Conducting an Industry Analysis


BUS 5460 – Management Information Systems – Conducting an Industry Analysis
For this project, assume that you are a mid-level manager at OTIS. You have been asked by the CIO of
your organization to prepare a report that analyzes the company’s current strategic position in the
market and recommend at least two information systems that would improve the organization’s current strategic position or make it a market leader. You may recommend more than two if you like. Out of the two information systems, identify which one would be more feasible to implement in the organizations. Justify your answer.

Use the following list of suggestions to help you write the report.

  1. Define the firms’ industry and where it is positioned in the value chain.
  2. Describe the firm relative to Porter’s five competitive forces.
  3. You may also find it useful to analyze the websites of the organization’s top two or three
  4. What is the firm’s business strategy(ies): cost leadership, differentiation, niche, growth, and/or
  5. In what way(s) is the organization using its current IT infrastructure and information resources
    to fulfill that business strategy(ies)?
  6. Based on your research so far, identify and describe in detail ways in which IT can help the firm
    achieve a better market strategic position or perhaps even a competitive advantage.

Below are a few examples to trigger your thoughts:
a. Innovative applications: Federal Express was the first company in its industry to use IT
for tracking the location of every package in its system. FedEx was also the first
company to make this database accessible to its customers over the Internet. FedEx has
gone on to provide e-fulfillment solutions based on IT and is even writing software for
this purpose
b. Competitive weapons:’s one-click shopping system is considered so
significant and important to the company’s reputation for superior customer service
that it has patented the system
c. Changes in processes: Berri is Australia’s largest manufacturer and distributor of fruit
juice products. The principal goal of its enterprise resource planning system
implementation was “to turn its branch-based business into a national organization with
a single set of unified business processes” in order to achieve millions of dollars in costsavings. Other ways in which IT can change business processes include better control
over remote stores or offices by providing speedy communication tools, streamlined
product design time with computer-aided engineering tools, and better decision-making
processes by providing managers with timely information reports
d. Links with business partners: Rosenbluth’s Global Distribution Network allows it to
connect agents, customers, and travel service providers around the globe, an innovation
that allowed it to broaden its marketing range
e. Cost reductions: A Booz, Allen & Hamilton study found that: a traditional bank
transaction costs $1.07, whereas the same transaction over the Web costs about 1 cent;
a traditional airline ticket costs $8 to process, an e-ticket costs $1
($file/ad2.pdf). In the
customer service area, a customer call handled by a live agent costs $33, but an
intelligent agent can handle the same request for less than $2 (Schwartz, 2000)
f. Relationships with suppliers and customers: Master Builders sells chemical additives
that improve the performance characteristics of concrete. The company offers
customers MasterTrac, a tank-monitoring system that automatically notifies Master
Builders when additive inventories fall below an agreed-on level. Master Builders then
resupplies the tanks on a just-in-time basis. The customer benefits from an assured
supply of product, less capital tied up in inventory, and reduced inventory management
time and processing. Master Builders benefits because competitors face a more difficult
task to convince concrete companies to switch to them (Vandenbosch and Dawar, 2002)
g. New products: Federal Express’s package-tracking software is one example. In Australia,
ICI Explosives no longer views its business model as just selling explosives; it now also
writes contracts for broken rock. ICI engineers developed computer models that specify
drilling procedures and explosives use for different types of rock faces to produce rock
in the sizes that the customer needs. According to Vandenbosch and Dawar (2002), “The
redefinition of ICI’s role not only generated much higher margins for the business, it also
gave ICI a much more defensible competitive position”
h. Competitive intelligence using data analytics

Helpful Tips
• Investigate your company. Use articles and/or books, websites, white papers, etc., for background.
Your project can include some background research and/or some activity, e.g., an interview or a site visit
• Get an in-depth understanding of the different systems that the organization is using. For example,
what are the systems being used at operational, tactical and strategic levels. How is the management at this level using the systems? Are there any ERP, CRM, KMS or SCM systems being used? What kind of data are these systems collecting and can the organization create any business intelligence from this data?
 Don’t just report. Discuss pros and cons. Evaluate. Use your own words. Quote where appropriate.
Give citations for facts and quotes. Discuss how your topic relates to material covered in the text
and/or in class discussions

• Papers must be typed (use a word processor, Times New Roman with font size 12 and single-spaced
with double spacing between headings and paragraphs)
• First page should include title, author, and abstract
• Abstract of your paper should be an executive summary which provides highlights from the paper and
summarizes the topics to be discussed in the paper
• Below is a general outline for the paper
o Cover page: title, your name, and abstract (a summary of 200 words)
o Table of Content
o Introduction section: overview of topic and issues to be discussed. You may find it helpful to
write the introduction last
o Body: use the questions provided as a helpful guide
o Conclusion: your comments or evaluation
o List of references: use a variety of sources for information and arguments. If you use articles
from the Web, give the URL and the organization sponsoring the site. Pay attention to quality of
your sources
o Appendix (if needed)

• Do not hand in papers that are purely factual or historic. Such papers will not get high scores. You
must include discussion of issues
• Do not wait until late in the semester to get started. Start early in case you have to change topics or
find a new interviewee or resource
• Sometimes, a student submits large segments of copied material from other sources. This is
plagiarism. It is dishonest, unfair to your fellow students, and unpleasant for both you and the instructor
• Write in your own words. Start early. Talk to the instructor if you have problems

OTIS Case Study attached along with the detailed requirements for this research paper. Peer-reviewed sources are preferred

Sample Solution