- Business Process Models and Strategy Analysis
- SWOT Analysis
- Open Source Software Comparison Table
- Conclusions and Recommendations
- Reference List
- Appendix 1: Reflection on My Contribution to the Online Discussion
Before entering an industry, any company needs to implement a comprehensive research and analysis on a business environment. Chris and Clive fully recognize the necessity of assessing the inner and external aspects of their potential business. Hence, they decided to order a consultancy report that will cover the following issues. First, the consultant should develop two Business Process Models, current and proposed, as well as a strategy analysis. Second, an open-source software comparison table is to be developed in order to define an affordable and appropriate software tool for the business. Third, the consultant has to provide the discussion, core of the report, in which the current situation for CC Music, as well as the further direction, will be shown.
Business Process Models and Strategy Analysis
Chris and Clive have already been involved in the industry and have a number of existing business processes that can be depicted as a model. It might be essential to implement such a depiction and discussion on it in the report in order to define its possible improvements. Hence, it seems reasonable to use the principles of a Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) to develop a Business Process Diagram (BPD) (White, no date). This approach will be conducted further to identify the proposed business processes for CC Music. The company will need a visible example of how its core processes are currently managed and how they may be led in the future. Both BPDs will show the structure of the business, which may result in an in-depth understanding of the analysis and proposals. It is the primary purpose of the report, so the content is to provide robust and coherent argumentation.
The existing business processes of CC Music might be considered quite simple and plain ones. Chris and Clave have been working with A Northern Soul band for a substantial period and have been charged with a number of responsibilities. They have managed many aspects of the band, starting from studio work and ending with playing in various events. Chris and Clave promote the group by a web source, make all the necessary bookings, and get agreements and cheque settlements by the post. Thus, they have significant experience in managing a music band and realize that if their agency is to be opened, then the model should be more sophisticated and complicated. Chris and Clave’s BPD might be illustrated as the diagram below.
As mentioned above, Chris and Clave have expressed the thought that their agency will require a reasonable business approach. Some bands have recently asked them for cooperation as these musicians want Chris and Clave to represent them. CC Music has to develop a business model that will allow the managers to deal with the following. First, the company will be responsible for social media marketing. Second, it will provide an updated calendar of upcoming events. Third, CC Music will communicate with the customers who wish to see bands’ performances and the music groups that are signed to the firm. It should be noticed that the listed statements require a complex and thorough BPD. The responsibilities of Chris and Clave, as well as of the potential employees of the firm, are to be divided in a rational manner.
Furthermore, it is also mentioned that Chris’s daughter and Clive’s niece are keen to maintain the enterprise and potentially govern the business in the future. The family members decided to manage a firm in a democratic style, which means an equal vote on all crucial solutions. Such an approach may contribute to the smooth and beneficial functioning of CC Music as critical decisions will be founded on the opinion of all the members involved. It can lead to deliberate actions that are a necessity in any industry. Hence, they need a long-standing and comprehensive proposal on the business processes of CC Music. It seems reasonable to include the daughter and niece’s potential duties in the diagram to provide a clear and full-scale proposal. Below, CC Music will be considered as a full-time small business, which results in an exhaustive and extensive model.
It is also important to conduct SWOT analysis of CC Music in order to identify a possible business strategy to pursue. The managers of the company demonstrate an undoubtful willingness to develop their enterprise. Hence, SWOT may be one of the most popular and useful tools that provide the opportunity to distinguish a business environment of a firm (Osita, Onyebuchi and Justina, 2014). Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of CC Music might be discussed as follows below.
The main strength of the company may be the experience of Chris and Clive in the music industry. They have been cooperating with the band for many years, which contributed to their awareness about the principles and hardships of the business. Then, the chosen family approach of management can facilitate the governance of the firm and foster its further development. Thoroughness and prudence of Chris and Clive is another substantial advantage of CC Music as an efficient management is always serves a foundation for a profitable performance. Chris and Clive are also ready to use a modern software in their work, which can result in fast decision making and fulfilling of orders.
The primary weakness of the enterprise might be the small number of personnel. Chris and Clive are ready to hire two more employees, but it may not be enough for the company involved in the music industry. The business will provide a plethora of different orders and assignments, which could be hard to deal with for four. Moreover, Chris and Clive have been working with only one band, which means that they are in a lack of experience regarding serving some music groups simultaneously. However, the list of the weaknesses seems less critical than the strengths’ one.
CC Music has a great opportunity to develop itself to a medium or even a large enterprise. The industry provides a significant number of possibilities as it is directly connected with a creativeness, which allures many people. Hence, there always will be plenty of clients who need quality and competent management. The other reason for the company being stable is the presence of the family members in it. The family approach might help the firm to remain competitive and successful for a long period. Furthermore, CC Music may expand its services and become a producer company with its own label.
The music industry also contains some threats that may considerably affect the strategy of the company. CC Music, being a small business, might be merged or acquisitioned by a larger firm, which happens often if an enterprise is successful and stable in long run. Then, the first steps of the managers may have some mistakes as Chris and Clive have never worked with several band at the same time. The absence of such a crucial experience may lead the company in a number of business pitfalls for the beginners, such as taking too much responsibilities and inappropriate schedule.
Open Source Software Comparison Table
|Flowlu CRM||Yetiforce||Vtiger CRM||SuiteCRM|
|Maintainability||The software gets constant updates, which means the developers pay much attention to the maintainability of their product. They obtain feedback from customers and base the corrections on it. The score is 5.||The developers constantly monitor the reviews of customers and provide timely updates. Yetiforce has GitHub repository that assists tech teams with customizing the tool. The score is 5.||Vtiger CRM gets timely updates based on the requirements of their customers. The score is 5.||Although the tool gets constant updates, some customers claim that the support does not take into account crucial requirements. The score is 3.|
|Correctness||Customers do not seem to report on bugs very often. Some clients claim errors sometimes, but the developers fit them immediately. The score is 4,5.||Clients have never reported on any serious bugs; only minor ones are rarely identified. The score is 5.||No serious bugs are characteristic of this software. However, there has been a number of reviews that claimed that some minor errors take place after every update. The score is 4.||A number of clients complain about bugs in the code; nevertheless, the crucial ones are fixed immediately. The score is 4.|
|Reliability||Flowlu CRM has a developed system that provides clients the opportunity to be secured from hijackers and the other dangers. Plenty of users find this software reliable and have not reported on any leaks yet. The score is 5.||No feedback with a complaint on the reliability of the product was identified. The tool has developed and secure system. The score is 5.||The tool has a strong reputation in the market and has never been considered unreliable by its users. The score is 5.||SuiteCRM has experienced and reliable developers and a good reputation among most of its users regarding the issues of security. The score is 5.|
|Portability||It is a cloud-based software; hence, it is available for different devices. However, there might be some inconveniences if a team uses different platforms. The score is 4.||The product may be used via various platforms and is available for Mac, Windows, and online. However, it cannot be used absolutely efficiently on a mobile device. The score is 4,5.||Vtiger CRM can be used either on-premise or via the cloud; it has mobile apps for Android and iOS. The score is 5.||The product cannot be installed on Mac; however, it has mobile apps for Android and iOS. The score is 4.|
|Efficiency||The tool’s crucial disadvantage is that there may be only two users in the free version. Nevertheless, it provides a great range of features appropriate for CC Music. The score is 4.||Yetiforce provides a plethora of features necessary for a small business: contact storage, tracking meetings on a calendar, and manage client interactions. The score is 5.||The tool provides essential functions such as client support platforms, automation of sales and marketing, and contact control. The score is 5.||SuiteCRM suits for CC Music as it efficiently helps to manage critical communications with clients and organize marketing. The score is 5.|
|Overall Score||4,5||4,9 |
During the analysis of the existing business processes, it was assumed that if Chris and Clive intend to expand their services, they will need to develop a solid business plan and consistent strategy. Without them, a plethora of unnecessary hardships and problems may occur, such as wrong decisions and ineffective management. Hence, the success of CC Music as a small business enterprise requires the creation of a roadmap outlining the way the proposed above changes can lead to benefits.
The first step for CC Music should be the definition of the budget that the founders can spend. Chris and Clive have to take into account a significant number of factors. Spending on the office and necessary facilities might be among the crucial ones. While choosing an office, CC Music should find comfortable but not expensive premises, sacrificing a luxury location to save money. Then, Chris and Clive should decide what income they are expecting to get and maybe appoint relatively low salaries for the team for a while to meet the expectations for sure.
Then, the company is to define team members and their exact range of responsibilities. It is recommended not to hire a lot of employees at the beginning of the business. Hence, for CC Music, it would be better to limit the number of workers to four: Chris, Clive, Chris’s daughter, and Clive’s niece. Such an approach will help the firm to save on a big collective and get used to the severe conditions of the industry. Then, CC Music will gain vast experience in decision-making and functioning as a whole. These skills will allow the enterprise to expand and hire more personnel in the future.
Another essential point for the profitable business of CC Music is to implement new processes into their current strategy. The ones proposed in Figure 2 might be an appropriate option for the company. The foundation for such proposals is more complicated management if to compare with the approach depicted in Figure 1. Before the decision to establish CC Music, Chris and Clive had been working on behalf of one band and had been managing only its processes. Now, it is critical to elaborate on a model that would be suitable for independent small business enterprise; it may be as follows.
Chris and Clive have significant experience in the industry, which is the primary strength of the company, as was discussed in the SWOT analysis above. Hence, Chris and Clive may contact several bands and stakeholders that they have already cooperated with. It might be supposed that CC Music might have an extensive client base at the start of functioning. It is the reason for choosing a reliable and efficient open-source software for customer relationship management (CRM), which will be discussed later.
Keeping in mind a high number of clients, Chris and Clive have to share responsibilities. Chris might deal with the marketing and promotion processes via Instagram and other similar platforms. Clive may handle requests from bands and generate a calendar of events. The above actions might be a launching stage of the business process, and Chris and Clive may establish a direct connection with each other 24/7.
Then, Chris’s daughter and Clive’s niece may be responsible for communication with clients and signed bands. Using Yetiforce, they can easily manage the contact process and report to Chris and Clive at once so that they adapt the calendar and promotion to a situation. This intersected and interdepended approach will result in the beneficial support and constant improvement of the firm, as the personnel will timely share necessary information.
The following stage is deliberating and approving the calendar of events by the whole team of CC Music. Chris and Clive claimed that they are willing to establish a collaborative and productive business environment within their company. They wanted each team member to have a vote right during the making of crucial decisions of the firm. Hence, the most appropriate solution in this regard may be a daily appointment of the staff during which the calendar should be approved unanimously. In the case when there is even a minor disagreement, CC Music is to deliberate the issue until it finds a satisfactory decision. It may significantly contribute to the understanding of the team members of each other. When the decision is made and adopted, Chris and Clive send contracts to stakeholders to sign. After payments are received, the company makes final arrangements: bookings, calls, notifications, and others.
CC Music would be able to monitor and govern each business process via open-source software, which will make the performance of the firm flexible and beneficial. The company aims to save some money on the software, which is a reasonable solution at the first steps of operating (Congdon, 2015; 7 Main Advantages, no date). It should be mentioned that there are plenty of characteristics to evaluate while deciding which open source software is the most appropriate for a company (4 Open source software, no date). The most stable platform for CC Music might be of CRM kind as the enterprise will be fully specialized in contacting customers and managing their affairs. Seven best CRM open source software platforms were identified and analyzed (Srivastava, 2019). Among them, four were chosen as they seem to meet the type of CC Music business processes and the following crucial characteristics: maintainability, correctness, reliability, portability, and efficiency.
It is evident from Table 1 that Yetiforce might be considered as the most practical solution for CC Music. It has the best correctness among the other analyzed platforms; functions provided by this software perfectly fit the purposes of the company. “The software helps businesses manage leads, store contacts, track meetings on their calendar, send email campaigns, and manage customer interactions” (Srivastava, 2019, para 49). The listed functions are essential ones for CC Music at any stage of its growth and development. Moreover, the customers of this platform claim that it is the best solution for a business of any size and type; they rarely report bugs and praise the frequency of updates (Yetiforce reviews, no date). Thus, the maintainability and reliability of this tool are also at the highest level. The only visible weakness of Yetiforce is the absence of mobile apps developed for this software. However, the mentioned aspect might not be crucial for CC Music, especially during the launching stages, as the number of processes will not allow the firm to handle them via a smartphone.
The above business model might result in the increased competitiveness of the company and contribute to its gradual growth. Fast decision-making may become a remarkable feature of CC Music, which will lead to a solid reputation and excellent profit margins. Nevertheless, the firm should be aware of the possible threats of the industry. Fierce competition in the market can be a reason for big enterprises to act as price takers and pursue monopolistic goals. Hence, CC Music has to adhere to elaborated and comprehensive business processes model that may foster the development of the company. It will help the firm not to be in the necessity of being merged.
The company should monitor all the changes in the external environment, as well as in the internal one. Daily briefings, appointments, and arrangements will facilitate the process of strengthening business positions. The team members have to report on all the performance of the firm. It will help to distinguish possible mistakes and pitfalls, as well as predispositions for them, and to eliminate them at once. The managers may create a schedule according to which the person responsible for a weekly, monthly, or annual report will be appointed.
Conclusions and Recommendations
To sum everything up, CC Music has great potential in the industry and rational and experienced founders. It was assumed that the firm has to develop its business processes model to be flexible and become competitive. According to SWOT analysis, the firm has favorable internal and external environment but should be aware of its weaknesses and possible threats of the market. Yetiforce was chosen as the most appropriate open software platform for CC Music as it fully meets the requirements dictated by the small business enterprise.
The recommended roadmap that might contribute to the growth and development of CC Music was depicted as follows. The company has to define its budget and save as much as possible at the launching stages of the business. Then, it should reasonably share responsibilities between its employees. The essential point here is to establish interdependent relations between the team members to work as a whole. The unanimous voting approach regarding crucial decisions was claimed to contribute to the cohesion of the staff and their understanding of each other. Finally, the personnel should provide frequent reports to distinguish the best way of improving.
4 Open source software evaluation models (2020) Web.
7 Main Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Source Software (2015) Web.
Congdon, L. (2015) 8 advantages of using open source in the enterprise. Web.
Osita, I., Onyebuchi, I. and Justina, N. (2014) ‘Organization’s stability and productivity: the role of SWOT analysis an acronym for strength, weakness, opportunities and threat’, International Journal of Innovative and Applied Research, 2(9), pp. 23–32.
Srivastava, H. (2019) 7 Best Free and Open Source CRM Software Options. Web.
White, S. (2020) Introduction to BPMN. Web.
Yetiforce reviews (2020) Web.
Appendix 1: Reflection on My Contribution to the Online Discussion
During our online discussion, I gained important information to implement into my report, as well as contributed a number of significant materials to my colleagues. First, I researched the advantages of open-source software to understand properly why CC Music should use such platforms. In this regard, I made several good contributions by sharing links to significant publications (see my posting of and my posting of – ). Moreover, I might assume that I made one vital contribution. I analyzed all study materials of Unit 4 and concluded that not every source from it is directly related to our current assignment (see my posting of – ). I suppose that it could facilitate the research process of my colleagues to a great extent and save them a lot of time. It should also be noticed that I provided only relevant materials from big and trust online websites. None of my sources was published before 2015, which is an essential aspect of academic writing.
Furthermore, I thoroughly got acquainted with the contributions of my classmates. I decided that the most appropriate software for CC Music should be of CRM kind. Thus, I had to find relevant articles on this topic to demonstrate a coherent train of thought in the report. I would admit that I found my list in Table 1 on the publishing shared by one of my colleagues (see a student’s posting of – ). It fostered the flow of my research and helped me to provide this consultancy report for CC Music. Hence, I might say that I shew skill in following up on the contributions of others and weaving mine ones into the discussion.
|Quality of contributions||Made several good contributions and one or more outstanding contribution.||Made several good contributions.||Made a few good contributions||Made a few valid contributions||Made 1 or 2 postings, of poor quality||Did not contribute.|
|Attribution of references||Clear referencing of well-chosen and highly relevant sources||Clear referencing of all sources, some relevant.||Clear referencing of all sources.||Sources generally referenced.||Used ideas/ words of others without attribution.||Cut and paste or absent contributions.|
|Evidence of collaboration/ facilitation skills||Skill shown in weaving contributions into the discussions, and following up on contributions of others.||Skill shown in weaving contributions into discussion, or following up on contributions of others||Some evidence of links to contributions of others.||Basic recognition of contributions of others.||Little or no recognition of contributions of others.||None|
|Reflection on online contributions (in reflective summary)||Deep reflection shown, with clear and substantial evidence from online discussion||Good reflection, with clear evidence from online discussion||Reflection and evidence offered, limitations in one of these||Reflection and evidence offered, limitations in both of these||Superficial reflection, very limited evidence||Very little or no reflection/evidence.|