Palm Island Restaurant: Case Study

Create the work system (WS) for this case. State assumption used in the WS.

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“Work system provides a useful lens for examining almost any computerized and non-computerized system in an organization.” (Understanding systems from a business viewpoint, n.d., p.45).

It is a system in which human participants or machines are actively involved in the business process operation. While creating or implementing a work system, one needs to be very careful. The success of the work system relies mainly on external factors up to some extent and also depends on participants of the system and managers of the organization.

A typical work system diagram is given below.

A typical work system

Overall work system includes different elements and each of them has got roles to play. Customers in the diagram are the people who can receive products and services which are produced by the work system. The products and services are a combination of physical things, information, or any other services that produce for customers. Business processes are different types of steps or activities performed inside the work system. Participants in the work system are different people who are actively involved in the work system. Information in the diagram represents different types of information used by participants. Technology can be hardware or software or any other tools, which are used by the participants. The context in the diagram represents different realms in which the work system operates. Infrastructure means different types of resources in which this work system lies. The resources can be shared databases, networks, or any other programming technology. While implementing a successful work system in an organization, requires lots of discussion between business professionals who know about different types of activities and needs in an organization and IT professionals who understand this and create the system.

Work System for Palm Island Restaurant

Elements included in the work system for a restaurant are shown in the chart below.

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Elements of work system Description of each element
Customers Customers are the people who obtain products and services produced by a work system.
Product and services The output which is produced by the system can be categorized under product. As a whole, the product and services of a work system can be a combination of information and physical things.
Business process This can be different steps or activities performed at a certain instance.
Participants Participants are different people who are actively involved in the process of work system.
Information Information in a work system can be different data passed through the system such, as numbers, text, sounds, etc.
Technology This system uses hardware and software.

Next, each of their roles and active participation of each element in the work system is explained below.

Customers are the people who come to the restaurants and use the work system to satisfy their requirements. They utilize the services of the restaurant. The customers can act as participants of work system. It is like this; customers come to the restaurant and use the work system. The advantage of making customers involve in the work system directly is that it eliminates the need of having extra employees in the restaurant.

Product and services in the work system include information and physical things. In this case, physical things are items that are ordered by the customers and information means data passed through the system. This can be called a service. Customer satisfaction revolves around certain issues – whether the customer was happy with the product received.

A business process is an overall process that happens in a restaurant. In this case, the business process is customer orders for food and waiter serves the food. The efficiency of the process can be measured by measuring the ability to produce what the customer wants.

Participants are the persons who perform the business process. Even though the system plays an important role, the overall success of the system depends on the active participation of participants.

Information means different data passed through the work system. The value of information depends on how one uses the system. In this case, information can be different data passed through the work system for fulfilling the needs of the customer.

Technology in the work system means hardware and software used in the work system to make it more effective and useful. Hardware is the visible things of the system and software is different programs used in the system.

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Summarize the palm island restaurant’s value chain. How does the use of IT impact the value chain?

A value chain represents a chain of actions. The products go through all these actions in order. “Value chain analysis describes the activities that take place in a business and relate them to an analysis of the competitive strength of the business.” (Strategy – value chain analysis, n.d., para.1).

An idea about a system provides a way of knowing how value is provided for the customers. A system is a set of integrated components that interact to achieve a specific function or goal. The system may consist of a number of subsystems each of which has elements, interactions, and objectives. A subsystem performs specialized tasks related to the overall objectives of the total system. The inner working of the system is organized to produce outputs from inputs. This conversion process adds some value to the inputs. In a business, the works can be done as a set of business processes. A business process involves a set of activities where the people produce value for the customers. These activities are interrelated and also have a start and stop. The figure represents a system consisting of its subsystems.

A system consisting

It shows that the product design is formed after the design process. This is given to the internal customers who create the product. The final product is formed after the production process. This is then delivered to the external customers. A value chain includes a set of activities that an organization uses to produce value to the customers. Primary processes directly produce value and support processes add value indirectly. The organization of works within an organization should be related to the way in which the organization gives value to the customers. The figure below represents some of the activities in restaurant value chain. Purchasing, order taking and serving of food are the primary activities in the restaurant. Cleaning of kitchen, managing of restaurant, appointing employees etc come under support processes.

Primary process

The value chain can be expanded to include the customers and suppliers. The following figure represents an expanded value chain. It shows four layers which are the supplier’s value chain, the firm’s supply chain, the firm’s value chain and the customer experience.

Suppliers and customers

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IT impact on value chain

IT plays an important role in the value chain. In the beginning, IT only dealt with the recording and monitoring of performance. Online processing technology helped on the capturing and using of data as soon as it was generated. This process has reduced the process of record keeping manually. The IT system helps in finding errors easily and also warns the workers about the errors. All the manual works are removed and the people who did manual works began to work as programmers. The use of information technology has helped in the improvement of the works in the firm. It reduces the costs of the products and also increases the rate of development of products. IT helps in fast delivery of goods in the market which in turn increases profit. IT also accelerates the processes of marketing and sales. It provides better information about the customers. Information technology also makes the transaction process simpler and faster. The development of IT helped to improve the activities of the customer. It records the data about the customers as well as the data related to the interaction between the customers. IT helps to improve the processes of production and distribution. The development of IT also favored E-business which adds to the value chain.

Explain why you agree or disagree with the following:” The proposed information system probably accomplishes little in solving Palm Island Restaurant’s problems.”

The new information system is really able to overcome the problems of Palm Island Restaurant, what they face nowadays. The proposed information system offers enhanced support to control the entire operations of the restaurant. The main aim of this information systems is to give more consideration to the customers. That is, it can identify the needs of the customers and satisfy them. The new system affects not only the restaurant owner but also all the workers in that restaurant. The specialty of the system is that instead of collecting orders from the customers, this technology uses a new method. That means, waiters can collect the requirement of the customer directly and enter them in hand-held terminal key. After collecting all the data from the customer, waiter can press a button. The very moment the orders of the customer are transmitted to the kitchen in the form of radio waves and the orders are displayed in the monitor of the system. And then orders are divided for separate cooking task and every item can be prepared at the same time. These tasks for every order would be planned along with tasks of other orders at the same time. Therefore, they can minimize delays that are occurring in the restaurant. The other most important benefit of the information system used in this restaurant is to give consideration to all the orders that are entered into the table, at the same time. Automatic billing system is the other important specialty of the system. At the end of the meal, the customer gets bill without any delay. The bill is perfect and accurate. The systematic recording of all the orders of the customers into the computers is really helpful for statistical analysis of the sales. The day to day recording of all the orders makes the task simpler. This record also reveals how the waiters can sell the dishes to earn maximum profit.

The main part of the information system is that inventory system is used for ordering food. The data of the sales are connected directly to the inventory system, which helps in purchasing. Since the working of the system is fully automatic, it will reduce the crowd inside the restaurant. All the procedure inside restaurant like ordering, serving according to the needs of the customers, billing, all are done in a speedy manner without delay. The waiters don’t have to run back and forth to the kitchen unnecessarily. Since the system is fully automatic, customers would get the food more speedily; without waiting for a long time. It avoids confusions regarding the accuracy of the billing system. Since the system is fully computerized one, it contains the detailed report regarding the sales in the restaurant, which helps to avoid wastage of food to some extent. Considering all these facts, the information system implemented in the Palm Island Restaurant will help to significantly improve its profits. Therefore, the proposed information system accomplishes in solving Palm Island Restaurant’s problems.


Information systems: Foundation of e-business: The value chain (4th ed.). (n.d.). 12.

Information systems: Foundation of e-business: Viewing a firm as a system (4th ed.). (n.d.). 9.

Information systems: Foundation of e-business: Work system framework. (4th ed.). (n.d.). 8.

Strategy – value chain analysis: Introduction. (n.d.). Tutor2u. 2009. Web.

Understanding systems from a business viewpoint: The work system framework. (n.d.). 45.

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