Tyner-Shorten Clothiers (Condensed): Acquiring PC Hardware and Software
Tyner-Shorten is a small, high-end men's clothing retail store looking to automate its client database in order to market itself more effectively to a growing clientele in a highly competitive market. The owner-managers of the store are looking to acquire a PC-based system. The case considers both the hardware and software decisions. In the case of hardware, the men must decide whether to purchase an integrated, turnkey system or a stand-alone PC. If the latter, two choices are presented: a technologically obsolete, but currently adequate PC, or a state-of-the-art PC. For software, the owner-managers must decide whether to build their own application using MS-Access, or to buy a standard, off-the-shelf package - the traditional make-buy decision.
This case is best used in introductory management information systems classes to introduce the basics of any and all system decisions: needs analysis, system purchase decision criteria, and build versus buy software. The case is elegantly simple and easy to grasp. Students can relate to small businesses making these decisions, and can readily aggregate beyond the case to situations where the issues remain the same, only their scope and potential has changed. The case can also be used to introduce systems maintenance issues as well as to discuss the management of outsourcing contracts. Finally, the case illustrates the need for senior management sponsorship of information technology initiatives and the role and responsibilities of senior managers with respect to IT projects.
Canada, Small, 1997
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