What does collaboration mean

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COLLABORATION

What can you do to continue collaborating with the community without losing revenue or goodwill for the cafe?

Collaboration is exchange of information between the owner, employee and the customer where the primary purpose of the interaction is getting innovative ideas, relationship building, and implementation and satisfying the customer. This process can involve development of an idea and creation of a design towards the achievement of a shared goal.

- Set the goal - target beneficiaries (schools, sports teams, charities, hospitals, nursing homes etc.) and the amount to be raised by fundraising.

- Financial analysis

- Advertisement - We need to organize the communication for our fundraising, let everybody know about your fundraising programs and inform them why you are doing this, i.e., the purpose of the program.

- Launching date time and location.

- Invite volunteers and organize a small meeting to explain our motive.

- Feedback - receive feedbacks from the customers through the blog in the website.

Alternatives:

Coupon books also seem to be a good option, since it helps to collaborate with the community by fundraising and it would help bring in new customers too. Further, there would be parents and well-wishers of the students of the schools, who would just buy the coupon book and may not use them at all. Such cases would help balance the loss of $5 per coupon book.

Link each customer card with the one or more school so that a percentage of their purchase automatically will go to that school.

What type of collaboration tool would you build?

A collaboration system, an IT based set of tools that supports the work of teams by facilitating the sharing and flow of information will be used in coordinating the events of the cafe.

The event schedules would be posted on the Café's website and there would be options for the customers to inform us about their participation and contributions for events such as music center, art exhibit, book club etc.

This collaboration system would allow customers and the management of the Café to leverage and build upon the ideas and talents of staff, customers, and other business partners such as music bands (music center), suppliers supplying coffee for the café (coffee sampler and brewing courses), local artists (art gallery).

These online interactions would help in

  • Complex interactions between people who may be in different locations and desire to work across function and discipline areas
  • Require flexibility in work process and the ability to involve others quickly and easily.
  • Call for creating and sharing information rapidly and effortlessly among the group of interested people.

To be in competition and successful, the Café has to create and utilize team partnership and alliances as the expertise needed is beyond the scope of the single individual. These teams, alliances and partnership can be made internally among the employees and externally with the customers or other service providers. We will adopt customer-centric way of doing business, enabled by technology that involves consolidation and intelligent analysis and distribution of pertinent information about customers, events organized, responsiveness, participation, customer concerns. Collaboration, teamwork, and two-way communication should be encouraged across the cafe, in respect to the implementation of collaboration process improvement.

Tools that can be possibly used:

Unstructured or information collaboration tool can be applied to get feedback and views about the upcoming events as well as any short-comings in the past organized events.

Knowledge Management System involves capturing, classifying, evaluating, retrieving and sharing information for effective decisions and actions. Information and ideas are the main and important asset of our café. If they are not analyzed and disseminated at the right time to the right people, it's worthless.

Social Networks like Twitter and Facebook are greatly amplifying the voice of people in the marketplace and are predicted to have profound and far-reaching effects which can be managed cleverly to maintain a glorious relationship with the customers. This is because nowadays people are using these social media sites to share opinions and experiences on companies, products and services. As social media isn't moderated or censored, one can say anything they want about a company or brand, whether pro or con.

ERP is an integrated computer-based system whose purpose is to facilitate the flow of information between all events inside the boundaries of the organization at the same time maintains coordination with the outside information.

  • Integration among different functional areas to ensure proper communication, productivity and efficiency
  • Scope for betterment of the activities Wikis Instant Messaging

How could you use the tool to facilitate Planning, Product Development, Product Testing, Feedback, etc.

Planning- Posting the schedules online, enabling the customers to opt whether they would come for the event or not (Have an option to check yes or no). We can also have an option for the customers to let us know if they would like to participate in organization of the event (especially for music events and art gallery). Thus this tool would enable real-time information sharing.

Product Development- We can coordinate product development based on customer requirements and choices, facilitating collaboration between the suppliers and customers. For example, based on the likeness and choice of the customers, performers would be invited for the music center events. Likewise, the art gallery exhibits would also be chosen based on the customer requirement, which can be assessed through the past sale information.

Product Testing- Along with the coffee sampler event, in which customers can sample coffee from around the world, different types of coffee supplied in the Café would also be included. There would be options for customers to choose the coffee that they like the most.

This would facilitate us to find the customer's best choice of coffee of the world and also the best in the café. This in turn would help us to develop the coffee in the Café based on customer preferences.

Feedback- would be received personally in the café and also in the website. Feedback would help us in improving the café in every possible way. Foster innovation by encouraging the free flow of ideas and improve customer services by streamlining the response time. Different blogs can be created for employees and customers. Customers can login in the customer blog in order to share ideas which can be monitored on a regular basis. Both the blogs can be analyzed for employee and customer concerns and effectively addressed. By analyzing the information in a timely manner it becomes easy to draft successful business strategy. Customer relationships can be managed. This helps to improve productivity, maximize customer satisfaction, and thereby increase business profitability.

What additional benefits could a customer collaboration tool provide that could help you run your business?

Customer collaboration tool would facilitate proper interaction between the customers and the suppliers. This would also facilitate group discussions with information/opinion sharing, convening meetings and events. Web-based collaboration tools offer great flexibility and potential cost savings to an organization by liberating the participants from the constraints imposed by schedules, location, and time.

Collaboration tools represent a powerful combination of high-end applications that make it easy to manage employee, customer and other Café related activities. Using highly interactive user-friendly tools we can effectively manage and control complex network of information and data.

By facilitating effective business-customer collaboration, these tools can also help to maximize customer satisfaction and improve customer retention. Online collaboration tool comes equipped with powerful advanced features that enable us to seamlessly communicate, share and collaborate critical details in a timely manner. The unique features will makes it easy to manage various activities and streamline business processes. By automating marketing and sales administration tasks we can easily analyze market effectiveness, draft powerful campaigns, manage budgets and thereby maximize the productivity.

Collaborative tools would help us in achieving the following.

  • Sharing
  • researching the ideas and views
  • Brainstorming and idea generating
  • Group discussion
  • Real-time communication
  • Surveys
  • Blogging
  • Effective strategic planning

You would like to implement wikis at The Broadway Cafe. How would you use them to help grow your business?

Wikis enable collaborative editing of its contents by its users. Thus, multiple users can contribute to the content which is the basic purpose behind the rise in wikis. So, if we have to collaboratively work on files with more than one person giving feedback or modifying a document then, wiki's are a good option. They can also be used for communication with their bulletin board-style of input.

We can add various components to a page, such as announcements, event schedules, specialties in the café, list of book club books, list artists contributing towards the art gallery and music center etc. We also have the availability to control the access users have to each page by using Wikis.

Wikis can be made user-friendly and interactive. Wikis can provide other advantages like customer collaboration, documentation, and developing an online community.

A nice option, Wiki spaces adds to the usual features is by allowing the addition of widgets to the pages we create - widgets that allow us to access other web services such as local weather, calendar etc.

There can be issues of legal liability and risk to reputation, particularly if you publish on the web. Options such as a moderated Wiki format, user agreements, and locking some pages from public view can offer protection.

What concerns would you have with the Wiki and what could you do to minimize your concerns?

  • We should know how to use Wikis to their best effect.
  • Wikis enable everyone to input data or information and hence it is not organized in a proper way.
  • If the information is often added to wikis but not deleted when no longer relevant or inaccurate or updated when changed it can make a mess.
  • Although it's easy to set up wikis, it's not always so easy for users to take advantage of them because of lack of knowledge how to use it. For non-tech workers, using wikis may require upfront training.
  • Wikis are not secure - Even when wikis are used wisely, there is an underlying risk of having important data or information stored on wikis. It is often too easy to register and say that you are anyone. It typically has a very low barrier to entry. So wikis are not appropriate for editing sensitive and confidential documents.
  • It is not always obvious what has been altered unless different font colors are used by different users.
  • Open to Spam and Vandalism if not managed properly. One must be logged in to edit pages in Wiki and so this reduces vandalism.

Customers Blogs provide a communication space that customers can utilise with businesses whenever there is basic service problems, sharing of ideas and reflect on quality of service being provided by the business. From a business cycle perspective the availability and ease of use of blogging software makes creating blogs a viable business activity, and a mean of communication between business and customers.

Employee Blogs provide a communication space that employees can utilise with businesses or their employers whenever there is basic work problems, sharing of ideas and reflect on work being undertaken in the business.

The Broadway Cafe

(Customer Blog)

This is a customer sounding board for our dedicated, loyal and most appreciated customers of THE BROADWAY CAFE!

FREE COFFEE ENTRY

Send your email address to www.freecoffee@the broadwaycafe.com

to enter to win a free cup of coffee.

We promise, we will NOT share your information!!

Posted by Ravi Prasad. At 1.25pm 0 Comments

CUSTOMER SUGGESTIONS -MENU

Please put any suggestions on our menu here!

Posted by Ravi Prasad. At 1.28pm 0 Comments

CUSTOMER SUGGESTIONS - Complaints

Please put any complaints here

Posted by Ravi Prasad. At 1.31pm 0 Comments

The Broadway Cafe

(Customer Blog)

This is a customer sounding board for our dedicated, loyal and most appreciated Staff and Management of THE BROADWAY CAFÉ!!!

EMPLOYEE OF THE WEEK

David Don..receives free coffee for him and family for a week!!

Congrats!!!

Posted by Ravi Prasad. At 1.21pm 0 Comments

EMPLOYEES' SUGGESTIONS -Hours

Please put any suggestions on opening hours

Posted by Ravi Prasad. At 1.45pm 0 Comments

CUSTOMER SUGGESTIONS - Complaints

Please put any complaints with regards to unfair work conditions or practice

Posted by Ravi Prasad. At 1.52pm 0 Comments

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

The café has been in business since 1952 and has never had a single competitor in the neighborhood. Now that the café may have a competition will affect the business. Therefore the café need to develop a new strategic direction to bring the café into the 21st century.

Developing a strategy will help to communicate goals and priorities to employees. It would also improve manages and employees' abilities to make the right decisions in their day to day work. Inform the employees of the upcoming challenges and let them know that the company values their opinions and concerns regardless of the economic. As owner of the Broadway café would have to have conversation with the customer will be essential to build their trust and loyalty, so that they continue to shop at café. The best way to keep the customers inform is to make sure that they are inform of all the changes in the café. To keep customers updated and engaged will had to get up-to-date with the technology by acquiring a computer get engage in the new social networks like Facebook and Twitter are essential to build a communication with the current and future customers. Update Facebook and Twitter on occasion asking customers if they have any question or concerns about your café. With this steps will help to build a competitive in the changing market.

Information technology is one of the most important in a business in order to keep any business data storages

It was first opened in 1952. Coffee shop specialized in different coffees, teas, homemade soups, sandwiches, salads and full service bakery. For many years it was a hotspot, but for last five years business is going down. Now it needs new and improved methods to be back in business market.

My grandfather never used computer and everything was manual including ordering and employee payroll. He had terrific memory and he knew his all customers. All recipes for homemade soups and baked goods were in his memory. Business's only marketing was word-of-mouth. To bring café into 21 century we needs new technology like computers for sale, customer database, website for online presence, providing wireless hotspot, customer relationship management for marketing and sale strategies to gain a competitive advantage. We need to install cash register, computer server with wireless access to meet customers' expectations.

The Broadway Café is the only coffee shop in neighborhood. Employees have heard a rumor that Starbucks might be opening a store in the area. Right now we have competitive advantage, because we are only café which is specialized in coffee products. The situation will change when Starbuck will open a new shop. The café have first mover advantage to be first in business but Starbucks is technologically advanced and have wholesale coffee business in the market.

Buyer power- Sales show that Buyer's power is high because café's sales have been declining for the past five years. And café is in downtown which has lot of fast food shops. Now days almost every fast food shop offers coffee in the store. Buyer power will be higher if Starbucks opens a new coffee shop. Nevertheless we should consider starting a loyalty program to attract more customers and offer those customers new deals and coupons. We can offer coffee samples to customers and ask them to share their opinions about our products. We can have our customers evaluate what products they like the most and which ones need improvement. For example, we can get our customers trust and loyalty by offering them a rewards program. Which would offer them a 5% discount on the first five purchases, then after ten purchases they would get a free coffee or a snake bar of their choice. Every Friday there would be a freebie starting at 6AM till 10AM with regular order of their purchase.

Supplier power- is low because we have number of suppliers that are willing to provide products to us on low rates. Wholesale distributor Brazil Beans are selling beans for 50% discount. They have few constraints to place order. To fulfill their constraints we will order Gold Ground, French Vanilla and Organic Special Roast to maximize our profit. Business-to-Business marketplaces like eBay are best to reduce purchasing cost and lowering the supplier power.

Threat of Substitute- According to Michael Porter's Five Forces Model, Threat of Substitute is high in our case because there are many alternates to our coffee products and services because almost every fast food chain have started offering coffee, especially in the morning. This threat will be higher when Starbucks moves into the area. We need to switch cost to other products and services to attract more customers.

New Entrants-Now days almost every fast food chain start offering coffee especially in morning, so threat of new entrants is very high. And it's easy to enter in coffee business where there is no major branded Coffee in the area. We need to introduce coffee products different from others with low price. To make new customers we need to give free samples and ask customers about their opinion. If customer likes our products and our prices are less than market, there are fewer chances that customers will switch to our competitors products.

Rivalry among existing competitor- It is low because there is no competitor in the market who is specializes in the coffee products. There are some fast food chains that are offering coffee products but coffee products are not their specialty. When Starbuck will move in to our area, the rivalry will be high.

I will choose the focused strategy since Porter suggests that a business should only choose one strategy at a time. As we are specialized in coffee products, our focus should be on creation of new and different coffee flavors at low costs. As our customers preferences might change with the time, we should always introduce new flavors and new rewards programs to our customers. We also need to revamp our order process and right now we have redundancies. In future coffee products and food will be ordered and paid at same place and customers can pick up their orders from the next counter to speed up the process.

My café in the 21st century would be equipped with the new technology like computers for sale, customer database. Also my new strategies to increase the sale of the café would help me gaining the competitive advantage in the neighborhood. I believe my young and creative ideas would help the café to bloom in the new market and it would help me increase my profit.

Entry Barriers: There are very few entry barriers when it comes to the coffee business. There is no local government or federal laws that restrict entry into the business. The few barriers include cost Capital and the need for customers. Depending on the direction of the café the cost of construction can be very expensive if the café is going to be a high end shop. Also with the limited amount of customers and the highly competitive nature of the business many people are skeptical about venturing into this area.

Switching Costs: They are no switching cost for customers when they switch from one vendor to another. Opportunity cost is the only price they pay. They forgo one alternative for another.

Substitute Products: Coffee from gas stations, restaurant, fast food chain, etc. Other substitutes include Tea, Artificial Creamers, Pre-made sandwiches, and homemade coffee.

Porter's Strategy

Differentiation: We will differentiate our business by creating a very warm atmosphere and friendly environment while providing our product at a very low cost. We want create an environment that will encourage customers to continuously flow into our business knowing that they will receive exceptional service at a very low cost. We will create customer loyalty programs to discourage new entrants and make it difficult for customers to switch. This will also reduce the threat of substitute, thereby helping us to retain our existing customers while attracting new ones. We will provide a quiet room for individuals who need some quiet time to study or meet and hold private discussions. Also we'll provide a book/magazine stand for customers to purchase those products and utilize them while they enjoy our beverages and pastries. Lastly, we will offer a website for promotional purposes and also for individuals to use coupons for future purposes and also apply for our customer loyalty programs.

Comment/Complaint Box: Comment Boxes will be put around tables and exits for customers to fill out questionnaires and provide comments and complaints about the store. Employees can also provide comments or complaints about the stores processes and fellow employees. Through weekly meetings, the store manager will brief employees on the trends of comments and complaints, and how to effectively provide a solution and make service better.

Customer database: Software can be instituted to provide management information based on demand, supply, and/or trends of the consumer. Systems can be put into place to monitor traffic in the store and turnover rates; also, information can be retrieved from the cash register in which managers can observe what products are being bought and what aren't and act accordingly.

Customer loyalty programs: Customers can be provided with cards that can either be swiped, scanned or have holes punched in them. Customers that take advantage of this will be provided perks such as free beverages, free upgrades to larger size cups, pastries, etc.

Customer appreciation and promotional events: Employees of the cafe can go to nearby offices and stores to offer free coffee in the mornings along with pastries and snacks. Here, consumers will have an initial taste of our products and will be provided with coupons to lure them to the café. Furthermore, promotions can be done during certain times of the day, such as rush hour in the mornings or lunch, where consumers can come in and receive discounts and some free snacks or pastries. We can consistently use environmental scanning to gauge the current market trends and promote/advertise accordingly, hopefully being the first to market certain items.

The floor plan in the image is inefficient for the Broadway Café operation; there should be only be three stops for customers and a fourth option. Stop A should be where customers can purchase magazines or books; Stop B is where the customer will order and purchase their beverage and food. Stop C is where customers can utilize the cream, sugar, lids, etc. This will eliminate non-value added space and activities enabling us to create space for a wi-fi database; also more seats and tables can places in those empty spots or even be replaced by televisions. Moreover, there are only four windows, there should be windows surrounding the seating area so that the seated customers can enjoy the view, and sit longer, increasing the possibility of them purchasing more beverages.

Evaluate current order of customer order process, in order to make the process faster and efficient. By introducing a magazine/newspaper section, we have to figure out where to place this section that seems to have an appeal to the customer while they enjoy their beverages.

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