One major ongoing goal of Bandag is to provide the best customer service possible. National accounts are very important to Bandag’s business model and they are a major focus in the customer service department. One goal to increase customer service to national accounts includes building an interactive website. This ecommerce portal would allow national accounts to place orders, see statements, pay bills, and track production tires. The software that is currently in use in franchise production facilities is capable of populating this ecommerce portal.
However, Bandag currently does not have the network infrastructure to support it. They do not have a fast enough connection at the corporate office to support both employees and an ecommerce portal. Security remains one of the major issues in their handling payments through the E-Commerce portal. Their enterprise network marks the beginning of risk assessment and strategy formulation in implementation of EPS. Another one of Bandag’s goals is to increase productivity. They currently employ 3,800 people and would like to take their productivity to the next level.
Bandag has invested in a few key employees who have worked to cross train employees and hone their skills. However, the downtime and slow response times of their current system are creating a roadblock. This roadblock is preventing employees from achieving the highly productive workdays that are wanted. The second major technical goal is reliability. Bandag has a very large national account customer base that requires them to process many financial transactions every day. In order to be sure their data is accurate and no transactions are lost, they need to have a high reliability network.
They have had problems in the past with their internet service provider’s network going down. As a result, they implemented an offsite disaster recovery facility. However, they are still affected by network outages because the data center they are using has the same internet service provider as their corporate office. As a result, when the internet goes down at one facility, it also goes down at the other facility making all services unavailable. The third major goal of Bandag is to implement modern applications and increase productivity. Currently Bandag is running two ERP systems, one based on CICS and the other based on Oracle.
The Oracle system provides them with the modern application they were looking for. However, they have only implemented Oracle in their production facilities. They still use CICS to handle all national account transactions. As a result, they have created a situation where most office personnel have to switch back and forth between system depending if they are working with a franchise or with a national account. The major constraint that stops them from using Oracle for both is the e-commerce module is not fast enough for them to put the Oracle system in place for national accounts.
Security in data storage and retrieval is also a prime aspect as all the financial data is stored in their database. The last major goal is to decrease the expense of voice communication. The long distance bill is extremely high and needs to come down. However, there is no way around the long distance charges because the current phone system does not do least cost routing. Also, there is a large concern with their voice reliability. There is no tolerance of down time when it comes to their voice network. With VoIP, the voice network can only be as reliable as their data network which is currently not good (Trunk, 2006).