A Typical Scenario : Disorganization on a Global Scale

Contributor : Ruby Andry Novison

Let’s make a metaphor. A traditional multinasional consumer goods company based in United States and operating in Europe would like to expand into Asian market and knows that should develop a transnational strategy and a supportive information system structure. The company has dispersed production and marketing to regional and national centers while maintaning a world headquarters and strategic management in the United States.  Basically, each foreign division can develop its own system. The only centrally coordinated system is financial and reporting. The central system group in United States only focuses in domestic function and production. The result is hedgepodge of hardware, software and tellecomunications.The e-mail system between Europe and United States are not going well.Each production facility uses a different manufacturing resource planning system (or a different version of the same ERP system) and different marketing, sales and human resources system. Hardware and database platform are widly different. Communications between different sites are poor, given the high cost of European countries. The central systems group at headquarters in the United States recently was decimated and dispersed to the U.S local sites in the hope of serving local needs better and reducing costs.

The foreign divisions will reject attempes to agree to the terms of joint user; they have never thought about much other than their ownunits’ needs. The systems groups in American local sites, which have been enlarged recently and told to focus on local needs, will not easily accept guidance from anyone recommending a transnational strategy. It will be difficult to convince local managers anywhere in the world that they should change their business procedures to align with other units in the world, especially if this might interfere with their local performance. After all, local managers are rewarded in this company for meeting local objectives of their division or plan. Finally, it will be difficult to coordinate development of projects around the world in the absence of a powerful telecommunications network and, therefore, difficult to encourage local users to take on ownership in the systems developed. The manager of branch company must be able to determine the strategy so that the can relate with the central company. The system from the smallest is not just about reporting and profit but supporting factors must also be considered in order to archieve the objectives to be achieved by the company.

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