Cost Justification

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The estimated implementation cost is S$1,459,295 while the estimated operating expense is S$263,080. Contrasted with the current annual infrastructure maintenance costs of S$10,030,000, the amount to implement the proposed infrastructure is a mere 20%. See “Total Cost Component” and “Estimated Operating Costs for Current Infrastructure”. The bulk of annual expenses are comprised of the mainframe maintenance.

The proposed infrastructure reduces the annual cost incurred for maintenance. Saving the company S$8 million every year. Savings from manpower reductions is another factor, as the online website will provide potential customers with the information needed. Customers can make bookings directly to an upgraded CRS. Warehouse Business Unit, which has 70 employees working 24X7 to answer queries and make bookings. With the proposed infrastructure, only 15-30 employees are needed. Hence we can expect the annual expenses to reduce significantly, with profits maintained or increasing – resulting in an increase in revenue.

For the dollar savings outlined above, the benefits of infrastructure upgrading are very attractive. The economic benefits shown are understandably estimated but it is clear that there is much inefficiency in the present system, IMF’s increasingly competitive business environment and diverse business structure requires new capabilities. There is evidence that the current situation is worsening as high volume and complexities of day-to-day operations are stretching the capability of the current system. This requires a new infrastructure to tackle increasing competition and provide more reliability.

The tools that came from the current legacy system were far too difficult for average end user to use without any technical assistance. This is a great need to introduce user-friendly query and reporting tools to improve productivity. As the legacy information system segregated the company’s operational data and data retrieval activities from the production databases it makes data analysis and forecast difficult, directly affecting IMF’s ability to create new businesses.

Past surveys indicates that the upgrading of the infrastructure and migration to a business to business eCommerce platform, while requiring strong commitment from management and dedicated resources to achieve a successful outcome, is in the opinion of the business owners and the users of the system, well worth the effort and of lasting benefit to the business. In nearly all cases, the final judgment has been that the business would not have survived without the upgrading of its infrastructure. If not implemented soon, the business will severely lose it competitive advantage.

Information Management Microsoft Project 2000 was used as the central command and control tool to co-ordinate all aspects of the project planning, human resource scheduling, communications and tracking purposes. Quality Management Critical Success Factors are used to evaluate short-listed proposals from 3rd party vendors. As this project does not lead to an eventual implementation the eventual outcome is not measured. Rather the method employed to evaluate the competing proposals was a modified QFD analysis in which the Desired Outcomes were balanced against the attributes of the new eCommerce (Critical Success Factors) in a Table with a weighting factor assigned to each combination. This table is shown at Appendix H.

The methodology for the development of the table at Appendix H – Scoring of features was as follows: a. Using the desired outcomes given by senior management, they were weighted according to the importance to IMF INT’L, using a 1, 5 scheme in order to work out the differences. b. Determine the Critical Success Factors of the eCommerce platform. Each factor was then examined for its effect on the desired outcomes and scored using the same scoring system as above. c. The weighted scores were then calculated for each factor/outcome pair and a total weighting factor for each critical success factor was calculated. d. The result was the table shown at Appendix H with 15 Critical Success Factors and a calculated weighting factor for each.

Evaluation of proposals In order to ensure independent IT advice to assist the project, this project has evaluated the business analysis and Request for Quotation (RFQ) for the upgrading of IMF’s existing infrastructure is established Business identification is split into several phases in determining tactical solution, addressing this project. Initially, a technology pilot was launched which acted as a functional search to form the basis beside the budget and RFT/RFP (Request For Tender/Request For Proposal) and the evaluation of the systems are against the broad criteria in the RFQ, which is recorded in the spreadsheet at Appendix F.

The strengths and weaknesses analysis of each proposal are recorded in the appendix with a conclusion of the team’s overall impressions of each system and whether it would meet the requirements. This phase of evaluation will determine each system’s assessment and on whether a decision is necessary to continue to evaluate that proposal. Selection of Tenderers The Requirements Analysis showed that the type of software that would be most likely to meet our needs was a robust eCommerce engine. Accordingly, three companies were selected for evaluation against requirements analysis. Tenders were sought from eight different companies and five proposals were received. Two did not meet our requirement criteria and were not listed. These are listed at Appendix G – STRENGTHS / WEAKNESSES EVALUATION.

Proposal Evaluation The strengths and weaknesses analysis of each proposal are recorded in the appendix with a conclusion of the team’s overall impressions of each system and whether it would meet the requirements. This phase of evaluation will determine each system’s assessment and on whether a decision is necessary to continue to evaluate that proposal. The result of this analysis is presented at Appendix G. The first phase has invited several proposals and the shortlist proposals are being further assessed and evaluated.

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