The Pros and Cons of Communications Technologies in the Workplace

The Pros and Cons of Communications Technologies in the Workplace

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Communications Technologies in the Workplace


Because of low sales, a regional company selling architectural
ironmongery has replaced its Director with a new Director, sent from
the company's central office.

He has asked the Accounts Manager, who is interested in computers but
is not an expert, to look at ways they can improve their computer
systems. He believes that this will help improve the sales figures.
They have an old PC for the Secretary to writes letters on, and an old
mainframe system for the Customer Services Department and the
Warehouse.

The company has 5 reps, working mostly from home, covering different
areas. They generate their own sales leads, by cold calling architects
and building contractors, offering the service of specifying which
architectural ironmongery is needed on each door of a building
project. This saves the architect time when there might be hundreds of
doors in a hotel or an office block. The director is aware that most
architects use AutoCad, and so wants to be able to offer a compatible,
software based service instead of the word-processed documents they
currently send through the post.

Communicating with the reps is a real problem, as they are either on
the road, in meetings, or are at home making their sales calls.

The Director believes that one of the Accounts staff has the skills to
become the new role of 'Sales Co-ordinator'. Based in the office she
will make calls to architects and builders, and gather information
about any planned building projects. She will create and maintain a
database detailing each planned project, which rep it has been passed
to, which architect is involved, and what stage of planning approval
it is at (many planned buildings are never actually built.) She will
log all door schedules that the reps do, and all quotations sent out
by the Estimating Department. When a building contract is awarded, she
will know which contractor the rep has to meet, to prevent them from
choosing a cheaper alternative of architectural ironmongery.

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Sometimes
a building takes years to actually be built, and so the Director
believes that the more information they have, the more likely they are
to get the order. When an order is lost, he will know which rep was
responsible for that project, which in a lot of cases has never
happened before.


This is the structure of the company:


Director
--------

Director's secretary

Accounts Manager

Customer Services Manager


Sales Manager
-------------


Accounts staff
--------------

Customer

Services Staff

Rep 1

Future Sales Co-ordinator

Warehouse Manager

Rep 2

Estimating Department

Warehouse Staff

Rep 3

Rep 4


Write a report that will help the Accounts Manager make his proposal
to the Director describing how communications technologies described
in the lesson might help improve their sales.

Try to be detailed, and clear why you are making a suggestion -
remember it is for the Accounts Manager, who is not a computer expert
and so should be able to understand it.

Describe the current situation first, and what you would replace it
with. Say why your suggestion is an advantage, and also why it might
be a disadvantage. To help you structure your answer, concentrate
first on the Sales Reps, then on the new role of Sales Co-ordinator,
and then on the other departments in turn.

One thing to note: the Director intends to pay for the changes by
making redundant the worst-performing rep.
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