Black Bean Business Solutions

Potential solutions for Black Bean. Case Study BlackBean is a tea and dessert company based in Hanoi, Vietnam. Established in 2008, Black Bean has expanded from 20 stores in Vietnam to add 40 more locations throughout Asia. To support regional growth, Black Bean wanted better insight into business operations. Each store sent point-of-sale (POS) data to the corporate headquarters, where managers manually entered the information into spreadsheets. The stores also monitored other sources such as social media, but it was difficult to make connections between the disparate sources of information. “Our main challenge involved reporting,” says Mark Smith, Senior Manager at BlackBean. “There were a lot of questions that we have about customer behavior. Without insight into regional demand, it’s very difficult to grow our business.” In addition to wanting to more targeted promotions, the company wanted to improve product distribution. Black Bean had built its reputation on the quality of its highly perishable ingredients, and getting them to the right place at the right time was critical to the company’s success. “We use a lot of fruits in our desserts, and if they don’t taste right, then we lose our competitive advantage,” says Smith. To meet its goals, Black Bean knew it needed tools capable of pulling together disparate sources of information. However, it also wanted to implement a solution without the burden of purchasing and maintaining additional on-premises infrastructure. Black Bean operates with a small IT team and has little interest in building out a data center. Instead, the company wants a solution that will be easy to use and manage. As Smith points out, “Our employees are not IT professionals, so a highly complex system will not work out for us.” Assignment Instructions: Write a business proposal for Mark Smith at Black Bean that outlines the following: Analyze the current state of BlackBean. What are the company’s strengths and weaknesses? What kinds of functionality does Black Bean need? What kinds of considerations are there? (i.e., building competitive advantage, better decision-making capabilities, etc.) What kinds of tools would you recommend? Research and evaluate potential solutions for Black Bean. Choose the optimal solution for Black Bean. Justify your choices. You may make assumptions about the resources and other features of BlackBean as necessary to fill in the gaps for your proposal. Aside from using APA format for references and cover sheet, do not structure your assignment as an academic report. Structure your assignment as a business proposal. Support your proposal with at least ten scholarly or industry references. Length: 5 pages, with 10 scholarly or industry references, page count not including title and reference pages. Potential solutions for Black Bean

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