When Lorenzo Bacchus retired three years ago, he turned over his family winery to his great nephews, Conrad and Matt. It took them some time to adjust to the rigors of running a business, giving them renewed appreciation for all of the hard work their great uncle invested into Bacchus Winery, but now the men are ready to begin exploring ways to apply some of the new technology they have been learning about at school. Conrad is in an MIS (Management of Information Systems) program and Matt is in an MBA program. Both are sure they could do bring Bacchus Winery into the 21st century on their own, given what they’ve learned so far in school, but have acknowledged they don’t have the time to do that and run the company.
As they began their management of the business, the men decided against making many changes in personnel. Presently they employ Anastasia Chekov, the director of finances and payroll; Sinead O’Malley, director of the marketing department, and her assistant, Alex Munro; Gerry Butler, production-line manager, and the twenty employees who report to him; and Calida Esparza, who is in charge of distribution.
Bacchus Winery grows its own grapes, apples, cherries, blackberries, and blueberries, as well as keeps some beehives for honey. Bacchus makes and bottles the wine, and then sells it, to both local restaurants and visitors to the winery. Currently, their offerings include a Merlot, a Cabernet, a Chardonnay, a mead, several seasonal fruit wines, and a muscat desert wine. They have been receiving their supplies (bottles, corks, labels, and support ingredients) from a supplier who ships the components every month or so. Conrad and Matt are responsible for keeping track of their inventories and would like to find a more efficient method of keeping track and ordering supplies, perhaps over the Internet. Sinead would like to use the Internet to market the company’s products, but really has no idea where to begin. Calida, who is responsible for distribution, would like to give customers the ability to order online, and would like to allow them to track shipments.
After several telephone conversations with the two brothers, you believe that you can help them to apply technology to many of the needs of their organization. They have asked you to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before proceeding any further. They also want something in place by the end of the year and expect to be given highest priority. Matt, you’ve noticed, is fond of sending cryptic text messages throughout the day and night (you wonder when he sleeps, although the unconventional language of some texts has led you to assume he might be texting in his sleep). Conrad alternates between frantic emails, always sent with high priority and read receipts, and equally frantic voice messages, often sent five minutes after he sent an email, and wondering whether you’d had a chance to read his email yet.