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Located in northern California, club IT is a hot spot venue for music and bar services. The club is jointly owned by two business administration alumni; Ruben and Liza. The fact that these two pioneers are musicians themselves brings a musical atmosphere to this club. The club offers an opportunity for family members and friends to interact as they take their drinks. At Club IT, hardly can you miss an alcohol brand of your choice. Ruben and Liza have made an extensive use of technology in their organization. The company’s website, for instance, have seven sections meant to help the organization achieve certain goals (Lewis, 2006). The website has a consumer section which enables customers to identify the variety available and therefore make bills. The club’s mission is to provide its clients with live music, DJ supported entertainment and refreshments that satisfy every kind of customer.
Club IT employs a vertical organization structure where Ruben and Liza represent the top management. They deal with all managerial and financial matters of the organization (Stephen, 2008). However, the two seeks help on matters of information management. Due to the technical issues presented by information management, Ruben and Liza hired an Information Technology (IT) technician to help in managing information. The technician later identified three business impediments that were impacting negatively on Club IT. First, the technician observed the absence of a dashboard at club IT. She also observed a poor website and internet connectivity that demanded improvement. Finally, he also recommended the improvement of Club IT’s supply chain to help manage the suppliers and the customers.
With this regard, the technician has designed a technology plan meant to provide solutions to various problems affecting club IT. The program will go a long way in improving the profitability of the Club as well as in cost management. Seven comprehensive plans have been envisaged in this plan. These plans include: description of the organization, training and development, objectives and strategy formulation, demographic information, needs assessment, budgetary issues, performance evaluation and inventory management.
As mentioned earlier, Club IT faces three major challenges that demands urgent attention to keep the club more competitive, efficient and profitable (Nashtigal, 2000). The discussion herewith identifies the three technological bottlenecks and their possible solutions. The first problem is the lack of a dash board. A dash board is essential in that it will enable Ruben and Liz to have access to quick and timely information. It will also provide them with a direct reach to managerial reports. By making use of a digital dashboard, Club IT will manage to receive timely reports and this will impact positively on its profits.
The second problem impacting negatively on Club IT’s business is poorly developed website and poor internet connectivity. It is imperative to note that the invention of the World Wide Web (WWW) has greatly changed the manner in which many modern organizations do business. Organizations are rapidly shifting to e-commerce where almost every business is transacted over the web. The whole transaction process starting with marketing, billing and at some cases delivery can be carried out via the internet. E-commerce is crucial in reducing some relevant product cost viz. marketing and may therefore lead to higher profit margins. It is therefore indispensable to consider the role that the internet and the website might play in Club IT.
With the advice of the technician, Ruben and Lisa have mutually consented to start using wireless internet technology. The use of broadband internet technology will play a significant role in improving the internet speed at Club IT. This will also ensure speedy and more efficient service delivery. A further boost to this plan is that Club IT’s customers are not technophobia. They are very much conversant with the internet and know how to get the information from the web. Furthermore, customers who possess internet-enabled mobile phones will stand in a position to access information from the company’s website. This implies that technology will replace the costly paper work, thereby making the club more profitable.
There is also a need to restructure the club’s website so as to meet the demands for various stake holders. With this regard, the four major types of e-commerce have been envisaged in the club’s website. These include; Business to Business (B2B) e-commerce, Business to Customer (B2C) e-commerce, Business to Employees (B2E) e-commerce and mobile-commerce (M-Commerce). B2B will enable Club IT to properly manage its suppliers. This will lead to prompt delivery of inventory and thereby avoid cases of stock outs. Suppliers will also be able to request for orders through this system. Substituting electronic billing for manual billing will both reduce billing costs and ensure faster service delivery.
On the other hand, B2E will enable Club IT manage its employees better than the competitors do. For instance, Ruben and Lisa will manage to remunerate their employees via the system. This will in turn offer the club with a suitable competitive advantage. Moreover, B2C will add consumer feedback feature to the current website. It is important to note that consumer feedback is very vital for any organization to succeed. It enables a business to evaluate how the customers perceive its service delivery. A business will then make the necessary improvements with the intent to retain the existing customers and attract new ones. With B2C, Club IT will be able to know the likes and dislikes of their customers and therefore make the necessary improvements thereto. In an indirect manner, B2C will enable the club to conduct a SWOT analysis, thereby making it more competitive in the market.
Another impediment to Club IT’s activities is the problem of Supply Chain Management (SCM). Club IT do not have a comprehensive supply chain network. There is therefore a need to correct its supply chain. Worthwhile noting, ordering at Club IT is currently being done manually. This is a cumbersome process that gives room to some flaws. The manual process is also very prone to human error. The implementation of supply chain management is projected to increase on profitability and reduce costs thereby leading to improved productivity. The human errors will also be reduced to a manageable level. The system will also ensure a high stock turnover. A supply chain management also plays a crucial role of reducing the bull whip effect which is a stocking problem brought about by manual ordering. The system will eliminate the middlemen meaning that the company will order just what is enough. The presence of middlemen is what actually causes bull whip effect as each middleman exaggerate on the inventory required. This will only be possible upon restructuring of the information systems. This will ensure efficient sharing of information within the supply chain. According to the technician, sharing of information in the supply chain will help improve on demand projections.
As mentioned herewith, Club IT’s technology plan has been designed on basis of some criteria. These include:
Organization and demographic information
This criterion deals with people at Club IT. The promoters are Ruben and Lisa, a single assistant manager, 4 bartenders, six waiting personnel, two stewards, two cooks and four security officers. Basically, the major customers are people of about 21 years of age and above.
This criterion is further sub-divided into two broad categories. First is the short-term goal. Club IT’s short term goal is the profit motive and also creating a strong customer base. The long term goal, on the other hand, is to ensure that the club is a going concern; not likely to close down in the foreseeable future. It is also the club’s long term goal to launch another club IT. Here, information systems will play an imperative role in handling large volumes of information, performing complicated calculations and controlling other processes that can best be handled electronically. Information systems will convey information from one area, within the premises, to another with the help of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. On the other hand, A Transaction Processing System (TPS) will help in monitoring, storing, processing and processing of information at the night club. It will then update Ruben and Lisa on the progress and performance of the business at any point in time.
Here, Ruben and Lisa will first learn how the new information system will work. They will then train their assistant manager who will in turn train other employees. The assistant manager will be mandated to work closely with the employees till they are fully conversant on how the new system works. To ensure that employees fully comprehend the procedure of using the new system, they will be granted some off time to make them learn. During such off times, they will be taught on how to use the new system. To start with, a single person from a category of waiting staffs, cooks and stewards will first be taught by the assistant managers. He will maintain the same order in training the other employees till they are full conversant with the system. The rationale behind this training mode is to ensure that there is at least one person from each job category, who is able to use the new system.
Given the urgent need of faster and stronger internet connectivity, Club IT will start using wireless internet technology. Ruben and Lisa have realized that poor internet connectivity can actually jeopardize their business’ good performance. To meet this target, Club IT seeks to do several things which include making use of: broadband technology, ERP and TPS. Subscription to Bloomberg LLP will also assist the club realize this dream. Bloomberg LLP is a key player in the data business.
Both the budget and the Net Present Value (NPV) of the club stand at$28,269. The technician has considered it prudent for the club to lease some application programs. She notes that applications are very expensive yet they become outdated with time. She has also advice on outsourcing some applications in quest to increase savings. The rationale behind outsourcing is that some applications are prohibitively expensive to develop yet they become obsolete after a short period of time due to the dynamic nature of technology. It would therefore be less costly to outsource some software services from the best providers.
This criterion holds that the IT long-term plan must be in line, and not deviate in any manner from the overall organizational long-term plan. Additionally, it provides for IT design with all applications working efficiently. Finally, the criterion provides for efficient allocation of information system resources among rival projects to ensure that these projects are finished timely and that the budgetary allocations are sufficient to fully undertake them.
Club IT’s inventory comprises of both computer hardware and software. The software include the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software and the Transaction Processing System (TPS) software. There is also a DJ mixing software. On the other hand, the hardware include computers and musical instruments.
In conclusion, therefore, the technology plan provides Club IT with much hope for exploiting the entertainment market. It will go a long way in enhancing the company’s competitive advantage. As described herewith, incorporation of modern technology viz. the web and the internet is indispensable for any company to remain competitive. The comprehensive technological plan will actually benefit all stakeholders upon its implementation. The customers will benefit with more efficient and quicker service delivery. They will also derive much satisfaction given that a panel for forwarding grievances will be launched. Suppliers will also benefit from the online ordering. This is a faster and a less costly mode. Moreover, the employees’ activities will be simplified as major activities shift from being conducted manually to being done electronically. Employees will benefit by timely disbursement of their salaries and other dues. Finally, the management stands to benefit a great deal. The implementation of the plan will see the relevant costs go down and profits go up. Furthermore, the management will be able to project what customers want and this will eliminate customers turn over. In a nutshell, proper implementation of the policy will be very beneficial.