To: Dr. Patrick Bateman
From: Micah E. Roberts
Re: Analysis of 1-888-Junk- Van
1-888-Junk-Van is experiencing problem associated with virtual business and the company’s lack of uniform processes and outdated systems. In an effort to reduce overhead costs business founder Marcus Kingo created a virtual business model that reduced the need for overhead costs, such as office space. Employees work remotely from their homes. Even though this process promotes a flexible work environment, there are multiple issues created by the lack of a physical. The result was that as the business experienced significant growth so did customer service errors and issues. The end result of this was lost sales, which is not beneficial to any business. It was at this point that Mr. Kingo decided the company needed a more sophisticated IT system. The system had to be affordable, yet be able to capture the great amounts of customer and account information his company had gathered. I go on to analyze and identify several possible solutions. Furthermore I will recommend what I feel is the best solution at this time that will meet Junk-Van’s needs.
Junk-Van was started in 2008 by Marcus Kingo after he helped a friend remove a scheduled waste pick up when he fell ill. Kingo soon recognized the demand for the service and bought a truck and started his own business in waste removal. As the business grew, Kingo observed that it was more profitable to forgo a traditional office structure and instead focused on running the business and working from home. In doing so it was established that all communication and data transmission be electronic.
The format of the business proved to be a success, and the business quickly expanded. By 2009 coverage was added to encompass two more cities. Even with growth, Junk-Van maintained its original business format of maintaining no offices. As sales exploded, this came to pose problems within his organization.
Junk-Van currently employs two call center operators who work in split shifts. They work with the customers calling into the company and input the job information (customer contract details, time and date for the job) into a custom-built MS-Works database. The company also employs one data clerk. At the end of the day the late shift operator creates and mails work order spreadsheets for each driver that include job details for the following day. The operator also emails the updated database to the data clerk. Upon receipt of the information the company’s three drivers plan their schedule and inform their helpers. The following day the drivers perform their required services then email the data clerk the details regarding jobs performed. This data includes the weights, invoices, payments received and hours worked. It is at this point that the data clerk integrates the information into the central database and manually processes credit card payments. Once this is complete the data clerk forwards the updated database to the morning operator. The data clerk is also responsible for performing all of the payroll and administrative activities with the assistance of the. Any accounting related documentation (invoices, expense receipts) are forwarded to an accounting firm for bookkeeping purposes.
Summary of the Problem(s)
Junk-Van’s primary problem is that the company does not have the proper IT infrastructure in place to support its operations during the current growth. There are multiple examples of this seen throughout the company at this moment as there are information errors and inefficiencies that are negatively impacting operations while driving costs up. The increased costs and inefficiencies are only part of the problem; the broken system and process were also leading to customer service issues resulting in diminished quality which reflected negatively on the company’s reputation. The majority of these issues often led…