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You are to produce an academic report that covers the following tasks:
a) Using the context of your chosen case organisation critically evaluate the case for extending the use of their CRM system. Suggest how it may improve the management of customer knowledge and what competitive advantage you would expect the organisation to gain.
b) Critically discuss how an eBusiness strategy helps align your organisation’s activities to its market and delivers both efficiency and effectiveness. You should make reference to the organisation’s supply chain, the nature of its business and the type of technology it may employ.
c) Critically evaluate which frameworks are most suitable for analysing your organisation’s business environment. Justify which of these frameworks is the most effective for the organisation to use to plan its strategic direction.
d) With reference to the characteristics of data, information and knowledge, and differentiating between tacit and explicit knowledge, critically evaluate how a knowledge management strategy could benefit your organisation.

Use of CRM system for managing customer knowledge and attaining competitive advantage

The report is prepared to discuss about the various ways and approaches for managing information for the chosen case organisation named British Airways. The company is the flag carrier and also one of the largest airlines in United Kingdom in terms of size of fleet and also in terms of passengers carried. The report will illustrate about the various approaches undertaken by the organisation to use a CRM system for managing the customer related data and information along with the implementation of eBusiness strategy for achieving the expected business performance. The topic will also include the relevant frameworks and models needed to analyse the business environment of British Airways and also create scopes for implementing an effective knowledge management strategy to enhance the business functioning, attract more clients, generate higher business revenue and attain competitive advantage in business as well.

Being one of the most popular and established brands within the airlines industry, British Airways aims to manage customer knowledge and information not only for the purpose of gaining competitive advantage, but also for ensuring that the customer gain proper trust and loyalty on the business. According to Girchenko, Ovsiannikova and Girchenko (2017), the clients will remain informed about the organization’s products and services, which can drive their buying behaviours and allow them to make purchases consistently. To manage customer knowledge and information based on which, customer loyalty has been maintained, the airlines company aims to manage extended utilisation of the Customer relationship management or CRM system (Girchenko, Ovsiannikova and Girchenko 2017).  This may assist the company in improving the knowledge acquisition and management of information furthermore to attain a competitive edge over its competitors, furthermore generate higher business revenue. Based on the vision and mission statement, it is to be believed that the CRM is critical to the success of the organisation in terms of managing the differentiation of products and services from other companies and create convenience for the clients to access the products and services quite easily (Galliers and Leidner 2014).

British Airways’ main activities include managing commercial passenger transport and managing domestic, national and transnational flights as well ( 2018). The extensive and great quality services have helped in maintaining a positive brand name and image and with the promotions and advertising strategies, the company has gained further brand exposure, which allows for attracting more clients and deliver services according to their needs and preferences (Campbell, Jardine and McGlynn 2016). As stated by Pedron et al. (2016), the operating costs are though considered and availability of landing slots, because based on that, the prices are set for the services provided to the passengers who want to move from one place to another. British Airways wants to save a lot of operating costs and manage external investments or spending for influencing changes to the CRM environment and at the same time, add more some functional features required to enhance the business efficiency (Pedron et al. 2016). The use of Teradata CRM, also known as the TCRM application should bring efficiency by managing the marketing related communications and maintain a strong global customer base. The marketing group is linked with the business departments and has worked in coordination, as an unit, to use the TCRM system for conducting various marketing campaigns, which should result in making the operations fragmented, furthermore improve the potential of communication process managed with the clients and influence their buying behaviours too (Soomro, Shah and Ahmed 2016).

Impact of eBusiness strategy on business effectiveness

Being an industry leader with over 45000 employees and operations managed in over 100 countries all over the world, British Airways assists more than 40 million passengers every year and the entire fleet structure includes more than 270 aircrafts that are of nine different types ( 2018). There were issues resulted because of the over capacity, lesser profit margin, Government laws, rules and regulations along with geo-political influences and high level of competition in the market, which has made the company to come up with something new and focus on their most important stakeholders. i.e., the customers (Liu and Law 2013). With the use of the CRM system, the company could easily manage the information and data related to the clients by storing those in Integrated Commercial Warehouse or ICW, which should further improve the decision making and support capabilities through improvement of Information technology infrastructure and making necessary changes to the strategies implemented. The CRM usage has also the ability to bring the best potential of the company by centralising the data and information, furthermore strengthen the business’ potential to provide solutions to their queries to meet the clients’ expectations (Baporikar 2014). This may also allow the business organisation to make informed decisions and stay ahead of the competition within the airlines industry.

The major benefits to be obtained by the company include supporting the email, web channels from a single interface to leverage the integrated information and gain a proper understanding of the customers’ behaviour and drivers of their purchases. The CRM usage could also help British Airways to manage resources properly, maintain timelines within which the tasks should be executed, deliver faster response to customers’ changing needs and ensure automation of communications too ( 2018).  The users who would ask any queries would be able to obtain responses from the organisation virtually and within quick time, thus a sense of trust would be established among them too (Willcocks and Graeser 2013). The CRM usage should allow British Airways to strategically shift from off line to online communication process, therefore evaluate the objectives focused on fulfilling clients’ needs based on the Future Size and Shape Programme and meet their demands by engaging with them. This should reduce the marketing costs and maintain good relationships between the business and its customers, which is considered as an important factor for influencing the consumer buying behaviours with ease and effectiveness (Hynes 2013).

In spite of providing good quality products and services are reasonable prices, in case the digital experience lacks coherence or consistency, the risks would emerge and it would directly affect targeting the right market segments. British Airways pursues the eBusiness strategy and e-commerce goals and objectives with proper consideration of aligning the strategy with the business strategies for focusing on the clients and ensure that they are kept satisfied ( 2018). As stated by Budd and Vorley (2013), the aligning of eBusiness strategy with the organisation could help in understanding the target market and at the same time, maintain direct connection with the clients to address their needs and preferences. There are various digital channels and media platforms that are responsible for facilitating the management of eBusiness strategy, furthermore creates more exposure of the brand and its products and services for the clients (Budd and Vorley 2013). This has been a great approach to drive the clients and influenced their buying behaviours too. The digital consumer are different from the traditional consumers, due to which, British Airways must manage segmentation of the market and then implement a perfect strategy considering the each of this market segments and then select the customised digital experience that will be suitable for the customers within those specific market segments (Liu and Law 2013).

According to Taneja (2017), communication process is one of the major areas that has promoted strategic alignment of the business strategies with the activities associate with the different market segments for the improvement of business performance and effectiveness. The alignment of eBusiness strategy involves making good business decisions associated with the technological resources required to meet the operational, tactic and strategic goals and objectives of the organisation (Taneja 2017). The most interesting part of implementing the eBusiness strategy is that it has fostered value creation for British Airways and allowed the company to use the information technology system integrated with the business process for enhancing the performance of inter-organisational transactions (Alqahtani and Saba 2013).

The manager of the company has designed the business strategies while the IT manager of British Airways has been assigned with the roles and responsibilities of putting into practice the products and services along with providing relevant support to the technological infrastructure advancement. Ajmera et al. (2013) also stated that with the alignment of eBusiness strategy with the business activities, the organisation has managed the website where most of the leisure fares are provided through the UK website. This has allowed the passengers to make bookings quite easily make upgrades of their booking status at any tie between the purchases of flight tickets and check-in done online (Ajmera et al. 2013). They could also manage check-in as well as gain access to real time arrivals and information about the departure of flights by opening the website on their mobile phones or laptops.

The eBusiness strategy of M&S includes management of supply chains that has ensured proper coordination between the business units and other third parties that provide the airlines services. The integration of supply chain is necessary for smooth business functioning beginning from the origin to the stage where the final products are delivered to the end users. The eBusiness strategy adopted by British Airways is also responsible for managing the website, furthermore maintain a parallel network consisting of purchasing and selling aspects through distribution of information over the internet (Botha, Kourie and Snyman 2014). The services are availed by customers over the internet, which has created convenience through management of great supply chain management.  

The management of inventories are facilitated by eBusiness strategy, which also has given rise to better strategic plans required for storage and retrieval of inventories along with prevention of unnecessary machineries and equipment, which could save up a lot of costs and unnecessary expenditures too. According to Leung, Schuckert and Yeung (2013), the eBusiness strategies are further facilitated with the involvement of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc., which has resulted in delivering great quality customers’ services and management of good relationships with the customers, thus contributing to the development of trust and loyalty between the business and its customers too at British Airways (Leung, Schuckert and Yeung 2013). The customers are attracted and kept informed as they can easily access the company and surf the social networking websites, from where, necessary information and knowledge are obtained about the products and services delivered by the organisation. The airlines company introduced the latest automated biometric technology within the UK airports that offer self-service boarding gates through facial recognition technology. This has been aimed at improving the punctuality of passengers while boarding and they no longer will have to wait in queues to take the boarding pass, rather they can easily look at the camera to ensure facial recognition and verify the biometric data that matches the passenger identity.

There are various frameworks that are associated with the analysis of business environment of British Airways and few of these are PESTLE framework and SWOT analysis that determines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. These frameworks are important for planning the strategic direction, furthermore allow the company to accomplish the organisational goals and objectives with ease and effectiveness.


The employee unions are often engaged in frequent strikes, which has affected the airlines services and also deteriorated the brand image and reputation. The employees were involved in strikes due to the issues emerging due to lower wages paid to them and lack of job benefits along with job redundancies. After Brexit, the company could not rely on the European Aviation Safety Agency framework, which further created barriers while accessing open skies all over Europe (Kew and Stredwick 2017). The Government laws, rules and regulations have put restrictions on the flying though the policy related to the open skies has provided BA with enhanced scopes and opportunities to compete and at the same time, grow within the competitive airlines industry through faster decision making process.


The demands for the airlines services are based on elasticity of high income and with the growing of world economy, the demands for airlines services would also improve with time. BA has made plans to manage a third runway at Heathrow to shift the operational departments while the lower price of fuels has increased the ability to generate higher revenue in business. The Brexit uncertainty has also affected the business by deteriorating the chances of making investments by UK carriers.


The perception of British Airways as a low cost carrier has increased with time, which has also influenced the enhanced the brand appeal of the airlines company. The changing lifestyles and demands of clients has further allowed to look at the airlines company to strengthen its brand image and name throughout without losing any market share, which has further ensure fulfilling the demands of clients and ensure customer satisfaction (Langfield-Smith et al. 2017).


Within the airlines industry, the advancement of technology has facilitated the research and development activities for ensuring improvement in security level and enhanced quality of services delivered by BA. The implementation of automated biometric recognition at the check in and other technological innovations have resulted in using the core competencies of the company to adapt to the dynamic changing environment and keep u pace with the fast moving industry consistently. This would help the company in improving the quality of services, furthermore influence consumer buying behaviours and attain competitive advantage in business too.


One of the most important legal factors is the influence of Trade Unions, who were involved in strikes due to lesser wages and other benefits paid to them. The cabin crew crisis further lead to other legal issues and this affected the business reputation and brand image too, thereby resulted in poor sales revenue and decreased number of clients (Gray, Adams and Owen 2014). The payments must be settled to employees regarding lawsuit to ensure that the legal standards are maintained and the company follows the organisational laws, rules and regulations properly.


It was made mandatory for the airlines company to avail the carbon pollution permits to operate in the European Union region. To maintain the quality standards and at the same time, fulfil the corporate social responsibilities. BA should represent that the company had been socially responsible and managed the resources efficiently to contribute to the protection of environment and ensure reduced consumption of energy and fuel through improvements in the aerodynamics and engine technology of the airlines (Charter 2017). The Company aims to achieve the goals of reducing carbon emissions and reduce the noise too and also focused on recycling to maintain an ecological balance in nature too. This framework is considered as suitable for analysing the business environment and plan for strategic direction to accomplish the goals and objectives easily.

In spite of being a leading airline company in UK, British airways has encountered financial crisis and disruption in the flight services due to ash cloud. Low cost competitors like easy Jet and Ryannair had collapsed the parameter of customer satisfaction. Knowledge management has proved effective for BA in terms of overcoming these crisis. As a matter of specification, knowledge management has improved corporate communication. The major drive behind this are emails and internet. According to the arguments of Bryson (2018), mention can be made of e-learning strategies, which has enhanced the preconceived skills, expertise and knowledge of the employees. With the keyword search, the employees can easily access the required information. In case of the personnel, web searches assisted in establishing contact with the wholesalers for gaining an insight into the currents trends of the flight operations in the market. On the contrary, Kim et al. (2014) cites the reference of Yammer, a social networking tool, assisting British airways to contact the cabin crew, front line employees and pilots for resolving the potential issues.

Interviewing the managers of British Airways resulted in uncertainties, predetermined elements and driving forces. These results formed the official future plan for British Airways. Within this, the personnel conducted strategic planning, which includes storytelling and story writing sessions along with painting. These techniques assists the managers in assessing the capability of the employees in towards making practical application of the learnt skills towards the execution of the business activities (North and Kumta 2018). This assessment is cornerstone for the managers of BA in terms of developing new strategies. Including the training and development programs within the strategies is one of an efficient means for BA in terms of managing the knowledge gained by the employees. Using checklists and templates for the planned strategies enhances the awareness about the clients and the customers.

Managing the customer database helps British Airways to gain an insight into the needs, demands and requirements of the customers. The information about the customers is uploaded on the social networking sites and the official website. This sharing of knowledge proves beneficial for excavating the approach of the customers towards the operations offered. Typical example of this are the loyalty schemes, which helps the managers in assessing the online behaviour of the customers. As per the opinions of Donate and de Pablo (2015), installation of security cookies and policies reflects the management of the customer demands. These security cookies align with the legal jurisdictions and travel security regulations, which averts the illegal instances like loss of personal data of the customers. Surveys and feedbacks helps the personnel of BA in gaining an insight into the specific tastes and preferences of the customers ( 2018).


Use of Teradata CRM helps British Airways to manage the marketing related communication with the clients and the customers. Along with this, this CRM system assists BA in strengthening the customer base. Using social networking channels is assistance in terms of transmitting the basic information to the clients about the domestic, national, transnational and the international flights. Including training and development programs within the strategies seems beneficial for BA in terms of managing the knowledge of the employees. Social media is keystone for BA in terms of strengthening the customer base through the expansion of scope and arena. Adherence to legislative requirements helps in maintaining the security of the passengers. Evaluation is necessary in terms of reviewing the current business trends, which needs to be modified by BA for reaching to the benchmark level of performance. Introducing loyalty schemes would be crucial in terms of luring the customers towards the brand image. For this, consideration of the operational costs is vital in terms of luring the foreign clients. Rationality in the form of strategic planning would enhance the reputation.


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Alqahtani, F.A. and Saba, T., 2013. Impact of social networks on Customer Relation Management (CRM) in prospectus of business environment. Journal of American Sciences, 9(7), pp.480-486.

Baporikar, N., 2014. eBusiness: Critical Success Factors. International Journal of Strategic Information Technology and Applications (IJSITA), 5(4), pp.9-19.

Botha, A., Kourie, D. and Snyman, R., 2014. Coping with continuous change in the business environment: Knowledge management and knowledge management technology. Elsevier. (2018). Book Flights, Holidays & Check In Online | British Airways. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Nov. 2018].

Bryson, J.M., 2018. Strategic planning for public and nonprofit organizations: A guide to strengthening and sustaining organizational achievement. John Wiley & Sons.

Budd, L. and Vorley, T., 2013. Airlines, apps, and business travel: a critical examination. Research in Transportation Business & Management, 9, pp.41-49.

Campbell, J.D., Jardine, A.K. and McGlynn, J. eds., 2016. Asset management excellence: optimizing equipment life-cycle decisions. CRC Press.

Charter, M., 2017. Greener marketing: A responsible approach to business. Routledge.

Donate, M.J. and de Pablo, J.D.S., 2015. The role of knowledge-oriented leadership in knowledge management practices and innovation. Journal of Business Research, 68(2), pp.360-370.

Galliers, R.D. and Leidner, D.E., 2014. Strategic information management: challenges and strategies in managing information systems. Routledge.

Girchenko, T., Ovsiannikova, Y. and Girchenko, L., 2017. CRM System as a Keystone of Successful Business Activity. Knowledge-Economy Society: Management in the Face of Contemporary Challenges and Dilemmas, pp.251-261.

Gray, R., Adams, C. and Owen, D., 2014. Accountability, social responsibility and sustainability: accounting for society and the environment. Pearson Higher Ed.

Hynes, B., 2013. At the heart or on the periphery: the role of Information Communications Technology (ICT) in small firms. International Journal of Management Practice, 6(1), pp.24-39.

Kew, J. and Stredwick, J., 2017. Business environment: managing in a strategic context. Kogan Page Publishers.

Kim, T.H., Lee, J.N., Chun, J.U. and Benbasat, I., 2014. Understanding the effect of knowledge management strategies on knowledge management performance: A contingency perspective. Information & management, 51(4), pp.398-416.

Langfield-Smith, K., Smith, D., Andon, P., Hilton, R. and Thorne, H., 2017. Management accounting: Information for creating and managing value. McGraw-Hill Education Australia.

Leung, R., Schuckert, M. and Yeung, E., 2013. Attracting user social media engagement: A study of three budget airlines Facebook pages. In Information and communication technologies in tourism 2013 (pp. 195-206). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Liu, Y. and Law, R., 2013. The adoption of smartphone applications by airlines. In Information and communication technologies in tourism 2013 (pp. 47-57). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

North, K. and Kumta, G., 2018. Knowledge management: Value creation through organizational learning. Springer.

Pedron, C.D., Picoto, W.N., Dhillon, G. and Caldeira, M., 2016. Value-focused objectives for CRM system adoption. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 116(3), pp.526-545.

Soomro, Z.A., Shah, M.H. and Ahmed, J., 2016. Information security management needs more holistic approach: A literature review. International Journal of Information Management, 36(2), pp.215-225.

Taneja, N.K., 2017. Driving airline business strategies through emerging technology. Routledge.

Willcocks, L. and Graeser, V., 2013. Delivering IT and eBusiness value. Routledge.

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