Word count / Time provided:
Unit Learning Outcomes:
ULO3, ULO4, ULO5
The case study will assess your knowledge of key content areas in information systems using real world case. For successful completion of the case study, you are required to study the material provided (lecture slides, tutorials, and reading materials), engage in the unit’s activities, and the discussion forums). The prescribed textbook is the main reference along with the recommended
reading material. By completing this assessment successfully, you will be able to identify key aspects of information systems. This will help in achieving ULO3, ULO4, and ULO5.
Case Study- Tate & Lyle Devise a Global IT Strategy
Founded in 1859 in Liverpool as a sugar refiner, today Tate & Lyle is a global provider of specialty food and other ingredients to four markets: food and beverage manufacturers (sweeteners, texturants, and fiber), paper manufacturers (starches), animal feed producers (corn meal), and cosmetic manufacturers (cosmetics and creams). It operates over 30 manufacturing facilities in four regions: the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Throughout its history Tate & Lyle grew through acquisitions of many companies in its operating regions, and in the 1970s began to diversify from the sugar business to more specialized agricultural food products. In 2016 the company had
€2.6 billion in sales and €189 million in profits. Tate & Lyle’s 2020 strategic plan is to expand the specialty food segment, broaden the geographic mix of sales to include Asia Pacific and Latin America, and generate over €200 million in sales from new products. As a multinational agribusiness, the firm faces stiff competition from giant global competitors like ConAgra, Archer Daniels Midland, and BASF.
In the process of growing over many decades, Tate & Lyle had gathered a large collection of financial accounting systems across four regions and thirty operating facilities. The accounts produced by all these financial systems were reconciled through manual means, using spreadsheets produced by individual units, telephone calls, paper records, fax, and emails to clarify disparities. Each region had its own manual processes for reconciling accounts. Reconciliation refers to the business processes used by firms to ensure that recorded expenditures and revenues are accurately reflected in cash outflow and income statements. The existing manual system stored records in different locations around the globe, which led to errors and made it difficult to produce monthly and annual financial statements. Senior managers understood that the firm could not achieve its business strategic objectives without a major rethinking of its basic financial accounting systems.
The solution management decided on was to centralize financial accounting at a single location in Lodz, Poland, and to develop an Account Reconciliation and Task Management system. This new system is based on SAP’s ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system, which brings together thousands of general ledger accounts and transactions located across the four regions into a single system. SAP’s ERP utilizes their HANA relational database software, which stores and retrieves data, and provides many other enterprise capabilities, including predictive analytics, management dashboards, and text search.
The consulting firm Black Line was hired to implement the new system and coordinate with Tate & Lyle financial groups. Implementing the system required two years of intensive planning and the integration of legacy systems into the new single system. The major requirements for the new system included standardized templates, electronic approval of workflows, an easy-to-use interface so managers could quickly obtain the information they needed, as well as the ability to handle multiple currencies, produce basic reports in a timely fashion, and integrate data in the SAP system with non-SAP accounting systems already in use at the regional level.
Implementing the new system also gave managers the opportunity to revise and simplify business processes based on industry best practices, and to enforce their use across all the four regions. The result is a reconciliation system that is accurate, timely, transparent, and able to produce end-of-day results, report on progress towards month-end closing targets, identify outstanding tasks, and communicate with the teams responsible for completing the tasks.
Imagine you work as a consultant for Tate & Lyle. You need to introduce a workflow management system to help improve organisation workflows. In deciding whether this system suit your business needs, you are required to investigate the following through considerable amount of research including literature review and relevant examples.
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