IT Management

ITManagement

InstitutionAffiliation

Questions:

  1. Analyze the Virginia Bikes business using Porter`s Five Forces Analysis to complete the table below.

FORCE

List Porter`s Five Forces

IMPACT (POSITIVE, NEGATIVE, or NEUTRAL)

This must have an entry

JUSTIFICATION of your selected impact

Minimum 2 good sentences that explain the impact of the force on Virginia Bikes to demonstrate an understanding of the force.

Refer to specific details of the business in the case study to support your explanations.

Threat of new entrants

Negative

Competition due to new entrants reduces the turnover of the business. As stated in the passage, the revenue on bike sales has reduced to just 25% probably due to new competition. However, the other areas are keeping the revenue afloat because of lack of competition.

Threat of substitute products or services

Neutral

In the passage, there is no evidence of a substitute product or service. It seems the locals and tourists are enjoying the services and because of lack of competition in renting and repairing, the business remains strong.

Bargaining power of customers

Positive

Virginia bikes enjoy a good market from the college students, the locals and the tourists, all of whom have a good bargaining power. According to the passage, the firm charges up to $50 for renting a bike. The bargaining leverage is also friendly to Virginia bikes due to the rapport he has with the high-cost bike suppliers and the strategy to acquire low-costing bikes for renting.

Bargaining power of the supplier

Positive

The good rapport cultivated between Virginia bikes and its suppliers makes it easy for the business to acquire high-end bikes at a wholesale price, thus selling them at a good price to eventually realize reasonable profits. The firm also has a number of suppliers, therefore, evading the monopoly power of a single or a few suppliers.

Intensity of competitive rivalry

Positive

Although there is a competitive rivalry when it comes to bike sales due to the many online sale platforms, the business environment has provided little or no competition in bike repairs and renting, increasing the business’ earnings on repairs and renting.

  1. Identify which of Porter`s Generic Strategies is most appropriate to Virginia Bikes and explain why you selected it in light of your Five Forces Analysis.

TheFocus strategy is the most appropriate Porter’s generic strategy toVirginia Bikes. The business has focused its operations on a fewspecific areas, offering specific services to specific clients. Thebusiness has focused on tourists, university students and theresidents with little plans to expand the business to cover a largergeographical area like the whole state. Tourists have special needs.Their desire to have outdoor fun at a reduced cost is achieved byVirginia bike’s initiative to provide rental bikes at a lower cost.The use of low-cost bikes allows the business to subsidize the rentalrates for the students as well. By focusing on this small niche,Virginia bikes can satisfactorily cater to the needs of its clientsand address challenges promptly. The use of advertising and settingup a website is a way of gaining competitive advantage and customerappeal.

  1. Bill uses the three business processes listed below, and each of them could be improved using technology. Explain in general how an information technology system solution could improve each one of the processes without naming a specific solution.

Sellingbicycles – how technology could improve the process:

Sellingbikes can be made easier for Bill introduced a technological aspectto it. Online selling platforms can offer him a quick and easy way ofselling his bikes. Additionally, he could use the business’ websiteto market the bikes and advertise other services, therefore reducingthe need for other media outlets to do that.

Repairingbicycles – how technology could improve the process:

Useof technology in repairing bikes can be applicable in terms ofkeeping the business updated with information regarding tips onbicycle repairs and maintenance. Additional, technology can help Billaccess bikes technical information. Various researches andimprovements done by new models and information on new repairingtechniques when dealing with new models can be accessed usingtechnology. Additionally, technology allows for the use ofspecialized equipment that facilitates faster and better repairing ofbikes.

Managinginventory – how technology could improve the process:

Whenit comes to managing inventory, Virginia Bikes need to maintainadequate stock in order meet the increasing demand withoutinappropriate or unnecessary investment. Inventory management systemsmake it easier and faster to track the quantity of each model ofbikes the business has, ranging from the less costly ones to thehigh-end superbikes, which triggers an order of additional stock whenthe quantities fall below a pre-determined amount. This way, Billwill ensure that there is always enough stock at any given time.Stock shortages are usually a discouragement to the clientele, andmay prompt a bad review. These systems are best used when theinventory management system is connected to the point-of-sale (POS)system. This system accounts for every item that is sold in that,when one item goes the stock quantity is reduced and reflected in thesystem, creating a coordinated closed loop of communication betweenthe departments of the business.

  1. Using the three business processes listed in question #3, list one input and one output that would be part of that process. (These are for the entire process, and are not limited to any particular step in the process.)

Process

Input

Information/data item entered into the system as part of this process

(input needed for the system)

Processing

Processing or action the system must perform for this process

(what the system will do with the input)

Output

Information/data item displayed or printed out for the user in this process

(what the system will output/display)

Selling Bikes

Bike model

Analysis of the selling price

Bike pricing

Repairing Bikes

Damages on the bike

Analyzing the extent of the damages

Techniques for fixing the damage and preventing future damages.

Managing Inventory

The model with the highest sales

Quantity of the model’s stock

Analyze the need to add more stock/

  1. Bill has decided to use technology to improve one of business processes identified in question #4 above. Select one of the processes and analyze the IT requirements as they apply to that process using the table below.

Name the business process that you selected from #4 here: &shy&shy_Managing Inventory_

IT

Requirement

Importance/Relevance

High, Medium, Low, or Not Applicable (N/A)

High

Explanation for Ranking

(Write a minimum of 3 good sentences for each. Use the name of the business and the selected process in each answer. Identify the data or type of data used in your explanation, where it applies.)

Virginia Bikes need to maintain a good inventory to ensure a good and sustainable flow of stock without over or under-investing. Digital data makes it simpler and easier to track down inventory records.

Usability

High

A well-maintained inventory system is important to all the operations of Virginia Bikes. Not only does it ensure a steady stock, but it also reduces on shortages and informs which bicycle brands are popular. This information influences decisions in future stock purchases, investment and expansion of business

Information Quality

Medium

This is due to the use of a simple inventory system. A highly sophisticated system may be costly to the business.

Database

Low

Since it is a small business dealing with a focused niche, information regarding operations will not be that much.

Reliability/ Availability

High

A good inventory system ensures that Virginia Bikes utilizes the limited resources on needed stock while at the same time satisfying the client. Computers or PCs are readily available for creating a good inventory system, making the whole process reliable, applicable and less expensive.

Security

Medium

Since Virginia Bikes need more than one person to run the inventory in terms of updating and analyzing, some information may leak to the competitors if Bill is dealing with untrustworthy employees. Additionally, without close concentration, some dishonest employees may alter the inventory entries.

  1. List and briefly explain three specific quantifiable (measurable) business benefits that Virginia Bikes would get from using a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution. Your explanations should include references to the Virginia Bikes business in the case study.

BusinessBenefits #1 and explanation:

SaaSreduces installation and configuration time. Virginia Bikes handle alarge number of customers, especially during the weekends. It needs asystem that is easily installed to avoid inconveniences associatedwith software deployment

BusinessBenefits #2 and explanation:

Sinceit resides in a multitenant environment, the cost of running SaaS islow. Due to the reduced revenue from bike sales, Virginia Bikes needto cut costs in order to maintain the high profits.

BusinessBenefits #3 and explanation:

Sincethey come with the best practices and samples, SaaS is easy to use.This allows for easy and inexpensive training for operation,therefore reducing the costs of operation.

  1. Bill has decided to implement a cloud-based SaaS solution to improve the bike repair process for his business. Identify one important activity that Bill would need to do during each of the following phases of the system development life cycle to implement his solution (an example answer is provided for the Programming phase):

    1. Planning: Creation of a communication and risk mitigation and resource plan.

    2. Analysis and Design: Assess the economics of the cloud-based SaaS solution.

    3. Programming: Since the system has already been developed by the SaaS vendor, Bill is not required to take any action regarding the Programming Phase.

    4. Configuration: Integrate with cloud and other systems on the premises.

    5. Testing: Perform load tests and analyze the capabilities of the cloud-based SaaS solution versus the technical architecture.

    6. Implementation and Use: Assess the capacity required and train end users and any support personnel required.

  1. Bill would like to increase repair work and rentals as they are the highest profit aspects of his business. He wants to analyze the data he will be collecting in his new information system to help him do this. Identify three questions that Bill would want answers to in order to determine ways to increase repairs and rentals. Then, identify what information Bill would need to answer each question. Finally, explain how that information and the answers to the questions would help Bill increase repair work and rentals.

Question,information and explanation #1:

Whatseason posts the highest rental numbers? Bill will need a fullaccount of the total rentals during the year with monthly breakdowns.This information will influence Bill’s purchases, especially duringthe high season.

Question,information and explanation #2:

Whatare the most common repair issues? Bill will need information fromthe repair person on repair issues commonly handled by them. Thiswill facilitate his research on tips to use in order to address thesepersistent issues effectively.

Question,information and explanation #3:

Whatis the cost of repairing damaged rental bikes? Bill will needinformation from the mechanic who handles rental repairs. Thisinformation will dictate the rental rates.

  1. Bill has set up a website with information about his stores, and he wants to expand this website to conduct e-commerce. Identify two different categories of e-commerce (as defined in the Week 2 Learning Resource &quotCategories of Electronic Commerce&quot) that Bill could use to improve his business. Explain how each e-commerce category would be used. Your explanations should include the name of Bill`s business and demonstrate your understanding of each of the two e-commerce categories.

E-Commercecategory #1 and how it would be used:

Business-to-business:It facilitates electronic transactions between Bill and hissuppliers.

E-Commercecategory #2 and how it would be used:

Business-to-customer:It fosters electronic business relationships between Virginia Bikesand its clients. It encourages the clients to shop on the business’website. It also allows the client to have more information regardinginformative content, which encourages buyers.

  1. Explain how each of the following could benefit Bill`s Virginia Bikes business. Use 2-3 sentences for each and be sure your explanations mention Virginia Bikes and show that you understand each of the types of systems.

    1. Supply Chain Management System

Itallows for linking up and coordination of the different branches ofVirginia Bikes to provide standard services to the clients. Thecoordination of the functions and strategies allows for standardimprovement across all the branches (Sarkhis &amp Lai, 2011.p.1-15).

    1. Customer Relationship Management System

Thissystem will increase loyalty, usage behavior and reduce instances ofcustomer defection and complaints. It also enables Virginia Bikes tocustomize their services to the needs of the clients and also ensuresthe business provides timely and accurate or helpful response tocustomer concerns and requests (Rouse, 2014, n.p).

    1. Enterprise Resource Planning System

ERPsystem improves the quality and efficiency of the Virginia Bikes.Keeping the internal business processes running smoothly, it leads tobetter outputs like customer services that may benefit VirginiaBikes. It can also provide data security against unfair businesscompetitors and dishonest employees (Bourgeois,2014, 87-88).

References

Bourgeois,D., T. (2014). Business Processes. Information System for Businessand Beyond.

Kommalapati,H., &amp Zack, W. H. (2011). TheSaaS Development Lifecycle. &nbsp

Rouse,M. (2014). Customer Relation Management (CRM).

Sarkis,J., Zhu, Q., &amp Lai, K. H. (2011). Anorganizational theoretic review of green supply chain managementliterature.&nbspInternationalJournal of Production Economics,&nbsp130(1),1-15.

Schafer,J. B., Konstan, J. A., &amp Riedl, J. (2001). E-commercerecommendation applications. In&nbspApplicationsof Data Mining to Electronic Commerce&nbsp(pp.115-153). Springer US.