In this assignment you are required to play the role of a trainee business analyst working on an information system solution for Amazon Australia. You work for an IT consultancy firm called Information Systems Wizards.
The Brief from Amazon Australia’s CEO (the Assignment Question)
The CEO of Amazon Australia would like you to analyse an existing human activity system within Amazon Australia that suffers from issues and needs improvement, and also to suggest a new information system for a specific purpose which can help Amazon Australia overcome those issues and perform better (the system can be an improved version of an existing system). You also need to come up with recommendations as to how Amazon Australia’s identified human activity system can better make use of a new information system in order to perform better.
Assignment Questions and Deliverables:
This assignment has 4 parts. In part 1, you will analyse the overall business of Amazon Australia by answering a number of questions. In part 2, you will identify an existing human activity system within the organisation which needs improvements and answer a series of questions in relation to that system. In part 3, you will suggest a new information system for a specific purpose supporting the HAS in part 2 that will help Amazon Australia perform better and answer a series of questions with regards to that information system. In part 4, you will synthesise the outcomes of parts 1, 2 & 3 into a report containing a series of recommendations to Amazon Australia’s management.
This report comes as a response to the request made by the CEO of Amazon Australia to analyze the existing human activity system, identifies the issues facing the system, propose a new system with recommendations based on the analysis. Amazon Australia is an online retail business based in Australia. It is responsible for selling a range of products to its customers, sells products on behalf of other retailers at a fee and provides shipment services for products ordered. It is however faced with problems in the worker hiring and management human activity system.
The worker hiring system is based on third party hiring of workers which lead to employee mistreatment and poor productivity at the warehouse. The report studies the existing HAS, finds its faults and proposes a new system that will enable Amazon Australia to employ workers directly without a third party firm. It also gives recommendations to the Amazon Australia stakeholders.
Overall Business Analysis of Amazon AustraliaAmazon Australia information and strategy
Amazon Australia is an online retail shopping center that majorly serves the Australian people. It massively expanded its operations in Australia in 2017, branching from its parent retail Amazon which was started back in 1994 as an online books retailer by Jeff Bezos. Amazon Australia deals in a range of products including clothing, baby items, beauty products, books, music, home-wares, sports/fitness goods, stationery, toys, electronics and video games.
Amazon provides buying opportunities for customers, shipping services for products and selling opportunities for sellers and other retailers. For a customer to buy from Amazon Australia, the customer has to open an account with Amazon Australia from their website. Once registered, the Customer will be able to order goods from within Australia. Australian customers are not enabled to shop from the international Amazon site; if they try they will be redirected to Amazon Australian site because the international Amazon will not be able to deliver products in Australia. After ordering the products, the customer will pay via the debit or credit card linked to his or her account. The delivery of the products, depend on where the customer stays and the preparedness to pay for the delivery. Products are delivered within three to four business days in the cities and in other areas within three to seven days
Amazon Australia grants sellers and other retailers an opportunity to sell their products through the Amazon Australia website for a fee. Nevertheless, it has its own products in ware houses owned by Amazon Australia which provides products for sell.
To stay competitive in the business Amazon Australia provides a user friendly user interface where a customer is shown how the various icons and processes work. This enables fast and efficient placing of orders on products and payment of the products ordered. Amazon Australia offers promotion codes on products and on shipment of the products ordered. The promotion codes reduce the price rates for products and the charging rates for shipment of the products bought by the customers. Once a product is ordered, Amazon Australia provides an interface where the customer is able to track and trace the delivery progress of the products. In case of a problem with the products ordered and the delivery Amazon Australia provides for return of the products. These features among many others make Amazon Australia a customer attracting business.
Amazon Organization Based on Mintzberg’s classification
The organizational form of Amazon Australia is both divisional and innovative in organization Qrunig and Qrunig (2016). It is divisional in the sense that it deals in a range of products which include clothing, baby items, beauty products, books, music, home-wares, sports/fitness goods, stationery, toys, electronics and video games. It is also found in different geographical areas with other branches in Japan, USA, United Kingdom, China, Italy, Mexico and Brazil among others. This makes it divisional with the daily decisions decentralized to the regional managers and the strategic decisions centralized to the board of directors.
It is also innovative in the sense that there has to be new features added to the website of Amazon Australia to enhance user-friendliness according to Jani?ijevi? (2013). The running of processes and activities need to be improved to have efficiency, effectiveness and timeliness in the ordering, payment, shipping and delivery of the products sold by Amazon Australia.Value chain of Amazon Australia using Porter’s value Chain
The Primary activities according to Pathak and Pathak (2010) are inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, sales and marketing and services whereas the support activities are Firm infrastructure, Human resource management, Technology development and procurement.
Inbound logistics is the handling and warehousing of the supplies from different suppliers of Amazon Australia.
Operations are the day to day activities that Amazon Australia conducts. These are processing of the products ordered by customers and packing the products.
Outbound logistics is the shipment and delivery of the products ordered and paid for to the specified customer address.
Sales and Marketing involves the pricing of the products Amazon Australia sells, promotion on products and delivery services and advertising the products they sell and the promotion codes available.
Services – these are the services Amazon Australia offers its retailers and customers. For instance, Amazon Australia sells products for retailers at a fee and also sells products to customers through the Amazon Australia site.
Firm infrastructure includes the various departments that keep Amazon Australia up and running. This includes management, finance, accounting and planning.
Human Resource Management – entails the recruitment, training and development of workers.
Technology development is the innovation and upgrade of the current systems and website to accommodate new processes and activities.
Procurement involves purchasing of product supplies from suppliers, purchasing of delivery vehicles and computers used by Amazon Australia.Analysis of Amazon Australia competitive strategy using porter’s competitive forces model
The porter’s five competitive forces are competitors in the business Dobbs (2014), the power of suppliers to increase the prices for products, the power of buyers to reduce the prices, the presence of substitute products and the presence of new entrants to the market.
Competitor rivalry is high for Amazon Australia because of the presence of other big competitors in online retailing Porter (2011) such as Alibaba, Wall Mart and Jumia which is dominant in Africa. There is high competition from these companies.
Amazon Australia has so many suppliers for different products therefore the power of suppliers to increase the prices for products are medium.
With the wide range of products Amazon Australia sells, Amazon Australia has very many buyers. Therefore the buyers have very little power over the prices of the products. However, Amazon Australia has its major buyers who influence the prices. Therefore, the buyer power in the business is medium Magretta (2011)
Presence of substitute products has a low effect on Amazon Australia’s business, because all these product substitutes Amazon Australia sells them. This makes it sure that the buyer will always opt to buy from Amazon Australia.
New entrants in the business. Australia is still lagging in matters online retailing; therefore the new entrants in the market have no experience or example to learn from. There is low or no effect of new entrants on Amazon Australia’s business.
Problematic existing human activity systemExisting worker hiring and dismissal
The existing worker-hiring and dismissal system in the warehouses has problems with proper hiring and dismissal processes. Amazon Australia has very few permanent employees and hires through third party firms.
List of stakeholders
Amazon Australia Human resource management hires the third party labor-hire firms.
Third-party labor-hire firms hire the casual workers.
Workers work for Amazon Australia in the warehouses.Rich picture Bell and Morse (2013) BPMN diagram for the existing worker-hiring human activity Silver (2011) DeLone-McLean Model of Information System Success
The system does not satisfy the workers. The workers keep complaining of the poor human resources services rendered Amazon Australia whereby if the worker is not able to attain the key performance indicator then he is not going to attend the next shift, he or she is fired by Amazon Australia and the third party labor-hire firm assigns the worker to another organization.
The usage intentions Petter, DeLone and McLean (2013) of the existing worker hiring and dismissal services is to avoid abiding by the Australian policies and laws on employment by Amazon Australia, which gives Amazon Australia the ability to hire and dismiss workers anyhow.
The service quality of the existing system is not satisfactory because the system has bad usage -intentions that favors Amazon Australia only and it does not satisfy the workers hired to work for Amazon Australia Urbach and M?ller (2012).
Existing worker hiring system is of poor quality. It does not satisfy users, it was implemented for bad usage-intentions and services offered are not satisfactory.Measuring success of the existing worker-hiring system
The existing system is ineffective because it has a negative impact on individuals Hassanzadeh, Kanaani and Elahi (2012) who are workers of the Amazon Australia. The system automatically fires the workers who do not attain Key Performance Index in a shift instead of putting in measures to ensure a worker does the same in the next shift.
Inefficiency of the system is depicted through user non-satisfaction with the interface between Amazon Australia and the workers, where, the workers are not given a platform to appeal for a pardon when they are fired. There is no forum for the workers to complain.
The system has a negative impact on Amazon Australia where the infringed workers speak ill of the organization in news papers after being fired from Amazon Australia.
New worker-hiring and management system for Amazon AustraliaNew worker hiring and management system for the warehouse
The new worker hiring and management system does not involve third party labor-hire firms therefore Amazon Australia deals with the workers directly. It registers workers, assigns them identification numbers, auto-allocates roles and responsibilities to workers, penalize workers for not attaining the key performance index and fires or dismisses workers on basis of violation of organization’s policies.
The new system addresses a problem in the human resource department. It therefore addresses a problem in support activities.
List of stakeholders
Amazon Australia management oversees the smooth running of all the activities of the business.
Human resource manager responsible for recruiting, training, development and allocation of roles and responsibilities to the workers.
Workers who undertake duties assigned to them by the system.Data description of the new system
The data and information of the new system includes the employee identification number, employee name, employee details like family, sex, date of employment and salary, employee daily performance index, complains and appeals
The system will capture employee’s conduct, the daily employee performance index, employee progress and the appeals made by the employee to the human resource management in the warehouse.
The information captured on employee’s conduct will be compared against Amazon Australia’s policies and may help in reaching to a valid decision of whether or not an employee needs to be fired. The daily record of the employee performance index will help in identifying the industrious employees and the lazy employees. The record will help in rewarding the most industrious employee and give warning to the lazy ones, that if they persist they get fired. The appeals from the employees will be heard before the management reaches a decision of firing an employee based on the performance index and Amazon Australia policies.BPMN for the new system Abramowicz, Filipowska, Kaczmarek and Kaczmarek (2012)
Classification new worker hiring and management system
The new worker hiring and management system is an employee-facing system. It is entirely addressing the hiring, management, progress and dismissal of Amazon Australia. From the registration process where an employee is registered and assigned a unique identification number, to allocation of responsibilities to management of employee progress to dismissal or firing of the employee from Amazon Australia.Dimensions of impact
The intended use for the new system is to enable satisfactory management of employees of Amazon Australia by Human resource department. Amazon Australia will now be able to manage their employees effectively and efficiently without receiving much complains from the employees.
Amazon Australia will gain the trust of their workers at the warehouses. This will in turn result to proper and quality services rendered by the workers at the warehouses.
The workers of Amazon Australia will now be able to enjoy the benefits of Australian employment policies that Amazon Australia abides by. The employees will not be dismissed unfairly but their dismissal will follow a fair procedure.Measures of success for the proposed new information system.
The new system is interface satisfactory Floropoulos et.al (2010). Human resource manager is able to register new employees successfully. The workers or employees receive warnings on consistent low key performance index and are able to appeal in cases of dismissal from Amazon Australia.
The new system is task satisfactory to the Human resource manager. The human resource manager will be able to perform his or her task of managing the human resources in Amazon Australia efficiently and effectively, credit to the new information system.
The new information system has improved Amazon Australia’s decision making practice Chen et.al (2010, pp.233-259) especially in cases of dismissal of their employees at the ware houses. The system first keeps records of daily employee’ key performance index and gives warnings to employees with consistent low key performance index. If the employee persists with the low key performance index the system dismisses or fires the employee via a notification. The system also keeps records of the employees with high performance index and rewards the best employee by reporting to the Human resource manager.
Amazon Australia should avoid using third party labor-hire firms to provide labor in their warehouses. Amazon Australia should deal directly with the workers or employees working in their warehouses. This will enhance employer employee intimacy and thus high productivity from the employees.
Amazon Australia should avoid using a day’s key performance index to dismiss workers from their jobs. A worker cannot attain the set key performance index one day and attain it the next day.
Amazon Australia should introduce a docket for an employee to petition or appeal against his or her dismissal from the company. When the appeals are heard the chances of an employee being mistreated and dismissed unlawfully and unfairly from the company will be very minimal.
Amazon Australia should do away with the current infringing system and adopt the proposed new worker-hiring and management system that does uphold the rights of the workers of Amazon Australia at the warehouses.How Amazon Australia can use the new system to satisfy their customers
The new system motivates the workers at the warehouses to give their best when providing labor services to Amazon Australia. This in turn will enhance the running of activities in the warehouses like sorting of products and packing of the products ordered by the customers. The customers on the other hand will get correct and timely deliveries of the products they ordered and paid for from Amazon Australia thereby elevating the business-customer relationship. The satisfaction of Amazon Australia’s customers will attract more and more customers to the business.
The report’s aim was to identify and analyze a human activity system in Amazon Australia that is problematic to the stakeholders in Amazon Australia online retail. The problematic human activity system identified was worker hiring and management system in the warehouses, where workers were complaining through the media of the unfair and unlawful dismissal from their posts. Amazon Australia online retail should therefore adopt a new worker hiring and management information system that will be able to solve the issue of unfair and unlawful dismissal of the workers at the Amazon Australia’s warehouses.
The findings mean that the Chief Executive Officer has to cut links with the third party labor-hiring firms that are currently providing labor to Amazon Australia warehouses and adopt the new proposed worker hiring and management information system. By adopting the new information system the CEO will deal with the workers in the warehouse directly through the human resource manager at Amazon Australia.
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