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15 January, 2016 - 09:50

FW Murphy, a privately held company, is the leading manufacturer of gauges used by a variety of major companies such as Caterpillar. When the youngest son of the founder took over the organization, he had a vision of creating an efficient, state-of-the-art manufacturer. But the information systems were not able to support the management practices the junior Murphy was bringing to the organization. He soon learned, for example, that the current set of business processes and information systems were unable to even determine the manufacturing costs for specific goods. As the new CEO, he quickly pushed the organization to implement first a new integrated manufacturing system, and subsequently the JD Edwards enterprise system, to provide integration of enterprise-wide information. These new systems provided them with a wealth of new information. For example, they discovered that they were selling gauges to Caterpillar, a company that represented a major portion of their business, at a price below the cost of manufacturing. At first it seemed that they would be better off not selling to Caterpillar. Instead, they teamed up with Caterpillar to adjust pricing to an appropriate level and to coordinate manufacturing in a manner that was mutually beneficial to the two organizations. In this chapter, we focus on the value of integrated systems to providing efficient generation of business information, as well as supplying key management reports needed for effective decision making and organizational management.