Operations Management

Critically analyse the theory, concepts and models of operations and information management; Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of information management in international operations; Select appropriate problem-solving and improvement approaches;  Design and implement a systems integration strategy using information provided in case study materials;  Demonstrate a sound understanding of the importance of ICT in the development and maintenance of off-shoring stakeholder relationships. Your answer should be 2,000 - 2,500 words, word-processed (letter size 12, Times New Roman, 1.5 space); The paper should include a cover page , table of contents, numbered pages and a list of references. The body text should be fully referenced (Harvard Referencing System), with clear introduction, discussion and conclusion sections. Please note that assignment marks will also be based on aspects such as use of examples, figures, tables, illustrations and statistics that indicate wider/independent reading. Assignment Brief Part A Heelz is a boutique shoe retailer based in England, owned by Sally. The business started with a single shop, which Sally has grown into a chain of eight. The first four shops were opened from scratch but in July 2012 Sally bought ‘Zapatos’ a group of four outlets, which she intends to operate under the Heelz brand. The recent acquisition is a significant expansion in the operation of the business, not least because two of the new outlets are in Spain. Sally is hoping that this will help her to gain a foothold in the European market. As a result of the expansion Sally has identified a need to open a new warehouse in the South of England, and she has decided that this would be an excellent opportunity to launch an ecommerce arm to the business, capitalising on the success of the Heelz brand, but with a relatively small additional overhead. You are a consultant with OIM Consultants, who specialise in Strategic Systems Integration Planning (SSIP). OIM Consultants have been employed by Sally to advise on how to address the technology needs of the growing business. Heelz and Zapatos have different IT systems, and in addition to integrating the two parts of the business there is the need to add ‘b2c’ ecommerce functionality. Sally would like this to be fully integrated with the retail stores, allowing customers to collect and return stock via the stores, as well as via courier. She has asked whether the use of open-source software is appropriate for the business, as Heelz uses packaged software from commercial vendors, which is proving increasingly expensive. Your Brief: Based on the case study outline above, you should prepare a report advising Sally of the key issues and how they might be addressed. Your report should focus on the information systems needs of the business. As space is limited you should select a key issue from the module which will form the focus of your report. Examples of issues include (but are not limited to), integrating ecommerce, use of packaged software (e.g. CRM, ERP), aligning with business processes, legacy systems, open source software, globalisation, organisational issues. You should also ensure that the report explains the overall process that OIM will use to manage the project so that Sally has a clear understanding of how this will fit with the strategy and needs of the business. Your report should include an introduction and conclusion, as well as the main body of the report where you present your argument based on the evidence you have researched relevant to the report topic. If you wish you may attach appendices illustrating elements of your analysis (such as models created). These will not be marked but may be referred to from the report. Your report should be structured to include the following: Introduction Very briefly introduce Heelz with reference to the case above. You should briefly describe the key issues that arise in this project and identify one issue that you will focus on in this report. Include an overview of how you are going to address the topic, to lead the reader into the main sections of your report. Key Issues Discussion of your chosen key issue arising in the area you have chosen together with an analysis of how this impacts upon Sally’s future plans. Please situate your discussion in the relevant literature, using, citing and referencing high-quality and, where appropriate, peer-reviewed sources. SSIP Process Explain how the SSIP process will be utilised to ensure that your recommendations are fully aligned with the needs of the business and will support its future development. Conclusion Conclude your report summing up your points and your argument

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