Drone Case Study – Group Assignment Kick Off
Wilmont’s is a top‐ranked U.K. retail pharmacy company based in Milton Keynes with more than 1,000 stores nationwide and employing more than 4,000 people overall.
The company has engaged in several innovative business practices, and now they are once again secretly considering breaking ground with an even newer concept— delivering prescriptions and drugstore items by flying drones.
The concept is not new—a small firm named DroneTech in Cambridge announced the approach in March, and they are looking to develop a relationship with pharmacies nationwide to launch the concept for real. Wilmont’s maybe the big break they are looking for!
The Operations Vice President (George Cranston) of Wilmont’s has asked the CIO to develop a pilot project to get something moving and see how this works. George will provide the funds and will oversee all aspects of this initiative.
Mary Pearson is the project lead on the business operations side who will manage the project generally for Mr. Cranston. Mr. Cranston has made an agreement with DroneTech CEO and founder Jordan Kempler to prototype this project in Hertfordshire, which is the home location of the DroneTech organization where it developed the system. DroneTech will customize its systems, interfaces, and business processes to conform to project requirements from Wilmont’s.
You are a project manager for Wilmont’s internal IT department, and you have been assigned by your CIO, James Connor, to lead this project in terms of the information systems that will be needed to support the initiative. Phillip Greenberg is the project manager at DroneTech who will work with you.
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Generally, from the IT perspective, the project will likely need to accomplish the following:
Develop a Wilmont’s online order entry system modification that will allow customers in Hertfordshire to register their willingness to have a drone deliver their orders by means of online entry or smartphone entry. There will be significant restrictions on the approval of customers for this service, so there will need to be a segment of the system to allow Wilmont’s management to approve the customer, send a confirmation to the customer, and so on.
Create reports for Wilmont’s management to provide information on sales, customer reactions, and key performance indicators that senior management will define for you.
Create communications for customers electronically through email, online, and through mobile alerts as the customer requests.
Interface to the DroneTech Corporation for its order entry, delivery confirmation, and mobile application software. Eileen Seymour is the point of contact on the information systems side with DroneTech and will be overseeing the team on their side. A price for this system customization is not yet determined and the development of this proposal will be a part of your project plan.
Develop security options for all systems that will safeguard the data as it is stored within your company, and as it is exchanged with DroneTech. You will work with Wilmont’s information security management team to accomplish this, and William Scott is the project lead on that team for this project.
It has been determined that only four (4) of Wilmont’s pharmacies will participate in the prototype delivery system. These are in a close geographic area to one another, and they are in a non‐city environment consisting mainly of suburban homes and small businesses. Customers in apartment buildings will not be permitted in the prototype due to delivery issues.
No hardware, servers, workstations, or other network infrastructure will be required for this project, as all of that is only on the DroneTech side, and they will be including it in their proposal and a separate project plan that they will give to you as a part of their contract.
Wilmont’s can accommodate this prototype system within their existing infrastructure that handles customer orders. Ongoing system maintenance scheduling or planning after the prototype is implemented will not be a part of the project schedule or plans—you will be developing that plan separately once the design of the system is known. Wilmont’s has allocated a maximum of £1,750,000 for this prototype project.
You have been asked by your CIO to ensure that your project does not go over this figure, and, if possible, that the total project cost is under that amount. The two companies agreed that they would like to begin the project in February and that their first customer delivery flight should take place no later than November 30 to avoid weather-related complications over the winter and seasonal holiday period.
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