Yu Nurakami is the owner of Junes Antique shop. The shop specializes in buying antiques and selling them at a marked up price. It took a while for the shop to enter the 21st century. Currently, the company uses a limited number of information systems; there is a website and the records are kept on an Excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet
Yu Nurakami is the owner of Junes Antique shop. The shop specializes in buying antiques and selling them at a marked up price. It took a while for the shop to enter the 21st century. Currently, the company uses a limited number of information systems; there is a website and the records are kept on an Excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet contains information about customers, their addresses, the items that they bought, sold, and want. Item information was also provided in the spreadsheet, specifically, where the antique originated from, the age of the antique, and of course the price.
The antique business has been difficult since the advent of eBay; instead of going to a local antique dealer, many people go on eBay to search for antiques and sell them online. This cuts out the middleman and the local antique dealers lose business. Luckily, there are many people who still like the personal touch of an antique shop.
The process for selling your antique at Junes is simple. You come into the store with your item, and it is appraised by Junes. An appraisal determines the value of the antique and whether it is really an old artifact or if it is a fake. There are two ways to get an appraisal; a formal appraisal and a verbal appraisal. The formal appraisal must be done by a licensed appraiser (Junes has two such appraisers); it takes two days to conduct and costs $75 an hour with the average appraisal costing $500. Once a formal appraisal is completed then a certified piece of paper that validates the value of an item is given to the person who asked for the appraisal. This is an official document that is accepted by the government as an official document. Sometimes, if Junes’ experts are not knowledgeable about a particular antique to do a formal appraisal, then the store will consult an outside appraiser. A verbal appraisal is an appraisal done on site immediately when brought to the counter. It can be done within minutes and does not have to be performed by a licensed appraiser. Usually, a general figure is given to the person asking for an appraisal. No fee is charged.
Junes also provides services for people looking to buy antiques. Specifically, antique buyers can place orders with Junes about what antique (for instance 3rd century coins) that they are interested in and Junes will try to bring them into stock. If the specific antiques are brought in then the preferred customers are given first chance to buy them.
There is a basic level of knowledge needed to run an antique shop that Yu has learned, or hired, over the years. Firstly, you need is a working knowledge of history to provide context, background and initial appraisal value to the owner. For instance, Roman coins minted with Augustus Caesar’s face would be more valuable than those with Vespanian’s face since Augustus was the first Emperor of Rome. Secondly, you need is the ability to appraise antiques. This includes knowledge of the market and what people are willing to pay for a particular item. Thirdly, you need to be able to know where to get and store certain antique items. Fourthly, you need to be able to know how to advertise antiques and find buyers willing to purchase antiques. Fifthly, you need to know how to efficiently keep track of aal of this information and inventory. And lastly, since the good knowledgeable staff is important to antique buyers, you need to know how to keep staff happy. Serious antique buyers are reassured when they can work with the same people for every sale. Luckily, Junes knows how to do all of these things but it is behind technologically.
As mentioned previously, Junes does have a website but it only shows contact information and sometimes showcases interesting antiques for sale. The website is hosted on its own server which was set up by Yosuke, Yu’s nephew. This was a convenient and cheap option for Yu and Yosuke was willing to maintain the site in his spare time. However, you get what you pay for, and Yosuke did not do a good job securing the site. Yosuke mentioned something about “static IP addresses” making the site more vulnerable or something, but whatever happened, the site was hacked. Some of the items listed on website had incorrect prices. For instance, a fourth century coin was said to be selling for $2.00. That day the phones were ringing off the hook with people trying to get their hands on the coin. Luckily the store’s actual records were not affected and the prices were easily fixed.
Even with this slight scare, Yu is interested in using information systems to better his business. After a bit of research he identified three systems that would be perfect for Junes: A CRM system, a knowledge management system, and e-commerce.
A customer relationship management system would keep track of customers’ tastes, what they sold to the antique shop, and customers’ wish lists of items. This would greatly improve customer service in the store. Other than the antique experts, Yu only has two regular employees who provide customer service. Both Chie and Yukiko have enough experience to help pick out antiques and do verbal appraisals, but they do not have time to follow up with customers. Yu believes that a CRM would help his staff be more personable with everyone who walks into the store and provide tools to contact customers outside of the store. However, Junes does not have an IT department and Yu is not sure how he would construct the CRM. What systems and software is needed to make it work?
A knowledge management system for Junes is worthwhile because the antique business is very knowledge intensive. As stated, you need a lot of specialized knowledge to run an antique shop. You need to have knowledge about history, as previously, mentioned but also of fine art to understand the style and type of antique that is being appraised. Lastly, you need to have knowledge about the contemporary antique “scene”. What trends are fashionable now? What type of antique is really selling well in the last month? And so on. Hopefully, a knowledge management system can be used to sort through and organize this knowledge.
Lastly, Yu is interested in finally going all in with e-commerce. As mentioned, eBay is making a lot of money in antiques and e-commerce seems to be a way to make money in this space. Yu needs to figure out the best way to make money online. On the technical side of things, Yu has already consulted a web design firm, Shadow Operatives, to identify what he would need to change with his site to ensure that e-commerce is done properly. They have suggested that the current single server architecture is a bad idea for the company and that it leaves Junes vulnerable to hacks. They have suggested a three-tiered architecture. Yu has no idea what that means but it sounds expensive.
Overall Junes has some potential to change how they do business with these technologies, Yu just needs to figure out the best way to move forward.
1. Before implementing these technologies, Yu should conduct a feasibility study. Explain how this would be done for the suggested technologies.
2. For each of the technologies which method should the Shadow Operatives use for their development, waterfall method or agile? Explain your answer.
3. What would be a good use of predictive analytics for Junes using CRM data? Explain your answer.
4. Explain the difference between the decisions that Yukiko and Chie will make with the CRM data versus the decisions that Yu will make with this data. Explain your answer.
Authors: Jerry J. Weygandt, Paul D. Kimmel, Donald E. Kieso
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