UMUCHaircuts Stage 4
UMUCHaircuts Stage 4
Thisis a continuation of UMUC haircuts case study. Previously the stagethree of the case entailed the identification of the IT requirementfor the business, through the evaluation of the applicability to theUMUC Haircuts. From the analysis conducted in section 2, the businessmanagement decided to implement an IT solution. The main focus ofthis section of the case study is to help Myra identify an ITsolution, and explain the steps towards the implementation process.The section 4 of this case study entails preparing an explanation ofthe proposed IT solution (Bocij,Greasley & Hickie, 2014).The process will entail the required software, hardware, andpreparing the employee to use the proposed solution. The businessstrategy in the target for improvement is the implementation ofspecific IT strategy software in the line with Customer AppointmentSystem.
Withthe availability of numerous ‘Customer Appointment Software’ inthe market, the choice for the best with regard to the requirement ofMyra’s business wasn’t that easy. However, with the functionalityof the ‘Appointy’ system/software, there was a tailor made asolution to Myra’s demand in her business. The identified systemthat suited UMUC haircuts demands of a customer appointment system is‘Appointy’ (Appointy,2015).The vendor is ‘Capterra’, which comprises a host of thousands ofsuch systems amongst them the top most used, easy to use, costeffective, and tailored according to clients business demand.
Withthe main problem as identified in the case study part 3 that theHaircuts main challenge is managing the appointments, then theselection of the ‘Appointy System’ comes a solution to thischallenge. In summary, the main function of Appointment SchedulingSoftware is permitted/allow any business to manage scheduling ofappointments and customer bookings. One of the major reasons behindthe choice is due to the fact that it is a web-basedapplication/system and could be offered over the web browsers. Onekey advantage in accordance to this choice is that it offers thecustomers the chance to make bookings of their own appointments,anytime and from any place. Additionally, according to the systemanalysis, this system supports businesses such as lifestyle-related,health and wellness, salon-beauty, fitness and recreation, and inturns one of the best for UMUC Haircut business and for Myra to usein his business.
‘Appointy’this is simplified powerful and functional web-based schedulingsoftware that is developed for business owners who wish to grow theirbusinesses. The software allows its users to accept client’sappointments online, in addition to sending automated messages(reminders) to the customers. In addition, the software can beintegrated with the social media as well as with Google calendar.These are some of its merits with reference to the current times thewidespread use of the social media. Additionally, the platform canalso be used to make/receive payments, and can be tailored to anysize of the business and hence the appropriate one due to this UMUCHaircut business and Myra. Other merits that come with the use ofthis system is that, Myra will be offered training on how touse/manage it, she also be offered a free version for trial. Thestarting price is one of the determinants behind this choice. Despitecosting a starting cost of 20$/month, the system offered betterservices in return (Appointy,2015).
Havingalready settled for the Appointy System, the remaining element inorder to incorporate it into the Myra’ business is implementationprocess. Several steps are entailed in this process of fullimplementation.
VendorAgreement:One of the key steps when it comes to the implementation process isthe agreement between the vendor, and the business. With reference tothis step, Myra needs to understand the terms and condition, type ofsale, cost of the product, as well as the maintenance or additionalcharges. In order to be able to start using the Appointy SchedulingSystem, Myra needed to undergo the necessary training (freely offeredby the selling company) (Appointy,2015).In addition, Myra will be required to register his business inaddition to obtaining an online web page. In terms of cost, theVendor offers a free one month for Myra to use the platform, andonce she has settled for it, she will only be required to pay amonthly fee of 20$.
Hardwareand Telecommunications:in terms of hardware’s, Myra will be required to have a laptop, andphones that are internet connected. However, this is a one-timerequirement. Once the online setting has been done, by the vendor,she will only require her phone to navigate through scheduling of hisappointments with the clients. For effective use of the services, andimplementation of the solution, Myra will be required to installinternet connections in his business, as well one laptop/computerwill be enough.
Interms of telecommunications, there will be the need for internetconnectivity within the business premises. In addition, internetenabled phones will be a must. This will enable her to keep track andrespond to bookings whenever she is and at any time/place. To acquirethe necessary components for the implementation of the solution, theproviding vendor provides a full package, in addition to offering totrain and setting up the whole system. However, the UMUC Haircutswill be required to provide the required devices such as functionalphones and computer. On how to acquire the computer, Myra haspromised to convert his personal computer for business use. Lastly,due to the availability of the internet services within the vicinity,Myra will only be required to install the connectivity within thebusiness premises. This will be easier as there is already installedprovider for the services, and she will only be required to customizethe connection to her business (Appointy,2015).
Configuration:One of the less demanding steps is the configuration of the system tofit the UMUC haircut business. The vendor offers the fullinstallation package in addition to first time training on how to usethe system. The Vendor sends their personnel to the businesslocation however this can be done from any place however Myra willbe required to provide details for the business such as businessname, Location, Email address, working phone numbers, the officialworking hours, Employee details. These details will enable the Venderto perform the configuration process to fit all the UMUC Haircutsolution to the identified challenge (Appointy,2015).
Testing:With the Vendor offering the services for installation and setting upthe system to its full functionality. The testing process of thesystem will be rolled for the first one month after training. Thiswill be free, and Myra will be required to use its fullfunctionality. In order to ensure that, the system is working, UMUCHaircut will experiment with a given number of customers. Thisentails explaining the platform to them (Customers), and allowingthem to make use of the system, and not only to make appointments,the testing period will ensure the system develops no hitch and isfully tailored made for UMUC Haircut business.
EmployeePreparation:In order to have maximum success in using the system, the employeewill be key towards implementation of the platform. In order toprepare the employees, Myra will be required to communicate with themon the intended changes, its uses, and the expected merits once thesystem has been incorporated. In addition, she will also be requiredto train them on how to excellently use the system (Bocij,Greasley & Hickie, 2014).Finally, the system is made in a way employees’ names can also beincluded into the system.
DataMigration:One of the key changes is shifting the earlier work schedules andappointments into the new system. However, one of the advantages withthe ‘Appointy’ system is that the user can make the scheduleswith reference to the client’s demands. In addition, the platformwill allow for modified work schedules i.e., the employees can adjustthe system to fix their earlier schedule, and not them to fit intothe system schedule. The system has an allowance to includepreviously made appointments (Bocij,Greasley & Hickie, 2014).
SystemUse:The system will be sorely be controlled by the manager of thebusiness. In summary, the system will be used to schedule the openingand closing times for every day, taking appointments, scheduling,sending messages to clients, and even making reservations. However,employees can use it when responding to a specific client request(Appointy,2015).The use of platform will be passed to them through emails, or orally.However, Myra will be required to set up a person to answer to theirqueries on how to effectively use the system.
Maintenance: Lastly the vendor of the chosen system has offered free maintenanceof the system for a period of 6 months. It after the 6 months Myrawill be required to deploy services of qualified personnel to performmaintenance/updating. However, the system can be updated by the userhowever the vending company has promised to offer maintenance personsfor the system after the 6th month at a small fee (Appointy,2015).
Withthe main focus being on improvement and implementation of specific ITstrategy software in the line with customer appointment system, theUMUC Haircut will have achieved a milestone towards eliminating theidentified challenges. With the effective implementation of theidentified customer appointment system, Myra is expected to increasecustomer retention rate, as well as satisfaction level. In addition,the system enables her to operate, accept and schedule customerappointments any time of the day, and wherever she may be. Moreover,she will be able to schedule employee working hours so that no clientmisses an appointment (Schwartz, 2015).Finally, it will help increase the UMUC Haircut productivity, attractnew customers as well as retain them.
Schwartz,K. (2015). The Pros and Cons of Online Service Appointments. (Coverstory).  Air Conditioning Heating & RefrigerationNews, 255(14), 1-24.
Bocij,P., Greasley, A & Hickie, S. (2014) BusinessInformation Systems: Technology, Development and Management for theE-Business.London: Pearson.
Appointy(Growyour business exponentially).Retrieved on 22ndOct 2015: Fromhttp://www.appointy.com/online-appointment-scheduling-software/