Reference no: EM131356685
Read the scenario below and answer the following questions:
Fleet Shoe Company is having problems with its automated distribution system. The main warehouse is almost at a standstill and retailers are getting few if any Fleet shoes. Fleet had received recognition for its state-of-the-art warehouse system. However, just prior to switching over to this new system, Fleet scrapped the system's software and computer hardware and adopted a new architecture. During the development, there had been very high turnover of IT staff and Fleet had fired its lead systems integrator.
The new system was to automate the movement of goods in the warehouse and was to include tilting trays, conveyor belts, lifting equipment, and scanners. To operate properly, such systems require quite a bit of fine-tuning. The goal was to increase capacity, boost productivity, cut staff by 50 percent, and cut the time to get orders out the door to 24 hours. The software, not the hardware, seemed to be the problem. It was designed to run under UNIX, but Fleet decided to use fault-tolerant computers that run a proprietary (i.e., hardware specific) operating system. When the software vendor went out of business, they had not completed porting (i.e., transferring) their software to the proprietary operating system.
Fleet's choice to replace the original platform was a computer system that itself ran warehouse management software. It is this option that brought Fleet to it knees. The new system was slower than expected. To get shoes to retailers, Fleet shipped directly from overseas factories and warehouses. Comments from industry specialists and consultants pointed out the chaos that often results from instantaneous changeovers. Another speculated that Fleet did not place much importance on warehousing and rather concentrated on other aspects of its operations.
a. How would you characterize this project in terms of size, degree of definition, technology familiarity, and organizational readiness?
b. Describe specific risks or concerns that you have for this project. Clearly explain why each is a risk or concern and the specific actions that you would recommend to mitigate the risk or concern.