Product Assembly, Sales, and Marketing

Product Assembly, Sales, and Marketing

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7408-8.ch005

Abstract

In developing and executing IS strategy, current business processes are analyzed, modified, or redefined in order to better support company strategic objectives and targets. Process analysis—an integral part of IS strategy development—can identify problems of information flow, data maintenance, systems integration, and process alignment with business strategy. Technology transfer projects in two product assembly companies are examined here. These projects developed and implemented IS strategies to align with contrasting business objectives: to provide stability and customer retention on the one hand and to provide key management information to support increased profitability on the other.
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New Is Strategy At Tpg Disableaids, Hereford

Background

TPG DisableAids is a provider of equipment for the elderly and disabled. This is a “second-generation” family business, run by Alastair Gibbs (managing director) and his sister Amanda Harrold (finance director). The company is a value added distributor of a wide portfolio of products ranging from devices to allow arthritis suffers to safely utilise various household products and equipment, through to customised mobility equipment and patient lifting and hoisting equipment for healthcare professionals. TPG DisableAids also provides after sales support and maintenance for mobility, transport and lifting equipment to private and public sector customers. The company undertakes multi-site contracts to install, maintain and repair public sector equipment as well as providing disability equipment for entire healthcare facilities.

In 2005, when the project started, there were 1.4m people in the UK living in accommodation that required a stair lift, and there was clearly an opportunity for installing and maintaining these products more widely across the region. In addition, the Disabilities Discrimination Act was forcing both public and private sector entities to install stair lifts and other equipment for the disabled. The company had less than 1% market share and yet had the logistical and operational capability to sell to a wider range of customers, including some outside their region. The company’s business plan targeted a steady increase in turnover from £2.8m (in 2002/3) to £6.5m by 2009/10, mainly through organic growth in the region, notably with public sector entities. This required new business systems to integrate transaction processing, provide consistent management information and assist field operatives in their activities.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Quantifiable measures used to assess the performance of an organization, a specific project, a department or even an individual. They often have financial and/or time related components.

Vendor-Managed Inventory (VMI): A business model whereby the vendor of goods manages the supply of those products into the buyer’s warehouse or store. This requires the buyer to provide details regarding inventory levels and order quantities to the supplier.

Information Systems (IS): Comprises software systems, applications, packaged software, software development tools, and operating systems. IS are one part of an overall Information Technology (IT) portfolio, that also includes hardware, networking, and telephony.

Efficient Consumer Response (ECR): A strategy to improve the level of service offered to consumers by cross-supply chain cooperation by retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers and suppliers.

Structured Query Language (SQL): The standard programming language for communicating with a database.

Data Base Files (DBF): Data base files store data and information, normally in tables, table fields, and field data values. The concept is normally linked to relational database management systems, which succeeded the old flat file databases in the 1980s.

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