Kokubu Case

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What operating system does your computer use?

My personal computer uses the Windows 7 operating system. It was released in 2009 by the Microsoft Inc. This operating system was preloaded on the computer. It has a very intuitive human interface. Moreover, compared to the previous versions of Windows software, it has many new features, such as the support for virtual hard disks, and improved performance on the multi-core processors.

What are some examples of applications residing in your personal computer?

One of the most frequently used applications on my PC is Microsoft Office Word 2007. This text editor was included in the software package Microsoft Office 2007, installed on the computer. With this program, I can easily create and edit documents, which is very useful for the educational process.

Another application is Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, which was also included with the abovementioned package. This program is used to create multimedia slides with text, charts, pictures, video, and sounds, that can be used in interactive presentations.

My favorite program is already. It is a program for reading electronic books on the computer. It supports HTML, FB2, DOC, DOCX, and other e-book formats.

Another useful app is Google Chrome. It is a web browser for surfing the Internet. This is a useful app that helps visit various websites and use cloud-based applications.

In fact, NOD32 is one of the most important apps for my PC. It is an antivirus program that protects the computer against viruses and other threats, including worms, spyware, adware, and phishing attacks.

Do you use any apps or websites now that you think are cloud-based?

The most frequently used cloud-based app on my PC is Gmail. It is an online email service, which requires no installation on the computer. It is possible to begin using it immediately upon signing up. This application uses information stored on the servers on the web, which means that all my emails are stored in the cloud.

Google Docs is another office suite web app developed by Google. It works with any Internet browser and has similar functionality to Microsoft Office’s ones, such as creating documents (analogous to the Microsoft Office Word features), spreadsheets (like in the Microsoft Office Excel), etc. As some of my documents are stored in the cloud, it facilitates the process of sharing them with others.

Evernote is another useful cloud-based app that helps me organize all my notes, web pages, photos, etc. both on the computer and on my mobile phone.

Facebook is a social network that also uses cloud-based technologies. With the help of Facebook, it is possible to interact with my friends all over the world. My profile, online conversations, pictures, posts, and other materials are kept up to date up to date. Moreover, I can access them from any other computer, mobile phone or tablet.

How is a web app different from a desktop application?

Web applications are based on the services on the Internet. Unlike them, desktop applications should be installed on the computer. Such differences form particular features of web and desktop applications. For example, desktop applications are limited by the operating system on which they are run, and have a strict hardware requirement. In contrast, to run the web app, the user only needs to have a gadget with the installed web browser, that is connected to the Internet. This allows computers or other devices with limited hardware capabilities to provide online access to sophisticated software. On the other hand, a desktop program can be run without an active Internet connection. This difference makes it impossible for the user to work in any place where there is only electricity.

The examples of similar desktop and web apps are Microsoft Office Word and Google Docs. Both of these applications can be utilized for writing and editing texts. The two even have a similar interface. Nevertheless, Google Docs does not require installation on the computer and gives more opportunities for sharing documents, while Microsoft Office Word can be used separately, without the need for Internet connectivity.

What kind of organizational trends are evident in the Kokubu case when we consider the business environment, management, and technology?

Starting with the Kokubu corporate culture, the influence of the information culture of all business processes in the company is clearly evident. Despite the engagement in the food distribution for more than 300 years, the firm is constantly changing. With the changes in technologies during the recent years, the corporation started to establish a new business model that includes Internet business development so as to accommodate to the new environment (Kokubu, n. d.).

The most important role in Kokubu’s business environment is played by information technologies. Moreover, the firm is completely based on IT. For example, it designs a new business model in the fields of health and the Internet. In cooperation with the pharmaceutical wholesale companies Ohki Co., Ltd. and Toho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., the Kokubu corporation try to respond to the changes in the elderly market and other customers with the diverse needs through the Internet (Kokubu, n. d.).

In order to achieve the highest quality of the corporate activities and enhance the customer service, Kokubu top managers created the ninth long-term business plan “QUALITY 300” in 2011 (Kokubu, n. d.). According to this program, the major principle of management is to assure that Kokubu is an innovative company that is ready to deal with new challenges (Kokubu, n. d.).

Generally speaking, such kind of organizational trends caused the transformation of the company’s business structure. The most evident tendency is the utilization of the information technologies for leading an Internet business, as an administrator of the company uses the latest information infrastructure to optimize the flow of all the company’s products.

Discuss the IT applications to the company operations as discussed in the website.

Kokubu has three integrated systems that support its business lines: Kokubu information and analysis system, logistics and ordering system, as well as the management system (Kokubu, n. d.).

The first structure – the Kokubu information and analysis – deals with sales information and monitoring. It uses the following applications: K-POST for e-mail and schedule management, KOMPASS for sharing the information and supporting sales efforts, Net de manabukun for e-learning and KRUISE2 for collecting the data (Kokubu, n. d.).

The next system in place is Kokubu logistics and ordering. It uses Wing2 and Wing 3 for assisting the logistics division, ANEX for data collection and delivery, combined with 3OD that is dedicated to administrating the corporate system (Kokubu, n. d.).

The last is the department of the Kokubu management system. It is divided into four parts: accounting system, credits and liabilities calculation, inventory and earnings management system, and the personnel management and payroll system (Kokubu, n. d.).

As can be seen from the Kokubu’s website, these three arrangements harmoniously work together. In order to prevent the malfunctioning and errors, the backup center with EDI, mail servers, and the emergency detour router in Hiroshima were created (Kokubu, n. d.).

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Why is the company considered to be customer-focused?

According to the company corporate information, Kokubu adheres the “Koakinai” principle in promoting its business (Kokubu, n. d.). This perspective characterizes the commitment of the firm to provide efficient services for all customers and ensure quality in each transaction, regardless of its size.

In line with this principle, Kokubu’s managers use the organization’s data collecting systems (Kantsuma Club, Jizake Kuramotokai, and Gruppa) which allows them carefully monitor wants and needs of company’s customers from different industries, such as supermarkets, food-service chains, restaurants mass merchandisers, independent retailers, Internet wholesalers, convenience and department stores, drugstores, etc. (Kokubu, n. d.).

Furthermore, the Kokubu company has also created the Basic quality control policy to assure the top quality of the products, until they are delivered to the consumer (Kokubu, n. d.). According to the policy, the firm places a client in the first place in terms of priorities. It values their comments and educates its employees in order to form quality control professionals of them. Moreover, Kokubu Group established quality control standards and strives to sell safe and secure nutrition and food products (Kokubu, n. d.).

The CEO said his company “created a culture where people are addicted to data, information, and knowledge.” What does he mean by that, and what are the benefits and drawbacks of such a culture?

The CEO words possibly mean that such type of corporate culture has become a social pattern that changes behaviors, norms, and values of the firm’s employees, focusing them on management processes and the use of information (Choo, 2013). In this case, information technology has become a vital part of Kokubu’s business. Company has developed an advanced information system in order to have a highly efficient distribution and communications nationwide. The chosen corporate culture and spirit has both advantages and disadvantages.

The first benefit is the demolition of language and geographic barriers for the business (Kumar, 2014). Kokubu distributes products not only in Japan but also in China, East Asia and Southeast Asia (Kokubu, n. d.). Such an enormous logistics system requires modern technologies to ensure the efficiency of its operation.

Moreover, the IT structure helps Kokubu remain opened 24 hours a day in terms of client support (Kokubu, n. d.). The company created two webpages Kantsuma Club and Jizake Kuramotokai to operate food information, and a website “Gruppa” to collect consumer opinions via questionnaires and blogs (Kokubu, n. d.).

Additionally, information technologies derive the important benefit of a cheaper, quicker, and more efficient communication with the rest of the world as we as inside the company (Kumar, 2014). Using the collected data (company sales, households’ budgets, and diet data) the corporation can create sales floor concepts tailored to the diverse lifestyles of its consumers.

However, the most evident drawback of such a culture is the fact that huge amounts of collected data with information about the business processes, transactions, and customers’ private information require intensifying efforts to protect them from encroachments of competitors. The abovementioned information can be stolen from the online company’s services and used against it by the competitors (Kumar, 2014).

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