Under Joe Hopper’s leadership, Hopper Specialty Company had grown into the biggest distributor of industrial hardware in northwest New Mexico. To provide the systems infrastructure needed for future growth, Joe acquired an inventory management system from NCR. In addition to the NCR hardware and systems software, the system included the Warehouse Manager software from Taylor Management Systems. The system was supposed to track the thousands of items in the Hopper inventory, including prices and balances. However, had Joe thoroughly investigated and tested this system, he would have discovered that:
- Warehouse Manager had not worked anywhere on an NCR computer.
- When two terminals accessed the system at once, both terminals locked up.
- When the locked terminals went back online, information—including prices, item balances, and general ledger data—was altered.
- Sales at the counter were supposed to take fractions of a second. Actual response times were as high as several minutes
How did Joe let this happen to his company? Joe needed to conduct a more thorough investigation of the vendors and of existing installations of the proposed system. And, prior to implementation, the system should have been tested in an environment that resembled the one in which the system was to be asked to operate.