Preliminary Assignment: NEXT-DAY AIR SERVICES This case study is referenced throughout the recommended course text “Business Data Communications” (Fitzgerald, J. and Dennis, A.; 10ed Wiley International Student Version). It concerns a fictitious firm, Next-Day Air Service (NDAS). The questions posed do not have one unique solution. There are too many options when dealing with LANs, WANs, MANs, BNs and the Internet, so a realistic network design and development problem can have several workable answers. The purpose of the preliminary assignment is to introduce students to the kinds of problems confronting those introducing ecommerce infrastructures in business situations. As with any real-life problem with ambiguities or unresolved considerations, you must make your own assumptions but be sure to provide adequate justification for any recommendations you make. Background: NDAS was founded in1985 to compete in the expanding market for overnight package deliveries. NDAS provides local pickup and delivery of these parcels and other small freight items. The founders initially restricted their efforts to the rapidly growing central Florida region of USA. To support its operation, NDAS purchased a facility near the Tampa International Airport. This facility consisted of a main building and a secondary building for dispatch and fleet maintenance. Because NDAS intended to expand its services throughout the south eastern United States, this facility also served as NDAS’s corporate headquarters. Between 1985 and 1992, NDAS experienced very rapid growth. As business volume increased and the company’s reputation became firmly established, expansion of the facility became imperative. Consequently, NDAS purchased land adjacent to its corporate head quarters so it would have room to relocate both the maintenance shop and the company’s vehicle parking lot. In addition, NDAS tripled the size of its building to accommodate its growing business. Finally, in1994, NDAS completed the expansion of the office building to house its corporate operations. As its business volume increased, NDAS realized it had to develop branch offices throughout its service region to continue growing. In addition to the corporate offices in Tampa, NDAS also purchased or leased facilities in several other southeastern cities, including Orlando, Miami, Atlanta, New Orleans, Dallas, and Memphis. CaseFigure1–1 is the NDAS map of operations. NDAS also contracted with Chicago-based firm Overnight Delivery, Inc. (ODI) to provide overnight shipping service between Atlanta and the greater Chicago area. NDAS also entered into similar agreements with other air carriers. The purpose of these agreements was to enable NDAS to provide service throughout the United States.
As Case Figure1 shows, connecting routes established with other carriers lead from Memphis to St. Louis and from Atlanta to Chicago and Washington, D.C. These routes allow NDAS to deliver parcels to the northeastern states and the Midwest. There are flight links out of Dallas to both Denver and Los Angeles. These two routes have been added recently to provide delivery service to the northwestern states and the West Coast, respectively. After extending its flight routes, NDAS added agents in the cities of Jacksonville, Florida; Montgomery, Alabama; Jackson, Mississippi; and Houston, Texas. To date, this is the scope of NDAS’s parcel delivery operation. Initially, NDAS contracted a computing services company to handle billing. As the computing power of small computers increased, however, NDAS purchased a minicomputer and took responsibility for its own data processing. The Payroll Department now runs the pay roll twice monthly on this computer. Employees clock in with an ID-badge system. The Payroll Department then prepares the paychecks for both hourly and salaried employees. The paychecks are sent via overnight delivery on the following Thursdays. Although the Information Services/ Data Processing Division,...
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