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Martin wants to evaluate the 2015 statistics from permit applications. Martin knows enough about Excel to realise it could be a useful tool so he has asked you to create a Microsoft Excel prototype which lists the type of permits received in 2015 and the revenue collected. The data for the spreadsheet is available in the essential resources spreadsheet as well as a suggested layout and hints for formula to be used.

Graphs: You are also required to create two (2) graphs.


1. Column chart: Show total revenue by department (see case study).
2. Pie chart: Show number of applications by department as percentages (see case study).

Produce two (2) process models (not hand drawn) using Swim Lane format from the details provided in the Background section (clearly state any assumptions made):


1. The first Swim Lane diagram must represent the ‘As-Is’ application processes at IND


2. The second Swim Lane diagram must represent the ‘To-Be’ application processes at IND.

1. What is the role of business process modelling for organisations such as IND? What are the benefits of providing an As-Is model and a To-Be model to the General Manager, Mr Martin Krowski? Include your Swim Lane Diagrams (from Task B) as part of your explanation


2. Broadly explain the importance of information in organisations like IND and provide an example of how Information Technology can be a useful tool for attracting new customers and gathering information.


3. As the company does not have the expertise to develop mobile apps it will need to look elsewhere for this service. Discuss outsourcing and identify 3 benefits and 3 disadvantages.


4. Discuss the differences between Web analytics, Social Network Analysis and Customer Relationship Management, including outlining the environment from which the information is collect from, the type of information it collects and the benefit from the information collected.


5. Discuss the importance of mobile apps in the modern business environment.


6. As IND will be collecting information from people, outline the privacy laws and cybersecurity measures that the company will need to consider to assure the customer that their information is safe and secure

Task A: Excel for Business Intelligence

Revenue by Permit

Permit Code

Permit Type

Department

 

Number of Applications

2015

Permit Fee

Revenue

HD1

Waste Disposal

Health

 $           81.80

1

 $         81.80

HW1

Water Testing

Health

 $           58.50

0

 $                -   

HS1

Sewerage

Health

 $         429.50

0

 $                -   

RT1

Govt Road Access

Roads

 $         625.00

1

 $      625.00

RT2

Traffic Control

Roads

 $         450.30

1

 $      450.30

RT3

Temp Road Closure

Roads

 $      1,234.50

0

 $                -   

BH1

Temp Fencing, Site Sheds

Building

 $         126.30

1

 $      126.30

BS1

Tower Crane

Building

 $      1,162.60

1

 $   1,162.60

BC1

6 mth Temp Parking

Building

 $      2,300.00

0

 $                -   

Totals

5

 $  2,446.00

Revenue by Department

 

Department

Number of

2015        Revenue

 

 

 Applications

 

Health

1

 $            81.80

Roads

2

 $       1,075.30

Building

2

 $       1,288.90

Totals

5

 $       2,446.00

 

All the application from the various departments was 5 and cumulatively yielded revenue of $2446.00 in the year 2015.

 

According to departmental analysis building department generated the highest revenue, followed by road sector then health sector with revenue statistics of $1200, $1100, and $85 respectively. In percentage road and building departments had a percentage of 40% while health comprised of approximately 20%.

According to Davenport (2003), a business process refers to a set of activities designed to make a particular activity successful. It emphasizes on how work is done within an organization to help the organization realize it objectives. Weske (2007) defines a business process as the collection of activities that takes in input to generate a final product which is of value to the relevant parties. In my opinion, business process is an integral part of the organization that involves a series of activities that help an organization to realize its objectives. Therefore, changing the business process aims to boost the speed of output and embrace efficacy.

For those organizations that want to change the way they carry out their activities they are required to adhere and use the business process management tool to align all the activities of the company with the aim of offering the best services to their clients (Štemberger, 2009). Business process management is an approach optimizes efficiency and effectiveness while striving to integrate technology to help the organization achieve the best results. Changing the business process means an improvement in terms of innovation and flexibility in the work place (Brocke et al., 2010).

For a company to establish a business intelligence system it should at least incorporate a database and a data warehouse. Database base is designed to integrate all the activities of from various departments for example the roads department, the health department, and building department for the case of IND Company. All the information shared among these departments is at least viewed from each department to facilitate comparison and discover the corresponding trends within the business process (Business Process Reengineering, n.d.).

On the other hand, a data warehouse should be identified to act as a central point where all the information from the various departments is converged and the final action is taken. A data warehouse is the central point where information is passed to facilitate the creation of the final report. Virtually, this is what the management of IND Company wants to adopt.  Introducing the information processing centre means it is the last resort-all approval and rejection decisions come from this office.

As of now the business process at IND is not efficient at all. The permit rending process is so complicated in the sense that the process is slow considering the manpower and the steps of verification existing from one step to the other. Given that INDAGINE SURVEYORS operates three departments separately; the health, road, and building departments there is traffic in the clerk`s office because the process requires movement of documents from one department to the other. Another notable challenge is that approval of permits is done at departmental levels such that it`s either a permit is rejected or accepted and then the next course of action is determined. In this case, in case there is extra verification, a person has to wait for the verification of the processes just the same way by other departments. The failure of not running the processes concurrently is slowing down the verification process as well as wasting time such that there are long queue in office that make even make the company to compromise its reputation because of poor services.

Task B: Business Process Model

Among departments there exists amalgam of activities that work separately such that at the front desk, the verification of permit cannot be done to accommodate all the variables. For example the building engineer can review and offer an approval permit to the builder but later they realize the same contract should have a sewerage and road permit. In this case, instead of carrying out the activities within a single process or reduce the process by eliminating repeating steps the company still uses the old system to carry out its activities. As a result, the company keeps on repeating steps which could have otherwise been executed simultaneously.

The figure above demonstrates a to be model for IND

One of the ways a change in business process can impact an organization is by enhancing the competitive edge of the company (O'Hanlon, 2003). For the case of IND, the company can gain competitive edge by offering services more efficiently than their competitors in the market. Therefore, competitive edge will internally lower the costs such as the processing of paper work in the company and again increase efficiency by reducing the time of information execution as the clients wait for their permit approval.

Also, it is a good idea to change the business process by reengineering the system. Reengineering the system implies identifying the faults in the old system and making the necessary changes before the activities within the process are compromised (Benner and Tushman, 2002).Equally, re-engineering the system implies the change in structure and processes within a business environment (Business Process Re-Engineering, n.d.). For instance, IND Company can do system reengineering by removing the anomalies that exist in their system. This is done by reducing omitting repetitive processes and checking the activities that curtail the processing of information and appropriate option is given.

While adopting the new system it is only the finance clerk who will remain static in the new process. That is, he will be taking the previous roles in addition to attending to the additional job of scanning, sending emails to different departments and communicating feedback to the client. The obvious functions like receiving application and corresponding fee for each application will remain as part of the process. Changes will only be realized at the stages of approval; the scanned documents will be sent via email to different departments, then the relevant officer will perform a review on the applications concurrently then send the feedback to the processing officer for the final decision.

In the new system these are the variables that will be added to the system; the processing Officer will be introduced to the system and a universal email will be introduced to the new system, such that the departmental engineers are able to access the mail simultaneously to check whether further action is needed in regard to the information presented. If the information is beyond the scope of a particular department the process is skipped and reply is sent to the processing officer. On the other hand, the manual verification of applications will be stopped. As such, the online method will prove to be more reliable and convenient.

Task C: General Questions

Business intelligence is a concept that plays a great role in businesses. Business intelligence fastens the collection, analyzing, and organization of data or information for a given business. Business intelligence tools are in a position to monitor the frequency of output or generally the rate at which information is passed from one department to the other. The idea of gathering this information is to help the management to make quick decisions as well as check the progress of work (Burlton, 2001). For example Business intelligence can help IND Company to determine the number of applications received per day or the number of clients served per day. Also, the business intelligence tools can help the company to know the time they experience large customer turnout so as to establish strategic decision to help to serve the customers efficiently.

From the above changes IND will save on a number of aspects. Number one, the company will simplify the decision making process. Ultimately less time will be required to process a single transaction or in other instances application and payment of fee can be carried simultaneously because the process would have been taken over by the available staff; that is, much of the work will be left for the staff hence the clients will not complain of rushing from one department to the other for approval but instead they will just make an application and pay the correspondence fee and wait for the outcome from the review engineer. Properly this will reduce errors because the process will be convenient along with offering the best customer services. In the long run, the company is likely to increase the number of clients which will obviously translate to improved profit margins.

Notably taking almost all the processes online means that efficiency and rate of output will be high. Remember the feedback will be given online via email to the permit clerk officer. Now that there is less human interruption on the process the outcome is likely to be genuine. By this I mean, forgery and bribery will be something of the past. In my opinion, the old system was susceptible to this challenges where by some people were in a position to bribe the engineers to approve their projects by giving some offers in return. This process curtails such processes for both the officers and the client and in the long run, the decision emailed to the clerk officer will be final and will not offer the client a room for negotiation.

Besides, adopting this process means the company will eliminate some processes that would otherwise lead to an increase of the company`s overhead cost (Cousins, and Menguc, 2006). Therefore, in terms of the cost incurred in carrying out the process will be reduced significantly. This is as a result of retrenching some departmental staffs by introducing the email as means of communication. Therefore, probably the staff members who were messengers for carrying application letters to various clients will lose the job.

It is an important action for the company to change the permit process because as observed early there are some challenges that are brought about by the anomalies that exist within the business process of IND. For this case, the previous structure where data was verified differently will be abolished configure the processes from a centralized system that links all the departments and a uniform outcome is given instantly.

Outsourcing is the practice of engaging or hiring the services of external experts rather than doing the tasks internally.  Outsourcing involves contracting a company to offer their services to your organization. Outsourcing brings efficiency, cuts down the cost of operation, and increases the quality of service offered. The disadvantage for this strategy include but not limited to lose of confidentiality in that you all the intrinsic information to the  contractors, transfer of management roles denies the company the power to control their operations,  quality problem and involves hidden costs which might not be realized right from the onset.

Mobile apps play an important role in e-business because they allow customers to access whatever they want from anywhere and anytime. Apparently, mobile apps are the primary sources of information for customers. Customers can do online booking and even check the review of a company to have a recap of their reputation and reviews from other clients.

Also, mobile apps are enabling customers to do a comparison between various service providers over a wide range of market. Also, the customers get the advantage of accessing a variety of goods and services online hence it saves the customers on cost and other logistics.

As IND will collect information from the customers they will embrace the rule of integrity, confidentiality, and accountability. The three facets are important as far as information security is concerned. Integrity is important because the customers will entrust them with personal information hence it is the obligation of IND to use the information for the right purpose and protecting it from unauthorized access.

Confidentiality of the customer information mean the information is kept secure and in computers with secure passwords that permits authorized people to access the information. On the other hand, accountability is important such that incase there are cases of data breach, IND will be reliable for that case. The three are the privacy laws that are allowed in all countries.

Web analytics is method of collecting, recording, and analyzing data to determine the number of visitors accessing a website or a webpage. Social network analysis is a criterion used to monitors the information or reviews that are being left by the clients on the social media platform of a particular company. Actually, the analysis helps the organization to get feedback from the customers about a given product.

Customer Relationship management is way of managing and protecting customer data and monitoring the interaction of clients throughout the customer lifecycle. The goal of CRM is to improve transparency, enhance business relationship, and retain the customers towards offering best quality services.

Although adopting a new technology benefits the company, there are a number of factors that can limit this process. Among the challenges to be realized in the verge of implementing this new system include the additional cost of putting the information technology infrastructure and the resistance of some staff members to accept the changes to the business process.

The manager should ensure prior to implementation the workers are made aware of the changes and proper training to be offered where necessary. Also, the workers should be compelled to adjust to the new system and those workers who will lose the job because of this new system can be given referrals or create new opportunities for them in the company.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the benefits of introducing the new system far outweigh the negative effects of the new process. For instance, the rate and quality of services will be top notch as well as the time for processing applications will be reduced. Therefore, adopting the new system will earn the company a good reputation consequently increasing its sales.

References

B?l?nescu V. (2011), The evolution in Business Process Theory, Modern Approaches in Organizational Management and Economy, Bucharest.

Benner, M., Tushman M. 2002. Process Management and Technological Innovation, The Warton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Brocke, J., Rosemann, M. 2010. Handbook on Business Process Management: Strategic alignment, People and culture, (electronic version).

Burlton, R.T. 2001. Business Process Management: Profiting from Process. Indianapolis, Sams.

Business Process Re-Engineering. (n.d.). Implementing IT Business Strategy in the Construction Industry, 118-140. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-4185-3.ch006

Business Process Reengineering. (n.d.). SpringerReference.

Cousins, P.D. and Menguc, B. 2006. The implications of socialization and integration in supply chain management, Journal of Operations Management 24, 604–620.

Davenport, T. 2003. Process innovation: Reengineering Work through Information Technology, Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

doi:10.1007/springerreference_63200

O'Hanlon, T. 2003. Process Landscapes, https://?saferpak.?com/?process_?manage_?articles/?Process % 20Landscapes.?pdf

Prajogo, D.I. and McDermott, C.M., 2005. The relationship between total quality management practices and organizational culture. International Journal of Operations and Production Management 25, 1101–1122.

Štemberger, M.I., 2009. Improving organizational performance by raising the level of business process orientation maturity: empirical test and case study. In Information Systems Development (pp. 723-740). Springer US.

Weske, M. 2007. Business Process Management: Concepts, Languages, Architectures (electronic version).

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