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JC Penney Information Systems

Introduction

J.C. Penney is a franchise of American department shops that are located in Texas. The firm has over 1000 stores in all the fifty states in the USA. Apart from stores, J.C. Penny also has catalog sales offices in different parts of USA. Most of its stores are located in the urban centers within malls and towns. The company also has internet retailing systems that serve online customers. JC Penney also engages in social activities such as the funding of the Robotics teams in an effort to inspire children in science and technology.

Initially, JC Penney sold clothing through a network of different stores. Sold items were replenished after a period of three months. They were supplied through regional warehouses. The new information system that was installed at JC Penney consisted of each checkout point having an electronic system of recording the transactions. These records of the transactions were transmitted to TAL Apparel Limited situated in Hong Kong. After receiving this information, TAL Apparel produces similar clothing and arranges for its shipment to the local warehouse. The application system at TAL uses the level of demand for clothing in each store to determine the number of clothes that each store will require. TAL Apparel uses bar coding and article numbers to identify the different products that are being produced.

Hardware and software

JC Penney has installed EDI solutions software that performs the core function of enabling other firms to send materials to JC Penney. The system ensures that every transaction done by JC Penney is highly secure, uncompromised and complete. Some of the transactions done by the JC Penney EDI software include Invoice (810), purchase order (856) and order status report (870). The hardware used for processing these transactions are normal ink-jet, thermal or LaserJet printers. The JC Penney EDI integration solutions are also installed to provide the firm with a strong method of combining their processes with all accounting packages and ERP systems. Some of the ERP and accounting systems include QuickBooks, Sage and Oracle E-Business suite. These integrated solutions allow JC Penney to integrate with the Warehouse Management systems of other logistics providers. These different types of software also link the sales records from JC Penney to other manufacturers.

Data management technology

JC Penney made a move to implement the Oracle Retails systems to improve merchandising, streamline commerce and improve planning. The choice to switch to the Oracle system in 2012 will see JC Penney use four of Oracle’s data management applications: Oracle Retail Stores, Oracle Retail Merchandising Operations Management, Oracle Retail Supply Chain Planning, Execution and Oracle Retail Merchandise Planning, and Optimization softwares.

These applications will ease the processes, provide business groups with the ability to respond faster to customer needs and reduce layers. The company will also introduce the Oracle Retail Merchandising Analytics system that will assist in boosting performance through providing merchants with real-time insight into performance statistics such as sales, inventory position and forecasts (Mu?nchen 129).

JC Penney has implemented a Spectrum wireless local area network within its premises at the distribution center in Washington DC. The wireless computing system was developed by Symbol technologies. The local area network will be highly automated, and possess robot features that will serve the function of maneuvering narrow-isle picking in shipping and receiving areas. JC Penney has also installed some of Symbol’s technology at their other distribution centers for the purpose of in-store management. At these stores, JC Penney uses hand-held scanners at the checkout point in the sales process. Other products manufactured by Symbol that are used by JC Penney include, vehicle-mounted computers that possess intelligence to select the proper items to be stored by communicating with the host computers (Rosenbloom 167).

Networking and telecommunications technology

The company has a well-established catalog telemarketing system. The system has a fail-safe feature that provides each of the 16-telemarketing centers with an automated call distributor. The centers are also powered with power generators, uninterruptible power supply and battery backups. The telemarketing centers run on an IBM Systems Network Architecture. JC Penney replaced its satellite network system with a Helius turnkey system. JC Penney managed to create on-demand virtual classrooms for their employee training needs. In the telecommunications department, JC Penney made massive reforms in the budget for television advertising. Instead, the company made a significant investment in print media as a method of advertising.

Customer relationship management (CRM)

In 2008, JC Penney rolled out their first customer relationship management system for all its customers. The company used the customer’s payment cards as their identification numbers. The installation of this system used a token technique where the payment card numbers were converted into an ID number in order to avoid PCI conflicts. JC Penney is extremely cautious of their customer’s needs and satisfaction. To that effect, JC Penney audits each of their stores by soliciting the services of Johnsons Controls. From these audits, action plans are developed to assist in solving the problems in each store. JC Penney has experienced high customer satisfaction levels due to this strategy.

JC Penney has also targeted customers by allowing them to access the mobile application initiative that offered them various discounts and offers on certain products. These shopping experiences provide customers with the products they want when they require it. JC Penney has certain software solution to address the CRM challenges such as Customer care and billing systems, quote to order systems and merchandising systems.

IT infrastructure

JC Penney has invested in efficient storage tiers that are expected to save energy for the company. The firm has also invested in solid-state drives to maximize on space and reduce costs. The approach was to save energy by installing newer and larger drives, add solid states and reconfigure the layers. Currently, JC Penney data center handles over 1500 storage area network ports that consist of 500TB, 450TB and 25TB on the first, second and third tiers. The replacement was implemented by Molitor Company and resulted in the upgrading of the storage area networks to increase capacity and lower power consumption (Hare 45).

JC Penney has also undergone various changes in the consolidation and virtualization. The company is currently challenged with the task of developing availability within the back office applications and data protection. The emphasis has been on building redundancy into applications that will be expected to simplify the IT infrastructure. JC Penney has also invested in RFID mobile system that was planned to eradicate the common cash checkouts with self-checkouts. The RFID system was intended to replace the checkout systems across all the JC Penney stores in the USA. These RFID systems were intergraded with the sales and inventory databases for the host companies and the manufacturers, as well.

Work cited

Hare, Bill. Celebration of Fools: An Inside Look at the Rise and fall of Jc Penney. New York, NY: AMACOM, American Management Association, 2004. Web. Accessed on 21 August 2012. Retrieved from http://thecedarwood.ca/wp-content/upgrade/Celebration-of-Fools-An-Inside-Look-at-the-Rise-and-Fall-of-JCPenney/p108412

Mu?nchen Brukmann. Jc Penney – a Story of Success.” Novum: Das Forum Fu?r Kommunikations-Design. 75.5 (2004): 76. Print.

Rosenbloom, Bert. Marketing Channels: A Management View. Cincinnati: Southwestern, 2012. Print.

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