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Name Lu’isa Te Owai Latimer-Toetu’u
NetID llat213
Group Number: 116
Website Link:
Tutorial Details
Tutor: Day: Time:
Helen Chen Tuesday 11am
Time Spent on
25 hours Word Count: 1630


At university students require all sorts of resources in order to get the most out of their
studies. Though some resources are often a lot easier to come by than others, the absence
of any resources can prove detrimental to achievement with textbooks and course books
being a top contender. To address this problem I have created an online platform that
brings affordability, availability and convenience to all users in one single place at any time.
3.1 Vision
To guide the transformation of information into knowledge, by providing the leaders of
tomorrow with convenience, affordability and accessibility to resources anytime, anywhere.
3.2 Industry Analysis: Online Bookstore Industry
Industry: Online Bookstore Industry. The Online Bookstore Industry is a form of e-
commerce where books, both hard copy and/or e-books are sold online in comparison to
traditional brick-and-mortar retailers.
Force: High/Low: Justification:
Buyer power: High The extreme competitive pressure across all
markets (Barnes & Noble, Inc., 2014) suggests
there are many options for buyers and online
disutility costs show that there is a more likely
shift in consumer migration to purchase products
online rather than in store (Online College
Bookstore Business Plan, 2014).


Supplier power: Low Buyers have many options of whom to buy from
including a vast number of large global
publishers, smaller publishers who focus on
specific areas and reputable authors (Books
Industry Profile: Unites Kingdom, 2014).
Threat of new entrants: High In recent years the apparent barriers to
“developing, editing and distributing books”
(Ollila, 2012, p. 17) has fallen significantly,
creating a window for publishers to enter into the
new consumer-driven market online (Ollila,
Threat of substitutes: High There are numerous book retailers operating
online selling both used and new books. In recent
years competition from “big-box retailers and
online discounters” (Rosen, 2013, p. 1) have seen
the decline in brick-and-mortar bookstores and a
massive shift towards online operations instead
(Rosen, 2013).
Rivalry among existing
High Competition amongst industry players has
become inevitable (, Inc., 2012) with
studies showing that online retailers are very
strong competitors (Forman, Ghose & Goldfarb,
2009). Competitors include traditional University
Bookstores, textbook exchange sites and online
auction sites to name a few (Online College
Bookstore Business Plan, 2014).


Overall attractiveness of the industry: the online bookstore industry in summary is an
unattractive industry. Though it is very easy to enter this industry the competition is very
aggressive and this is made worse by the numerous amount of substitute services available
where buyers have countless options, as do suppliers.
3.3 Customers and Thei r Needs
The customers this service is targeted at are University students who often require
textbooks or course books for their studies. I have targeted this particular group of
customers as I have identified the need for convenience when it comes to purchasing such
important resources for busy students, where factors such as transportation costs have
determined which consumer channel people have chosen (Online College Bookstore
Business Plan, 2014).
As well as this it is noticeable that students who are not prepared for classes do not do as
well as those who are. One of the leading causes of failure in University has been linked to
the big difference in workload compared to previous years at High School (Causes of Failure
I College, 2014). This issue is easy to address by ensuring students have no excuse not to
have their text books by making the process faster, easier and affordable. Statistics have
proven that University students are more interested in going to the Internet channel for
products and services needed for University, hence an online platform (Online College
Bookstore Business Plan, 2014).
3.4 The Service
The online platform service offers students a place where they can buy textbooks and/or
course books as well as sell previously owned books, at a more affordable cost. This
platform will be made available via all important and age-relevant sites such as Facebook,
Email and university portals such as CECIL. This accessibility function acts as a friendly and
convenient reminder of the service available, especially for students who often put things
off till the last minute.
The service will allow users to locate certain books and show whether or not they are
available, allowing for precise planning when it comes to pick up. This will save time and


transport costs where in any other situation on arrival, you would be left disappointed to
find out the book was unavailable. Students not only have the option of pick up but also
delivery and where goods are not available students will have the chance to reserve a copy
when stock is replenished.
3.5 Suppliers and Partners
Higher education publishers such as Pearson and Mc Graw-Hill will be two of our main
suppliers who will supply our service with the required textbooks students require. Our
service will also have key partners in freight, delivery and logistics such as FedEx who will
deliver goods for us to our customers and information technology (IT) specialists such as
Intellium whom we will outsource our technical support issues to.
3.6 Strategy: Focused Low Cost
The competitive scope this service will focus on will be a narrow market as the aim is to
provide textbooks and course books to students studying at University. Although University
is the main place our service aims to operate, our service focus is solely for students. The
cost strategy this service will focus on therefore will be low cost as students often do not
earn wages or as much money as they could be if they weren’t studying.
The overall strategy is therefore Focused Low Cost.
3.7 Value Chain Activity: Receive and store raw materials
The most important value chain activity for this business is receive and store raw materials.
This value chain activity is most important, as it is the way in which we are able to provide
key functionalities that allow for convenience, affordability and accessibility. The way in
which our raw materials are received and stored ensures customers are alerted as and when
the processes take place, making for shorter cycle time and better productivity.
3.8 Business Processes


3.8.1. STOCK LOCATI ON PROCESS - This process is key to the service as it allows us to track
the location(s) of our stock. This process is important in providing customers with up to date
information and determines the following steps customers may choose to take once they
have located their required item(s). Where books are available in their chosen location, it
may be as easy as going there to buy the book however where there are no books available
users may then opt to get resources delivered. The stock location process is very important
as it allows the business to identify when and where stock is going.


3.8.2. INVENTORY MANAGEMENT PROCESS – This process is key to the service as it allows us
to keep track of how much stock is coming in and how much stock is going out. These
numbers will be important as they will be used to calculate and display to our customers
exactly what numbers of books we have available, and where these numbers reside. This
system is also important in alerting us of when certain stock levels are low allowing us to
contact our suppliers in a timely manner to replenish inventory.

3.9 Functionalities
 Shows precise location of any given textbook/course book.
 Updates information as and when changes occur.
 Calculate how much stock is coming in and out


 Alert us of when we should be replenishing stock
3.10 Systems

3.10. 1. STOCK LOCATION SYSTEM – This system will feedback to our online platform exactly
where certain books are located, giving users peace of mind in knowing that if they go
somewhere a book will definitely be there. As and when changes occur, updates will be sent
instantaneously ensuring that all information on the online platform is accurate.
3.10. 2. INVENTORY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM – This system will manage any stock received
from suppliers as well as stock going out. This system is important as it will allow us to
calculate when we should be replenishing stock and also how much stock we have on hand.
This information will be vital to our online platform, which displays to users where stock is
available and how much of each item is available.
3.10. 3. TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT SYSTEM – This system will explore and examine any errors or
issues that may occur within our online platform and other systems involved in the process.
These issues will be sent to our technical support team internally or one of our external IT
support partners who will solve any issues as soon as possible ensuring our service is
functioning efficiently.


3.11. Summary Table: Value Chain to Systems
Value Chain
Processes Functionalities Specific Information
Broad Information

Receive and
store raw
1. Stock Location
1. Shows precise location of any given
textbook/course book.

2. Updates information as and when changes occur.
Stock Location System

Technology Support System
Transaction Processing

Decision Support System
2. Inventory
1. Identifies any technical issue(s) within the Online

2. Measures the severity of the issue(s) for external or
internal solving
Inventory Management

Technology Support System
Supply Chain Management

Decision Support System


In conclusion I believe the online platform service is a great way to bring students the
convenience, accessibility and affordability they need to perform better in the class and
attend equipped. The use of IT and Information Systems (IS) enables these things through
various systems such as stock location, inventory management and technology support
systems that provide the key functionalities needed to ensure customer satisfaction,
reduced costs and improved productivity. By creating this service for our users we can aid
the transformation of information into wisdom.
1., Inc. SWOT Analysis. (2012)., Inc. SWOT Analysis, 1-11.
Retrieved from Business Source Premier database

2. Barnes & Noble, Inc. SWOT Analysis. (2014). Barnes & Noble, Inc. SWOT Analysis, 1-
10. Retrieved from Business Source Premier database

3. Books Industry Profile: United Kingdom. (2014). Books Industry Profile: United
Kingdom, 1-29.

4. Bplans. (2014) Online College Bookstore Business Plan “The College Café”. Retrieved

5. Forman, C., Ghose, A., & Goldfarb, A. (2009). Competition Between Local and
Electronic Markets: How the Benefit of Buying Online Depends on Where You Live.
Management Science, 55(1), 47-57. Retrieved from Business Source Premier

6. Ollila, P. (2012). A Changing Retail Marketplace. Publishers Weekly, 259(34), 16-17.
Retrieved from Business Source Premier database

7. Rosen, J. (2013). How Booksellers Are Faring After Going Online-Only. Publishers
Weekly, 260(13), 10-11. Retrieved from Business Source Premier database