Case Studies: Information Technology

  • Employing Consumer IT in Operations Photo

    Employing Consumer IT in Operations

    Thomas Sammer, A. Back, Hans Brechbühl
    Length: 19 pages
    Publication date: 2014
    Case#: 6-0038

    In 2012, the Swiss Federal Railway (SBB) evaluated various computer devices to provide their 3,000 train drivers with a 'companion' that gives them access to the operational instructions necessary for trip preparation and driving the train according to schedule. The requirements for the new solution were that it should decrease the running costs of the existing laptop-based solution by 75% and increase or at least maintain user satisfaction, mobility, display quality etc. The technology evaluation indicated that the best option for meeting these requirements would be the Apple iPad. While the evaluation presented in the case is technology-focused, the proposal still needs to be presented to a committee of members from different departments that have different points of view on the problem, the proposed solution and the associated implications. The assignment questions require students to widen the scope and discuss the implications from the various perspectives. Students will develop an understanding of the importance of not only assessing technological aspects, but also of organisational, legal, user, and support aspects. By considering the different perspectives, students additionally discuss different types of usage policies, including the 'bring your own device' / BYOD strategy, and the future implications of introducing a consumer device to an organisation. 

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    Published by the University of St Gallen (2013)

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    Topics: Consumerization of IT, Information Technology, Mobile

    Industry:

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  • Mattel, Inc: The Lead Paint Recall Photo

    Mattel, Inc: The Lead Paint Recall

    M. Eric Johnson
    Length: 19 pages
    Publication date: 2010
    Case#: 6-0033

    Supply chains face many risks, from material flow disruption and quality failures to information security. In some cases those risk come from suppliers in other cases they come from downstream partners. For example, in 2010, Toyota faced global criticism over its handling of a recall related to sticking accelerator pedals. Likewise, in 2007 product safety problems led many toy makers to recall products during the holiday season. Mattel, the world’s largest toymaker with years of experience working in China, found itself in the middle of very negative global publicity. This case inquires as to what went so wrong?

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    Topics: Information Technology, Supply Chain

    Industry: Toys/Video Games

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  • Information Risk Analysis at Jefford’s Photo

    Information Risk Analysis at Jefford’s

    Hans Brechbühl, Chris Dunning, Stephen G. Powell
    Length: 8 pages
    Publication date: 2008
    Case#: 6-0029

    Jefford's faces several information security threats and must decide which risks to mitigate and at what cost. Headquartered in the U.S., Jefford's, a fictitious Fortune 500 company, is growing rapidly with much of the expansion coming in emerging markets. They face numerous risk management decisions, including how to mitigate problems with stolen/lost laptops, malware, fraudulent website transactions and protection of personally identifiable employee data. This case can serve as a good basis for a discussion on information security and risk management approaches. In Part B, the case provides detailed data on which to do a cost/benefit analysis, and with the help of the teaching note, creates a robust Monte Carlo simulation using Excel and Crystal Ball or similar software. 

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    Topics: Information Technology, Product Development, Services

    Industry: Electronic Controls

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  • NetHope: Collaborating for the Future of Relief and Development Photo

    NetHope: Collaborating for the Future of Relief and Development

    Benjamin Farmer T'07, M. Eric Johnson
    Length: 20 pages
    Publication date: 2007
    Case#: 6-0026

    Most disasters occur in developing countries, often in remote areas lacking infrastructure, such as roads, reliable power grids, and telephony. As such, international relief agencies desperately need effective information communication technology. NetHope's mission was to collaboratively address technology challenges facing relief agencies, and to build shared infrastructure to enable humanitarian supply chains. This case examines the challenges newly appointed NetHope CEO Bill Brindley faced as he worked to build the collaboration and trust needed to take NetHope to the next level. 

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    Topics: Information Technology, Supply Chain

    Industry: Humanitarian Relief

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  • Woolworths “Chips” Away at Inventory Shrinkage through RFID Initiative Photo

    Woolworths “Chips” Away at Inventory Shrinkage through RFID Initiative

    Michael Gozycki T'04, M. Eric Johnson, Hau Lee
    Length: 11 pages (plus appendices)
    Publication date: 2004
    Case#: 6-0020

    As a continuing development of our expertise in RFID (and in that sense a follow-on to the hit Quad case - see case # 6-0015), this case offers an opportunity to analyze the decision-making of a retail chain, Woolworths in England, as they consider implementation of a tracking system to cover their distribution network.

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    Topics: Information Technology, Supply Chain

    Industry: Retail

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  • PERI Photo

    PERI

    Hans Brechbühl, (with Yiorgos Bakamitsos)
    Length: 10 pages (plus appendices)
    Publication date: 2003
    Case#: 6-0019

    The international market leader in an increasingly important product and service segment of the construction industry, PERI faced key decisions on updating and automating key processes. This case offers the opportunity for in-depth discussion on where a bricks-and-mortar company should place its IT bets for the future.

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    Topics: Information Technology, Manufacturing, Marketing, Services, Supply Chain

    Industry: Construction

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  • Cisco Systems (A): Evolution to e-Business Photo

    Cisco Systems (A): Evolution to e-Business

    Philip Anderson, Vijay Govindarajan, Chris Trimble, Katrina Veerman T'01
    Length: 25 pages
    Publication date: 2001
    Case#: 1-0001

    Cisco Systems prides itself as an "end-to-end networking company." The phrase describes not only their product line but the way they run their business. They created many of the e-business practices that later became cornerstones of the software packages used throughout industry to make businesses more efficient. This case reviews their accomplishments and their method.

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    Topics: Information Technology, Innovation, Product Development, Services

    Industry: Network Hardware

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  • Cisco Systems (B): Maintaining an Edge in e-Business Photo

    Cisco Systems (B): Maintaining an Edge in e-Business

    Philip Anderson, Vijay Govindarajan, Chris Trimble, Katrina Veerman T'01
    Length: 6 pages
    Publication date: 2001
    Case#: 1-0002

    As of March 2001, Cisco Systems enjoys a reputation as the most sophisticated e-business in the world. For its executives, the question of how to maintain this leadership position is paramount. Funding mechanisms, organizational models, and measures of successful innovation are just some of the issues that become increasingly complex as Cisco grows.

    Topics: Information Technology, Innovation, Product Development

    Industry: Network Hardware

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