Week 7 discussion responses | Economics homework help

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Please respond to both posts in one of the following ways:

  • Analyze the risks faced by Engro that were identified by your colleagues, and compare them with those you identified. Comment and discuss the similarities and/or differences.
  • Analyze the features identified by your colleague that were omitted from the plan, and compare them with those you identified. Comment and discuss the similarities and/or differences.
  • Provide an alternative perspective on the best practices for business continuity planning. Use examples based on your experience or observations to support your perspective.
  • Offer your ideas about how the best practices suggested by your colleague could be used at your organization. Explain why you think these might offer a competitive advantage for your organization.

First post:

Ajene Edwards              

         

Natural disasters and other events can threaten the very existence of an organization. For instance, “a fire in the PNSC building, which housed the Engro head office, had destroyed a substantial portion of the company’s hard-copy records relating to the financial years 2004/05 and 2005/06, as well as the period from January 1, 2007, to August 19, 2007; however, the electronic data had remained largely intact.(Ahmed, 2013)” This posed a huge risk for the company to face because due to the fire they lost the financial records their auditors needed to review.  

The ERP should also cover the techniques and concepts employed for the integrated management of businesses as a whole, from the viewpoint of the effective use of management resources, to improve the efficiency of the enterprise. In addition, the ERP packages are integrated software packages that support the ERP concepts.

There are many different systems in Engro’s “back office,” including planning, manufacturing, distribution, shipping, and accounting.  Therefore there Enterprise resource planning (ERP) should be a system that integrates all of these functions into a single system, designed to serve the needs of each different department within the enterprise.  

Engro should be aware of the importance of backing up their data so they don’t lose everything in the case of a system failure or other disasters. The Cloud will not only simplify the process by allowing their data to automatically update as they work, but it will also create copies their data off-site where it will be safe from any local natural disasters, theft or malfunction.

Mother Nature also plays a part in the success and demise of big business. Natural disasters have devastated every country in the world and will continue to do so. Due to financial limitations, procrastination or the crazy thought of not needing to prepare, proper planning for disasters and crisis situations are more likely overlooked or avoided. 

Reference:

Ahmed, M. B. (2009). Engro Chemicals Pakistan Limited—Business disaster overcome. (Ivey Publishing Case No. 909-E24).
Retrieved fromhttps://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/pl/23289610/23289647/06af50cafaf4f78568149bdee9d1ab00

Carver, J. (2013). Importance of business continuity planning: Ineffective data storage practices leave business data at risk. Operations Management, 39(3), 39–40.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Curtis, S. (2006).  ERP Integration.  Journal of Business Enterprises 8(3).  54-59.

Second Post:

Genesis Mercado                            

Engro Chemicals Pakistan Limited was a fertilizer manufacturer company.  One of the leading by the 200’s.  Mohammed was not just his Chief Financial Officer, but his vice-president.  He had a lot of pressure on his shoulders clearly.  When happened Engro’s disaster, he trusted in the Business Recovery Plan implemented and that would keep all the matters under control. (Ahmed, M.B., 2009).  By that time, the management was proactive about testing regularly the operations and re-aligning the corporate strategy according to the changes in the business dynamics.  After all, that was a top and growing fast kind of business due to the fertilizer market.  Specifically, the IT and Business System’s Management was operated in a way the information could be accessed from two locations: the head office and in the plant site (570 kilometers away).   IT’s were linked between every office.  (Ahmed, M.B., 2009, page 4).  The offices were operating all the data and keeping it via online communication network with applications.  They had different departments for different transactions and matters.  For example, SAP was used by finances and Human Resources.  Everything was well-organized.  Their Recovery Plan was created by Mohammed in 2005.  It was activated rapidly on August 2007, after the disaster destroyed all the servers and computers.  His plan consisted on creating similar configured servers to the destroyed ones and had them stored.  They could be used in four locations: 

  1. Engro’s guest houses in Karachi (they were two of them, in which one would be installed the HR (Human Resources department and the other for accounting and transactions).   
     
  1. Engro Plant at Daharki (To implement as a completely back-up of the MIDA’s system for the sales).
     

 

  1. Engro offices at the building in Karachi (There with the SAP back-up servers for the accounting systems).   
     

Due to the statutory purposes, Engro decided to include the compliance statement for the draft annual report of 2007.  (Ahmed, M.B., 2009, page 9).  The areas covered in that statement were the ones more affected for the fire: risk management and internal control.  All this processed after the fire was written and presented by Mohammed to the Board Audit Committee (BAC).  He summarized what happened and how he moved rapidly to help in every department and its need.  Mohammed wrote as follows: “All computers and the data on them in the head office was destroyed and the company has had to rely on backup copies of the data”. (Mohammed, R., 2007).  He concluded with the specific steps and people contacted as the banks for the reports, a temporary accounting public staff, etc.  He knew the consequences this had not just on the IT system, but for the entire offices and profits.  BAC ordered him to write new security policies that cover every kind of business disaster as human error, technical issues and/or natural disasters like the one they faced and suffered.  

Analyzing documents copied from Mohammed’s 2005-2007 BRP as Engro’s recent performance from year 200 until 2007 (accident’s year), I can clearly see how much the difference in the numbers is.  A good thing I saw is earnings per share section in year 2004 was 10.12 per share vs 16.51 per share in 2007.  (Ahmed, M.B., 2009, page 12 Exhibit 2).  I am sure by that time Engro’s thought they had every aspect of the business under control, but things came back with some money and important files lost.  They recovered fast enough, but Mohammed’s obligations and expectations were higher now.  What happens is that a good Business Recovery Plan is measured by the ability of operation’s continuity without interruption because if not, it means loss.  Even when some data can not necessarily be crucial for business’ operations as contacts, some emails, etc., it results in productivity loss.  (Carver, J., 2013) 

That is why a Business Continuity Plan is the key to business’ activities stability and functionality when other unexpected things occur (issues, disasters, errors).  Companies need to take protection strategies into action for avoiding bigger damages.  For example, a simple and secured way of having data back-up is the online back-up centers.   (Carver, J., 2013, page 40).  An invaluable advantage of this online back-up besides having your data stored and protected is that you can access from anywhere in the world.  That allows businesses to continue operations as usual and avoid big impacts in their economy too.  

Best Wishes, 

Genesis Mercado 

References: 

Ahmed, M.B. (2009). Engro Chemicals Pakistan Limited- Business disaster overcome. (Ivey Publishing Case No. 909-E24). Retrieved from https://services.hbsp.harvard.edu/api/courses/325625/items/909E24-PDF-ENG/sclinks/56c2f4f198d948bbc05d9865ccc2c7cd 

(Carver, J. (2013). Importance of business continuity planning: Ineffective data storage practices leave business data at risk. Operations Management, 39(3), 39–40

Minimum  1 paragraph for each response in APA format