International Lumberyards, Inc.: An Information System Consulting Case
Based on issues faced by an actual company, this case focuses on the design of an appropriate information systems architecture for International Lumberyards, Inc (ILI). The design necessitates consideration of both the business strategy and the information technology that can support that strategy, since the business strategy needs to be informed by and supported by the information system. A strategy that is not supported by the requisite infrastructure will fail. Likewise, implementing technology that is not aligned with the business strategy will result, at a minimum, in a waste of resources. In the setting described in the case, the technology (or lack of technology) resulted in very constrained processes. A new technology infrastructure, aligned with the business strategy, will allow for future growth as well as addressing the limitations of the current environment. The case description forces consideration of how the organization’s multiple locations will communicate with each other, and also what type of information systems software solution should be recommended. However, prior to the long-run goal of a new infrastructure, certain short-term solutions are needed to help the organization survive. The case includes teaching notes and has been designed for flexible classroom use. Due to the complexity of the case, it is recommended as an out-of-class project for use in graduate information systems classes. However, it could be used in undergraduate classes if the instructor provides additional guidance.