IS535 Research Project
June 12, 2011
Keller University of Management
The following proposal is an attempt to suggest a change in the current business structure and information technology being used by NatureWay yogurt Incorporated. This proposal examines the problems with the current systems and attempts to make a recommendation that will increase efficiency in its business, as well as introduces new technological possibilities for maximum efficiency. It also shows that these changes will also reduce the amount expenses incurred by the company such as employee expense, and postal expenses. This proposal also present new technologies that may be utilized while focusing on minimal startup costs.
Sales and Marketing
There are 20 sales regions within the continental United States for NatureWay incorporated. Each region has approximately 30 sales representatives, as well as one regional sales manager per region. Each sales person uses a computer terminal to retrieve data for each assigned customer account. Sales representatives are responsible for maintaining data about sales, advertising expenses, customer shelf space for NatureWay products and promotional campaigns on these local terminals. Each representative is currently placing orders for their customers by writing up hardcopy tickets for ordering products, then sending those tickets to headquarters for verification at the headquarters facility. These tickets are either sent through the postal system, or in some cases, faxed to headquarters. All of the customer accounts are stored in the corporate mainframe. Headquarters
The headquarters of NatureWay is based in Danbury Connecticut where the majority of administration decisions are made. Once the requests are received at headquarters from the regional sales representatives, customer credit information is verified, and orders are verified or rejected. There are approximately 20 workers that sort and enter 500,000 order tickets per week into the system. After the tickets are processed, a physical printout is printed each day at the regional offices from headquarters for the sales representatives. The central mainframe maintains most of the business data that is stored. At the moment, the central computer contains only consolidated company wide information for customer account data.
There is also a 12 person marketing group which is located at the headquarters facility.
Production and Manufacturing
There are 7 processing plants for NatureWay. The locations are in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Illinois, Colorado, Washington, and California. Each processing plant has a mini computer that is linked to the corporate mainframe and receives their orders for manufacture from the mainframe. Shipping
Currently takes four to fourteen days to process and ship an order. Analysis
One of the major problems that NatureWay has is the ordering process. The sales representatives are writing their product requests on a form and having to send them to headquarters via fax or by postal service. Once these requests are received at headquarters, it has to be sorted and processed by other employees before the customer’s credit is either verified or rejected. This is definitely causing a backlog of information since this information is being received by six hundred sales representatives per day. This is definitely contributing to the four to fourteen day turnaround time. There has been a discrepancy of approximately $1.5 million annually between the sales force and headquarters. This is attributed to the fact that sales data, promotional campaigns, and customer shelf space is being maintained at a local (regional) level. Headquarters only has immediate access to consolidated company wide data for its customers, which spans all regions simultaneously. This includes customer account data, order data and billing. NatureWay is already battling a backlog of processing, yet it is also growing in...
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