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Jean Lamont

ROLE: Systems Administrator 

In a few minutes, you will be attending a meeting of a working group chaired by Alex Rheingold (your MD) to discuss the possible adoption of an MRP2 system in Oakland. The initial meeting will be followed by a consultant's presentation and then a final meeting to take a decision.

You know a lot about the existing computer systems. You also understand the practicalities like how long it takes to read in data and set up new systems. This always takes far longer than people expect. They never give you enough resources to do the job properly. This MRP proposal looks very interesting. It should provide an opportunity for you to show your worth to the company. No-one ever really acknowledges how good you are at your job though. Computers are the way forward, the life-blood of any organization, yet you are often treated like some sort of semiskilled mechanic. Well, they'd better watch out. There might be a few surprises if they try to get rid of you! It might just be rather difficult for anyone else to take over.

You thoroughly enjoy keeping the variety of systems at Oakland's working in good order. There are three staff working for you in this area. Sometimes, when you feel that you are underappreciated, you remind yourself that there are many good opportunities elsewhere, outside Oakland's. In particular, Alex Rheingold seems insufficiently appreciative of your special skills. Alex is apt to think that buying in new systems or some form of facilities management arrangement would eliminate entirely the need for the systems group. You are always stressing how your group forms the essential link between the computer systems and the actual business processes. Is the consideration of MRP an opportunity for demonstrating their true value?