Information system strategy

Information technology has become an essential factor in EasyShopping with growing strategic implication. The purpose of this article is to outline a strategy which allows operation of the technological significance of the EasyShopping overall strategy as well as supplementary strategies such as marketing Strategy and production & sales Strategy. The needs for different approaches like security, vehicle and delivery management and e-commerce is needed, which allows the Easyshopping to be eye catching and competitive position to meet customer market and their business needs.

Information systems strategy must focus to support Easyshopping strategic plans. It helps in creating improving and creating competitive advantages of Easyshopping. It shapes and supports the corporate strategy by identifying innovative ways of conducting business, creates new opportunities for business by enhancing product and services based on Information Technology. It facilitates the development and delivery of Information systems with continued support to provide Information Technology that can help Easyshopping to be a more attractive and better place to shop. Helping Easyshopping to achieve it's Mission statement and covering it's critical success factors.

Where is EasyShopping now?

Easy Shopping provides a service of delivery of grocery products up to cost of £100. Currently it is offering overnight delivery for orders received before 3 pm. The store is opening for only 12 hrs i.e. 8am - 8pm Monday to Friday. And their current price range is based on distance from the store and number of goods purchased by local residents and small local restaurants.

Internet & Intranet

EasyShopping stores have an intranet but do not have any E-commerce site. This intranet has helped to connect each and every computer of store. As well this intranet is connected to wide area network for the communication between other stores.

Payment

Currently EasyShopping does not have standard online payment system. Instead payment is made in real time.

Vehicle and Delivery Management

At present, the delivery of goods is through the use of 5 leased refrigerated vans and it covers 8 stores. There is no efficient and feasible real time vehicle tracking system. The delivery drivers use the jobs and a hand written worksheet to deliver goods and pass this to the local store.

Current IT and Technical Infrastructure

Network Infrastructure

All stores have a Local Area Network (LAN) and these are connected via a Wide Area Network (WAN) for city-based communication between stores. The current network is at 80% capacity and may become overloaded within 12 months.

  1. Telephone Infrastructures
  2. Now small number of ad-hoc deliveries is possible. And this is communicated by telephone/memo to the delivery/pick-up driver. The current system is inefficient as drivers are often unable to answer phone due to driving or to pick-up memos in-between deliveries. It is also used for order tracking by customer and administrative members which is not very efficient.

  3. Security, Authentication and Protection
  4. At present there are no security systems in place to protect sensitive data such as customer information, sales prediction and development strategies.

  5. Common Technological Infrastructure
  6. All stores of Easyshopping use computer system with various platforms and hardware configurations to prepare delivery information and for customer billing. This can lead to compatibility problems and sometimes loss of delivery orders.

Current Employee IT Skill

As it is seen that recently there are no much technologies used in this grocery shop, so it can be said that only limited knowledge of IT based staff are there.

Where we need to be?

Visions for 5 years to come

In immediate 5 years plan Easyshopping needs to Expand its market share, decentralize it's distribution channel through inventory planning, vehicle management and supplier relationships, it have to introduce IT infrastructures like Electronic Till Systems and E-commerce website and deliver high level of customer satisfaction.

This can be summarized as needs of:

  1. Information systems, which meet the business and administrative requirements and demands of Easyshopping, concentrating both in business benefits and functionality.
  2. Network and technical infrastructure, capable of supporting increasing demand of bandwidth, database, file and document management with high level of security, recoverable and feasible with business extension.
  3. Information access infrastructure using technological developments in optimizing access to information systems as per customers and staff requirements.
  4. Information Technology services capable of understanding business requirements, providing high level of support services to staff, customers and enterprise.
  5. Highly skilled and motivated workforce focusing on high level of customer satisfaction.

Internet and Intranet.

Easyshopping needs to mark its presence in the internet It not only helps in selling the products but also enhances the effectiveness of marketing. Presence in the internet opens doors for new opportunities for Easyshopping. It can serve as a hub to manage other sub systems such as vehicle and delivery management, order tracking, inventory planning, online payments etc.

Intranet communication between stores increases the effectiveness of internal work processing of Easyshopping. Intranet will serve as common platform to exchange information between different stores more effectively, information relating to vehicle managements and cross store inventory planning, inventory exchange and inventory backup can be achieved through intranet.

Diversify Payment Systems.

Easyshopping needs to introduce new ways of payments for the easiness of its customers. Customers will find it easy and convenient if there are different options of payments replacing the old hand-to-hand payment system. Easyshopping can add features of payments such payments by credit cards, bank transfers and direct debit. Adding the facility of online payments not only facilitates customers but will also facilitate the financial administration of Easyshopping.

Vehicle and Delivery Management

Easyshopping needs to manage its vehicles and delivery so that maximum outputs can be generated with limited resources. An efficient vehicle and delivery management not only maximizes the efforts of Easyshopping but will also result in decreased delivery times, customer dissatisfaction relating to late deliveries and measures to increase performance in future.

IT and technical Infrastructure

  1. Common Technological Infrastructures
  2. Easyshopping needs to implement common platform of hardware and software for allthe machines it use across the stores. Implementing same platform eliminates the compatibility issues.

  3. Network Infrastructures
  4. A more sophisticated network is needed; using Broadband networking not only eliminates the problems of package loss in communication but also enhances the speed and effectiveness of communication.

  5. Telephone Infrastructures
  6. Telephone system would be adapted to be used in handling, processing and tracking of orders and for other general enquiries. Telephone systems should be equipped with directory system and fully integrated into a switchboard system.

  7. Security, authentication and protection
  8. Every process, procedures, systems and infrastructures should be secured against external and internal threats, viruses and malwares. A strong authentication mechanism should be followed in order to discourage digital and social engineering attacks. The systems should be physically protected against any environmental and human disasters.

Employee IT skills

Employees should be literate about the information technology and information systems they need to use to perform their day to day activities. Trainings should be provided when certain competences are not met.

How do EasyShopping get to where it need to be?

For the flexibility of Easyshopping customer, administration has to increase their opening hour as well as they needs to fix their price range for the delivery of items. And they must not only focus on local residents and small restaurants. They need to enhance their consumer market by merging or forming strategic coalition with other grocery supplier.

Internet and Intranet

  1. Development of E-commerce site.
  2. Development of an intranet for web content for internal information.
  3. Development of a strategy which notifies the Easyshopping approach of how internet and intranet, employee portals and document management link and interact flawlessly together.

Payment

Develop a standard web payment service which ensures there is benefit like adding point in their account. And this point will help to get discount in different items.

Vehicle and Delivery Management

  1. Buy some vehicles and some can be hired.
  2. Introduction of Delivery Information Acquisition Device, Radio Pager and GPS tracking systems.

Current IT and Technical Infrastructure

  1. Network Infrastructure
  2. Implement broadband cable instead of Wide Area Network.

  3. Telephony
    1. Replacement of existing telephony system with IP Telephony system.
    2. IP Telephony must be provided to all the staffs of Easyshopping.
    3. Implement switchboard system and directory system in IP Telephony.
    4. Introduce toll free number for general enquires and other tracking.
  4. Security, Authentication and Protection
    1. Implement password protected system with unique username for authentication and authorisation.
    2. All the sensitive data that need to be stored in database must be encrypted.
    3. Classifying each and every data whether it is confidential or not for giving access to different level of employee.
    4. Using intrusion prevention system and antivirus software for detection of malware.
    5. Implement secure socket layer certificate (SSL) and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) which will help to encrypt sensitive data during online operation.
    6. Implement elements such as alarms, security lighting, closed circuit television camera (CCTV) and security guard patrols for physical protection.
  5. Technological Infrastructure
    1. Develop guideline for desktop application software pattern.
    2. Making a yearly contract with vendor to add or upgrade the hardware.
    3. Implement Electronic Till Machine.

Current Employee IT Skill

  1. Develop method for IT literacy and evaluate competence with standards for all existing and new employees.
  2. Plan annual training programmes.

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