Jonah and sons grocery stores started its operations in 2007 with an aim of distributing the products to the local consumers. The objectives grew with time and included driving the business to an international level to compete with multinational leading Groceries The environment did not favor the success of the business because as the time progressed, the objectives kept on changing from reality to dreams. The owners did not give up on the vision they had for the business and with innovation and proper customer service local customers developed loyalty to the business and therefore facilitated in creating capital for the business from the massive sales revenues. The huge capital from the sales activated the conception of the idea of opening up several branches across the country first before going international. Lack of realistic knowledge on managing business was the major inherent challenge to the achievement of this goal.
After some years of operation in the local market, the owner discovered that the hiring competent and experienced manager will be of the essence. Notably, the manager has propelled the business successfully to the extent that it has initiated an expedition to endeavor into the foreign markets. For this to be successful, a manager who is competent and experienced in international trade is recommended coupled with a change of name by dropping Jonah and sons. Mr. Mwangi, prominent personnel who have worked for more than ten years with different local and international companies has been selected as the new boss for this grocery store. To succeed flamboyantly, the new manager will have to utilize both the acquired work experience and new business ideas because taking a business to international level is like opening a new venture from scratch.
Things to do
A business organization is supported by various departments which administer its diverse. One of the departments is the Information Technology department which if not properly managed will ruin the operations of the business. Information technology has become an important part of successful businesses and for Jonah and Sons to go international it must use various elements of IT to achieve its objectives. Also the application of It is made necessary by the fact that the expansion of a business entails an increase in the amount of information that is available for use by a business and hence the need to have a better system to manage information. The application of IT various elements need to be considered as will be discussed in this paper. IT should be integrated in all functional areas so as to enable sharing of information. Proper coordination of all functional areas is important for the achievement of organizational goals.
Management information system is a term that is used to refer to people, technologies and procedures and IT helps to perform the functions of MIS better. The benefits of IT include increasing efficiency in service delivery, enabling customer retention, proper supply chain management, and proper financial management among other things. All these enhance the competitiveness of a business. However the use of IT increases cost of operation and the installation cost especially for a firm like Jonah and sons may be high. For the successful use of IT the people resources, organizational information and the IT system have to be well interlinked. An organizational culture that supports the use of IT has to be formed and this has to support information sharing. The manager in charge of international expansion of the company has to ensure IT is well utilized to create competitive advantage.
For the new boss to maneuver the business dazzlingly, he must consider the following ten things which will help in the success of the grocery.
Information is an essential asset for any business in a competing environment. The sensitivity of the information differs according to the impact such information will have on the business. Security of the sensitive information is crucial as this prevents access by unwarranted persons such as hackers. It is worth preventing access of business information by competitors through hacking than sealing the loopholes that permits the access. Mr. Mwangi should as a result capitalize on establishing the sensitive information for this grocery store and secure it appropriately.
Strategic information of the organization includes the competitive strategies to be adopted to run the business ahead of competitors, future plans of the company among others. These must be some of the information to be safeguarded by the information technology department. The new boss should therefore pay attention to the relevancy of introducing a well established information system capable of supporting and securing important grocery information. Through information security and management, many firms have luminously propelled in the market. This has been so because firms have been able to maintain secrets of their planned strategies from their competitors.
Conversely, information security is a very expensive activity since the firm must invest heavily in information technology to guarantee information security. The grocery has very limited information technology resources and this calls for extensive investment in this. Also, these information technology devices are very sensitive and must be protected from damage which is a very expensive undertaking. To conclude, development in internet activities is also posing a great danger especially to the upcoming firms because of the increased cases of hackers. This calls for sophisticated equipments capable of detecting and preventing any access to the firm’s information without permission. This is expensive to this grocery store.
We are in the digital age where the companies are highly challenged to adapt to forthcoming demands in the business world. Firms that are unable to adapt these new demands in the information age might become extinct. The new boss should thus adapt the forthcoming technologies that will facilitate the transformation of the grocery stores ltd into an international business through e-business. Mr. Mwangi should both the disruptive technology and the sustaining technology which will sufficiently facilitate in the implementation of the e-business.
The biggest force that is making the businesses to change is the internet and thus the business should change respectively. Therefore, the new boss should transform the firm according to the changes in the markets, technologies and the economic environments. Additionally, he should focus on the unexpected as this will allow him to capitalize on those opportunities that permit business growth. The adoption of the e-business will transform the firm into an international business as well as allowing growth of the information technology.
On the other hand, the adoption will not be economical to the firm as a huge outflow of cash will be required. In addition, the operations in the e-business require experienced staffs to keep track of the events taking place in the business. In conclusion, customers are not entirely experts in using the information systems and thus if the grocery stores ltd fully automate its operations, this will expel some customers.
Strategic Decision making
The new manager will have to decide what strategies the business will adopt in its international expansion. The strategies can either be cost leadership, differentiation and focus. So as to pursue this the management requires to use IT to change the two areas explained below;
Customer relationship management (CRM)
This a strategy that uses technology to synchronize, organize and automate business processes. It is meant to manage and nurture the interactions with customers, sales prospects and clients. The new manager is supposed to organize the employees in a systematic classification that will guarantee that the grocery stores attracts as well as winning new clients. Nurturing and retaining the existing customers as well as enticing the former ones back to the fold should also be part of CRM. The implementation of the CRM ensures that processes, people and technology increases profitability through synergy consequently reducing operational costs.
Supply chain management (SCM)
The new manager should run the company in a sophisticated manner by embracing the technologies that effectively will manage the supply chains. SCM involves various links that ensures the customer satisfaction. The links are the flow of the materials from the suppliers, the transformation of the materials through production process and the distribution of the products to the final consumers. All these links should be properly observed to avoid any impediments which can lead to customer dissatisfaction. The information technology plays a very crucial role in the supply chain as it create integrations as well as information linkages between the functions in the firm. The new boss should concentrate on the factors that drive SCM in order to drive the firm successfully. These factors include the visibility, consumer behavior, competition, and speed. Mr. Mwangi should be capable of overseeing all the areas of the supply chain, respond to consumer demands faster and effectively, use advanced technologies to improve the supply chain operations and automation of the supply chain as a way of developing competitive advantages. In addition, pleasing customers should also become a corporate obsession for this firm thus incorporating speed in the operations. The activities in SCM will improve the operations of the firm as well as increasing the level of information technology. This will transform the grocery store into a multinational set firm ready to compete with existing firms. Conversely, the activities in the SCM require specialized skills and it is uncertain whether the new manager will acquire them from the market.
Radio-frequency identification (RFID)
It is imperative to boost the security of the grocery store through the use of RFID tag. The new manager should install the firm’s vehicles and the goods themselves in transit with these gadgets to ensure the security of the goods in transit. These gadgets transmit some emissions making it easy to locate the location of the vehicle thus enhancing the security and overall reducing operational cost of the firm. The new boss should make investments in these gadgets as this reduces cases of fraud by the company employees thus keeping the company on the horizon. On the other hand, the installation of these devices will be expensive considering the size of the company and the capital base. Additionally, the staffs might tamper with the devices while in the field making them ineffective.
Enterprise resource planning
The new boss should develop a spirit of integrating all the functions and the departments of the organization to form a single information technology system. This will enable the employees to make decisions of the whole enterprise using the information available in all operations of the business. The enterprise resource planning provides solutions to the dilemmas that perpetually sprung up in the business world. Additionally, the ERP provides a platform to addresses the need for sharing and reporting information globally. In conclusion, EPR is applied by many businesses to reduce the pain experienced when fixing the legacy systems.
The application of the ERP will ensure that the firm acquires both the core and extended components. These include accounting and finance which entails accounting data and financial processes management, human resource management, management of production and materials, e-business, business intelligence, management of customer relationship and management of supply chain. The adoption of the ERP will guarantee the firm a successful venture in the international market. The process of adoption requires specialized skills and commitment of employees. The new manager should classify the employees in a group that will deliver the services adequately.
The transaction processing system
This is the Enterprise resource system that covers all the basic operations of the business such as order processing. The use of It in transaction processing in expanding the business will enable the accurate and timely handling of customer requests. IT helps in analysis of the analytical information that is useful for transactional processes. OLTP (Online transaction processing) helps in information manipulation to create business intelligence for supporting strategic decision making. Data mining is one application of It that can Help Mr. Mwangi in the expansion by ensuring that the organization is able to predict sales and avoid losses from overstocking and also avoid overspending in unproductive sales promotions.
With the intervention of decision making information systems such as the, decision support systems, and executive information systems, decision making process has become an easier and important task in the organizations around the world. These developments in the information systems have enabled organizations to make their decisions faster, analyze large amount of information easily, and protect the corporate assets of organizational information. Therefore, the adoption of these decision making systems by the new manager for this grocery firm will enhance the quality of the decision usually made by the management. The important thing of these decision making systems is that they are applicable according to the need of the decision being made. This allows for optimum decisions being made in the lower levels of the organization. The decision support system helps the managers in all levels of the organization during the decision making process. This ensures that all the relevant resources required to make decisions in all levels have been availed. The executive information systems support the senior level managers during the decision making. The adoption of all these systems among others will facilitate the grocery store in making cumulatively adequate decisions thus developing competitive advantages.
On the other hand, the adoption of these decision making systems is very expensive especially the executive information systems. In addition, specialized knowledge is required to adequately use these systems and it is expensive to acquire the same. Further, the management must employ extra security to safeguard the decision making systems from manipulation by the staffs. Considering the size of the grocery store ltd and the cash available it is apparent that investing in such systems is impossible.
Networks and telecommunications
Telecommunication systems allow the transmission of information and data over networks. The new boss should develop communications, establish standards, data exchange mediums that will allow the exchange of the data among the information systems. To achieve this, the new boss should recommend the establishment of local area network, metropolitan area network as well as wide area network. These establishments of area networks will permit easy sharing of information among the various departments of the grocery stores ltd. This will then result to fast decision making as well as immediate and improved problem solving. On the other hand, the adoption of these area networks involves a lot of capital outlay which is may not be possible for the grocery store. Additionally, hackers can access confidential information of the firm when being transmitted from one location to the other.
business process re engineering
This allows for the analysis as well as redesign of the flow of work in the enterprise. This helps to make all the processes of the businesses to be the best compared to those of the competitors giving a business competitive advantage.
The new boss should focus on creating competitive advantages for the grocery stores ltd. This should entail concentrating on the products that customers inherently place more value on. The competitive advantages are temporary because the competitors are continuously developing new skills to position themselves soundly in the market. Due to these continuous innovations, the new boss should develop a competitive advantage that will enable the grocery firm ltd to be the first mover advantage. For this manager to develop adequate competitive advantages, he must develop a technique of analyzing the competitors’ activities. This is possible through environmental scanning. Development of the competitive advantage will involve the extensive use of information technologies. These competitive advantages will maintain the firm in the horizon as well as allowing the company to acquire additional information technology equipments that are beneficial to the organization. But on the other hand, keeping track of competitor’s activities is a difficult task and which consumes a lot of resources.
Information technology is a computer based tool that is used to work with information and support the information processing needs of the organization. It comprises hardware and software components. The manager who is appointed to oversee the expansion of Muigai and Sons will have to obtain enough information on the IT system that will produce effectiveness and efficiency. This is with regard to quality and data processing capacity. Another important decision with regard to IT application is the enterprise architecture which includes plans on how the organization is structured to use Information effectively. The management also needs to consider the application infrastructure which is how the various IT applications will work together.
The manager will also have to consider the use of telecommunications system for information sharing across a wider distance and the need for creating a network for ease of data sharing and monitoring organizational activities. Organizational protocol also has to be decided on. Protocol refers to a standard on how data will be shared. Another consideration is whether to use wire media or wireless media. Wireless transmissions are fastest and also cheaper to install.