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Information technology is one of the important parts of any business success today. Different sectors from agriculture to retail sectors are using several information technology innovations to improve their business. As with time, use of computers and internet networks is increasing so to communicate with the clients worldwide these technologies are very important. Usage of information technology in business means smarter applications for easier use of company websites, faster processes than traditional, more improved data storage systems and a wider distribution system of information. Mainly in the retail sector, information technology is very important for the warehouse management, market and customer study, for retail establishments, software for distribution and mainly for managing database and accounting. Farmfoods is one of the leading grocery and frozen food supermarkets in the UK which was established in 1955. These sectors are also using such technologies to flourish mostly after the pandemic Covid 19. Due to this situation different industries had faced a huge loss. After that to make up their loss, they had to introduce several eye-catching technologies to attract customers. Here in this assignment, different network technologies and issues related to this supermarket are discussed. After that AI technology used in this industry is also discussed.
According to Omisakin et al. 2020, Supermarket business was first limited to only the rich people but now poor people are also using this service. It is growing because of the participation of every small supplier in the supply chain. To make a customer need based system it is needed to form customer feedback service channels (CFSCs) for dialogue and conversation. In this case, AI catboats can be used. Customer grievances regarding these supermarkets are regarding their operational flexibility and slow response (Omisakin et al. 2020). They need to focus on reading customer behavior and analyze it to identify areas of improvement in their operation. Customer feedback and customer requirements can be identified by big data analysis from the website search and market reading. For this AI based BI tools can be used for improvement in the system. AI based systems can improve structuring and developing computer systems for machine learning, cloud based storage, analytics and most importantly decision making. AI based systems can enhance customer satisfaction by recording positive experiences using the AI.
According to Weber and Schütte, 2019, there are many applications that can be used for improving business operations in retail and wholesale systems. It mainly helps in the areas which need forecasting in business like the future market, future customer demand and production etc. It is mainly related to the area of decision making and analytics. Complexity of these systems can be simplified by AI. Customer feedback and customer requirements can be identified by big data analysis from the website search and market reading. Price management, Forecasting, store layout management, customer service management can use AI based systems (Weber and Schütte, 2019). Usage of AI based systems can help in understanding customer demand and expectations. BI tools can help in understanding future prediction. Food ordering AI tools are: ordering and same day delivery, ordering system, voice enabled ordering system. AI based customer services are: Automated POS systems, customer interaction and market research, virtual assistance and chatbots, virtual showrooms and many more. Hand out good AI applications are: Route optimization, same day delivery system and Fulfillment strategy for business.
According to Dash et al. 2019, Supply Chain management system is one of the important areas for retail supermarkets. In the SCM system, AI can be widely used. A huge number of suppliers can be connected through an integrated system. Modern AI based systems can gather information from different websites called big data and then analyze it using BI tools (Dash et al. 2019). Technologies like cognitive computing, Context-aware Computing, Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Predictive Analytics can be used in retail business systems for improvement. These things have made computing, data analyzing and decision making easier than the previous. Decisions taken based on these market studies can help in improving retail supermarkets.
A retail supermarket business operation includes several activities like store management, premises management, inventory management, Receipt management, supply chain logistics and management and last but not the least customer service management to do their whole task smoothly. Running the logistic operation of a business is not an easy task to perform. Previously all the tasks were manual but now as customers are increasing and to manage a huge system these supermarkets like Farmfoods are using several software for managing their tasks. Identification of software is very important to improve the business. An industry has totally different usage of the software based on its operations in the market (Friedlander and Zoellner, 2020). A huge customer based supermarket like Farmfoods needs broad payroll software. The essential software are listed below:
Accounting software: Accounting software can make account management easier for smooth business operation. It helps to monitor cash flow, tax filing, expenditure and other cash related stuff.
Payroll software: In a big business like this several staff are engaged. To manage a complicated payroll system on a monthly basis it is needed to use payroll software.
Tax software: For any successful supermarket retailer like Farmfoods, tax software can easily calculate tax and other data to reduce tax and other legal obligations.
Bookkeeping software: Bookkeeping software helps to collect all data related to the business and helps to make decisions.
Time tracking software: This is used for effective time management in a business. Tracking time can add values in the supermarket business operation.
Project management Software: This can be used for maintaining the whole business operation with efficiency.
Customer service software: To improve retail business it is necessary to make a customer centric business environment which can be achieved by this software (Costa, 2020). To make a feedback based business improvement system, customer service software is very important.
Communication software: Efficient and effective communication for both externally and internally, this kind of software can be used. Communication is the main key of success for any business like Farmfoods.
Website building software: To expand online marketing and to communicate with a client far away online marketing is very necessary. To increase online business it is necessary to make a user-friendly interface which can be used by all very easily. For this operation this software can be used.
Payment software: This software can make online transaction systems smooth and safe (Oliveira, 2022). To manage a huge workflow and to make the billing process more efficient this software can be used. This makes the payment and refund system much easier.
Marketing and sales software: This software is used in business operations for making the whole system more structured. This software can analyze the sales conversion data and can improve it as required. This can provide the value of the marketing budget, collect all the data related to market operation and makes the operation easier.
Ethical issues related to a business are defined as such activities or decisions that can create conflict with the moral principles of society and social issues are defined as problems which can affect people and other aspects related to business. The issues related to any digitized industry are listed below:
Data Privacy: In this digitized business environment it is very important to maintain data privacy. As all the computerized systems are used, it is very easy to hack information from online systems (Caballero Nadales, 2021). In an organization, sensitive data are: customer related data and company related data. When a user is putting their personal details in the payment site or any other area then the company is responsible for protecting that data. Losing these data can lead to several frauds and other issues.
Another factor is company related data. Privacy of such data is also important to avoid any unwanted conditions.
Losing control: Improving privacy of a system is actually a double edged sword. As privacy of a website is increasing, control over the sensitive data is reducing with time. As the systems are being digital, minimum information is taken for operation so it is tricky to track lost data using that minimum information.
Payment frauds: Payment related frauds are also related toany business like Farmfoods. Where the customers are using online payment mode, security of that platform is very much needed.
Paying attention to these issues is very necessary. If company related data is compromised then the company can face many legal issues like tax and other obligations (Ghimireet al. 2020). This can create a bad impression about that company. Protection of Customer data is important for goodwill and trust in the business operation. Customer trust in any company is needed for expanding business and future sustainability. If customer trust is reduced then the position of a company in the market will change and customers will start reducing.
Network technology can be classified based on scale and transmission. Based on scale networks are classified in five parts. These are: VPN, PAN, WAN, MAN and LAN. Based on transmission, networking technology can be divided into two parts (Meng, 2021). These are multipoint and point-to-point. LAN can be used for a very small area, MAN is for an area larger than LAN, and WAN is for a very large business system. VPN or virtual private network system is invented to transmit and communicate at the same time.
Figure 1: Network technologies in business operation
Over 300 retail stores of Farmfoods provide seamless payment mode for their all customers. It is important for constant customer service. This farm is recommended for a specific billion 3G failover product that can provide a constant network for online payment. It also provides a secure EPOS system which can also remain operative when the main like communication is down. This system can provide data security also in the online payment system (Pangriya and Singh, 2020). Previously small 3G routers were used in this store for connectivity but now as systems are expanding, a strong system needs to be used in this system. A Billion BiPAC 7800GZ can provide all day long connectivity through the broadband connection or ADSL connectivity. This is mainly a triple -WAN interface.
An auto failover system can provide minimum interruption and maximum connectivity with the headquarter and in the stores. It is capable of managing a robust traffic system, flexible and also easily user-configurable. Embedded 3G modules can provide more robust structure to this network.
This system can also provide high security in the whole system. Embedded IPsec VPN protocols allow a user to pay through a highly encrypted platform. A built-in “DES/3DES VPN accelerator” can improve performance of the whole system. This can transmit sensitive data with a high security.
Now many organizations like Farmfoods are using AI based technologies for improving their business operation (Har et al. 2022). AI can be used in a business for market study, reducing operational cost, improving customer experience, increasing productivity and efficiency. AI based systems can improve the decision making process for the business. The impacts of using AI in the business are:
Automated recruitment: An AI based tool is machine learning which can be used for analyzing big data like the big data and then decisions can be taken from by analyzing the data. It can help the HR departments for automatic recruitment of the professionals in several sectors. For verifying documents, issuing call letters, AI based systems can be used.
Personalizing sales and marketing: AI based systems can give precise results for marketing and sales better than human based systems (Anica-Popa et al. 2021). It can help an organization like Farmfoods by identifying the choice of customer from different websites and then analyze the marketing strategy. It also helps a business to take customer centric decisions to improve their sales and revenue.
Customer support: Customer support is one of the important aspects of a retail supermarket business. So identifying customer needs is an important task. For identifying customer need and
Customer pattern big data analysis is necessary. A feedback based system improvement system can also give satisfaction to the customers. In this case also AI can be used. AI based chat box can provide customer assistance in their need.
Market study and data collection: Market study is needed to understand a dynamic market demand and to respond accordingly (Jiang, 2022). Different BI tools can be used for marketing analysis. IoT can be used for gathering information about market demand.
Security improvement: AI has several future and current applications for system and data security.
Reducing cost: As AI based systems can collect several data, and can calculate different things using the BI tools, decision making is becoming easier day by day in a business operation. It can read a market easily and has reduced operational cost than the previous.
Integrated storage: As a big business environment has to store huge data, an integrated cloud based storage system can be used for data storage (Park et al. 2021). Using a private cloud can provide safety and also can provide a platform to access data from any system in an emergency. Chances of losing data is low in this system.
SDLC or “software development life cycle” is an approach to produce a structure of design development based on the customer needs (Pillai et al. 2020). The main objective of SDLC is to produce a highly efficient, cost effective and user centric design for business improvement. This process includes seven steps from planning to implementation. The steps of the SDLC are discussed below in detail.
Project planning: For any process the initial stage is to make a plan for the whole task. In this phase budget, requirements, team formation and courses of activity are planned to achieve the goal.
Gathering analysis and requirement: In this phase most important information regarding the application is accumulated. Here market research and customer reading are two important things to make an application sustainable in a competitive market. Security, program based aspects are defined here for proper designing.
Designing: this is the process to incorporate all the needs and requirements of a software based on user needs. It is the phase to make a design which is feasible technologically and financially.
Implementation and coding: It is the process of implementing a software as per the requirements and needs. In this stage, all the written code is implemented using a programming language. For this some predefined guidelines are needed to implement.
Figure 3: Stages of SDLC
Testing: Testing process is necessary for checking efficiency and feasibility of a software. There are different testing done for checking the functionality of a software (Sushkovaet al. 2021). These are: Accessibility testing, regression testing, interactive testing, single user performance testing, black box testing and many more. It helps to identify bugs in coding.
Deployment: Deployment is done after the testing and after this phase a software is ready to use for the users. Deployment process can be easy and complicated based on the size of a business. In this case all the issues found in testing are fixed and updated.
Maintenance: Maintenance is the review of a user centric design. It is mainly necessary when a user starts using the software (Chen and Shang, 2021). According to the feedback it is needed to be improved for proper User centric design and user-friendly activity. For changing the software and for introducing new features, software updates are arranged after regular intervals.
In this assignment a retail supermarket Farmfoods is selected for business operating using information technology. In this system company background is discussed. After that literature review is done based on the usage of information technology in business operations. After that in the analysis section, different software needed in the business operation of such a supermarket are discussed in detail. After that ethical and social issues related to information technology are discussed. In the following section, different network technologies and the particular technology for operation of Farmfoods are explained in a detailed manner. After that, the benefits of using AI Based systems in business operations are explained. In the next section, software development life cycle and different stages of this are explained with the help of a diagram.
AI based system usage can improve the business operation of this retail supermarket Farmfoods. As the business of this retail store is increasing, business management is far easier with AI based tools. Now for being sustainable, reducing carbon emission in their activity is necessary to be the first choice of customers. It has shocked the whole industry by their rapid growth and using AI based technology in the future they can achieve immense heights in the business market. A proper market research and customer centric service can grow their business, Several AI based campaigns and advertising can form a relationship between customers and the brand. In the long run this can enhance customer loyalty and trust. This can improve their sales and improve their market position.
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