Before the implementation of a new ordering system, Girl Scout Cookies faced several challenges. In particular, they had to cope with an excessive amount of paperwork (Laudon & Laudon, 2007). For example, the employees had to mark their sales on individual order cards that were later transferred to the troop leaders. In turn, these cards had to be delivered to local headquarters and only then these data had to be provided to manufacturers.
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Thus, one can say that this process was very time-consuming. Moreover, it involved a great number of steps. Furthermore, such an approach did have any safeguards against the individual mistakes of workers. For instance, one can mention calculation errors (Laudon & Laudon, 2007). Thus, the new ordering system had to address these problems; otherwise the performance of the company could decline.
In order to respond to these issues the management of Girl Scout Cookies adopted a computerized system called QuickBase. It is a Web-based software solution that is specifically designed for the needs of small businesses. This program enables companies to create various database applications that are used to transfer various kinds of data between different departments.
The main advantage of this solution is that it is very inexpensive and user-friendly (Laudon & Laudon, 2007). It should be noted that other many businesses pay attention to user-friendliness of software solutions, because they do want to spend money on the training of employees (Vaman, 2007, p. 95). These examples indicate that management should pay attention to the skills of their workers and their needs.
Overall, the adoption of this system brought several changes to the company. First of all, it reduced the time that company needed to processes each of its orders placed by the clients. As soon as they received a request from the customer, they could start working on the order almost immediately.
Moreover, computerized order tracking system enabled the company to reduce the calculation errors of the employees by more 90 percent (Laudon & Laudon, 2007). Finally, the adoption of this software helped them develop shipment schedules (Laudon & Laudon, 2007). Thus, one can argue that the new system greatly increased the efficiency of the company. This is the main benefit brought by the new system.
This case illustrates several challenges faced by businesses, especially when they want to implement new software solutions. First of all, the development of an ordering system is a time-consuming and expensive process. Therefore, not every organization can afford such a solution and the management should determine which application best suits the interests of a company.
Additionally, companies should remember that their workers may not necessarily know how to use new programs. So, companies should choose such applications that offer a good ratio of efficiency and user-friendliness. This is another issue that should be overlooked. Nevertheless, the case of Girl Scout Cookies shows that these challenges can be overcome.
On the whole, businesses are greatly dependent on their ability to incorporate new technologies. These tools are essential for remaining competitive and satisfying the needs of the clients. Businesses should be able to identify their needs and understand the expectations of customers. Only in this way, companies can better implement information technologies. The case of Girl Scout Cookies shows how small businesses can improve their performance.
Laudon, K. & Laudon J. (2007). Essentials of business information systems. Philadelphia: Pennsylvania State University.
Vaman, J. (2007). ERP in Practice: ERP Strategies for Steering Organizational Competence and Competitive Advantage. New York: Tata McGraw-Hill Education.