Case Study on Information Systems: Integrated Customer Ordering Service at Marks & Spencer

Marks and Spencer is one of the leading retail organizations in UK which sell stylish, quality and great value clothing and home products , also quality food. They are one of the most popular brand among people not only in UK but globally. They have more than 600 stores in UK and constantly increasing many more around the world. It was founded when in 1884, Michael Marks opened a stall at Leeds Kirkgate Market. In 1901, its first registered store was located at Derby street, Manchester. By 1924 they started expanding and the head office moved from Manchester to London. Implementation of new policies and maintenance of services and value kept on adding to the success of Marks and Spencer. In 1998, it became the first retailer to earn a profit of £1 billion. The organisation commonly called as M&S has always followed the principles of Quality, Value, Service, Innovation and Trust since its founded. This is the reason why it has been successful, distinguished and popular among people.

Need of the Information System: Integrated Customer Ordering Service (ICOS)

M&S was facing several backlogs in order processing and complaints were increasing day by day. The company had invested a lot to move ahead in this competitive business environment but was unable to overcome this problem. The need of the hour was to have an customer service ordering information system implemented which can accurately and assuredly keep away these problems which were an obstacle in the success of a great retail organisation.… Read the rest

What is Agile Methodology?

Engineering methodologies required a lot of documentation thereby causing the pace of development to slow down considerably. Agile Methodologies evolved in the 1990s to significantly eliminate this bureaucratic nature of engineering methodology. It was part of developer’s reaction against “heavyweight” methods, who desired to drift away from traditional structured, bureaucratic approaches to software development and move towards more flexible development styles. They were called the ‘Agile’ or ‘Light Weight’ methods and were defined in 1974 by Edmonds in a research paper.

Agile methodology is an approach to project management, typically used in software development. It refers to a group of software development methodologies based on iterative development. Requirements and solutions evolve through cooperation between self-organizing cross-functional teams, without concern for any hierarchy or team member roles. It promotes teamwork, collaboration, and process adaptability throughout the project life-cycle with increased face-to-face communication and reduced amount of written documentation.

Agile methods break tasks into small increments with no direct long term planning. Every aspect of development is continually revisited throughout the lifecycle of project by way of iterations (also called sprints). Iterations are short time frames (“timeboxes”) that normally last 1-4 weeks. This “inspect-and-adapt” approach significantly reduces both development costs and time to market. Each iteration involves working through a complete software development cycle characterized by planning, requirements analysis, design, coding, unit testing, and acceptance testing. This helps minimize overall risk, and quicker project adaptability. While iteration may not have enough functionality necessary for a market release, aim is to be ready with a release (with minimal bugs) at the end of each iteration.… Read the rest

Why You Should Be Balancing Your Books Every Single Month

Call it a habit or just refer to it as downright procrastination. A lot of business owners, MBA holders and other business professionals only contact their accountants on two occasions: during tax season and when something goes wrong. It’s easy to guess that your business is swimming in money and that all your accounts are paid if you simply glance at your books and balances on occasion. However, only certified accountants or online bachelors of accounting graduates know what is necessary to reconcile all your business accounts and how to maintain a proper paper trail. You may not need to have a company-wide audit, but you should be aware of how all your business funding is being saved, spent, and generated.

Know When Money Goes Missing Immediately

Did you know that a good portion of businesses are being charged for services that they don’t need or never authorized? For example, you could be paying for a business line that was never installed or activated due to a billing error being made by your telephone company. The minute that you have an online bachelors degree in accounting holder balance your books and review all accounts, bills, services, and subscriptions, you can find out if any money is being wasted or has gone missing. This is also helpful for companies that have had trusted employees mismanage funds or steal in the past.

Find Out How to Stop Making Critical Financial Mistakes

You don’t need to be frivolous to waste business earnings on expenses that are completely avoidable.… Read the rest

Social Aspects of International Advertising

When we consider International Advertising from the advertiser’s point of view, according to them the primary objective of advertisement is that the product or services which they are offering should be sold in the market. And in achieving the main objective of selling the product or services there are other profound consequences. Advertising puts an influence which is both persuasive and pervasive in nature. Through the selective reinforcement of certain language and values, and social goal, it acts as important force attitudes that underlie behavior not only in the market place, but also in all aspects of life. In an international marketing concern, advertising has an important social influence in a number of ways: many of the international advertising are designed to promote and introduce new products from one market to another. Often this results in sudden change in life-styles, behavior patterns of a society, stimulating for example the adoption of fast food, casual attire or hygiene and beauty products. International advertising encourages desire for products from other countries; it creates expectations about “the good life”, and establishes new areas of consumption. Advertising is thus a potent force for change, while selectively reinforcing life-styles, certain values and role models.

We can see the examples of brands like Levi’s, Adidas, Reebok, Nike, Marlboro and McDonalds which are familiar in almost every corner of the world. These brands have become an object of desire by the teen and young adults throughout the world. Even the scenes and images which have been shown in the international advertising are either in western in origin or reflect western consumption behavior and values.… Read the rest

Challenges Faced by International Advertising

International marketing can be a tricky business. With the increase in global trade, international companies cannot afford to make costly advertising mistakes if they want to be competitive and profitable. Understanding the language and culture of target markets in foreign countries is one of the keys to successful international advertising. Too many companies, however, have jumped into foreign markets with embarrassing results. Out of their blunders, a whole new industry of translation services has emerged.

Faulty Translations

The value of understanding the language of a country cannot he overestimated. Translation mistakes are at the heart of many blunders in international advertising. Since a language is more than the sum of its words, a literal, word-by-word dictionary translation seldom works. The following examples prove this point. Otis Engineering Company once displayed a poster at a trade show in Moscow that turned heads. Due to a poor translation of its message, the sign boasted that the firm’s equipment was great for improving a person’s sex life. The Parker Pen Company suffered an embarrassing moment when it realized that a faulty translation of one of its ads into Spanish resulted in a promise to “help prevent unwanted pregnancies”.

Automobile manufacturers in the United States have made several notorious advertising mistakes that have been well publicized. General Motors learned a costly lesson when it intro­duced its Chevrolet Nova to the Puerto Rican market. Although “nova” means “star” in Span­ish, when it is spoken, it sounds like “no va” which means it doesn’t go. Few people wanted to buy a car with that meaning.… Read the rest

What is International Advertising?

International Advertising, generally speaking, is the promotion of goods, services, companies and ideas, usually in more than one country performed by an identified sponsor. Marketers see advertising as part of an overall promotional strategy. Other components of the promotional mix include publicity, public relations, personal selling, and sales promotion. Advertising is a cogent communication attempt to change or reinforce ones’ prior attitude that is predictable of future behavior.

It can be viewed as a communication process that takes place in multiple cultures that differ in terms of values, communication styles, and consumption patterns. It is also a business activity involving advertisers and the advertising agencies that create ads and buy media in different countries. The sum total of these activities constitutes a worldwide industry that is growing in importance. International advertising is also a major force that both reflects social values, and propagates certain values worldwide.

International advertising involves recognizing that people all over the world have different needs. Companies like Gillette, Coca-Cola, BIC, and Cadbury Schweppes have brands that are recognized across the globe. While many of the products that these businesses sell are targeted at a global audience using a consistent marketing mix, it is also necessary to understand the regional differences, hence it is important to understand the importance of international marketing. Organizations must accept that differences in values, customs, languages and currencies will mean that some products will only suit certain countries and that as well as there being global markets e.g. for BIC and Gillette razors, and for Coca-Cola drinks, there are important regional differences for example advertising in China and India need to focus on local languages.… Read the rest