Misdoubt Chamber of Commerce (MSCC) is a non-profit organization created out of the need for legislature that directly addressed transportation access, an issue that was affecting the business and economic development. As time progressed and the business grew, the executive board acknowledged the need to migrate to computer technology to use information at their disposal efficiently. The goal of this case study is to analyze and list the changes that occurred as a result of MSCC acquiring new systems for handling business operations.
After a thorough analysis MSCC’s computer systems were found to be lacking proper integration and documentation, had very little maintenance and support and were not Y2K compatible at the time of the evaluation. To help grow revenue at a rapid rate and to reduce staff and programs Leon Lassiter was hired in December 2000. Lassiter brought 12 years of marketing and sales management experience working with American Brands. He believed that working with MSCC would have afforded him the opportunity to make a bigger difference than he would have been able to make with his former employers. His vision, along with the newly hired computer programmer Simon Kovecki, was to incorporate a computer system that enabled the organization to run its principal functions more efficiently. Len Lassiter was a strong advocate for the organization purchasing a new system called UNITRAK. Although this may have been a smart business decision, employees were disillusioned as they felt that they should have been consulted when decisions of that magnitude needed to be made. Simon Kovecki, who never received the promotion that he felt was merited, also voiced his concerns about the fact that access to data was too easily accessible. Eventually, Lassiter’s demonstration of the new UNITRAK System was persuasive and powerful enough to convince the MSCC to purchase the system.
The purchase of the new system, which in itself was fraught with delays, brought on some new challenges. The implementation of the project was late
with staff and users raising concerns. However, it was deployed and Lassiter was adamant that two days of training was required by all employees to understand this new system. Initial reactions were that this system was not as user-friendly or efficient however Lassiter allayed these concerns stating that the system as a new one and as such would require employees spend some time getting comfortable and familiar with this system. One of the requirements of the UNITRAK is that older data had to be altered and or converted to a new system for effective application. This process was not without its problems as there were errors converting data, data was corrupted, and backups accidentally erasing crucial data. Jeff Hedges, in charge of computer operations, rarely followed up on system purchases and uses as he was preoccupied with other facets of the organization. All these problems led to an uncertainty as to whether the organization would have been able to face the upcoming Y2K changes.
With all the changes that MSCC was facing, the need to list problems and solutions was imperative as we can see here:
Lack of required skills of the computer department personnel: oProblem: Simon Kovechi had very little experience was disappointed with the fact that he did not get the promotion that he felt he deserved. He was also unable to acclimate to the new system in a timely manner due to his lack of IT experience. oSolution: Experienced personnel are essential to any system changes within an organization.
Appropriate delegation of work:
Problem: Jeff Hedges was unable to give the new system the attention that it warranted as he also had other responsibilities. In the case of Leon Lassiter, he was put in charge of computer operations although he was not the employee responsible heading computer operations. oSolution: Personnel with IT knowledge should head the computer operations department and in a situation where the company is transitioning, should be their primary focus.
Supporting applications and software:
Problem: UNITRAK was unable to provide adequate data conversion support. oSolution: It is imperative that when an organization is the moving to a new computer system they select one that provides adequate reliable support. compatibility
Consistency of data:
Problem: Separate databases run on one system.
Solution: Integrated database should be utilized to allow for more efficient data entry.
Problem: Old information lost in previous backups due to lack of proper implementation. oSolution: Proper documentation of software so that backups are not corrupted. Y2K compatibility:
Problem: System incompatible with Y2k
Solution: Systems should be updated in a timely manner so that compatibility is not an issue.
Based on these problem and solution sets MSCC should implement the following:
•Ensure that IT department has employees with the necessary skillsets for data conversion;
•The board and management of the organization should be actively involved in the implementation of any new systems;
•Request adequate support from UNITRAK along with proper documentation for the new system.
•Ensure the organization has an efficient backup system in place
•An outside consultant should be hired to help make the system Y2K compatible in a timely manner. Reviewed and made more concise.
MSCC relies heavily on data that is accumulated within their computer systems. In this instance, they were found to be negligent in protecting and securing their most important assets thus almost claiming bankruptcy in the process. MSCC should have had a strategic plan for implementation of a new system to achieve a seamless transition with very little loss to the business.