Read Chapter 3, including the cases and appendices in the chapter.
1. Read the chapter and then answer the following questions:
a) Describe four competitive strategies enabled by information systems that firms can purse.
b) Explain how the value chain model can be used to identify opportunities for information systems.
c) Explain how businesses benefit by using network economics.
2. Study the case “Auto Makers Become Software Companies” on page 85 and then answer the following questions:
a) How is software adding value to automakers’ products?
b) What value chain activities are involved in enhancing cars with software?
c) How much of a competitive advantage is software providing for automakers? Explain your answer.
3. Watch the video cases in Chapter 3 folder on the blackboard. Select one case and answer three questions from the list of Case Questions in that case.
Video Case 3: Materials Handling Equipment Corp. – Enterprise Systems Drive Corporate Strategy for a Small Business
Summary: Materials Handling Equipment Corp. is a small business that sells and services forklifts, cranes, and related machinery. The company faced many challenges from a shrinking market and large competitors moving into its markets, reducing prices and revenue streams, to differentiating itself from other competitors. Using SAP’s Business One ERP system, the company was able to reduce costs, increase revenues and profit margins, offer services it competitors could not, and discover entirely new lines of business to achieve a strategic advantage.
Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIIeze6i90Y
What were the business problems facing MHE? How did they relate to its existing older systems?
What were the advantages of working with SAP’s Business One?
Why did the new ERP system give the company a competitive advantage?
What was the impact of the ERP system on corporate costs, and revenues?
What new revenue generating service as MHE able to provide to its customers? Why did MHE develop a customer portal?
4. LGS Investment’s database contains all of the information on the properties the firm has listed and sold. You are a manger with this firm and want to use the database to determine the length of time each property was on the market before it sold. You also need to calculate the sales commission from each property sold. Two agents will receive commission on each transaction: the listing agent and the selling agent. You also need to summarize the sales data by employee and calculate the average number of days each employee’s sales were on the market prior to selling and the total commission earned by the employees.
The attached file Homes.accdb contains three data tables: Agents, Properties, and SubDivision. Create the following three queries:
A query named Sales Report. This query contains the following fields: LastName from Agents table; DateListed, DateSold, SalePrice, SellingAgent, and ListingAgent from Properties table; Subdivisions from SubDivision table; a calculated field named DaysOnMarket (by subtracting DateListed from DateSold); a calculated field named ListComm (the commissions for listing agents using commission rate of 4.5% of sale price); a calculated field named Sell Comm (the commissions for selling agents using commission rate of 3.5% of sale price). Add criteria to the query to ensure the DateSold is not empty (in other words, properties that have not been sold). In Datasheet view, add the Total row, which calculates the average number of days on the market and the sum for the SalePrice and the two commission fields. Save the query.
A copy of the Sales Report query named Sales Summary by Last Name. Remove the DateListed, SellingAgent, ListingAgent, and Subdividiosn fields. Display the Total row. Group by LastName and change the DateSold field Total row to Where, so the condition carries over. Show the sum of SalesPrice, the average of DaysOnMarket, and the sum of both ListComm and SellComm. Change the caption for the SalePrice field to TotalSales. Save the query.
A copy of the Sales Summary by Last Name query named Sales Summary by Subdivision. Add Subdivision field. Modify the query so the grouping is based on the Subdivision field, not LastName. Sort the query results so the fewest Days of Market is first and the most Days of Market is last. Limit the results to the top five rows. Save the query.
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