Human Resources Management of E-Commerce

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The increase in use of Internet among people all over the world has caused a major shift in lifestyle and buying pattern of consumers. In order to succeed, businesses’ should be able to plan and adapt to rapid changes in the marketplace. An example of a company that failed to understand the digital revolution is Borders Bookstore. Borders filed bankruptcy because they did not plan for change and they struggled to create and maintain its online business. It lagged behind from establishing a viable online book business, and over expanded its brick and mortar stores while other book business such as amazon continued to read current trends in e-books and began scaling back. Borders also made a mistake by not investing enough in research and development to compete with other popular counterparts such as Amazon’s kindle and other electronic books and devices (Boshman, Merced).

We can learn from Borders of the importance of forecasting future demand, based on current trends in the market. The bookstore industry is changing drastically and trends show increasing Internet sales. Bookstores such as the Bojangles’ Book and Music Company struggle for market share in the e-business while trying to sustain traditional brick and mortar stores. Some industry trends according to a 2005 study done by the Book Industry Study Group say that trade book business will decline because people are spending less time reading and more time using other media such as the Internet (Rodriguez).

It is a good strategic move on the part of the CEO of Bojangles Book and Music Company (BBMC) to take the business onto the World Wide Web. This paper will provide an HR Strategy for the BBMC to shift their existing storefront business into an e-commerce operation.

The following is a SWOT Analysis of the current situation of BBMC. Strengths
The company currently has a large range of books and services. BBMC has been able to expand to different states successfully by sticking to their motto and providing a high level of customer service. BBMC has capacity to handle large operations, including the thirty stores and they have a high efficient distribution system. It has a great company culture, and has been able to provide local citizens with jobs (Fisher, Schoenfeldt, Shaw 89).

The company has come to a dead-end in terms of expanding, and has not thought of a strategic plan for dealing with competition. Profits have been dropping (Fisher, Schoenfeldt, Shaw 89).

The company has a unique combination of selling books as well as music that is unique than most booksellers who focus on solely selling books. Using the Internet will allow BBMC to target a larger audience and market. There is a possibility of selling more than books and music, selling a new line of accessories and gift items can be an option (Fisher, Schoenfeldt, Shaw 89).

There are already well-established companies like Amazon, which take a large portion of the market share. The new strategic plan to expand to the web might cause concern among employees in the brick and mortar stores, about having to lose their jobs. The company may face some resistance, and have to put forth new capital and investment in a time of declining profits to expand the company (Fisher, Schoenfeldt, Shaw 89).

Strategic Human Resources Plan
The strategic Human Resources Plan should involve using the “Strategic Best Fit” approach. This involves matching specific HR practices to the firm’s overall business strategy (Fisher, Schoenfeldt, Shaw 49). Being in the bookstore business with a motto such as “You want it, we got – or we can get it fast” and its pride in customer service, it is clear that BBMC puts customers first. Management should have a clear vision of where they see the company going in the short and long term plan after expanding to the World Wide Web. By choosing to expand business to the World Wide Web, The BBMC Company should be ready to face...
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