Case Study, Stage 1: Business Environment Analysis

Before you begin this assignment, be sure you have read the ???Hometown Deli Case Study.???

Business Environment Analysis for Hometown Deli

The Hometown Deli has been in business since 1952 and has never had a single competitor in the neighborhood. One of your employees has heard a rumor that Wall Street Deli might be opening a store a few blocks away. Your staff is worried and is looking to you to provide reassurance that the competition will not affect your business. In addition, you have decided that this is a good time to develop your strategic direction for bringing the Deli into the 21st century.

You know that Michael Porter??™s Five Forces Model is a useful tool for analyzing a business and helping to develop its strategic direction. It is also used to aid organizations facing the challenging decision of entering a new industry or industry segment or developing a strategy for dealing with new competition. The Five Forces Model helps determine the relative forces impacting the future success of a business and includes:

Buyer Power
Supplier power
Threat of substitute products or services
Threat of new entrants
Rivalry among existing competitors
The Five Forces are fully described and discussed in the textbook, and competitive advantage is covered in Module 1. In order to analyze the impact of a potential new competitor and develop a strategic direction, you have decided to use the Five Forces Model to analyze your Hometown Deli business.

Purpose of this Assignment

This assignment gives you the opportunity to apply the concepts of the Porter Five Forces model to a specific business, and develop a strategic direction for your business. This assignment specifically addresses the following course outcomes to enable you to:

analyze business strategy to recognize how technology solutions enable strategic outcomes
analyze internal and external business processes to identify information systems requirements.

Using the textbook and external resources, write a short paper 3-4 pages in length, including References page (no cover sheet), responding to the bulleted items below. Remember to correctly cite and reference your sources with APA format. Use the Grading Rubric to be sure you have covered everything. Submit your paper via your Assignment Folder as a Microsoft Word document with your last name included in the filename.

Create a document that includes the following:

Perform a detailed Porters Five Forces analysis for your Hometown Deli, addressing each force in one or two sentences and defining the force, its impact on the Deli and your strategy or strategies for dealing with it.
Determine which of Porters Three Generic strategies (see textbook) you will use as you rebuild your Hometown Deli for the 21st century and explain why you selected it.
Using your analysis, identify a strategic area for improving the business and briefly explain your choice
Within the selected strategic area, identify a process that could be improved with the use of technology. (In Stage 2 you will propose the technology solution to improve the process you identify here.)
In determining which process you select for improvement, be sure to keep in mind the remaining projects within this Case Study. You should review Projects 2-5 to get an understanding of the future projects that build on this initial stage and to aid you in selecting a process (and later proposing a technology solution) that can support the requirements of the follow-on assignments.

The “right” and “wrong” answers have to do with whether or not you correctly incorporated the course concepts from the textbook and addressed all parts of the questions. You need to do some external research on at least one aspect of the assignment – your choice – and incorporate it and cite/reference it in APA format in your response. What, exactly, you decide is your strategy is not as important as that it makes sense in light of the course content and the Case Study and is well supported with your application of the course concepts and your external research. Use the Rubric below to be sure you have covered all aspects.


Attribute Full Points
Partial Points
No points
Possible Points
Points Earned

Five Forces Analysis
Analysis covers all 5 forces, defining them and their impact on the Deli and providing strategies for each; and demonstrates understanding of course concepts, analysis and critical thinking.
Analysis covers 1-4 forces, and/or lacks definitions and/or strategies for each; and may be lacking in demonstration of understanding of course concepts, analysis, and/or critical thinking.
Analysis not included, or does not address any of the 5 forces.

Generic Strategy
Generic strategy identified and explained; and demonstrates understanding of course concepts, analysis, and critical thinking.
Generic strategy not identified and/or not defined; may be lacking in demonstration of understanding of course concepts, analysis, and/or critical thinking.
Generic strategy not included.

Strategic Area for Improvement
Strategic area is selected from the analysis and is adequately described demonstrating understanding of course concepts, analysis and critical thinking.
Strategic area does not come from analysis and/or is not adequately described and/or is lacking in demonstration of understanding of course concepts, analysis and/or critical thinking.
No identification and discussion of strategic area for improvement is provided.

Process for Improvement
Process identified is aligned with strategic area above; process is appropriate for technology solution improvement.

Process identified is not aligned with strategic area above and/or process is not appropriate for technology solution improvement.
Process for improvement is not identified.

External Research
At least one source other than the textbook is incorporated and used effectively. Source(s) used are relevant and timely.
A source other than the textbook may be used, but is not properly incorporated or used and/or is not effective or appropriate and/or is not relevant or timely.
No external research is incorporated.

Report Format
Report reflects effective organization; correct sentence structure, grammar, and spelling; presented in a professional format; references are appropriately incorporated and cited using APA style.
Report is not well organized, and/or contains grammar and/or spelling errors; and/or does not follow APA style for references and citations.
Report is extremely poorly written and does not convey the information.

TOTAL Points 100

100 points =11% of final course grade
Points Recorded
(total points x .11)

Hometown Deli Case Study
The Hometown Deli was established by your grandfather in 1952 in your hometown. It offers many different kinds of specialized coffees, teas, a full service bakery, homemade soups, sandwiches, and salads. The Deli has been a local hotspot for many years and has served as a community gathering place. Your grandfather recently retired from the business and has asked you to take it over. You are very excited about this opportunity!
Unfortunately, business has been steadily declining over the last five years. Although your grandfather was an expert at running the deli, it is outdated. There are no computers in the store and all ordering takes place manually. Your grandfather had a terrific memory and knew all of his customers by name, but unfortunately, none of this information is located anywhere in the store. The family recipes for the baked goods and soups are also stored in your grandfather??™s memory. Inventory is tracked in a note pad, along with employee payroll, and marketing coupons. The Deli does not have a Web site, uses very little marketing except word-of-mouth, and essentially still operates the same as it did in 1952.
Throughout this course you will own and operate Hometown Deli, taking advantage of business practices discussed in the class, the Course Modules and the textbook to increase profits, keep the business running, and bring the Deli into the 21st century.
Note: As you approach these assignments, you will find it helpful to think about your own experiences with a local deli or sandwich shop. Making a trip to a local deli may help you think about the processes, challenges, and opportunities.
Upon completion of these assignments you will have performed an array of activities to demonstrate your ability to apply the course content to a ???real world situation??? to:
??? Analyze the business environment and identify strategic areas for improvement (Stage 1)
??? Propose an appropriate technology solution to improve a selected business process (Stage 2)
??? Evaluate various IT considerations of the proposed technology solution (Stage 3)
??? Communicate your solution and the IT considerations to stakeholders using a presentation format (Stage 4)
??? Identify and explain the next steps in implementing the solution (Stage 5)
The case study and assignments address the Course Outcomes to enable you to:
??? analyze business strategy to recognize how technology solutions enable strategic outcomes
??? analyze internal and external business processes to identify information systems requirements
??? identify and plan IT solutions that meet business objectives.
The staged assignments are designed to follow the relevant course modules and chapters of the textbook in the class schedule, and are due on the dates shown in the Syllabus.
Stage 1 Project: Business Environment Analysis (Word document with analysis)
Stage 2 Project: Technology-Supported Solution Proposal (Word document with proposed solution)
Stage 3 Project: Template for IT Considerations (Word table)
Stage 4 Project: Executive Briefing Presentation (PowerPoint Presentation on proposed solution)
Stage 5 Project: Outline of Next Steps (Word document outline with next steps)
The weight of the assignments is shown in the Course Syllabus. The due dates are shown in the Course Schedule.
Because these assignments require you to use Microsoft Word and PowerPoint (as indicated in the instructions), you may need to “brush up” on your familiarity with these or use functions that perhaps are new to you. Therefore, do not wait until the last minute to begin an activity. You should read through all the assignments in advance to ensure you (1) understand what is expected, and (2) allow enough time to effectively create the information being requested.
Assignments for stages 1, 2 and 5 require external research, outside of the textbook. The grading rubric is included with each assignment.
These assignments are designed to help you identify how to effectively analyze and interpret information to improve the business. This is an opportunity for you to apply critical thinking skills and think like a business professional. When you are writing a paper or developing a presentation, prepare it as if it is going to a boss that you want to impress with your knowledge and abilities. Dont just go through the mechanics of pulling together information — think about what you are doing, why youre doing it, whether it make sense, whether the information seems realistic, and what the results show. Support your recommendations with your research.
One of the prerequisites for this course is that you have a fundamental working knowledge of word processing and presentation software. Detailed instructions for each Staged Project, 1 through 5, are separately posted in the Course Content area. You must prepare each assignment in the indicated format (i.e., memo, report, presentation or other specified format) and submit it as an attachment through your individual Assignments Folder in WebTycho. No credit will be given for assignments submitted in file formats other than those stated in the assignment instructions.
Additional Information
There is a significant amount of information available to you to assist in developing your skills in using the Microsoft Office Products. MS Word and PowerPoint are required for these exercises. The textbook comes with access to the publisher??™s website ( where there are a number of resources, including Tech Plug-Ins for Office 2003, 2007 and 2010. Dont hesitate to use the on-line help and wizard tools built into the MS Office applications for help as you work with the software tools. There are also other web sites, such, and that provide tips. Even YouTube has some useful videos demonstrating various techniques.