreover, the data gathered through ES are more secured, which is a very big advantage as customers and other external stakeholders would want to work with an organisation, where their information are secured.

ES is also very useful in reducing the business costs. This is applicable for maintaining the right amount stock of inventory. A business should keep a stock of adequate inventories, neither too less nor too excessive. Keeping excessive inventories increases the cost of maintenance and keeping a small stock would not allow the business to meet the market demand, giving the competitors a chance to deliver and acquire competitive advantage. Moreover, ES is efficient in ensuring that the businesses are working in compliance with the business regulations (Rebovich and White, 2016). The external stakeholders would have the access to the information they have a right to know and ES makes the process quite easier.

Role of innovation in Enterprise Systems

The effectiveness use of the ES can only be enhanced through the implementation of innovation. In case of Customer relationship management, the management might identify the needs of the customers and the buying behaviour they are associated with, but how they will meet the needs depends on the innovative approaches applied by the company. This can include target advertisements and engagements with their customers and working on the feedback received. Innovation is also applicable with regard to supply chain management (Sedera et al., 2016). Based on the data gathered by the types of goods that would be most profitable for the organisation, the management decides on the innovation storing, production and logistic techniques that would help them gain a better competitive advantage (McDermott, 2019). Business organisations have adopted green supply chain management that improves the brand image of the company through the adoption of sustainable business techniques. Finally, the last type of ES, ERP, is responsible for integrating the operational information with regard to finance, inventory, purchasing and HR. The ERP system is responsible for sharing the required data and assists the management in handling the administrative tasks in an efficient manner . This is done by innovatively managing the risks that come on the way to the success of the business. The innovations include machine learning, AI Bots, IoT and Social ERP.

Challenges faced while implementing Enterprise Systems

Although the modern technologies have brought about a lot of ease in business operations, there are certain disadvantages of the system that the managers face. ES is associated with a very high cost of maintenance, which implies that only large profit making firms can apply it. Small firms trying to reach out to a greater consumer base would not be able to apply the systems. The system also demands the need for employee training to be accustomed to the advanced system. This an issue of major concern because there are very few existing experts who can effectively train the employees, as the system is quite new (McDermott, 2019). It is evident that only the new employees would be familiar with such systems. Another major drawback of ES is that it is very rigid and does not make room for flexibility within the system.

Overcoming the challenges

If an organisation has to be more efficient in improving its business performance, it is important that the organisation makes itself prepared for meeting the necessary changes away from traditional business practices. Organisations must plan the course of innovative actions that would be required to increase business efficiency. Strong leaders must essentially be appointed in order to ensure that the required innovative excellence in communication and organisational or technical skills are achieved. It also important to choose the right vendor supplying the system. Managers must know about its other clients. They should belong to the same industry. This would give the firm a basis for considering the vendor and relying on it. The system must be tested a few times before being seriously implemented. Implementation of ES demands the adopting of change management (Huber et al., 2017). The change in the use of software would effectively alter the core responsibilities associated with the managers. The managers must also ensure that they engage with specialists belonging to IT. These specialists would throw light on how well information can be used in overcoming the business problems innovatively.

Case study 1: Apple

According to Chikhale and Mansouri (2015), multinational corporations face a lot of obstacles in running the business operations smoothly. This case study is based on the business of Apple, showing the challenges involved with large scale Enterprise Business Systems. There are certain existing issues of corporate governance. The company had first aligned the business strategies with resource allocation. However, ultimately Apple had to implement change management and adopt quick ad hoc strategies in order to enhance the flexibility of operations (Chikhale and Mansouri, 2015). It has been found out that corporate governance needs to adopt a collaborative and agile approach in order to get enhanced outcomes. Consistent value creation is backed by the Apple's innovative strategies, leading to the fast growth of the company.

Case study 2: Mesfine Industrial Engineering Pvt. Ltd

As opined by Boltena and Gomez (2012), the implementation of ERP systems in an efficient manner is a more difficult task than compared to the developing a computer application. The case study contains the in-depth study of the successful implementation of a medium sized firm named Mesfine Industrial Engineering (MIE) Pvt. Ltd, situated in Ethiopia, having monopoly over electromechanical engineering and metal construction. The company had implemented ERP system only recently (Boltena and Gomez, 2012). The case study identifies the issues involved with the implementation of ERP. The company needs to address certain cultural issues embedded within the organisation. Technical and business training are required for the employees to be subjected to. MIE has been able to cope with many challenges that other SMEs find hard to overcome. If the identified issues are addressed, it is not far that the company will be operating at a large scale.


The study has been successful in throwing light on the importance of ES and the role ogf innovation in enhancing the business performance. The study has also elaborated on the challenges faced while implementing the system followed by the specification of the ways in which certain challenges can be overcome and efficiency can be achieved. The study includes two case studies that validate the relevance of the discussion. One of them is on the large MNC, Apple, and the other case study is one a medium sized company of Ethiopia, Mesfine Industrial Engineering, operating as a monopoly and aiming high growth. Identification of the issues of implantation of enterprise systems is a very important determining element of business efficiency. These issues must be recognised prior to the actual implementation, through test runs. Dependability of the vendors selling the software is also a matter of consideration. Most importantly, adoption of flexibility within organisation's governance and an agile approach is quintessential for the successful implementation of ES, as the system itself is very rigid.

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