Description of Business Rationale
Partender is a business innovation that will change the running of bar businesses across America and hence the reason why this study proposes its use by bar managers. One of the main problems facing bar owners is the management of their liquor and the heavy costs that are associated with the use of a poor/old liquor inventory management system. Liquor is one of the main items that employees who have complete access to it most of their time while working in the bar can easily steal or waste. With its high value comes the difficulty in accounting for it. For instance, it will be difficult to account for an exact portion of liquor that is missing from a bottle when using an old liquor inventory management system (Miron & Brown, 2006). An outdated and manual system cannot efficiently track the use of an individual product that will inform the bar manager when it is time to order new stock. This situation leads to stock-outs. Moreover, this process may take several days before results are obtained and acted upon. Therefore, there is the need for bar managers to integrate an updated system that ensures minimal loss accruing from liquor theft, wastage, and overpouring. Bar managers and/or owners will track their inventory in a fast and efficient way through the integration of the Partender Bar Inventory Application. In addition, bar owners can reduce loss shrinkage by up to 23 percent, thus saving a lot of income in the end while at the same time enabling the business to become more profitable both in the short term and in the long term (Partender, 2016). This paper proposes the use of Partender in the bar business. Firstly, it will discuss the application’s execution procedure, nature and degree of use, the supposed and concrete commercial benefits, and impacts that result from its utilization. Secondly, it will provide an analysis of the project foundation, validation, accomplishment, and governance. Lastly, the last section will offer an appraisal of the Lessons acquired and suggestions for future business people, especially in the bar business.
Implementation Process, Nature and Extent of Use of Partender, the Perceived and Actual Business Benefits and Business impact emerging from its Deployment
Firstly, the application requires users to log in first using their credentials. After logging in, users will have access to their main view where they can examine all the bars under their establishment (Partender, 2016). Adding a bar in the Partender is another step where new users will have to add new bars to their main view by clicking the plus (+) button on the top right corner of the main view e.g. Main bar and Road bar (Partender, 2016). Moreover, by adding a section of the bar such as the top right shelf or the middle left, the users click on the specific bar from the main view before clicking the add/plus button on the main right corner of the bar view as they did for the bar. Here, on the section view, they will click add, type the specific name of the bar section, then click ok (Partender, 2016). Reordering and deleting bar sections will be another crucial process. To reorder the sections of a bar, the user will tap the edit button on the bottom left-hand corner, hold on to the section, and drag the section to the appropriate position he or she intends it to be. He or she can also delete bar sections by simply swiping the section to the left (Partender, 2016).
To add bottles to the bar section, the user taps a specific bar section, then taps the plus button located on the top right of the bar section view to search the bottle in the Partender’s database. However, during the search, users should ensure that they pay attention to the correct spelling and size of the bottle (Partender, 2016). Taking a picture of a bottle is another user-friendly process in case he or she does not find the bottle in Partender’s database. He or she can click the new bottle icon on the top right, which allows him or her to take a picture of the actual bottle, type the name of the bottle, type of alcohol, and the size of the bottle. After taking a picture, users upload the image to the Partender’s database, which will be available for use (Partender, 2016). After setting up a bar, the users will be able to do inventory by tapping the first bottle on the list before moving the slider to the current liquor level of the bottle on the shelf. Partender ensures that this process is efficient since the user can swipe from left to right to automatically be moved to the next bottle (Partender, 2016).
Nature and Extent of Use
The Partender is an invention that allows multiple users to do inventory at the same time. However, to avoid conflict, it is advisable that only one person should be allowed to end the inventory. After finishing the inventory, the bar’s spreadsheet and purchase orders are automatically emailed to the bar manager for review. The spreadsheet contains the amount of each product remaining in the establishment, the total retail value of each type of the product, and its corresponding wholesale value while at the same time showing what the bar is low on (Partender, 2016).
In addition, the application also provides an auto-generated purchase order, which can be updated through the company’s set up screen on the online portal. Users can also analyze their inventory by logging in to their online portals to provide an in-depth outlook of how a bar’s inventory has changed over time. This information is presented through graphs that give a clear view of the trend. The graphs can also be customized to suit the users’ specific needs. Additionally, the application can analyze different brands by comparing how well particular brands are selling in comparison with others, thus allowing the user to maximize on the fast-moving brands (Partender, 2016).
Perceived actual business benefits and business impacts
The application allows fast and efficient inventory control and the making of purchase orders. It helps the user to do inventory and/or make purchase orders in less than 15 minutes, as opposed to hours or days as seen in previous old and outdated bar inventory systems. This process automatically saves time that is involved in making orders manually while at the same time saving the costs accrued from having stock-outs. The application also allows automatic calculation of the cost of goods sold (COGS). When doing inventory, Partender automatically calculates the outlay of all the commodities sold for the day. The pattern can be viewed through the spreadsheet that is emailed directly to the owners/managers immediately after they close their inventory. This process eliminates the possibility of errors with 99.2 % accuracy (Partender, 2016). Besides, through the inventory analysis page, the manager analyzes different brands by comparing them to know the brands that sell more and/or the ones that are slow to sell (deadstock). This information provides an opportunity for the bar owner/manager to optimize the fast-moving brands.
Analysis of Project Rationale, Justification, Implementation, and Governance
Businesses that have mastered the art of managing a standardized set of systems are positioned to instill discipline in their processes. In this regard, bars need to ensure that they manage their liquor inventory, which is their flagship product, in a timely and accurate fashion to meet the demands of their customers (Ross, 2003). Through the integration of Partender into their business structure, bar managers will manage their inventory in a more accountable manner. This development will also reduce incidents of theft and excessive spillage by employees by holding them accountable for every ounce of liquor under their management. Overall, the integration of this system will ensure that losses are minimized, customers are satisfied and well served, and profits for the business maximized (Miron & Brown, 2006).
Managers are confronted by the new and ever dynamic competitive pressures from the rapid innovation and integration of technological systems by their competitors. In this respect, bar managers need to cultivate the ability to adapt the business infrastructure into their business through current and functional information technology, as traditional approaches can no longer provide such flexibility. Therefore, the adoption of Partender will allow bar managers to narrow the gap between strategic improvement and the ability of the business’ Information Technology system to support and sustain it in the stiff competition (Prahalad & Krishnan, 2002).
According to Sawhney, Wolcott, and Arroniz (2006), for an innovation to be considered justified, it has to satisfy the dimensions of business innovation, including:
- Offerings: Refer to the business products and services. In the case of bars, the innovation should facilitate the creation of new products and services that can be considered valuable by the customers. This novelty can be reflected through the constant availability of liquor in the bar through avoiding or reducing the occurrence of stock-outs that reflect badly for the businesses (Sawhney et al., 2006).
- Solutions: Partender uses an integrated and customized combination of services that solve the business problem of ineffective control of inventory. This solution is extended to the customer who is ultimately satisfied by the bar’s high level of services (Sawhney et al., 2006).
- Customer: Partender indirectly satisfies customer needs by eliminating episodes of stock-outs that are associated with poor inventory management. However, the system cannot expose new unmet customer needs. Therefore, the business will have to ‘innovate’ an interactive system that engages the customer while at the same time enabling him or her to obtain this information (Sawhney et al., 2006).
- Customer Experience: The innovation fails to harness the customers’ experiences since it does not provide room for customer interaction, thus forcing the business to rethink its interface between it and its customers (Sawhney et al., 2006).
- Value capture: The innovative system can capture untapped streams of revenue through the performance of an in-depth analysis of the fast-moving brands that the business can optimize on and consequently reduce the supply of its dead stock. Overall, businesses will increase their revenue and income.
- Processes: Partender allows users to configure their settings based on the activities and processes used in running internal operations. It ensures that businesses get the most out of the innovation, hence assuring success in their integration of the technology.
- Organization: Partender forces the business to rethink the scope of its activities. The stakeholders have a chance to redefine the roles and responsibilities, including incentives of all business units (in this case bars) and individuals (employees).
- Supply chain: Through the Partender, bar managers can make orders of inventory that is going low in a matter of minutes. Moreover, the system is also installed with an alert structure that advises the manager when to make the order to prevent a stock-out of a particular product (Sawhney et al., 2006).
- Network: The innovation lacks a network that can connect its products and services with its customers such as including a free delivery service. This gap offers businesses that use the innovation a competitive advantage over their competitors.
- Brand: The innovation does not provide a means for businesses to communicate their brand to customers, as it is only business-oriented.
Implementation and governance
According to Ross (2003), the innovation should be aligned with the business strategy through the organization of logic for data, applications, and other infrastructural technologies in the business structure. Hitt, Zhou, and Shalley (2015) also state that the innovation should be competent in harnessing creativity in its implementation. Hence, it is expected to increase the competency of the business through the reinforcement of the evolving and tightly aligned business strategy within its scope of ability (Ross, 2003). The implementation of Partender is directly linked to the business strategy of ensuring control and track of all inventories in a fast and efficient way to maximize profit. According to Prahalad and Krishnan (2002), each business innovation should be identified as a core support system for the business depending on its type, in this case, the liquor inventory management.
An Assessment of the Lessons Learned and Recommendations for Future Development of Partender
Allocation of management roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities
Bar managers can respond to business strategies through this system by sharing responsibilities with their staff via inventory management. Thus, the managers can hold the staff members accountable for any spillages and losses of their assigned inventory such as specific bottle shelves. However, the allocation of management roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities cannot be directly done by the system. Thus, the manager has to perform the allocation manually. Therefore, I would recommend future developers of the system come up with a section that managers can use to directly allocate specific roles and responsibilities to their staff to hold them more accountable for any losses (Lewis, 2007).
According to the resources, processes, and values theory, the innovation should allow easy identification of resources, both visible and invisible. However, the technology only takes recognition of the identification and management of only one visible resource, namely liquor. Nevertheless, it fails to address other visible resources such as human capital (bartenders) and brand promotion (Christensen, Anthony, & Roth, 2004). Therefore, future developers of the system should take keen consideration in developing a system that integrates these two invisible resources such as a section that can allocate an employee a given shelf.
Business and Management Process Innovations are undertaken in Parallel
Pantaleo and Pal (2008) assert that the most important management steps to be considered touch on the customer who is the core party of the business. Therefore, the innovation should integrate the business and management processes by prioritizing the customer such as focusing on key consumer requirements. For the case of Partender, innovation needs to be done to help businesses to manage customer-oriented processes such as the identification of the most desirable brands.
Transformation Leadership and Change Management
The innovation lacks a system that promotes the transformation leadership within the business establishment. In this case, leadership spans from the top management to the lower levels of management. In this respect, for an innovation such as Partender to be successful, it requires leaders who can manage it and ensure that maximum benefit is derived from its use. For instance, Partender should install a system that will enhance the organization and delegation of managerial roles within the business structure to facilitate smooth management of all sections of the business (Singh & Waddell, 2004).
Information and Process Ownership/Accountability
A concrete business structure should address the issue of value creation and its corresponding management system. Moreover, the architecture of the system/innovation should be linked to the business architectural frameworks to form complete value creation architecture. Therefore, I would recommend future developers of Partender to devise a system that promotes ownership and accountability through adding sections for allocating particular employees specific sections that they can freely operate and consequently be accountable for in case of any losses in their sections (Vom Brocke & Rosemann, 2015).
Incentives and Performance Assessment
To comprehend how well certain processes are managed, the innovation should be designed to monitor the performance metrics of the business. For instance, through the Partender, a manager can derive a definitive analysis of the overall performance of different brands concerning the sales volume. This process will give the manager an opportunity to optimize on buying stock on the fastest moving products while reducing the stock for the slower moving brands (Ordys, Uduehi, Johnson, & Thornhill, 2007).
Partender is a fairly new but beneficial innovation for bar businesses. Through its incorporation into the bar business structure, business managers can control and manage their most important inventory, which is liquor. In most cases, employees accrue losses due to cases of theft, spillage, and wastage. This innovation offers a solution to this problem by allowing the bar managers to do their inventory and order in less than 15 minutes, thus promising to eliminate human errors that are associated with the use of a manual liquor inventory system. Through the system, managers can automatically calculate the cost of goods sold with an assurance of 99.2% accuracy. Moreover, managers using this innovation can identify the fast and slow movers, thus optimizing their margins and/or eliminating dead stock. However, the system requires improvement in a few areas to address certain management issues such as the integration of a way of prioritizing customer-oriented processes in the business and allocation of invisible resources, particularly the employees to promote leadership, accountability, and employee assessment.
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