?Critically analyse the theory, concepts and models of operations and information
?Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of information management in
?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
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.
Based on the case study outline above, you should prepare a report of 2500 word 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:
Topic and Relative Weight
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.
(2) 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.
(3) 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.
Conclude your report summing up your points and your argument
Please read Chapter 3 of Checkland, Peter, and Sue Holwell: “Information, systems and information systems: making sense of the field”.