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case study assignment 



SYS210 – Business Driven Technology

Spring 2021 – 2022

SYS210 – TMA – Spring 2021

Please read these instructions carefully, and contact your tutor if you require any further clarifications. You should submit your completed assignment to your tutor to arrive no later than the cut-off Date (TBC).

A soft copy of your TMA must be uploaded to the university moodle within the indicated cut-off date. Please leave wide margins and space at the end of each sheet for tutor comments. It is better to use double spacing so that you can easily handwrite corrections to your drafts and tutors have space to include their feedback on the script. Start each question in the assignment on a new page. Any extended text should ideally be word-processed, but, diagrams and accompanying notes may be hand drawn and hand written and on an A4 paper.

Completing and sending your assignments

When you have completed your TMA, you must fill in the assignment form (PT3), taking care to fill all information correctly including your personal identifier, course code, section & tutor, and assignment number. Each TMA and its PT3 form should be uploaded on the AOU branch moodle within the cut-off date. Late submissions require approval from the branch course coordinator and will be subject to grade deductions. All assignments are treated in strict confidence.

If you feel that you are unable to meet the cut-off date of the TMA because of unusual circumstances, please contact your tutor as soon as possible to discuss a possible extension to the cut-off date.


University Definitions of cheating and plagiarism

According to the Arab Open University By-laws,

“The following acts represent cases of cheating and plagiarism:

· Verbatim copying of printed material and submitting them as part of TMAs without proper academic acknowledgement and documentation.

· Verbatim copying of material from the Internet, including tables and graphics.

· Copying other students’ notes or reports.

· Using paid or unpaid material prepared for the student by individuals or firms.

· Utilization of, or proceeding to utilize, contraband materials or devices in examinations.

Penalty on plagiarism:

The following is the standard plagiarism penalty applied across branches as per Article 11 of the university by-laws:

1. Awarding of zero for a TMA wherein more than 50% of the content is plagiarized.

1. Documentation of warning in student record.

1. Failure in the course to dismissal from the University.

All University programs are required to apply penalties that are consistent with the University by laws.

Examples of Plagiarism

Copying from a single or multiple sources, this is where the student uses one or more of the following as the basis for the whole, or a good part, of the assignment:

1. Published or unpublished books, articles or reports

1. The Internet

1. The media (e.g.TV programs, radio programs or newspaper articles)

1. An essay from an essay bank

1. A piece of work previously submitted by another student

1. Copying from a text which is about to be submitted for the same assignment


This TMA has one question with three parts. You should answer them all. The questions in this assignment are all about different aspects of the process of exploring a complex situation: drawing different kinds of maps of it, recognizing how complex it is, identifying the different perspectives it can be viewed from, and stepping back to reflect on this whole process of exploration to see the strengths and weaknesses of the approach you have adopted, and how you might do it better.

Question 01 (100 % marks)

Read through the attached case study “Staying Ahead in a Competitive Environment A McDonald’s Restaurants”. As you read through the case, and based on what you learned in SYS210: Business Driven Technology, tackle the following questions and attempt to answer them using an essay format of no more than 1200 words:

A-Describe the information age and the differences among data, information, business intelligence, and knowledge. (350 words, 30 % marks)

B-Explain system thinking and how management information system (MIS) solves issues with information silos MC Donald’s entire worldwide organization? (400 words, 30 % marks)

C-Explain how MIS enabling business communications at MC Donald, s? (350 words, 30 % marks)

D-Reflect on the experiences of working on your TMA, and assess how it has developed your understanding of the course concept (100 words, 10 % marks).

General Mark’s deductions of 20% as follows

· PT3 Form (failure to use the PT3 completely filled) (deduct up to 5% marks)

· TMA Presentation and Structure, and word count (untidy, work way below or above the word count, no display of word count) (deduct up to 5% marks)

· Referencing and in-text citation (poor referencing and in-text citation, without plagiarism, (deduct up to 10% marks).





SYS210 – Business Driven Technology

Spring 2021-2022

SYS210 TMA Case Study

Staying ahead in a Competitive Environment
a McDonald’s Restaurants case study


For any business, becoming and staying the market leader is a huge task, even for household names such as McDonald’s. Keeping ahead involves continuous hard work to enhance the reputation of the brand, coupled with product innovation based on detailed market research that indicates how to please customers.

McDonald’s has built its success around a formula of providing a range of standardized high-quality products quickly and cheaply. The McDonald’s concept was originally developed in the USA but is truly global with over 25,000 restaurants in more than 114 countries.

Today, many people live busy lives and place great importance on convenience when buying and paying for goods and services. They are attracted by modern, quick service products such as drive-in car washes, mobile phones and ready meals. For many people (though not all), this emphasis on instant service is a winning formula, particularly for younger people and young families. However, research indicates that modern consumers of all ages are seeking experiences that are more individualized than in the past. McDonald’s is developing new concepts and products that provide a more personal experience while still giving excellent value for money.

This case study examines the positive way in which McDonald’s is responding to changing customer habits and increased levels of competition

The competitive environment

For businesses to understand adequately the nature of the competition they face, they must define their market accurately. This involves recognizing a broad base of competitors. McDonald’s has thousands of competitors, each seeking a share of the market. McDonald’s recognizes that it is up against not only other large burger and chicken chains but also independently owned fish and chips shops and other eat-in or take-out establishments. A company like McDonald’s, therefore, has to develop competitive strategies that differentiate it from its rivals.

All organizations need to be in touch with their business environment in order to make sure that what they do fits with customer expectations. These expectations change over time. Moreover, the IEO market in which McDonald’s operates is becoming increasingly competitive.

Recently, in this crowded market place, McDonald’s competitive lead came under pressure largely because many fast-food outlets have either:

· copied the trail-blazing ideas that previously set McDonald’s apart and put it ahead of the field

· Promoted new ideas of their own e.g., urban supermarkets and petrol stations that sell convenient, portable mealtime replacements.

McDonald’s recognizes the need to respond. It is looking to increase the competitive gap by:

· adding greater value through innovation

· making the process of visiting a McDonald’s less routine and controlled

· enhancing the overall in-house experience.

Consumer trends

Over time, consumers’ tastes evolve in response to changing fashions and greater awareness of alternative lifestyles. Businesses need to monitor these changes and, whenever possible, anticipate them. In terms of the product life cycle, quick service restaurants have reached maturity in the UK and need an injection of fresh life through innovative ideas if their lifespan is to be prolonged.

Market research reveals that snacking is an increasingly important trend and is particularly popular amongst teenagers and young people. However, the total number of meals eaten in the non-quick service restaurant sector has risen while meals eaten in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) sector have fallen in total. The convenience meal market is now worth over £800 million, with over 60growth since 1996.

The causes of this shift in tastes are not yet completely clear. Rising incomes allow people more opportunities to turn eating out into a more individualized experience rather than a routine ‘quick fix’. At the same time, when it comes to informal eating out, people may be moving away from burgers and fries towards other meals that are promoted as ‘the healthy option’ e.g. sandwiches and salads.

Organic food is rising in importance. Chicken continues to increase in importance, as white meat is perceived to be healthier and safer than red meat. At the same time the traditional mealtimes of breakfast and lunch are becoming less significant and arrangements for the main meal of the day need to be increasingly flexible to accommodate changing consumer lifestyles. McDonald’s is looking to provide appropriate solutions to these changing trends. In particular:

· consumers are seeking more food variety and healthier eating – McDonald’s is providing a more balanced offering that includes fruit, sugar-free fruit drinks for children and more chicken products

· price is becoming more critical to decision-making – McDonald’s has created an Extra Value Meal and a Mc Choice menu offering a flexible combination of drinks, sandwiches etc in addition to the meal, thereby providing excellent value for money.

The marketing mix

Enlightened businesses respond to the data they gather through market research by providing the best possible marketing mix (the four P’s) for their customers. This involves providing:

· appropriate products e.g., chicken as well as beef, salad items, and healthy drinks for children

· the right price: in this case providing food and drinks in a value for money way

· in the right place (at convenient locations) e.g. in shopping areas/malls

· through the right form of promotions. McDonald’s spends more on advertising its promotional offers than all of its competitors combined.

The McCafé Concept

Even mature markets can have gaps in provision that leave some potential customers unsatisfied. The McCafé development is the result of intensive market research that has identified a group of potential customers that had remained largely untapped. McDonald’s recognizes the importance of listening to the needs and requirements of this substantial group of users. McCafé provides an avenue for McDonald’s to target these consumers by offering high quality coffee served by specially trained café staff in a café style environment. McDonald’s has defined its target market clearly. The McCafé target market is customers who appreciate quality coffee and who want an excellent product in an attractive, undaunting environment. This concept has already worked well in Australia and New Zealand where the café concept is less developed than in Europe and America. These examples suggest that while McCafé works well and is profitable in both city and suburban locations as city locations in the UK become increasingly flooded with new entrants to the café market, competition for ‘the coffee £’ will continue to increase as will the need to continue to look for new ways to compete within cities.

Suburban and regional Mc Cafés offer a new group of customers a way of taking ‘time out’ with a good cup of coffee. Demographically this group is primarily female, aged 25-39. Many within this group have young families. McCafé are designed to offer them a place to meet friends and enjoy a quality coffee experience as well as keep the children fed and entertained.

Page 6: A casual welcoming environment

The emphasis is on a casual coffee experience in a comfortable place where people can relax and feel welcome. At the same time, McCafé’s association with McDonald’s brings with it a ‘Family Friendly’ environment and, unlike some of the more pretentious cafés, a place where children are welcome and specifically provided for. The convenience of car parking and playgrounds also makes McCafé a highly attractive destination for these people.

McCafé customers are busy people. Whether they are ‘Mums with Kids’ in search of a little ‘time out’ to themselves, or white-collar city workers in search of a quick break from the office, they all have one thing in common -the need for a promptly served high quality drink. McCafé offers a haven in which they can spend whatever time they have available with a good quality coffee at a value for money price.


As the market leader and as a pioneer of the Quick Service Restaurant concept, McDonald’s has to respond to a changing business environment. It is well placed to do so. It has listened to its customers, and also observed them. Based on its research, it has launched McCafé and McChoice – new products conceived and designed to complement and extend what it already offers and to keep the company ‘ahead of the game’ in an increasingly competitive marketplace.


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