Expert Answer:Performance Measures table

  

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Trusty Carpets Business Case:
I.
Background and Environmental Analysis
4
Background
4
Business Vision, Strategy or Objectives
5
Business Processes
5
Competitor Products
5
New Technology Trends
6
Commercial Trends
6
Statutory, Legislative, or Other Environmental Requirements
7
II.
Problem & Opportunity Analysis
7
Summary
7
Business Strategy Alignment
7
Timeframe
8
Positive Impact
8
Problem/Opportunity Selection
8
III.
Proposed Solution
9
IV.
Expected Improvements
9
Centralized Customer Management
9
Centralized Accounting
10
Centralized Inventory and Accounting
10
Scheduling
10
Business Strategy Alignment
10
Financial benefits
11
Non-financial benefits
11
V.
Alternatives Analysis
12
Status Quo
12
RFMS
13
Different IT Solution
15
Business Process Reengineering
16
Comparing the four alternatives
18
VI.
Feasibility Analysis
Economic/Financial Feasibility
21
21
2
Organizational/Operational Feasibility
21
Technical Feasibility
21
VII.
Requirements Checklist
23
Functional requirements
23
Data requirements
23
Technical requirements
24
Security requirements
24
VIII.
IX.
Context Diagram
25
Project Management
25
Introduction
25
Project Scope
25
Time and Schedule plan
26
Cost
27
Quality
28
Communications
28
Stakeholders
29
X.
Acquisition Strategy
30
Software
30
Hardware
30
Services
30
XI.
Risk Management
32
XII.
Security
33
XIII.
Additional Implementation Issues
34
References
37
Appendices A
40
Appendices B
41
3
Trusty Carpets Business Case
I.
Background and Environmental Analysis
Background
Trusty Carpets has been in the carpet sales business and operating out of the same
location for the last 20 years. The business has seen recent growth in the market with the
construction of many new homes. The local government is focusing on creating an up-scale
community that is also environmentally conscious. The business is run by the proprietor,
Trusty Carpets Montgomery and his sales team, which consists of his daughter and another
employee. The company subcontracts all installation work to a third party.
The company has been focused on growing its customer base by keeping its prices
low by primarily selling mid-grade carpet. Current total profit margins are 8.3% on $1.2
million in sales. While profit margins are below industry standards, it has driven sales
volume up to 250,000 square feet of carpet per year.
The business has recently acquired an additional and larger storefront through the
acquisition of another carpet business across town. Last year, the previous business’ profit
was 12% on $3 million dollars in sales. The difference can be attributed to the previous
business’s ability to sell more top-of-the-line carpets, which may be due to having a
dedicated showroom for the more premium brands.
With the addition of the new location, Trusty Carpets is shifting its direction from
growth to increasing profit margins. In order to accomplish this goal, the company wants
to reach more customers through online and in-home sales, while creating a network of
second party referrers by building partnerships with builders and interior designers.
4
Business Vision, Strategy or Objectives
Trusty Carpets is behind in their technical processes as well as the environmental
requirements to meet competitive standards. For Trusty Carpets to excel, they will need to
adopt a plan of action and process to encompass the local requirements to be a ‘green’
company. Consumers seek companies that recognize the importance of being
environmentally friendly. Trusty Carpets desires to be a pillar in the community by being
environmentally conscious and recycling their products. Utilizing the Waste Reduction
Model, they can build their processes to support ‘green’ growth in their community.
Current technology within the company is subpar. Recognizing that they have an
inferior Information Technology Infrastructure will allow them to grow not only through
commerce, but through marketing and sales. Updating the infrastructure to allow for
online sales, virtual measurements and order processing will free up workload and
streamline the current sales processes, thus allowing for greater profitability in the
business.
Business Processes
With the increase of technological advances leading to a decrease in print
viewership, more readers are using mobile devices. This is influencing publishers’
decisions on a wide range of editorial and advertising strategies (Yu, 2015). Using local
newspapers, and in some cases, television for advertising is ill-advised as they are
practically obsolete and nowhere near as useful as other means. Much of today’s society
spends more time on mobile devices, tablets, and laptops and doesn’t gather information
from newspapers like they used to. The primary source for people nowadays is digital
news outlets and social media as a replacement for traditional sources of news and
advertising.
It is highly recommended for Trusty Carpets to create media utilizing both a website
and social media page for customer interaction and advertising for the business. Also, the
previous owner of the new location used a manual filing methodology to keep track of
business records. The lack of information technology in place means that customer records
and carpet inventory are currently in recorded handwritten ledgers. This practice is
inefficient and leads to multiple opportunities for human error in record keeping which can
adversely affect Trusty Carpets net profits.
Competitor Products
The carpet industry is a competitive industry and for Trusty Carpets to continue to
expand the company will have to ensure the company is properly marketing and branding
5
itself. The problem is the competitors are using many different avenues to keep up their
competitive edge by providing discounts, user friendly sites, and ensuring their products
stay with current trends. Additionally, many companies are offering in home consultations
and the distribution of samples. By performing this function their sales teams can perform
measurements on-site and provide a total cost of material and insulation on-the-spot to the
customer. This might be a service that Trusty Carpets will want to provide in the future.
To help improve the business process they need to create a technology solution that
will interface with all aspects of the company and create an improvement strategy that
works with the company’s organization strategy. This strategy should include what steps
in the process are broken, why and how they should be improved and any financial and
resource implications. Answering how the process can be improved is a springboard to
create improvement objectives (Explorance, 2019). This will help link both stores together
providing real time information to help ensure that the company remains organized.
New Technology Trends
Some of the technology trends that will that will have an influence on business are
the accumulation and accessibility of data like social media content to purchasing history,
will drive the development of machine learning in business development software (Council,
2018). Another important trend is customer scheduling. Giving the customer options on
how they interact is the way to go. This will allow customers to pick the date, time, mode
and even topics they wish to discuss on sales calls (Council, 2018). Voice recognition is
another big trend. With Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa just to name few, small
businesses can capitalize on voice recognition by thinking about how to make business’
‘voice search-ready.’ And think about how people are interacting with their digital
assistants (Council, 2018).
Commercial Trends
Current trends in the floors sales industry has seen a shift in consumer’s preference
from primarily wall-to-wall carpet to larger and custom sized rugs that meet specific design
aesthetics (Ryan, 2017). This is due the current trend of using solid flooring with openfloor plans. According to Floor Covering News, “For the third year in a row, the U.S. rug
business will outperform carpet. FCNews research puts area rugs sales at $2.5 billion in
2016, up an estimated 3.5% from the year-ago period” (Ryan, 2017).
While this trend may be a problem for traditional carpet sales companies. It may
also present an opportunity by aligning with Trusty Carpets desire to partner with home
builders and interior designers. The carpet industry today is essentially the domain of a
few large firms, led by Shaw Industries and another company (Patton, 2006)). Many carpet
dealers today are expanding their product line to include custom carpets through Shaw
industries Cutting Edge program. Which allows customers to create custom designed area
rugs (Ryan, 2017). By building partners with home builders and interior designers,
6
retailers may not only expand their sales of traditional carpet sales, but also add an
additional revenue stream through custom area rugs.
Statutory, Legislative, or Other Environmental Requirements
WARM or Waste Reduction Model is a model that was established by the
Environmental Protection Agency. This model was designed to streamline the recycling
effects and decrease greenhouse emissions from excess or carpet waste. Adopting this
strategic model will allow for Trusty Carpets to not only be environmentally friendly but
allow consumers to reuse products that would otherwise be taken to a landfill. Trusty
Carpets can establish this baseline process and be at the forefront of competitors.
Becoming a green partner and utilizing this as a selling point to customers will attract
attention and produce revenue.
II.
Problem & Opportunity Analysis
Summary
With the addition of the new storefront and addition of the installation service,
Trusty Carpets is positioned to meet its business strategies if it takes the initiative to
address or implement key functions and services. This analysis was developed by
evaluating the current business processes of the original Trusty Carpet’s location as well as
the processes of the old Metro Carpets location. Additionally, it factors in current market
trends in the home construction and flooring business, while also considering current
applicable laws and ordinances.
Previous to acquiring the new location, Trusty’s infrastructure and processes were
sufficiently able to handle the amount of business. However, in order to manage customers,
inventory, sales, and installations at two different locations, Trusty must implement a
solution that synchronizes the business functions and operations of two locations into one
business.
While the main goal is to synchronize both locations, there are several
opportunities that can be seized upon during this transition that will accelerate Trusty’s
main goal of increasing profits. These opportunities consist of:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Enabling Online Sales
Creating an Environmentally Friendly Image
In-home Sales & Measurement Capability
Partnering with Builders & Interior Designers
Business Strategy Alignment
The addition of the new storefront previously known as Metro Carpets has
increased Trusty Carpets number of employees, customers, floor space, inventory, and
7
accounting of sales. Multiple processes, accounting, and information technology (IT)
systems are not conducive to a profitable business model. Metro Carpets did not use an IT
solution to manage these functions and instead relied upon hand-written ledgers to track
inventory, customers, and sales. Sales personnel must be able to check status of orders,
inventory status, and coordinate installations independent of their respective location. This
problem must be addressed in order to create a single integrated business.
Timeframe
Trusty Carpets has a limited timeframe to solve the greater problem of integrating
the business functions of both locations. Disjointed processes can lead to confusion, delays
in ordering, status updates, and installations. The sooner this problem is addressed, the
sooner Trusty can build ‘Trust’ with its customers. Other opportunities also have a limited
realization window in order to be maximized. Currently new home and apartment
construction is booming but this will not always be the case. However, the sooner the
better. The timeframe for each new home is ten to sixteen months for upscale homes and
four to six months for production home. (Kale, 2019) Additionally, proposed city
ordinances are scheduled to take effect in early 2020 that will mandate businesses to be
more environmentally friendly.
Positive Impact
Trusty Carpets primary strategy is to increase its profits. Solving the problem of
integrating the processes of both stores is the core problem to be solved. Digitizing
customer records and maintaining a database of customers can cut cost and increase
functionality in the sales department, while having a reliable inventory management
system will give the sales team a better view of products on hand.
However, it is important that the solution also supports opportunities needed to
further Trusty’s business strategy. The ability to engage with customers on-line and
interact with customers at their home will exponentially increase the number of
engagement points with potential customers. Providing in-home consultations will allow
sales persons to measure, offer samples and provide accurate estimates to potential
customers. Enabling all of these will streamline the process and boost sales. Finally, Trusty
Carpets can significantly enhance its image as a socially conscious business by being the
first to follow the new environmental ordinances.
Problem/Opportunity Selection
While there are multiple problems and opportunities identified from the
analysis, these were selected as they were the most suitable to be solved from a common
information technology (IT) solution. The implementation of the right IT solution could
streamline sales and inventory management, while setting the baseline to implement
future opportunities that align with Trusty Carpets strategy.
8
III.
Proposed Solution
A cloud hosted business management solution from RFMS is the proposed solution
to the business problem which allows Trusty Carpets to focus on increasing profits by
streamlining productivity, building relationships with suppliers, efficiently managing
resources, expanding its customer service base and implementing current IT
infrastructure. RFMS is recognized as leaders in software for the floor covering industry.
RFMS management software is a scalable software solution that can be hosted locally or in
the cloud. RFMS offers multiple different software modules to address a variety of
processes within the retail flooring industry. Modules can be purchased as needed to
address the following functions: Business Operations, Accounting, Sales. Additionally,
RFMS has built in Business to Business (B2B) capabilities by having its sales and inventory
management modules integrated into the leading manufacturers of carpet within the
United States. RFMS software provides an award-winning user experience with tools that
will be a great solution to Trusty Carpets opportunities.
RFMS enables efficient operations by providing scalability and systems integration,
accounting features that address specific accounting inventory and sales features that
include: accounts receivable, financial reporting, billing, order entry job estimating quotes,
sales analysis and many other core features. These features reduce technical maintenance
expenses, increases visibility and agility across the digital supply chain and develop
industry-specific functionality. In addition, RFMS software allows access to business data
and information while off-site, and its e-commerce solution provides additional support for
online business growth.
RFMS’ award-winning software addresses each of the operational business concerns
listed in the previous section by enabling better-informed business decisions which align
with the organization’s vision, core goals, and strategic direction. RFMS completes a picture
of operations and use customer insights to help increase sales, stay current on RFMS
enhancements and ensures data accuracy.
IV.
Expected Improvements
The implementation of a Cloud based Enterprise Resource Planning solution from
RFMS will bring many expected improvements. The ERP solution will result in streamlined
business operations due to RFMS being an industry leader in operations and management
software for the flooring industry. Having the solution hosted in the cloud rather than onsite will not only allow for administrative and operations across multiple locations to be
synchronized to a central data repository, it also provides other intangible benefits.
Centralized Customer Management
RFMS will allow both store locations to share a common database of customers &
potential customers. This will enable a customer to call or visit any location and all their
9
information will be available from all departments. Representatives will be able to view
customer notes, sales data, e-mail exchanges and service history. Empowering employees
with this information will build help build trust and confidence with customers and future
customers.
Centralized Accounting
The RFMS Accounting module will synchronize valuable business data across
several functions and locations. This will present Trusty Carpet’s owners with key
accounting data to make future business decisions. Examples of accounting functions RFMS
can track are: The general ledger, accounts payable, Human Resources, accounts
receivable, banking, commissions and sales analysis reporting. Additionally, a built-in
management report can combine these critical accounting areas for instant, up-to-date
decision making.
Centralized Inventory and Accounting
The Inventory and Purchase Order modules are interfaced with Order Entry,
Accounts Payable and the General Ledger which ensures consistency in physical counts as
well as financial data. Inventory may be transferred between stores or locations. According
to current businesses that use RFMS, one its advantages are its ability to help forecasts
inventory requirements and reduce costs (Dickhaus, n.d.)
Scheduling
RFMS’ Scheduling module will maximize the new installation function of Trusty
Carpets. Since all the various modules of the RFMS solution have the capability to be
interlinked, sales and order entry functions can immediately see the availability of the
installation teams. This will ultimately provide for increased productivity, better
scheduling, and improved service.
Business Strategy Alignment
One of Trusty Carpets strategies to increase sales and profits is to provide the ability
conduct in-home sales and measurements as well as provide online sales. RFMS can enable
this strategy through its RFMS Mobile & E-commerce capability. Through this function
sales personnel can perform in home sales and measurements and input the orders directly
back to Trusty employees. This will allow them immediately check available carpet
inventory and place orders with manufacturers if needed. Additionally, through its Ecommerce function, RFMS can
receive and generate orders via the web. Through this function orders can be transmitted
and confirmed within minutes.
10
Financial benefits
Currently, Trusty Carpets has a bare bones IT solution at its main location and no IT
capability and its new location. In order to manage a much larger operation and provide
the capability to grow, more IT will be needed. In-house ERP software requires hardware
and the human resources to maintain it. By using a cloud-based solution instead of hosting
and processing customers, sales, accounting, and operations information locally. Trusty
Carpets can save significant amounts of money from not having to provide its own in-house
IT support. According to Networkworld, “Cloud ERP solutions can be modular or tailored to

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