Strategy for Competitive Advantage: Operational Effectiveness
Business Process to Improve: Customer Information
II. Business Process Explanation
UMUC Haircuts performs all customer information gathering and storing by hand. When customers enter the establishment, they sometimes have to wait at the front desk until an employee is free to come to the front desk to check them in. All appointments as well as technician availability are kept in a paper calendar sitting on the front desk. Keeping track of part time employee technician work schedules and getting the right clients in on the right day with the correct technician is a logistical nightmare. When employees call out sick or switch days, the calendar becomes a mess trying to erase names, times, and expected procedures to be performed.
With the proposed IT solution in place, UMUC Haircuts will streamline the check-in process minimizing customer wait times. The IT solution will also allow UMUC Haircuts to easily track customer profiles and changes employees make to the database.
III. Proposed Technology Solution
UMUC Haircuts will need to purchase a number of computer related products to bring them into the modern age of business. A single computer/point of sale machine will be need at minimum. Two computers, networked would be better but at least one to begin with. The two computers will have separate functions, but will be able to perform the other’s functions if necessary. System requirements, as well as proposed software solutions and peripherals will be presented in detail in Section IV, Solution Components. UMUC Haircuts will need an Internet connection to maintain peripheral drivers as well as any software and operating system updates to their computers.
IV. Solution Components
Information Technology Component or Business Resource
Descriptions of Needs to implement the new IT solution
Software, Telecommunications & Facilities hardware –UMUC Haircuts will need at most two computers. Each computer will require at a minimum an Intel Core i5-4460T processor, 8GB of memory, 1TB hard drive, and Windows8 (Ark, 2014). Each computer will need a 22” touch screen monitor. (Regular monitors with a mouse will work, but proposed IT solution will work best with touch screens.) A Quick Response (QR) Code reader will enable employees to scan clients QR Codes to quickly input their vcard contact information (Turban, 2013). A network will require an Internet connection and an 8 Port 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet Switch to network the two computers. software – UMUC Haircuts will need to purchase Windows 8 and MySQL Database. The MAIN product they will use will be MySQL. Customer information will be stored in MySQL database as separate records. Information will be entered either by hand or automatically with CodeTwo QR Code Desktop Reader software. telecommunications – UMUC Haircuts should be able to maintain their current customer base with only one phone line but may consider an additional line. The Internet connection will allow them to accept online appointments when the business grows enough to justify the expense of an interactive webpage. facilities – The computers will be onsite as they will be needed to input the customers info and keep track of appointments.
IT Skills & Services