– The Heart of Operations Management

Global sourcing, enterprise resource planning (ERP), forecasting, and sales/operations planning are truly the heart of operations management. Organizations have developed sophisticated ERP and forecasting tools to provide a competitive edge against their competition as well as to reduce costs and improve quality. As an example, Wal-Mart as well as Proctor and Gamble have developed and implemented world class ERP systems and refined their forecasting models through the use of data driven processes/systems driving down their overall operations costs globally.
The development of strategies for leveraging global sourcing, forecasting, and ERP systems as well as sales and operations planning is critical to sustaining economies of scale, innovation, and technology developments in todays digital operations. The examples of Wal-Mart and Proctor and Gamble mentioned above are systems that are cloud based and highly cost effective.
In a 1-3 page paper consider and respond to the following questions:

How does ERP and forecasting reduce costs and improve quality? How would you design a basic ERP System for a service based operation?
How does ERP, forecasting, and operations planning differ in manufacturing and services operations?
What specific roles does sales play in forecasting and operations planning?
How does global sourcing integrate into manufacturing and service based operations?