Hello Adrian. In the last few years, Spa Works has been rapidly expanding its business by opening new locations and acquiring competitors. Such expansion suggests not only high profits, but also investments in the organization’s information system. Spa Works is currently operating using a number of legacy systems, which may not be able to support recent changes any further. In fact, due to the increased volume of transactions and day-to-day operations, the current system has been causing issues with financial reporting and decision-making process. Therefore, as a response to your request an advisory five-member committee has been proposed to provide assistance and guidance in creation of the new integrated system, which will allow Spa Works improve its business processes.
Roles and responsibilities of the advisory committee members are presented below:
1. Information Systems Manager.
The objective of this project is to develop an integrated system to improve day-to-day operations of Spa Works as well as to offer better reporting in the accounting and human resources. As a result, the IS manager of Spa Works has been chosen to serve on the committee to ensure the strategic IS planning is aligned with the company’s overall strategy. IS manager will advise on the hardware and software (software upgrades) that must be purchased to ensure smooth functionality of the system applications. The IS manager will also endorse an effective and efficient system design so that everyone across the organization is able to use it trouble-free. Being on the advisory board, IS manager will facilitate proper security and recovery software and will develop strategies for training the existing and new personnel if required. Spa Works’ IS manager will also ensure that a set of adequate IT policies is in place and the new system complies with those policies. Finally, a thorough break down of all expenditures required for the new system must be created for the senior level executives’ review.
2. Finance Director.
Replacing legacy systems with the new ones may be too costly. The responsibility of finance director is to determine the strategic role of the new system and formerly the costs associated with it. Therefore, finance director will analyze major cost drivers and ensure the new system development project stays within budget. In addition, the finance director will examine the importance of all the initiatives of the project and advise on which should receive more attention and funded first. The finance director will also conduct a short-term and long-term analysis to ensure there is enough funding incase of IS failure or unexpected time slippage. Furthermore, the finance director will confirm all outflows are being monitored and proper cash controls are implemented. Additionally, by working closely with the IT team, the finance director will provide feedback and recommendations on how to improve the new system so that it produces accurate and reliable financial reports. Since one of the main objectives of the new system is improved financial reporting and better decision-making process, the finance director will assist in the design of the new system. He will advise on the format and presentation of the reports considering the financial information must be pulled from all Spa Works locations, and based on how the information is presented in the reports the executives will make business decisions.
3. Human Resource Manager.
As Spa Works has been undergoing an expansion, there has been a significant increase in the employment of the company. Thus the goal of the new information system is to provide quality and simplicity to the HR function. This suggests a full automation and ease in payroll and other administrative spectrum such as efficiency employee time scheduling, attendance monitoring, tax provisions and benefits, hiring and training processes. Furthermore, once the new integrated system is implemented, the HR department will be responsible for coordination of learning and development amongst the company’s employees. HR team will create an action plan with a detailed explanation of training process strategies and their application. In addition, the HR team will construct a set of skills required to run the new system and utilize the assessment for hiring purposes. Finally, the team will be in charge of gathering and reviewing feedback from the users on the new system and relating the results to the required executives and other committee members.
4. Operations/Spa Manager.
As per the request, one of the goals of the new information system is to assist Spa Works’ in day-to-day operations. Having operations manager in the advisory committee will aid with the knowledge of the current standard operating procedures of the organization and its correlation to the IT department. This would involve everyday interactions with customers and suppliers, supervision of employees, allocation of resources and adherence to the budget, and finally an overall strong knowledge of business cycle. It is important for the development team to know all the details of operations so that an integrated system is created. Having ‘intelligent’ IS would advance company’s business process and improve customer/supplier service. For example the new information system would allow Spa Works’ customers to self-reserve depicted services and spa packages as opposed to calling customer service desk. As a result, customer satisfaction will increase and competitive advantage achieved.
5. Marketing Director.
Once operational excellence is attained, customers and suppliers are satisfied, and decision-making process is improved the company’s goal of achieving competitive advantage is very high. Of course, in order to do that the development project must be aligned with the organization’s strategic goals and objectives. Therefore, a marketing director was chosen to serve on the advisory committee to assist in creation of successful marketing plans and business development activities. Having an integrated system would allow Spa Works to get more information about the customers’ tastes and preferences, nutrition and health facts, time availability, etc. Once all this data is available to the marketing and development team, they can customize advertising and promotion based on the customer’s predilection.
Having an advisory committee is very important because it ensures that new project developments are aligned with organizational strategy. I believe that the proposed members will improve the alignment and help Spa Works achieve its goals and objectives, improve business process and attain advantage among its competitors.