Seven-Eleven Japan Co
Seven-Eleven Japan Co. Ltd. Is one of the largest retail chains in Japan. With growth and profits even during recession in Japan, the CEO Toshifumi Suzuki was still not content with the nine million or so customers his firm served every single day. Suzuki needed a new channel, a new method to reach hiss current and new customers and he needed it fast. In order to do so, he needed a completely new business model to overcome the hurdles in his way and to ensure the success of this venture at such a huge scale. 7-eleven stores were easily accessible by anyone living anywhere in Japan.
This however according to Suzuki was not enough. 7-elevens use of technology at various stages of its business lifecycle prove that this firm was not the one to shy away from innovative strategies in order to improve its performance, reduce costs and serve its customers better. This case study however focuses on 7-eleven’s venture into the e-commerce side of business. 7-eleven needed a new business model because the traditional e-commerce model was not best suited for the Japanese market. First the firm ventured into other e-commerce setups via stakes and investments.
Once the needed experience was acquired, the firm partnered with other famous corporations and launched its web based model. Apart from being the traditional order online and receive at home, it had additional options for customers. One of them was to order online and pay and receive offline; customers would select and order a product via the portal and pay for it at any one of the many 7-eleven outlets and then at a later date collect them from there as well. The huge distribution network coupled with this IT innovation enabled 7-eleven to deliver ordered products to customers on time.
Apart from this, kiosks were also setup at various locations in order to cater people without home internet access. The use of IT enabled 7-eleven to achieve efficiency, increase in sales and better customer service as well. Apart from being the first to do so, 7-eleven became the best as well and launched a completely new channel through which to target its existing and new customers. IBM (International Business Machines) has been a major player since the beginning when it established itself as an IT hardware and software company. Being at the top meant staying in touch with the market at all times.
Due to this reason, IBM was quick enough to adapt itself according to the changing trends of the market. IBM being a multinational had 128 chief information officers, 155 host data centers and 80 web hosting centers (Britton, 2007). This meant huge overheads in terms of fixed costs, maintenance and expenses. While customers matured, they demanded more in terms of services and solutions instead of just hardware, software and their maintenance. And this was not something which ended once it happened. It was an ongoing process and IBM had to be quick and versatile enough to adapt efficiently as market trends changed.
In order to accomplish this, IBM developed the Business transformation Management System (BTMS). It realized it had to re-structure its organization again and again and in order to manage this huge task, it used the untapped potential of information technology to do so. Once the transformation had started, IBM achieved efficiency in its processes and reduced the number of data centers and information officers as well. Hence IBM once again returned at the top of its game and in the process developed the Business transformation Management System (BTMS) in order to achieve this goal.