Tuesday, September 17, 2019
In a world where competitive edge can hinge on the breakthrough technologies that makes a business run smoothly, Bead Bar is an anomaly. This is because Bead Bar is still using paper based system and this is where StanÃ¢â¬â¢s BJR Consulting will come in. This paper is about the best way Bead Bar can transition into a modern technology run business. BRJ ConsultingÃ¢â¬â¢s main focus would be to assess the information technology needs of Bead Bar specifically on network technology.To begin with the analysis of Bead Bar, we would have to discuss their background and why they came to the point of needing information technology experts to study their operations. From the needs assessment, we will discuss the best recommendations on the network technology that Bead Bar can put into action to ensure that their company needs and objectives are met. Background In 1998, Bead Bar was started as a small business by Meredith S with the first concept store at New Canaan, Connecticut.Meredith wa nted a store, which she called a studio, wherein customers can create their own bead jewelries with an array of beads, accessories and tools to help them work creatively in a cozy environment. The store will provide the necessary equipment on site and the customers will just have to buy the beads and accessories such as wires and string that they will use. As a result, the customersÃ¢â¬â¢ creativity in making their own bead jewelry will be fostered and the company will sell their products.Of course, for customer who has no time to think their own designs, much more to create it will also have an array of designs and products to choose from. They can also choose a particular design which would be made for them by the stores trained employees. The Bead Bar is composed of three divisions namely the studios, franchises, and Bead Bar on Board. The Studio Division, headed by Susanne S. , manages the six Bead Bar studios in different locations. Aside from the Bead Bar studios, they also have franchises are managed by their Franchise Division headed by Leda H.The current franchises of the company are at Kansas City, Missouri; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; Seattle, Washington; and Miami, Florida. The franchise division sells a complete beading supply package to businesses that want to open their own bead studio. Bead Bar on Board division which is headed by Mitch is a special bead bar designed for cruise ships. The bar is portable and can be placed on deck or in a lounge. The cruise ships employees also purchase their supplies through the Bead Bar. Currently, Bead Bar has 6 studios, five franchises and Bead Bar on Board.They have a roster of 15 full-time employees and 20 part-time employees. As of their last financial reports, they recorded $1. 5million annual revenues. As we can see, the studios and franchises are scattered in different states. This resulted into several inefficiencies in their operations such as lost orders, incorrect invoicing and de lays in fulfillment and delivery. One of the things that Meredith realized is that these inefficiencies can be mitigated with the implementation of the right system into the company.Further, with the onset of globalization, Meredith believes that it is the right time for Bead Bar to use the advantages of computer technology to become more competitive. She knew that digitization would help the company simplify its processes; facilitate the processing of its orders without the need for lost invoices and help in the overall operations of the company. Bead Bar would also need to look into different strategies such as their supply chain management and pricing strategies. Additionally, Meredith may like to explore other market options such as an online store to widen their customer reach.Meredith realized that there are huge possibilities for Bead Bar once it has the appropriate information technology in its arsenal. Recommendations Overview After the information technology needs assessme nt made by the consultants, it was noted that there are many things that would have to be procured to help Bead BarÃ¢â¬â¢s system to competitive. First, there was no mention of any hardware that Bead Bar has but the basic assumption would be that the head office has computer peripherals that helps them in their administrative work.For example, top management executives probably have their own desktop where they make their reports specifically for Meredith as the president and owner. Julia R, as Bead BarÃ¢â¬â¢ Chief Financial Officer, needs a computer to keep track of the finances of the company as well as make the necessary reports and financial documents that the company needs for its operation. Miriam, as head of Marketing and Sales, probably has a database of inventory of the companyÃ¢â¬â¢s stocks in order to know what products are moving and what products are not so that she can make the necessary promotions to sell these.In the same way, Rachel, as head of operations and purchasing should also have access to the same inventory database so she can forecast her stock procurement and see what product should be replaced and ordered. Jim, as head of human resources would also have a system for his personnel file, which will include the database of compensation and benefits for each employee. Assuming that each critical unit of the company has its own computer peripherals, the next stem is to determine how each computer is connected to form a network.A network is defined as Ã¢â¬Å"two or more computers that are connected with one another for the purpose of communicating data electronically. Besides physically connecting computer and communication devices, a network system serves the important function of establishing a cohesive architecture. This allows a variety of equipment types to transfer information in a near-seamless fashionÃ¢â¬ (Encyclopedia Britannica). There are two kinds of network that would be applicable for Bead Bar. First is Local Area N etwork or LAN.These link computers and other peripheral devices such as printers, copiers, etc. As such, the computers within the headquarters of Bead Bar can be interconnected through LAN. The second type would be a Wide Area Network which users connected to LAN can tap into. Wide Area Networks or WAN consists of Ã¢â¬Å"computers connected to a wide-area network and often connected through public networks, such as the telephone system. They can also be connected through leased lines or satellitesÃ¢â¬ (Webopedia). WAN is needed by Bead Bar so that all stores are interconnected with each other.This is especially important for the inventory and marketing database of the company. When stories have access to real time data regarding stocks, decision making in their level will be easier. Network Topology There are different kinds of network topologies that are available for businesses to connect them to their operations network. I recommended that a mesh network topology be used for B ead Bar. .In this topology, there would be alternate ways for nodes to communicate when there is a breakdown on other nodes or if a cable fails.However, this can be expensive to install, as it will involve many of cabling. Mesh technology is often used in conjunction with other topologies such as star, ring or bus topology which is useful for a business that uses LAN. For a WAN architecture, most employ mesh routing. An example of a network which uses mesh topology is the internet. I recommend that a partial mesh network topology be employed for Bead Bar. A partial mesh is organized similarly to a full mesh topology but some nodes will only be connected to one or two network which Bead Bar deems to be the most important. Bead Bar Network The central aim is to observe the business processes and the business organization in place and prove ones analytical skills to understand how the business can be enveloped using a computer network infrastructure for making communication swift and successful sharing of information. The proposed network would entail better communication and save the organization on costs for facilitating one process to get the job done.The departments concerned would be able to capture and share effectively valuable business information so as to remain synchronized with the latest events and take decisions accordingly saving time and costs.Introduction Bead bar concentrate in producing beads jewellery for the customers. They are organized into three divisionsÃ¢â¬â¢ namely studios, franchises and bead bar on board which demands to be brought to the same page for synchronization of activities. The proposed network design and the appropriate topology which would be an advantage to the firm for ensuring communication and sharing information to keep in synchronization with the current prospects of the business.The following sections would take up the various network topologies to make the communication feasible and possible with regard to all the physical and network barriers. The network design would provide enough architecture which would give a clear picture of the interconnection of devices and the departments to facilitate the sharing of business information. The final segment discusses the pros and cons of the proposed topology in subject. Background information of Bead Bar: Bead Bar is departmentalized into three divisions namely studios, franchises and bead bar on board.The current circumstance is incapacitated to link among them and thus creates inconsistencies in information sharing and knowledge about the company as a whole, at any given point of time. A computer network would make possible the process of getting the entire job done for every customer within an affordabl e time than usual. It would make sure that information regarding ones choice and preferences would be catered and stored for future benefits. The network would enrich the communication among the divisions which in turn would assist greater workability and functionality in operation.Recommendation overview: The network proposal for the Bead Bar could be surrendered into LAN and WAN. The internal network within the divisions would have a LAN network; however the inter-department contact would be made feasible using WAN as they are geographically separated. The LAN network would make sure to connect the personnel of the particular department itself and the swift communication would be an outcome of it. For the LAN network, switches and hubs are used for connecting the particular division itself and for WAN routers are used for interconnecting each other.Explanation of the Network Design: The three divisions of the company are interconnected using the network cable in a wired network us ing both LAN and WAN. Using LAN, the computers are interconnected within the same premises so that all the employees are able to communicate on demand. The head office possess central server where all the information is stored pertaining to all the departments in their database. The other premises are networked using the LAN technologies. The switch is two layered and used to take care of the storing and forwarding mechanism Tanenbaum (2003).Using WAN the network connections are using the public data services and get connect to internet and using VPN technology, using login credentials. Network Topology: The LAN technology follows a star topology with connecting hubs. The interconnecting devices facilitate the use and sharing of information. Star topology promotes the efficient use of network resources. Advantages of the architecture: Ã¢â¬ ¢ Having a star topology takes less expensive in relation to mesh topology.Ã¢â¬ ¢ In a star, every device needs only one link and one I/O port to inter-connect with a number of other devices (Forouzan, 2003). Ã¢â¬ ¢ The installation and configuration of the star topology is quite easy and makes possible the effective use of time and need. Ã¢â¬ ¢ The cabling requirement is less in compared with other technologies and any additions, deletions and movement involves only one connection between that device and hub. Ã¢â¬ ¢ Quite robust in nature; if one link fails the other connections do not cease to operate. This factor also enhances the fault identification and fault isolation mechanism.Ã¢â¬ ¢ As long as the hub is in working condition, the monitoring of links are possible to detect link problems and bypass defective links. Ã¢â¬ ¢ A WAN is used for connecting to the internet so as to get connected with the other departments across geographic locations. Ã¢â¬ ¢ VPN technology is used to so that their develops a secured channel through which the user of the network can establish a secure connection for communication. It wo uld possess proper login credentials for accessing information and makes sure that its encryption technology debars any tapping and illicit use of information.Ã¢â¬ ¢ The database server would be responsible for storage of all data and information centrally and all the users access the information using their credentials. Ã¢â¬ ¢ The VPN technology makes sure that only authorized users are enabled to access information pertaining to the specified department and others would be debarred from the very system. Drawbacks of the architecture: Ã¢â¬ ¢ The VPN technology is quite expensive to implement and manage. Ã¢â¬ ¢ The expensive nature of the wireless switches and hubs is quite a disadvantage.Ã¢â¬ ¢ The use of internet as a resource to map their requirements would take lesser cost and make efforts to create a virtual company but security measures must be a challenge to the organization in question. Conclusion The primary objective to inter-connect has been taken into description an d the network topology has been elaborated to give shape to the entire network for interconnecting the various divisions in the company. The network architecture for the firm and the drawbacks are carefully noted and examined for their feasibility and cost factors.The long term evaluation is made and it can be concluded that taking care of the network advantages would benefit the firm in the long run to achieve the amount of customer satisfaction in the long run. Furthermore the topology would be able to manage its resources and make a distinct move towards the very nature of their being. Further up gradations to the network can be managed effectively so that they are taken care for growth and envelopment of their future plans. References/ Bibliography Forouzan A. Behrouz (2003). TCP/IP Protocol Suite, second edition. Tata McGraw Hill. Tanenbaum, A. S (2003). Computer Networks, Pearson Education.