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15 January, 2016 - 09:49

Will Hershey ever be able to recoup the market share lost in the debacle of Halloween 1999? During the late summer, Hershey made the decision to implement their SAP enterprise system using the “Big Bang” approach. In enterprise system terminology, Big Bang is the immediate cut-off of the old Information System with a complete implementation of the new enterprise system. When Hershey made the conversion to the SAP system, they were unable to match orders with production and delivery systems. Additionally, information did not flow through properly to billing systems, causing billing errors, delayed collections, and erosion of customer goodwill. Ultimately, Hershey was unable to fulfill customers’ orders for Halloween candy and seasonally adjusted sales dipped an estimated 5%–7%. Many analysts believe that Hershey will never regain lost market share of 3%–5%. This is but one of many cases of such failures and highlights the importance to organizations of having well-integrated systems for the M/S and RC processes. Failure to integrate data between the two processes may leave a company suffering from the “trick” rather than enjoying the “treat.”