Ten years ago Giovanni inherited his family business and, with a small business loan from the bank, decided to invest and extend the business. Giovanni thought carefully about what people really like and decided to specialize in unusual home-made pasta of the very highest quality. He considered that in addition to selling from the single high street shop, he could also increase the volume sold by selling to people who need fast, healthy lunches. If he delivered, as well as selling from the café, Giovanni considered that he would be even more successful and would be able to open another four cafés in other cities.
Giovanni was very successful in making his own pasta, as his grandmother had taught him, and he made many different kinds of “Artisan” Pasta which were extremely popular. For the first eight years Giovanni’s business was very successful and each year he made a small profit. In addition he was now running Pasta Making Classes in the evenings.
However, during the last two years, other cafés had also opened which were in direct competition with Giovanni. In addition Giovanni is aware of the current economic climate and would like to find a way to carefully plan the future of the business.
Giovanni is also a little concerned about delivery, how to recruit the best employees and how to ensure they find the correct address quickly and the best routes, especially during rush hours. He has chosen to deliver within a fifteen-mile radius from his café, and intends, in his new expansion, to employ thirty people as part time delivery staff.
Giovanni has traded now for ten years and has made a substantial profit. Giovanni knew that the first few years of any new business are always difficult and so he is happy that he has been very successful. However, he knows that in order to now expand further and to ensure he is able to compete on speed of delivery, price and quality, he needs to think “outside the box” – he cannot afford to rent any more space on the high street, yet he knows that it is important for him to increase volume sold and hence turnover.
You are a consultant who has been employed to advise Giovanni on the effective implementation of these strategic changes. You are required to produce the following:
Part A: Analysis – Business Process Models and strategy analysis
In this section you should develop
1. A series of Business Process Models, which capture the existing and proposed business processes. The models should follow the BPMN notation (see Introduction to BPMN in Unit 4’s Resources). It is recommended that you use Microsoft Visio to create the models although you may if you prefer use Word, PowerPoint or appropriate alternatives.
2. Strategic analysis for Giovanni’s Pasta. You should use a recognised analysis technique such as SWOT, PESTLE etc.
Part B: Open Source Software Comparison Table
In this section you should conduct research into a suitable software solution for Giovanni. You should decide on the set of characteristics which you will use to evaluate the software and your research should consider 4-5 alternatives in detail. This section should be presented as a table.
Part C: Report
In this section you should write a report which provides an overview of the current situation together with a roadmap outlining how the proposed changes to the business can be achieved to the benefit of the business. This should draw on your analysis in Part A, include your recommendation for software, and provide recommendations for ensuring that the strategy is effectively implemented, including consideration of the challenges ahead.
This section should follow a standard report structure:
Title Page – Contents – Introduction – Main Section – Conclusions and Recommendations – References.
Part D: Reflection on your contribution to the online discussion
In this section you should submit a 250 word reflective summary, accompanied by your own self-assessment of your contribution to the online elements throughout the module, using the table labelled Reflection Self Assessment Proforma in Appendix A, to justify your assessment (copy and paste it into your assignment document). The reflective report should include your detailed reflection, supported with evidence from the online discussion.
You should use appropriate theories, frameworks and models,that we have covered in the module, to inform and justify your recommendations.
Using the Forum to Help With Your Assignment
It is recommended that you use the RKC Forum threads to:
Share papers and articles that you have found on relevant topics, focusing on peer-reviewed sources (remember to include links / reference / pdfs)
Discuss the changes to the ways of working for Giovanni’s Pasta – i.e. discuss what processes will change, and explore how these might work in practice. You might also consider the changing information needs of the business
Discuss and share examples of Open Source software that could be of use for Giovanni’s Pasta.
Please don’t be shy about using the Forum threads – the purpose is to give you experience of using collaborative technologies.
This is an individual assignment worth 50% of the module mark.
Word length: equivalent of 3000 words in total (do not exceed each section word limit; a penalty will apply for assignments that exceed it by more than 10%).
Do not include references in the word count.
The assignment must be uploaded to RKC’s OnlineCampus by midnight Zurich time, Sunday 17th July 2016
This assignment is in four parts.
Section Content Word Count Marks
Part A Analysis – Business Process Models and strategy analysis 1,000 (equivalent to) 25
Part B Open Source Software Comparison Table 500 (equivalent to) 25
Part C Report 1,250 40
Part D Reflection on your contribution to the online discussion 250 10
Total 3,000 100
You should include all parts in a single document
GIOVANNI’S PASTA REPORT
Part A: Analysis – Business Process Models and strategy analysis
- The existing and proposed business processes (Laguna, 2013).
- Before the competitive business sprung up
b) Coming up of several competitors
- Coming up of more customers
2. Strategic analysis for Giovanni’s Pasta.
Giovanni had invested in what people really liked. As a result, he has been able to make profits over the past few years that his business has been in operation. Giovanni has been very successful in making his pasta as he had been taught by his grandmother. The experience in the market would give him an edge over his competitors. He is now running pasta making classes in the evenings (Berry, 2016).
Giovanni has financial muscle and is able to plan for the future. He intends to expand his business. He would like to employ an additional 30 employees on contract terms. The employees would ensure the delivery of his products to far distant customers. The premises of Giovanni’s business premises are located on the high street. High streets are associated with high population (Fine L, 2009). The high population provided him with a large customer base. He has also been able to rent most of the spaces on the high street. However, he is not in any way interested in renting any more space on the high street.
The expansion plan that Giovanni is about to undertake would demand a lot of investments. Giovanni has been in the business for a number of years. He has been able to make a substantial amount of profits. However, the total amount of money that would be required for the expansion plan is relatively larger than the profits that he had made so far.
Other cafes have been opened in the last two years. The cafes are in direct competition with Giovanni. There is an unfriendly economic climate. As a result, Giovanni has been forced to find ways of expanding his business. It is still uncertain whether the business would remain successful upon the completion of the expansion plan that Giovanni is set to initiate soon.
Part B: Open Source Software Comparison Table
|SQL Ledger||The software has features that are rich in management information. The application is capable of running multiple languages. It also makes it possible to run and manage business organisations all over the world. In addition, the software is free of charge for medium sized business organisations. The SQL-Ledger software accepts foreign currencies and hence can be used by multi-national companies (IBM, 2016). It supports payable accounts, receivable accounts as well as stock tracking. The SQL Ledger software would greatly help Giovanni in the administration and management of the Pasta business. The software is user friendly and can be used in all the common operating systems. Giovanni would therefore find it very easy. There are several operations and activities that Giovanni would like to undertake. He would like to see delivery of his goods within a radius of fifteen miles from his café. He is also concerned about delivery of the pasta and recruitment of the very best employees. He would also ensure high delivery speed, quality of the Pasta and prices while paying attention to the customers at the same time. The SQL Ledger software would hence make his work easier (IBM, 2016).|
|Plone||This is a software that makes it possible for the management of information in open source content. This software works well as an internet server. It can also be used as a system for publishing documents. Giovanni can use the software to manage business information regarding quality, prices and delivery speed of the products (Anderson, 2016).|
|Knowledge Tree||This software facilitates the sharing of business information. It also controls the processing of documents. The software is simple, affordable and secure for any business organisation. Giovanni would greatly appreciate the usage of the software since its usage doesn’t demand a long period of training. The software also allows easy and fast accessibility of business information at any given time (Cloudtaxonomy, 2016).|
|Thunder Bird||Thunder Bird facilitates marketing of products over the internet. Giovanni is concerned about how he can expand his business. The expansion would not be successful in the absence of a vigorous marketing strategy (Vogelpohl, 2007). Thunder Bird software would be the best item for Giovanni to use.|
|Set of Characteristics used to evaluate the software|
|Giovanni’s business Pasta is not very big despite the fact that it has been successful in the recent past. Giovanni inherited the business just a few years ago. He is therefore unable to invest in highly expensive software. The cost of the software must therefore be taken into account during the evaluation process. The chosen software is also user friendly. Most of the customers are not highly learned and hence require software that can easily be manipulated|
Part C: Report
Giovanni has been very successful in the business of making pasta as he had been taught. He has been able to make different kinds of Pasta which have become popular within the locality of the business premises. He has been able to make substantive profits in the last eight years of operation. The success has prompted him to start evening classes for making Pasta. However, other cafes have opened shops in the last two years and business competition has emerged. Giovanni must therefore come up with ways and means of surviving within the business environment that has become very competitive. There are several measures that Giovanni must put in place in order to remain competitive. He must recruit the best employees who would ensure successful delivery of the products.
Giovanni must also ensure that his employees find the correct address within the shortest time possible. Giovanni has chosen to deliver his products within a radius of fifteen miles. During his expansion plan, he intends to employ an extra 30 member staff of part time basis. Giovanni is well aware that he as to improve on his products’ delivery speed and quality as well in order to remain competitive in the market. He must also regularly regulate the prices of his products in comparison to those that are charged by his competitors. Giovanni has to increase the volume of products in order to meet the demand of the increased customer population following the expansion plan. He can therefore not rent any more space along the busy street as he needs more space to accommodate the increased volume of products. Giovanni is also considering the expansion of his business to other four cities.
The proposed changes to the business cannot be achieved overnight. Giovanni must start by seeking the opinion of their esteemed customers as well as their intended customers regarding the intended expansion plan. He should also carry out a market study to determine whether the expansion plan would be profitable to the business or not. If the two responses are positive, then he should go ahead with the expansion plans that he has put in place. Expansion would mean that more products would be distributed to further distances away from the main business premises. It would therefore be necessary tor the recruitment of the additional 30 employees on a part time basis to facilitate the distribution process. The employees must be extremely good in sales in order to promote the sales of the products against competition from the rivals.
Giovanni must also improve and uphold the quality of the pasta produced. The need for change must be explained to all the employees in advance. The high quality of products would ensure that they remain very competitive and above the rest of the competitors. Giovanni must also think outside the box. He must embrace information technology in his business interaction with customers and prospective customers as well. There are several computer software that Giovanni can embrace to promote the marketing of his products at a lower cost. The computer software would also enable him to reach out and connect with a vast majority of the surrounding population with ease. Among the employees that Giovanni intends to employ, he should ensure that there are a number of people who are computer literate. Such people would be able to enlighten the public on how to interact with their products over the internet.
The customers would then be able to make Pasta orders from the comfort of their homes. The internet interaction between the business institution and the customers would benefit Giovanni as well as his customers. Giovanni would not require other outlet stores for his Pastas (Lobo, 2015). His employees would supply them to the customers on demand. The Pasta would be supplied by the employees, right from the main shop on the high street.
The customers would also be relieved from travelling expenses incurred while moving from their comfort zones, offices and homes to the café premises. There is also a group of customers who need fast, healthy lunches. Such people are unable to visit the premises of the café. The group of customers would be able to make their orders online. Computer software such as Firefox, Knowledge Tree and Thunder Bird promotes the online business transaction. The online transaction of business activities would make it possible for Giovanni to forget about worries of difficulty in the delivery of his products during rush hours when there is traffic jams on the city roads.
Giovanni should also engage and interact with customers over the social media such as Facebook, twitter and Instagram. These sites can be accessed with the aid of Firefox Web browser software. He would then get the opinions and comments from his customers regarding the quality, prices and delivery of his products. Giovanni will then be able to adjust accordingly. The responses given over the social media regarding the products from the business entity would make it possible for Giovanni to make appropriate decisions regarding the four cities that he intends to open more cafes (Ferrell, 2010).
Conclusions and Recommendation
Emergence of direct business competitors demands that the existing business must change tact in order to remain competitive in the market. Giovanni has made the right move. He has to ensure that the qualities of his products are guaranteed. His customers must also be satisfied with the delivery services of the products. Giovanni must also move with speed to acquire more customers. Emergence of direct business competitors means that he is likely to lose a share of his esteemed customers. The expansion of business to other cities would enable him to acquire more customers to compensate for those whom he is likely to lose to the new competitors. The presence of his business over the internet would also make it become famous among the city residents and visitors who intend to visit the city. The social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, huge following, would position Giovanni a mile ahead of his competitors if he carries out business advertisements over the social sites.
Part D: Reflection on your contribution to the online discussion
The online platform has turned into a market place where business organisations can easily meet customers. Most business organisations carry out advertisements of their products over the internet. The online platform also makes it possible for business organisations to engage and interact with their customers. At the same time, the online platform makes it possible for business firms to carry out transactions of goods and services faster and with ease. Business organisations that would like to be successful have embraced the use of computer software that promotes online interaction between them and customers. The software such as Firefox, knowledge Tree etc. provides a platform that promotes faster and efficient sharing of information between business organisations and their customers. Business organisations would then be able to respond to complaints raised by the customers, regarding their products.
In regard to the online discussion, I fully support the achievements that have been brought about by it. Man has been saved several working hours that have all along been used on the road. People have been able to carry out business dealings on an online platform without having to hit the road and spend several working hours in traffic jams. The online discussion is one kind of technology that has greatly changed the manner in which people have transacted business in the recent past. There are generally many advantages that come with online business transactions. There would be a reduced operating cost as there would be no need of setting up many cafes across the city (Lee, 2012). Customers can make their orders online and served from one central point. It is also associated with low operating cost. The savings may then be shared between the business and their esteemed customers.
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