Enterprise Architecture

When your organization’s enterprise architecture isn’t optimized it’s hard – if not impossible – to realize the smooth operations and cost savings all firms strive for. A company in the specialty paper manufacturing industry was having this very problem, specifically around their e-commerce business process mapping and technology.

Their issues were many:

  • Multiple tools supported similar business processes, causing redundancy and major inefficiencies.
  • Over 250 custom developed “front end” programs were being used to support custom maps, with minimal documentation – making the process difficult and expensive to maintain.
  • A labor-intensive file transfer process was right out of the 2000s.
  • Organizational silos concentrated on their individual objectives with no sharing of best practices and limiting each’s ability to leverage corporate technology investments.

And of course, they needed to identify cost savings.

We teamed with the firm on a six-week engagement to create an elegant and useful solution:

  • After an initial analysis we recommended moving validation criteria order entry systems, instead of embedding this in B2B maps. This reduced complexity and redundancy, as this process was already covered by order entry.
  • Next came selective sourcing for map development and EDI gateway function.
  • We recommended an actionable set of principles to guide the selection and development for the overall strategy.
  • We also recommended an initial approach to Master Data Management that would reduce the complexity of the EDI solutions, with broader implications on order management and ERP.

Positive results were swift and lasting, including reducing the number of software tools in use and adjusting the planned ERP approach in order to reduce complexity with EDI. The guiding principles were something they could use again in the future, making overall solution architecture a win for our client.

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