Case Study Answer on UPS Competes Globally with Information Technology
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Q1. State the two contemporary approaches to information systems and indicate their constituents.
Q2. List the four (4) MAIN ACTORS OF management information systems.
Q3. Discuss the role of information systems in business today
Q4. Organizations make significant investments in information systems to achieve six strategic business objectives. Examine these strategic business objectives.
Q5. Explain the following terms
- Information system
- Information vs. data
Q6. List the four features of a system
Q7. Explain the three key activities of an information system
Q8. State the four (4) technology elements of information systems
Q9. Mention four (4) types of system failure
Q10. List four implications of poor project management
Q11. list the five (5) major variables of information systems project management
Q12. In relation to Establishing the Business Value of Information Systems. Discuss the tangible and intangible benefits of information systems
Q13. Discuss Four (4) kinds of structural organizational change enabled by IT
Q14. State the stages of effective business reengineering
Q15. Explain system Conversion indicating the four main strategies in the conversion process.
Q16. What is prototyping and steps involved in prototyping
Q17. List three (3) advantages and three (3) disadvantages of prototyping
Q18. Explain End-user development indicating six fourth generation languages
Q19. List two (2) advantages and three (3) disadvantages of end-user development
Q20. Discuss Four key technology trends that raise ethical issues.
Q21. Briefly explain four (4) Fundamental concepts that underpin ethical analysis of information systems and those who manage them
Q22. State exactly Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative and interpret it.
Q23. State the Risk Aversion Principle
Q24. Discuss briefly three Internet Challenges to Privacy
Q25. Explain The Moral Dimensions of Information Systems
Q26. What is P3P?
Q27. List five health risks of using information systems
Q28. Briefly discuss the FOUR COMMON STRATEGIES ENABLED BY USING IT FOR DEALING WITH COMPETITIVE FORCES
Q29. Information systems can improve overall performance of business units by promoting synergies and core competencies. Briefly discuss the concept of synergies and core competencies with examples.
Q30. Discuss briefly three (3) MANAGEMENT ISSUES with the Use of INFORMATION SYSTEMS FOR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE:
Q31. LIST FIVE ELEMENTS OF BUSINESS VALUE OF CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
Q32. Explain the Meaning of customer relationship management
Q33. List five (5) SIGNIFICANCE OF ENTERPRISE SYSTEMS TO BUSINESS
Q34. Explain ENTERPRISE SYSTEMS
EASYWAY FOOD SERVICES LTD
A waiter in a recently-opened restaurant at Ahodwo takes an order at a table, and then enters it online via one of the six terminals located in the restaurant dining room. The order is routed to a printer at an appropriate preparation area: the cold item printer if it is a salad, the hot-item printer if it is a hot pizza or the bar printer if it is a drink. A customer’s meal check-listing (bill) the items ordered and the respective prices are automatically generated. This ordering system eliminates the old three-carbon-copy guest check system as well as any problems caused by a waiter’s handwriting.
When the kitchen runs out of a food item, the cooks send out an ‘out of stock’ message, which will be displayed on the dining room terminals when waiters try to order that item. This gives the waiters faster feedback, enabling them to give better service to the customers. Other system features aid management in the planning and control of their restaurant business. The system provides up-to-the-minute information on the food items ordered and breaks out percentages showing sales of each item versus total sales. This helps management plan menus according to customers’ tastes.
The system also compares the weekly sales totals versus food costs, allowing planning for tighter cost controls. In addition, whenever an order is voided, the reasons for the void are keyed in. This may help later in management decisions, especially if the voids are consistently related to food or service. Acceptance of the system by the users is exceptionally high since the waiters and waitresses were involved in the selection and design process. All potential users were asked to give their impressions and ideas about the various systems available before one was chosen.
- In the light of the system, explain the decisions to be made in the area of strategic planning, managerial control and operational control? What information would you require to make such decisions?
- What would make the system a more complete MIS rather than just doing transaction processing?
- Account for the factors responsible for the relative success story of this IS/IT facility from the standpoint of the users.
UPS COMPETES GLOBALLY WITH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
United Parcel Service (UPS) started out in 1907 in a closet-sized basement office. Jim Casey and Claude Ryan-two teenagers from Seattle with two bicycles and one phone-promised the “best service and lowest rates.” UPS has used this formula successfully for more than a century to become the world’s largest ground and air package-delivery Company. It’s a global enterprise with over 400,000 employees, 93,000 vehicles, and the world’s ninth largest airline.
UPS delivers 15.6 million packages and documents each day in the United States and more than 220 other countries and territories. The firm has been able to maintain leadership in small-package delivery services despite stiff competition from FedEx and Airborne Express by investing heavily in advanced information technology. UPS spends more than $1 billion each year to maintain a high level of customer service while keeping costs low and streamlining its overall operations.
It all starts with the scannable bar-coded label attached to a package, which contains detailed information about the sender, the destination, and when the package should arrive. Customers can download and print their own labels using special software provided by UPS are by accessing the UPS Web site. Before the package is even picked up, information from the “smart” label is transmitted to one of UPS’s computer centers in Mahwah, New Jersey, are Alpharetta, Georgia, and sent to the distribution center nearest its final destination. Dispatchers at this center download the label data and use special software to create the most efficient delivery route for each driver that considers traffic, weather conditions, and the location of each stop. UPS estimates its delivery trucks save 28 million miles and burn 3 million fewer gallons of fuel each year as a result of using this technology.
To further increase cost savings and safety, drivers are trained to use “340Methods” developed by industrial engineers to optimize the performance of every task from lifting and loading boxes to selecting a package from a shelf in the truck. The first thing a UPS driver picks up each day is a handheld computer called a Delivery Information Acquisition Device (DIAD), which can access a wireless cell phone network. As soon as the driver logs on, his or her day’s route is downloaded onto the handheld. The DIAD also automatically captures customers’ signatures along with pickup and delivery information. Package tracking information is then transmitted to UPS’s computer network for storage and processing. From there, the information can be accessed worldwide to provide proof of delivery to customers and to respond to customer queries. It usually takes less than 60 seconds from the time a driver presses “complete” on the DIAD for the new information to be available on the Web.
Through its automated package tracking system, UPS can monitor and even re-route packages throughout the delivery processor at various points along the route from sender to receiver, bar code devices scan shipping information on the package label and feed data about the progress of the package into the central computer. Customer service representatives are able to check the status of any package from desktop computers linked to the central computers and respond immediately to inquiries from customers. UPS customers can also access this information from the company’s Web site using their own computers and mobile phones. UPS now has mobile apps and a mobile Web site for iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android smart phone users.
Anyone with a package to ship can access the UPS Web site to track packages, check delivery routes, calculate shipping rates, determine time in transit, print labels, and schedule a pickup. The data collected at the UPS Web site are transmitted to the UPS central computer and then back to the customer after processing. UPS also provides tools that enable customers, such as Cisco Systems, to embed UPS functions, such as tracking and cost calculations, into their own Web sites so that they can track shipments without visiting the UPS site.
A Web-based Post Sales Order Management System (OMS) manages global service orders and inventory for critical parts fulfilment. The system enables high tech electronics, aerospace, medical equipment, and other companies anywhere in the world that ship critical parts to quick1y assess their critical parts inventory, determine the most optimal routing strategy to meet customer needs, place orders online, and track parts from the warehouse to the end user. An automated e-mail and fax feature keeps customers informed of each shipping milestone and can provide notification of any changes to flight schedules for commercial airlines carrying their parts.
UPS is now leveraging its decades of expertise managing its own global delivery network to manage logistics and supply chain activities for other companies. It created a UPS Supply Chain Solutions division that provides a complete bundle of standardized services to subscribing companies at a fraction of what it would cost to build their own systems and infrastructure. These services include supply chain design and management, freight forwarding, customs brokerage, mail services, multimodal transportation, and financial services, in addition to logistics services. In 2006, UPS started running the supply chains of medical device and pharmaceutical companies. For example, at UPS headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, company pharmacists fill 4,000 orders a day for insulin pumps and other supplies from customers of Medtronic Inc., the Minneapolis-based medical device company. UPS pharmacists in Louisville log into Medtronic’s system, fill the orders with devices stocked on site, and arrange for UPS to ship them to patients. UPS’s service has allowed Medtronic to close its own distribution warehouse and significantly reduce the costs of processing each order. UPS and other parcel delivery companies are investing in giant.
CASE STUDY QUESTIONS
- What are the inputs, processing, and outputs of UPS’s package tracking system?
- What technologies are used by UPS? How are these technologies related to UPS’s business strategy?
- What strategic business objectives do UPS’s information systems address?
- What would happen if UPS’s information systems were not available?
United Services Automotive Association (USAA) grew to become the fourth-largest insurer of homes and the fifth-largest insurer of Automobiles during its first fifteen years. One reason for their success was the use of Information Technology to lower costs and improve customer service. USAA spent almost $150 million on computer and imaging technologies over a 25-year period.
USAA uses its extensive database to keep track of minute details, such as which auto parts are fixed most frequently. It also uses it database to find ways to reduce claims costs. For example, USAA discovered that repair shop would rather charge up to $300 to replace a windshield with punctures than to charge $40 to repair it. USAA began offering to wave the deductible if the owners would repair the windshield rather than replace.
USAA spent extensively to develop an image-processing system that digitizes all paper documents sent in by claimants (some 25 million a year). It only takes a few keystrokes for a policy service representative to retrieve pictures of all the documents in customer’s file. The systems can sort and prioritize documents so that employees are always working on the most important and urgent tasks.
You are required to answer the following questions:
A). Why should USAA collect data on which auto parts are fixed most frequently? What could it do with this data?
B). Even though USAA offered to waive the deductible, the repair shops still managed to convince 95% of the owners to replace rather than repair their damaged windshields. How could USAA use its AIS to persuade more shop owners to repair rather than replace their windows?
C). How does the image-processing system at USAA add value to the organization?
D). How does the remote deposit capture and mobile banking system at USAA add value to the organization?