Technology Management Plan of Rustic Americana
Rustic Americana is a subsidiary company of Largo Corporation and deals in arts from American heritage. Even though it has an eye-catching art collection, its sales have declined. This document outlines the plans to address the declining sales of Rustic Americana. An overview of its existing technological and human resources is provided. The company greatly depends on its call center for sales and customer management. This leads to heavy traffic of calls which causes network downtime. The business needs to realize the importance of the lost call as a lost sale opportunity and thus lost revenue. The plan outlines the existing strengths where proactive improvisation can improve functions. On the other hand, there is also a serious need to upgrade telephone lines and the customer management system. These issues have led to customer complaints regarding delayed order delivery and incorrect information. The business relies heavily on the call center to address customer queries therefore, the plan discusses how to use the existing resources more effectively along with much-needed upgrading. The company also needs to emphasize the practices that are morally and ethically suitable in the workplace.
Technology Management Plan
Rustic Americana is a subsidiary company of Largo Corporation and works in both physical and online space. The company sells artwork that represents the cultural heritage of various regions of the US. The company prides itself on its distinctive product line. The business facility houses all functions of the business ranging from corporate management to warehouse, order shipping and call center under one roof. The call center is the cornerstone of direct marketing and sales of the company. The company has a voice-over-internet protocol, dedicated servers for application, direct mailing, and calls. The Unix server needs to be upgraded as inventory update is an issue. The call centre has 40 workstations that are operated 24/7 however during the periods of increased call volume, the number of telephone lines is insufficient and leads to idle workers. The customer management system also needs to be upgraded to a customized version compared to the currently used generic version of oracle. This version is made in-house and lacks sophisticated integration and report generation. Largo corporation is an environmentally sustainable corporation and as its subsidiary Rustic Americana follows sustainable practices.
|Inventory is not updated||Warehouse
Customer service representative
|High||IMS- inventory management system
CMS- customer management system
Bar code readers
Outdated UNIX system for inventory management
|Call volume high- brings the system down
Less number of lines than available agents
queued incoming calls- will be dropped after 6 rings
|Call centre||High||Telephone lines
Cisco voice over internet protocol
Toll-free number auto-attend direct calls
One server for call routing
Second server for voice mailing
|Software not customized||IT department||high||Customer support software generic oracle forms|
|Staff using data for movies and personal social media||Call centre||Medium||One cable for calls and data- call overload, data goes down|
|No mobile devices are supported
Wireless network options
|Call Centre||medium||Wireless Network|
Best Practices in IT Management
There is no doubt that technology integration is the modern method of increasing efficiencies and reducing costs in both the private and public sectors. Technology integration requires informed decision-making as it may put new management processes for quality and service delivery in place. For the public and private sector, technology is an investment; therefore, important information regarding the cost of technology vs the benefit of technology can not be forsaken. If investment in technology does not improve the quality of service, reduce cost, and the period of service delivery it means that the technology systems are ill-designed (GAOREPORTS-T-AIMD-97-38.Pdf, n.d.).
For technology integration to be successful, it is utterly important to include the stakeholders or their feedback regarding the company process and interaction with technology. Customer feedback can be the quickest method to identify where the problem is, such as delayed cust. Any contractors that are employed for the technology infrastructure should be reliable and consistent. Stable contractors can make all the difference in case of a service or hardware malfunction (Gao-14-596t.Pdf, n.d.).
A manager’s vision is crucial to the organization, as it provides a sense of direction for all to perform their jobs. It can challenge the processes and bring the required change for enhanced quality and service delivery. However, respective departments should be allowed decision making as it leads to both ownership and accountability. Developing trust with the team, as a manager, is key to inspiring motivation (Witt, 2016).
A person in the organization operates in the context of relationships that they have with their customers, co-workers, society, and the employer. The processes and relationships within an organization need to follow an ethical and moral code. With technology growing as an essential element to organizations, clear communication of practices in terms of their moral and ethical importance should be communicated within the organization. Ethics refers to the obligation of behaving in a way justified by the role. Ethics provide the foundation for morals and help in deciding what is right and wrong. Actions have consequences and only moral actions can bring positive, happy consequences. In the technology-based work environment, the carelessness with its usage can lead to moral or ethical issues, as general rules may not hold. Care must be rendered as to how the technological resources and assets are utilized (How Ethical Theories Apply to IT Professionals by Brannon C, n.d.).
In most organizations, the problem may not be the availability of resources but their inefficient use. Another issue with an organization that declines in performance over time is its inability to make necessary investments declaring them as costs. Rustic Americana handles native art and employs online and physical spaces to carry out its operations. The call center is vital to its functions and that is where some major hiccups have appeared. To break it down the first issue present is the need for upgrading the system so that the benefits of a client-server system can be reaped by using a database server. Even though the CSR updates inventory on the IMS from their terminal, however, with the slow refresh rate it does not appear to other CSR and leads to incorrect information given out to the customers. This will lead to customer dissatisfaction with the overall experience with the organization. The IT department needs to take lead on the matter of the required upgrade. The call center is a key customer interaction point even with a brilliant catalog if incorrect information is provided, it can lead to poor customer-business relations (Sharp, 2003).
With dedicated servers for call and mail; the issue is to improvise and make certain changes for the increased outcome. During periods of high call volume, there are fewer lines and more idle staff. This needs to be fixed as there are two losses here; one during the downtime of the network and missed calls during high call volume, all potential orders are lost; two, the staff that is not attending the calls is not adding any value to the company. A stable vendor and addition to the number of telephone lines is a need. Here the ethical and moral responsibility also lies on the staff, the use of data for their personal uses brings down the system and they need to realize how much this hurts the company. This also requires putting into numbers the losses the company bears because of downtime. If upgrading the technology is an investment its return can not be justified without knowing how much loss is generated during the network failure. With the business considering call center as its strength its manager needs to chalk out the ethical and moral work protocols and the minimum upgrade needed to improve the call center to be working at its optimum capacity. With the company already using computer telephony integration ideas such as interactive voice response and cloud-based computing should be considered for eventual integration for seamless execution. With options of such, the customers can also opt for a call back rather than waiting in queue to talk to the CSR (Computer Telephony Integration: 12 Ways It Improves Customer Experience, n.d.).
Currently, generic database forms are used for customer management, however with cloud computing and the latest software that provides all-in-one functions one can not deny the importance of customized software that can not only provide required snapshots of employee performance but also integrate the customer data. The ‘homegrown’ version of this is only providing base function and fails to provide high-level integration therefore this needs to be outsourced for an improved version. The role of mobile devices can not be overlooked but can be a medium-term goal depending on improved hardware and software resources.
The rationale of call centers is to increase the value of the customer experience, but with existing practices, it is doing the reverse for Rustic Americana. Delayed orders and incorrect information leads to poor customer service which no other business aspect can mend. Businesses thrive on the good word of the customers. With ever-increasing uncertainty and growing reliance on online business models, poor service will be a disaster. As Rustic Americana is already facing declined sales and complaints, the company can not turn a blind eye towards the issues. It is vital to improve and upgrade the call center on a priority basis. Equally essential is the moral and ethical conduct of the employees.
Computer Telephony Integration: 12 Ways It Improves Customer Experience. (n.d.). Retrieved November 23, 2021, from https://aircall.io/blog/call-center/computer-telephony-integration/
Gao-14-596t.pdf. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2021, from https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-14-596t.pdf
GAO REPORTS-T-AIMD-97-38.pdf. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2021, from https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GAOREPORTS-T-AIMD-97-38/pdf/GAOREPORTS-T-AIMD-97-38.pdf
How Ethical Theories Apply to IT Professionals by Brannon C. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2021, from https://prezi.com/swchhg04exdh/how-ethical-theories-apply-to-it-professionals/
Sharp, D. (2003). Call Center Operation: Design, Operation, and Maintenance. Digital Press.
Witt, T. C. (2016). IT Best Practices: Management, Teams, Quality, Performance, and Projects. CRC Press.