U-Build-It Hardware Company is a chain of five stores selling hardware products in a Midwestern State. It offers a full range of hardware and gardening products, ranging from hand tools to building and plumbing supplies to gardening supplies and plants. It also offers its own line of kits produced under contract by a local lumber company for do-it-yourself ("U-Build-It") utility and storage sheds, and patio and porch furniture.
Marsha Robinson, CEO of U-Build-It, has been instructed by her Board of Directors to offer products through the Web. The Board's decision was based on a strategic assessment conducted by a local management consultant that forecast U-Build-It is likely to go out of business within a decade unless it engages in electronic commerce.
Marsha assigned you to head up a team to get U-Build-It into e-business within two years. With her advice and approval, you decided that U-Build-It's e-business effort would not replace the existing stores, but rather would supplement them. In planning the e-business roll-out, you determine that the approach to take is a three-phase project. Phase 1 will be a very simple e-business model, building up to a full-scale model by Phase 3. Marsha and the Board of Directors approved your approach and authorized you to move forward to develop a project plan.
Prepare your plan. Describe what U-Build-It's e-business solution will look like for each phase. Specifically, describe the front-end and back-end technical architectures for each phase. Also, what are the requirements for the customer interface for each phase? That is, what will the web-based site look like and what will it do?
Your paper should be in the form of a follow-up presentation to Marsha that is suitable for presentation to the Board, if she approves it. Use PowerPoint and use the speaker notes to record the detailed information that supports your plan. Prepare an Executive Summary of no more than two (2) pages to be a handout.
You should expect to be given no more than 45 minutes for your presentation (or about 25 slides), with ten minutes for questions and answers. Carefully and completely cite all references in your notes, but do not clutter the slides with this information.