Coastline systems consulting Customer response system Introduction In this section you will learn background information that will prepare you to understand and complete each of the milestones of this case study.
This information includes a history of the business, a description of the business’s current facilities, and the descriptions of the problems that triggered the project. Case background Coastline systems, consulting is a small solutions provider company located in Destin, Florida.The staff of seven IT technicians, designers, systems analysts, and programmers provides a range of networking, computer hardware, and software solutions to area businesses, coastline works with client to analyze their business needs, they then provide a packaged solution that often combines custom-built hardware, purchased software, and custom programming, in addition to the seven technicians, coastline has one receptionist/bookkeeper. As a small organization, coastline is an informal, ”shirt-sleeve” environment. Everyone is on a first-name basis, even with Pete Charles, the president.Organization structure Coastline systems consulting Information systems facilities PCs • Each technician works uses a Dell notebook: o Pentium III class machines with 128 MB RAM, 10-20 GB hard drives o Pentium 4 class machines with 512 MB RAM, 30-50 GB hard drives • The bookkeeper/receptionist has a Dell Optipex desktop running a Pentium 4, 256 MB RAM, and an 80 GB hard drive: • Operating systems-MS Windows NT 4. 0, Windows 2000 Professional, or Windows XP Professional • Tools-MS Office XP suite plus other software depending on use • Internet Browser- Internet Explorer(version 6 or higher) Various injet and laser printers Servers • Dell PowerEdge Server o 512 megabytes of RAM, 40 GB RAID-5 hard drive storage o Operating system-MS Windows 2000 Server o Providing DHCP, Security, and internet Access, and Database Management(SQL Server 2000) • Dell PowerApp Appliance Servers o Providing Webhosting o Operating system-Windows 2000 Server with IIS Networking • The company headquarters is equipped with wireless networking so notebooks can roam throughout he building.
Notebooks also have integrated Ethernet NICs and modems so they can connect to the Internet at home and at clients’ palaces of business.The problem The it technicians are drowning in a sea of work and work for clients is not being done in an optimum manner. Clients call and e-mail both to the general office and to individual consultants whenever they have any kind of hardware or software problem. Consultants manage the request that come directly to them. Kathy Frey, the receptionist/bookkeeper, passes on request that come through the general office. If the problem is complex it may require multiple trips, and the technician has to keep track of what he or she has done to try to fix the problem.Sometimes a second technician has to be dispatched, necessitating communication concerning the previous work.
|PROBLEMS, OPPORTUNITIES, OBJECTIVES, AND CONSTRAINTS MATRIX | | CAUSE AND EFFECT ANALYSIS |SYSTEM IMPROVEMENT OBJECTIVES | |Problem or Opportunity |Causes and Effects |System Objective |System Constraint | |1. The IT consultants |1. Client’s system configuration is not tracked; |1.Allow clients to submit and |1. Project cannot exceed | |are drowning in a sea of |consultants often have to make multiple trips to the|track requests via the Internet. |$50,000 without owner’s | |work, and work for |field. |2.
Eliminate duplication of work. |consent. | |clients is not being done|2. Previous request solutions are not kept in a | |2. Software must be | |in an optimum manner. |data repository; as a result, consultants might |3. Track historical data on |compatible with Windows | |The issues are not |implement previously identified incorrect solutions.
request problems and solutions. |NT/2000/XP and written in | |tracked and recorded | |4. Track client’s current and |JAVA. | |properly when the request|3. There is no consistent flow of information and |previous system configurations. |3. The new system must be | |is submitted or when |work to be done or already accomplished.
The IT |5. Track, calculate, and generate|compatible with existing | |technicians go out in the|consultants have to keep track of what they have |time-and-billing information. |business processes to | |field. Currently |done to try to fix the problem. Sometimes there is |6.Implement security |minimize impact on clients. | |serviced by an |duplication of work.
|restrictions to Internet site. | | |inefficient system, the |4. Bookkeeping of consultants work performed is |7. Allow consultants to |4. Clients are our number | |areas are not well |tracked only using scraps of paper and are turned in|electronically retrieve client’s |one priority; we cannot | |integrated to minimize |at random time intervals after the work is |request information and transport |allow the project | |costs, and maximize |completed.As a result, time-and-billing is not |it to the field. |development to impact our | |profits, and increase |accurate and efficient.
| |primary duty. | |customer satisfaction. |5. Clients cannot submit their requests | | | | |electronically, and cannot track its progress. | | | |Clients get frustrated when they cannot get through | | | | |to submit a request via telephone, and when they | | | | |cannot get up-to-date information on their request. | | | The president, Peter Charles, wants to develop a system that is both more responsive to clients ans helpful to technicians.He would like to see a system that allows clients to directly enter their service requests.
The system would track the status of each request along with the hours spent for billing purposes. Mr. Charles also wants the system to be able to generate statistics and reports so he can pursue continuous improvement in this area. [pic] [pic] [pic] [pic] [pic] System Improvement Objectives and Recommendations Report [Analysis of the Current Coastline Systems Consulting System] I. Executive Summary A. Summary of Problems, Opportunities 1. Lack of submitting and tracking service requests 2.
Lack of systems integration and efficiencyB. Summary of Recommendation 1. Implementation of Customer Relationship Management System which provides a powerful, solution for unifying, tracking, and managing customer process across the company. C. Brief Statement of system Improvement Objectives 1. Increase service functionality a. Ability to capture and tracking of service request information b.
Complete histories of service requests activities and customer communication. c. Monitored service request changes d. Automatic assignment for service requests to the most appropriate individual e. Provide world-class support via voice, voicemail, e-mail, Internet. . Efficient management of complex, multi-person agendas 2.
Increase account management a. Automatic tracking of account history b. Comprehensive data sharing for providing enhance service c. Integrated analytics to facilitate focus on high-priority contacts 3. Increase Time and Expenses Management a. Capture more billable hours and track billable expenses to clients b. Fully integrated, web-based time & expense features reduce double entry and save up to 80% of the time c.
Generate timesheets and expense reports for billing purposes d. Track labor and not labor costs II. Background InformationA. List of Interviews and facilitated group meetings conducted 1. Interview between the President (Peter Charles) and the Analyst programmer (Anna Kelly) a. This was the initial discussion concerning the proposed customer response System. The goal was to discuss the possibility of pursuing such a project that is responsive to clients, helpful to the technicians and to obtain facts about the problems and opportunities in order to prepare the “Request for System Services” and the “Problem Statement Matrix”.
2. Meeting held between Analyst Programmer (Anna Kelly),Receptionist/Bookkeeper (Kathy Grey) and the IT Consultant (Ben Logan) a. The goal of this meeting was to design a system that would allow clients to submit Service requests and problems, forward those requests to one and only one consultant, and track the progress of the requests until it is resolved. B. List of other sources of information that were exploited 1. Entire project team a. System Owners b.
Users c. Analysts d. Designers e. Builders C. Description of analytical techniques used 1. To fully understand the problems in current system a. Identify the inefficiencies of the current tracking service requests .
Identify the inefficiencies of the systems integration 2. Understand what is needed in the new system a. Design a customer response system b. Design better tracking system 3. Document any constraints for designing the new system (things that either must do or things must not do) a. (Technology) PC Components change over time. Need to know what components were previously installed on each PC and when they were changed out.
b. (Schedule) The new system will require at least 6 months to initiate (roughly) 4. Design first, build second a. Systems have a way of growing way beyond of what is expected III. Overview of the Current SystemA. Currently an IS system does not exist for Coastline Systems Consulting 1. Client requests are reported through e-mail or phone messaging 2.
Bookkeeping is handled with spreadsheets IV. Analysis of the Current System A. Performance/Efficiency problems 1. The current system works in an extremely inefficient manner. The main problem is that of communication between the IT consultants – they need to be able to track each other’s (and their own) client requests. 2. This inefficiency is the basis of client dissatisfaction and has also caused the IT consultants to waste valuable work time due to making multiple trips to the client.
B.Information problems 1. Arise as a result of the IT consultant’s lack of knowledge about what each other have accomplished on a day to day basis. 2. Currently there is no data repository for past issues with clients, which can result in ‘consultants trying to implement previously identified incorrect solutions. ’ 3. The current system, which is that of jotted down notes and transferred phone calls, is unable to offer a timely response to the client’s needs.
4. Information needs to flow more smoothly between the Coastline Systems’ employees. C. Economic problems 1. The current system does not maximize Coastline Systems’ profit potential due to he lack of internal organization. 2. There are also bookkeeping issues.
The receptionist/bookkeeper currently re- enters each line on the spreadsheets into the accounting system. As a result, an unnecessary task is being completed every month which costs the company more man hours.D. Service problems 1. Since client issues are not tracked and recorded properly, the ability of the IT consultants to properly satisfy customer’s needs is greatly diminished. 2. Coastline Systems Consulting is a service oriented company and should always put the customer first.
Therefore the system currently in place does not satisfy veryone’s needs. V. Detailed Recommendations A. System improvement objectives and priorities 1. Allow clients to submit and track requests via the Internet (high) 2. Eliminate duplication of work (high) 3. Track historical data on requests (high) 4.
Track client’s previous and current system configuration 5. Track, calculate, and generate time-and-billing information 6. Implement security restrictions to Internet site (high) 7. Allow consultants to electronically retrieve client’s request information and transport it to the field B. Constraints 1. Project budget cannot exceed $50,000 without committee review 2.Software and Hardware constraints: Windows NT/2000/XP compliant, written in JAVA – current platform 3.
Develop system without drastic changes to existing business processes to minimize impact on clients 4. Cannot allow project development to take services away from clients C. Project plan – Refer to Problems, Opportunities, Objectives, and Constraints Matrix [pic] ———————– Peter Charles President/Analyst Kathy Frey Receptionist/ Bookkeeper Travis Munroe Web content Designer Anna Kelly Analyst/Programmer Doug Drake Analyst/programmer Dane Wagner Web server administrator Ben Logan IT consultant Jeff summer IT consultant
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