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Home arrow Service Minded Super-Fridge, SMS-Fridge

Service Minded Super-Fridge, SMS-Fridge PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Philip Jacobsen   
Aug 25, 2005 at 08:07 AM
SMS-Fridge™ is a simulation that describes some of the issues and problems for Interim Managers when managing the balance between daily operations and guiding a strategic project towards success.


Story Line.
Kitchen Inventories Ltd. Is a middle sized producer of kitchen furniture and appliances. They are a part of a larger organisation, GrM (The Great Mother-company). KI-Ltd. Designs and produces appliances for the market segment encompassing customers in the upper 25% income bracket. KI-Ltd. has created an image for reliability, smart, but neutral, design and high quality and innovation.
Nevertheless, the last few years turnover has been in a slight decline and cost has gone up because of European regulation, ecological measures and increased competition.

Recent Market research has revealed that consumers in particular like the reliability of the KI-Ltd. products, but that functionality and innovation seem to have stagnated. There are increasingly a number of competitors, who can provide similar products at a more reasonable price and with increased functionality. More disturbingly, young consumers want smart equipment that will support their fast-lane lifestyle. This is not KI-Ltd.'s normal segment.

New Strategy. The Executive Management Team (EMT) of GrM and KI have decided to do something about it and re-conquer the lost market share through developing a series of brand new, innovative products. The branding will be SMS, short for "Service Minded Super", and the first product will be an SMS-Fridge that can order, pay and control its content according to parameters that can be both pre-set and easily changed from anywhere. Existing and future communication media (Internet, Bluetooth, Satellite, GSM, WAP, etc.) will all be supported, as the target group is highly tuned to the latest gadgets. Customers will be able to control their kitchen appliances simply and effectively through all sorts of communication media. SMS-Kitchen has been born!!

SMS-Fridge is the first project to be kicked off by the EMT. SMS-Fridge must be completed and delivered to the first customers in 10 months. The fridge will be capable of total management of ordering, content management (including shelf-life management) payment, recipe suggestions etc. based on content. In the future it will communicate with other SMS-devices to prepare complete meals automatically. Once programmed, The SMS Fridge manages everything without intervention, while exception conditions will be communicated to the owner. The SMS-Fridge can be remotely programmed to contact a range of supermarkets in order to compare prices and to place its orders according to a price/quality ratio. Delivery can also be managed so as to please the owner!

Stakeholders. The GrM EMT has decided to run SMS-Fridge as a pilot project in co-operation with the large Supermarket chain SureRoads Plc. SureRoads has committed to organise and implement all logistical and technical arrangement on their side, so that a seamless interface and operation can be created. The young, but highly innovative communications company, Big Wapper, has been contracted to provide the complex electronic equipment and communications environment and the ICT-departments of GrM and KI-Ltd. will provide analysis, Project Management and programming support. Big Wapper will also provide consultative advice in this context.

One of the major concerns is how well the GrM/KI-ICT departments will be able to perform in this project. Until now they have been responsible for mainly classical logistical and administrative applications. Now they have to work with external resources, focusing on new technologies and in a project-context. This is likely to create both technical and organisational problems.

Your charge. As an employee of the Consulting company KnowITall-ICT you have been hired as Interim Manager of the Cooling Equipment Division of KI-Ltd. The normal Manager has taken 12 months off due to pregnancy. Your task is to manage both the day-to-day department activities and to ensure a successful SMS-Fridge project.
Quality, Innovation and time-to-market are the most important characteristics driving this project. This is the reason that you have been allowed to bring in a quality consultant from KnowITall as well. Other than that you must set up the project using internal ICT-personnel, including finding a Project leader, the reason being costs.
SMS-Fridge will be a model for other projects in the new SMS range.
In short: SMS-Fridge is of strategic importance.

Timing of the SMS-Fridge Project:
START: Today.
BIG WAPPER-Software ready in two phases: in 4 months and 6 months.
SureRoads logistics in place: in 7 months.
Marketing start: pre-marketing in 6 months, major programme in 8 months.
Project officially finished: 10 months.
First SMS-Fridge sold: in 11 months.

Last Updated ( Oct 24, 2005 at 06:15 AM )
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