Loud and Clear worker cooperative group falls under service industry. The groups growth prospects lies on the returning customers, competitive and thorough marketing strategy. LC has a membership of 10 members who have equal rights in the running of the affairs of the company. The members are involved in the running of the daily duties of the group. Elsie Black being the source of the business idea acts as the management of the group. Through the brief overview presented above, LC qualifies to be a partnership form of a business where partners have equal rights in everything to do with the running of the affairs of the company. The essay seeks to elaborately discuss LC growth prospects and the different changes that need to be incorporated in its growth.
The group therefore has three main sections which have to be integrated as business processes for the group. The three main sections are; management section, customers/clients sections, and technical section. The management section acts the central point where businesses are integrated and run together with the two other sections; customers/clients processes and technical sections/processes. Management business processes involves activities/sub-business processes such as, coordination activities, feedback provision, information update, among other processes. The technical section business processes entails processes and duties performed by the technical group, i.e. the operating of the PA systems, the running of the musical instruments, and the technical advice given to several groups players in the group, additionally, technical section involves the running of the day to day activities of the group, i.e. rendering of the core business process of music to the groups clients. The third and the most important section is the customers processes, the clients processes involves handling information relating to customers, providing and responding to customer enquiries, recording and synthesizing of customer requests and so forth.
The three core processes, Technical processes, Management processes, and customer/clients processes are integrated through a central system which the group is contemplating to use, the system can be, Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP), Customer Relationship Management system (CRM), or Supply Chain Management system (SCM). The system will act as the central point where the stakeholders; clients/customers and the management interact accordingly (Hallerbach, et al, 2010). The different sections of the system acts as touch points under which information is received and entered. In the case of customer processes, customers enter enquiries to the system using customer touch point interface, the system then responds to the customers by furnishing them with a variety of information based on their queries.
Upon receiving information, customers can then go ahead and place orders which will be made available by the system to the management, the management will respond to clients orders by either confirming the dates or declining based on the availability of the groups services. The management feeds and updates the system on regular basis. Management acts as the central control point where updates to the system are made. Management updates information such as; presence of new services, salary payment updates to its employees among other information (Falkins, 2007).
SWOT analysis of Loud and Clear
The groups services are green in the market therefore it has a greater room for expansion. Music industry in the UK normally comes as music alone, where musicians perform with the instruments provides by the host, LC adds expertise of sound engineering and the music technical workhand thereby making the group set apart and different from its competitors.
Unanimity in decision making gives all members of the group a say in the running of the companys affairs. Group decision making encourages the inclusion and implementation of new ideas into the industry.
The group has a technical workhand amongst the members thereby making it unnecessary to hire professionals which will be costly to the group.
The group location and proximity to the several institutions and hotels raises the prospects of the groups business.
The group need not to hire musicians since the group members are music school graduates thereby they can incorporate their professionalism as well as their talent in rendering their services.
Lack of an integrated software system such as ERP and CRM limits the groups operability. Inclusion of Systems such as ERP and CRM will raise the prospects of the company; it will also raise the level of efficiency and timeliness that is required to undertake several tasks.
Growing customer base needs immediate expansion in facilities, music equipment, and performing personnel which is a limited case in the company now. In order to respond to growing demand for its services, LC needs to immediately expand its capacity so as to ensure that it meets and satisfy customer needs.
The presence of university of Manchester and the budding population of Manchester and UK give a lot of growth prospects to the LC group.
LC need to exploit more of their talent in music and engage in offering music as well as engineering services to groups that has their instruments and only need them to be managed for them.
Growing number of events organized by churches, graduations, wedding parties, birthday parties and political rallies provide growing demand for LC group services.
The use of a website enables the company undertake multiple several functions under one system. Website enables LC group undertake marketing, respond to enquiries, and fulfill customer orders.
Individual PA system operators within the city of Manchester and its neighborhoods pose a greater competitive challenge to LC group.
Growing customer base require rapid and equivalent expansion, LC still operates under small scale level and of which failure to expand will lead to automatic loss of customers both current and potential.
Risk of running into loses is real in the case of LC group since real feasibility study about the expansion has not been undertaken, doubling customer base on the other hand need a scrutiny on the cost cap so as not to run into loses.
Open Source Software Comparison Table
The table below gives a comparison of different open source software in use in many companies.
Software Description Advantages Disadvantages
SQL-ledger This is open source ERP software that is used to enter and synthesize accounting data/information. The system operates on the on the windows, NIX or Mac platforms (Fogel, 2009). The user interface is easily readable and interpretable to new users to new users.
It can store volumes of accounting data/information in an orderly manner.
Information/data retrieval is very easy since it requires one to enter the query about the data and numerous related results will appear.
Updating of old information is made possible by the system as well.
Installation is very easy, it requires one to download and install which is purely an automated process.
It requires accounting knowledge for new users since it makes use of accounting formulas and guidelines.
It does not operate in other platforms apart from, windows, mac, and NIX.
Customer Relationship Management CRM It is a set of systems that is used to manage companys interactions with current customers and also potential customers (Hallerbach et al, 2010). It can synchronize orders or sales and organize them in an order required by clients/customers.
It is a set of Softwares which are integrated to perform several tasks and procedures based on the information fed thereby making it good for a company such as LC since customers/clients can make orders at the comfort of their homes/offices.
It operates on almost all platforms, i.e. windows, mac, UNIX, and others.
It is cumbersome to manage information in the system and it therefore requires specialized professional to handle the system.
The system can only be used in large companies since they can meet the cost of maintaining the system.
Enterprise Resource Planning More or less similar to CRM, ERP is a system that integrates a number of sub-systems and each sub-system manages a business process. It allows standardization of information as well as standardized sharing of information in all the departments of a company. Information/data entered by employees from one point is made available to other employees and customers in different other touch points (Dijkman, 2008). ERP provides a platform for streamlining business across the different departments and units/ across the board.
It allows uniformity of information, thereby making it easy for a company provides standardized as well as synthesized information to the interested stakeholders.
Adding information to the system is very easy, since one has to enter information based on the systems procedure.
The system provides a way under which information can be corrected and the correction will be effected in all the touch points. It requires specialized personnel to manage and run it.
It is expensive to maintain thereby making it unsuitable for small companies.
In case of a breakdown business processes will be crippled and business will come to a near standstill.
It cannot run on other platforms such the old windows and max.
LC Group Report
LC group possesses a lot of growth prospects which can be exploited to expand and grow the company by leaps and bounds. The first prospect based on the analysis (SWOT analysis) is that the company has been experiencing growing customer demands with the growth of customers itself doubling (Iskman, et al, 2009). This shows that it is time that the company makes changes to its sourcing system and processes as it readies itself for sustainable growth. Based on the analysis, the groups main shortcoming is the lack of a functional integrated system which will not only make the processes easily manageable but it will also keep the company in sustained growth. A number of open source systems have been discussed in the open source system comparison table. Since the current companys workforce constitute of 10 people, a system is required so as to ensure that the several sections of the systems are operating properly and in tandem with other sections.
Both ERP and CRM systems as it has been discussed are more appropriate for the groups deployment. If any of the system will be employed in the running of the groups activities, the group will benefit immensely from the systems functionalities. First it will increase efficiency, both time and quality of the services will be improved to near excellent levels. Customers and potential clients will be furnished with up to date information, the response time for the system will be very fast, and making of orders will be made easy by the system as well (Aalst, 2011). Business process modeling of the company will work best if it is integrated into the above mentioned three main processes; customer section, management processes, and technical processes.
The three main business processes for LC group will have in them sub-processes, in the case of customer processes, the sub-processes will include; customer demands sub-process, customer orders sub-process, customer response sub-process, and customer feedback sub-processes. The customer business process will provide a one stop shop for all the customer questions and feedback, further, it acts as a cus...
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