1. FastFit Case Study FastFit Sporting Goods is a successful New England regional supplier of sporting goods to the high end consumer market. They sell an exclusive selection of equipment and apparel to men and women who exercise and pursue outdoor activities on a regular basis. They operate five (5) upscale retail stores in the New England market that offer a high level of customer attention, with a headquarters (HQ) is in Burlington, Massachusetts, and a single warehouse, distribution, and eCommerce fulfillment center in Haverhill, Massachusetts.
Most of their products are purchased from two suppliers, Winter Gear Distributers outside of Providence, Rhode Island, and Boston Fitness Supplies in Marlboro, Massachusetts. FastFit has expanded successfully in the New England area over the past five years. However to expand nationally as a major retailer, they need to improve the scalability of their operations (stores and warehouses). A key part of their strategy is to leverage information systems to automate and improve operations, to strengthen management controls, and to enable significant growth while maintaining the “high touch” customer experience.
A diagram of their complete non-Web based operations follows. See figure 1. [pic] Figure 1: A Schematic diagram of FastFit Sporting Goods Operations The Initial Set of Case Study Questions The simple system diagram below may be used to answer the following questions. The questions should be answered using your common sense and knowledge of retail processes because we have all bought things at a store. Be specific about the items of information, where they are captured, stored and used.
How the information flows or is moved within FastFit may be shown by the student adding labeled arrows added to the diagram below. See figure 2. Figure 2: Starting Point for a System Diagram of FastFit Business Information Flows A General Question 1. Mark the main flows of goods and money in the diagram (above). Use single headed arrows and employ a key or table of descriptive elements to explain your answer. Customer Questions (focus on the customer and FastFit process flows, i. e. the front end of the diagram) 2. ) List the specific items of information that are usually gathered at the POS (Point of Sale terminal or cash register) and recorded when a customer checks out (excluding obtaining the identity of the customer which is covered in Q3)? b) What are three important uses of this information at the store by the store manager and by headquarters management – a total of six uses? 3. a) What are some ways to obtain the identity of the customer at the POS and to associate this “identity” with more detailed information about the customer? b) What business actions could FastFit then take based upon this additional information? . Assume HQ is responsible for replenishing inventory at the stores. a) What information is needed and how is it used to decide what to send to each store? b) Where does the information come from? c) Why didn’t we have each store decide what to order from the warehouse? Supplier Questions (focus on the FastFit and Supplier process flows, i. e. the back end of the diagram) 5. a) Draw a system diagram that shows the key information and product flows between FastFit (HQ and Warehouse) and a supplier, including the steps for ordering and invoicing and label each flow descriptively.
This diagram will have three circles. b) Compare your drawing with the diagram showing the flows between the customer and the store and explain why the former is more complicated. 6. Assume that FastFit headquarters receives and pays invoices from suppliers. a) How do they decide whether to pay and how much to pay? b) From where do they get the information to make this decision? eCommerce Set of Case Study Questions 7. Describe three geographic locations from which customers can submit orders and any information technology components customers would need (on their end) to accomplish this ordering activity. Location |Information Technology Component | |Home |Server | | |Desktop | | |Laptop | | |Routers | | |Web Server Application | |Road / Anywhere |Smart Phones | | |Web | |Work |Laptops | |School |Routers | | |Web Server Application | 8. a) Describe the information technology components FastFit needs to interact with customers on the web. [Hint: Locate a detailed explanation of e-commerce system platforms in the course textbook and/or web search. ] b) At what geographic location within FastFit would you place these information technology components and why? a) |IT components | |Application providers for the purchase and sale of goods |Software applications | | |Web software | | |Security software | | |Database | |Technology infrastructure providers that enables e-commerce |Routers | | |Storages | | |Servers (web and commerce) | | |Data centers | | |Hardware | | |Networks | from MD PowerPoint session 20 9. FastFit is planning to invest significantly in its e-commerce platform to increase online ordering. Describe three technology features/capabilities that should be included in the platform and provide business justifications for each feature. |Technology feature/capability |Description |Business Justification | |Browser |Program that a user uses to interact with web|Users have access to the Business from | | |servers on the internet |anywhere.
Increase costumer contact with | | | |store. | | | |Improve operations by making store more | | | |accessible to customer. | |Web Server |Program that communicates with many browsers |Allows for multiple users to interact with | | |at the same time using http, by processing |the web page at the same instant. | |and responding to their requests |Increase number of transactions being | | | |processed at the same time | |Commerce Server |Computer that provides a business with |Allows transactions to be completed through | | |web-based programs that display products, |the web. | | |support online ordering, implements a |Enables consumers to receive information | | |shopping cart, record and process payments, |about products.
Automates inventory | | |and interface with inventory-management |management | | |applications | | *from MD PowerPoint session 20 10. a) What does the Haverhill order fulfillment center do? b) Describe the information needed at the warehouse to provide fulfillment services. c) Describe the information created or changed/updated during the course of an e-commerce business transaction. a) i. Warehousing ii. Order processing iii. Finding the item ordered iv. Packing order v. Shipping it to the right address b) Fulfillment Service |Information Needed | |Warehousing |Inventory information | | |Warehouse capacity | | |Warehouse organization | | |Suppliers information | |Order Processing |Order Information | | |Item ordered and amount ordered | | |Inventory information (items and quantity) | | |Consumer Information | |Finding the item ordered |Warehouse structure information | | |Item ordered code | |Packing order |Order Information | | |Ending inventory Information | |Shipping order to right address/store |Consumer Information | | |Delivery/Shipping Information | *Vendorseek. com c) i. Costumer Address for delivery ii. Order payment confirmation iii. Consumer Confirmation of order iv. Consumer email contact v. Consumer confirmation of delivery date
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