Don's Lumber Company on the Hudson River feature a large selection of materials for flooring, decks, moldings, windows, siding, and roofing. The prices of lumber and other building materials are constantly changing. When a customer asks about the price on pre-finished wood flooring, sales representatives consult a manual price sheet and then call the supplier for the most recent price. The supplier in turn uses a manual price sheet, which has been updated each day. Often, the supplier must call back Don's sales reps because the company does not have the newest pricing information immediately on hand.
1. Assess the business impact of this situation.
Don's Lumber Company is operating the business less efficiently. They have to call the supplier for price and get response some time later. The supplier manages the price list daily but the way is inefficient. The task is prone to error occurrence. Time of customer, Lumber Company and Supplier is spending for less business revenue generating tasks. There need to seem some efficient technology or improvement.
2. Describe how this process could be improved with information technology.
The company could improve its operation by following technology capable of synchronizing price information. They would rather follow online mechanism to regulate the price. If the information kept is accessible from customers and Lumber Company, then time of both customers and Lumber company staff is saved. The customer can themselves see the price online rather than visiting Lumber company, wait for response from supplier. When information are kept digitized then they would enjoy the technology that keeps history, analyze the price change trend. The initial investment seems high, but on long go it becomes cheaper and efficient.
3. Identify the decisions that would have to be made to implement a solution.
Don's Lumber and supplier can make an understanding on what will be the efficient way to conduct the boring task creatively. Business can get more revenue if the customers are happy. Moreover the implementation of technical solution doesn't mean cost necessity, there are many Freeware solution for Enterprise Resource Planning. But there arises question of customer support of the Freeware providers. Such solution may not fit the requirement so they might need tailored application. There are options to use cloud based service or internal reporting system. They have to decide on how they would wish to train the staffs too.