Business Case Project IST 7020

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Other than finance and human resource capabilities, customers are some of the most important components of business. The act of a business choosing the right platform and implementing the platform which will ensure continued satisfaction and impression of the customers is tricky. A business may find itself on the wrong end where it chooses and implements the wrong system whereby the possibilities of closing down the business are high. Where customers are not taken care of, they might migrate to the competitors and the business may end up making a loss on the goods intended for the customers before they migrated (Falk & Campbell, 1997).

The above highlights the case at Amazon. The organization is on the brink of implementing an e-shopping system as an IT solution with the aim of arresting the situation and satisfying the customers in the most suitable way. E-shopping, also referred to as online shopping is the act where customers aligned to Amazon will be purchasing products and services over the Internet. The reason for the implementation of the IT solution by Amazon is because of how e-shopping has grown in popularity over the years it has existed mainly because of the convenience people find it with as well as being easy to bargain shop from the comfort of a customer’s room or office.

The following business case outlines and reviews comprehensively the implementation of e-shopping system as the main IT solution at Amazon and how the project will address current business concerns at the company. The business case also highlights how Amazon will benefit from the implementation of the project. Other details in this particular business case are the recommendations and justification of the whole e-shopping implementation project before the project team undertakes it. Furthermore, the business case discusses the goals and objectives of the project comprehensively, performance measures of the project, assumptions, constraints, and alternative options for the implementation of the e-shopping project at the company (Mueller, 2004).

Opportunity

E-shopping has increasingly become hotter than ever at the moment. This is backed by some numbers attached to the exponential growth of e-shopping which Amazon would like to take advantage of. In the next one year, 2017, e-shopping sales are expected to reach an estimated $450 billion in the United States only. Most customers have been going online to purchase their goods and services and more recently they have started to do it over their mobile phones. Therefore, there is every reason for expecting that this number will rise even high. A company such as Amazon with the intention of boosting their sales needs customers. On the other hand, those customers need new and innovative products and a platform such as a website that attracts them to keep on browsing (Elliott, 2001).

One of the most astonishing perspectives of the implementation of e-shopping by Amazon is the ability by the company to impact their sales and marketing efforts immediately. By the implementation of e-shopping, Amazon will have expanded its reach to a level of the international base of potential customers. The implementation of the e-shopping platform will know no international boundaries. Not only this will increase the number of potential customers for Amazon but also it will drive its profitability. Far from the e-shopping being an extra expense because of the Internet, its operations are going to boost Amazon’s business activities bottom lines. This is exactly what the company needs at this age of business revolution.

Recommended Solution

The team responsible for implementation of projects at Amazon analyzed various options and alternatives thus coming up with the most suitable and which will leverage the technology thus improving business processes and activities and reduce costs of operations. The recommendation which appears within this business case will enable the company to meet its goals and objectives of continuous improvements and efficiency. It will also reduce costs and maximize on the emerging technology of e-shopping.

The recommended solution will enable the company to create new customers while retaining the current ones due to the improvement of services and availability of a new platform on which customers will be able to be shopping. It will be an opportunity for customers and Amazon as a company to realize new ways of doing things. It will also enable their sales and marketing departments to improve their efficiency and accuracy in the ways they are going to be handling customer data and information throughout the process of buying and selling (Fernie, 2005).

Significant Risks

  • Weak strategies of user authentication
  • Lack of online shopping know-how from the customers
  • Customers fear of unknown.
  • Customers reluctance to use credit card to buy goods from the site
  • Possibilities of customers being victims of fraud
  • Failure of the e-shopping to pick up upon implementation
  • High and increasing costs of maintaining the system
  • Negative public perception of the e-shopping

CURRENT ENVIRONMENT OF AMAZON

Organization Mission Statement

“To be the world’s most customer-centric organization where customers can be able to find and discover any product they might want to buy online.”

Organization Vision Statement

“To be the world’s most customer-centric organization where customers can be able to find and discover any product they might want to buy online.”

Description of the Current Organization

Amazon is one of the recently established companies in the United States. The company is situated in Chicago, Illinois. The company is currently relying on the physical movement of goods thus being unable to reach international customers. Therefore, the number of customers is decreasing and so does the costs associated with buying and selling of goods. The company has been trying to expand its customer base to reach those outside the United States thus helping in increasing their revenues to no avail.

The company has not succeeded in expanding the number of goods they sell within the boundaries of the United States and beyond due to inability to embrace modern technology in buying and selling of goods. Although the company has expanded its services to sell goods that were not there during the implementation and inauguration of the company, there is a possibility that the company may miss some opportunities which have been brought about by the growth and expansion of technology. Therefore, it is for this reason the company has embraced online shopping.

Description of the Current Business Environment

The implementation of the e-shopping will dramatically change the company’s model of operation and deliver upon a powerful vision for the future of Amazon services infrastructure. At the moment, the business services at the company are not agile and are unable to adjust rapidly to the changing company’s policy needs. Additionally, the company has a complicated payment processing where customers are not assured of integrity and goods being delivered at a high cost.

Most of the things at the company are done manually which increases the costs of operations and ways in which services are delivered. This has made the company to employ more people to offer goods and services which have increased the overhead costs and the need to embrace technology has risen abruptly. The value of goods and service sold by the company has also decreased which is, therefore, necessitating the need for the company to implement a modern technology capability (Leach, 2005).

Description of the Organizations Technological Environment

Currently, the organization has incorporated some of the modern technologies both internal and external which are relevant to the operations and activities of the company. These technologies include both equipment and process which enable the company to functions and delivers goods and services over the time it has been in existence. However, the incorporated external and internal technological capabilities are not up to the required standards.

The company requires internal and external technological capabilities which will propel it to the next generation of productivity. One of the technological developments required by the company is the embracement of the online shopping also known as e-shopping for the purpose of reaching out to the customers beyond the United States. Therefore, the company needs to improve the capabilities of the technology equipment and processes in a way that it will reach beyond the borders of the United States.

DESCRIPTION OF THE SOLUTION

Description of the Recommended Solution

The e-shopping, also known as online shopping is a form of electronic commerce that will allow Amazon’s customers and other people who require goods to buy directly over the Internet by simply using a web browser. This recommended solution is a systematic description of purchasing from Amazon as an online retailer’s mobile optimized online application. The recommended solution from Amazon will evoke the physical analogy of buying goods from the company at a shopping center. This process is called business-to-customer (B2C) online shopping.

The Amazon’s customers in front of the screen will be able to order goods or products they need by simply clicking the web store or sending an email to the company sales and marketing departments requesting for goods of their choice. The process of virtual purchasing from Amazon using the e-shopping IT solution will include the preliminary registration of the site, studying the available offers, selection of the products they require and putting them in a virtual basket, the likelihood of refreshing and canceling some of the products. Others will include the selection of the conditions of the performance and delivery of the goods and finally the submission of orders.

Scope of the Project

The scope of the project is online selling of goods over the Internet without the need for the Amazon’s customers physically visiting the company’s stores. The project will be like a retail store shopping that people do by going to the market. However, it will be done through the Internet. The project will offer product description, pictures of the products, comparisons, and prices. Shopping cart is one of the other facilities that the project will provide. The shopping cart will let the customer visiting the site browse different goods and services. Upon selecting the item they need, they can place it inside the shopping cart and continue with their browsing until they finally select the final product.  Customers will also be able to remove some of the items from the shopping cart they might have selected earlier before placing the final order.

Assumptions

  • The company has enough funds required to purchase hardware and software for the implementation of the e-shopping project.
  • The project is backed and supported by the company’s top management.
  • Customers know how to use the e-shopping capabilities.
  • There are Internet connections in areas where the customers will be placing their orders from.
  • Customers are experienced with e-shopping and online buying of goods.

Constraints

  • Amazon has limited IT resources required to support the implementation of e-shopping and the accompanying IT initiatives.
  • Most of the customers will not be easily moved from the physical to online buying of goods.
  • The implementation of the project will have insufficient support from the hardware and software providers since it will be implemented internally.
  • There are few competitors of e-shopping
  • Customers will embrace the new ways of shopping from the Amazon.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

Methodology 1 (Interviews)

An interview is a form of comprehensive discussion that happens between two people or more. It can happen between a hirer and an applicant of the job where the hirer intends to know about the applicant of the job. It can also be a researcher and another person of a group of persons with the information that the researchers requires to complete a research or a study. The interview happens with the regard to the interviewer intention of establishing the suitability of the information that the interviewee has. In this case, the interview was the best choice because it is a source of primary information.

The interview was conducted by first narrowing the stack of interviewees. Additionally, the interviewer and the interviewee put themselves at ease to ensure that the interviewee gives all the information required for the implementation of the e-shopping at Amazon and making the final decision. The interviewer prepared a list of questions related to e-shopping in advance. The interviewee was put at ease with a bit of small talk on neutral topics after which the interviewer described the topic and the company. The interviewee answered questions on general areas of e-shopping after which he answered questions on specific areas of e-shopping (Evans & Walsh, 2006).

The application of interview as one of the methodologies through which information was being collected was the availability of the information. The interviewer was able to collect information that was going to be used later in the process of the implementation of the e-shopping as an IT solution at Amazon. The methodology gave primary information since the interview was conducted on the customers.

Methodology 2 (Observations)

Observation is the systematic and active way of acquiring data and information from the primary sources of information but in living beings such as people the methodology employs senses. On the other hand and especially in science, the methodology involves data recording through the use of instruments. Additionally, observation may refer to any data and information collected during a scientific activity. It can either be qualitative or quantitative.

The method was conducted by systematically paying a close observation to other companies which had implemented e-shopping as a method of conducting business online. What was observed was recorded for referring later and guides the process of establishing e-shopping business capabilities at Amazon. The outcomes were a collection and availing data and information which would be used by Amazon in setting up an e-shopping site (Ingram, Bunta, & Ingram, 2004).

SWOT ANALYSIS

Strengths

  • Low costs of starting up
  • Less electrical, renting, and water among other fees
  • Clear and openly known market target
  • Highly rich and recognized brand of products from the company
  • A clear business plans from the company
  • A comprehensive introduction to all product items from the company.

Weaknesses

  • Most customers not accustomed to online shopping
  • Customers cannot see the quality of the goods they are purchasing
  • Challenges of goods delivery
  • High price charges for goods delivered to long distances
  • More time for goods delivered to long distances (Ratnasingam, 2006).

Opportunities

  • Market expansion to customers in the international markets
  • No restrictions of regions
  • There will be graphing opportunity period
  • There will be less online shop
  • Minimal competition

Threats

  • It will be easy to copy by other business competitors
  • There is a possibility of backlog of the products thus causing great losses
  • There is stiff competition for the same products thus causing loss.
  • Possibilities of giving the lowest prices (Ghazinoory, Esmail, & Memariani, 2007).

FEASIBILITY STUDIES

Technical Feasibility

The project developers developed technical feasibility based on the outline of the design of the e-shopping site requirements. It was meant to determine whether Amazon has the technical capability and expertise to handle the project until completion. The technical feasibility study considered the following before it was conducted:

  • The part of the business being examined
  • Both human and economic factors
  • The possible solutions to the problem which would be noted.

The study was meant to determine whether the project proposal was going to meet both technical and legal feasibility assuming that the cost was going to be moderate (Georgakellos & Marcis, 2009).

Economic Feasibility

The project team is going to conduct an economic feasibility with the purpose of determining the positive economic benefits to the company that the implementation of e-shopping will provide. It will include quantifying and identify all the benefits expected from the implementations. It will involve cost-benefit analysis.

Legal Feasibility

Legal feasibility will be conducted with the purpose of determining whether e-shopping conflicts with some of the legal requirements or all of them. For example, the e-shopping system will be required to comply fully with customers’ data and information protection regulations. The system will also be required to be acceptable within the laws of the United States (Young, 1970).

Operational Feasibility

The feasibility will be conducted to measure how well the e-shopping system will solve the current problems at Amazon and takes the advantages of the profitable opportunities during the definition of the scope. It will also be conducted to determine whether it will be able to satisfy the requirements as identified in the analysis stage of the development of the project. The feasibility will focus on the extent of how the project is going to fit in with the Amazon business environment and objectivesand objectives.

References

Elliott, M. (2001). Buyer’s Guide: Project management software. IIE Solutions, 33, 45-      52.

Evans, G., & Walsh, M. (2006). Data collection and analysis. Acta Crystallographica       Section D: Biological Crystallography, 62, 1.)

Falk, P., & Campbell, C. (1997). The shopping experience. London: Sage Publications.

Fernie, J. (2005). Online shopping. Bradford, England: Emerald Group Pub.

Georgakellos, D. A. & Marcis, A. M. (2009). Application of the semantic learning             approach in the feasibility studies preparation training process. Information       Systems Management26 (3) 231-240

Ghazinoory, S., Esmail, Z. A., & Memariani, A. (2007). Fuzzy SWOT analysis. Journal     of Intelligent & Fuzzy Systems, 18, 1, 99-108.

Ingram, K., Bunta, F., & Ingram, D. (2004). Digital Data Collection and Analysis:             Application for Clinical Practice. Language, Speech, and Hearing      Services in       Schools, 35, 2, 112-121.

Leach, L. P. (2005). Critical chain project management. Boston: Artech House.

Lewis, J. P. (2007). Fundamentals of project management. New York: American   Management Association.

Mueller, J. (2004). Mining Amazon Web Services: Building applications with the Amazon   API. San Francisco: Sybex.

Ratnasingam, P. (2006). SWOT analysis for B2C e-commerce: The case of Amazon.com.   Hershey, PA: Idea Group Pub.

Young, G. I. M. (1970). Feasibility Studies. Appraisal Journal38 (3) 376-383.



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