COIT20274: Information Systems for Business Professionals - Excellent Education International - Case Study Assessment Answers

August 11, 2017
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Solution Code: 1BDF

Question: Case Study

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The Case: Excellent Education International (EEI)*

Excellent Education International (EEI) is a student recruitment business operated by Mr Philip Wong in the city of Great Tong, southern China. The business specialises in offering services on international education. It provides information and services to students in Great Tong city regarding overseas education options. It acts as recruitment agents for universities from overseas countries, including Australia.

Two years ago, Philip obtained a Business Degree from an Australian University and began his small business from his home. After he operated the business part-time for one year, he decided to increase his capacity to a full-time business enterprise, and rent office space in the city CBD.

EEI began operating as a boutique student recruitment business with Philip and his assistant Vicky undertaking most of the work. Philip bought two personal computers, a multifunction device (Printer, Scanner, Fax & Copier) and hired a room in a business centre to set up the initial operation. The business operated five and a half days a week and engaged in minimal advertising. To differentiate EEI from its competitors, Philip decided to keep his operations very transparent to the students and disclose all commissions in writing to the potential students that he would recruit. Generally students do not need to pay for the services they received from EEI, if they enrol in a university through EEI. The university would pay commission to EEI for the referral.

EEI’s business processes were manual, including the creation of client contracts, accepting payments and issuing receipts, generating letters and documents to stakeholders. Client details were maintained using a spreadsheet, and appointments were maintained in Microsoft Outlook. Initially these processes were carried out effectively for the small client base.

All client files at this initial stage were paper based and staff would often need to spend time searching for a particular file. Once the client file was found, additional time was spent looking for documents within a particular file. Sometimes files would go missing and then reappear after a few days. The misplacement of files would create strain for the staff by causing embarrassment in front of clients. Philip soon realised that valuable time was being wasted locating and managing files. Recently the legislations in some countries require that the file from a closed case had to be kept on the business’s records for up to seven years.

As EEI’s model gained popularity, its client base increased and as a result the business hired additional staff to assist at peak times. This improved the level of service EEI provided to customers and also increased their capacity to take on more cases.

As the market is changing, universities and students are requiring more information from EEI with a faster response time. There are more competitors emerged in this industry. Most of the competitors who handled a high volume of referrals, have an online web presence, engaged in heavy advertising on social media and were ranked highly on search engines results. Many competitors also provided online responses and the facility for students to place online application for admission.

*Excellent Education International (EEI) is a fictitious entity. Any similarity to actual businesses is entirely coincidental.

Two years ago Philip was joined by a young executive Peter. Early this year he convinced Philip that EEI should take advantage of its brand and expertise by opening offices or offering franchise, in other big cities of China and other countries such as India, South America and Northern Europe.

Philip agreed with Peter’s proposal, recognising it as an opportunity for growth into rapidly expanding areas of high potential. However Philip is uncertain about how he will manage the increase in locations, particularly with regard to the existing manual processes and systems. For example, Philip manually manages staff leave, payroll and timesheets. It will be a challenge to duplicate these processes in other locations. Philip is also concerned about sharing client information across sites, and managing the movement of client files from one site to another. He is aware that he will need to have regular meetings with staff to ensure that a high level of customer service is maintained at EEI. All these issues need to be considered from a strategic point of view as Philip is already facing great difficulty in managing his current workforce of ten staff.

Peter convinced Philip to engage you as a consultant. Your job is to provide EEI with solutions that address the following sub-topics and issues. Please also provide recommendations on what EEI needs to implement.

Case Study Questions

  1. In order to help EEI management, define what information systems are and briefly explain howinformation systems are important to future operations at EEI. While answering this question,explore the different kinds of information systems that could be beneficial to any small business.

  1. Identify and list the specific opportunities and problems related to EEI, from both business andsystems perspectives. As a consultant, please consider the information from the case materialsand your relevant experience in the international education market. List these opportunities andproblems in order of priority.

  1. With reference to your findings in item 2, what are the key information requirements of EEI?Discuss how the information would enhance EEI’s competitive position.

  1. Which information systems can help EEI in fulfilling the information requirements, managing theirbusiness, developing on the possible opportunities, resolving the problems and making businessdecisions?

  1. Explain how EEI could strategically utilise the internet, intranet and extranet to engage with keystakeholders, including its employees, clients and business partners, and fulfil communication andcollaboration requirements.

  1. “Change management” is an important concept to business organisations. How could EEI bestmanage the organisational changes that would occur with the implementation of the informationsystems you are proposing?

  1. For various stakeholders at EEI, what are some of the possible security and ethical issues that mayarise with the use of the proposed information systems? What could be done to resolve suchissues?


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Executive Summary

EEI is a company that is growing rapidly due to its brand image and expertise in the field. The company is facing several problems at this time that are related to efficiency in the system due to increasing client base and manual system. Thus, the purpose of this report is to focus on information systems that can help the company in managing its operations and fulfill its expansion needs by meeting opportunities of the business. The report suggests that it is important for the company to implement major changes in the working of the company and these changes involve change in working. The new information system that is recommended for EEI is Management Information Systems (MIS). The company is thus recommended to communicate the new plan to all the stakeholders and undertake analysis on return against the investment. At the same time it is also necessary to provide training for the new system to the users of the system.


The report presented here covers the aspects of opportunities available in front of EEI and installation of information systems to avail the opportunities. For this purpose a discussion is presented on suitability of information systems, managing changes within the company, relevance of information systems and problems in the current system of the company. In this way the new information system will be aligned with vision and mission of the company to make strategic decisions in an effective manner.

  • Relevance of information systems for EEI

Information systems refer to a system that is composed of computer as well as people that interpret and processes information. It helps in making a system in an organization automatic that further helps in managing all the business activities in an effective manner (Ali & Green 2012). In case of EEI information system will help in performing all the relevant tasks such as payroll management, data of clients, documentation, issuing receipts, accepting payments, client contracts and documents to stakeholders using an automatic system. It will prove to be very important for EEI in future operations because the company is planning to expand and in that case it will require a system that will help in performing all the activities in a uniform manner and on a timely basis with utmost transparency. All these are only possible with the help of an information system. There are a number of information systems available that can be used by a business. For small businesses like EEI information systems such as decision support systems and management information systems will be significant. Management information systems (MIS) helps in performing all the routine activities of a business such as data storage, data retrieval, storage of data using data warehouse, knowledge management, etc. (Rai & Tang 2013). All the routine functions of EEI will be performed with the help of it in an easier manner. The decision support systems (DSS) help in taking optimum decisions by analyzing the data.

2 Opportunities and problems from perspective of system and business

Opportunities Problems
EEI can take advantage of its expertise and brand name to open up offices in different locations in other cities of China. The company can also expand in other countries like India, Northern Europe and South America. Losing important data due to manual records and that causes embarrassment in front of clients
EEI can also offer franchise. Managing increased location and keeping the operations uniform
To install new information system to expand business operations Inefficiency in handling large client base due to less staff and manual system
Providing online platform to the clients so as to resolve their issues and provide them information online. Also developing the website for instant information to the clients Slow response time to respond to the students demanding additional information from EEI

3. Information requirements of EEI

On the basis of key findings in the above part of the report the company needs Management Information System. The company will have to acquire strategic information first of all. This information will help in discussing vision, mission, goals and objectives of the company and then aligning them with the new system of the company. This strategic information will help in finalizing the most suitable information for the company. This will also help in enhancing competitive position of the company (Otim et al. 2012). At present the company is facing problems in managing its database, performing activities, etc. due to that the competitiveness of the company is getting reduced. At the same time the competitors of EEI are having online presence but the company is not having that. The competitors are able to collect data from their clients using online mode but EEI doesn’t has any such system to collect the data online. This is because of the lack of information in the company. In this way the information will help EEI in performing all these tasks in an efficient manner and thereby gaining the trust of clients that will further increase its client base.

4. Information systems and their relevance for EEI

Management Information systems can help EEI in fulfilling the information requirements, managing their business, developing on the possible opportunities, resolving the problems and making business decisions. All the strategic information that is required by the company will be available with the help of this system. The company will get an online platform to perform all the business operations such as maintain database of the client, storing information easily, accessing information across all the locations, duplicating all the functions an effective manner across different locations, managing payroll, performing HR functions , etc . This will help the company in managing business operation effectively. The company can also develop on possible opportunities with the new system. When the company will plan to expand or provide franchise, it is necessary to perform all the function at all the locations in a uniform manner. This can be possible only when the company will have MIS. The system will integrate all the functions and make them work uniform across all the locations. Management information system (MIS) will help in better franchise system and making all the function online (Galliers & Leidner 2014). Finally Management information system (MIS) will help in taking strategic decisions within the organization. This is due to the fact that all the problems such as losing important data due to manual records and that causes embarrassment in front of clients, inefficiency in handling large client base due to less staff and manual system and slow response time to respond to the students demanding additional information from EEI, etc. will be solved and effective decisions will be made.

5. Internet, intranet and extranet

EEI can utilize internet, intranet and extranet to fulfill collaboration and commitment requirements. First of all the company can use intranet to get connected with internal stakeholders like its employees. The intranet will be helpful in connecting all the employees working in the organization using a server. The employees can store information in one system and it can be accessed through any system in the company. This is possible because of intranet. The relevance of extranet is that, when the company will expand in other locations and other countries its business operations shall remain uniform. This uniformity is only possible when all the employees will get uniform information. This is possible with the use of extranet. It helps in exchanging and sharing business across different locations. Thus intranet and extranet will help the company in better collaborations with business partners and employees (Capelllo 2013). It will also enable better communication process among employees and business partners located at different places. The internet will help EEI in advertising, sharing information with clients, obtaining information from clients using online mode, etc. This will help the company in retaining its strategic vision by keeping transparency in the system. Not only is this but it will also help them in saving time as well as the resources. In this way all the essential business requirements of the company will be fulfilled using internet, intranet and extranet.

6. Change Management

Change is an integral part of any business activity. Many researchers have argued that a company can’t avoid change for a long period of time. Likewise, EEI is also facing change management by implementation of information systems in the company. Presently the major tasks of the company such as payroll management, data of clients, documentation, issuing receipts, accepting payments, client contracts and documents to stakeholders, etc. are being performed manually. It is not only time consuming but also a huge burden. The new rule also made it tough to preserve files till seven years. This calls for a need to implement information system that will help in performing all the activities in a uniform manner and on a timely basis with utmost transparency. Due to this many stakeholders will not be able to work effectively for few days. EEI shall first provide training to all the employees and users of the company about the new information system. The company shall also strive to make all the users comfortable with the system so that their efficiency does not get affected. The company shall also focus on effective communication of all the changes to the stakeholders (Ault, Walton & Childers 2011). This is indeed the most significant step to make the change management successful.

7. Security and Ethical issues

For various stakeholders at EEI, there may be some ethical as well as security issues. The proposed information system can be perceived as less competent to manage confidential data. The company has database of clients form different companies and if this data is leaked to competitors then the company may be in threat of losing its market share as well as competitiveness. Major stakeholders such as investors and CEO of the company will always have this threat of losing confidential data. Another security problem can be hacking. When the company will start using information technology and internet there are chances that someone may hack the company website and that will again harm the database of the company. There may be treats related to system failure. The ethical issues may pertain to selling database to other companies for their use (Capelllo 2013). In this case the customers or the clients who are the major stakeholders of the company will get affected. Thus, to resolve these issues it is very important to make the systems protected from malware and external elements that may harm the company. For this the system shall be double locked with utmost secure panel and distinguished log in panels for all the stakeholders.

Conclusion and Recommendations

The analysis of current position of EEI suggests that it is very necessary to adopt information systems to manage the client base and perform day-to-day operations of the company. The company is going to install MIS to manage its workload and perform uniformly across all the locations that are proposed. It will also enable effective decision making in the company. Thus, EEI is recommended to take care of all the security and ethical issues and gain the support of all the stakeholders using effective communication and training.


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