Operations and Information Management

Assignment Brief

Case Study: Craven Books

Craven Books (CB) is a comic magazine seller in Utah City, USA, with a 40-years life span competing with mega sellers such as Dreamland Comics, Forbidden Planet, and Metropolis Comics. The company extended their market along North America and Mexico and plans to build-up a digital presence to approach the European market through multi-interface e-commerce and social media groups in order to promote their products to the new markets.

This growth strategy has led to an accelerating volume of sales. Accordingly, the company had to process customer orders in patches and recruit a qualified store manager and an IT specialist to develop a digital strategy consistent with its business strategy.

Once appointed, the IT manager outsourced the digital strategy to an independent IT consultant who decided to set-up two technological tools for the internal and external processes. Internally, a weighting machine was brought to the store to determine the right order through weight checks. An electronic mapping machine was also attached to this weighting machine in the store area to link the customer orders from the digital interface with the store management and help locate the relevant items. Externally, the IT consultant has developed a CRM cloud-based interface to help both customers and employees conduct transactions and electronic payments online.

Within a years time of outsourcing the digital strategy, CB has failed and lost 90% of its customers in addition to making 60% of its staff redundant. Clearly, there was a misalignment between the business strategy and the IT strategy.

Peter Craven, the owner of this company, needs your help as a professional information management consultant. He wants to define the areas of misalignments and explore different possibilities of developing a more relevant IT portfolio. These possibilities might include CRM, ERP, and Open sources software to save the business and fix the fragmentation in his business processes. Therefore, you are required to submit a professional report that can be read and understood by Peter Craven and his fellow team.

Your Task

You are an OIM consultant who has been employed to advise Craven Books on the effective implementation of these strategic changes. You are required to produce the following:

Part A: Analysis business process models and strategy analysis
In this section you should develop
1. A series of business process models, which capture the existing and proposed business processes. The models should follow the BPMN notation. You can use Microsoft Visio to create the models although you may if you prefer use Word, PowerPoint or appropriate alternatives.
2. Strategic analysis for Craven Books: you should use a recognised analysis technique such as SWOT, PESTLE etc 1000 words

Part B: Open source software comparison table
In this section you should conduct research into a suitable software solution for Craven Books. You should decide on the set of characteristics which you will use to evaluate the software and your research should consider 4-5 alternatives in detail. This section should be presented as a table.500 words

Part C: Report
In this section you should write a report which provides an overview of the current situation together with a roadmap outlining how the proposed changes to the business can be achieved to the benefit of the business. This should draw on your analysis in Part A, include your recommendation for software, and provide recommendations for ensuring that the strategy is effectively implemented, including consideration of the challenges ahead. 1250 words

This section should follow a standard report structure:
Title Page Contents Introduction – Main Section Conclusions and Recommendations – References.

You should use appropriate theories, frameworks and models, to inform and justify
Your recommendations.

Setting out this work
You can set it out as a report from the beginning, with a front cover, table contents, etc and then put the work carried out for parts A and B in the appendix (so you can refer to them in the main report), or you can put the diagrams etc with the body of the report.
Alternatively you can have a front cover and then have Part A with all the work for that Section, Part B with all the work for that Section and then Part C The Report which refers to Part A and B.

Part B: Evaluation of software:
Functionality
Cost
Market Share
Support
Maintenance
Reliability
Performance
Security
Legal & Licence

(This table to be used to the evaluation of software )
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