Internet Tools at Dirt Bikes Teresa Brennan July 10, 2010 IT/205 Gelonda Martin In business today it is a necessity for communication channels to be as efficient as possible. Dirt Bikes’ current means of communication is antiquated and without further investment in technology, will stunt the operations and growth of the organization. A complete overhaul of the IT infrastructure is recommended. Although there are significant costs associated with implementing a new system, the pay-off would be in the increased sales and customer satisfaction, thereby the system upgrade would become a revenue generator.
The success of Dirt Bikes new IT implementation would facilitate quick access to the internet and market information which the company will use to make strategic decisions. A computer network connects two or more computers so employees can work together sharing data across computers. The infrastructure of the network would make data available to view in all departments. Dirt Bikes would to set up a wide area network (WAN) for the business to operate across global areas.
The ability to communicate anywhere anytime would allow the company to respond immediately to customer needs, order processing, and part suppliers saving time and money by keeping up with current inventory. Connecting the WAN allows employees to send and receive important information from anywhere globally via PDAs or laptop devices and provide almost instant responses to management, customers, vendors and other areas where efficient and immediate communication is preferred such as monitoring global industry trends happening 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Dirt Bikes offices would offer Wi-Fi hotspots that would enable employees to access PDAs and laptops from anywhere within the building. Employees could move around from floor to floor and office to office and still be connected to incoming messages and requests from suppliers, customers and colleagues and respond without leaving their current location. Employees have more control over managing their time when they are able to conduct business from remote locations. They will also have a greater sense of empowerment, learning and freedom from accessing an intranet and internet through a Wi-Fi connection.
There is a certain freedom in being able to conduct efficient business from multiple locations, and with the 3G network available through internet providers, the possibilities to connect anywhere are endless. Dirt Bikes’ employees ultimately benefit from reduced stress from higher efficiency and more flexibility in work environment. According to an article by Bradley Mitchell, wireless gear costs a bit more than the wired Ethernet products (About. com. 2010). The equipment needed for wireless can cost nearly three times as much depending on wireless signal 802. 11b and 802. 11g. The 802. 1b products have dropped in price with the release of 802. 11g, which can lead to cost savings in a signal choice. Of course there is a possibility of signal interference with wireless LANS, but are more convenient for businesses with outside salespersons and the efficiency of direct communication. The network would house a closed Intranet with employee access for any information necessary to conduct Dirt Bikes business on a daily basis. The Intranet would become the improved means of communication between employees and their designated departments and have all the company’s resources and documents cataloged.
Employees could access company information and Human Resources documents online instead of placing calls to the department and potentially interrupting fellow co-workers from current projects. By recording documents, solutions and general information about vendors, distributors, customers and even market conditions, Dirt Bikes can begin to build a sophisticated network of knowledge that makes future business more reliable, highly accurate and efficient. An intranet would allow Dirt Bikes to reduce overhead in parts storage costs by reducing the number of stocked parts through rapid communication of parts ordered and available.
In the near future, the goal would be to have Dirt Bikes implement a RFID tags on incoming manufacturing parts. Production teams would have more time to complete order processing if they did not have to manually log incoming stock into the warehouses. A significant savings would result from reduced overhead costs for storage warehouses and the employees to stock and maintain them. Dirt Bikes’ customers would enjoy the majority of the benefits of implementing a new IT infrastructure. Employees will no longer have to rely on placing several phone calls to gather information before providing customer solutions; they would provide mmediate attention and problem-solving utilizing the data at their fingertips. The result is a better customer experience because sales and service staff are able to communicate accurate information to customers. Marketing knows the customer’s past orders which helps to anticipate future repeat business and forecasting. Overall, there would be an anticipation that repeat customer business would increase substantially within one year. Web 2. 0 solutions could be implemented to help monitor the motorcycle industry.
Dirt Bikes’ market researchers could access information about competitors and house it on the Intranet for sales and marketing teams to evaluate. Those same researchers could request RSS feeds from multiple blogs relevant to the motorcycle industry thereby gaining pertinent real-time industry knowledge. Dirt Bikes could set up a type of live chat line for potential customers to discuss and get answers on products and services. This type of service would improve sales by improving customer service with repeat sales and attracting new buyers. I would set up a platform for voice over internet protocol (VoIP).
Using a microphone and speakers Dirt Bikes can have conference calls from any office without rewiring or reconfiguring the network. According to the text written by K. Lauden and J. Lauden, there are costs up front but in the long run will save the company 20-30% by eliminating outside telephone services (2009). VoIP can also carry the company’s voice mail and e-mail services. In conclusion, these changes I have proposed to Dirt Bikes will benefit the employees with increased sales due to better communication between departments, vendors and the customer.
Having data updated every time a transaction occurs provides better production and efficiency for the company because the rapid flow of information keeps inventory current and customer service at its best. References Kenneth C. Laudon and Jane P. Laudon. Essentials of Management Information Systems, 8th edition. Published by, Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2009 by Pearson Education, Inc. Mitchell, B (2010). Wired vs. Wireless Networking. Comparing wireless LAN technology with Wired. Retrieved from http://www. about. com