Blackberry Hill Farm

Paper instructions:i
1.    Apply relevant models to Blackberry Hill Farm to analyse the current challenges they have in their operations processes and satisfying the customer. This could include: the input-process-output model; the value chain model and business process mapping. Evaluate how they could improve the operations processes; this should promote the database system and other ideas for operations improvement
2.    Complete a mind map/rich picture to identify and explore the people; management and technology issues at Blackberry Hill Farm. Analyse how to improve the operations and Blackberry Hill Farm considering these issues.
3.    Specialism Topic
Select  one from the following four options and write 600 word summary topic
Option 1: Describe the role of information systems in careers in accounting/finance, human resources, marketing and operations management, and explain how careers in information systems have been affected by new technologies and outsourcing.

Option 2:  For an organisation of your choice, write a 600 word short case that summarises how they have strategically harnessed the use of operations and/or information systems. You could consider using Gartner research as a starting point. Gartner are an Anglia Ruskin partner, you can connect to their site from the click on “auto-login to Gartner website” from the “Links to Partner Sites” section. You do not have to get your case from there; any suitable source will be fine.

Option 3:  How much can business intelligence and business analytics help SME’s refine their business strategy? A good starting point is Chapter 10 Improving Decision Making and Managing Knowledge.

Option 4:  The acronym Mint is no longer just a peppermint sweet; it is now also an investment acronym which in the next decade or two could prove extremely profitable for investors. The concept, which groups the countries of Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey, has been popularised by respected economist Jim O’Neill, the man who also coined the BRIC term in 2001. Discuss how the MINT countries can become the next global economic powerhouses.
4.    Academic Rigour
Your assignment should be written in good business English and be well structured and presented. Your assignment should clearly include the academic insight, i.e. the concepts and the supporting references involved, indicated in the assignment and listed in the references and bibliography

IPO model:
Transformed – the items that are changed, e.g. materials are made into products; Information, e.g. an order will transform into a completed/delivered order; Customers will become satisfied customers.
Transforming – The items that change the transformed resources, e.g. machinery may cut the material into a shape; vehicles may move materials/products to their destination.  Staff also are transforming, e.g. they may operate the machinery, or they may answer the phone/serve the customer so transforming the customer into a satisfied one.
All the activities/processes that are undertaken to make/deliver a product to a customer.  This may include physical processes: cutting; welding; assembling etc.  And/or customer service processes: e.g. handling a customer enquiry; authorizing a mortgage, etc.
The end result – could be a car; mobile phone etc.  Could be a service e.g. insurance policy; fixed car; etc.  Often it is a combination of product and service, i.e. you have your mobile phone and it was delivered to you.

IPO example
For ikea case study:

Value chain
General structure:


A template was sent already for you to fill in information. What is required in each activity?
An IT tool or IT tools that would add value to that specific activity and relate the need/relevance of the tool/s to specific example/s from the case study. You have to do your own diagram, do not copy any. Do not use tools for an activity that you cannot relate to specific examples from the case study to explain how it adds value.
Examples of IT tools: (these are just examples they are not limited to these)

Tools alone per activity as you see above is not enough… does it add value to this activity? Relate it to the case study.

Business Process Maps
You are required to do 2 maps, one that represents how the farm operates now and an improved version through the use of IT
From the slides:

Current Process:

New Process:
Examples of maps:

Mind Map:

The idea is to map all people, organizational and technological issues you picked up from the case study.
Try to offer solutions as well. You can include images and you can create it using MS Word, MS Visio or download software such as MindGenius  to create it.  Steps were given in constructing them in the worksheets I sent.


From the slides:

The picture shows
a university student accommodation problem situation:
at its centre is the accommodation office
overwhelmed with paperwork
computerisation may be the answer.
The university has an advantage over rivals by guaranteeing beds to students,
but numbers are rising.
Lines round parts of the picture show possible systems to be considered
the accommodation office system is part of a wider university system.
Different types of leases are shown
Plus the perception of students and landlords of each other.
Taken together, the various components of the picture express those elements of the situation which the analyst considers of particular importance.


After these models you can recommend the database you created and explain how it will solve some of these problems.

Firm Infrastructure
New attractions are added making the entire business become more complex to manage, resulting in both Jim and Mandy being spread too thin over an ever widening range of activities. Management information systems can help Jim and Mandy manage day to day problems by providing information to manage the business effectively, efficiently in accounting, marketing and general management. Allowing more time to be spent on planning the strategic direction of black berry hill farm.
Human Resource Management
The business has grown to over 80 employees mostly part time and seasonal, these employees are local people working part time for an extra income. Staff management has become a concern due to increase employees and attracting local people to produce preserves has become more difficult.  An employee data base can help Blackberry Hill farm track employee’s skills and outline areas for improvement and training also aid in choosing long term employees .
Technology Development
The Preserving kitchen was an immediate success and due to increase in demand has grown to produce about a 1000 kg a week; this has resulted in an extension of the preserving kitchen. The use of product and process design can help meet growing demand. Product engineering can be used to improve the process of preserving and packaging.

Less than 2% of the fruits and vegetables that are preserved are actually grown on the farm. The remainders are bought from wholesale market suppliers; a network supply chain with wholesalers providing suppliers websites and emailing addresses can help the procurement process and reduce time searching for dependable suppliers.

Inbound Logistics
•    Blackberry Hill farm  should implement an automated warehouse system, which would reduce surplus stocks by not over stocking, it will also forecast peak periods and plan for adequate stock. Also monitor manufacturing dates and alerts of expired items to be removed.    Operation
•    A computer aided planning system will help with ordering fruits and vegetables, jars and containers in actual quantity needed to replenish stocks    Outbound Logistics
•    A website that provides online sales for blackberry hill farm “preserves.” Integrate a payment system with Blackberry Hill Farm banking affiliates.
Linking this website to the automated stocking system, for once an order is placed an invoice is automatically generated and the item pull from warehousing to be shipped.
Marketing and Sales
•    The website will have all the Blackberry Hill Farm Preservatives for sale, it will also act as a brochure providing a comprehensive list of activities the farm provides, and it will also outline the concept of pick your own fruits to the public at large.
•    Determine advertising and promotional effectiveness
After Sales Service
•    Once an item is bought from the website, the customer is automatically placed in a data base, Automated emails will be sent to the customers after the delivery date to get feedback on the service that blackberry hill farm has provided and to help build a good customer relationship.
Customers who are already in the data base will be given a choice to be in blackberry farm mailing list This mailing list will have events and special deals for repeat customers.
•    Analyze website activities

The term ‘Value Chain’ was used by Michael Porter in his book “Competitive Advantage: Creating and
Sustaining superior Performance” (1985). The value chain analysis describes the activities the organization
performs and links them to the organizations competitive position.

Value chain analysis describes the activities within and around an organization, and relates them to an
analysis of the competitive strength of the organization. Therefore, it evaluates which value each particular
activity adds to the organizations products or services. This idea was built upon the insight that
an organization is more than a random compilation of machinery, equipment, people and money. Only
if these things are arranged into systems and systematic activates it will become possible to produce
something for which customers are willing to pay a price. Porter argues that the ability to perform particular
activities and to manage the linkages between these activities is a source of competitive advantage.

Porter distinguishes between primary activities and support activities. Primary activities are directly
concerned with the creation or delivery of a product or service. They can be grouped into five main
areas: inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, marketing and sales, and service. Each of
these primary activities is linked to support activities which help to improve their effectiveness or efficiency.
There are four main areas of support activities: procurement, technology development (including
R&D), human resource management, and infrastructure (systems for planning, finance, quality,
information management etc.).