Part A: Analysis – Business Process Models and strategy analysis
- Business Process Models
A business process model is a graphical representation of the workflow or business processes of an organization (Recker et al., 2009). It is used as a means of detecting potential enhancements. There are various business process models that business uses for this purpose. These include Business Process Models and Notation, process flowcharts, PERT diagrams, Gantt charts, and UML diagrams among others (Recker et al., 2009). Since CC Music is a new business, a new business process model is required. For this report, two models will be used. First is the flowchart model. This is the most popular model used by organizations across the world (Recker et al., 2009). The model is easily understood because it has a few standard symbols. It is thus considered effective and powerful. Flowchart process model uses a sequential flow of actions. It does not support a breakdown of actions.
The flowchart model will capture the existing and proposed business processes for CC Music (Recker et al., 2009). The first action is publicizing the band through a website and other channels. The second process is dealing with booking arrangements. This is after clients request for the company’s service. The third action is receiving a contract as per terms and conditions. The fourth action is delivering the service, in this case, presenting them music to the customers. Eventually, the band will receive the payment. Below is the flowchart (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Flowchart business process model
The second business process model is Business Process Model and Notation. The model was developed by the Business Process Management Initiative (Recker et al., 2009). It is also a graphical representation specifying business processes. Its objective is supporting business process management. This is for business users as well as technical users. This is done by providing an intuitive notation to business users (Aagesen & Krogstie, 2016). The model also supports the representation of process semantics that is complex. The main goal of the model is providing a standard notation that is readily clear to all business stakeholders including business managers, technical developers, and business analysts.
Business Process Model and Notation
The starting activity in this model is publicizing the band while the end activity is delivering the service, music. Identifying the payment method serves as a task in this model (Aagesen & Krogstie, 2016). Deciding on which mode to accept serves as a gateway decision. While flowchart model is simple, the Business Process Model and Notation is better because it is more detailed (Aagesen & Krogstie, 2016). It will ensure that CC Music takes into account all necessary actions essential for the achievement of set objectives.
- Strategic analysis for CC Music
A strategic plan is essential for a new business to achieve the set objectives. Therefore, Chris and Clive need a plan to have their new business achieve success. As part of the plan. Strategic analysis is essential. In this case, the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis technique will be used. Through strategic analysis, business owners are able to identify important areas that need improvement or emphasize (Gurel & Tat, 2017). Strengths and weaknesses are often associated with the internal environment. On the other hand, opportunities and threats focus on the external environment.
Strengths are elements of a business that gives it an advantage over competitors (Gurel & Tat, 2017). First, CC Music will enjoy good management. Chris and Clive were music tutors. Additionally, their previous experience in managing all aspects of a Northern Soul band equipped them with required management skills. This gives the business an advantage over its competitors. Second, CC Music has strength in advanced technology skills. Chris and Clive are former teachers in music technology. For a business to flourish in today’s market, business owners must be in a position to take advantage of technology. CC Music have the skills required to take advantage of this strength including digital marketing essential for a successful business. The third is labor. Chris and Clive’s family, daughter and niece respectively are ready to support CC Music. This support is important and serves as a competitive advantage over rivals. Human resource is essential for a successful business.
Business weaknesses are elements that place it at a disadvantage in the market (Gurel & Tat, 2017). After a strategic analysis, several weaknesses were identified. First, CC Music lacks business skills. Apart from management skills, business skills are essential for a new business to be successful. These skills are acquired through experience in running a business and through research. Chris and Clive lack these skills and this may challenge how they run the business. Second, equal power sharing of Chris and Clive is a weakness in the new business. This is because having two managers sharing equal power is associated with delayed decision making. This is even worse when the managers have different opinions. This may slow down operations affecting effectiveness.
CC Music SWOT Analysis
|Good management skills||Technology|
|Advanced technology skills||Wider customer base|
|Available labor||New customer segment|
|Lack of business skills||Competition|
|Equal power-sharing||Internal conflicts|
Business opportunities are elements a business can exploit for its own advantage (Gurel & Tat, 2017). CC Music has several opportunities. First, technology provides various platforms for supporting business growth (Montiel-Campos & Palma-Chorres, 2016). These include social media platforms and business software. Second, through better marketing strategies, CC Music has great potential in reaching a wider audience. By committing more time in networking and promotions, the band will be able to play more gigs reaching a wider audience. Third, other bands that are interested in being represented by the band gives it an opportunity to grow and achieve set objectives (Montiel-Campos & Palma-Chorres, 2016). This also provides an opportunity of serving a new customer segment essential for enlarging the customer base.
On the other hand, business threats are elements that pose a problem for a business (Gurel & Tat, 2017). After the strategy analysis, various threats were identified facing CC Music. First, there is a high number of new entrants. Due to technological advancement, competition is likely to be tougher. Second, by involving family members in the business, CC Music is likely to experience internal conflicts. This is as a result of the inability to separate personal lives from the business. This may hinder the achievement of the common goals for CC Music. Additionally, such conflicts can create a hostile working environment and increase employee turnover.
Part B: Open Source Software Comparison Table
Open source software refers to a software with a source code that is available for usage to the general public. The software can be used as it is or with some modifications. The software doesn’t require a license fee (Yilmaz, 2011). CC Music will have several advantages for using an open source business software. These include lowered costs, flexibility, and availability of external support (Yilmaz, 2011). Various open source software are available for small to medium business and choosing the best is essential for successful operations. The following table (Table 1) shows a comparison of four open source business software.
Table 1: Open Source Software Comparison Table
|Functionality: Functionality plays a crucial role in business software selection. Customer service and market automation are essential features||The following features supplies functionalities; a) Customer service and support b) Service and product management c) Marketing automation (Yilmaz, 2011) d) Automation of sales force e) Incident management||a) Marketing management features b) Activity and security management c) Product customization d) Salesforce automation e) Inventory management (Yilmaz, 2011)||The following features are supplied (Yilmaz, 2011); a) Content and project management b) Salesforce automation c) Customer service and support||a) Customer relationship management b) Inventory management c) Billing d) Manufacturing and purchasing e) Accounting and financial management (Devkota, 2016) f) Project management|
|Ease of use: Ease of use is an important factor in deciding on business software (Yilmaz, 2011). The best should be easy to use.||Partially user-friendly. Therefore, it is not very easy to use (Yilmaz, 2011).||It is easy to use. The user interface is simple and easy to understand (Yilmaz, 2011).||Easily used although it is old (Yilmaz, 2011)||The software is user-friendly. The maintained uniformity across modules makes it easy to use it (Devkota, 2016). Even a beginner can use it without training.|
|Security: This is a must-have feature for any software.||Role-Based user access control is supplied (Yilmaz, 2011). An advanced plug-in for the software is also offered to keep the information under protection.||Security is supplied depending on a hierarchy (Yilmaz, 2011). Various levels define users including profile, field, module, and sharing levels.||Role-based security is supplied (Yilmaz, 2011)||Through the Odoo cloud, best security practices are applied (Devkota, 2016). The system offers disaster recovery, database security, password security, system security, Physical security, and network defense among others (Devkota, 2016). A lot of effort is put to ensure security.|
|Customization: This is important for any business to meet its unique needs.||Customization is very easy. Most features can be customized to fit CC Music needs (Yilmaz, 2011).||Customization is enabled. Organizations can make modifications to meet their needs (Yilmaz, 2011).||Customization is limited (Yilmaz, 2011). The appearance of the default Page layout can be changed and edited manually.||Highly customizable (Devkota, 2016). Organizations can modify it based on their requirements.|
|Compatibility||Supports integration with other applications (Yilmaz, 2011).||Exports records related to related operations (Yilmaz, 2011).||Compatible with import from Windows Address Book (Yilmaz, 2011).||Compatible with other applications.|
|Supported browser||All recent versions are supported including Mozilla, Chrome, Opera, and IE among others (Yilmaz, 2011).||Several browsers are supported. these include; Google Chrome (4.1), Firefox 2.x (Yilmaz, 2011)||Internet Explorer (Yilmaz, 2011)||Most current browser version (Devkota, 2016). among the supported browsers include Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Google Chrome among others|
Part C: Report
Need for business process model……………………………………………………………2.2
Open source software………………………………………………………………………..2.3
This report provides an overview of CC Music’s current situation. It also provides a roadmap that outlines how the proposed changes can be met to benefit the new business. The report is a result of the consultancy for the company. CC Music deals with live bands, parties, TV shows, providing bands, as well as radio programs. Its customer target is people in and around the North West of England. Currently, CC Music has strengths and opportunities it can explore to successfully run the business. However, the company needs to address its weakness, and overcome the threats to be a successful venture. Additionally, the company should rely on a business process model, Business Process Model and Notation, and Odoo, an open source business software for efficiency and effectiveness. CC Music needs traditional systems and other improvements to ensure that its customers get quality service.
2.1 SWOT Analysis
CC Music band targets radio programs, parties such as weddings, and TV shows. Its customer target is people in and around the North West of England. Based on SWOT analysis, although CC Music is operating at a good level, some changes are required for the business to be successful (Gurel & Tat, 2017). Internally, the business has strengths that can help remain successful. At the same time, the business has weaknesses that can hinder it from being successful. The strengths include good management skills, advanced technology skills, and available labor. First, Chris and Clive previous experience in managing all aspects of a Northern Soul band equipped them with required management skills. Therefore, the company has required management skills to lead it to success (Gurel & Tat, 2017). Chris and Clive are experienced when it comes to advanced technology skills. These skills give the company an added advantage. Additionally, their family members are will to support the business providing require human resources. Through these strengths, Chris and Clive will be able to lead the business into a success.
However, the following weaknesses must be worked on to avoid their hindrance on the way to success (Gurel & Tat, 2017). These are lack of business skills and equal power sharing. Equal power-sharing, for instance, may lead to internal conflicts associated with inefficiency. Similarly, lack of leadership skills for Chris and Clive limits them for leading the company into success. Externally, CC Music has opportunities that if explored can lead to the achievement of set objectives. At the same time, the business faces threats that can ruin it.
The opportunities include technology, a wider customer base, and a new customer segment. If the business takes advantage of these opportunities, it will be able to improve its operations associated with increased profits (Gurel & Tat, 2017). By taking advantage of the advancing technology, the company will be able to improve its efficiency such as through digital marketing expanding consumer base. By representing other bands, the company will be able to reach a new consumer segment essential for business growth. On the other hand, if the business fails to overcome the identified threats, competition, and internal conflicts, its effectiveness will be affected. Other companies are offering similar services to the target population. If CC Music fails to outshine the competitors the business will not be successful (Gurel & Tat, 2017). Also, internal conflicts may low business effectiveness of not well managed.
2.2 Need for business process model
CC Music is a new business. Therefore, it needs a new business process model to ensure that it succeeds (Aagesen & Krogstie, 2016). With the right model, the company will be able to first improve its efficiency. By identifying the best ways to do the business process, the company will be highly efficient, productive, and have desired outcomes. Second, with the model, the company will be able to develop a business culture of change and innovation (Aagesen & Krogstie, 2016). This is essential for evolving in this technological era. Third, with the model, the business will operate with transparency leading to accountability. Eventually, the company will be able to overcome competition in the entertainment industry. Business Process Model and Notation is recommended because it is more detailed compared to the flowchart model.
2.3 Open source software
Based on the Open Source Software Comparison, of the four software, Odoo open software would be more suitable for CC Music. This is because; first, its functionality is broad compared to the other versions (Devkota, 2016). Additionally, it includes customer service and marketing automation, main functionality features. Second, it is very easy to use the software (Devkota, 2016). Third, CC Music is assured of security while using the software. Fourth, it supports customization essential for meeting the needs of the new business. Fifth is supports data exchange between systems essential for maintaining operations. The software will thus help Chris and Clive in supporting their new business.
There are various challenges that CC Music may experience while implementing the software. These challenges may include resistance from colleagues, and lack of required skills (Devkota, 2016). To overcome such challenges and have a successful process, CC Music should follow the following strategies. First, implementing the software will be a major change for the company. To avoid resistance to this change, all employees should be engaged in the implementation process, from the first step to the last (Devkota, 2016).
Second, CC Music should consider training from software vendors. This will ensure that employees in the company are able to work with the software essential in a better transition to the new system. Additionally, for successful implementation, CC Music should consider the following steps; the first step is assessing its needs (Devkota, 2016). Second is selecting the best software vendor in the market. The third is system deployment. Fourth, CC Music should provide user training for successful implementation (Devkota, 2016). Fifth, the company should invest in the maintenance of the system as well as user support.
Clearly, CC Music is in a better position to succeed in the industry. Chris and Clive should not shy away from investing in the business. According to the strategic analysis conducted using a SWOT analysis technique, clearly, the company can exploit its strengths and opportunities and also improve on its weakness and face the threats to be a success in the market. Through training and research, the company can acquire the required skills and expertise to improve the operations leading to a successful venture. The strengths include good management skills, advanced technology skills, and available labor. The weaknesses are a lack of business skills and equal power sharing. The opportunities include technology and a new customer segment. Finally, threats are competition and internal conflicts. Relying on Business Process Model and Notation, and Odoo, an open source business software will also enable the company to improve in terms of efficiency and effectiveness.
This report provides the following recommendations to ensure that CC Music emerges successful. First, Chris and Clive should learn business skills to effectively run the business. Business skills are essential for a new business to be successful. These skills can be acquired through an experience such as working in leadership positions, through training, and through research (Gurel & Tat, 2017). Second, CC Music should adopt better strategies to avoid internal conflicts that arise when family members are involved in a business. Such strategies may include having a clear and open communication line, treating all employees the same, and avoiding family decisions in support of business decisions.
Third, CC Music should take advantage of the technology to succeed in the industry. This report recommends adaption of open source business software, Odoo, and using business process models, specifically Business Process Model and Notation to ensure its operations run smoothly. Additionally, the company should take advantage of advancing technology for marketing and promotions (Montiel-Campos & Palma-Chorres, 2016). This will put the company in a better position compared to competitors using traditional marketing and promotion strategies. Fourth, CC Music should take advantage of representing other bands to reach the new consumer target. CC Music band should take advantage of this opportunity to win the population widening its consumer base (Gurel & Tat, 2017).
Aagesen, G. & Krogstie, J. (2016). BPMN 2.0 for Modeling Business Processes. Handbook on business process management 1: Introduction, methods, and information systems, 219-250.
Devkota, A. (2016). Open ERP Odoo Guidebook for Small and Medium Enterprises. Oulu University of Applied Sciences. Thesis, 1-34.
Gurel, E. & Tat, M. (2017). SWOT Analysis: A Theoretical Review. The Journal of International Social Research, 10 (51), 994- 1006.
Montiel-Campos, H. & Palma-Chorres, Y. (2016). Technological Entrepreneurship: A Multilevel Study. Journal of Technological Management Innovation, 11 (3), 77-83.
Recker, J., Indulska, M., Rosemann, M. & Green, P. (2009). Business Process Modeling- A Comparative Analysis. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 10 (4), 333-363.
Yilmaz, E. (2011). Comparison of Open Source Customer Relationship Management Software for Small and Medium Enterprises. Kadir Has University, Thesis, 1-108.
Part D: Reflection on the contribution to the online discussion
Online discussions have been a source of more information for me. By making several contributions to the discussion, I learned more about small business operations. First, first, I discovered that business software is as important for small businesses as it is for large enterprises. Before, the online discussion, I saw no need for small businesses to invest in ay software to run operations. Such a move to me would only be a waste of limited resources. However, during the online discussion, I discovered that small businesses need business software for the same reasons as large businesses. Additionally, I learned the importance of open source business software as compared to proprietary software. This is especially for businesses starting with limited capital or businesses looking forward to reducing cost.
Additionally, through online discussions, I learned that even small businesses can use business process models to improve their effectiveness. When writing the report I discovered that business process models are essential for detecting potential improvements. Before the report, I thought it is very easy to tell the business processes of small business and hence no need of having a formal graphical representation of these processes. However, after the online discussions on business process models, I learned that the models play an important role in a successful business. Again, various models exist that can help the small businesses to improve its operations leading to a successful venture. Therefore, online discussion and my contributions are essential practices in having a deeper understanding of key concepts.