The new e-commerce start-up company, soon launching into the market, plans to enter a two-story building as it commences operations and provision of online services. The new business plans on using an e-commerce system that will entirely depend on the online platform in the provision of its services to its customers. Unlike the past, e-commerce systems offer a new, modern way to handle business transactions, whereby, the vendor and the buyer do not have to meet (Cattell, 2011). A number of aspects are crucial to the success of the new start-up that will depend entirely on an e-commerce computerized system. Some of these factors include, but are not limited to, safety of the business transactions, privacy of the business transactions, as well as the reliability of the system. The system will be composed of an online application and a database. The application will handle the processing of the business transactions. It will also provide the platform through which the buyers and the business employees will interact. The database, on the other hand, will provide storage of the buyer and employee profiles, information regarding the goods and services, as well as the business transactions.
The business understands that there are challenges involved in developing a system that will provide the online services. Purchasing a system developed elsewhere will not only provide additional challenges, but it may not suit the company’s operations. The business also projects that it will significantly grow in the next two years from the existing employee number of 10 to 30. The sales projections are also expected to grow from the present sales revenues of $ 5 million to a staggering $ 30 million in two years. The existing projections, therefore, serve to highlight the company’s need to develop the computerized system in-house to cater for the unique growth potential within the company. In order to ensure efficiency of the computerized system, the company will host the system on one of the popular and reliable hosting service providers. The company will invest in top-of-the-art equipment that has the ability to guarantee smooth operations of the online e-commerce system. Among the most important gadgets needed by the company includes computers with high processing speeds, as well as extensive storage capacities. These two sets of equipments will ensure that the system is reliable for the buyers, as well for other users. The company plans to develop the online application hand-in-hand with the database in-house. A local area network will be used to connect the system components as well as the users of the system. The local Area Network (LAN) will enable file-sharing and other resource-sharing, as well as facilitate communication between the system and the server facilities. A high-speed LAN network is, therefore, essential and central to the success of the e-commerce system (Cattell, 2011). The company will also oversee the installation of anti-viruses and spyware software to bolster safety mechanisms and to ensure safety of the computerized system.
The online system is meant to operate a two-tier system with both the database, performing the storage function, and the online platform providing the interface through which the business can offer its products to both existing customers as well as potential customers. The online system is poised to have access to a wide audience, hence the projected increase in sales within a short period. Both the online application system and the database will be hosted on a reliable web-hosting.
Goals and objectives of the system
The goals for the system include:
The company intends to be the leading online product store. The company also intends to redefine the online shopping experience by providing the most reliable solutions.
The proposed system objectives include:
Provide a secure online application that will allow safe business transactions
To provide a reliable system that is accessible by buyers at all times
To ensure data privacy by developing a system that is secure and that observes all the data protection requirements as the constitution and online laws.
To have the system running on modern equipment and up-to-date software to enable clients relate to the system
To reduce jargon in the system and make the platform easy to use.
Provide an accessible system via hosting the application in popular and reliable web hosting service-providers.
Estimated cost analysis
Before the business proposal can be actualized, the cost factor is an important factor that needs to be deliberated upon. Activities that need an injection of cash include:
Renting the two-story building that will provide floor space for offices, for both the support staff and the company’s other 10 employees. The two story building will also provide the physical storage space for the company’s products that will be sold and delivered from the warehouses.
Salaries for the 10 employees that will be needed for the start of the company staffing department
Modern computers, printers, network cables, and routers will be purchased to enable in-house processes and communication between various staff members and between the company and clients
Registering the company with the government and for tax purposes.
The Actual costs of the activities are summarized as follows:
Renting the two-story building: $
Recruiting the 10 employees: $
Registering the company with the registrar of companies: $
Purchasing the office equipment: $
LAN costs: $
Relate the value of the project plan solution to the competitive advantage that information technology will afford your organization
Information technology is, undoubtedly, the way to go for modern businesses that are seeking to establish themselves in the modern business arenas. The past business practices still do apply. But a majority of the business practices has evolved over the period to embrace new business practices. Technology has been at the forefront of the evolution process and may very well be the main cause of the change. The business proposal proposes a business that will be conducted entirely through the online platform. In recent times, more businesses have turned their attention to online solutions, both for marketing, as well as for sales. The online platforms, with millions of people, regardless of their locations continually accessing the platforms, the online scene is transforming businesses. Nowadays, it is almost impossible to find a business without a website and probably an online blog to supplement the website. Having a website is the first step towards creating an online presence. It also has the added advantage of providing an avenue through which companies can sell their products, market their services, or obtain feedbacks from clients and users of their products and services.
An online solution is an ideal solution in more ways than one. First, it presents a company with an opportunity to reach wider audiences through its website and online platforms (Rigby, 2011). Marketing through the internet is cheaper and can be more effective as well. Secondly, an online platform is more convenient and is, therefore, preferable to traditional business solutions that require businesses to physically meet with the clients. Thirdly, online business solutions are cheaper and can help in significantly reducing the cost incurred in a project. Using the information technology solutions offers unlimited capabilities with limited resources. The unlimited positive potential that online information technology solutions present for the companies has been the main reason driving more companies to the online arena.
For this business, the information technology solution will not online help boost the business opportunities and portfolio, but it will be at the core of the business practices. The proposed business uses an information technology solution in all of its operations. The business projects a growth of revenue from $ 5million in the first year of operation to $ 30 million in two years while the number of employees is expected to triple during the same period. For business that rely on physically expanding their operations, an expansion of such magnitude is not easy to achieve within the timeline stated. Information technology solutions offer he start-up an opportunity to grow exponentially in the next few years and possibly for years to come. The online application that will provide the platform for the business transactions between the company and the clients needs to be secure, fast, reliable and easy to use. The business has identified the possible challenges that may face the company in its operations and the possible threats that the business may face in its daily operations.
The main threat lies in the reliance of the information technology framework. The online application needs to be efficient, so that the system can be reliable. Efficiency can be measured through the up-time afforded by the hosting facilities. Reliability of hosting services to ensure that the online system is always online underlines the need to solicit the services of the most reliable, albeit expensive, solutions in the market. Using such services might prove to be expensive at the beginning as it adds up to the costs of beginning the business. However, a reliable system will ensure a steady growth of loyal customers and referrals that will result in increased sales and, eventually, increased business growth. Secondly, investing in the latest computer and technology gadgets is an expensive process that will lead to increased costs. Investing in such gadgets ensures that processing of orders is fast and storage space within the business is not a hindrance that the business may have to deal with in the near future (Luo, Ba & Zhang, 2012). Installing of the most modern equipment also ensures that the online system can be developed without limiting its capabilities due to hardware incapabilities.
Building an online software application needs to be built with the hardware capabilities in mind. Building a robust online system that will scale with increased usage at any given time requires hardware that is capable of holding increased pressure. The increased demand and the ability to scale is a feature that helps boost the notion of reliability of the system. Customers will feel that the system is always available regardless of the period and time. The need to have superior hardware also helps in reduction of costs needed for repair services. Investing in inferior hardware may fail the business as the gadgets may fail when they are needed the most. Failing of gadgets and probably the network may result in irreparable damage to the company’s brand name.
Renting a two-story building is a necessary cost to the business. The business needs office space from which the staff can operate from. Both the support team and the management team can manage all the business activities from a central location provided by the building. The building will also act as the company warehouse or processing of deliveries to clients. It can also act as a pick-up location for goods and products for customers that live within the building’s vicinity.
The implementation will require an online application that will provide the platform via which the customers and the business will interact. The online system will also have a database component that will act as the storage component for the online system. The database will provide storage facilities for the products and clients’ information. Databases will also have a connection to clients to enable the clients to browse the goods and the products that the business has at its disposal before they can make a purchase. The browsing also helps in engaging the buyers in the purchasing process. A web designed page that acts as a connection from the online application to the database will serve as the client’s connection to the database. The web page will also help in the buying and selling process by serving to attract the buyer, interacting between the online system and the client (Anderson, Swaminathan & Mehta, 2013).
The online application is also built to provide the platform via which the business interacts with the customers. The online system will be designed with both flexibility and adaptability, as well as cross-platform. Different browsers and mobile phones have emerged as important factors to be considered before one can develop an online system. Mobile phone applications and the ability for an online application to be used efficiently in mobile phones is an added advantage of any online system. In recent times, the emergence of smartphones and the convenience they offer in accessing the internet and in online shopping makes mobile phone adaptability an important priority in the development process (Al-Maghrabi & Dennis, 2012).
In conclusion, the online business system is meant to provide a shopping framework for the start-up business. The business projections, based on market surveys and initial capital, show that the firm can begin operations with a profit of about $5 million. The online system will run both an online application and a database. The database will provide a storage function for both the clients and the employees. The potential buyers can also access the database to browse through a web page that acts as the connection between the client and the company’s products. The company will invest in modern equipment to enable efficient operations and to supplement a modern online system with the ability to scale with increasing demand. The modern equipment will also ensure efficient operations within the business by increasing efficiency in communication within the organization. Increased efficiency in communication and reduced risks due to investment in the best safety measures will guarantee higher profit margins and business growth.
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Luo, J., Ba, S., & Zhang, H. (2012). The Effectiveness of Online Shopping Characteristics and Well-Designed Websites on Satisfaction. Mis Quarterly,36 (4), 1131-1144.
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