Perisher Blue is a tourist resort that was incorporated in the year 1995, and it is a combination of five plants that bring different factors in the whole group. The different plants are Perisher Valley, Smiggin Holes, Mount Blue Cow, Guthega, The Station, and the Skitube alpine railway. The company aims at being an internationally recognized resort which offers a pleasant customer experience. To attain its mission and vision, the top management has recognized the need to develop information technology in its processes. It aims at ensuring that it has automated all the process of the company to derive a competitive edge over and above the prevailing situation. A strategic plan needs to be developed, which ensures that the required development is attained effectively. After its development the resort will benefit from the good brought about by computerization.
In the recent past, technology has increasingly been adopted in organizations. It assists in developing efficiency and thus customer satisfaction. The competitiveness of a business is vested on the quality of its management decisions. Some systems that aim at meeting a certain objective in the business arena have been developed. The move has made it necessary for a business to incorporate it in their plans to ensure they benefit fully from the advantages derived from it. In the hospitality industry, the use of computers has become equally important. There is the recognition that to reach a wider range of customers and ensure efficiency, information technology should be adopted. Perisher Blue is a resort that has some natural advantages found in Australia; the resort advertises its services all over the world by the use of internet and has an official website. It employs highly qualified personnel specialized in different sectors to make a team of rich experts. It has four busy seasons, where people can ski. It is the largest skiing resort in southern hemisphere as well as in Australia. Although the resort is doing fine, there is an increased competition which needs to be addressed by adopting an IS/IT plan in its processes. To address the issue, there is need to analyze the current situation in the resort, the competition in the industry and then develop an action plan. This paper focuses on an IS/IT implementation in the resort.
IS Strategy Purpose
Information system strategy is involved in ensuring that the right technology in terms of infrastructure and software has been adopted in an organization. In today’s globalization world, there is an increased use of computers for doing businesses. This is in people, corporate, governments, and non-governmental organizations. To remain competitive and have a large coverage of customers Perisher Blue should develop an information system that ensures that its processes are defined and well controlled. The resort is an international one which means that its target customers go far beyond Australia; the main target groups are tourists both domestic and international. To ensure that people from far countries are reached there is need to have a computer based development (O’Brien, 2003). When an information system is developed the company is likely to benefit from the following;
- Sharing of information in the company between different departments and employees
- Facilitated communication both internal and external communication
- Develop an online marketing and advertising mechanisms which will work to the benefit of the company.
- Improve efficiency in the businesses and ensure that customer’s needs are satisfied at any one point.
- To ensure that areas of inefficiency in the business are detected and business re-engineering mechanisms adopted.
To ensure that the development wanted is attained, then there is need for internal department of information technology to consider the various ways that it should adopt to ensure that the targeted goals and objectives of the system have been attained.
Business strategy of Perisher Blue
Perisher Blue is a resort that has some natural advantages found in Australia; the resort advertises its services all over the world by the use of internet and has an official website. It employs highly qualified personnel specialized in different sectors to make a team of rich experts. It has four busy seasons, where people can ski. It is the largest skiing resort in southern hemisphere as well as in Australia. Different activities take place in the resort, they include dancing, poetry, kids activities among others but concentrate more on skiing where it arranges for various competitions to be conducted in the resort. It is situated 600 kilometers south of Sydney in Australian Snowy Mountains. The resort can be accessed via road or the use of railway; the railway leading to the place is the only underground rail in Australia offering yet another advantage to the resort. There are four peaks in the resort they are Perisher Valley, height 1,720 m Smiggin Holes, height 1,680 Guthega, height 1,640 m Blue Cow, height 1,890 m (Petisher official Website, 2010).
The resort target skiing people from different countries of the world by having skiing competitions of different categories. It is favored by having a large mass of snow deposits that ensure that there is enough snow for skiing. The hospitality of the resort and the different peak experience gives it a competitive edge over and above its competitors. It has ensured that there is a road network that spans to the area and a railway that prepares visitors of a pleasant experience. Other than being a skiing resort, the management appreciates that sometimes parents come with their children and thus has various children activities which include children games, singing skiing lessons among others.
For trainers in skiing the company offers that service; depending with ones experience, the peak given is determined. It is a full hotel with accommodation upon booking; it also allows its customers to take care of their meals and accommodation if they wish to. When booking for the resort, one is required to pay 50% of the cost of the hotel and the balance is payable no later than 60days before visit. Any damage that occurs when one is in the resort is not catered for by the resort but it advises its customers to arrange for their insurance policies (Petisher official Website, 2010).
Internal/External Analysis of Business Objectives
The resort is affected by the internal and external forces. The success that it has is dependent on how well it is going to overcome challenges posed by internal and external forces. To explain the forces we will consider five porters model forces. In 1980, Porter developed a structure for analyzing the nature and extent of competition within an industry. He argued that, in every industry, there are at least five competitive forces which establish the nature of competition within that industry. These five forces are discussed below:
- Threat of New Entrants
- Bargaining Power of Buyers
- Threat of Substitute Products or Substitutes
- Rivalry among Existing competitors
Buyer’s Bargaining Power
The success of a business is dependent with the buyers. They are the customers of a business. They shape the kind of products that a business makes. Buyers can determine which products will move first and which will not. It is through buyers that a company realizes its competitive advantage in the market. In a service industry the customers are concerned with the quality of service they are going to get. The demand for a skiing resort has been facilitated by increased awareness of the game and the youthful population that the world is having.
Supplier’s Bargaining Power
To create awareness of the kind of services that a company produces, there is need for marketing campaigns. In skiing business, since it is the main business, the company should ensure that there is national and international awareness of activities that take place and probably events timetable. The company needs to employ good strategies to ensure that customers are aware of the existence of the products; it is by doing this that it can command more business. When quality products are well known by the customers, they are likely to be more accepted. Sales team should ensure that it makes the best targets and market segmentation.
Competitive Rivalry in the Industry
Within an industry, there are businesses which compete with one another for the available market share. These businesses either specialize in the production of similar products or differentiated products. Efficiency in a business has numerous benefits to the business. It gives a business competitive advantage; to attain efficiency, there is need to ensure that all business processes are adequately addressed. In 1981, Motorola- a leading phone manufacturing company in United States of America developed a management tool that aims at attaining efficiency in business processes. Despite that the project had been innovated to be used in the company; it has spread too much business in United States and other places in the world. It has also been incorporated in management syllabus. The system is called six sigma. When a company implements a six sigma procedure, it ensures that there is efficiency in all processes in a business it uses scientific methods like data analysis to make decisions in a certain area. The process aims at attaining specializations in areas of interest in a way that the result will give an overall efficiency in an organization
Threat of New Entrants
Perisher Blue enjoys the largest skiing resort in Australia and southern hemisphere; this does not mean though that there are no threats to its operations. The threat of new entrants to an industry depends on the number of entry barriers available. The higher the entry barriers, the fewer the number of competitors will be in the industry. These barriers include: capital costs of entry, legal constraints, and access to distributing channels.
Threat of Substitutes
The company is competing internationally and thus there is the threat that someone may decide to use another country’s products instead of those of the resort. Substitute product is a product that meets the same needs as those met by a product produced by the industry. The extent of the threat from a particular substitute will depend upon two factors; namely, willingness of buyers to switch to substitute products and the degree to which the value and performance of the substitute can compete with the industry’s product (Alter)
Environmental Trend Analysis
There are factors both internal and external that affect a business. Some are at the control of a business while others are not in the control of the business. When a company aims at developing an IS system it should ensure that it will understand the effects that the outside environment has on the business. To do this we will use a business tool of analysis called S.L.E.P.T. analysis. SLEPT is a management tool that interpolates the outside world, the full meaning is
S- Social factors
E. – environmental/ecological
A business operates in an environment with people who have different cultures, way of doing things, economic and cultural beliefs. A combination of these forms a Social environment. It is important for business coordination is in harmony with the social function of the larger society. There should be coordination between the values of the company as well as the community. Social norms are considered essential by the business organizations as the purchasing behavior of the customers living in a particular society is dominantly affected by these norms. In the case of Perisher Blue services offered should be in line with the expectations of the community. In this case ethics should be upheld at all time.
Australia has legislation laws that a firm must comply with if it has to undertake business in the country. Companies have to follow the companies’ laws and acts of the international business as well as domestic business. While working on the global level, the companies have to consider three types of the legal systems including common law, civil law, and theocratic law. Hospitality industry is faced with increased laws since there is need for health laws compliance. The non-compliance with such laws creates critical legal issues for the company which has an adverse impact on the business performance as well as corporate image of the company.
Australia has a monarch kind of government, this does not mean that the country’s political wave is one sided but the resultant is that there is an influence that it has on the business environment. Political environment includes the government systems and judiciary systems, which influence the business of the international organizations. The political way may determine things such as where the roads are going to be made, who maintains them among other factors. Due to this, the company is required to work according to the government regulations of the foreign countries.
The world is under recession out of world financial crisis which hit it at the end of 2007. This has affected the economic growth of countries which in turn affects a business. Economic environment greatly affects the hospitality business. The interest groups in a particular geographic area have different levels of prosperity and preferences. This is to be considered by Perisher Blue in its business process. This is because the more economically developed nations can be, the helpful it is in making the company achieve its objectives behind attaining direct marketing.
The world is adopting technology in its processes of doing things. There is development of computers in different sectors of a business. These are very much critical aspects of the business environment for Perisher Blue. Use of internet can be critical to get international customers on board and derive more customer base. All the electronic companies are developing their technologies with advance means for attracting global customers. This has posed a great competitive pressure in the electronic retail market and same on the retail companies.
Concerns about taking care of a country’s environment are in the forefront in almost all countries. Directly Perisher Blue is dependent with the serenity of environment since it depends on how well the environment is maintained for its success. The ecological environment affects the business in a broader way than individuals. At present, the businesses of the companies are affecting the natural ecology through discharge of the harmful effluents in the environment and use of energy sources in an excess amount. All these come under the corporate social responsibility of the business. This is the major consideration to be followed by the business organizations (Anon, 2009).
It is of the opinion that there are some areas in an organization which can be improved to attain full efficiency. It works with the following objectives in mind
- Ensuring customer satisfaction this is attained through continuous improvement of processes other than processes there is the customer care that they receive from staff it should guarantee satisfaction
- Defect- failing to deliver what the customer wants the management tool ensures that there is complete satisfaction of customers by quality products free from defects.
- process- internal processes need to be looked at to ensure that there is efficiency in production processes
- what the customer sees and feels; stable operations-
- ensuring consistent, predictable processes to improve what the customer sees and feels; and design for six sigma- designed to meet customer needs and process capability
The general way that the management tool follows can be defined as Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control.
The SWOT analysis will ensure that the company in question optimizes on its strengths, improves on its weaknesses, seeks more entrepreneurial opportunities and diagnosis of the emerging threats.
The resort has some strengths that it gets from its location and the brand name that it has gotten. Firstly, the resort is set on a natural beauty place, which attracts both domestic and international tourists. The place has the largest snow deposits and makes it an ideal place for skiing. Terrains of the place offer a natural ground for skiing where the terrains are of different heights to cater for all classes of skiers. It has the highest terrain in southern hemisphere and thus competitions are better done at the place. Other than the terrains, the resort has a high number of lifts which are dependable and does not experience snow slides. They are rather permanent. It is one of the world’s most reliable snow places were snow is available in plenty for at least four seasons in a year.
The resort is internationally recognized and favored by accessibility. It is easy to get to the resort using rail or road which offers a different outside environment. It is also not to the extreme of the country but it is centrally placed only about 600kilometre south of Sydney. Alpine railway spans all the way. The natural environment of the resort offers a different natural tourist features that are not found in other places; this gives the resort an upper hand than the other resorts in same business. The resort also enjoys not having had a major accident incidence.
The area is disjoined so much that making a high number of resort poses a danger to the lives of the occupants. This has limited the number of people who can be accommodated at one point in time. The landscape also limits communication and transport system giving the management extra task to clear the snow at times of heavy downpour. What is in the mind of the people is that they view the place as a skiing resort and this limits the functionality of other activities in the resort. This limits the number of people visiting the site and limits utilization of its products. The lagged environment also limits the number of games and activities that can be conducted in the place. For example, football cannot be played on the slopes and lagged areas. The space allocated on the slope is limited for expansion purposes. Construction in the terrains offers dangers to the structures made.
The skiing business is likely to increase with the increase in population. Youth are more adventures and the way skiing has been accepted as a game has given it an upper hand. There is a fast growing market for skiing in the world. Since the resort is strategically placed with international recognition, it is likely to benefit the increased demand for skiing in the world. Technological development has increased training in the area of skiing since now it has been embraced as a sport; there are upcoming training schools which are offering the training as a course and this has increased demand for a skiing resort. Innovation is another area that the resort is likely to benefit from, different ways have been developed to manufacture infrastructures in lagged area; the technology is likely to assist the resort attain its goals and expand further. The government of Australia has taken measures that are aimed at ensuring increased tourism in the country; one of the sites that are often visited is the resort. This offers it an upper hand over and above natural advantages. Australia is on an increased economic development where there is a better lifestyle in people. This has made them look for outside recreational facilities. One such facility is Perisher Blue.
The resort is faced with various threats that can hinder its future developments. In the era of competitive businesses, there are some similar resorts in Australia and outside the country. This leads to increased international competition among the resorts. There was also a rejection of village development application; this led to limited growth and access to the resort. Despite the fact that there has never been a major accident in the resort; there are small accidents that might threaten visitors. There are also other substitute recreational facilities in the country. The world is facing global warming; this is one of the threat that the resort is facing. Global warming is the gradual increase in earth’s surface temperature. The increased temperature leads to an increased melting of snow and ice. The resultant of the melting is an increased global sea level. It is estimated that from 1906 to 2005, earth’s surface temperatures raised by 0.74 ± 0.18 °C. In 1998 Kyoto protocol was developed as a preventive measure to further global warming. When the temperature increase the snow reduces a thing that the resort depends on for survival. This is coupled with some low snow season which makes the place have limited enjoyment snow reserves. There are times that visitors have failed to follow instructions set by guides and resulting in getting lost. This spoils the reputation of the resort (Scott, 1982).
Critical Success Factors
Critical factors define the path that a business takes in attainment of its mission and vision. When the business is set to go there are things that must be done to ensure that all is well for the attainment of the set goals and objectives. In an information system case the critical success factors are the number of users who are going to use the system and the system will assist them in the work that they are doing. At the same time there is the issue of market accessibility and the need for more market share as a result from the improvement. When developing an integrated system, there are the funds that go to the project and the benefit that the company is going to get as a result. When this is analyzed then the final result should be a benefit to the company. The duration that the program will be used in the company should be analyzed to ensure that it will be good enough for the company to have reaped benefits out of the investment (James & Michael, 1995).
Customer satisfaction is another goal that the system should bring on board, since the entire development is aimed at creating a better experience to a company’s customers.
Business Process and Information Requirements
Current systems assessment (findings)
The Company has a website that is updated on various issues; however, the degrees of efficiency of the operating system that are employed are not to the required standards. There is much which needs to be done to ensure better attainment of the resorts goals and aims. Some of these factors are in the information system adopted while others are all about the ways the resort is organized from infrastructures to human resources.
To remain competitive and maintain efficiency in today’s hospitality industry, the resort has employed a set of well trained and experienced employees. They vet new entrants. Good human resource manager should ensure that he should understand sales person capabilities and how to utilize them for the benefit of the company. They are required to have knowledge in computers over and above their area of specialization.
After entry the story should not end there, continuous training follow. To have an effective sales team, they must be enthusiastic and hold a positive attitude at all time. This will only be attained if the sales manager develops measure to assist his team to be enthusiastic and positive minded. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson “Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm”. As much as possible staffs that can influence or persuade effectively should be deployed. Since making a good sales person it involves in-born traits and nurturing, training and development should be done continuously (Goldman).
When looking for a reservation at the resort, it is possible to book online. When one has booked he is required to pay a minimum of 505 of the reservation fee and the rest is paid two months before the actual date of visit. This is done to ensure that there is a flow of customers and no one point that customers are discouraged that there is no space. Booking is a must. To easily persuade, previous success stories should be explained to the potential customer. Any extra service offered by the hotel should be used as a tool of persuasion. An example of extra service may be a professional talk at a staff meeting offered for free by the hotel for a certain period of time (Anthony, Kacmar & Perrewé, 2002).
Secondly, sales associates should be taught on how to keep in touch past success. They should understand what is happening in the trade of their past customers and visit them regularly. At the visit they pose as business partners as they discuss what the customers trade is doing and establish any assistance that their hotel can accord to the customer; this calls for a lot of research on the part of sales people.
During the visit general things are discussed in line with the business. Although the reason for the visit is actually to keep track and sell, it should not be seen on the face. If there is anything that the hotel can do to improve the current condition of the loyal customer, an offer to do so should be given.
Examine how the changes will impact on existing business processes
When the development has been attained the resort is likely to enjoy benefits from two angles;
Qualitative and quantitative analysis
When developing the project, the effects of the project in terms of qualitative and quantitative measures. This will ensure that monitoring will be done effectively.
Qualitative factors involve the efficiency that will be attained by using the project. When information system has been implemented, it leads to better ways of doing thing. Employees will have a facilitated system of communication with each other and make processes in the resort better.
In quantitative terms, this is more on monetary aspects, the system will lead to an increase in profits in the company; there will be increased revenue due to efficiency and increased customer base. All these can be predicted and recognized as objectives of the project.
In the resort we have different sectors which can be evaluated in terms of quality; they are
- Information required from the system;
- Number of rooms booked
- Number of bed available
- The number of guests expected in a certain day
- A record of description of the rooms, are they self contained, singles
- What are the costs of accommodation, does the cot include breakfast, or supper
All the above will be available by a click of a button. The kind of services that customer will get from the resort will thus be facilitated.
Cost drivers and cost
Project is a capital intensive practice, thus it should be beneficial to the company. Cost drivers should be established. Perisher Blue, will have to incur costs to lay the project running, it will ensure that they recognize the sources of funds, and develop a repayment procedure to be adopted. By so doing them will see the project succeed. Other than the cost of implementing the physical assets there is a cost of training staffs and maintenance cost. The company will have to bear all these. When realizing the gains from the project, it is important to amortize the cost incurred to some years. Perisher Blue has some peak seasons where it can be decided that a large portion of allocation that represents the cost of implementation can be charged.
One of the area a re-engineering process will assist in ensuring that sportsmen and visitors are managed for example;
- Have the resorts been booked for an event
- How long
- When is the event
- Are there any space for an additional booking
- Which sports are played when
- Who are the participants
- How many guests have booked the hotel as a result
- When are the sports taking place,
- How well is the resort prepared
A project should have a net benefit to a company. Measures to determine the benefits should be put in place to ensure that benefits from the project are realized. When implementing an information system the benefits may not be immediate, but accrue for a long period of time. There should be amortization of the cost of incurred in project development. Perisher resort should develop measure of measuring the efficiency of the project in terms of qualitative and quantitative methods. It should ensure that they have a set standard that they aim to attain when they adopt it.
The expected outcome expected accrues when the project is completed. The benefits that were expected should be seen trickling in the company. An example of benefits to the resort is an increased customer base. Feedback method also falls in this category; Perisher should develop a feedback method that allows management to evaluate the project with time.
Booking and catering
- How many people have booked online
- When is the resort expecting the visitors
- Are the visitors giving accommodation
- What are the preparations made by the catering department
- Is the catering department prepared for the visitors coming in the resort.
These are the questions that are considered in a re-engineering process. When an information system has been implemented; it will solve all the problem and facilitate planning.
Internal Processes Improvements
When computers are adopted in a work place then the way business is conducted is shaped. It will show the time an employee reports for duty and when he leaves, due to its efficiency and precision, people are more likely to be punctual thus promoting a good culture. There are some values that the organization holds, and for one to be seen as a “compliant” member of the larger group, you need to act in line with the expectation. An organization requires physical and human resources for its operations. How well an organization blends its human resources determine its success. The human resource department is given the mandate of ensuring that adequate employees are available at all times.
It has the mandate of planning, deploying, employing, training, retaining, and dismissal of employees. When the department is undertaking this duty, it looks into quantitative and qualitative aspects. Qualitative means the right number of employees and qualitative means employees with right skills. Computers assist human resource department in this important talk. They are the ones that keep data of employees as well as ensure that the set standard of working is maintained. For example, if computers are used for quality check, then employees are more likely to work had to ensure that they meet the standard of the computer since it cannot be corrupt or explained to. This enhances the quality of the employee. After this quality has been increased, it becomes a culture that quality must be produced. Another example is the use of computers to check for punctuality. Since it records the real time of reporting, then employees are more likely to be punctual, this becomes a culture with time.
When computers increase the efficiency in a company, then the benefits trickle down to the outside customer. He benefits from the efficiency and looks forward to doing more business with the company. There will be modern ways of doing business; such include adoption of E-business, E-marketing and e-advertising. All these will offer the customer more information about the company something that works for the benefit of the company.
Business process redesigns assessment (findings)
Business processes redesign advocates for improvement of all processes in business. It aims at improving processes from the first point of contact to the last one. In the case of Perisher Blue, there is need to have the processes improved from the infrastructures to the final feeling of the customer. (Champy, 1995).
The start point is to realize the need customers. These are the external factors that the business has minimal control; customers are the most important part of a business. Their needs should be recognized and processes made to make them satisfied.
Internal processes should be polished to ensure that the business is efficient. Innovation and creativity from employees should be encouraged.
In the resort the most important thing is to ensure that all employees get the sense of adopting an information system. They should use and integrate it in their various areas to enhance efficiency. An area that it will assist is in procurement. In an integrated system the resort will have a just in time approach to supplies.
Human resources department Perisher Resort will be managed better. In the re-engineering of human resource the process will start from recruitment, training and development of employees. There will be a system that will ensure that there are adequate staffs at the right time in the right place at the right cost. It will also integrate with human resources of Valley, Swigging Holes, Mount Blue Cow, Guthega, The Station, and the Skitube alpine railway which are important for the general good of the resort.
The resorts re-engineering process will ensure that there is a controlled flow of visitors at any one time that there is the right capacity that can be effectively handled.
When undertaking online advertising/marketing the company will be able to tap a larger international market a move that will enable it increase its sales. In the website, customers will be able to learn of various factors to assist them in booking as well as making a decision on costs to incur in the resort. On the other hand they will fit their budget with various packages in the resort. To re-engineer this, the company’s website will need to be upgraded more often and adequate information provided.
Argument for new IS/IT opportunities
Business world today has drastically changed and thus companies need to have a strong information system tool to be competitive; the following are the advantages that are likely to be accrued from a system development;
- Efficiency in business processes
- More access of customers
- Customer satisfaction and availability of information to both the customer and the management
- Automation of services and utilizing of current business trends like e-marketing, e-adverting, and e-business.
- Better ways of doing business that will offer the business a competitive edge.
Areas that the system is likely to affect should be well realized. After the realization of the areas, experts should be deployed to advice the management on the way to follow when implementing the system for example in an IS system, the two main areas to consider is software development and hard ware attainment. Both should be of a class that fits the current level which can be improved.
The following are areas that the system will be applied;
- Catering (internal and external)
- Sports management
- Human resource department
Data is applicable in two angles; collecting data to know the kind of machines to buy and developing a market data base. When developing a database, data is gotten from different institutions and companies that have different reporting styles and standards. This influences the reliability of the data stored. If the data had been skewed in a certain direction, then it is more likely to influence decision making toward/outwards that direction that may not be necessarily the right one. Biasness from a certain area can be transferred from a company of inefficiency to other companies in the same industry. The quality of data will determine the decisions made by management (George, 2003).
Data can be gotten from;
- Published and unpublished information
- Hospitality journals and magazines
- Government statistics
- Ongoing experience
- Information companies
Whichever the source, there is need to vet the quality of data getting.
When developing an information system, there is need to ensure that the hard ware’s and software’s are of the right technological advancement. Web designing can only be done by a competent web designer. It is upon him or her to ensure that the web meets the target people that it is expected to, the issue of user friendliness arises. The developer is like the driver of the entire process and his failure is the entire project failure. The way that he understands the project is of great importance. The risks that are attributed to this are the possibility that the developer is not competent enough. He may also develop a web that is not user friendly and thus make the project unsuccessful. To mitigate the above, before the employment of the designer, he should be vetted and ensure that there is a proven record of success. He should understand the required from the start of the project. He is the one to work more closely with the management. The final product of the project will be the development of a user friendly website. The developer should not be a person that we are taking chance on but one that we can bet on (Duening, Hisrich, & Lechter, 2009).
The following are personalities involved in this process;
- Information manager
- System administrator
- Hardware manager
- Software manager
- Resort data personnel
They should collaborate to ensure there is effective management of the system.
IT management process
Making a decision to have an IS system and putting all the infrastructures required in the beginning; but the major work is on when the system has started operating. How will the organization start to gain from its benefits; how will the management cope with organization culture; how will the gains be reflected; after how long will benefits start to accrue, are among the questions that arise. The first thing that an organization should do is to educate its staff; people react differently to change. The system comes as change that affects normal way of doing things; there should be a mechanism to implement it.
The following are the management questions;
- Who is the resorts website updater?
- Who allocates access to the system in the resort
- How many people can access the system
IT action plan
One of the most effective ways of starting a change is addressing the internal customer- employees. In most cases, especially when adopting information technology, employees tend to think it has come to replace them. As early as possible these fears should be dealt with. After the staffs have relaxed, the next step is integrating it. Here the new and the old system should be run together, this offers staffs more time to familiarize and understand the system (Beynon-Davies, 2009).
The following is the IT action plan represented diagrammatically;
An example of an action plan system that is concerned with integrity of data in SAP BW system. The resort can adapt its.
More resorts are embracing the use of Business intelligence tools in their decision-making; there have been consistent problems in almost all companies: lack of information, fragmented and inconsistent of information in the data base. Most systems use data warehouse or a data mart information to provide historical information, offer a detailed analysis of the current trends of business, and predictive views. Despite that not all data warehouse are used for business intelligence tool, the level of their accuracy and fullness is important for a successful BI. Realizing this deficit, SAP developed a data warehouse, it was developed in 1997. The system merges external and internal data to one repository. From the repository organizations can get preconfigured data; the preconfigured data is used for data management and archiving. The approach has a wider base than an individual business database and extends its services to administrators/maintainers of data reserves (Kantardzic, 2002).
SAP BW system is based on five info-objects, which are used to describe business variable relationships. They come in different languages, hierarchy, currency, weights among others. The five Info-objects are
- Data Sources: they contain general data, which is related in one way or another. It is data in flat/raw form.
- Info-Sources: they contain data that is general but more focused in business. They retrieve data from previous records mostly online transactional processes (OLTP) and master data
- ODS-objects: this merges data from more than one info-source. The data are direct but still in flat form. From the reports that led to quality assurance can be derived.
- Info-Cubes they are multi-dimensional data storage that gives organized data that can be easily analyzed or interpolated from a micro point of view. For example data can be analyzed on geographical location of a business.
- Info-Providers they contain all the data objects found in a SAP BW.
- Multi-Providers they do not contain any data but are used to combine data from different providers.
Plan should follow a procedure that ensures that the final needs of the company are attained lets analyze processes in an action plan.
After the system has been made running, feedback follows; this maybe internal or external, short term and/or long term. Short term and long term are relative, since in some projects it may take three years for a benefit to be felt while others may take just some few hours. In short term, there are costs which will be saved as a result of increased efficiency or recognition of areas that were previously erroneously done. The financial impact of this will be reflected on monthly or quarter-yearly reports that will show increased profit margin not necessarily from increased sales but from low production costs (Peltier, 2002).
Issues and Problems Arising From the Strategy
Implementing an IS system is a capital intensive endeavor where a company should plan early enough. There is a huge out flow of money in the efforts of ensuring that the right technology has been implemented. There are monetary implications, social, and cultural implications of the system. There is a huge financial outflow when developing the system and there is need to have adequate fund to complete the entire system.
When a computer system is adopted, the company has to give some information over the internet that can be utilized to the disadvantage of the company. In our case, the resort has some competitive edge that is as a result of various activities or as a result of how activities are done. The security of this data is threatened since once it has been transmitted via an internet, it can be hacked and used for various uses against the sending company. Information and current data are one of the greatest resources that a company can have. If the information leaks to competitors and on the hands of people who can work against the good of a company, it can lose its competitive power (Dhillon, 2007).
Project implementation Schedule
Developing an IS system is not different from developing any other projects. It follows the same basic procedure. This include project planning, project design, project evaluations, project financing, project development, project implementation, and finally feed back stage. Monetary considerations should be done (Anon, 2006).
Outsourcing means that instead of a company putting all the systems required for certain functions it contracts another company that has that service to offer it to them. This also happens in information technology world. There are international and Australian companies who are willing to engage in such contracts. In most cases, when one is deciding whether to implement a system fully or should outsource for it, the most important thing to consider is the cost of either as well as the degree of efficiency that will be attained after outsourcing. When the need for computers is in the short run or only involves one task for example developing a website, then outsourcing is the best option.
Businesses today are drastically changing their tactics in their efforts to remain competitive in the fast developing business world. With globalization, competition has gone a step higher; the hospitality industry is one of the most affected sectors. Traditionally, sales were aimed at creating awareness of existence of a product in the market. However, functions of sales have increased to develop a company-customer relationship. Customer loyalty and building a strong brand name are the advanced objectives of sales. The problem that is facing modern hospitality industry is how to develop their sales associates to align them with the new development in the industry. Before developing an IS system, there is need to interpolate external and internal processes of a company. This includes taking S.W.O.T., P.E.S.T.L.E. and C.S.R. analysis. Designing (an IS) is viewed to be a complex project that requires the intervention of experts, staffs, and management. It involves a huge financial outflow and thus measures should be taken to ensure that the right up to date technology has been implemented. Perisher Blue is a tourist resort that was incorporated in the year 1995, and it is a combination of five plants that bring different factors in the whole group. The different plants are Perisher Valley, Smiggin Holes, Mount Blue Cow, Guthega, The Station, and the Skitube alpine railway. It is prone to benefit from an IS system by gaining efficiency in business processes, more access of customers, customer satisfaction and availability of information to both the customer and the management, Automation of services and utilizing of current business trends like e-marketing, e-adverting, and e-business and better ways of doing business that will offer the business a competitive edge.
Alter, S. n.d, The Work System Method: Connecting People, Processes, and IT for Business Results. Works System Press, CA.
Anon. 2009, SLEPT analysis with example, the Times. Web.
Anon, 2006, Project management; In Dictionary of Business. Web.
Anthony, W. P., Kalmar, K. M., &Perrewé, P. L. 2002, Human Resource Management, A Strategic Approach, (4th ed). South-Western, Thomson Learning. U.S.A.
Beynon-Davies, P. 2009, Business Information Systems. Palgrave, Basingstoke.
Champy, J.1995, Reengineering Management.New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.
Dhillon, G. 2007, Principles of Information Systems Security: text and cases. New York, John Wiley & Sons.
Duening, N., Hisrich, D., Lechter, A. 2009, Technology Entrepreneurship. Academic Press.
George, R. 2003, The ethics of information technology and business. New York, Wiley-Blackwell.
Goldman, M. n.d, Optimizing the sales Gene: Selecting and developing Top Performing sales people. Web.
James, A. and Michael, F. 1995, The Success Paradigm: Creating Organizational Effectiveness Through Quality and Strategy. New York, Quorum Books. ISBN 978-0899308364.
O’Brien, J A. 2003, Introduction to information systems: essentials for the e-business enterprise. McGraw-Hill, Boston, MA.
Peltier, R. 2002, Information Security Policies, Procedures, and Standards: guidelines for effective information security management. Boca Raton, FL: Auerbach publications.
Petisher official Website, 2010, The Company’s Official Website. Web.
Roberts, L. 1994, Process Reengineering: The Key To Achieving Breakthrough Success.Milwaukee, WI: ASQ Pres.
Scott, A. 1982, The Value of Formal Planning for Strategic Decisions. Strategic Management Journal 3: 197–211.