eStore at Shell Case Analysis – Student sample
In 2002 Shell Canada, a large Oil and Gas company, launched the eStore software application to service their price-sensitive Agricultural market segment by offering a lower cost service. Calvin Wright (eProduct manager) helped implement the eStore application, which was geared to service this Agricultural Segment market. The Agricultural Segment was considered by Shell to be high costs since local sales representatives were used in order to sell the product. By introducing a cost saving application, eStore, users would be able to place their orders directly online. However, when the number of eStore users remained unchanged, Wright headed to the field to determine the reasons behind the low use of the eStore application. The data collected between Wright and the consultant (RareMethod) helped determine the issues in order to help determine possible solutions. Wright needed to make some recommendations on how to improve the use of eStore. Why do you think Shell is experiencing low use of its eStore? In order for information systems to be successful they should show direct or potential value added (Planning and Implementation IS projects, Slide 4) something eStore failed to provide due to the reasons presented below. Shell’s low use of eStore was due to: customers not remembering the link or their passwords, and trouble differentiating between the dual login screens. (Saunders, 2006, pg. 9) Customers were confused by the expired password notices since notification emails came from eBusiness rather than eStore (Saunders, 2006, pg. 10). Customers found the system to be cumbersome due to time delays when placing orders, and slow system response. Customers thought the application offered them no added value. Furthermore, the client did not consider the eStore to be an e-commerce site since only a select product list was available, and a previous relationship with Shell was required. (Saunders, 2006, pg. 10) Wright’s report concluded when he identified issues with the eStore after a year in the field. These issues included: customers had not heard about eStore, customers preferred dealing with local representatives, call center, or fax their order to Shell directly. The timely customer relationship with the sales and call center staff made it hard for the customer to see any added value in using eStore (Saunders, 2006, pg. 8). Some sales agents did not promote the eStore solution since they did not feel comfortable using it themselves. Moreover, after the initial eStore registration no one completed any follow-up with the customer (Saunders, 2006, pg. 9).
What are some of the unique challenges faced by large organizations when embarking on innovative technology-based projects? Some challenges faced by large organizations when embarking on innovative technology based projects are the costs involved in developing the system, effective project planning, scheduling and controlling, ensuring various departments work together in order to accomplish the overall business objectives and not just specific departmental objectives, and finally obtain user satisfaction through a user friendly system to help ensure a high return on investment. (Planning and Implementing IS projects, Slide 9). Some of the other challenges that IT can face are related to cost – how much to spend on a system, which portion of the application developed should the developer concentrate mostly on, which IT capabilities should be companywide, and which should be customer focused only. Other identified decisions that require attention by IT is how good an application really needs to be, how much security and privacy is the company willing to risk, and who is to be blamed if the IT application fails? (Ross & Weill, 2002, pg 7) Some of the non-technological limitations to e-commerce are the perception that e-commerce is insecure, has unresolved legal issues (such as “use” in the form of a...
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