Shop-n-save, a semi-medium sized superstore chain selling grocery and household products desires to expand its operations allover the state. It presently has custom-built information systems which are insufficient to be a grave challenger in the supermarket arena. An internet strategy is urbanized to envelope all of their present problems and enhance good customer and supplier relations. Creating an internet website would make the company stand accessible anytime-anywhere.
In doing so the security factors regarding data and transactions must be taken care. Company Overview: Shop-n-save is a small to medium sized supermarket chain in India. They have built their success on good customer relations. They desire to expand their operations in entire state and cater its services so that people can access it with ease at their availability, within a click of their fingers. Overview of the present Information system: It has an information system connecting point of sale terminals, internal stock systems and barcode scanners.
All these combine to be an interface to another for exchange of information and synchronization of activities of the business. Problems with the present system: The present system does not envelope the entire business operations, meaning no Enterprise Resource Planning Systems; it simply caters to the needful purposes. There is no mechanism to capture enough personal data about customer’s, namely feedback, preferences and tastes, to retain them or get new ones. Their Customer Relationship Management is quite poor. Analysis of customer base is not done at all.
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Present system neither possesses automatic links for replenishment of their stock nor any integrated suite of office software programmes. Stock is not managed well. Management Information Systems are absent and thereby it gets impossible to make long term decisions. Proposed new E-Commerce system: The new system would be smart enough to market its presence and business over the internet to cater a large domain of buyers. It will be able to spread the grocery business over a large domain of customers which may range from home users to bulk purchasers.
The awareness of the company stands very important so that people get a chance to compare it with the competitors. The supply chain can be well managed. Shop-n-save wants to implement a loyalty card which could be used for in-store, online and petrol stations. It gives the customer a lot of importance relating to the multiple services it caters. The customer information can be stored and managed well so that they are focused when catering repeat orders and services. The data will also serve as rich information to the degree of importance which a customer must receive.
Diversifications into other businesses are very important for business continuity and should be taken care really well to fetch more customers and provide them better and allied services for retention and indirect marketing. Most importantly the services can be rendered to a large variety of customers across a geographical region with B2B and B2C models. The feedback system can also be added so that future caterings can be handled better. Direct interface with the clients would ensure correct and right tapping of feedbacks online.
The total sales and profit can be easily captured and produced to management with ease reducing a lot of manual operations. The comparison of various products can be made so that the customer gets an insight of the difference in the product features to make a better decision. It would be quite professional to get into business with other business as well, rendering the B2C model. Requirement of the enterprise to become an e-business: The reasons for converting ‘bricks and mortars’ into ‘click and mortars’ is as follows:
1. The visibility is improved which means more people get to know about it and often want to try it out for a change. Even if 10% of the people try it out in UK, it will generate huge sales. 2. The e-marketing helps to let people know about its various services it caters. 3. The business can spread in diverse fields so as to provide ancillary services to the customers along with grocery items so that they get served better. Helps for greater retention. 4. The supply chain management is better rendered through e-business.
5. People can access the online store at their convenience and make payment through loyalty card it wishes to introduce. Technologies for doing business online: The various technologies used are classified into client and server side and more specifically they denote the e-commerce and web techniques used for building up and running successfully the online business. On the web technology side, Active Server pages (ASP) can be used for the web pages to exchange information and get the job done.
At the server end there is more than one web servers to cater to the business functions namely display of products, promotions on them and their prices, managing the shopping cart, payment system, registration and delivery system, shipment, tracking back of order and many more. All these business functionalities must be interlinked so that the ultimate objective is achieved. The web server is linked with the business process server, which may be linked to a series of other servers such as payments and security servers.
XML is used for a service called Really Simple Syndication (RSS). It may use RSS to announce their offers and promotions to web based blogs and news. On the e-commerce side, it can use VeriSign services for protecting data and information exchanged between the sites. It uses a 128-bit SSL certificate to get the job done. The e-commerce transactions can be well protected using the SSL technology (Rayport, 2002). It is very secure for all business deals and offers greater protection for business financial information.
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