1. FastFit Case Study
FastFit Sporting Goods is a successful New England regional supplier of sporting goods to the high end consumer market. They sell an exclusive selection of equipment and apparel to men and women who exercise and pursue outdoor activities on a regular basis. They operate five (5) upscale retail stores in the New England market that offer a high level of customer attention, with a headquarters (HQ) is in Burlington, Massachusetts, and a single warehouse, distribution, and eCommerce fulfillment center in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Most of their products are purchased from two suppliers, Winter Gear Distributers outside of Providence, Rhode Island, and Boston Fitness Supplies in Marlboro, Massachusetts. FastFit has expanded successfully in the New England area over the past five years. However to expand nationally as a major retailer, they need to improve the scalability of their operations (stores and warehouses). A key part of their strategy is to leverage information systems to automate and improve operations, to strengthen management controls, and to enable significant growth while maintaining the “high touch” customer experience. A diagram of their complete non-Web based operations follows. See figure 1. [pic]
Figure 1: A Schematic diagram of FastFit Sporting Goods Operations
The Initial Set of Case Study Questions
The simple system diagram below may be used to answer the following questions. The questions should be answered using your common sense and knowledge of retail processes because we have all bought things at a store. Be specific about the items of information, where they are captured, stored and used. How the information flows or is moved within FastFit may be shown by the student adding labeled arrows added to the diagram below. See figure 2.
Figure 2: Starting Point for a System Diagram of FastFit Business Information Flows
A General Question
1. Mark the main flows of goods and money in the diagram (above). Use single headed arrows and employ a key or table of descriptive elements to explain your answer.
Customer Questions (focus on the customer and FastFit process flows, i.e. the front end of the diagram)
2. a) List the specific items of information that are usually gathered at the POS (Point of Sale terminal or cash register) and recorded when a customer checks out (excluding obtaining the identity of the customer which is covered in Q3)? b) What are three important uses of this information at the store by the store manager and by headquarters management – a total of six uses? 3. a) What are some ways to obtain the identity of the customer at the POS and to associate this “identity” with more detailed information about the customer? b) What business actions could FastFit then take based upon this additional information?
4. Assume HQ is responsible for replenishing inventory at the stores. a) What information is needed and how is it used to decide what to send to each store? b) Where does the information come from? c) Why didn’t we have each store decide what to order from the warehouse?
Supplier Questions (focus on the FastFit and Supplier process flows, i.e. the back end of the diagram)
5. a) Draw a system diagram that shows the key information and product flows between FastFit (HQ and Warehouse) and a supplier, including the steps for ordering and invoicing and label each flow descriptively. This diagram will have three circles. b) Compare your drawing with the diagram showing the flows between the customer and the store and explain why the former is more complicated.
6. Assume that FastFit headquarters receives and pays invoices from suppliers. a) How do they decide whether to pay and how much to pay? b) From where do they get the information to make this decision?
eCommerce Set of Case Study Questions
7. Describe three geographic locations from which customers can submit orders and any...