The System that Couldn't Deliver (Lenox Case Study)

Essay by cathy4y0uUniversity, Master's June 2007

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDYThree years ago, Diana Sullivan, was recruited by Lenox from a major competitor to work as its Chief Information Officer. Sullivan, a 20-year veteran information systems executive, knew going into this job that computers had never been one of Lenox's strengths. James Bennett, Lenox's Chief Executive Officer told Sullivan that they simply need a tool that would help their agents provide fast and reliable information needed to close a sale.

After years of hard work, Sullivan thought she had done her job well by delivering Lifexpress on time and on budget. Lifexpress is a sophisticated computer-aided system that enabled Lenox's 10,000-plus agents to do everything from establishing a prospect's financial profile, to selecting the most appropriate products from the company's myriad policies and generating all the paperwork needed to close a sale.

Lifexpress, however, wasn't boosting sales productivity as much as management had expected. Two of Lenox's competitors had launched similar systems and are already running ahead of them.

Sullivan's Boss, Chief Financial Officer Clay Fontana seems to be blaming Sullivan for the problem. Bennett appeared to correspond with Fontana. They believe that since Lifexpress is Sullivan's "system" then she should be accountable not only for its creation and implementation but for realizing the business goals that goes with it as well. Yet Sullivan believes that had already taken what the necessary steps to bring the company up to speed.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMHow can information technology projects help Lenox achieve its business goals?OBJECTIVES1. To describe the company's attitude towards information technology2. To determine how Lenox can achieve radical performance improvements through the use of information technologyTHEORETICAL FRAMEWORK"Decisions on investments in IT are both critical and contentious. With a thorough understanding of a company's strategic context, managers can identify business and IT maxims that can help...