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Myra’s Haircuts has the potential to achieve its business goals. The Porter’s Five Forces model identified in Stage 1 shows clearly that the firm will be successful. The best strategy for competitive advantage is Customer Orientation (CO). This strategy will ensure every customer is aware of the offered services. The business process to improve is Customer and Employee Scheduling (CES). A positive Customer Orientation strategy will eventually support the goals of UMUC Haircuts.
Business Process Explanation
UMUC Haircuts has developed a proper CES process. This business process begins when a potential customer communicates with the company’s employees (Hanford, 2010). Step 3 shows clearly that the employees should inform the customers about the offered services. In step 4, the employee should check the available stylist before advising the customer. According to step 5, the scheduling process for different customers should be done manually. The customer has to collect a printed receipt and take it to the cashier. In step 6, the cashier is required to enter the customer’s information into the system. The feedbacks collected from the customers are recorded manually. The cashier informs the customer in order to pay the required amount.
This business process can support UMUC Haircuts’ goals. However, the process consumes a lot of time. The customers might not get the right support from the employees. Some of the employees might be unable to support the changing needs of the customers. The employees must collaborate with other individuals in the firm. Most of the feedbacks collected from the customers might not be recorded effectively. Step 6 shows clearly that the cashiers handle every receipt manually. This practice affects the accuracy of the process. The customer might be unable to compare different services and prices. The targeted customers might fail to get quality services. The targeted software will ensure the Customer and Employee Scheduling (CES) process is executed effectively (Turban, Volonino, Wood, & Sipior, 2013). The software application will improve the level of communication between different employees and customers.
Proposed Technology Solution
The proposed technology solution for UMUC Haircuts is Software as a Service (SaaS). This software has become common today because of its applicability. The technology “makes it easier for providers to host commercially available software for different customers” (Turban et al., 2013, p. 37). The software is delivered to many customers using the internet. This software technology is very easy to use. It is also compatible with other software versions. The global accessibility of SaaS makes it appropriate for UMUC Haircuts.
This technology-based solution can make it possible for marketers to exchange the right information with their customers. The gathered information can be used to make the best decisions. The proposed solution will ensure more customers access the services availed by Myra’s Haircuts. This technology will improve the level of collaboration between different employees and customers. This IT solution responds to the high-level requirements pioneered by the firm. The new technology will shorten the time taken to deliver quality services to the targeted customers (Turban et al., 2013).
Social media focuses on the manner in which people interact using different technologies. The internet supports social networking. Different social sites have emerged within the past one decade. More people are sharing news, photos, and ideas through such social networks. Businesses can embrace the power of social networking in order to achieve their potentials. The proposed technology solution does not support social media. However, the firm can benefit a lot from social media. The firm can merge the newly-created SaaS with different social media sites. One of these sites is Facebook. This social media site has the potential to inform more customers about the available services (Neti, 2011). Customers will be informed about every new style and service. UMUC Haircuts will also attract more customers. The major users of Social Media are the youths. This fact explains why Myra should embrace the use of social media.
How the Technology Solution Will Improve the Process
The proposed SaaS technology will make the CES process more effective. To begin with, the first step will begin when the customer visits the company’s website. The customers will be able to identify the available services and stylists. Steps 2 and 3 will be reshaped by this new technology. The system will collect more information from the targeted customers. In step 6, the cashier is supposed to handle every receipt. The proposed IT solution will ensure every customer pays instantly. The customers will not have to wait for long before getting their services. The system will ensure the customers communicate with their employees in a timely manner. The system can be linked with Facebook in order to inform more customers about UMUC Haircuts’ services (Neti, 2011).
Conclusion: Supporting the Strategy for Competitive Advantage
The above solution will make UMUC Haircuts more competitive. More customers will begin to use the company’s services. The firm should also use the proposed SaaS technology to improve its Supply Ordering (SO) process. Myra will use the system to identify the best suppliers and business partners (Turban et al., 2013). The technology will support the goals identified in Stage 1. The approach will also address the needs of the targeted customers. The firm’s operational process will become more effective. The above technology will eventually make UMUC Haircuts more profitable.
Hanford, A. (2010). System Addict. Health & Beauty Salon, 32(3), 31-34. Web.
Neti, S. (2011). Social Media and Its Role in Marketing. International Journal of Enterprise Computing and Business Systems, 1(2), 1-15. Web.
Turban, E., Volonino, L., Wood, G., & Sipior, J. (2013). Information Technology for Management: Advancing Sustainable, Profitable Business Growth. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons. Web.