Case Study: Technology Strategy At The Bed Cellar
Review Module 1: Case Study (Instructions) and then compose a case study paper that addresses the questions listed there. The paper should follow APA style with a title page and a reference page. Your case study paper should be two pages in length, not
To gain experience and apply what you are learning in this program to a real-world situation, you’d like to study an existing business and design a new strategy to improve the business. You remember seeing a downtown furniture store that specializes in beds. You know the store because you bought a waterbed there last year and talked with the owner for some time while you decided on the bed you wanted. You drive to the store, walk inside, and ask to see the owner. The owner, Albert Mendoza, comes out and greets you, “Didn’t you buy a waterbed from us a month or so ago? How do you like it?” After some brief conversation you explain that you’d like to examine The Bed Cellar to see if you can offer recommendations on their business and technology strategy. Mendoza says, “Sure, you can study our operation. Come over here and let me introduce you to Alice and Ray.”
You walk over to an elderly lady who is writing in a huge ledger—Alice Cook, the bookkeeper. Alice has been with Bed Cellar for 23 years and has been the only person to keep the books for all three stores. She receives weekly reports from the other two stores and records daily information for the primary store. You turn to Mendoza and say, “I thought I saw a computer in here a couple of months ago.” “That’s right,” he replies.
“We have a computer that I bought four years ago. We keep it in this room next to my office. Come on over and I’ll show it to you.”
The computer room is actually a closet. To use the computer, you have to open the closet door, pull up a chair from another room, and turn on the closet light—the power cord for the computer is attached to an outlet of the closet light. “This one’s kind of a classic,” Mendoza tells you. “You know, they don’t make these anymore.” You know he’s right, the brand name is North Chase Micros, one of the personal computer makers that lasted a few years and went out of business.
About that time, another man walks in. He is Ray Silva, and he divides his time between operating the computer and selling furniture. The computer is used for about two hours a day to print price tags that are placed on furniture. The price tag includes the price, a code the sales person can read to determine the cost, a bar code, and information about the manufacturer and the product. The computer also keeps inventory records on all items located in this store and two other Bed Cellar stores in nearby cities. The computer is supposed to maintain records of installment payments, but Alice keeps that in the ledger.
Mendoza tells you the story of the computer. On the advice of his accountant, he purchased it from another furniture store in Syracuse that was also a client of the accountant. The other furniture store had purchased the computer from North Chase Micros and an employee at the store created all of the software. When the other store prospered, it bought a new computer. The price for the North Chase Micros computer was too low for Mendoza to refuse so he decided to plunge into the computer game.
It has been a sobering experience, to say the least. The software that came with the computer is written to handle the accounts of a single store, so the three locations of Bed Cellar cannot be consolidated which is why Alice keeps a manual ledger.
Alice keeps the books by hand. Ray processes the inventory and receivables transactions on the computer, and Alice also does them by hand to check the computer. You ask if there is any documentation for the software (directions, record descriptions, operating procedures, and so on), and you find out that there is none. You also learn that when anything goes wrong, a consultant must come from Syracuse to solve the problem. He is the only person who understands the software. His daily rate is $350 plus mileage. To make matters worse, nobody at Bed Cellar knows anything about programming. Ray knows some spreadsheet software but the computer is not capable of running the spreadsheet software that is sold today. Ray knows how to operate the system, but if anything goes wrong, he calls the consultant.
Alice is retiring at the end of the year, and Ray is leaving at the end of the month to go into the aluminum siding business. You ask Mr. Mendoza what his strategy is for replacing Alice and Ray. You ask “What is the overall strategy and mission for the business?” Mr. Mendoza says that it’s to make a profit. What is the vision for the future of the business? He says he is looking to expand with two more stores.
You ask Mendoza if he is collecting any data that can be used to track company financials in all three stores. “Yes, I’m am,” he says. But I still have trouble knowing what’s selling and what isn’t, how much profit we’re making on our different lines, and profit margins. Alice has been keeping the manual system, but compiling the information for income tax purposes alone takes a considerable amount of time.
You tell Mendoza you’ll get back to him with your thoughts about their business strategy. You are at a loss for words. You had expected a success story like the ones you heard in class. This seems to be a real can of worms. You say goodbye to everyone, and as you start to walk out the door, Mendoza calls out, “Hey, I couldn’t sell you a dresser to go with the waterbed, could I?”
Assignment: Compose a case study paper that addresses the questions below. The paper should follow APA style with a title page and a reference page. Your case study paper should be two to three pages in length, not including the title page or reference page. You will submit your Case Study to the Assignment in this module.
Questions to address:
- How can you convince Mendoza to scrap the North Chase Micros computer based upon the cost of repairing the computer compared to the cost of a new computer?
- Find the cost of a new computer on a website. The computer does not have to be very powerful to meet Mendoza’s needs. What would be the dollar savings over a three-year period?
- Show your assumptions by explaining how and where you located the cost of the computer and how you considered the dollar savings over a three-year period.
- Mendoza had certain software applications in mind when he purchased the personal computer. What were those applications? What other applications do you believe Mendoza should use for his store operations?
- Mendoza is about to lose both his bookkeeper and the only employee who knows how to run the computer. Should Mendoza become computer literate? If so, how?
MIS-103 Management Information Systems Concepts including the title page or reference page. You will submit your paper to this Assignment.