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INFS5023 Information Systems for Business Assignment 2 Sample


The objective of Part B of the assignment is to produce a written report addressing the question of how enterprises in the industry segment are using information and communication technologies (ICTs) to support business strategies, to seek competitive advantage (CA) or sustainable competitive advantage (SCA) and to identify opportunities for further use of these technologies by businesses in this industry segment to change or improve their businesses, or to gain CA and which of the strategies might be sustainable.


Each group is required to:

Prepare and submit a written report on the group’s investigation to Learnonline. See below for details of the report requirements.

The report will have an executive summary.

An executive summary is a summary of a report made so that readers can rapidly become acquainted with a large body of material without having to read it all. It will usually contain a brief statement of the background information, concise analysis and main conclusions. The executive summary will be on a separate page directly before the main report and should be around half a page in length. The executive summary is in addition to the ten pages (maximum) of the main report. The report will have a title page and a contents page.

The report questions

The main written report will address the following questions/issues:

5. This part of your investigation focuses on business responses to the major forces identified in 4. (i.e. how they compete). Identify a range of the strategies that businesses have adopted to provide them with competitive advantage (CA) and which of these are sustainable competitive advantages (SCA) in response to these forces.
Your analysis should also consider issues such as cost leadership, innovation, differentiation, niche market and other strategies.

6. This part focuses on the internal arrangements within the individual businesses you have investigated — how they organise their businesses to implement their business strategies. Use Porter’s Value Chain Analysis Model to analyse organisations in the industry. The aim here is to explain how different businesses organise their processes to achieve their organisational objectives. You should choose to concentrate on at least two contrasting organisations in your segment to illustrate competitive responses. Justify your choice.

As this question requires some knowledge of internal processes, you may find it difficult to obtain specific information. Use whatever information is available to you to address this question as best you can.

7. Use Business Process Approach/ Model to identify how businesses in your industry segment are categorised as internal and external processes and how they enhance the organisation’s efficiency and effectiveness.

10. Explore the Internet and other sources to identify new and “trending” information and communication technologies, systems and applications that are becoming available or that will soon be available to businesses in this industry to assist them to gain a CA or SCA. Describe these new technologies, systems and applications..

11. Explain how the new information and communication technologies, systems, and applications identified in #10 above might be used to create a CA or SCA.

Your explanation should be in terms of some or all of the following:

effects on existing business models,

creating new business models,

supporting existing strategies,

creating new business strategies,

specific additions to a portfolio of information systems

improving the ability to compete in terms of the five forces analysis,

improving/creating new processes in terms of the value chain analysis,

improving customer relations.

12. How might these ICTs or applications create a competitive disadvantage?

13 Provide a critique of two of the analysis tools you have used. Evaluate how effective they are for exploring competitive advantage in the industry. Use a separate section with headings in your report for each analysis tool. Provide a supporting argument for your criticisms.

You are required to comment on how well they fulfil the purpose for which they were designed, not to just point to areas for which they were not designed.


Question no. 5

In response to the competitive forces in the milk segment of the dairy industry, businesses have adopted various strategies to attain a competitive advantage (CA) and sustainable competitive advantage (SCA). For Assignment Help -

1. Cost Leadership

Competitive Advantage (CA): Some companies seek to offer milk products at lower prices than their competitors to achieve economies of scale and operational efficiency (Kimiti, 2020). This can be a source of attraction for price-sensitive consumers.

Sustainable Competitive Advantage (SCA): If companies continue to invest in current technology, effective supply chain management, and maintain a robust cost control system, it may be possible to sustain the leadership of costs.

2. Product Differentiation

CA: Companies such as Nestle and Amul, aiming to create a distinct market presence and appeal to specific consumer segments, emphasize the different product characteristics of lactose-free or fortified milk.

SCA: Sustainable if the company continues to invest in research and development, introducing innovative milk products that meet changing consumer preferences and needs (Guiné et al., 2020).

3. Niche Market Focus

CA: Some companies are focused on particular niche markets, for example, organic or unique milk products that cater to a narrower but devoted customer base which will pay an additional premium in order to offer specialized services.

SCA: Sustainable if the company effectively meets the unique needs of the niche market and establishes strong brand loyalty within that segment.

4. Innovation and New Product Development

CA: Businesses invest in research and development to introduce novel dairy products or production methods, staying ahead of market trends and offering products that competitors do not.

SCA: Sustainable if the company maintains a culture of innovation, continually introduces successful new products, and adapts to changing consumer preferences.

5. Vertical Integration

CA: Vertical integration is a feature of companies like Amul, who own both dairy farms and processing facilities. This results in complete supply chain control, ensuring quality and cost advantages.

SCA: Sustainable if the company effectively manages and optimizes the integrated operations, achieving consistent quality and cost advantages over the long term.

6. Brand Equity and Recognition

CA: With solid brand recognition and consumer confidence, established brands such as Amul and Nestle can gain consumers' loyalty and market presence (Pandey et al., 2021).

SCA: Sustainable as long as the company maintains its brand reputation through consistent quality, marketing efforts, and customer satisfaction.
Question no. 6

The Porter value chain analysis model gives an overview of the internal activities that support a company's competitiveness. In the industry of dairy, firms like Amul, Nestle, and Saputo implement their business-related strategies through distinctive arrangements of value chains.


Amul, an Indian cooperative dairy firm, has a distinct value chain structure firmly ingrained in its collaborative concept (Pandey and Sahay, 2022). The joint venture includes millions of smaller milk manufacturers who share and control the company. In addition, these partnerships assist the Amul in getting the milk from the farmers directly and also ensure a steady supply of very high-quality raw materials.

Inbound Logistics: The tender procedure of Amul is exceptionally significant. They set up networks of collection points in remote areas, intending to ensure the availability of milk at a timely manner.

Operations: Amul maintains several processing factories around India. These facilities are focused on product diversification, with products ranging from milk to cheese, butter, yoghurt, and ice cream (JACKSON and JAYAPRAKASH, 2023). The cooperative concept promotes the ongoing advancement of processing technologies and procedures.

Outbound Logistics: Amul has a substantial distribution network, ensuring that its products efficiently extend urban and rural markets. However, this broad distribution extension permits them to cater towards a diverse base of customers.

Marketing and Sales: Amul is well-known for its aggressive marketing activities and has established a significant brand presence in India (Bapat, 2020). Their advertising frequently emphasises their goods' outstanding quality, low cost, and nutritious benefits.

Service: Amul places significant emphasis on customer satisfaction. They have established a robust customer service network that effectively handles inquiries, feedback, and complaints.

Figure 1: Value chain analysis model
(Source: Bruin, 2021)


Compared to Amul, Saputo is a Canadian dairy corporation with a more centralised model. They have a global footprint with activities in many countries.

Inbound Logistics: Saputo's inbound logistics focus on procuring milk from various sources, including farms and external suppliers (Fernandes, 2021). They have established strong relationships with farmers and utilise advanced technology for milk collection.

Operations: Saputo maintains cutting-edge processing facilities outfitted with advanced technologies. In their manufacturing operations, they premium efficiency and quality control.

Outbound Logistics: Saputo has a well-organized logistics network for distributing dairy products across diverse markets. They leverage economies of scale to optimise distribution costs.

Marketing and Sales: Saputo employs a market-driven approach, tailoring their products to meet local preferences. They also engage in strategic acquisitions to expand their product portfolio and market reach.

Service: Saputo emphasises after-sales service by actively seeking customer feedback and adapting their products accordingly (Bonesteve, 2021).


A meaningful comparison in value chain strategies is provided with the analysis of Amul and Saputo. Amul's Cooperative Model also highlights the benefits of the centralised approach, and Saputo's worldwide operations show the importance of decentralised supply chains. The examination is intended to provide a detailed understanding of how different organisations organise processes to meet their objectives within the dairy sector.

Question no. 7

In the Dairy industry, businesses like Amul, Saputo, and Nestle utilise a Business Process Approach to enhance their efficiency and effectiveness through internal and external processes.

Internal Processes

Production and Processing: Amul, with over 70 processing plants in India, processes a staggering 38 million litres of milk daily (Singh, 2023). This internal operation transforms raw milk into a diverse range of dairy products.

Saputo operates 60+ manufacturing facilities globally, producing millions of pounds of dairy products yearly.

Quality Control: These companies implement rigorous quality control measures. For instance, Nestle conducts over 700,000 quality tests annually on their dairy products.

Product Development and Innovation: Amul and Nestle invest significantly in research and development. Amul's dedicated R&D centre and Nestle's global research network drive innovation and product diversification.

Figure 2: Business model of Amul
(Source: Ernie, 2019)

External Processes

Supply Chain Management: Amul's extensive network includes millions of farmers, ensuring a constant raw milk supply. Saputo balances procurement from owned farms and external sources, maintaining a flexible supply chain.

Distribution and Logistics: Amul's distribution network reaches over 3 million retail outlets in India. Saputo employs advanced logistics technology to distribute products globally (Gulati and Juneja, 2023).

Supplier Relationships: Amul's cooperative model establishes a direct and mutually beneficial connection with farmers. Nestle collaborates with a vast network of suppliers globally, ensuring a reliable supply of raw materials.

Efficiency and Effectiveness

Amul's cooperative approach reduces intermediate expenses, resulting in more cost-effective purchasing and a stronger position as India's largest dairy cooperative.

Saputo's global network and superior processing methods result in economies of scale, making it one of the world's top dairy processors.

Nestle's emphasis on innovation and product variety has enabled the company to create a significant position in the global dairy industry, boosting its overall efficacy (Kalyani and Shukla, 2022).

Question no. 10

In the dairy industry, several emerging technologies are poised to revolutionize operations and offer opportunities for competitive advantage (CA) and sustainable competitive advantage (SCA). Some significant trends are the following:

1. Internet of Things (IoT) in Dairy Farming: The Internet of Things refers to the incorporation of sensors and devices into dairy farms to monitor the health, behavioUr, and milk output of cows.

2. Block chain Technology for Traceability: The traceability of dairy products from farm to table is ensured through block chain technology (Khanna et al., 2022). Providing real-time information on the provenance and quality of dairy products will help to increase transparency and build consumer confidence.

3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning for Data Analysis: In the dairy industry, AI and machine learning algorithms are used to analyze enormous data sets. They consider several facets of the dairy industry, including as milk quality, yield prediction, and resource allocation. It allows for data-driven decisions, which leads to improved product quality, resource management, and cost effectiveness.

4. Precision Agriculture for Feed Production: Precision agriculture makes use of data and technology to enhance dairy cow feed output (Monteiro, Santos and Gonçalves, 2021).

This technology has the potential to offer significant competitive advantages for enterprises like Amul, Saputo, or Nestle in the dairy sector. These companies may improve their efficiency, product quality, and sustainability through the use of these technologies within their operations to deliver both competitive advantage and long-term competitiveness.

Figure 3: Internet of Things (IoT) in Dairy Farming
(Source: Libelium, 2022)

Question no. 11

The identified information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the dairy industry can significantly impact a company's competitive advantage (CA) and sustainable competitive advantage (SCA) through various avenues:

1. Effects on Existing Business Models: ICTs like Block chain and IoT can transform existing business models by enhancing transparency and traceability. For example, Block chain can enable real-time tracking of dairy products, providing consumers with detailed information about their origin and quality (Casino et al., 2021).

2. Creating New Business Models: Robotic milking systems represent a potential shift in the dairy industry's business model. Automating milking processes increases efficiency and introduces a new paradigm in dairy farming, potentially leading to more sustainable practices.

3. Supporting Existing Strategies: AI and Machine Learning can augment existing data analysis strategies. For instance, they can optimize production schedules based on predictive analytics, aligning with cost leadership or efficiency strategies that companies may already have.

4. Creating New Business Strategies: Precision agriculture presents a new approach to feed production. This can lead to strategies focused on sustainable and efficient resource allocation, potentially reducing costs and enhancing product quality.

5. Specific Additions to Information Systems Portfolio: Implementing Blockchain and IoT systems require a specific addition to a company's information systems portfolio (Viriyasitavat et al., 2019). These technologies facilitate data collection, storage, and analysis, ensuring traceability and real-time monitoring.

6. Improving Ability to Compete (Five Forces Analysis): ICTs bolster a company's ability to compete in the five forces analysis. For instance, Block chain and IoT mitigate the threat of new entrants by establishing high barriers to entry through advanced technology adoption.

By incorporating these emerging information and communication technologies into their operation, dairy businesses can not only improve their efficiency but also distinguish themselves from the market to achieve a competitive advantage and a potential sustainable competitive advantage.

Question no. 12

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and applications can potentially create a competitive disadvantage for businesses in the dairy industry if not implemented or managed effectively. In some cases, information and communication technologies may give rise to disadvantages:

1. Inadequate Data Security: If a dairy company fails to implement robust cybersecurity measures for its ICT systems, it becomes vulnerable to data breaches and cyberattacks. This may put at risk valuable confidential information, undermine customers' trust and have a significant economic and reputational impact.

2. Obsolete Technology: If the dairy business is not kept on top of technological developments, it will have a competitive disadvantage. Unupdated systems may result in inefficiencies, slow processes and an inability to satisfy customers' expectations of convenience and speed.

3. Poor Integration of Systems: ICT systems not seamlessly integrated across various departments and functions can result in data silos and inefficient workflows (Das, Gupta and Pal, 2023). This could lead to delays in decisions, reduced mobility and a lack of coherent customer experience.

4. Lack of Employee Training and Adoption: Productivity can be reduced, and available technology would be underutilised if employees do not receive adequate training on the practical application of ICT tools. This could lead to a lack of opportunities for automated processes, process optimisation and data-driven decision-making.

5. High Implementation and Maintenance Costs: Poorly planned or executed ICT projects can lead to budget overruns, tying up financial resources that could be better allocated elsewhere (Welde and Klakegg, 2022). It may result in financial strain, limiting the company's capacity to invest in others of its business.

Question no. 13

Critique of Porter’s Value Chain Analysis Model

Effectiveness for Exploring Competitive Advantage: Porter's Value Chain Analysis is an important tool to examine the internal business of a business to understand how different activities add value to its products and services (Dubey et al., 2020). It also gives information on the cost drivers and differentiators important to achieve a competitive advantage.


Comprehensive Assessment: The model gives a formal framework for examining a company's core and support operations. This all-encompassing approach creates a clear grasp of how diverse functions contribute to the value-creation process.

Clear differentiation: It distinguishes between main activities and support activities. This distinction aids in identifying areas where a firm may have a competitive advantage or face obstacles.


Static nature: Porter's approach is based on a static view of operations. Industries are continually changing due to technical advances, market developments, and shifting customer tastes. This approach may not represent dynamic changes in the industry landscape efficiently.

Limited Focus on External Factors: It generally focuses on internal procedures and may not sufficiently address external issues such as market developments, regulatory changes, or geopolitical effects. External variables can have a considerable influence on a company's competitive standing.
Critique of Business Process Approach/Model

Effectiveness for Exploring Competitive Advantage: The Business Process Approach takes a comprehensive look at a company's operations, focusing on the interaction of internal and external processes (Harmon, 2019). It helps find areas for efficiency and effectiveness improvement.


Dynamic and adaptable: This strategy recognises the changing nature of industries and enterprises. It understands the necessity for processes to develop to meet shifting market needs and technology improvements.

Internal and external Process Integration: It successfully emphasises the relevance of both internal operations and exterior interactions (such as supply chain management and customer engagement) in gaining a competitive edge.


Implementation Complexity: Implementing and administering a Business Process Approach may be time-consuming and difficult, especially for big firms (Fischer et al., 2020). It necessitates a thorough awareness of the entire value chain and practical cooperation between departments.

Data-Intensive Characteristics: This method is based on data-driven insights. Companies may struggle to obtain appropriate data or lack the requisite data management tools to effectively apply this method for competitive advantage. 


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