Case Study Report
|Description||Marks out of||Wtg(%)||Due date|
|ASSIGNMENT 3||100.00||50.00||3rd February 2016|
Dr Shirley “Shirl” Lock-Holmes retired in 2009 after a long career in Human Resource Management. To keep busy and to fulfil a lifelong dream, Dr Lock-Holmes started a Steam Punk themed mail order business called “Steam Age Emporium” and began selling various types of imported Steam Punk related merchandise such as ladies’ and gentlemen’s clothing, ladies’ and gentlemen’s boots, headwear, goggles and other assorted Steampunk related paraphernalia to customers via mail order around Australia. These types of Steampunk merchandise have become very popular, especially with the development of steampunk games (e.g. Bioshock), steampunk graphic novels (e.g. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), and even steampunk movies (e.g. Sherlock Holmes, Hugo, the Golden Compass, Sucker Punch and the Three Musketeers) and TV shows (e.g. Warehouse 13) have brought the phenomenon into the public’s attention; and Dr Lock-Holmes’s business has experienced a rapid growth in their mail orders. When Dr Lock-Holmes first retired, she bought her own home computer to help manage the business’s books and finances.
Steam Age Emporium is located at Shop 1, 10 Jules Verne Boulevard, Toowoomba (about 100 km west of Brisbane). Dr Lock-Holmes can be contacted via phone on (07) 4632 1156; fax on (07) 4632 9551; or email on enquiries@ steamageemporium.com.au.
Shirl Lock-Holmes is extremely impressed with our computing firm “Moriarty Technologies” and she has contracted our firm to assist her in setting up her various computer-based information systems.
The first computer-based information system that Dr Lock-Holmes is interested in is a Database Management System (DBMS) utilising Microsoft Access 2007/2010/2013. The DBMS will be used to store all of the business’s customer details, information about the stock items that the business sells, the suppliers that the business uses and all postal order transactions for the business. It will allow Dr Lock-Holmes to run a number of queries on the data which she has specified below and she wishes to be able to print out an invoice for each customer at the end of each month.
Dr Shirley “Shirl” Lock-Holmes was extremely impressed with our computing firm’s – Moriarty Technologies – development of the Steam Age Emporium’s Database Management System (DBMS) utilising Microsoft Access 2007/2010/2013 (Assignment 1). The business has contracted our firm to assist in setting up more of the business’s various computer-based information systems.
The next computer-based information system that the business is interested in is a Decision Support System (DSS) utilising Microsoft Excel 2007/2010/2013. The DSS will be used to analyse sales trends for the business to determine future courses of action for the business.
Dr Shirley “Shirl” Lock-Holmes would like the information in the Database Management System (DBMS) (Assignment 1) imported into Microsoft Excel 2007/2010/2013 so that the information can be summarised as a report and some future analysis of sales trends performed. The suppliers used by the business, source items from either Finland (FI) or Brunei (BN). They allow the business to select from either of these two regions on an ad hoc basic depending on the most favourable exchange rate at the time.
Dr Shirley “Shirl” Lock-Holmes has noted that a number of the business’s competitors are providing a discount to customers who place large orders. The business would like to see what affect adopting a similar policy would have on the business. The business has also noted a growing number of online businesses are starting to provide free freight delivery as a way of encouraging more online business; the business would like to run a number of scenarios based on potential Mark-up and Freight options to ascertain the best combination for the business if they were to adopt this policy too.
Dr Shirley “Shirl” Lock-Holmes was extremely impressed with our computing firm’s – Moriarty Technologies – development of the Four Seasons Music’s Database Management System (DBMS) utilising Microsoft Access 2007/2010/2013 (Assignment 1) and Decision Support System (DSS) utilising Microsoft Excel 2007/2010/2013 (Assignment 2).
Dr Shirley “Shirl” Lock-Holmes realises that the business has a lot to learn and that the business will need to invest considerable money to bring his business into the modern online business world, from their current single computer mail order set-up. Dr Shirley “Shirl” Lock-Holmes has contracted our firm to advise the business on how they can grow their mail order business into a cutting-edge online presence. The business has asked us to develop a report to provide them with information about the following topics that they see as key to their business’ growth:
- What Information Technology Strategies should the Business consider to obtain / retain competitive advantage in their marketspace?
(Baltzan et al Chapters 1 & 8 – Competing in the Information Age / Enterprise Information Systems)
- How can the business move from mail order to being an online presence?
(Use Baltzan et al Chapters 2 & 3 – Connectivity and E-Business / Mobile Business to assist you in answering this topic)
- What type of hardware and software, including networking infrastructure, should the business acquire to expand its capabilities to meet their new e-business initiative?
(Use Baltzan Chapter 5 – Technical Fundamentals to assist you in answering this topic)
- What would be the benefits to the business of a solid enterprise architecture?
(Use Baltzan et al Chapter 7 – Enterprise Architecture to assist you in answering this topic)
- What privacy issues should the business be aware of when embarking on an online presence?
(Use Baltzan et al Chapter 11 – Ethics, Privacy and Information Security to assist you in answering this topic)
All phases in this project must be developed with professionalism and user-friendliness in mind.
Mr Hach G Wells, your manager, has set up the following tasks for you to complete this project:
Refer to the marking criteria for details of mark allocations.
Task 1: Journal (maximum 500 words) 10%
Prepare a journal that records your activities and progress related to completing this assignment. In date order, clearly list the following:
- Date of research activity/discussion
- Full description of research activity / discussion (at least 25 words)
- Web sites visited to collect information; other references accessed (using Harvard AGPS Referencing style – submitted separate to the List of References in Task 2).
- Time duration of the activity
If you are working in a team, clearly state the activities of each team member.
Submit this journal as an appendix to Task 2. Any references to web pages and online documents, such as white papers, should be listed at the end of the journal.
Task 2: Case study (max 4,500 words) 90%
Report Structure and Presentation 5%
Your report should include a professional title page, computer generated Table of Contents (including List of Tables and List of Figures) and Appendices.
Note: Make sure to state the names of all students involved in the report on the title page.
Report Letter of Transmittal, Executive Summary and Introduction 5%
Your report should include a letter of transmittal, executive summary, and introduction to the report.
Report Section 1 – Business Strategy 10%
What Information Technology Strategies should the Business consider to obtain / retain competitive advantage in their marketspace?
- Using Porter’s Five Forces Model, discuss how each of the five forces relates to Dr Shirley “Shirl” Lock-Holmes’ business.
- What should be the business’s focus? Discuss the business’s focus in relation to Porter’s Three Generic Strategies.
- What are the benefits to the business of Supply Chain Management and the types of metrics should the business be using to measure the performance of their Supply Chain Management.
- Discuss what are the Upstream and Downstream steps involved in the business’s Supply Chain Management.
- Include a diagram of the business’s current Supply Chain based on the information you have from Assignment 1, 2 and 3
(Baltzan et al Chapters 1 & 8 – Competing in the Information Age / Enterprise Information Systems)
Report Section 2 – E-Business and Mobile Business 10%
How can the business move from mail order to being an online presence?
- What are the benefits and challenges that the business should be aware of before becoming an e-business?
- What are the characteristics of Web / Business 2.0? How should the business address these characteristics when setting themselves up as an e-business?
- Which type(s) of e-business model(s) should the business be considering implementing? Why?
- What type of e-commerce tools should the business consider utilising to connect and communicate with their customers? Why?
- What tools should the business use to measure their e-business success?
- Should the business also consider implementing m-business? What are the benefits and challenges Dr Shirley “Shirl” Lock-Holmes will need to be aware of?
(Baltzan et al Chapters 2 & 3 – Connectivity and E-Business / Mobile Business)
Report Section 3 – Hardware, Software and Networking Infrastructure 10%
What type of hardware and software, including networking infrastructure, should the business acquire to expand their capabilities to meet their new e-business initiative?
- Develop a computer hardware proposal (including printer(s)) to allow the business to provide up to twenty-five (25) staff with computer access, including current Australian prices for the equipment. Justify why this hardware is necessary for the business.
- Develop a computer software proposal, including both system and application software, to support the proposed computer hardware proposal, including Australian prices for the software. Justify why this software is necessary for the business.
- Develop a networking and communications proposal, including a suggested network architecture, topology and communication medium to support the proposed computer hardware and software proposal. Justify why this networking infrastructure has been chosen for the business.
- Include a diagram of the proposed hardware and network infrastructure to help Dr Viv Aldi visualise what you are recommending.
(Baltzan Chapter 5 – Technical Fundamentals)
Report Section 4 – Enterprise Architecture 10%
What are the benefits to the business of a solid enterprise architecture?
- How should the business maintain and secure its information architecture to support its business operations? Propose the steps that the business should follow.
- Before Dr Shirley “Shirl” Lock-Holmes acquires the hardware, software and networking infrastructure proposed in part 2, outline the seven (7) primary characteristics of a solid infrastructure architecture he should be aware of and how they may impact on the business.
- Cloud computing offers an alternative to some of the infrastructure architecture proposed in part 2.
- How could cloud computing be utilised to reduce the acquisition costs for the hardware, software and networking infrastructure to the business?
- What would be the benefits and challenges of these emerging cloud services to the Dr Shirley “Shirl” Lock-Holmes’s business?
(Baltzan et al Chapter 7 – Enterprise Architecture)
Report Section 5 – Privacy 10%
What privacy issues should the business be aware of when embarking on an online presence?
- What Australian laws should Dr Shirley “Shirl” Lock-Holmes be aware of regarding privacy? How do these laws affect how the business collects and uses information collected from its customers?
- How should the business communicate its commitment to the privacy of customers? Provide two (2) examples of how similar businesses achieve this communication of commitment to customer privacy.
- As the business’s potential client base is international, what other global information privacy issues should Dr Shirley “Shirl” Lock-Holmes be aware of?
(Baltzan et al Chapter 11 – Ethics, Privacy and Information Security)
Report: Conclusions and Recommendations to the Business 10%
Your report should include separate conclusions and recommendations sections.
- Conclusions provide a summary of your key findings from the body of the report.
- Recommendations provide a summary of the recommendations to the business based on the research conducted in the report.
Report: Referencing and Appropriateness of Sources 20%
References are required and the Harvard AGPS standard of referencing must be used. This standard is detailed on USQ Library Site <http://www.usq.edu.au/library/referencing>.
Ensure that your reports are fully referenced, including any reference to the text book. Your report should include in-text references and a List of References.
Do not repeat verbatim large slabs of information from other sources such as the text – you must put the ideas/information in your own words.
You must use at least ten (10) academically sound sources other than the textbook in completing this report.
Note: the word count does not include letter of transmittal, executive summary, references or appendices.