Case Study: Smoothie King
Smoothie King is the original nutritional smoothie bar and health marketplace since 1987 and within one year realized the key to their success and growth would be to develop a franchise system. The Smoothie King brand has been recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as being # 1 in the juice bar category for 15 consecutive years and has seen steady growth with approximately 610 franchised units in over 35 US states (www.worldfranchising.com). As with every franchise system there are series of steps from the initial interest in the franchise to the opening of a new location. Each step encompasses some form of information technology such as; the franchises support software used to translate the information on the request form to a excel spreadsheet that sends notification to the marketing team to mail out a physical packet to the interested party. Everything from the various electronic communication (email) to the training software used by the human resources team to train all members of management on Smoothie King’s hiring, training, reference/background checks, and etc for new team members all uses some form of information technology. In this case you are asked to examine the various information technology systems used by Smoothie King in their franchise system. 1. Identify safe ways to send important documents through the e-mail As technology touches every aspect of a business finding ways to safely and securely send documents of a sensitive nature containing confidential information via the internet or a company’s intranet is becoming increasingly important. There are people out in the world who make it there business to sneak into company’s systems just to learn what they are “up to”. These hackers are the reason that many organizations have invested several thousands of dollars to ensure that all electronic communication sent on their company server is safe and secure. However, no matter how much money, time, and effort is spent most of a company’s confidential information isn’t stolen from outside but leaked from within; and its these leaks that company’s need to protect themselves from. The nonstop progress of technology has made local and international businesses rely more and on information technology (IT). According to Pew Internet & American Life Project Tracking 2008 surveys; 93% of all internet users have e-mail (Caudron, 2005). Use of e-mail is an essential constituent of doing business in relation to communication; and as this communication is internal and external developing policies and guidelines to be followed by all employees is essential to the confidentiality of a business (Khosrowpour, 2000). All businesses must implement guidelines for reasons such as; professionalism, efficiency, protection from liability, leaked confidential information, and information overload. By requiring employees to use appropriate, businesslike language in all electronic communications, employers can limit their liability risks and improve the overall effectiveness of an organization’s e-mail and Internet policy in the process (Alder, 2003). There is one basic rule in regards to e-mail that should be followed; remember emails don’t disappear when you hit send, so being aware that all attachments and content is always retrievable is important to the employee and employer. What is considered by an organization as proper e-mail etiquette can be enforced in several ways such as creating a written e-mail policy, having employees agree to/sign a confidentiality agreement, training employees to understand the importance of e-mail etiquette, and implementing rules that can be monitored by using e-mail management software, and e-mail response tools (Alder, 2003). While e-mail has quickly become a workplace norm, only 63% of organizations with e-mail systems have policies addressing proper e-mail use, and only 43% have written workplace-privacy policies (Desaj, 2001). The US...
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