Burton Company Regulations Case Study

Table of Content

A. Late Submission

A 10% deduction per day of total coursework marks (excluding weekends and public holidays). Late submission between 5 to 10 days, results in a 50% deduction of total coursework marks. Late submission past 10 days results in an automatic 0% for coursework and the student will be barred from the final examination.

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B. Deliverables

Students must submit all materials supporting their coursework listed in the deliverable section.

The coursework must be done individually and must be entirely your own work. Please make sure that you are aware of the rules concerning plagiarism. If you are unclear about them, please consult your program coordinator/lecturer.

The coursework should exhibit formal research skills i.e. with a table of content, proper citations, references, and appendixes. The coursework write up must be able to demonstrate critical analysis and application of both theory and practical issues to the company that you have selected. Student may include additional relevant data/information apart from the proposed guidelines in conjunction to your research. Additional marks will be awarded for such attempt. You should bind your coursework with the coursework cover as the 1st page. A CD containing the softcopy version of your coursework should be submitted as well (if required). Students have to use APA referencing style.

Assignment 1

Read through the following case study carefully before answering the questions. This is an individual assignment.

Burton Snowboards Speeds Ahead with Nimble Business Processes When we hear “snowboarding”, we tend to think of snow-covered slopes, acrobatic jumps, and high-flying entertainment. We don’t usually think of improving business process efficiency. But snowboarding is business for Burton Snowboards, an industry pioneer and market leader. Founded in 1977 by Jake Burton Carpenter and headquartered in Burlington, Vermont, Burton designs, manufactures, and markets equipment, clothing, and related accessories for snowboarders. Today, Burton is a global enterprise that serves customers in 27 countries and has offices in Japan, Austria, and throughout the United States. At its peak, Burton controlled over 40 percent of the U.S. snowboarding market, and it remains the market leader amidst a growing number of competitors. Now, as Burton continues to expand into a global company, it has a new set of problems: improving its systems for inventory, supply chain, purchasing, and customer service. Stocking and managing inventory is a difficult problem for Burton, whose inventory changes dramatically depending on product line updates and the time of the year.

Burton takes feedback from its customers very seriously, and will move quickly to meet their needs. For instance, if a rider tests a jacket and recommends repositioning a zipper, Burton’s production line must be able to make this modification quickly and easily. Being dynamic and adaptable is a competitive necessity. Burton has implemented and currently maintains SAP enterprise software, an Oracle database, a SUSE Linux enterprise server, and commodity hardware. That’s a long way from a lone woodworking shop in Vermont. Before making these upgrades, Burton’s information systems were a hodgepodge of inconsistently implemented and underutilized software. The company had to manually allocate product to customers and orders. In 1997, Burton first deployed SAP to begin upgrading its IT landscape, and the company has continued to use SAP since that time. But Burton needed to do more with its systems. Two of Burton’s IT goals, established by CIO Kevin Ubert, are to “strengthen the foundation,” and keep their systems “simple, standard, (and) supportable.” The “foundation” Ubert referred to is SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Rather than buying new software to solve IT problems, Burton decided that it would explore basic functionalities of SAP ERP software that it had not used yet. Often, Burton could resolve problems this way without adding new layers of complexity to its IT infrastructure, and the company gained proficiency with SAP enterprise software in the process.

Burton aims for standard, traditional versions of software whenever possible, realizing that with more bells and whistles comes increased maintenance costs and steeper learning curves to understanding the software. SAP analysts helped Burton identify the top five transactions that were the most critical to its business operations and that needed optimization from a systems standpoint. Burton had to identify unnecessarily complicated processes, backlogs, and design gaps in the flow of its business processes. For example, the available-to-promise process was taking hours to complete. (Available to promise, in response to customer order and enquiries, reports on available quantities of a requested product and delivery due dates.) Burton wanted to speed up this process so that its dealers and retail customers would have more precise information about the availability of products not currently in stock. Completing this process now takes 20 minutes. Other processes in need of improvement included the order-to-cash process (receiving and processing customer sales, including order entry, fulfillment, distribution, and payment); the handling of overdue purchase orders in the procure-to-pay process, which consists of all the steps from purchasing goods from a supplier; and the electronic data interchange (EDI) inventory feed extract transaction. Burton has an assortment of warehouses which pass inventory data to one another automatically using EDI systems.

Thousands of items are moving from warehouse to warehouse and thousands of transactions occur each day at each warehouse. Burton found that the process of reporting inventory was inefficient, and both suppliers and customers could not easily determine up-to-date information on which items were in stock at which warehouse. SAP and Burton worked together to improve communication between warehouses and supply chain efficiency. A management dashboard developed with the help of SAP shows how smoothly a critical process is running at a certain point of time. Information from the dashboard helps Burton’s key users discover inconsistencies, gaps, or other areas that they should be monitoring more closely.

All of these process improvements proved especially valuable during what Burton calls its “reorder” season. Burton’s dealers place orders to stock their stores well before winter sets in. As consumers start buying the merchandise, the dealers reorder with Burton to replenish their stock or to buy new products. Now they are able to see more timely product availability data, and receive orders more rapidly. Sources: Lauren Bonneau, “How Burton Snowboards Remains as Nimble as Its Riders,” SAP InsiderPROFILES, April-June 2011 and “Burton Snowboards Inc. Company Profile,” Reference for Business, accessed May 2011. Answer ALL questions

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Burton Company Regulations Case Study. (2016, Sep 26). Retrieved from


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