Information Systems and Digital Transformation

Assessment Information/Brief 2020/21

Module title
Information Systems and Digital Transformation
Assessment title
Assignment 2: Consultancy Report
Weighting within module
This assessment is worth 50% of the overall module mark.
Submission deadline date and time
See OnlineCampus
Module Leader/Assessment set by   Dr Yun Chen  
  How to submit You should submit electronic version of individual report (word/pdf document) via OnlineCampus.   Please make sure that you check your spelling and grammar carefully. Marks will be deducted for work which has a poor standard of written English.   You should always aim to submit your assessments on the published submission date. For details of policy on late submission please refer to student handbook.
Assessment task details and instructions   Case Study: Digital Transformation of Haulage Sector in the UK – GVL Management Ltd Operators of goods vehicles 3.5 tonnes+ require a licence issued by Office of the Traffic Commissioner (OTC). There are over 4million+ vans currently requiring licensing and this is forecast to grow exponentially. Unlike the HGV sector, the van market is unregulated, with no requirement for appropriate training; and a lack of understanding of the root cause of non-compliance. The entire van sector requires a move to wide-ranging and robust professionalisation. The strategic aim of GVL Management Ltd is to establish the company as the leading consultancy and influencer in the Van Sector; informing policy and partnering with professional bodies.  Established in 2014, GVL Management Ltd ( is a leading transport consultancy and an approved auditor for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Earned Recognition Scheme. Revenue is generated through the provision of expert advice, consultancy and guidance on the key aspects of transport management with focus on the holders of a Restricted Operator Licence for whom transport is not their main business (e.g. scaffolders, builders). Over the six years since start-up the company has grown from nothing to 3,000 clients. The past year has seen exceptional growth for the company with turnover rising from £500k to £901k. Currently GVL benefits from B2B sales; regular clients requiring annual audits as part of their undertakings issued by Traffic Commissioner, but also new clients – who come to the company for various audit requirements e.g. an order by the Traffic Commissioner or for a pre-audit, when a company is applying for FORS accreditation.   GVL is currently reliant on and paying license fees to a third party for their auditing software, which is an excel spreadsheet with limited capability, to support audits and generate reports. The developer charges GVL a fee when the company needs to contract auditors; as a result, GVL is paying both auditor and software owner.  The reliance on one system/one developer is a considerable risk. In a sector heavily reliant on paper-based processes, there is no other equivalent audit software package on the market. GVL is looking to digital transformation in order to develop a sector disruptive management information system (named as ‘Fleet Friend’ TM ), which will enable end-user self-audit, initiation of compliance processes, and training materials. The desired Fleet Friend system is expected to be able to: The route to market for the new product would be through both B2B and B2C. The development of Fleet Friend will enable the company to sell directly to third party consumers such as sub-contractors and auditors who would like to carry audits for their own clients. GVL currently benefits from an established relationship with customers and sub-contractors and by adding a new technology as part of its services, will be able to extend those networks to different industry associations such as Scaffolding Association, Builders Association and Waste trade association (where GVL is an associate member). Using the platform of different organisations and associations will provide the leverage to introduce Fleet Friend to a larger scale of trades related to those organisations. However, GVL lacks knowledge of the implementation, development and impact of digital business practices and the use of management information systems. As a result, the company is unable to specify, scope or develop Fleet Friend system that combines maintenance and licence evaluation audit with end-user compliance. As a result, GVL hires you as a digital transformation consultant to help them understand organisational digital transformation and produce implementation roadmap of the transformation process with evidence-based and data-driven decision-making information system.       Your Tasks   You are the Salford Business School Consultant employed by GVL Management Ltd. You are required to write a 3000-word professional report which deals with the issues in its Digital Transformation process and presents your analysis and recommendations. You are required to:   Review GVL’s current business situation (internal view) and the external environment they operate with (external environment);Conduct horizon scanning on haulage sector in terms of road haulage auditing software and market;Research on GVL’s key competitors and customers;Identify key business, society and technical drivers and challenges in GVL’s digital transformation process from current organisational activities to future idea positioning, via gap analysis;Recommend and justify the digital strategy GVL can take forward;Consider barriers to implementation of digital strategy and how these might be overcome;Build an inclusive and persuasive argument that can be presented to GVL.   Please structure your assignment as a report, including:    Title Page & Contents page (5%) – It is a professional report. A professional presentation is important to your client!Introduction (25%) – This section should provide an overview of GVL’s current business strategy and the external environment they operate with. It should also indicate the digital transformation goal of the company. Analysis technique such as SWOT, PESTLE etc are recommended. Also, at least one Business Process Model should be included in this session to demonstrate your understanding of existing business processes of GVL. The model should follow the Business Process Modelling notation shown in the lecture slides. It is recommended that you use Microsoft Visio to create the models although you may if you prefer use Word, PowerPoint or appropriate alternatives.Main Section (40%) – This section should include the horizon scanning on haulage sector, such as road haulage auditing software and market. You should also conduct research on customers, business/society drivers and key competitors of GVL’s business and undertake gap analysis to understand the key challenges to achieve desired transformation goal. At least one Business Process Model should be included in this session to indicate the revised business process after digital transformation. A roadmap outlining how the proposed changes to the business can be achieved to the benefit of the business should also be included in this section. You should structure this section under your own headings/subheading according to contents. Conclusions and Recommendations (20%) – This session should provide summary of recommendations on digital transformation process to GVL, including consideration of the challenges ahead to ensure that the proposed strategy is effectively implemented. The arguments and statements in this session should be driven by your analysis and research in Main Section. References (10%) – You should use appropriate theories, frameworks and models that we have covered in the module to inform and justify your arguments and drive your decision-making process in the report. References should be come from a wide range of resources (e.g. website, books, Industry reports, white papers and journal articles etc.) and should be properly quoted in the report – Here is the university guide to referencing:     
Assessed intended learning outcomes   On successful completion of this assessment, you will be able to:   Knowledge and Understanding Critically appraise alternative IT/IS transformation solutions against business needs to bridge potential gaps in business and IT strategic alignment Reflect on paradigms of philosophical enquiry, the application of systems and systems thinking, acknowledging the value of critical thinking in IS and in Digital Transformation Evaluate critically the legal and ethical implications arising from new technologies in a business setting   Practical, Professional or Subject Specific Skills Conduct a critical evaluation of the effectiveness of various business requirements, design and integration techniques Appraise critically alternative third party vendors/IT/IS solution providers Identify and recognise the value in application of business analysis tools such as value stream mapping, gap analysis, business/IT audits and environmental scanning Make a critical appraisal of contemporary models, evaluate methodologies and practices of historic IT Strategy and contemporary Digital Strategy, in the context of current research and emerging trends. Conduct market place evaluation of IT solutions and understand how this is done on a practical level   Transferable Skills and other Attributes Identify and utilise appropriate business process modelling techniques such as Use case diagrams, soft-systems methodology, user requirement analysis Analyse the appropriateness of key legislation relating to technology and information such as Data Protection Act, Computer Misuse Act, and other relevant Acts and those relating to copyright and the digital economy Students will be able to review and diagnose knowledge (tacit and explicit) sharing in organisations and build critical thinking skills Demonstrate an ability to work effectively as an individual and group member in order to carry out tasks linking theory to practice so developing new skills to a high level Manipulate available learning resources in order to solve problems related to IS planning, re-engineering and integration. Communicate the solutions arrived at, and the theory underlying them, in verbal and written form to specialists and non-specialist audiences Appraise key issues in relevant literature and digital resources.  
  Module Aims to equip students with a theoretical, practical and systemic understanding of knowledge for the needs of organisations when strategically planning, re-engineering, and integrating Information Technology/ Systems (IT/S) in the context of Digital Transformation of Businesses to provide a holistic knowledge of the critical role of current problems and /or new insights of IT/IS both at corporate and business level so students are ready to provide capability in, IT/IS, together with understanding of professional, ethical and legal issues for IT/IS implementation at functional and strategic levels of transforming businesses to facilitate a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable both in business and IS/IT alignment in the context of current research and emerging trends.  
Word count/ duration (if applicable)   Your assignment should be equivalent of 3000 words. You are encouraged to develop your assignment using images, tables, diagrams and visualisations. References and appendix are not included in the word count.  
Feedback arrangements   You can expect to receive summative feedback and provisional mark for this assignment on the OnlineCampus within 2 weeks of the submission due date.  
Support arrangements   You can obtain support for this assessment by participating in the class discussions and posting questions in the dedicated forum thread.     askUS The University offers a range of support services for students through askUS. Good Academic Conduct and Academic Misconduct Students are expected to learn and demonstrate skills associated with good academic conduct (academic integrity). Good academic conduct includes the use of clear and correct referencing of source materials. Here is a link to where you can find out more about the skills which students require Academic Misconduct is an action which may give you an unfair advantage in your academic work. This includes plagiarism, asking someone else to write your assessment for you or taking notes into an exam. The University takes all forms of academic misconduct seriously.  You can find out how to avoid academic misconduct here   Assessment Information If you have any questions about assessment rules, you can find out more.   Personal Mitigating Circumstances If personal mitigating circumstances may have affected your ability to complete this assessment, you can find more information about personal mitigating circumstances procedure here.   Student Progression Administrator If you have any concerns about your studies, contact StudentCare at  
  Assessment Criteria Your report would be marked in terms of task items described in this assignment brief. It is summerised as the table below, but please refer to detailed description in ‘Your Tasks’ on Page 2. Section Content Marks Title Page & Contents page (5%) Title page & Contents page to start the professional report. 5 Introduction (25%) An overview of current GVL’s  business strategy and their digital transformation goal. 25 Main Section (40%) Horizon scanning on haulage sector; Research on customers, business/society driver and competitors of  GVL’s business and gap analysis. How can the proposed changes to the business be achieved to the benefit of the business? 40 Conclusions and Recommendations (20%) Summarise the whole report with recommendations on digital transformation process to GVL’s business, including consideration of the challenges ahead to ensure that the proposed strategy is effectively implemented. 20 References (10%) References should be come from a wide range of resources (e.g. website, books, Industry reports, white papers and journal articles etc.) and should be properly quoted in the report 10   Marks will be awarded for: Strong and logic interlink between sessions;Critical analysis and synthesis of relevant knowledge/theories, incorporating evidence of original thinking; Critical discussion related to the Case Study context;Comprehensive market research with evidence support;Appropriate reference from a wide range of sources (e.g. reputable digital business site/academic papers/new stories);   Marks may be deducted for: Work that is plagiarised from other sources without the use of academic referencingUncompletion of assignment tasksMisunderstanding of the conceptsLack of discussionDescriptive writing rather than reflective and critical Evidence of little effort put into the assignment   Your attention is also drawn to the School policies on plagiarism and referencing. Assignments may not be submitted late. Marking penalties for late submission will follow the University regulations for PMC and late submission.   The generic descriptor (Levels of Performance) for Level 7 module can be viewed by click here. In Year Retrieval Scheme   Your assessment is not eligible for in year retrieval. Reassessment   If you fail your assessment, and are eligible for reassessment, you will work on for the same tasks described above. Your submission date will be informed in the due course.   For students with accepted personal mitigating circumstances, this will be your replacement assessment attempt.  Students should be aware that there is no late submission period at reassessment (this includes those students who have an accepted PMC request from a previous attempt).  
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