COIT20274 – Information Systems for Business Professionals (Term 1, 2017)
Case Study for Assignment 1 & Assignment 2
The Case: Springfield Animal Hospital
“Springfield Animal Hospital” (SAH) is a privately owned veterinary practice owned by Nigel Taylor. Nigel started work at this practice as a young graduate and when the owners decided to retire he decided to buy the practice and run it on his own. The practice services owners and their pets located in the Springfield Lakes regional area.
Initially when Nigel bought the practice from the owners the staff that existed at the practice were 2 veterinary nurses, a reception staffer and himself. However being young and ambitious Nigel wanted to always grow the practice. The Springfield Lakes area was booming with housing development and Nigel realised that each new house meant a new family and new pets moving into the area. As most housing blocks in the region were quite a decent size, Nigel anticipated that many households would have two pets on an average.
As a result of his vision Nigel decided to refurbish the existing practice by adding a new wing, and building more consultation rooms; he also added a pet grooming area and a training school for young pets. Since the property was quite large he branched into providing high quality accommodation for pets when their owners travelled. As a result of these improved facilities, Nigel’s business started to boom and he had to employ numerous other Veterinary doctors, nurses and support staff.
After Nigel was satisfied with the growth of his practice in Springfield Lakes, he decided to acquire additional animal practices in nearby regions like Jimboomba, Munruben and Parkridge.
Nigel is excited about the growth but at the same time worried about the complexity and cost of the IT setup that will be required across the practices. He is concerned about how he can make systems shareable across sites, without unnecessary duplication. He is also worried about safety and security of data across sites, and logistical issues such as owner records, pet records, staff files, staff timesheets, payroll processing, and conducting regular staff meetings.
Nigel always dreamt of having a system whereby owners could book appointments online for treatment of their pets, pet grooming or accommodation. He also wanted a system where owners could leave comments, feedback and ratings for the staff that they dealt with at his practices.
Nigel also wants the ordering of consumables for his animal hospital to be automated, as the current process involves the accountant at Springfield Lakes ringing around the other practices to determine what is required and then placing an order. At times a particular clinic has become busier and run out of consumables/supplies, and the accountant has had to rush a staff member to the other clinic with supplies.
Nigel decides to engage you as a consultant. Your job is to provide him with solutions that address the following issues and provides advice on what needs to be implemented in the future.
Case Study Questions
1. In order to help SAH management, define what information systems are and briefly explain how information systems are important to future operations at SAH. While answering this
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question, explore the different kinds of information systems that could be beneficial to any small business.
2. Identify and list the specific business and system problems faced by SAH and list these problems in order of priority.
3. What are the key information requirements of SAH? For each information requirement you have identified, discuss how this information would enhance or improve SAH’s competitive position.
4. Which specific information system(s) can help SAH in managing their business problems, making business decisions and fulfilling the information requirements identified in the previous question? Be specific in how they will help in these areas.
5. Explain how SAH could strategically utilise the Internet, intranet and extranet to engage with key stakeholders and fulfil communication and collaboration requirements.
6. “Change management” is an important concept to business organisations. How could SAH best manage the organisational changes that would occur with the implementation of the information systems changes you are proposing?
7. For various stakeholders at SAH, including its customers and employees, what are some of the possible security and ethical issues that may arise with the introduction of their information system? What could be done to resolve such issues?
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