Denver Goes Alfresco
Prior to the introduction of the ECM system, the county government of Denver had different systems of document management spread all over the agencies. It was a great problem especially because these systems were unable to establish communication with each other, an aspect that restricted the sharing of documents between these agencies. On the other hand, the systems also created a problem with the security of the documents and audition of the functions of record keeping. As a result, the productivity of the employees was lowered due to time wasted on transferring documents between agencies, involving more processes of scanning documents, and IT functions duplication (Laudon & Laudon, 2000).
The Alfresco ECM system helped Denver to solve its initial problem through providing an all-web-based system that would allow for the sharing of documents among agencies through online services (Laudon & Laudon, 2000). It had a great impact on the amount of time spent on exchanging information and thus promoted the productivity of the employees. In addition, it provided for a more secure way of recording in different versions that could be transferred between different parties without distortion. It also created a traceable means of document transfer, which allowed for easy auditing. The consumer experience was also promoted through introduction of the 311 line that allowed them to report any issues of concern in the society to a Citizen Service Center.
The ECM system to be implemented was aimed to change the system used for recording contracts in the city, ensure that the security standards were met, there was no more rebooting each night, and to promote easy searching by the employees across all the agencies (Laudon & Laudon, 2000). In terms of technology, this system was to ensure that the operations were cost effective and that there were no interruptions experienced. The system was also expected to be easily integrated into all the departments of the agencies to promote proper coordination in service delivery.
Through automation of writing, requisition, and authorization of contracts, the system allowed for acceleration in the time spent for contract approval and promoted the auditing of financial and contract documents (Laudon & Laudon, 2000). The process of procurement was promoted through using the web service to move purchase orders, requisitions, receiving documents, and payable invoices among other important documents between agencies and suppliers. Alfresco also changed the information management system of Denver by providing an easier way through which the citizens could access information through online services.
Firewire Surfboards Lights Up with Cad
The level of rivalry is high in Firewire's market as there are various companies that operate in the same sector of producing surfboards. There are close substitutes to the product by Firewire, including the surfboards by Surftech, and Isle Surfboards (Laudon & Laudon, 2000). The power of the supplier of Firewire surfboards is low as they are the only ones using balsa wood in making surfboards. The power of the buyer is also low as they are the only ones manufacturing balsa wood surfboards and the only ones designing customized surfboards. The entry into the industry is full of barriers as there is little product differentiation.
Firewire Surfboards Company has used balsa wood as its raw material to differentiate its surfboards from the rest of the industry (Laudon & Laudon, 2000). It has also introduced a service that allows consumers to ask for customized designs for their surfboards, which are created with their own specifications. The company also developed an online customization system, which would allow any registered user to develop designs for the surfboard according to their desires.
Firewire Used CAD system to trim the surfboards into shapes as per the requirements of the customers, through easier computerized methods that would ensure minimized errors and thus cost-effectiveness (Laudon & Laudon, 2000).
The Custom Design System (CBD) and the CAD system allowed users not only to order for specific designs for their surfboards, but also manipulate the various features and see them in place, in order to come up with certain shapes (Laudon & Laudon, 2000). It allowed the company to meet the specific user needs and thus promote sales.
Colgate-Palmolive Keeps Managers Smiling with Executive Dashboards
The users of business intelligence at Colgate-Palmolive include business analysts, the casual users, and end-users (Laudon & Laudon, 2000). All these users access information from the warehouse, which they interpret and customize according to their specific needs.
The power users were satisfied with the systems matrix reports and thus were not ready to embrace a new system (Laudon & Laudon, 2000). On the other hand, the managers disliked the idea of answering the various questions that were developed by the data. They lacked time to come up with reports from the data.
The management needed reports that were easily interpreted, and which could be run easier (Laudon & Laudon, 2000). The system was supposed to be user friendly for all the business units and the managers, in order to allow for proper integration of business decisions. In terms of technology, the system was expected to provide formatted and standardized data that could be easily reported and analyzed all over the enterprise.
There are various types of decisions that have been promoted by the new intelligence system of Colgate. One of the decisions is that non-technical professionals and business analysts have been provided with an interface that allows them to inquire anything concerning their data (Laudon & Laudon, 2000). Another type of decision lies with the casual users who have been granted the ability to create reports in accordance with their needs. In addition, the end-users have also been allowed the decision of choosing the end charts according to what they are focusing upon. These decisions improved the performance of the company.
Laudon, K. C., & Laudon, J. P. (2000). Management information systems: Organization and technology in the networked enterprise. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.