· If you don’t know a candidate company to select, retail is often a good choice; Lowe’s, Home Depot, or Best Buy for example.
Write the following five sections about the company you chose in and try to keep it around 10 pages of core content, single spaced of 12-point type. These 10 pages does NOT include the cover page, references and other supplemental material. You may follow this with appendices if you wish. Appendices will be read only as needed by the reader and the evaluation is not based upon them. Respond to the bulleted points where relevant and use your judgment as to their relative importance for the business that you have selected. Describe the organization, forces, challenges, strategies, evolution and best supported proposal in your own words! Make sure to use references to back up your assertions!
1. Business Model: Describe key aspects of its business model.
Keeping the following questions in mind will help your response.
· What’s the name of the company, how large is it, what industry segment is it in, and what does the company do?
· Is the company primarily a product or a service business, or some kind of hybrid?
· What are its offerings (i.e. its products and/or services)? What is its market position? What are its value propositions (perhaps offer-specific)?
· How does the business earn revenue (including the pricing of its offerings) and make a profit?
· What other features of its market model, operational model, or financial model are significant, unusual, or distinctive?
· Does the organization follow a cloud computing model? Are there aspects of those models in the organization that you choose?
2. Competitive Forces and Challenges: Consider each of Porter’s five Competitive Forces. For each of the five forces, list and describe the relevant actual competitive challenges (if any) that the company faces (or is likely to face soon). Also list and describe competitive challenges the company faces (or is likely to face soon) as a result of other changes in the business environment (e.g. economic, regulatory, etc.)
3. Competitive Strategies: For the most significant competitive forces/challenges that the company faces, describe the company’s competitive strategies for addressing that challenge. If you are unsure, you can discuss how the company has (or similar companies have) addressed that challenge in the past, or how you believe it should address the challenge. What approach will the organization need to take in order to sustain an advantage; or will it need to change approaches? Indicate whether you believe the strategy will work or not and why.
4. Business Model Evolution: Discuss any other ideas you have for how the company’s business model could evolve, and what might drive the business to evolve in that way:
· How might the company enhance its products and services, and why?
· How might the organization improve internal processes to become more efficient or effective?
· How might the company expand into new related products and services, new territories, or new market segments, and why?
· How might the company extend into new lines of business or new business models? Why would they do so? (Include mostly non-e-commerce initiatives if possible)
5. Best IT-Supported Proposal: Identify the best proposed idea you have listed in Section 4 above that can also be supported by IT in a substantial way. For that proposal, provide the following:
· Justification: Explain why you believe this is a particularly good proposal — i.e. how and why will it enable the company to more effectively compete?
· Role of IT: Describe the most essential ways in which IT could be used to support the proposal.
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