Consider the following scenario:
JSM Manufacturing is a small, local company that manufactures personal protective equipment, such as surgical masks, gowns, and face shields. The company relies on a network of suppliers of raw materials, transportation providers, and for other required products and services. These vendors receive purchase orders from JSM for materials and services, and typically ship directly to JSM’s manufacturing facility. Invoices are sent to JSM’s accounts payable department for payment processing, which receives, verifies, and processes approximately 200 invoices per month.
JSM’s accounts payable department consists of one (1) person who is responsible for verifying the invoices before paying them.
- When the accounts payable clerk receives a batch of invoices, typically in the form of a paper bills in the mail, she sorts them by vendor and purchase order number.
- On Tuesday of every week, the accounts payable clerk meets with the purchasing department to review the bills with the purchase orders to verify the bills were for the correct items at the correct price. JSM purchasing department contacts the vendor to reconcile any differences (either to the purchase order or to the invoice, which would require the vendor to generate another invoice).
- The accounts payable clerk meets with JSM receiving department every Wednesday to verify that the ordered items have indeed been received. The receiving department contacts the purchasing department of any discrepancies, and the purchasing department, in turn, contacts the vendor about the discrepancy. Again, reconciliation would require adjusting the purchase order, invoice, or both.
- Finally, the accounts payable clerk processes the invoice for payment. Payments are always made on Fridays.
- Note that invoices are received throughout the week and are sorted whenever the clerk has time to perform that task.
The process certainly has some issues. Vendors often complain about the length of time it takes for JSM to pay their bills. Also, since the onset of the CoVID-19 pandemic, the demand for JSM’s products has skyrocketed, requiring the company to find more suppliers to meet its demand for more raw materials, resulting in far more invoices arriving at the company every week.
As a result of these issues, JSM has hired you to access the business impact of the situation and see what could be done to improve the overall process.
- Business Process. (15 points)
a. List at least 3 issues with the current process. (10 pts)
b. Explain the impact of the existing process on operational efficiency. (5 pts)
- Diagram the existing Process. (50 points).
a. Using a diagramming tool (Visio, Lucidchart, PowerPoint) model the existing process.
Use swim lanes to show process participants, and separators to show time scales. Remember to submit in PDF format. (50 pts)
3. Metrics (15 points)
a. Identify 3 measurements or metrics that could be put in place to measure the impact of
the existing process on operational efficiency. (15 pts)
4. Process Improvements (20 points).
a. Discuss the changes that could be made to make the process more efficient. (10 pts) b. Explain how information systems could support those changes. Discuss what data the
systems should capture and what decisions the system could improve. (10 pts)
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