Technological innovation has been growing tremendously in the recent past. The new era has brought with it numerous changes that have affected various sectors of the economy. Businesses have greatly been affected as it has managed to improve their operations in a variety of ways. One of the greatest developments that have been taken up by businesses is the system automation. This has led to the growth of business operations in several ways. Even though the growth of the automated systems has been seen as a great move, it has also been accompanied with challenges of its kind. The paper shall, therefore, discuss an example of an automated system and even give some of its advantages and setbacks that are likely to be experienced by Print-R-Us, the company that is introducing this as part of their system.
System background and functionality.
Print-R-Us is a print shop that works nationally with over 500 shops in the United States. The company has been in the course of developing an automated online ordering system that will replace its customer service representative. The new system will be able to perform some activities just like the customer service representatives, but it will be more efficient and responsive. The main function of the system is to take orders and give the various details involving the order about their clients. The new system should also be able to give the precise location of where the delivery should be made and when the client expects the delivery (Granello, & Wheaton, 2004). In addition to this, the automated system should manage to keep a track record of all orders that have made so that it can make it possible to create a proper audit report. The system will also increase the time phrase for feedback being given because the system can be created in such a way that it can give notification to the individual in charge. The system can allow for the information that is stored in it to be stored in the cloud.
The new system has managed to improve the new system in numerous ways. One of these ways is by having a more accurate information collection database compared to when information was greatly collected manually. The information collected can be more accurate and can include more information that it can be left out when an individual gets the information. The information can be backtracked in case an issue pops up when the client has not included some information (Angeli, Valanides & Bonk, 2003). Another area where the system is better than the old system is when it comes to customer records. This is essential for the company especially when it has offered and would like to provide them to their loyal clients. The company can also use for delivery purposes as they can know where the customer is located and where they need their delivery made and the costs associated with their respective orders.
The new system will have better records when it comes to customer records. This is because the system keeps a detailed amount of information on the clients’ orders. The system will have the time that the orders are made recorded as well as the requirements. Print-R-Us will be able to follow up on the information that is provided by the clients. The information will also give details on the methods of transactions that clients have used. Different clients have various means that they choose to offer their payment. The system will be able to compile such information so that when an issue arises in regards to the orders made, the management can track everything in regards to the order and take the necessary action. When it comes to inquiries being made by customers, the system can relay the information that the client needs to the individual who can help. For example, for a client who needs financial clarity, the system will direct the client’s question to the financial officer or representative who is in charge at that moment. If a client complains and wants a return, then the financial officer or the individual in charge will have to track the order information from the system and get the information pertaining the client’s order. For these types of issues, the enterprise will need to have a computer server that has fast data processing speed that will allow for this information to be updated rapidly just as the orders are made. Another piece of technology that is needed is a constant connection to the internet that will allow clients to make orders constantly without having to wait for a specific time of the day to operate.
The new system will be more productive compared to the old system. Customer handling will be better because it would be easier to have a customer’s record shared between individuals. For example, if employee S handle a customer in the morning and has already left the premises and the customer has an inquiry, it would be easier for employee X to assist the customer because he has some records to look at to prevent any mix up (Aronson, Liang, & Turban, 2005). The system will also increase the transparency of financial transactions as all the transactions shall be made through a single channel, and no employee will be allowed to be part of any transaction physical. The customers will feel more secure.
However, the employees will be affected directly both positively and negatively. On the positive side, the employee’s workload will be reduced immensely because with the new system in place, and they will only be waiting for notifications about a new client and what they need compared to the old system where they might face communication breakdown when taking customer orders. The employees’ productivity will also be increased as it will be easier to monitor how many clients each handles per day. This will keep track on the hard-working individuals in case there are bonuses to be given. On the other hand, a number of employees may be laid off because most of the tasks that they were doing are now being carried out automatically by the new system.
Since the system is majorly based online, most of the customers believe that their information or track record private. There is some information that needs to be kept private. One of them is the orders on what they need to be printed. Some clients might have needs that might be against the law, but for a printing business, they might not know it. Another information that needs to be kept private is the transactions by the clients. This will prevent them from being extorted due to their financial transactions background. Their locations must also be kept private to prevent them from having unwanted visits from unauthorized salespersons and potential threats. The system can keep this information private by keeping this information behind encrypted passwords and pins (Granello, & Wheaton, 2004). And for everyone who logs into this system’s location, their login information is captured and recorded. The company will also have this system location be limited to a selected number of employees to reduce the potential risks.
To protect the individuals making the order, it is important to have some of the information stored in the cloud while other stored in the local computer stores. The transaction details, clients’ location, and address are some of the information that needs to be stored in the cloud. The name of the client, their order information, and delivery date are some of the information that can be stored in the local computer storage locations (Wright, 2005). To minimize the risks of security breaches, the security levels before accessing this information should be increased. The system would also have antivirus and malware detection software installed on it to prevent the system from being breach from a remote platform.
The system might be liable to a limited number of ethical issues. The employees who are working with the system might not have been well trained on how the system work and thus, they might leave some information open for unauthorized individuals who might view the information with the intent of causing problems (Wright, 2005). Another ethical issue is that the employees might not have been exposed to proper training. Thus they might be putting the whole system and the whole operation at risk in case something goes wrong because of their mistake.
The system has great potential for improving the productivity and customer-company relations of the company. Even so, the installment of the system will have some of their employees lose their jobs, and it may also put the clients’ information at risk because the system is majorly based online. This will not be a limiting factor for the system as they can be controlled resulting in increased productivity and efficiency by Print-R-Us company.