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Importance of IT for Woolworth

Discuss about the Importance of IT for Woolworth.

Woolworth limited is the company that is located in Australia and headquartered at Sydney. It is the supermarket that operates in retail industry of Australia and also considered as the leading firm in the industry. This is because the company has great market share in the industry. It owns around 3000 stores all over Australia and New Zealand. In terms of technology, the company always remains number one amongst all the other competitors (Applegate, Austin and McFarlan, 2007). This is because the company tries to update its processes with the latest technologies so as to attain the competitive advantage in this field.  The major example of Woolworth’s being technological active is its online business. This website of the company provides the facilities to the customers in order to buy the products online and get it on the doorsteps. There is a need of more technological improvement and involvement of IT in all the process of the company because involvement of IT results in reduction of human efforts and thus helps the company to get the output soon and efficiently.

The major problem that the company is facing is in regard to the online business of the company. It has been identified by the company that the online platform o the company does not have the capability and the functionality to support the customers and also dies not have any capability to plan the growth (Bass, 2007). The company wants the platform that allows the firm to enhance its functionality and the online business. It is very important for the company to implement the IT tools in one or the other function of the business, the first areas where the implementation is important is customer’s service. As Woolworth is the firm that is customer oriented so it is very much important for the company to serve the customer with the products along with provision of great service after purchase. That can be given by the online portals only. There is much other process where the IT is important for the company. One of them is the customer relationship management. Implementation of IT tools in such a process results in enhancing the customer relationship. Promotion management is one of the fields where the IT tools tea very much important (Brenner, Zarnekow and Wittig, 2012). The online tools of promotion provide the companies a great chance to reach the masses with low cost.

IT tools requirements

Implementation of the software and the technology in the organization process requires the organization to take some of the steps in order to implement the software. Some of the pre-requisite are discussed below:

Planning: It is the first step to any new process. Planning is the process that results in making the blueprint of the whole activities sequentially in order to achieve the objective, in case of implementation of the IT tool, the planning is done in order to design the software, the requirement of hardware etc.

Cost: Cost is the major part of this whole process of software implementation. The cost that is involved in this field is related to hiring and training cost, designing cost, installation cost etc.

Installation: Installation is the part that allows the company like Woolworth to install the program in the functions where it is required (Dos Santos, 2011). There are many projects in Woolworth that has been implemented such collaboration with Olympics, project galaxy etc.

Training: Training is the stage where the employees of the organization are being trained in order to use the installed program very efficiently. Training is important because the employees are very much new to the software that has been introduced to them (Buhalis and Law, 2008). Thus, training session needs to be conducted in order to train the employees for the same. Employees not only improve their ability professionally by training but also have the capability to develop themselves at individual level.

There are many processes and functions where the company has incorporated new technologies. Some of them are discussed below:

Project galaxy: Project galaxy is about introducing the new SAP system. This system is regarding the improvement of the customer relationship management. Other than this field this SAP is also related to the performance reporting, ordering processes and buying. This project has different aspects of promotion management as well (Celuch, Murphy and Callaway, 2007). This is the new online portal and its training is provided to the people or the employees of the company. This project was the final part of the project of technological up gradation that was started in 1999. The project name was “project refresh”. This project focuses on restructuring the whole business of the company.

Olympic software: It is software that allows the company keeps the track records of the sales of the company. As the company was facing the challenge of online business and wants to enhance the same so it is very much important for the company to implement the changes in its online portal.

IT usage in Woolworths

Introduction of chrome technology: it has been identified that the windows software of the company has been replaced by the new Google Chrome technology. Around 85% of the Woolworths devices are using this technology and makes the price easier for the people. The company has announced that for 12months, it is going to be transitioned into a chrome technology. This replacement by the company is done because that company wants to be updated in very latest technology and facilitates to their employees with the same (Davenport, 2013). Several changes have been made in the portal and the online processes that have been used such as, replacement of Microsoft email from the Gmail that provides more facilities to collaborate and connect with each other. Chrome boxes have been introduced by the company that allow the firm for video conferencing etc. implementation of the Google devices in the company is possible because of the web based service of citrix. This is also a tool of IT that helps in installation part of the new software program. Woolworth is amongst the first companies which have installed the Google Apps.

Project mercury: Project mercury is the supply chain development program of the company. This program looks at many processes such as what are the thing and the products ordered from the vendors, how it reached to the distribution and so on.

Increase the sales: It has been analyzed that after using the IT tools the sales of the company has been increased. This is because these IT tools improve the efficiency of the process and the functions of the company. Sales of the company depend on the interaction between the customers and the employees or the company (Farkas, 2007). As Woolworth is the firm that has improved its customers service relationship by implementing the IT tool, and providing the services to the customers online helps the customers to make good relation with the company and vice versa.

Reduction of the cost: Most of the human work id replaced by the technology and thus this makes the work more efficient and faster. This results in reduction of the cost and the elimination of the non-value added functions. Removal of such activities also reduces the cost of whole process and the function.

Individual development of the employees: As the new programs have been installed in the company so the company focuses on train the employees for the same. This makes the employees more developed in regard with the technology. This not only develops the professional knowledge of the employees but also develop them individually (Kohli and Grover,2008).

Benefits of IT for Woolworth

Easy monitoring of the processes: Online portal allow the company to keep the record. It replaces all the prior practices that are being dine on the spreadsheet. The new software helps in storing the data automatically about the order, store products etc.

Data protection: As discussed that Woolworth is the company that is suing the latest technologies in all its process. Changing or replacing the old process requires the new process to be installed and transferring of data from old to new. This may ruin the security of the data and the data may be leaked. This is because to install the new program the company depends on third party firm and has to provide all the details about the company to that third party which may not be so much secured (Li, Peters, Richardson and Weidenmier Watson, 2012).

Privacy: Privacy is the risks in terms of customers. If the customers shop online from Woolworth, they save their personal details and made their account on the portal. This portal then automatically accesses their details. This develops the issue of privacy.

Monitoring means evaluating the IT tools to check whether it is functioning according to the plan or not and maintenance means making the required changes in the tools. Monitoring requires a sequential process to be conducted I order to evaluate the tools (Rogsch and Klingsch, 2012). This helps in identifying the deviation and drawbacks in the IT tools. Any deviation if identified is corrected at the same time. In case of Woolworth, the company is very much focused in the monitoring process. It can be identified by the fact that the company has replaced its windows with the Google chrome functions so as to make their process more efficient and easy to deal with (Turban, Leidner, McLean and Wetherbe, 2008). Monitoring also help in reducing the risks associated with the IT tools in the company. If the audit of the IT tools and the team is regularly conducted than any of the threat can be detected and the corrective actions can be made over it.

Conclusion:

This study helps in analyzing the involvement of information technology in business. The business that has been chosen in the study is Woolworth. It has been analyzed that Woolworth has introduced the IT tool in almost all the processes on order to introduce the human efforts and make their process more efficient   and faster (Riel and Becker, 2008). There are many requirements that need to be considered before implementation of any IT tool. These requirements re training, installing, cost of the installation etc. there are some risk also associated with the use of IT tools such as security of the data, privacy and other similar threats. Thus, monitoring of these tools is necessary to detect the threat at early stage so that it can remove at the same time.

References:

Applegate, L.M., Austin, R.D. and McFarlan, F.W., 2007. Corporate information strategy and management: text and cases. Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Bass, L., 2007. Software architecture in practice. Pearson Education India.

Brenner, W., Zarnekow, R. and Wittig, H., 2012. Intelligent software agents: foundations and applications. Springer Science & Business Media.

Buhalis, D. and Law, R., 2008. Progress in information technology and tourism management: 20 years on and 10 years after the Internet—The state of eTourism research. Tourism management, 29(4), pp.609-623.

Celuch, K., Murphy, G.B. and Callaway, S.K., 2007. More bang for your buck: Small firms and the importance of aligned information technology capabilities and strategic flexibility. The Journal of High Technology Management Research, 17(2), pp.187-197.

Davenport, T.H., 2013. Process innovation: reengineering work through information technology. Harvard Business Press.

Dos Santos, M.A., 2011. Minimizing the business impact on the natural environment: A case study of Woolworths South Africa. European Business Review, 23(4), pp.384-391.

Farkas, M.G., 2007. Social software in libraries: building collaboration, communication, and community online. Information Today, Inc..

Kohli, R. and Grover, V., 2008. Business value of IT: An essay on expanding research directions to keep up with the times. Journal of the association for information systems, 9(1), p.23.

Li, C., Peters, G.F., Richardson, V.J. and Weidenmier Watson, M., 2012. The consequences of information technology control weaknesses on management information systems: The case of sarbanes-oxley internal control reports. Mis Quarterly, 36(1).

Riel, M. and Becker, H.J., 2008. Characteristics of teacher leaders for information and communication technology. International handbook of information technology in primary and secondary education, pp.397-417.

Rogsch, C. and Klingsch, W., 2012. Basics of Software-Tools for Pedestrian Movement—Identification and Results. Fire technology, 48(1), pp.105-125.

Turban, E., Leidner, D., McLean, E. and Wetherbe, J., 2008. Information technology for management, (With CD). John Wiley & Sons.

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