BI Tools in Woolworths Limited

Introduction     Business Intelligence (BI) entails a set of data, applications, processes and technologies useful in making business decisions (McBride, 2015). BI is not only used in financial managements but finds a wide range of applicability in a business setting. It can be applied in aspects such as: evaluating staff performance, assessing sales and determining the effectiveness of manufacturing processes.  In this paper, Business Intelligence will be discussed with close reference to Woolworth’s limited company. The BI tools used by the stated company will be discussed and an assessment of their contribution in the success of the company done. Additionally, an opinion based on the relevance of the BI tools will also be given. Lastly, the main factors that influence the success of BI in the company will be outlined. This paper will provide a clear reflection of the expected outcomes for reference to any company considering to integrate BI in its running.

The Background of the Company

            Woolworths limited is a top Australian company established in 1924 in Sydney (Woolworth Group, 2015). The Woolworths are dealers in supermarkets, petrol, liquor, hotels, gaming and financial services amongst other provisions. Financially it is the second largest company and the overall in liquor retailing and hotel services. This company is not in any way related to other companies bearing a similar name located in United States and South Africa.

BI Tools and Techniques used by Woolworths Limited

            The Woolworths limited has engaged various tools to provide critical business information. Such tools include: HP Neoview, Teradata, Informatica, SAS and SAP (Gedda, 2009). Each of the stated tools is limited to a specific field in order to drive the business to its full potential. The HP Neoview technique was meant to provide the predictions about store operations which are necessary for quality customer service. The Teradata contract was signed in to integrate the gradually heightening customer data. Informatica was engaged to integrate the company’s data while SAS and SAP were for business analytics and business objects for reporting respectively.

The Improvement of Woolworths Limited over other Companies

The Woolworths Limited has been ranked number two out of the two thousand top companies in Australia. This premium status involved a great effort both by the management and the employees. This company has expanded in time providing unlimited services to its customers. The Woolworths are not limited to a single business specialization as it is the case for many companies. The involvement in a wide range of businesses is a key reason tor the continuous successes. The locals have experienced the gradual success of the company from 1924 when it first set up the first single Stupendous Bargain Basement.

The Woolworths incur lesser labor costs as compared to other companies (Johnson, 2011). BI saves the costs and time which would have been invested in manually analyzing the institutional data. Minimal time and resources are required to reach quality and reliable business decisions. BI systems reduce labor costs by automating data collection methods, report generation and saving the finances that would have been used to hire the required personnel for acquiring and maintaining important business reports.

The BI has provided the Woolworths with the opportunity to harness crucial information at their own convenience. The information needed can easily be traced from the systems. The executives do not require to engage the IT personnel to extract financial reports. The systems as well allow enable authorized users to make new reports to satisfy their requirements.

The Value of BI to the Woolworths Company and the Customers

            The application of Business Intelligence has not only created more opportunity for the expansion of the company but also quality services to its customers. The analysis of the past and the current trends to provide future insights gives the management the ability to make the correct decisions for prosperity. The company is able to identify any evading dangers and address them before their consequences occur.

Advantages to the Company

            BI has created a competitive advantage in the market space (Huang, 2011). BI integrated with the internet provides an analysis of the customer and market trends making the Woolworths to adjust quickly to suit in to the contemporary trends. Profiling customers achieved through the integration of their data helps the Woolworths to identify the most valuable customers and to determine how to cross-sell and up-sell. Through Business Performance Management (BPI), the company is able to classify products according to their demand to either do away with them or conduct support promotions to curb competition.

Woolworths no longer depends on guesswork to make critical business decisions. The huge amounts of data collected supports decision making. Previously, the management was entrusted with the mandate to make the best guess or whatever seemed to be good for the business. The availability of data analysis software has helped to move from a gambling business game to certainty while making decisions (Fazlollahtabar, 2012). With this accurate data is engaged to reach reliable and informed decisions.

BI is a key tool in cost-benefit analysis. Techniques in BI help the Woolworths to easily compare the costs and the benefits associated with the adoption of a proposed project. It provides an insight of the capital input and an estimate of the anticipated output (Farrow, 2015). With this the company has been able to minimize the production costs maximizing the profits.

BI has helped the Woolworths to identify and understand the customer needs. An analysis of the sales through BI has shown the preferred goods in order of their preference. This helps the company to appropriately stock their goods. Being familiar with customer preferences prompts the meeting of customers needs. The long term effect of this is retention of customers. Satisfied customers often translate to increased revenue.

Advantages to the Customers

            Customer satisfaction is a backbone to any prospering business. The adoption of BI by the Woolworths has improved the customer experience and enhanced the company’s reputation. Customers feel contended and elevated when their voices are heard.

It is a common phenomenon to see large queues of customers lined up in Woolworths retails to acquire goods or services. Ideally, Business Intelligence tools create awareness to the management on the customer preferences and their fulfillments (Virtanen, 2015). The aim the Woolworths to enhance customer satisfaction calls for customer centered business practices. The company has therefore established favorable marketing strategies which make the customers to keep coming for more.Factors that Influence the Success of BI in Woolworths Limited

             Several factors have to be considered to ensure a perfect environment for the success of BI. Such factors include: well established partnerships between the business and the IT, the readiness to accept change, adoption of the most current methodologies, executive involvement, clear cut business problems and a reliable architecture. The observation of these factors often translates to a transformation in the business.

In order to make BI a success in the Woolworths Company, an intimate relationship should be put in place (Yeoh, 2011). The company should ensure that the IT personnel are well versed with the data records in order to ensure more accurate decisions. The company as well should carefully choose its technology options. This does not necessarily mean that they should engage the technologies which have their existing software packages. An evaluation should be done to identify the technology that will best suit the company.

The Woolworths ought to be quick to adjust to the changes and new processes. The business and the IT are obliged to move to the new environment proposed by the BI analysis (Yeoh, Extending the understanding of critical success factors for implementing business intelligence systems, 2015). The Woolworths have always been easy to change to fit in the current trends. This ensures more profitable deals at minimum costs. Delays made in the implementation of the proposed decisions will cause harm to the business and the customers. This defines the key role of performance in the soonest timeframe possible.

To attain the best out of BI, the Woolworths have ensured engagement of competent executives. This determines how well the implementation of decisions will be done.

The executives have knowledge on BI and help to get the reporting requirements right. They are part of the business and always propel it towards success.

The Woolworths have always been keen to identify the problems affecting the business. This is vital to guide the IT personnel on the areas of specialization. This forms a basis for the application of the BI software which makes it easy to reach the recommended decisions in time. The development of dependable software has also helped the Woolworths to flourish in BI.

Conclusion

            Small business should as well be encouraged to engage in BI practices. The fear of the high monetary and time costs often puts them off. The fear of whether the practice will draw benefits in their businesses is also a key hindrance. However, research has proved beyond limits that there are more benefits associated with BI than risks. Advantages of BI cut across almost all business sectors. Such include: decision-making, profit adjustments, competitive adjustments and the quality of customer services. These encompass all the factors for business success. With BI, any business can easily be driven to a higher revenue ranking.

3011GIR Essay Questions Answered

IntroductionThe promotion and maintenance of sound international relations have for long been a key subject of focus. There are certain rules set to govern the co-existence of all states globally. These rules are contained in documents such as the international law and the United Nations Charter. This essay will closely examine the most prominent and the often controversial elements contained in these international documents. The key tenets discussed in this essay include state sovereignty versus human rights, foreign policies, liberalization, international peace, and stability in relation to the Islamic State, humanitarian intervention, and the liberal international order. Opinions will be well stated to ensure that they do not appear as factual statements.

Question 1: In the course of attempting to respond to national security threats, are there times when the rights of states as sovereign entities should take precedence over the rights of groups and individuals within states? Why or why not?

In today’s World, the controversy about the supremacy of sovereignty over human rights is gaining momentum. After the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, many countries engaged in forming Bills of Rights to safeguard the human rights within the domestic law. In this case, state sovereignty has provided an opportunity for the states to guard human rights without external interference. Some people argue that state sovereignty and human rights are always opposed. They argue that sovereignty interferes with the full realization of human rights. In the attempt to address national security threats, the rights of states as sovereign entities should take precedence over the rights of groups and individuals within states.

State sovereignty is the best method a country can adopt to bring about and uphold a peaceful status. States are established under diverse cultural, social, political and economic practices. Decisions should, therefore, be based on such practices. Interventions by other states may result in more harm. A good example of this can be traced on the situation where the state of sovereignty was founded. According to Jarczewska( 2013), sovereignty was born in Westphalia when peace resumed after the Thirty Years’ in Europe. The Peace of Westphalia was signed as a result of cumulative wars caused by external interventions. It was during this period that state sovereignty was recognized. This is an affirmation that states can control their domestic affairs (Ledgerwood, 2012). Intrusion by other states is a violation of the state’s rule of sovereignty.

Sovereignty helps a state to select the rights that best suits their citizens in relation to their cultural and social status. The imposition of the universal human rights is a form of degradation to the state’s autonomy. Take an example of the Islamic states where the practices are contradictory to those of other states. The communities are highly patriarchal and opposed to the application of gender equality. In these states, any faith apart from Islam is condemned and all extra-marital practices forbidden. These practices are heterogeneous to liberal countries though justified in Islamic states. The islands are contented by such ways of life.  The applicability of the universal rights at such incidences becomes limited. This calls for state-based mechanisms to address security threats.

END OF PREVIEW 

Question 2: Identify and explain a contemporary dilemma in Australian foreign policy, paying particular attention to the factors that make it a “dilemma”. What are the policy options, and which option would you recommend to policy makers and why?

Question 3: To what extent, if at all, should the maintenance and promotion of liberal values and institutions in the international system be pursued at the risk of conflict between states? Discuss using one contemporary example.

Question 4: Is the threat posed by Islamic State overstated, or does it pose a significant enough threat to regional and international peace and stability   to justify the use of force by the US and its Western allies, including Australia?

Question 5: The international community should not involve itself in the internal affairs of states wracked by civil war and internal strife. Use examples of intervention and/or non-intervention to explain why you agree/disagree with this claim.

Question 7: To what extent does the liberal international order depend on American leadership and military primacy? Would a decline in US power and international engagement foreshadow a different kind of international order?

Biological Diversity Evolution and Ecology

QUESTION N°1:Review this scientific article: “Carrasco, M. A., Barnosky, A. D., & Graham, R. W. (2009). Quantifying the extent of north American mammal extinction relative to the pre-anthropogenic baseline.”

PLoS One, 4(12) doi: http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.smccme.edu/10.1371/journal.pone.0008331

  • Note: I attached the article itself as a PDF in this assignment.
  1. BRIEFLY summarize the research
  2. find and re-state or paraphrase the hypothesis
  3. briefly explain the results of one of the figures (please cut and paste the figure into your response).
  4. remember to include at least 5 relevant terms as described above. (15 + sentences, 30 pts)

QUESTION N°2:

Do the same as in question number (1). Review this scientific article: Mycorrhizal ecology and evolution: the past, the present, and the future.

Mercel, V. D. H. G., Francis, M. M., Marc-Andre, S., & Ian, S. R. (2015). Mycorrhizal ecology and evolution: the past, the present, and the future. New Phytologist205(4), 1406-1423.

https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/nph.13288

  • Note: I attached the article itself as a PDF in this assignment.
  1. BRIEFLY summarize the research
  2. find and re-state or paraphrase the hypothesis
  3. briefly explain the results of one of the figures (please cut and paste the figure into your response).
  4. remember to include at least 5 relevant terms as described above and these five terms must be different from those already used. (15 + sentences, 30 pts).

QUESTION N°3:

Read ONE of the following three articles/ essays:

(a). “How Flowers Changed the World”, by Loren Eisley (I attached the article as a PDF)

(b). “The Insect Apocalypse Is Here”, by Brooke Jarvis

(https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/27/magazine/insect-apocalypse.html)

(c).  “Restore our Sense of Species” by Klaus-Douwe B. Dijkstra (I attached the article as a PDF)

  • Questions need to be RESPOND.
  1. What do you think is the main point?
  2. Quote a passage that is connected with this point.
  3. What is the most convincing “data” or example given?
  4. What evolutionary, ecological and /or diversity concepts or principles help you understand the article? What new concepts are introduced?
  5. Note that the Eisley article was written in the 1950s; What old terminology or thinking is used?
  6. How might it be “updated”?
  7. Does the article suggest that the study of biology tends to prompt emotional responses?

Explain. Finally, do you think it is possible to study these issues without an emotional response? Why or why not? (Two long-each paragraph, or more 30%)

Operations Management in Health Care

Question #1: (9 points)1.1 Work stress and burnout among nurses is a serious issue in many health care organizations. Develop a mind map of this problem?
1.2 Choose a service offered by a healthcare organization and create a service blueprint. You may have to imagine some of the services that take place backstage if you are unfamiliar with them.
1.3 Develop a map of a healthcare process with which you are familiar. Make sure that your process map has a start and an endpoint, all inputs and outputs are defined, and all key process steps are included?

Question #2: (7 points)
If a hospital food service can provide inpatients with 9,000 meals in one month, in the meantime,
the radiology department performs all magnetic resonance images (MRIs) for inpatients. Given that the MRI machine would have a capacity of 24 MRIs/day and the department has two MRI
machines working 20 days a month. Based on the following data obtained from the two departments, answer the following questions:

2.1 Compare the single-factor productivity ratios between the two departments, using hours of labor.
2.2 Compare the multifactor productivity ratios between the two departments, using the dollar as a unit of measurement for productivity.
2.3 Assume that a new MRI machine could allow 20% of the labor force to be eliminated. Using a total equipment cost of $50,000, Is this a wise decision for a capital substitution over labor? Calculate the percentage of productivity improvement or decline after capital substitution for labor?Question #3 (4 points)
1n 2018, the total patient revenues in one of Dubai’s hospitals were 6 million dollars, wherein 20% of these revenues come from outpatient services. Given that inpatient days were 40,000 days and the numbers of productive and nonproductive labor hours were 80,000 and 500, respectively. Using the previous information, calculate:
3.1 The adjusted patient day
3.2 The adjusted occupied beds
3.3 If an FTE employee worked 40 hours per week for the previous calendar year, calculate the productive FTE in 2018?

Operations within Blacberry Hill Farm

Learrning Outcomes to be Assessed:
1. Analyse the use of scheduling tools and techniques within the operational environment.
2. Critically appraise and apply appropriate tools to assess the current business environment.
3. Evaluate alternative improvement options using mathematical modelling and simulation tools.
4. Develop a forecast plan with a supporting business case to the executive board of an organisation.Rationale:
Operations Management is a professional role which involves overseeing the production of goods and/or provision of services. Operations Managers are called upon to make sure an organisation is running as best as it can. In this assessment you will have the opportunity to develop your sills in forecasting for competitive advantage.

Description:
Blackberry Hill Farm (BHF) has developed two businesses to complement their traditional farming activity over the last six years. The first is a service operation opening up the farm to paying visitors who can observe farming activities and enjoy tours, walks and exhibits; the second is a facility manufacturing preserves.

The case allows students to explore capacity constraints in a service business and to compare the capacity with demand forecasts. Students will be able to highlight the dangers of ignoring changes in “mix” of demand and the inappropriate use of averaged data. Students can explore options for flexing capacity, managing demand, and target marketing to achieve a better balance between capacity and load in a highly seasonal business. Students will also examine the role of inventory, personnel issues and seasonality in the manufacture and supply of preserves in which there are constraints in production.

Additional information:
The Case should allow students to focus on trade-offs between conflicting organizational priorities, focusing on them to examine comprises and make appropriate decisions that may (or may not) please differing stakeholder groups

Case Study in Detail:
‘Six years ago I had never heard of agri-tourism. As far as I was concerned, I had inherited the farm and I would be a farmer all my life.’ (Jim Walker, Blackberry Hill Farm) The ‘agri-tourism’ that Jim was referring to is ‘a commercial enterprise at a working farm, or other agricultural centre, conducted for the enjoyment of visitors that generates
supplemental income for the owner’. ‘Farming has become a tough business,’ says Jim. ‘Low world prices, a reduction in subsidies, and increasingly uncertain weather patterns have made it a far more risky business than when I first inherited the farm. Yet, because of our move into the tourist trade we are flourishing. Also . . . I’ve never had so much fun in my life.’ But, Jim warns, agri-tourism isn’t for everyone. ‘You have to think carefully. Do you
really want to do it? What kind of life style do you want? How open-minded are you to new ideas? How business-minded are you? Are you willing to put a lot of effort into marketing your business? Above all, do you like working with people? If you would rather be around cows than people, it isn’t the business for you.’

History
Blackberry Hill Farm was a 200-hectare mixed farm in the south of England when Jim and Mandy Walker inherited it 15 years ago. It was primarily a cereal-growing operation with a small dairy herd, some fruit and vegetable growing and mixed woodland that was protected by local preservation laws. Six years ago it had become evident to Jim and Mandy that they may have to rethink how the farm was being managed. ‘We first started a pick-your-own
(PYO) operation because our farm is close to several large centres of population. Also the quantities of fruit and vegetables that we were producing were not large enough to interest the commercial buyers. Entering the PYO market was a reasonable success and in spite of making some early mistakes, it turned our fruit and vegetable growing operation from making a small loss to making a small profit. Most importantly, it gave us some experience of how to deal with customers face-to-face and of how to cope with unpredictable demand. The biggest variable
in PYO sales is weather. Most business occurs at the weekends between late spring and early autumn. If rain keeps customers away during part of those weekends, nearly all sales have to occur in just a few days.’

Within a year of opening up the PYO operation Jim and Mandy had decided to reduce the area devoted to cereals and increase their fruit and vegetable growing capability. At the same time they organized a Petting Zoo that allowed children to mix with, feed and touch various animals…………………………………………….Tasks:
1. Detail the current business issues being faced by Blackberry Hill Farm
2. Discuss why Blackberry Hill Farm should develop a stable forecasting model.
3. Discuss and justify your preferred forecast model,
4. Discussion around the accuracy of the forecast model and how the model is measured against historical data

Part 1 (LO 4) – Individual presentation, the following areas should be covered and explained in detail. (25%)
Develop a forecast plan with a supporting business case to the executive board of an organisation
– Based on historical data develop a forecast for Blackberry Hill Farm for the following twelve months.
– Appraise a number of different forecast techniques and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each technique, from this analysis justify the technique you are proposing.
– Discuss how forecasts can be measured in terms of the accuracy of the forecast, must include a minimum of two different techniques.

Part 2 (LO 1-3) – Individual Report (75%)
Analyse the use of scheduling tools and techniques within the operational environment.
– Identify the current capacity constraints within the Blackberry Hill Farm.
– Discuss how seasonality could be addressed in terms of: (the season, weekday/ weekend, time of day), factors such as the weather (rain/shine)
– Identify issues around staffing.
– Discuss whether any standard operational tools and techniques are being deployed within the business
– Identify how a standardised approach would assist Blackberry Hill Farm in planning the future of the business, in terms of: – Long terms strategic issues, medium-term planning and control, short-terms operations issues.

Critically appraise and apply appropriate tools to assess the current business environment.
– Identify different types of techniques in terms of controlling the manufacturing environment.
– Discuss whether deploying lean strategies would be applicable to the business
– Discuss how the deployment of lean and identify some key milstones, such as the identification of waste, TQM etc

Evaluate alternative improvement options using mathematical modelling and simulation tools.
– Simulation is generally misunderstood by businesses, identify the advantages and disadvantages of adopting such mathematical techniques, discuss this within the context of the case study.
– Discuss the differences between mathematical modelling and graphical modelling such as discrete event simulation.
– Discuss whether investment should be made in terms of purchasing a simulation
package or whether a third party should be employed on consultancy basis.