There are many relevant needs of the supermarket. Matt believes there is a need for the supermarket to gain more exposure through an online presence. He also believes the project needs to allow local consumers to buy food from them electronically. Thus, there is a need for the website to interface with inventory supply systems in order to allow customers to review and purchase food over the internet. Grace has also identified a need that is not directly related to the project but is relevant as it has an impact on its feasibility. The parking lot’s need to be paved next summer means that there may not be a budget to create this website considering these repairs. Project Objective
The project objective is to increase supermarket profits by creating a website which increases the accessibility and recognition of the store by the town’s elderly and college-aged population. These are the two primary target markets that have been identified by Matt and Grace’s conversation. Matt believes the website would help them appeal to these target markets. The project also has the objective of linking the inventory system with an e-commerce portal, as mentioned before, so that consumers can order food directly from the website. This may also create a need to implement a new inventory system, if one is already not in place.
Before Matt and Grace talk with the consultant, they must become better prepared. It is clear from this conversation that Matt has not fully thought through the full costs and benefits of creating a website and other secondary effects or difficulties it may create. Grace is asking some good questions that should be thoughtfully addressed before a consultant comes in. Matt and Grace should figure out what they want the website to do. They must figure out if the website will have an e-commerce section, or if it will just have information. They should also try to establish what effects they want the website to have in terms of features. Also of great importance is what the budget that they are willing to expend on a website. Establishing all of this ahead of time will help them plan and thoughtfully consider the needs of the business.
Based on what the Matt and Grace have been discussing, I believe that the consultant should tell them that a website can be very expensive, depending on the features and functionality. If the store just wants to create an informational website that has store hours, pictures, and telephone numbers, the consultant should tell them that this is doable and can help them establish an online presence in the local community. However, to create a full-featured e-commerce section would likely require not only a great deal of website coding and hard work, but also digitizing their entire inventory system, which would be extremely expensive. For such a small store in a small town, such an expenditure could take years to return its value. A wise consultant would likely recommend they not pursue such an option.
Expansion is something that all businesses should chase. However, expanding too quickly and investing too many resources in future opportunity can end up bankrupting the business before the value is returned. Good business owners should be sure to weigh the full costs and benefits prior to seeking out an opportunity.