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Final Exam, Case Study Example

Pages: 8

Words: 2205

Case Study

By signing this exam, I confirm that the work contained on this exam is my own, I have received no outside assistance and have properly cited and referenced any external research that has been incorporated in my answers. I have fully complied with UMUC’s Policy on Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism (Policy 150.25). Failure to properly credit your research sources is a violation of this policy.

_____________________________________ (Typed signature represents actual signature) – exams without signature will not be accepted.

Instructions:

Use the Case Study presented here to answer the questions below. Your responses should demonstrate your understanding of the course content and your analysis and critical thinking; you are not expected to just re-iterate what is in the textbook and the course modules, but to integrate the information and relate it to the Case Study. Answers will be in the form of a list or short answers, as indicated in the questions. Proper APA style must be used for any citations and references that you use. Your Exam will be graded on the accuracy of your responses and whether you have appropriately tied your response to the Case Study. Responses that do not mention the Case Study will receive very few points, if any. Each question is worth 10 points.

Case Study

You have been working for some time at Unique Shoes, a local shoe store that specializes in unusual shoe designs and custom fitting. Currently, customers come to the store to select their shoe designs and have their measurements taken for the custom fitting. The shoes are then manufactured by a supplier in another state and shipped to the store for pickup by the customer. The owner, Bill, is very interested in expanding his successful business. He has just bought Sassy Shoes, a shoe store in a good location across town, and has hired a store manager. He plans to continue selling the brands of shoes that the Sassy Shoes has been selling, but he wants to add his “unique shoes” to that store’s offerings. Bill’s research shows that, in addition to all of the online sources for shoes, there are many other local stores that sell shoes: outlets for major shoe store chains, mall stores that carry popular brands, small outlets and specialty shops, and department stores. While Bill has been keeping all his records of orders and sales on paper, the records at Sassy Shoes are located on the manager’s PC in Excel files. Bill realizes that he must treat the two stores as a single business, with one set of accounts, one billing system, etc. He thinks this is also a good time to stop using paper records for his orders and sales. Bill really hopes to continue to expand his business by buying other shoe stores, but he will need good information about his current businesses to know when he should make his next acquisition. He has asked you to help him develop the business strategy and IT Plan to accomplish his goals. You know that there are methodologies for analyzing the business environment and that there are multiple ways to expand the business. You also recognize that IT is an important component for achieving that goal.

  1. Explain Porter’s Five Forces Model and how Bill can use it to analyze his current business and his expansion. Be sure to address each of the 5 forces and explain to Bill what they mean for his business.

Bill can utilize Porters Five Forces Model to analyze his current unique shoe fitting business Unique Shoes and the newly purchased traditional brick and mortar Sassy Shoes Store. Bill can use

(1) Barrier to Entry model can help Bill calculate how much time and cost will be associated with combining two set of accounting systems into one. The Barrier to Entry can help bill determine what type of barriers to expect when merging the two billing systems. The Barrier to Entry model works well with a SWOT analysis which provides Bill with a strong understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, barriers, opportunities, and threats. The Barrier to Entry model helps determine the economies of scales cost due to expansion. This is critical for Bill during his financial projections for the next year.

The (2) Threat of Substitutes model truly applies to the Unique Store and Sassy Shoe Store because Bill can use the Threat of Substitute model to calculate the cost the customer will incur when considering the Unique custom fitting shoe versus the traditional Sassy Shoes. Also the Threat of Substitutes can help answer critical questions such as: How likely with the customer switch to custom fitting from traditional shoes? What is the price differential in cost from traditional to customer fitting?

The (3) Bargaining Power of Buyers model is important to Bill because it is important to understand the buyers power.  Sassy Shoes customers have a set price average they pay for a shoe. Example the shoe average is $25.00, however, the Unique Shoe store cost is $65.00. The buyer has the power because they control the cost, negotiate the Unique Store custom fitting price driving it down and the buyer has the leverage. Overall, the model can help Bill analyze whether price sensitivity will impact his bottom line.

The (4) Bargaining Power of Suppliers model will be a great tool for Bill to analyze the impact of the suppliers in relation to Sassy Shoes and Unique Shoes. The custom fitting shoes will require a different type of supplier. Bill needs to find out if the local supplier for customer fitting shoes has a monopoly. If the supplier has a monopoly, Bill may have to adjust price to meet the demands of the cost of the supplier. Bill does not want the supplier to be the primary driver of price.

The (5) Rivalry amount the Existing players model will help analyze the competition. If the new store location has FootLock, Custom Fitting, Shoe Factory etc… this means the area is already locked in to fixed shoe prices that customers have expectations of low shoe prices. Bill can use this model to determine if one player is dominating the competition or controls all the players prices like Wal-Mart. Walmart has price wars that drive small business out of business because they cannot compete. Bill can effective use this model to determine, if a player has the power of a Walmart.

  1. Based on your analysis in question #1, select one of the five forces and explain how Bill can incorporate his analysis of that force into his Strategic Business Plan (SBP).

Bill Strategic Business Plan should incorporate The (3) Bargaining Power of Buyers model. The most important business threat is the pricing of the Sassy Shoes versus custom fitting shoes of Unique Shoes. In addition, to Sassy Shoes and Unique Store competition with shoe outlets, major shoe store chains, mall stores,  popular shoe brands, small outlets and specialty shops that will determine, if the custom shoes fitting and traditional shoes can complete. However, the buyer could still have the leverage because of the price differential from the average shoe cost of Sassy and the prices of the competition. Bill should devote much of his analysis to the Bargaining Power of Buyers because the buyer has leverage because the competition prices and the differential between the higher costs of customer fitting have to be defined.

  1.  List three business areas and/or processes that could be supported by an IT solution.
  • POS system
  • Database Management
  • Data Conversion
  1. List and describe (in two or three sentences each) three IT projects that should be a part of Bill’s IT Plan to support the area and/or processes identified in question #3 above. The IT department should determine which database software is the best option for the shoe business. The database has to be user friendly and have the ability to easy retrieval of data without affecting the day to day operations. IT needs to analyze how many hours will be required to maintenance the database.

POS System is the most important because the Point of Sale. The POS is critical to the shoe business because the inventory has to be tracked and analyze for effective operations. To be effective, Shoe Store POS Systems need an efficient way to track the various styles, sizes and colors of shoes in inventory (POS Nation, 2012). IT should make sure they analyze the possible POS threats that could impact day-to-day operations.

IT Data Conversion project is very critical because they must determine the compatibility of the data from the Sassy Shoes billing systems versus the data from the Unique Shoe Store system. It needs to analyze the number of IT hours required to scrub the new data from both billing systems to incorporation into the new billing system. The original data from Bills Excel sheets will have to be converted to the new system.

  1. Explain how each IT project listed above specifically improves and/or supports the business.

Point of Sale (POS) system improves the customer service experience with the sale. The Point of Sale experience at the brick and mortar location can make or break the success of the store. Customers always remember, if the sales process was cumbersome. That customer will not come back to the store if the sale experience is not seamless. In todays, protection of information era, customers become concern when the POS sale does not effective capture your data.

Database Management improves the company’s ability to retrieved sale, financial and company data. The majority of reporting is pulled from the database whether using SQL to retrieve the data, if the database has glitches; it impacts the entire company from top to bottom. The primary area impacted from the database is the ability to backing up company data.

Data Conversion project ensures all the companies data is in a format that can be utilize by all departments such as HR, Operations, Sales, Finance and Inventory.

  1. If Bill decides to enter the world of eCommerce, which of the eCommerce models (B2B, C2B, B2C or C2C) would you recommend to him as a best fit for his business and how would it benefit his business?

Bill would utilize the eCommerce option B2C because Sassy Shoes and Unique Shoes would benefit from integrating an e-commerce solution that gives customers another shopping option. Bill will benefit from gaining more customers that prefer to shop online. These online customers often will be loyal to the brick and mortar and the online store, if you make it a seamless shopping experience. Sassy Shoes and Unique Shoes competitive edge can be how quickly Bill can benefit from the ability to change prices on the Ecommerce platform to mirror the prices discounts given at the store. The most important factor is customer service. Many companies do not have live customer service agents to answer customer’s questions. Ecommerce has so many customer service services that will answer the e-commerce customers questions 24/7. Overall, for the type of business, Bill would benefit tremendously from utilize the B2C Business to Consumer e-commerce solution.

  1. How could Bill’s business benefit from implementing an SCM solution?

Bill implementation of SCM solutions will benefit both business by managing the product flows, information flows and financial flows. Bill would also benefit from SCM solutions in the areas of reducing overhead, decreasing the number of times a product is handled, maintain and improve order management, and shortening sales cycles. Overall, Bill can ensure that the coordination of business flows is effective throughout business operations. The SCM solution will work well with the ERP solutions along with a Just-in-Time (JIT) management solution.

  1. How could Bill’s business benefit from implementing an ERP solution?

Bill business will benefit from implementing an ERP solution to assist with the flow of business information from internal business functions inside of Sassy Shoes and Unique Shoes, in addition to organizing any information flows to outside vendors or customers. Since the goal of success integration of two businesses, the ERP solution will help bring two separate business functions into a single system environment.

  1. What benefits would Bill get for his business from implementing a relational database? Your response must be tied directly to Bill’s shoe stores.

In Bills Sassy and Unique shoe stores will benefit from a relational database that communicates with all other data, instead of being static.  Bill can benefit from the relational database sharing information concerning shoe sizes, shoe colors, and shoe prices. The relational database uses a structured query language, which is known as SQL. Bill can benefit from the SQL because of the speed of retrieving information. In addition, SQL has security options that are beneficial to protecting customer data. Finally, the SQL relational database will not cost the business millions when they grow bigger needing a more robust relational database. SQL has the ability to expand with the company’s growth.

  1. Make a list of five ways that Bill could protect the data and systems that he is going to put in place. Consider the type of data and systems that would be relevant to Bill’s shoe store.
  • Storing Magnetic Stripe Data (and other sensitive data)
  • Controlled Access to customer data
  • Software and Hard Encrypted Passwords
  • Security Patches Automatic Software Updates(Prevent Fraud Breaches)
  • VISA Credit Card Security Software(Fraud Detection)

Reference

POS Nation. (2012). Shoe store POS systems and point of sale software. Retrieved from http://posnation.com/shoe-pointofsale

TOTAL POINTS, based on 10 points per question:

100 points = 15% of final class grade

POINTS RECORDED (Total Points x.15)

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