Teddy Bear

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Vermont Teddy Bear Report
1) How would you describe Vermont Teddy Bear (VTB)’s business model (the products and services it sells, target market/s to whom it sells them, the value proposition it offers, and its financial model)?
Vermont Teddy Bear (VTB) has been found by John Sortino in 1981. This company has served as a gift delivery service with three main product lines: Bears (plush toys), PajamaGrams (apparel), and Calyx Flowers (gifts). All gift orders are made via four different channels (retail store, mail, phone, web order), each channel supported by different software. First, VTB’s customers design bears by selecting the colors and outfits from a menu of options.
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The company has decided to use different applications instead of using a single ERP system, which in turns would make their operations smoother. They have chosen to do this in order to be cost efficient and to focus on the specific need so each department uses a different application. That is connected by middleware that they don’t fully understand on how to operate, and are afraid that if they attempt to change it, it would crash all of their system. This in turn makes their operational capabilities not the strongest as it relates to their business model. On the other hand, some of the challenges that they face is that they will not be able to complete all orders or be able to implement improvements due to the increase volume of request that need to be processed during this time. Some of the IT related issues are those that are associated with the different applications that are being used. If an applications crashes then it would hold them up significantly in completing all orders and having them be delivered on time. Primarily the lack of staffing and the lack of IS improvements puts them at a disadvantage against their competitors who more than likely have significant more sophisticated IS infrastructure.
3) How strong are VTB’s information systems, given their strategic and operational needs? If you were a member of the VTB Board of Directors, what concerns would you have about the IT architecture? The Vermont Teddy Bear’s information system operates on
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