the bandon group is a family owned distributor of office equipment

The Bandon Group is a family owned distributor of copiers, electronic printers, faxes and other office equipment who provides high quality equipment and superior customer service at cost effective prices. Their continued success, beginning in 1972, led them to expand into information systems consulting, document outsourcing, and document management services, by 1994. After experiencing exponential growth due to their good reputation, they found that they had outgrown their current information systems. Customers began to request web enabled services, such as online meter readings and e-business solutions. There were also difficulties with the sales prospecting database, as it was not integrated with the operations administrative database (OMD), which made it difficult for Bandon Group to address the needs of their customers. Furthermore, OMD was not built with the relational database making ad hoc querying and reporting difficult for managers.

Scope and Purpose

The scope of this study is to examine the feasibility of incorporating an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system or a customer relationship management (CRP) system at Bandon Group. The overall benefit of the study was to assure that IT plans support future business plans, to provide a basis for linking IT spending to the business direction, offer context for functional managers and MIS professionals to make accurate determinations, and present closer integrations of like systems and networks while decentralizing technology and operational activities.

Document high-level business direction

The Bandon group had three main goals in mind. The main goals was overall growth from division to corporate level. In order to do that, they wanted to expand into the IT consulting field, creating a higher market share. Secondly, Bandon Group wanted a better relationship with their customers and suppliers. Lastly, the company wanted to lower administrative costs through better use of technology.

Identify key information needs and measures

The first common goal of all of the divisions is the wish to grow, both in revenue and in size, and they all invested in solutions to obtain that goal. One of the suggestions was to expand into IT consulting and services. This is one way to increase in revenue from services, increase IT market share, decrease in response time to service calls, and create a number of new accounts. However, this would require implementation of an additional approach to marketing, increased technical expertise of employees, extensive product knowledge management throughout the organization, and service upgrade forecasting. The IT solution would be to track service call history, allow sharing of service and product information among divisions, provide an accounting and billing systems for IT consulting services, and integrate the three databases that are currently servicing business needs, which are D&B, Pivotal, and iMarket.

The second share goal was to improve the relationships with customers and suppliers. This would allow for better use of current customer service information, as well as, create an opportunity to acquire new customers. In order to more effectively track customer information, the company must focus on larger accounts, have the ability to examine trends throughout accounts to determine which packages better suits each client, improve billing accuracy, and offer current customers addition value through new products. Sales processing and acquiring new accounts can be improved by examining purchasing trends, identifying new leads from statistics, and appropriately rewarding sales personnel for acquiring new customers. Some measures that would affect the goals stated above would be the number of high margin accounts, timely receipt of customer payments and quantity of sales forecasted. The IT solutions to serve such functionalities would be attentive tracking of accounts, progress of sales, rate of sales leads, and overall trend analysis.

Detailed Business Requirements

OMD was the current main system used by Bandon Group. It did not use a relational database, which made it difficult to generate reports and retrieve customized information form the system. Since OMD contained information would assist sales staff in better understanding the needs of their customers, this proved to be a weakness of the system. Since the first goal is growth, Bandon should seek a system that will allow for better sales prospecting, in addition to, integration between divisional systems and report generation.

To improve customer service, the key priority would be to implement web based services to better serve customer needs. The customers were previously reporting meter readings through fax, by implementing a web enabled system for meter reading Bandon Group could implement an online customer service questionnaire to monitor customer satisfaction.

The final goal of Bandon Group is to improve administrative procedures in order to meet the goal of lowering administrative costs. Some customers were finding invoices difficult to understand and important statistical information was left off, which did not serve the needs of the IT consulting business.

Document current IT situation – Internal

Bandon Group adopted a series of database applications using the Pivotal software, which was the sales prospecting tool. Dun & Bradstreet, along with iMarket data, were integrated with Pivotal software. Since Pivotal and OMD are not integrated, an inconsistency between the two resulted in a duplication of effort in maintaining the two environments. Across the divisions, Pivotal software were used variously from creating sales leads to sales prospecting. As a result of failed licensing, sales representatives created their own local prospect databases using the contact management tool within Microsoft Access and Goldmine. CRM applications were developed to generate service alerts when a particular customer calls in a service more than three times in one month. Moreover, a report generates a customer alert whenever copier volume units runs 150% over its recommended volume. The information obtained from the report enables sales representatives to follow up with customers to determine if upgrades are appropriate. The Pivotal applications support territory management, lead management, external market data integration, sales forecasting, customer retention, sales analysis and sales compensation.


Sumner, M. (1998). Enterprise resource planning. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

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