The project at hand concerns the upgrade of the Information Technology infrastructure of Zara; the branch of Inditex company headquartered in Spain. In this case, Zara specializes in the design, production, distribution, and channelling of the clothes serving the women, men, and children populations. However, A more significant percentage of its operations involve the production of clothes belonging to the women, which accounts for around 65% of the total outputs. The wears for both the children and men are covered in the remaining 45% of the overall productions. Since the beginning of operations of Zara company, there has been the use of the technology which the Microsoft company does not support. However, it has been quite proficient in serving the business needs although it is deemed outdated. The managing director of the Information technology department and the Chairman of the company have been involved in a debate on the way forward regarding the upgrading the system to suit the current technological advances as well as easing the tasks in the company. Such tasks include the communications with the distribution centers and the worldwide retail stores which sell the products directly to the customers. Also, there has been the activities involving ordering, fulfilment, designing, advertising, and deliveries of the products to the distribution centers. The adoption of the new technology will facilitate the speed required for the efficiency of the operations in liaison with the clients .and the store managers in different parts of the world. In this way, there shall be an increased number of sales per period which in turn raises the profitability margins of the company.
Further, the upgraded technology will aid in decision making since it is fed with the business intelligence system that tracks the inventory in various distribution centers, keeping records of sales as well as noting the outlet with the highest transactions per day. In the long run, the selling habits and states of different stores will be recorded, and automatically used by the upgraded system in determining which of the outlets is to receive specific quantities of which types of stock. Hence, the paperwork of the managers will be eased and the work fastened by the new technological construct (EDWARDS, A. D. 2012. P24).
Additionally, as expounded, the preference of the new Information technology by Zara business is in line with its yearning for decentralization of decision-making activities as well as increasing the speeds of operations. At first, the company was devoid of any chief information officer while also there were no formal processes for setting up the Information Technology budget. There was also a lack of the way forward regarding coming up with technology investment. Its chief officials, Castellano and Salgado, decided to engineer a technology committee which will oversee the success of the new technological infrastructure being updated in the company. The appropriate information technology infrastructure was agreed upon as well as the responsible information system department to run the investment. Although there was no cost/ benefit mechanism constructed regarding the installation of the new technology, it was hoped that it could keep the company up to date, ensure efficiency regarding the speed of operations, and ease the work in the company.
In this sense, the applications for the new technology are to be written unlike being bought from the available stores. It will facilitate the customization of all the activities to be covered by the new technology hence efficiency in operations. It is because of the unique nature of the operations of the company hence the need to construct new applications as per the kneed of the business.
An approximate of 50 people from the Information system department is required to prepare the Information Technology. They are sourced from the existing graduates from the universities and are to get divided into three groups depending on the divisions f the department; the logistics support team, the administrative system, and the storage solution. Salgado and Sanchez, the chief officials, were worried about "getting fancy" with store Information Technology. The wondered if the adoption of the modern operating system, the enhancement of the POS applications, and the building of networks in and between the worldwide stores might bring risks to the infrastructures of the organization which had been built before. Of much concern, though, which motivated the adoption of the new Information technology was the fact that Zara was a large company operating under obsolete technology. The vendors What if the hardware vendor for POS terminals changed the machines in such a way that they could also change then hard\ware such that it could not support the operating system run by the organization. Although the vendor had said that he had no plans to change its machines to hamper the running of the existing DOS, the Zara officials got nowhere when he had tried to factor in such assurances to Zara's contract with terminal makers. If it was time to port the operating system to other operating systems such as Linux, UNIX, or windows they could not decipher. As insurance against unfavorable surprises, does it make sense to purchase sufficient of the current operating system terminals now so that the Zara company's needs would be covered in the case of sudden loss of the usual support from the hardware vendor? If they were going to port the operating system application to a new operating system to be acquired, should they also put in use it as an opportunity to build modern capabilities into the software applications? One of the few issues that the store managers had concerning the PDAs was that it was time-consuming to utilize their styluses and small screens to get returns. An updated operating system application could conveniently incorporate this usage, allowing store personnel to pit in use large screens, mouse, and keyboards which could quickly perform returns transactions.
Project goals and objectives
The upgrading of Zara's Information Technology infrastructure has some targets related to it. They are as presented subsequently. First, the project is meant to solve the emerging problems associated with the use of the old technology as well as the inefficiencies associated with them (MIRCHANDANI, V. 2012. P42). Further, the new technology is meant to foster efficiency and speed in the operations of the Zara company. In this way, there shall be an efficient recording of the business transactions concerning receipt and payments as well as the stock dispatched to various distribution centres affiliated with the Zara company. As the workforce utilizes the new technology in the dispensation of the duties and responsibilities, there shall be the efficiency since they will be using less effort to cover larger volumes of tasks which could otherwise have not been the case in the absence of the new technology (TOSCANO, A. A. 2012. P4). The coverage of larger volumes of work in short times means there shall be more massive output in small time intervals, hence increased sales and returns to the company.
Moreover, the new technology is geared towards the improvement in the accuracy of transaction this way; there shall be minimal errors when machines are involved in the various operations within the company (Avril, E., & ZUMELLO, C. 2013). The ordinary losses which bring about shortages in the revenues of the company shall get dispelled, and the prosperity of the company shall be fostered as per the business objectives. In this way, the company shall reap optimal profitability and success which helps it retain the competitiveness in the industry it operates (REISS, M. 2012. P40). It shall also own a considerable market share hence booming in the industry. The new technology is also meant to simplify work since it is not prone to the exhaustion rates like that of the labor force, which limits their operations past particular time periods.
The primary constraint to the adoption of the new technology is that it needs the availability of expert staff who will work with them. Also, it might inconvenience the sales around the world during their installation and adoption (SUITER, H. H. 2013. P24).
Work breakdown structure
Under the work breakdown structure, there is a personal timetable that is to be developed. It is meant for use by the officials such as the Information Technology Manager, the commercials, the product managers, the designers, the point of sale terminal manager, and the employees in the outlet stores since it allocates the time frames for the activities they shall be undertaking pin their day to day operations (BACA, C. M. 2013. P56). In this way, there shall be achieved coordination of activities which will see to it that the functioning and efficiency of the Zara chain store is dully achieved as per the set objectives. The store shall then be able to make substantial sales hence an increased revenue. Also, there shall be an achieved ownership of a significant market share making the store maintain the required competitive advantage pin the clothing industry in which it operates. It is brought out below;
- Store manager Reporting on store sales 2100 hrs.
- Store managers Placing new orders Upon the decline of the available stock
- Store manager Reporting on inventory levels and balances 2130 hrs.
- Employees Accounting 2100 hrs.
- Commercials Checking on market behaviors of each store Daily
- Commercials Fulfilment Upon checking on the disbursement decisions from the balancing system.
- IT manager Checking on the efficiency of the system 2200 hrs.
- Designers. Designing new garments Upon receipt of information from the store managers
- Commercials A decision on products to design and manufacture Upon consent from other checking commercials
Additionally, developed is a work breakdown structure which will be used as a framework in the development and installation of Information Technology infrastructure for Zara chain stores. In this case, there shall be an integrated system that will enhance smooth operations from the head office in La Coruna to the subsequent stores distributed in other parts of the world. Achieved shall be the required speed, decentralized decision making, and effective communication amongst the responsible stakeholders. Brought out subsequently is work breakdown structure for Zara chain stores.
The work package for La Coruna is concerned for the writing of the unique software of the stores which is to get installed in the headquarters, La Coruna, where the central office is based in and the other stores across the world. The written software is to be customized to serve the unique activities of Zara chain stores. They will help the administrative, logistical, and store functions with their respective work packages. Amongst them is that the infrastructure shall be used to support the receipt of new orders, fulfilment of the new orders, as well as the design and manufacture of new clothing for the factories...
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