Marcus Kingo has a growing waste collection business called

Marcus Kingo has a growing waste collection business called 1-888-JUNK-VAN. His business model is virtually-based, so there are no physical locations and all communication is executed electronically. With the expansion, his information flow had been compromised with inaccuracies. In many instances, there were active jobs missing from the spreadsheet, errors in billing and missing customer information. These mistakes detrimentally affected the business’s bottom line and reputation. So, in the following sections, we will analyze possible solutions and provide our proposed recommendation to resolve this problem.Potential Solutions Kingo has specific requirements that he wants implemented into the IT system he chooses, the system should have a central database, internal information shouldn’t be transmitted by email, the database can be accessed remotely, email to customers should be sent automatically and it should be very user friendly as the stuff does not have much IT skill. There are many solutions available and here are some that Kingo can use for his Junk Van business. The first solution is for Kingo to use Microsoft Access Database. Since Kingo is already using Microsoft Works, he would be spending less time in transferring data and it can be done within a small budget. Another way that Access can be a good solution is that the program can be installed on local computers with Kingo himself doing it as it is an easy installation, or it can be used through a centralized server which can be accessed remotely on a secure private network. The license for each computer would be about $179, which can become costly if there are many people who are working on the Junk Van program and are in need of accessing the data. Another downside to Microsoft Access is that it has to be updated manually everyday if Kingo was to create the new database himself as it does not allow for remote access. Although there is a way to install Access so that there is a shared server for remote accessibility, it requires much IT knowledge and skills so extra help may be needed in order to get the server set up correctly. There are also other costs involved such as the hosting of the shared server, and any professional IT help needed to implement Microsoft Access.   A custom application can also be used for Kingo’s business as it would not only meet all of his requirements but allow for any customization that Kingo would need to operate successfully. It would be a web based system and there would only be a 4 week build time. However custom application can get a little costly as the base cost of $2,000 does not include changes or adjustments that Kingo may need in the future. There is also a $60 per hour maintenance fee, and the total bill for that cannot be calculated until maintenance is actually done. Also there may be extra costs for data migration services which can be used to help Junk Van move from Microsoft Works to the custom application. Kingo must however be very specific in his requirements, so that the programmer understands what must be done exactly so that there won’t be any extra time or money wasted in adding or reformatting the application. Support is billed per hour as well.   Google Docs is also another option as it is not only easy to use but Kingo can create documents, spreadsheets, presentable slides and manageable forms. Forms are very flexible and can be created and shared easily, so clients can be sent a fillable form in an email format which Junk Van can received with all the information readily available. Google Docs can also be used as a way to collaborate efficiently as multiple people can be working on a document at the same time. User profiles can also be assigned so employees can be given different jobs that don’t require extra information not needed for that job. Some great advantages that are included are that it is free for up to 10 users, and if Kingo applies as a small business he would only have to pay a small usage fee of $5 or $50 a user per year. The implementation is very quick and Google Docs is very user friendly so his staff would not need to learn complex IT skills. There is however another side as Google Docs cannot be cross referenced so all the data would be migrated into one large online spreadsheet. Customer support is also not formally supported, and the only option for help is an online forums and blogs. Many users have also voiced their concerns about the storage of important information as cloud computing does not allow users to own tools or resources, and if Google Docs was to ever cancel their service where all that information were to go. So there may be some confidentiality issues.   The fourth option that can be used is platform as a service, this would be delivered on a cloud computing infrastructure . Platform as a service is used for a provision of computational resources such as; hardware, software, storage, network capacity and other basic software functionality on demand and through the internet. This is a great service as users can utilize common applications, build their own unique applications that is being shared from a computing platform from a third party. If Kingo can understand the basics of creating an application then he may be able to do it himself. A package can cost between $300-$600 a month which can vary depending on how storage is needed and how many users will need a license. Implementation is very short and will only take three days. Customization would require more time and money and the programmer would charge by an hourly basis of $180 per hour. There is no long term contracts and the service can be scaled up or down and if Kingo decides he does not want to continue then he can cancel after giving a one month notice.   Finally ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning is also built around a central database which can be accessed remotely. It can integrate business which is what Kingo needs in order for him to implement Junk Van. There are three main packages; SAP Business One, Microsoft Dynamics, and Sage EP which however are a little pricy. The average package would include 20- 25 users and a license cost per user is about $2,500 a year. And because Kingo has a small business with few users his license fee would go up. ERP is also a static system which focuses on production and finance modules which is not a priority for Kingo.

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