five stores selling hardware products B u s i n e s s F i n a n c e
U-Build-It Hardware Company is a chain of five stores selling hardware products in a
Midwestern State. It offers a full range of hardware and gardening products, ranging
from hand tools to building and plumbing supplies to gardening supplies and plants. It
also offers its own line of kits produced under contract by a local lumber company for
do-it-yourself (“U-Build-It”) utility and storage sheds, and patio and porch furniture.
Marsha Robinson, CEO of U-Build-It, has been instructed by her Board of Directors to
offer products through the Web. The Board’s decision was based on a strategic
assessment conducted by a local management consultant that forecast U-Build-It is
likely to go out of business within a decade unless it engages in electronic commerce.
Marsha assigned you to head up a team to get U-Build-It into e-business within two
years. With her advice and approval, you decided that U-Build-It’s e-business effort
would not replace the existing stores, but rather would supplement them.
In planning the e-business roll-out, you determine that the approach to take is a three-phase project. Phase 1 will be a very simple e-business model, building up to a full-scale model by Phase 3. Marsha and the Board of Directors approved your approach
and authorized you to move forward to develop a project plan.
Prepare your plan. Describe what U-Build-It’s e-business solution will look like for each
phase. Specifically, describe the front-end and back-end technical architectures for
each phase. Also, what are the requirements for the customer interface for each phase?
That is, what will the web-based site look like and what will it do?
Your paper should be in the form of a follow-up presentation to Marsha that is suitable
for presentation to the Board, if she approves it. Use PowerPoint and use the speaker
notes to record the detailed information that supports your plan. Prepare an Executive
Summary of no more than two (2) pages to be a handout.
You should expect to be given no more than 45 minutes for your presentation (or about
25 slides), with ten minutes for questions and answers. Carefully and completely cite all
references in your notes, but do not clutter the slides with this information.
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