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Identifying the Business Problems

Question:

Discuss about the Business System Analysis.

Kinky Feet is a startup company which faced many problems when it was launched. The company used to take orders from the users but at the end moment, they could not deliver the product as they were using some old equipment which could not keep up with the production rate. Also there was a shortage of raw materials for which the company has always suffered. They used to take the same products every time. The company also suffered as they were not using any kind of information system for which it was quite difficult for them to maintain.

The following report is about the business problems that are being faced by Kinky Feet within the organizations and indentifying the problems that the organization is facing from outside.

There were many problems that Kinky Feet faced when it started as it was a new company so the pressure was on it makes a name for it. Initially, it launched a small range of shoes which proved to be a great success. The sales were limited as there were limited production of shoes and old manufacturing machines (Chui, Manyika & Miremadi 2016). The problem is that the demand was much high than the supply. The orders that the company received was in an irregular way. During the peak seasons, they were flooded with demands which were not met easily due to the different requirements from the customers. The company wanted to install some new equipment in order to meet the requirements of the customers but the problem that the company faced with this notion was that there were cash flow problems due to which the company cannot afford to undertake some of the investments. Another problem that the company faced was due to the sales staff. Initially the sales staff was doing great as they were visiting every shoe retailers and meeting them. Due to this reason they were away from the workplace which often created a problem as they had no idea when they returned back from the meetings. As they had no idea what was going on with the production and the gradual rise in the popularity of the shoes, the sales team often made claims which later could not be fulfilled. Another problem is the lack of the Information System that is they had not installed the Microsoft Navision that includes CRM and SFA which are really useful for any small business. Another major problem that the company faced was the lack of money that they were not getting from the retailers due to which they were unable to pay it to their customers. They had a pending amount of $70000 which they would get from the retailers. Due to this, they are unable to install the information system in their company for which they are facing too many problems.

The problems that have been identified above can be said to be as both hard and soft system problems. There are certain areas which fall under the hard systems and certain areas which fall under the soft systems. Hard system can be defined as the problem solving technique which requires system approach that is it can rectified using proper systems while on the other hand, soft system problems can be defined as an approach to the organizational process modeling which can be used for both general problem solving and change in management (World Economic Forum (WEF) 2011).  

Hard and Soft System Problems

The problems that the organization faced for the lack of equipments for which their production rate were quite less and could not meet the requirements of the customers’ and this falls under the hard systems (McNurlin, Sprague & Bui 2009). This can be rectified using new and upgraded techniques which could prove to increase the production and company can fulfill the requirements of the users. Another is that CRM and SFA can be used to keep track of the stock levels, production schedules and also include the shipping and delivery dates. This could help them analyze the trends and requirements of different customers at different locations,

The problems that the company are facing for the sales executive and not fulfilling the targets falls under soft systems which can be rectified using proper business models that will help the company to evaluate the existing problems. Business models help any company to outline the basic problems and help them work accordingly.

The problems with the stakeholders here the customers faced when the users placed some order but they did not get that within the time that they were ensured of or their orders would not be accepted. The later mainly happened when there was no raw materials are present for the company to manufacture more. Also the customers would get their products quite late as when the orders are at its peak, the production was not as high as the company has not installed any new machines due to which they could not meet the requirements of the customers. This automatically created a negative impression on the company as they are not able to fulfill the needs of the customers what they promised (Birch 2003). Also the company should try to make shoes with consistent production and also should make shoes which are quite different from the rest of the market. They should try to maintain the quality and quantity of their production.

Another problem is that that the sales staff are facing is that the company is using one stock item number to define one style of shoes which means they had to manually write the colors and sizes that are required. This often created a problem as one retailer got all the orders for the black color which caused when a salesperson forgot to note down the order on what is required.

Different techniques, models and tools that can be used to analyze the business systems are SWOT Analysis, Business Process Modeling, Use Case Modeling, Data Modeling and Requirement Analysis Modeling.

SWOT Analysis: SWOT analysis stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats which is mainly used for the analysis techniques of a business in an enterprise level. SWOT analysis can be used as a standalone technique which is in itself is quite easy and straight forward but every dimension has its own set of techniques. Due to simple user interface and in depth analysis, SWOT analysis is used everywhere among the business (Calof, Richards & Smith 2015).

With the help of SWOT analysis, the company can easily get to find out the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats and can take steps accordingly. SWOT analysis helps the company to understand more about the market and the necessary steps to be taken in order to fulfill the requirements. It can be used as a structured analysis to derive all the information that is required.

Possible Solutions

Business Process Modeling: It a diagrammatic representation of the information workflow, processes and decisions for a business process. These are mainly represented with the help of Unified Modeling Language (UML) diagrams which uses the Object Oriented Analysis and Structured Analysis. It is the most widely used modeling technique among the businesses. It represents the data in a more logical way and steps how to execute it at different levels so that the business can run more efficiently. It also helps in giving visual representations for a large amount of information much faster than any traditional way (Laursen & Thorlund 2016). Due to its diagrammatic representation, it also helps in breaking down any complex steps and helps them in explaining the sequences of the task.

With the help of Business Model, companies can get a clear picture of the company and the short comings that it is facing. Business Model can be used as Structured Analysis as well as Object Oriented Analysis which can be beneficial for the company as it can help the company to understand more.

Use Case Modeling: It is also an extension of the use of UML which helps in giving a clear picture of functioning of the systems and tells from the user perspective how it would perform on interaction. It also uses diagrams to explain every attributes and represent them more methodically. This is mainly used to show the relationship between the actors and interaction between the actors (Klinkenberg 2013). Due to its simplistic reason, it I widely accepted among the business analysts to analyze the problems.

With the help of Use Case Model, the company can get to know about the interaction of the users as it defines the actors and the interactions of the actors with the system. It defines the interaction from the user’s perspective which can help the company to know more about their users and take steps according to it.

Requirement Analysis: These are mainly used to determine the needs or conditions that are required to meet a new or altered product or project. It is used for the requirements for the various stakeholders so that they can analyze document, validation and managing software (Sharma, Mithas & Kankanhalli 2014). It is very critical as it decides the success or failure of any system.

With the help of requirement analysis, companies can get to know about the stocks available and also can check the delivery dates. This can be useful for analyzing the Stakeholder issues, Developer Issues and Attempted Solutions which can help them to maintain the required assessments.

Rich picture provides a mechanism for the learning about the complex and ill-defined problems by drawing detailed representation on them. Based on the above analysis, the company faced many problems with the sales as there was no proper planning. The company used to get many orders but was not able to deliver them in time or worst some orders were never fulfilled. They used some old equipment which could not keep up with the growing demands as a result the production gradually fell. This mainly happened due to the fact that the company was out of raw materials (Holsapple, Lee-Post & Pakath 2014). Also the sales executives who went on promoting the brand did not know about all this which in the end put the company in a bad impression for others. Also due to the lack of Information System that is CRM and SFA, the company was not able to keep a track of their materials and the delivery dates of the product. Another problem that it faced was of the stakeholders that are the users who kept on waiting for the product but never received it. Company faced problems from the retailers also as the company only used one code for all their all products which created lots of confusion among the retailers and they got same multiple products. The company also faced problems due to the irregular cash flow from the sales and the company was to get about $70000 from the sales which were pending. Due to this, the company was unable to pay the salaries to the employees.  

(Figure 1: Rich Picture for the Organization)

(Source: Created by Author)

(Figure 2: Matrix of Method)

(Source: Blum 1994)

Problem Oriented- It gives the user a better understanding about the problems and the given proposed solution

Production Oriented- Correct changes required to implement the specifications

Conceptual- Represents the properties of the problems

Formal- Actual implementation of the proposed solutions

Problem-Oriented

Product Oriented

Conceptual

1.

The company is facing shortage of raw materials due to which they are unable to supply the products or meet the user requirements but in spite of these problems they are accepting the orders and at the end they had to cancel it giving the users a negative impression over them. Another problem is that of the sales executive officer who went on promoting the products without knowing the status of the company.

The solution could have been that they should try to get raw materials as much as they can and should always keep some in the reserve section for emergency purposes. The sales executives should be informed about the status so that they can sell their product accordingly.

2.

Since the company is not using any Information System at the current time so it would be good if they did because with information system, they can keep track of their raw materials and expenses rather than manual entry. Also, there is a huge sum of money is pending from the sellers roughly around $70000 which is a bad thing as with this many employees are not getting their salaries.

Formal

3.

Microsoft Navision should be implemented as with the help of that application, they can easily get the information about their customer demands and also gives brief details about the products that they are using. All the records of the sales products should be maintained and money should be obtained from the sellers as soon as possible as the money that they will get will be used for various things that will be used for the betterment of the organization.

4.

Using information system is very useful as with this they can understand the market and very well and get to know about their customer needs and also the sales that they are achieving and what they are lacking of also in this they can make better decisions with the help of this information system which will give them an upper hand over the other companies.

Conclusion

Information System is very much useful for any company as it can help a company to get a clear view of the market. Also using the business models can help them to understand the market and find any shortcomings that the company is facing presently. CRM and SFA could help the company to track the details and the necessary things that are needed. Also company should try to implement these in order to function more effectively.

References

Birch, D 2003 ‘Corporate Social Responsibility: Some Key Theoretical Issues and Concepts for New Ways of Doing Business’, Journal of New Business Ideas and Trends, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1-19. Available at  https://ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/login?url=https://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA238912955&v=2.1&u=swinburne1&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w

Blum, S., Woodfree Limited 1994, Method and product for treating waste paper material. U.S. Patent 5,360,512.

Calof, J, Richards, G & Smith, J 2015, "Foresight, Competitive Intelligence and Business Analytics — Tools for Making Industrial Programmes More Efficient", Foresight-Russia, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 68-81.

Chui, M., Manyika, J.& Miremadi, M 2016, Where machines could replace humans—and where they can’t (yet), McKinsey Quarterly, July 2016, viewed 24 February 2017 https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/where-machines-could-replace-humans-and-where-they-cant-yet

Daft, RL 2009, Organisation theory and design, 10th edn, Thomson South Western, Mason Ohio

Holsapple, C., Lee-Post, A. & Pakath, R 2014, A unified foundation for business analytics. Decision Support Systems, 64, pp.130-141.

Klinkenberg, R. ed., 2013. RapidMiner: Data mining use cases and business analytics applications. Chapman and Hall/CRC.

Laursen, G.H. and Thorlund, J 2016, Business analytics for managers: Taking business intelligence beyond reporting. John Wiley & Sons.

McNurlin, BC, Sprague, JR. RH & Bui, T 2009, Information systems management in practice, 8th edn, Pearson International edn, Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey

Seddon, P.B., Constantinidis, D., Tamm, T. & Dod, H 2016, How does business analytics contribute to business value?. Information Systems Journal.

Sharma, R., Mithas, S. & Kankanhalli, A 2014, Transforming decision-making processes: a research agenda for understanding the impact of business analytics on organisations. European Journal of Information Systems, 23(4), pp.433-441.

Shmueli, G., Patel, N.R. & Bruce, P.C 2016, Data Mining for Business Analytics: Concepts, Techniques, and Applications with XLMiner. John Wiley & Sons.

World Economic Forum (WEF) 2011, Outlook on the Global Agenda 2012, viewed 4 January 2012 https://www3.weforum.org/docs/GAC11/WEF_GAC11_OutlookGlobalAgenda.pdf

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