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    Javabooks suggested management information system

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    Consider the following scenario:
    You are an independent technology consultant working with Margaret Smith, owner of JavaBooks, a bookstore and coffee shop. You initially met her at a networking meeting and had some great ideas about how she could improve her business with a more strategic approach to investing in information technology. Margaret was ecstatic to meet with you.

    Her office is situated in the back of the retail floor and was covered in books and loose paper--invoices and packing slips, tax notices and announcements, city planning advisories, inventory charts and schedules. Post-it notes were used to remind Margaret of upcoming appointments and meetings. A clipboard full of paper was apparently used as a store catalog and inventory item master. Margaret's personal computer is buried under four separate binders.

    To get started, you asked a couple of questions concerning how the company kept track of its sales and inventory. Margaret said the company uses a manual cash register and carbon receipt process, writing down inventory items and prices by hand as listed on the item schedule--the large clipboard with all of the inventory costs. Inventory totals are also subtracted by hand from the clipboard.

    You confirmed the following points about JavaBooks business processes with Margaret:

    â?¢All sales are done by hand.
    â?¢All inventory issues and receipts are done by hand.
    â?¢The cash register is a basic manual drawer.
    â?¢All invoice records are carbons.
    â?¢Inventory is not manually recognized until it is manually entered into a spreadsheet.
    â?¢Purchase orders are created manually by the business owner in Excel.
    You were not surprised to learn that inventory counts were completely inaccurate, supplier orders were always late, and stock-outs were very frequent. Invoicing was erroneous, often reflecting inaccurate costs or extended pricing to the customer. Margaret frequently reordered obsolete books and supplies or completed purchase orders with retired SKUs (stock keeping units). Management had no comprehension of the businessâ?? current financial position because all of those reports would need to be manually compiled.

    Discuss how a management information system for automating inventory management, invoice generation, receiving processes, requiring customer order fulfillment, and having Web-based self-services would help her business to compete with major book retailers.

    Explain how through the use management information systems, her competitors are lowering costs and improving profit margins through increasing efficiency.

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    Solution Preview

    Proposed Management Information System for JavaBooks

    The Present Situation

    A tour of JavaBooks office gives one an idea on how to do business in a messy environment. The case with Margaret's JavaBooks is not unusual in small businesses using obsolete business systems.
    With the kind of messy manual systems the company is using, there is no doubt that the business is and will be characterized by unhappy customers, unmet order, undelivered books. In today's competitive environment, JavaBooks cannot allow itself to be complacent with its performance.
    The best alternative for JavaBooks today is total change in organizational systems and processes.
    The excellent move today is the use of online B2C (business to customer) transaction utilizing the internet infrastructures.

    The Proposed System

    The company cannot rely on its existing situation. They have to market their books the way Amazon and Barnes & Noble are doing their book businesses.
    The primary task is to have an overview of the operations. A key to solving the problems of JavaBooks is accepting the fact that the company is lagging in the books ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution describes the chaotic office systems of Javabooks Bookstore and Coffee Shop. This suggests steps on how to automate Javabooks operations so that it can come up with a computer-based management information system..