This research report focuses on exploring the options available to the company’s clients for having Internet access during their frequent travels. Since Company X operates in the import and exports of ready made and unstitched clothes across Asia, Europe and America, the sales and marketing teams of the company make frequent trips to the source and destination markets of the raw materials and final goods.
India is the most frequented country by the company’s teams in the Asian region as the most low cost source of raw material and skilled labor. The report explores which two out of India’s top hotels are the best fit among the company needs and the services provided. The Internet connection at Hotel Taj and Embassy Inn are evaluated on the basis of their cost per unit of time, available bandwidth, and the consistency of the connection.
Each of the sales persons in the teams assigned to various regions are supplied with a palm top, thus they do not require the traditional PCs or laptops. In order to remain connected with the headquarters at all times, the entire on site teams need is a reasonably priced yet reliable and fast WI fi connection.
Since the company’s operations are completely centralized, the only activities taking place outside of the company boundaries are the purchase of raw material, hiring of skilled labor (when urgent orders are required) and the placing of orders by clients across the globe.
It is an established procedure that all data has to be fed into the company’s main server to ensure that all activities are streamlined and the headquarters is aware about the ongoing developments and company needs to complete order on time (Buhalis, 1997).
Introduction to Company X
Also, exhibitions are frequently organized to showcase the latest collections in different continents to provide exposure to the company’s designing label. Company X relies mainly on these promotional tours to gain publicity and attract clients who have the option of placing immediate orders through the on site sales person/team, also identified as the contact team for a particular order.
Due to the translational nature of the company’s business, the company headquarters and its constantly travelling employees depend on having a reliable and fast internet connection at their disposal throughout the day. In fact, while accommodations are being booked for the team tours, the single most relevant factor that is taken into consideration is whether the team will or will not have an internet connection.
Internet allows the company headquarters to remain connected with their teams in different locations the year round, irrespective of the time zone differences. This way as soon as new orders are placed from a particular location, the data is updated to the company server in real time.
This allows the production team to evaluate the current inventory and determine what more is required by the assigned deadline. Once this determination is complete, the on site production and operations department becomes active and ensures that the orders are ready to be shipped to the desired location by a certain time. Each order is assigned a particular code, and it is trough this code that the Company’s logistic department is able to keep track of the order’s exact location once shipment has been started. This tracking is done in real time, again through the use of high bandwidth Internet connection.
In an effort to establish credibility and trust with its clients, the company also offers each of its clients real time updates about the exact location of their order. The clients do not have to go through the extended process of calling the company headquarters to get that information.
They simply contact the particular sales team who placed the order in the first place, and from their remote location they track the order progress and provide this information to the clients in real time. The entire supply chain network is contingent on the availability of a dependable Wi fi connection available to the teams so they can remain in contact with the company headquarters that sanctions all actions.
As mentioned earlier, out of two of India’s most famous hotels, Taj and Embassy Inn, each will be evaluated to determine which has the ideal internet and Wi fi connection that meets company X’s requirements. The criteria that have been established is that the connection should have a reasonable cost per unit of time, the total bandwidth available throughout the day, and the maximum data download limit per day (Greenspan, 2003).
Reasonable cost per unit has been determined to be $15 per month for a bandwidth of 612 kbps with a maximum download limit per month of 18 gigabytes. These standards have been established by the company’s finance and technical operations departments, keeping in mind the constant data exchange that takes place between the headquarters and the onsite personnel.
This is the hotel frequented by all international business men and local business giants on business trips in the city of Bangalore. Due to the nature of the clienteles it caters to, the hotel is relatively high priced, but the added services besides the basic offerings are very attractive for Company X. Since many multinationals have their employees staying at the hotel, a high speed internet WI fi connection is on offer there.
Further investigation and price comparisons with other similar budget hotels revealed that Embassy Inn has the fastest Wi fi connection in terms of total available bandwidth. The available bandwidth is 1000 kbps that far exceeds the minimum standard kept by the company. The download limit however is only 15 gigabytes and the total billed amount for the month is $ 15 which is also within the specified limit.
The only issue remains the data download limit. An option available here is that for every 2 gigabytes of download over and above the specified limit, the visitor is required to pay an addition $2.
As mentioned earlier, constant data exchanges between the headquarters and on site teams are unavoidable and are an undeniable necessity of the company. Thus no compromises can be made on the download limit available. What has to be evaluated is whether the payment of the $2 for additional downloads is a justified expense after comparisons with the other hotel option (Karcher, 1995).
Hotel Taj has continued to be a symbol of excellence and supreme quality. The literal translation of the name means royalty or crown. The clientele being catered to here is almost similar to that of Embassy Inn. Since this is the case, the additional services on offer are what differentiate one from the other.
Hotel Taj also offers its visitors high speed WI fi connectivity at all hours. The rates per month are $ 20 for a total bandwidth of 600 kbps. However, from the point of view of Company X the biggest advantage is that there is no limit on the maximum data download. Thus, no extra payments are required to be made besides the standard monthly payments. However, in this case the total bandwidth available that basically determines how fast the internet connection will work is below the specified limit.
The company has to determine whether proper and the required level of online correspondence is possible at the less than desired level of bandwidth available. The data that is sent across thousands of miles in this case consists of large size images consisting of designs of various clothing lines and encrypted data files of order details and payments.
The transmission of such data requires huge bandwidths available to them to complete the transfer effectively, otherwise the connection time outs.
Conclusions and Recommendations
From the detailed analysis presented above, it is quite clear that very little separates the two available options from each other. The costs involved are almost the same, and so is the related internet speeds. What need to be determined are the most important factors that have an impact on the correspondence between the company’s headquarters and its various on site teams.
Embassy Inn poses a data download limit and charges extra for additional downloads. Hotel Taj on the other hand poses no such restrictions. However, the limitation with the WI fi connection available there is that the bandwidth is less than desired and here there is no option to get additional bandwidth by paying extra.
As discussed earlier, the entire supply chain network of the company depends on the real time correspondence between the geographically dispersed sales and marketing teams and the company’s headquarters. The amounts of data exchanged which is related to the maximum data download limit available, is extensive. Add to it the additional data downloads that occur as a result of the real time order tracking facilities offered to all clients at all times.
This implies that compromising on the data download limit is not a feasible option since the limit has been set after careful consideration by the technicians to ensure that communication continues without any glitches. Paying extra dollars to satisfy a basic correspondence demand is not logical or feasible for the company (Cahill, 1996).
Hotel Taj offers the perfect solution to the company’s internet needs. The no limit on data download policy means that the company can communicate with its teams, and the teams can upload all data in real time and can service their clients’ needs efficiently without having to worry about violating data limits.
Also important to remember is the fact that, while orders are being placed, prospective clients are shown the latest catalogs and designs available and these catalogs are all received via the internet by the sales teams. This reduces the costs involved of printing and sending the catalogs to the teams in remote locations (Greenspan, 2003).
All of this is an indication that large amounts of data exchanges are an integral part of the company operations and the ideal hotel with respect to the ideal internet access available to the company employees while travelling to India is Hotel Taj.
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