My paper is about what it is like to be a Marine and Ocean Engine
The world is considerably very small because of globalization. The virtual closeness of the countries has made the trade and commerce an international event. Global businesses make every community more closely around the world. The discussion in this report shall involve the strategic role and analyze the information requirements of an organization operating in a competitive global environment, decision making at each of the managerial levels, the critical relationship between the Business strategies, Information System (IS) strategy and the Information Technology (IT) strategy in an organization and the latent ethical issues of information systems. In this case, the situation surrounding Unilever will be taken into consideration. The following annotations and propositions discussed in this discussion are supported by claims on journals, books and Unilever website.
The modern technology is really helping those businesses where is using a Management Information System in the various level of managerial approach. The chosen company is Unilever to describe in this report how Unilever is benefitting using Management Information System in various level of the company.
The discussion in this report shall involve the strategic role and analyze the information requirements of an organization operating in a competitive global environment, decision making at each of the managerial levels, the critical relationship between the Business strategies, Information System (IS) strategy and the Information Technology (IT) strategy in an organization and the latent ethical issues of information systems.
Table of Contents
Executive Summary 2
Table of Contents 3
Background of the company 4
Analyzing Mission Statement 4
PESTEL Analysis of Unilever 4
Political Factors 4
Economical Factors 5
Socio-Cultural Factors 5
Technological Factors 5
Environmental Factors 5
Legislative Factors 5
SWOT Analysis of Unilever 5
Recommended Information Systems 7
Strategic Level 8
Management Level 9
Knowledge Level 9
Operational Level 9
Ethical issues related in using Information System at Unilever 10
Background of the company
Unilever is a Dutch-British multinational company which acquired many consumers’ product brands in foods, ice-creams, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products. Unilever got two headquarter one in Rotterdam, Netherlands and other one in London, United Kingdom. The Unilever is a dual listed company which has same directors and runs effectively. The current non-executive chairman of Unilever is Michael Treschowand and Paul Polman is Group Chief Executive. The main Competitors for Unilever are Proctor & Gamble, Nestle, DANONE, Reckitt Benckiser, Kraft Foods, S.C Johnson and sons’ and Henkel.
Analyzing Mission Statement
The mission statement of Unilever UK represents two dimensions of their company, one is how Unilever products attached to the people everyday life and the other part is what Unilever wants to do in the nearest future. Everyday around the world, more than 150 million people in over 150 countries using Unilever products because people know they can help themselves feel good look good and can get more out of life, a few examples, Flora helps keep hearts healthy, a cup of PG Tips refreshes, Magnum gives an indulging treat, Persil to clean family’s clothes, Domestos keeps germs free, Sure helps unbeatable protection and hair wash with Sunsilk helps looks great also gives confidence to take on life. The company is committed to provide a healthy lifestyle, variety, taste, quality products, enjoyment supporting increasingly precious commodity. The company is also committed to the vitality of the environment and the communities. The Unilever doing business in a responsible way has a positive benefit also working in partnership with governments, international agencies (such as, UNICEF) and nongovernmental organizations (such as, WWF) to make a difference.
PESTEL Analysis of Unilever
Unilever operating their businesses in globalise environment around the world. Unilever now operates their business over 150 countries around the globe. The performance of Unilever is highly influenced by legislative and political conditions of individual serving countries. If consider the employment legislations, the rules is different for every countries there need to be followed a rules for providing a mix job opportunity including flexible, lower paid locally based jobs, higher paid centrally located jobs etc. Also there has to be meet a demand from vast population categories like students, working parents and senior citizen, disabled people.
Unilever is concern about economic factors because this is related with demand, costs, prices and profits. There is another most influential factors of economy is high unemployment which is directly related with the demand of many products and adversely affected on that may products. Those kinds of economic factors can not be controlled by the Unilever
The consumers demand the type of goods and services on the basis of consumer’s social condition, consequent attitude and beliefs. Now a day, the consumers are more aware of health related matters and the attitudes towards products are constantly changing.
Technology is a macro-environmental variable which help the development of the Unilever products. The new technologies are beneficial for both companies and the customers; customer satisfaction rises because products are readily available. Unilever uses latest technologies for example wireless devices, intelligent scale, radio frequency identification etc. The use of Electronic Point of Sale (EPoS), Electronic Fund Transfer systems (EFTPoS) and electronic scanners have greatly improved the efficiency of distribution and stocking activities etc. (Finch 2004)
There are some issues threatening the producers and retailers have been environmental factors. In 2003, there was an increased pressure on many companies and managers to acknowledge their responsibilities to the society and act in a way which can help society (Lindgreen & Hingley 2003). Unilever corporate social responsibility has to be concerned in this way where any organization exceeds minimum obligations to stakeholders specified through the regulation. (Johnson & Scholes 2003)
There is the law of land and policies have a direct impact on the performance of Unilever. There is an enforceable Code of Practices have to be followed to set up banning many of current practices, for example, the payments from suppliers and changing agreed prices . (Mintel Report, 2004) The powerful competitors established brands creates a threat of intense price wars and a strong requirements for product differentiation. The government’s policies for monopoly controls and reduction of buyers’ power can limit entry to this sector such controls on license requirements and limits on access to raw materials. (Mintel Report, 2004; Myers, 2004).
SWOT Analysis of Unilever
Successful businesses build on their strengths, correct their weaknesses and protect against internal vulnerabilities and external threats. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis helps businesses to understand overall business environment and exploit new opportunities more faster than any other competitors.
The market Share is increasing day by day because of playing a great profitable contribution the world economy.
High reputations for quality products are a key strength.
Unilever got excellent product safety in health, beauty and foods.
Unilever is a global business which do business more than 150 countries around the world.
There is a high performance of distribution where the suppliers are located around the UK.
Competitive pricing is also a key strength in Unilever.
Unilever uses latest technology which helps the company to introduce consumer’s good products.
Unilever got experienced and qualified research and development team for product development.
Brand image some time affect the common customer.
High pricing for various products causes low earning customer to buy another company’s less price products.
Customer Relationship Management must be a qualified team as there have no retail shop company business always depends on sole distributors.
Lack of market research in Unilever reduces total sales figure in a financial year.
They do not have retail and online shop, it some time causes high pricing of products in the distributors retail shop.
Depends on the distributors where some time does not take proper initiative to increase the sales.
Increasing market share comparable to the competitors is really a good opportunity which can help company to increase the growth rate.
Unilever can open retail shop which will help to approach direct consumer.
Increasing brand value by providing good quality of products.
Unilever can acquire more company’s brands and services which can be a key step to increase the value in the market.
Greater promotion of some products can get more customers to use their products.
All successful businesses attract competition so the competitors would be a threat.
International competitors may also intrude as Unilever expands.
Every products can not be marketed every countries because of different race of people around the world.
Natural disaster could damage many area of the business, for example, earthquake in Haiti and Chile.
Recession causes loss of jobs where people less use of branded products, for example recent recession in USA, UK and Europe caused a vast impact in world economy.
Recommended Information Systems
The following cross-functional system concepts and how they can provide significant business value to Unilever will be discussed in this document:
The operational level is for taking day to day decision. Transaction Processing System can help to take operation level decision like supermarket, Biometric device etc.
The knowledge level of decision is takes for research, design and procurement. Knowledge Work System can help to take knowledge level decision.
The tactical or managerial control level decision takes for 1 to 3 years, it is for resource allocation. Management Information System or Decision Support System can help to take the managerial level decision.
The strategic level decision takes for 3 to 10 years, it is for long term. Executive Information System can help to take the strategic level decision.
Complex Mathematical Model: Unilever can use a Complex Mathematical Model for monitoring operations, costs, revenues, market shares, share prices etc. Unilever is categorized as fast moving consumer goods, quick acquisition, processing of market information. The information of market is usually collect from research companies, historical data and individual analysis.
Enterprise Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence Solution: In order to gain a clear view of business performance across Unilever’s companies in around the world.
Unilever Information Program: When transformation is taking place in the organisation, information systems are inevitably involved. Currently Unilever is reshaping operational responsibilities for greater clarity between what is better done by the local company, at regional level or global organisations. The Unilever Information Program (UIP) is to develop an infrastructure to support the Path to Growth strategy, with the key priority of finding a quick data integration solution to allow user access to any number of data sources for in-depth analysis.
Supply Management Information System: Unilever can integrated a supply management information system which will helps local, regional and global supply managers make appropriate sourcing of decisions, allowing them to collate and analyze information’s more quickly and easily. The system enables managers to negotiate with suppliers in a transparent and efficient way where benefiting both parties.
Procurement System: The procurement is inevitability for future supply chain optimisation the supply market, particularly in Europe is still suffering from under-development. The Procurement System can help total supply chain operation rather than just transactional activity. The Procurement System provides a catalyst for positive improvement in supply management profiles.
Supply-Chain Management Systems: The using of a variety information system and several other supply chain management technologies, Unilever can enhance the usability of the supply chain.
Research & Development System: Used for formula development
Specifications System: Specification System will help in packaging, formula, raw material, finished products and process specification.
Manufacturing Planning System: Manufacturing Planning System can help in production orders, purchase orders, standard costs, inventory, financial transactions, and production reporting.
Planning System: Planning system can help in Demand Planning (DP), Demand Requirement Planning (DRP), Constrained Product Planning (CPP), Finite Scheduling.
Order and Cash System: Order and Cash system can help in order entry management, terms of sale, deduction tracking, stock allocation and invoicing.
Finished Goods Management System: Finished good management system can be used for shipping, warehouse, transportation, production and traceability.
Ethical issues related in using Information System at Unilever
A new technology introduces some new ethical dilemmas. Computer technology is used for gathering, storing, manipulating data and spread the processed data which is information. Information system uses local and global networks, databases, programs for processing information. Information is a key to prosperity and it is a source of power also. This is very important to think about ethical considerations, how information will be used in an information system because there is social and political issues involved. There are severe social problems exist today because government and business organisations have failed to uphold the highest ethics standard in Management Information System use. These problems exist in such forms as invasion of privacy and software piracy. The most widely publicized classification of human rights in the computer area is Richard O. Mason’s PAPA. The letters in PAPA stand for Privacy, Accuracy, Property and Accessibility. (McLeod and Schell, 2001)
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Privacy: The right of privacy is threatened by two forces. One is increasing ability is of the computer to be used for surveillance and other one is the increasing value of information in decision making. Decision maker sometime invade someone’s privacy to get the information. Unilever need to do market research in need to know what type of products customers really need or what they use. There is a ethical issue concerned because of Data Protection Act, UK 1998.
Accuracy: The Management Information System is given credit for making possible a level of accuracy and which is not unachievable in manual system. Most of the time errors cost much greater.
Property: There is some intellectual property like computer programs. The software or the systems Unilever using are they copyrighted, agreed to use from the vendors.
Access: There are some information is available to the general public in the form of printed documents or microform of images stored in libraries which includes news stories, results of scientific experiments, government statistics and so on. Access right is required to access some other databases to get information. A right to access is a Modern-day ethical issue.
Finally it can be said that Unilever can make their market position stronger than before by using different information system at different level. But Unilever must have enough consideration in various sectors to use Management Information System.
The wide spread growth of business which consists of several functionalities lead to the invention of Enterprise resource planning system with better customer management system.. Also the increased use of computers and internet has encouraged many organizations to do business online. Most of the businesses try to interact with their potential and existing customers through internet via opinions on blogs, online discussion forums, and consumer product review websites. Any organization with a close consumer base like the should think how to use web 2.0 applications to enhance the business. Especially the large retail companies with large customer base should use the latest technologies like web 2.0 to be competitive and to provide better customer service.
Currently many large retail organizations like many large-scale supermarkets have managed to incorporate Enterprise resource planning in to their business. Further, the customer management plays a very critical role on the success of those businesses. The organizations, which are providing excellent customer service, have better competitive advantage over the others who do similar businesses.
A brief introduction about Enterprise Resource Planning, Customer service management and Web 2.0 will help the readers to understand the research better. Firstly, ERP, which is an abbreviation for Enterprise Resource Planning, which is basically an “integration of business management practices and modern technology”. Information Technology (IT) is integrated with the other business processes such as Human resources, Finance etc in order to achieve the business objectives of the company. ERP consists of three most important components; Business Management Practices, Information Technology and Specific Business Objectives. Moreover, it is a huge software architecture, which helps to integrate information of the functional units of large businesses that are geographically scattered. .
Customer management system aimed at improving the relationship between enterprises and customers. Many companies, to learn more about the customer needs and behaviors in order to build a strong relationship with them. This process also help those companies to gather information about customers, sales, marketing effectiveness, responsiveness and market trends which will help them to be competitive in their businesses.
This dissertation will critically analyse the impact of Customer Relationship Management in ASDA and to analyse the ways in which it can be successfully used to gain competitive advantage. The answer is sought through a comprehensive analysis of the retail companies such as large supermarkets that uses Information Technology and engaged in Customer Relationship Management to improve their businesses. . Further, Expert opinions in regard to this subject, through interviews and questionnaires, will be sought from those companies to suggest new ways to enhance the business opportunities by mitigating the potential risk with the use of these systems.
Based on the research done on current IT field, I found that web 2.0 is very popular between everyone. And to relate it to more practical scenario, I decided to do a research on how this can be successfully put in to practice for the improvement of information sharing. Further, customer Management, which plays a key role in those companies and to find a better method to improve the customer Management through the information sharing with the new technology like web 2.0.
The following research problems and questions can be used to analyze this problem to find an effective way to solve the problems.
What are the important aspects of Customer Relationship Management in a retail outlet and how Information Technology can be used to enhance its functionality?
(Enterprise resource planning systems and the use of web 2.0 for information sharing)
What is CRM and what it means to retail organizations? The use of Information Technology in a retail outlet?
Opportunities and risks of web 2.0 to a retail organization and the ways in which it can be handled to gain completive advantage over other competitors?
How can retail organisation like ASDA, can incorporate information technology in to the business to improve its customer relationship management?
The CRM models that can guide to build successful leading retail businesses.
Aims and Objective
Based on the research done on the retail outlet such as ASDA were customer relationship management plays a key role in its survival. With the current technological advancement the Information technology plays a key role. With such requirements, I found that web 2.0 is very popular between everyone. And to relate it to more practical scenario, I decided to do a research on how this can be successfully put in to practice for the improvement of information sharing. Further, customer Management, which plays a key role in those companies and to find a better method to improve the customer Management through the information sharing with the new technology like web 2.0.
And also in this internet age everything done via web applications and therefore the Web 2.0 plays a key role in the future development of Business like retail outlets were customer uses internet to buy goods and services.
The related research is structured in the following way:
As a primary step of the thesis undertaken, I would like to focus on the literature review to undergo a thorough study in the field of CRM to find out the risks and opportunities exist for an organization to adopt these popular tools to the improvement and productivity of the business.
As a secondary step, with the knowledge gained from these studies, the survey is to be carried out in two phases.
In the first phase of the survey involve designing and distributing survey questionnaires among the friends and colleges who works or shops at a retail outlet like ASDA with in UK .
As a second phase of the survey involve follow up interviews with the respondents to gather further information in the relevant areas which are covered in the questionnaires.
At the end the data collected through these phases are analysed to come up with some suggestions that can help the organization to attain benefits through IT.
It is a tool developed by Henry Gantt in 1917, to provide a simple visual representation of the task or activities that make up a research project. In this the research time scale can be divided into sub stages and each main activity can be scheduled according a time limit.
The time we estimated each task is represented by the length of an associated horizontal bar, whilst the task’s start and finish times are represented on the tile line.(Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis, Adrian Thornhill, 2009)
(Refer Appendix -1 -Dissertation schedule)
2.1 Introduction about CRM.
Wikipedia defines Customer relationship management (CRM) as a “broadly recognized, widely-implemented strategy for managing and nurturing a company’s interactions with clients and sales prospects” (Wiki, 2010). CRM uses the technology is used to organize and automate business processes such as sales activities, marketing, customer service and technical support. But the ultimate goal of CRM is attract new clients, keep the existing clients happy and save cost in marketing and customer service. Many organizations build their own databases that describe about customer and their relationship with the organization that enable the management and sales people to offer products and services that suits the customer expectations.
Generally the application architecture of the CRM has three important parts namely operational CRM, Analytical CRM and collaborative CRM. Operational CRM is to handle the front office business processes including customer service, marketing and sales, whereas the analytical CRM focus on analysing the customer segments based on the data collected within Operational CRM. Finally the collaborative CRM help the organization to interact with customers using all the available channels to find solution that bring all the entities together in order for the company to provide better service to its customers.
The new technology inventions and the use of internet have brought new ways of doing business. The company’s future success and its profitability is heavily depends on how that company treats its customers, that is why many companies including retailers invest heavily on improving the ways of doing business to improve customer satisfaction. Firms develop strategies and technologies for implementing better customer service management to be profitable in the current intensive and dynamic market environment (Pani and Venugopal, 2008).
There are many current IT developments in the retail sector that can help the retailers to gain competitive advantage over its competitors. Following IT systems such as Self checkout systems, new multimedia displays, electronic shelf labelling, and fraud detection systems,
U-Scan (the worlds widely used self checkout systems), Loss prevention software and Corema (helping retailers to create deliver and track loyalty programs and targeted offers and promotions) are used by many retailers to gain customer satisfaction. Further, the emerging technology like intelligent agents can be used as a tool to achieve e-CRM in internet.
2.2 Evaluation of Digital Media
The rise of the internet in 90’s created a new mechanism to distribute information among people. In the PC era the physical data is stored in digital form in to CDs and flash drives but, with the wide use of internet the “web 2.0 ” technology emerged to enable two way , many to many communication via internet in the form of feedback, ideas, reviews and recommendations which encourages the participation of the interested parties.
The following four developments are the crucial milestones that the internet media has gone through in the past decade. The primary development can be stated as the development of website communities that can be considered as an originator of the current time wikis and blogs, which is followed by the introduction of rich site summery (RSS) which is used to manage the frequently updated contents. The next milestone of this development process was the introduction of search engine marketing where the advertisement is returned just in time. The Google’s Ad Words is one such example of this which helps many small businesses to reach many new customers. The final developments was the introduction of behavioural targeting which creates a profile based on the user history and other information to target the customers according to their preferences. (Shih,2009)
2.3 Web 2.0
The web communication technology field has emerged through different innovations. The latest revolution in this field is called “Web 2.0 “. It was considered as the first phase of web evolution. This concept was first identified during a conference brainstorming session between O’Reilly and MediaLive International. Web 2.0 doesn’t have a hard defined boundary therefore, It can be simply described as “a set of principles and practices that tie together a veritable solar system of sites that demonstrate some or all of those principles, at a varying distance from that core” (O Reilly,2005).
Finding a common definition for web 2.0 was a tedious task for the researchers. Therefore , we can come to a common understanding by analysing the definitions that are given by different researchers in this field.
According to Tim O’Reilly:
“Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform. Chief among those rules is this: Build applications that harness network effects to get better the more people use them”.
Former Vice President of Product Management at Google Adam Bosworth describes Web 2.0 as “rich intelligent clients who share information across the web and deal with richer media (photos, sound, video)”.
Although different people have different opinion about web 2.0, all of them agree that it is a better we communication platform which has the ability to harness collective intelligence, enhance the user participation and collaboration. Therefore, we all agree on the fact that it brings new cutting edge opportunity for the overall users.
The second phase of the web evolution is emerging and it is called “Web3.0 “. During Web 1.0 era the contents are purely created by the producers for the users to share among them. But during the Web 2.0 the users have given the chance to participate equally in the content creation. Finally the Web 3.0 has brought the users more closely to the machines so that both the producers and users can create more interactive dynamic contents. Users and developers define Web 3.0 as “personalization of the Web”. The primary target of web 3.0 is connecting different set of data that is produced by different people in different places so that the limitations that exist in Web 2.0 can be eliminated to improve the benefits that it bring to the users (Pattal et al,2009) .
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2.3.1 Characteristics of Web 2.0
Web 2.0 has created a new revolution in the field of internet technology. But still there is a big confusion exist among the experts about the nature of web 2.0. Some have the opinion that there is no significant different between web 1.0 and web 2.0 but, others believe that it is a unique and revolutionary thing. By looking at the characteristics of this technology one can agree that it is different from other technologies that are existed before.
Let us look at the key characteristics which clearly differentiate web 2.0 services from earlier technologies :(Chaffey, 2009)
Network as platform: Unlike web 1.0, the web 2.0 has the ability to run the software application through the browsers with out installing it locally. Here the network act as a platform which host those applications.
Rich user experience and open culture: One of the key benefits of web 2.0 is that,, it allow the reuse of the contents that are contributed by the others which encourage the people to share their knowledge to create an open culture .This freedom in knowledge sharing will encourage the user participation that can create a collective intelligence which can be beneficial to the company as well as to the society as a whole.
Always beta: One of the key feature of web 2.0 is a continuous improvement . The services are constantly updated to improve the functionalities that are available in those services.
Scalability: Wiki defines scalability as a “desirable property of a system, a network, or a process, which indicates its ability to either handle growing amounts of work in a graceful manner”. It also a key feature of web 2.0 that make it more efficient than its predecessors.
Tagging: Rather than having to rely on use of formal classification systems (which may not be meaningful to many users) tags can be created by users. The tags, which may also be meaningful to their peers, provide communal ways of accessing Web resources.
Embedding: Many examples of Web 2.0 services allow the content to be embedded in third party Web sites, blogs, etc.
User interactive: Web 2.0 sites uses latest response technologies like AJAX , CSS in their sites which make them more user attractive and the use of these technologies make the website more dynamic which can incorporate more information in a given space.
Simple design: Most of the Web 2.0 applications like social networking sites, photo sharing sites like Flicker etc are focused on single purpose which makes the users to understand the system quickly and the simple design enhance the usability of the system.
2.3.2 Web 2.0 Applications
Web 2.0 contains variety of services and tools that enable the people to learn, communicate , and access information effectively. Here are some of the popular tools and services that are used to facilitate the collaboration among the users(Virkus,2008):
del.icio.us: Users can bookmark their favourite sites and can share that with other users.
RSS: RSS stands for ” really simple syndication” feeds. RSS feed give a typical way of updating the wide range of web users with the list of headlines, notices and the most current information that are updated automatically by the publisher. (Myhill et al, 2009).
Open access repositories: It provides a new way of publishing so that information is available for the large range of interested audience specially it is usefull in assessing research where the researchers need high level of publicity. (Myhill et al, 2009)
Blogs: Herring et al defines the “Blog” as, “frequently modified web pages in which dated entries are listed in reverse chronological order” and he specify that it can create a close connectivity among the bloggers who are linked with each other to comment on each other’s blogs . Also, a blog can function as an online journal which is written by individual or by a group of people , and the people who has the common interest can use the blogs as a tool to share , reflect and debate about this common topic within the community of practice (Baumer et al,2008)
Podcasts and Video blogs:
Geoghegan and Klass define podcasting as “audio content available on the Internet that can be automatically delivered to your computer or MP3 player”. The core of the podcasting is of creating audio or video contents for the audience in order for them to listen to it whenever that is convenient for them. The convenience in acquiring these contents relieve the users from the time spent on searching and downloading, and they can utilize this time on something more beneficial for the company. The most current developments in portable information like the iPod and smart phones have increased the popularity of podcasting among young professionals (Ractham and Zhang, 2006).
The information relevant to any tasks undertaken by the employees is essential for them to complete them successfully. Therefore accessing the information with less effort will motivate the employees to accomplish their task with less cost. Through podcasting the relevant information like latest conferences regarding the current technologies and developments can be made available to the IT professionals, for them to access the task relevant information which will help them complete their tasks more efficiently with no rejection.
2.4 Enterprise 2.0
The enterprise social software is a very important component of enterprise 2.0 also known as ERP 2.0. It is social software that is used by the organizations to manage their internal and external communication. According to Carl Frappaolo and Dan Keldsen the Enterprise 2.0 can be defined as “a system of web-based technologies that provide rapid and agile collaboration, information sharing, emergence and integration capabilities in the extended enterprise”.(Wiki,2009).
Generally the Web 2.0 refers to the technologies that are used to share information via internet, but the term Enterprise 2.0 is a specialized version of Web 2.0 which focus “only on those platforms that companies can buy or build in order to make visible the practices and outputs of their knowledge workers”. The technologies of Enterprise 2.0 such as search, links, authoring, tags and extensions provide an easy usability for the knowledge worker and it consist tools that can the help the knowledge work emerge from the workers which is an essential source for the productivity of the company.( McAfee, 2006).
Over the years the initial novelty stage of Enterprise 2.0 has passed successfully by learning new things lessons through the challenges faced. Now the new practical focus is emerged on creating and managing of business communities, finding ways to deliver measurable business value and learning best ways through collaboration and social software. Many organizations are implementing enterprise 2.0 for their business which includes the components like enterprise social networking, wikis, and social CRM which can bring the potential benefits. (Hinchcliffe, 2009)
Research Design and Methodology
The research can give different meaning to different people. But simply research can be defined as “a process of finding solutions to a problem after a thorough study and analysis of the situational factors”( Sekaran and Bougie, 2003) . Any research can be categorised as academic or business research. The academic research is performed on scholar purpose which is not client oriented whereas, the business research is performed to investigate a specific problems in the work setting which are client oriented.
The business research can be further classified as exploratory, descriptive and casual research based on the purpose of the research. The exploratory research is conducted to find out about any business opportunities, whereas the descriptive research is to describe the characteristics of people, groups, organizations or environments. But the purpose of casual research is to identify the cause and effect relationships. (Zikmund,2010)
3.2 Research process or Research methodology
The research methodology or research process is influenced by the purpose of the research undertaken. Therefore it is very crucial to select an appropriate research process to attain successful results at the completion of the project. The study undertaken here follows a cyclic research process that contains a sequence of highly interrelated activities.
As shown in the below figure, any research is started by selecting a research topic from the subject area related to your degree. Then further information has to be gathered about the topic by searching the literature of previous studies and other sources. Using the information gathered the general interest has to be narrowed down to a particular research problem that can be used to define the research questions.
The next important step in the research process is the research design which starts with the research paradigm which is the framework that guides the research. After designing the research the relevant data should be collected using different data collection methods. According to the research paradigm the collected data should be analysed and presented in the thesis at the end of the research process.
Choose a topic and search the Literature
Review the literature and define the research problem /Research questions
Design the research and write the proposal
Collect the research data
Analyse and interpret the research data
Write the dissertation , thesis or research report
Figure 3.1: Overview of Research process, Source: (Collis and Hussey,2009)
3.3 Research Approach
The research process can be compared to a map, because there is no single right path that can be defined for a journey. The path one wants to take depends on where he wants to go and the resources that are allocated. Accordingly the research process that needs to be followed depends on the research undertaken and the resources and the time allocated to the specific project. (Zikmund, 2010)
3.4 Data collection methods
Data collection methods are an important part of research design. The data that are collected during the research can be categorized as primary and secondary data. Primary data can be collected through the data collection methods like interviews and questionnaires whereas the secondary data can be gathered through books , periodicals ,government publications , media and company annual report. The time and cost can be saved through the use of secondary data but totally rely on the secondary data can have a risk of being obsolete (Sekaran and Bougie, 2010).
Interviewing is one of the popular methods of collecting relevant data of the research undertaken. According to Kahn and Cannel the Interview can be defined as a “discussion between two or more people”. Interviews can be used to collect valid and reliable data which are relevant to the identified research questions and the objectives of the project.
Interviews can be categorized as structured, semi structured or unstructured. Unstructured interviews don’t contain any planned set of questions to be asked from the respondents. This will help to bring out some preliminary issues to the surface. Semi structured interviews are more flexible than the structured ones where the researcher got a theme of questions which can vary from one interview to the other. Finally the structured interviews are formal interviews which have identical standardized questions.
A comprehensive study of CRM, CRM tools, Web2, ERP, and the importance of CRM in a retail outlet were carried through a literature survey. Questionnaire survey and interviews has been selected for the research methodology to conduct the selected research. The data that were collected through the questionnaires and interviews are recorded and the analysed under different criteria. At the end of the project time line, the findings of the research undertaken were presented in the final dissertation.
er. A Marine and Ocean Engineers basically handle anything that has to do with engineering on the ocean. Simple yet put into a simple sentence like that, but Ocean and Marine Engineering can actually be a difficult, yet fun and changing career.
The field of ocean engineering provides an important link between the other oceanographic disciplines such as marine biology, chemical and physical oceanography, and marine geology and geophysics. Just as the interests of oceanographers have driven the demand for the design skills and technical expertise of ocean engineers, the innovations in instrumentation and equipment design made by ocean engineers have revolutionized the field of oceanography. This is especially true within the last three decades.
The invention of thousands of oceanographic instruments and devices has changed the way oceanographers study the oceans and coasts. Examples include: computer- and satellite-linked buoys and floats, sediment traps, ocean seismometers (instruments that measure seafloor movement in a manner similar to the way seismographs measure earthquake activity on land), underwater video equipment, acoustic measuring devices (instruments that make it possible to “sense” underwater objects and seafloor formations), and underwater vehicles, including submersibles and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).
Information that once took years to compile, and that frequently involved sampling in harsh weather conditions, can now be accomplished in minutes, often from remote locations, including ships and laboratories. The innovations of ocean engineers have enabled oceanographers to travel farther offshore and deeper into the sea, and to stay there for longer periods of time. Because of ocean engineers, major oceanographic discoveries — including hydrothermal vents, ocean volcanoes, thousands of miles of underwater mountain chains, “new” species, and biological, chemical, geographical, and physical processes and phenomena — have been made.
Ocean engineering is actually a combination of several types of engineering: a mix of mechanical, electrical, civil, acoustical, and chemical engineering techniques and skills, coupled with a basic understanding of how the oceans work. The importance of working in partnerships with oceanographers from other disciplines is critical, as the challenge of working in the ocean environment requires a range of backgrounds and skills.
College Course Program Outline
OE 501 Oceanography
Geophysical description of the earth; the extent, shape and structure of ocean basins; relief of the sea floor; chemistry of sea water; geochemical balances; physical properties of water and sea water; solar and terrestrial radiation; evaporation and precipitation over the oceans; dissolved gases in sea water; distribution of variables; general oceanic circulation.
OE 503 Seminar in Ocean Engineering
Seminar course in which you report on selected topics in ocean engineering; emphasis is on the problems encountered in performing engineering tasks in the ocean and methods employed to surmount them; you are encouraged to devise alternate methods to improve existing techniques.
OE 505 Introduction to Maritime Systems
An introductory course intended to acquaint students with the various components of maritime systems, including shorefront and inland infrastructure and waterborne (vessel) transportation technologies. Students are introduced to the concepts of port and marine terminal design, cargo handling equipment and optimization, and intermodal transportation networks. The course emphasizes the application of new and emerging technologies to enhance port productivity, drawing on developments within an array of fields, including naval architecture, civil and ocean engineering, and systems engineering. Students are provided with practical examples of the application of these concepts in actual port design projects.
OE 525 Principles of Naval Architecture
Basic principles and design calculations in naval architecture; terminology, delineation of hull form, loading and stability, trim and effects of flooding; freeboard and tonnage regulations; introduction to design of hull structure; nature of resistance and its variation with hull form and proportions; introduction to propellers and propulsion. Basic theories in maneuvering and sea-keeping characteristics, computer application in naval architecture and ship design.
OE 526 Computer-Aided Aspect of Naval Architecture*
Basic principles and design calculations in naval architecture as an extension of OE 525 PNA course with emphasis placed on the application of computers. Computer-aided studies of hull-forms, intact stability, damaged stability, resistance and propulsion characteristics, course-keeping analysis, ship motion predictions. Problems in the area of naval architecture will be considered on computers through time-sharing systems.
OE 527 Laboratory in Naval Architecture*
Solution of problems in naval architecture through model testing, actual conduct of a wide variety of model tests at Davidson Laboratory, prediction of prototype performance.
OE 528 Computer-Aided Ship Design*
Computer-aided design procedures to achieve mission requirements for various ship types through design spirals. Determination of major dimension and performance analysis during preliminary design stage. Computer graphics on mainframe and microcomputers as design tools. Pertinent design procedures are covered in a computer-aided manner.
OE 530 Yacht Design*
Calculation of hydrostatic curves to determine trim and sinkage and sailing yachts, static and dynamic stability, calculation of resistance and side force by expansion of tank test results, sail force coefficients, prediction of comparative performance based on tank test results, application of lifting surface theory to the design of keel and rudder, consideration of structural strength and stiffness. Prerequisite: OE 525 or equivalent.
OE 539 Introduction to Underwater Acoustics
Applications of underwater acoustics; wave equation; plane, spherical, and cylindrical waves; transmission and reflection of sound waves; ray acoustics; radiation and reception of sound; monopole and dipole sources; acoustic array; sound propagation in deep and shallow ocean; passive and active sonars; the sonar equation; transmission loss; ambient noise in the ocean; target strength.
OE 589 Coastal Engineering
An introductory course covering the fundamental principles of coastal engineering. The initial stages of the course are intended to provide an understanding of the physics of the coastal environment. Topics will include basic wave theory (wave generation, refraction, diffraction and shoaling), wave prediction techniques, tides and coastal circulation, and sediment transport. The latter stages of the course will be devoted to the application of these basic principles such as to stabilization and harbor development. The course will culminate in a substantial design project, which will incorporate all aspects of the course material, ranging from the estimation of design wave conditions to the actual design of a shore protection structure. Prerequisites: Ma 227 or the equivalent, Fluid Mechanics.
OE 591 Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology
Introduction to meteorology presents a cogent explanation of the fundamentals of atmospheric dynamics. The course begins with a discussion of the Earth’s atmospheric system including global circulation, climate and the greenhouse effect. The basic conservation laws and the applications of the basic equations of motion are discussed in the context of synoptic scale meteorology. The thermodynamics of the atmosphere are derived based on the equation of state of the atmosphere with specific emphasis on adiabatic and pseudo-adiabatic motions. The concept of atmospheric stability is presented in terms of the moist and dry lapse rate. The influence of the planetary boundary layer on atmospheric motions is presented with emphasis on topographic and open ocean frictional effects, temperature discontinuity between land and sea, and the generation of sea breezes. The mesoscale dynamics of tornadoes and hurricanes are discussed as well as the cyclogenesis of extratropical coast allows. The course makes use of a multitude of web-based products including interactive learning sites, weather forecasts from the National Weather Service (NWS), tropical predictions from the National Hurricane Center and NWS model outputs (AVN, NGM, ETA, and WAM). Cross listed with CE 591.
OE 610 Marine Transportation
This course introduces students to the history and technical description of the cargo-carrying vessel. Students are given instruction in the basic principles of vessel design, and the various types of ocean-going and inland waterway cargo vessels. Issues related to the introduction of new vessel types are discussed, particularly as these new designs affect port infrastructure and capacity, harbor dredging requirements, and the intermodal transportation network.
OE 612 Environmental Issues in Maritime Systems
An introductory course intended to familiarize students with the array of environmental issues related to inland, estuarine, and oceanfront port facilities. Particular attention is paid to water quality and bottom sediment contamination problems associated with the construction and operation of port facilities. Students are introduced to the various types of analysis tools -including field measurements and computer models – employed in the examination of port and harbor environmental problems. Practical examples of their use are provided from actual projects in the New York/New Jersey region. Students are also instructed in the use of emerging technologies in the prevention/remediation of identified pollution problems. Relevant State, Federal, and international regulations are also discussed.
OE 614 Economic Issues in Maritime Systems
This course introduces students to the unique economic issues facing today’s port developers and operators. The economic considerations essential to the efficient movement of cargo from vessels to inland transportation systems are discussed. Students are introduced to concepts related to the optimization of port manpower, energy, and infrastructure as a means of assuring competitiveness in the global marketplace. Students are also introduced to the principles of port financial strategies, with examples given from port authorities in the United States and abroad.
OE 616 Sediment Transport
Theory of sediment transport in open channel flow, including applications to riverine, ocean, and coastal environments. Topics covered include boundary layer dynamics, the initiation of motion, sediment characteristics, suspended load and bed load. Applications include the estimation of transport rates in waves and currents, and the influence of hydraulic structures.
OE 618 HAZMAT Spill Response Planning
This course is designed to introduce students to the state-of-the-art in spill response planning. Numerical and analytical techniques for the prediction of fate and effects of in-water spills are discussed. Spill cleanup technologies are introduced, including mechanical (e.g., booms, skimmers), chemical (e.g., dispersants), and biological. Students are instructed in the essential steps toward developing an effective spill response plan. Special attention is paid to the influence of spill characteristics and environmental factors – waves, currents, shoreline geometry, sensitive ecological areas, etc. – in the selection of an appropriate planning strategy. Examples are given of existing spill response plans in the New York/New Jersey region, and case studies of actual spills are discussed as a means of providing students with an understanding of the complexities of operational spill response planning. Also offered as EN 618.
OE 620 Design of Coastal Structures
This course is intended to provide a detailed understanding of the design process in coastal engineering, including the statistical evaluation of oceanographic and meteorological forces and the use of physical and computer models in the assessment of design performance. The essential features of the design of several types of coastal structures will be presented, along with the relevant design relations and/or publicly available design software. The potential environmental impacts of the construction of the various coastal structures considered will also be discussed. A series of case studies and a comprehensive design project provide the opportunity to apply the principles examined. Prerequisites: undergraduate fluid mechanics, statics and dynamics or equivalent.
OE 622 Design of Port Structures I
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of port structures design, including design codes, guidelines, and functional requirements. Students are instructed in optimization procedures for port and marine terminal layout, including issues related to navigation channels and dredging, shore infrastructure and utilities, land reclamation, and environmental and economic considerations. Structural, geotechnical, and materials considerations are discussed for a variety of environmental conditions, including extreme wave and current environments, ice, and seismic loading. Examples and case studies from actual port design projects are utilized to a great extent in the delivery of the course material.
Q1 – Why did you become interested in Marine Engineering?
A1 – A great way to make a living. Decent money, big chunks of time off, almost no commute. Somewhat of an adventure, interesting, challenging, industrious are some words I like, which describe what I do.
Q2 – Have you always wanted to be a Marine Engineer? or What made you become a marine engineer?
A2 – Not really. I have always like machinery or structures: drawing trucks and buildings were always my favourite pastime. LEGO were my favourite toys. I always wanted to do something creative which would perform a function. I originally wanted to get into graphic arts and advertising, but was lured away by the honesty of the sea and nature.
Q3 – What do you like most about your job? or What is the best part of your job?
A3 – Standing between two main engines while we are full away; the car size turbo-chargers whining, the “rumble” shakes your very core; it is very awe inspiring. Then to think, it’s your responsibility!
Q4 – What tasks does your specific job involve?
A4 – The list is very big. Too big in fact. The engineer is in charge of everything mechanical, electrical, or structural on the ship. The toilets don’t work, we go find the problems – and it’s usually not pretty. From the computers to the crankshaft, air conditioning to refrigerators, doors to windshield wipers, you name it, we must be able to make it work. I say that because we usually know how to fix, but as you can well imagine, a person can’t know it all. So basically, we must be knowledgeable enough to recognize a problem, then either fix it, make due, or call in the specialists. We deal with it! out in the middle of the Atlantic, there’s not many auto parts stores, and even less room for excuses.
Q5 – Are you given a variety of projects to work on so that the job does not become boring? or Is it fun and exciting?
A5 – The nature of the Job always poses a large variety of challenges, everyday it’s a different one. But boredom is definitely present on some ships. For instance search and rescue ships, like the one I’ve been on, we did allot of waiting and “sitting around”, just like a fire dept. So we keep busy doing “rabbits” -a personal project. One guy machined an entire miniature steam engine over a period of time. It is a bit mundane at times, but I think I am too new, 5 years, to the biz to really feel bored.
Q6 – What kinds of challenges are you faced with while on the job? or What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do at your job?
The biggest challenge is getting along with people you have never met before and intrusting your life to them, like you would to your best friend. Might seem a bit dramatic, but I think it’s the most challenging task. You don’t have the option to go to a warm home and “recharge your batteries” if you’ve had a bad day. As for the rest of the tasks, you do what you can. Generally everyone on a ship is qualified to be there and somewhat competent. You can work together to tackle big technical challenges, which goes to the top of the answer, getting along is the biggest challenge.
Q7 – What sort of risks do you deal with?
A7 – Life threatening risk are very present everywhere on a ship. The sea itself is not always picturesque, large machines moving fast, lots of fuel to fuel fires, a multitude of chemicals, large quantity of electromagnetic waves: The ship in itself can be a very hazardous place to be, it is always moving, even more so when you’re doing work like commercial fishing, or replacing a ten ton buoy while at sea.
Q8 – What physical condition must you be in?
A8 – The mental state is most crucial. But you’re physical well being contributes a great deal as well. Most ships have work out rooms where you can exercise. You have to be reasonably in good shape, this is to climb all those stairs. You need people that can, and will react in times of emergencies -such as firefighting on board.
Q9 – What does one need to do in order to succeed in Marine Engineering?
A9 – Good questions, when you find out, please let me know. I think its a matter of living in harmony, with people, machines and the environment. You give respect, and hopefully you get it in return. Respect, in my opinion, is based on knowledge, the more you know the better decision you can make, the better things go, the more respect you can command.
Q10 – Is there an equal opportunity for women. Is it a popular career with women?
Q10 – Not really. It is a worldwide occupation and allot of the seafarers in the modern merchant marine come from third world countries, where it is not readily accepted to work for a woman. So allot of companies, I think, tend to shy away from crewing with a mix. This is changing, albeit slowly, but changing.
Q11A – I heard its tough to move up through the ranks, is Marine Engineering a serious career consideration for young Canadian?
Q11B – Did you experience any challenges in your career?
Q11C – Would you recommend this career to any student?
Q11D – Do you have any tips or advice on becoming a Marine Engineer?
A11A – Your questions, which seem to me to be as simple as “I’m I going to have a tough time feeding myself with dignity” the short answer is perhaps. It is a very reasonable question since your candidate profession is not an easy choice. You would be better off getting a BSc from UBC since it cost about as much, but you wont deal with isolation from civilization and probably wont have a tough time finding a job after your final year because “people” are more familiar with what a University or College is.
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A11AB – The main reason for this answer is that our profession is an international one, and the realities is that Canada, and our standard of pay is higher due to our high cost of living compared to other countries. As a result it will be hard for you, at first, to find a job that you would be happy with internationally; and locally you will not be taken seriously because you haven’t been in the field for 20 years. That’s just the way it is.
A11C – Having said that, I love my job. I love being around machinery, being around different people, and the ability to work in environments people only fantasize about. It was tough at first, matching the needed ambition to complete the program, with the realities of the work, and its availability, but things are getting better now. With self confidence that comes with experience, I believe my outlook is very bright in Canada, and overseas. …but it has taken me almost ten years !
A11D – Another words, if you are into instant gratification, marine engineering is not for you. You are getting into a field that requires a great deal of long term investing towards something where the payday is, in monetary terms, generally not that impressive compared to other viable avenues for young Canadians. There are allot of unknowns, upsets, tough times, but if you can keep focus on the big picture and persevere, you will be able draw much satisfaction and pride that comes from working in environments that challenges most human faculties. You’ll have the have the confidence to tackle just about anything, and generally never be out of work. Some other benefits are – reasonably good pay, legislated jobs opportunities (you’ll always be needed), when you are not away working, your home for months at a time without having to take work with you (unless you have a website), you can work anywhere in the world equally well. And you can branch out into numerous career alternatives to sea going.
So its up to you to decide. If you play the lottery all the time hoping for a big payoff, then this career may not be for you. If you feel gratified by displaying patience, dedication, and applying yourself to hard work, then you will appreciate this line of work. There is not easy meals, but you’ll never go hungry being a Marine Engineer in any part of the globe.
Q13 – How much time do you spend on ships?
A13 – That depends on the company or the type of work. Generally, as an officer, you get one day off the ship for everyday worked. Right now (2006) I work 14 weeks away working on a ship, then I go home for 14 weeks.
Q14 – Do you travel a lot for your job?
A14 – A ship by its very nature is always moving, not always to new places, but yes we travel allot. Signing on the ship and signing off the ship, on the other hand, means we travel on buses, trains, vans, cars, water taxis, walking and spending lots of time in airports. But that really only happens twice a year when go or come back from the ship.
Q15 – Do you design new equipment for ships?
A15 – Currently no. I work on a cruise ship on the operational side of things, so just maintaining the machine is a big enough job. We always have some improvements to machines designs or processes but these are usually minor in nature.
Q16 – How long have you been a Marine Engineer?
A16 – I started as a Marine Engineering Apprentice in 1996, achieved my first license level in 1999. I achieved my second license level in 2002. There is four license levels.
Q17 – What do you do on a daily basis? or What exactly do you do?
A17 – In 2006, I worked on a large passenger ship in the capacity of Second Engineer. At any given point in the day there is two officers in charge of the operations of the ship; one is on the Bridge – the Navigational Officer of the Watch (OOW) – one is in the Engine Room – the Engineering Officer of the Watch (EOW) – I am the one in the engine room. I am in the control room of the ship (see picture), and monitor the engines and just about every other system on the ship – from elevators function to fuel temperature, to water pressure for the showers. If there is any problems, I rely on my experience and expertise to figure where the problem is and formulate a response. We have three Engineers in this particular position and we are assisted by 1-3 other crew in the actual engine room. The OEW work 8 hours a day in the Control Room, and we also have areas of responsibility in the engine room, where we spend an additional 3-4 hours maintaining “our” equipment.
Q18 – Where do you do your work? and How long did it take to get to your current place in your career?
A19 – Right now (2006), I work on the Rhapsody of the Seas, and large passenger cruise ship operating out of Galveston, Texas, in the Gulf of Mexico. It has taken me about 6 years to get to this current position of responsibility.
Q19 – How many years of college did you go through? and What college would you recommend to pursue a career in marine engineering? or What type of education do you need to get to your current place in your career?
A19 – On the Training Page you will find most answers to these questions. As for me, I completed a four year Marine Engineering Apprenticeship which means that I was hired by a company, then sent to a dedicated school, BCIT’s Pacific Marine Campus in North Vancouver, where I had structured formal training for about 4 months every year. Currently, its a little different, you sign up as a Cadet with the school and then you do your practical time at sea with various companies. Check out the Training Page for further info.
Q20 – What was the best moment in your career?
A20 – There is no particular best moment I can remember. They’re are so many, even more that I forgotten until someone brings it up again over beers. So there is no answers to this question. As most everyday, something new and sometimes exciting happens.
Q21 – Did you ever come across something you couldn’t do in your career?
A21 – As engineers, most people turn to us for answers and results, generally there is nothing we can’t do; and those things are only restricted by preconceived notions of what should be and accountants.
Q22 – What college degree do most marine engineers have ?
A22 – Most Marine Engineers do not have a degree per se, if they work on a ship. There is a title of Marine Engineers that some people carry, because they have gone to University, have taken Mechanical Engineering and specialized in marine structures such as wharves, oil rigs, ship design, etc. Marine Engineers referred to in this website, are operational engineers for the most part. They have taken pretty much the same basic courses as a Mechanical Engineer, but also have much more hands on courses as well. Ship’s engineers do not specifically hold a “Degree” but instead hold a “License” which is issued by Government, and is recognized internationally. The license is what allows persons to claim the title of Officer on a Ship. Some marine university offer “bridging” courses which will enhance the Officer’s training to achieve a “land recognized” University Degree.
Q23 – What subjects in school would you need to excel at to become a marine engineer?
A23 – Physics, calculus, trigonometry, algebra, so on and so forth play a major role in the training, also sciences are pretty important, in particular Chemistry. Anyone considering any engineering path should feel comfortable challenging these subjects.
Marine and Ocean Engineering is a field that you should go into if you love working on anything and everything that has to do with the ocean. It is also a good field to go into if you love to live on the ocean.