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Name Mike (Tao) Chen
NetID Tche845
Group Number: 171
Website Link:
Tutorial Details
Tutor: Day: Time:
Yvonne Hong Wednesdays 10am
Time Spent on
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Water is an essential substance for life, not only is it vital to sustain all living things, it’s also
crucial to human socio-economic development. Looking at how far the world in the 21

century has come would make many optimistic about the future, but the truth is there are
some serious environmental issues that could not only inhibit economic development but
negate it.
One of such environmental issues is fresh water, we use it for drinking, cleaning, cooking
and manufacturing (a major consumer of fresh water). In our New Zealand context, the
issue of fresh water shortage is an interesting one, while most households around the
country enjoy a ready supply of fresh water, our waterways are heavily polluted by the Dairy
industry. Dairy farming make up the back bone of our economy, and while it generates
much wealth for us, the practice of over-irrigation and dairy stock effluent puts a
unsustainable strain on our waters. The amount of nitrogen produced by a small farm of
about 200 cows is about the same as the sewage from a community of around 5000-10000
humans (Milking the land, n.d.).
As a result of this problem, our group have come up with a unique business idea that
incorporates both cutting edge material based desalination technology with information
systems to provide the solution to this problem. Our business solution centers around a
newly developed Graphene lamina based water filter that can filter both polluted water and
sea water into pure water just by pumping it through it’s graphene lamina (Chandler, 2012).
In this way, the dairy farmer can utitlise the water from dirty waterways to irrigate their
land, while the resulting effluent can be filtered again and reapplied back into the fresh
water supply. Obviously such a solution would be expensive to implement and maintain,
and for that reason, we have incorporated an information system that monitors both the
soil moisture content and the weather to reduced the cost of using the filter by


predetermining when the filter/pump would be needed. In addition, the information system
employed would also help with identifying problems in the filter and coordinating regular
3.1 Vision
“To provide sustainable water solutions to the most unsustainable enviroments for the holistic development
of Mankind”
3.2 Industry Analysis:
Industry: Water Purification Industry
Force: High/Low: Justification:
Buyer power: Low Considering that there is currently no companies
with the same product on the market, buyer
power would have to be low. Also since demand
in the agricultural industry for sustainable water
solutions is outstripping supply, buy power here
should not be seen to increase in the near future.
(TechSci Research, 2014.)
Supplier power: Low Because Graphene is an up and coming material,
the industry is set to become very large with
many competitors to supply graphene materials
to potential customers. (Blau, 2013 )
Threat of new entrants: Low The industry has historically been characterised
by high entry barrier due to cost. This industry



Overall attractiveness of the industry:
Although rivalry among existing competitors is high, all other forces are relatively low. It is
difficult to find a substitute for purifying water in dairy farming. The cost of setting up a
new company in this industry requires enormous scale and capital therefore low threat of
new entrants. The suppliers of Graphene are tapping into an industry touted to be on par
with the industrial revolution, ensuring competition for decades to come, while buyer
power is low due to our the uniqueness of our business solution and product. All these
factors contribute to making this industry attractive and favourable in both monetary and
social ways.
3.3 Customers and Thei r Needs
requires large scale and therefore lots of
resources up front. (Guy & Fitzsimmons, 2009)
Threat of substitutes: Low Due to the importance of fresh water in
irrigation, an alternative to water purification is
unrealistic and so would be low here.
Rivalry among existing
High Traditionally, this industry has experienced high
competition especially in matrue market like
Europe and North America. Although the scope
of our business will be in NZ, this does not
exclude the possibility of those existing
companies from entering into the NZ water
purification industry, and so competition might
be high, also considering our business’ desire to
go expand as well. (Valk, 2014).


Our main target customers are New Zealand’s Dairy Farmers. Fresh water for irrigation is
absolutely vital for the dairy industry. New Zealand leads the world in dairy products, and
to maintain it’s competitive advantage it must align itself in a way that secures an
abundant and sustainable supply of fresh water to irrigate the land in order for it’s dairy
cows to produce milk. According to studys done, the average amount of water used to
feed cows and washing them down is around 95 – 140 litres per day. Horizons Regional
Council (2007).
Considering there are more than 4.6million cows that are being milked every year since
2012 (GoDairy, 2012). In addition, with the government’s aim of increasing all agricultural
exports by 2025, the need for sustainable fresh water should only increase (Stowell,
3.4 The Product and Service
Our product will satisfy our customers by providing fresh water through our graphene water
filter/pump system. This ensures that the soil the cows grazes on are amply supplied with
water even if there is no nearby fresh water supply. This system will also reduce the
nitrogen (pollutant) footprint produced by the cows by filtering stock effluent outflow
before they flow back into the waterways.
In order to reduce costs, an information system would monitor the level of soil moisture
content along with weather patterns to automatically determine when the graphene water
filter/pump should be turned on or off. The dairy farmer has the option to override should
he/she decides to. Since a system like this would need regular maintenance, our business
would also provide regular maintenance as well as call outs for repair – this would inturn be
automated by our information system since we would be employing a diagnostic tool that
detects clogged filters and faulty parts, and relays this message to our maintenance centres.
Considering the cost of setting up a system like this, we would like our customers to pay for
the setup costs as well as paying a monthly fee for the right to use such a system, much like
how telecom charges it’s customers for its telephone lines and fibre services, where the
customer do not necessarily own the utility themselves.


3.5 Suppliers and Partners
One vital supplier would be makers of our Graphene lamina, since production of such a
material is highly technical and specialised, it would make more economic sense for us to
look for expert suppliers already in the industry.
Another supplier would be pump manufacturers would specialise in making powerful and
efficient water pumps. The pump manufacturer would benefit from our need for efficient
pumps while we benefit from their products and expertise in this field.
On the partners side, mobile internet service providers like vodafone or telecom would be
essential in our business. Majority of dairy farms are rural and therefore would require
mobile internet service. So in order for our business solution to work, the dairy farmer
would need a solid mobile internet connection for our Information System to work
coherently with the graphene water filter/pump. This will no doubt benefit us as well as the
mobile ISP provider we partner with.
Another potential partner is the government, we would be partners in this venture since
they can legislate that all heavy water consuming businesses such as dairy farms be required
to purchase similar services like the ones we provide. This benefits the government since
they would be legislating to protect the environmental integrity of the country and thus it’s
future economic resources, while we benefit from almost guaranteed customers, a dream
team if you like.
3.6 Strategy: Differentiation
Although our target customers are Dairy farmers, we do want to offer all Dairy farmers our
products. This is will be seen in a range of highly automated and efficient Graphene water
filter/pump systems with varying capacities i.e. litres of fresh water delivered per unit time
during irrigation for Dairy farms of varying sizes.
Due to the nature of our product, the cost of setting it up would be quite high, and the price
for ongoing mataintenance would also have to be profitable, and so our competitive
advantage would have to be a revolutionary water filter that would cut cost for them in the


future – this should not be a problem, since growing demand for more dairy products and
ongoing droughts in regions would ensure demand.

3.7 Value Chain Activity: Service after Sales
Service after sales would be vital for us, since our filters would most definitely need routine
replacement as it gets clogged up, and when technical issues occur maintenance must be
able to resolove the problem quickly to ensure fresh water gets to our customers for
irrigation on time.
3.8 Business Processes
3.8.1. BUSINESS PROCESS 1 Filter/Equipment Maintenance Process
This process starts out as the device
detects a problem within th filter and
relays this back to the maintenance
departement. Technicians are then sent
out to fix the problem along with any
other problem that’s not identified by the
diagnostic tool built into the water filter.
The business process provides a great
deal of value to our business since by
ensuring an efficiently running water
filter will improve our customer’s
satisfaction with our product and
increase their loyalty to our brand.


3.8.2. BUSINESS PROCESS 2 – Software Maintenance Process
This process is about identifying bugs
and potential improvements and then
fixing them through the IT Department
and then pushing the updates online
through our software maintenance
This business process ensures that our
product works coherently as a whole
between our filter and the software
that controls it’s activities. The regular
software updates and bug fixes would
also create value for our business by
improving the ease with which our
customers can operate our product and therefore improve their customer experience and
their dependence on our product.

3.9 Functionalities
 Identify clogged filters and problems with filter components.
 Co-ordinate technician callouts based on expertise, equipments on hand,
and geography for efficient filter repair.
 Identify software bugs and potential improvements.
 Implementing the software maintenance through online updates.

3.10 Systems


3.10. 1. SPECIFI C I NFORMATION SYSTEMS 1: Problem identification system
The Problem identification system uses a diagnostic device built into the graphene water
filter/pump which detects clogging and when components need replacing or repair. In
addition, this diagnostic tool would relay this message back to the maintenance centres.
This supports the vision of our organisation as it allows us to quickly resolve issues that may
reduce the efficiency of our water filter’s ability to deliver fresh water to our customers.
3.10. 2. SPECIFI C I NFORMATION SYSTEMS 2: Maintenance management system
This system takes into account of data regarding our technician’s expertise, the equipment
they have as well as their location. The system integrates all these information together and
automatically determines the best technician that should be sent for each routine repair or
callout job. This great increases the efficieny and speed at which problems are dealt with
thus supporting our vision of providing sustainable water solutions to the most
unsustainable places, which inevitably supports development.

3.10. 3. SPECIFI C I NFORMATION SYSTEMS 3: Software maintenance system
This system not only helps identify bugs by taking information from customer service about
customer complaints of bugs and pushes that information to the IT department, but it also
implements the software update solution by pushing the updated software online, and
automatically notifying our customer’s computers of new updates to be installed online.
This ensures that our total product works cohesively as whole to provide our customers with
and effective water solution, for their business development.


3.11. Summary Table: Value Chain to Systems

Value Chain
Processes Functionalities Specific Information
Broad Information

After Sales
1. Filter/Equipment

1. Identify clogged filters and problems
with filter components.

2. Co-ordinate technician callouts based on
expertise, equipments on hand, and
geography for efficient filter repair.
Problem identification

management system
2. Software
1. Identify software bugs and potential

2. Implementing the software
maintenance through online updates
Software maintenance


Given the need for water in all areas of the economy and life, I believe our innovative
business solutions delivers much value to our customers that not only looks after their need
for water to develop wealth in the present, but also sustaining the environment so that the
potential for wealth may be available for generations to come. I believe our business
solution has been well thought out especially in anticipating high costs, and therefore by
employing a Information System that automates the capacity at which our filters are
running at any given time, as well as a dynamic maintenance system would enable our
product to achieve both high value to our customers as well as our vision “To provide
sustainable water solutions to the most unsustainable enviroments for the holistic
development of Mankind”


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