An Information System is any combination of information engineering and peoples activities utilizing that engineering to back up operations, direction, and decision-making in a really wide sense, the term information system is often used to mention to the interaction between people, algorithmic procedures, informations and engineering. In this sense, the term is used to mention non merely to the information and communicating engineering ( ICT ) an organisation uses, but besides to the manner in which people interact with this engineering in support of concern procedures.

Information Systems helped organisation to execute Operational and Management Support in past. But now-a-days organisations use information systems to derive competitory advantage.

It ‘s Strategic Information System ( SIS ) – case of information system used to back up or determine an organisation ‘s competitory scheme, its program for deriving and keeping advantage. ( Nick Rackoff, Charles Wiseman and Walter A. Ullrich ( 1985 ) ) .

The marks of information systems are Strategic Planning ( processes related to the organisation ‘s nonsubjective, resource allotment policies ) , Management Control ( procedures related to guaranting that strategic aims are attained ) and Operational Control ( procedures related to guaranting that undertakings are executed expeditiously ) as described by Robert Anthony in Planning and Control System.

Avison and Fitzgerald ( 1995 ) have discussed the 3 ways to accomplish competitory advantage by implementing information system in an organisation.

( 1 ) Redefine the boundaries of peculiar industries by developing new merchandises or services.

( 2 ) Change the relationships between providers and clients,

( 3 ) Establish barriers in market place to do hard for new entrants.

If there are figure of challengers in competition who provides same merchandise or service, so it ‘s non easy for any organisation to derive competitory advantage. If an organisation wants to derive competitory advantage so it has to be a cost effectual or distinguish its merchandise or service from other rivals.

Harmonizing to Michael Porter and Victor Miller ( 2001 ) Organization has to alter the competition range by working following forces.

( 1 ) Differentiation:

Distinguish merchandise or services from other challengers. Or cut down the difference of merchandise or service between you and your rivals. Roll up information about client demands and utilize that information to distinguish merchandise or service.

( 2 ) Lowering Cost:

Reduce organisation ‘s costs, supplier cost or Product or Service Cost, or by raising the costs of your challengers.

( 3 ) Changing Competitive Scope ( Focus ) :

Concentrate on peculiar market or alter merchandise or service harmonizing to targeted market by deploying information.

( Nick Rackoff, Charles Wiseman and Walter A. Ulrich ( 1985 ) )

The betterment made to a merchandise or service before the merchandise is offered to clients is called Added Value.

Added Value can besides be defined as the difference between a peculiar merchandise ‘s concluding merchandising monetary value and the direct and indirect input used in doing that peculiar merchandise as described by Kay, J. ( 1993 )

Harmonizing to Michael Porter, Value Chain Model consist of activities that a organisation performs to make merchandise or service which client willing to purchase, It can be a Primary Activities like Inbound Logistics, Operations, Outbound Logistics, Marketing & A ; Gross saless and Service and Support Activities like Firm Infrastructure, Human Resource Management, Technology Development and Procurement. To derive competitory advantage, organisation has to execute these activities in such a manner that it distinguish or supply merchandise or service at lower cost.

Primary Activities

Support Activities

The Value Chain ( Porter, M. 1980 )

In this instance survey, the appropriate usage of Information System in Argos will be discussed. How Argos addition competitory advantage in market will be discussed. Porter ‘s five force theoretical account and value concatenation will used to analysis current place of Argos in market.

Porter ‘s Five Force Model:

( 1 ) Competition among Existing Rivals:

This is the most powerful force. It depicts the competition between challengers in market who provide same merchandise or service.

( 2 ) Menace of New Entrants:

This show that whether it is easy for new organisation to come in in this market or non.

( 3 ) Menace of Substitute Product:

This will state how easy for client to exchange from one merchandise to another.

( 4 ) Dickering Power of Supplier:

This force illustrate supplier of natural stuff or input for an organisation.

( 5 ) Dickering Power of Buyers:

This depicts the ability of client to negociate on monetary value of merchandise or service.

( Michael E. Porter, Harvard Business Review, January 2008 )

Literature Position:

Mission Statement of Argos:

“ We provide our clients with the best value for money through the most convenient shopping experience ”

History of Argos:

The thought behind Argos was that company produced a catalogue to demo all the merchandises you could purchase and they have smaller stores as they merely required payment characteristic. This allows the clients to take the merchandises from catalogue and take the merchandise Numberss to purchase merchandise.

On July 21st 1973, Argos launched its first shop at High Wycombe. Other 16 shop was launched on the same twenty-four hours. At the terminal of 1980 ‘s there are about 250 shops were already opened. By 2000, there are 500 shop are opened around UK and Ireland. At present they got more than 700 shops around UK and Ireland.

One of Argos ‘ chief strengths is the cost control of catalogue shopping over other type of retailing, which allows the company to offer a broad scope of merchandises at competitory monetary value.

Facts about Argos:

Argos is Europe ‘s prima catalogue shop concatenation and 3rd in the universe.

70 % of UK families have shopped with Argos in the last twelvemonth. They serve over 130 million clients a twelvemonth.

Their gross revenues were ? 4.3 billion last twelvemonth. And 26 % of those gross revenues were through Internet. There are about 4 million client orders online or on the phone.

Argos web site ( was the most visited high street retail web site in the UK in 2008 ) .

In UK around 2/3 of population have Argos catalogue at place any clip

It employs about 33,000 people.

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“ Argos likes to maintain up with all the latest technological tendencies and is ever endeavoring to guarantee each client can shop in the most convenient manner for them. ”

Since Argos was started it has been known for its imaginative usage of engineering. Computer systems have had a immense impact on the manner Argos do concern. New engineering has allow Argos to detect stock degrees in much greater item, assisting to descry tendencies and avoid ‘out of stock ‘ state of affairss. New engineering has besides affected communicating with other countries of the concern ; with the usage of electronic mail and intranet addition the manner communicate.

The enlargement of the cyberspace has allows Argos to offer new and more suited services to clients web site, doing Argos a taking retail merchant in the e-commerce sector. The Argos web site was foremost launched in 1995 and has continued to assist clients. The merchandises and publicities featured on the web site shows those in Argos shops. This website allows Argos to cognize about purchase tendency of clients, helps to foretell the sale of each point, helps to cognize purchasing wont of peculiar client and besides helps to cut down waiting line at Store.

There are many services offered on the site to do shopping online every bit easy as possible.

Look through the catalogue.

Search for a peculiar point.

Make a purchase and it will be delivered to your place.

Reserve points to be collected at the client ‘s local shop.

Items can reserved for 48 hours at all local Argos shops via the cyberspace at The points are paid for when collected from the shop, giving clients an alternate pick to paying over the cyberspace every bit good.

Check & A ; Reserve:

Before geting at Argos Store, Argos clients can look into the point they want to buy is available in stock or non, they can reserve point they want bargain, and look into opening hours of shop, merely by naming on Check & A ; Reserve Phone line on their local Argos shop figure. Their point will be reserve for a specific clip merely.

It has seen many troubles over the old ages but has ever handled these state of affairss with new and originative thoughts and increase the scope of merchandises sold.

Text & A ; Take Home:

Text & A ; Take Home service was launched in December 2002, which was a fast and easy manner to look into the latest monetary values and stock handiness every bit good as modesty points by directing a message from any nomadic phone. Customers have to direct the text with catalogue figure and ZIP code or town name to a client service figure. If point does n’t available so Customer service will text client when that point will be available.

Stock Checker:

As portion of bettering client service, Stock Checker workstations are now available at all browser counters in shop. They are speedy and easy to utilize. All the clients have to make is merely type the catalogue figure of the point they want to purchase and the stock checker will demo them whether the point is in stock and the measure of that point is available.

Quick Pay Kiosks:

To better efficiency and lessening line uping times, Argos has introduced Quick Pay booths at many shops. Customers can now purchase the points they want by a touch screen, wage by recognition card, collect a print out of their reception and travel straight to the indicated aggregation point.

Order Trailing:

There is order tracking system, which can utilize to track client ‘s order. Customer has to come in the order figure, charging ZIP code and family name in an Argos web site. It will demo your position of order.

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Critical Analysis:

Porter ‘s Five Force Model:

In this instance survey, Now Porter ‘s Five Force theoretical account will utilize to analyse the place of Argos Store in market. And the state of affairs of Non-Food Retailer market at present. It will look into all five forces to find how Argos Store can or had gain competitory advantage over its challengers.

Rivalry among Existing Rivals:

There are many companies in this market. But Argos has about monopoly in this concern environment. There are other companies who sale similar merchandise. But some of them have merely local shops and some of them merely gross revenues on a web site like and Merely Argos provides the both type of installation to clients. Customers have 3 ways to purchase a peculiar merchandise.

In Shop: client can purchase a merchandise in shop by shoping catalogue.

Online: client can purchase a merchandise on the Argos web site and it will be delivered at client ‘s place.

On Telephone: client can reserve point on phone and can roll up it from local shop.

None of its challengers are supplying all these service to its clients. Still it ‘s a really competitory market topographic point for Argos.

Menace of New Entrants:

In such concern environment, Threat of New Entrants is low, because the organisations who want to come in in this market will confront troubles. First, cost is really high to come in in this market due to big graduated table of bing rivals. They have to pass big sum behind market research, to set up a shop and warehouse at really big graduated tables, and behind the human resource and IT installations. Second, it is hard for new entrants to set up its trade name name where organisation like Argos already has strong trade name repute. Third, new entrants ca n’t distinguish merchandises in this market. They can merely do difference in a shop design or manner they deliver service.

Menace of Substitute Product:

There are many companies in market supplying similar merchandise and service to clients. But Argos has more scope of merchandises and more picks for clients. That ‘s why it is difficult to retroflex the merchandises or services provided by Argos. So, Threat of Substitute will be low.

Dickering Power of Supplier:

Here dickering power of provider is medium, because the Argos has already build good provider relationship to present a high quality service at sensible monetary value to client. Its long term relationship to do certain it got merchandise from provider at lower monetary value than others. And it has big scope of merchandises.

Dickering Power of Customer:

Argos offers more service and merchandises to client than other challengers. It besides provides this service or merchandise at much lower cost. It besides provides extra service like “ Buy Now, Pay Later ” Argos Card, Argos history for online shopping etc. That ‘s why its hard for purchasers to exchange to another company.

Value Chain Model:

Primary Activities:

Inbound Logisticss:

This activity consists of a receiving, warehousing and making a merchandise record which comes in to business.Argos understand the challenge to equilibrate supply and demand. The company have own inbound logistics runing theoretical account.

Then they bring a new Central Distribution Centre ( CDC ) for little points – refilling local distribution centres and supplying bringings of little points to shops in the UK and Republic of Ireland. The solution besides provides considerable nest eggs in operational costs, liberating up resources at the busy local distribution centres.

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Facilities Argos provides like Check and Reserve, Online Shopping, Text & A ; Take Home and Quick Pay Kiosks helps to cut down line uping at Store. It besides helps to cut down staff operating expense and keep a good bringing service.

Outbound Logisticss:

Argos continuously tuning outbound logistic demand so that clients are ne’er holding bad service experience, and that cost efficiency is non achieved at the cost of run intoing client outlooks.

It uses VISIONa„? WCS, It is able to invariably find the most efficient manner to each order picking station, based on the work load at each station, merchandise supplies around the system and the importance with which peculiar merchandises are needed.

Selling and Gross saless:

As a retail merchant, selling is designed to back up Argos as the first topographic point to see for a broad scope of available merchandises. This is normally based on different seasons, and merchandises that are of import for that clip.

The Argos catalogue is the Centre of all selling attempts, with 35 million transcripts published each twelvemonth. Argos spend really big sum for advertisement, it spends on telecasting, wireless, newspapers, or magazines.

Market Research frequently took topographic point to cognize where and how betterments can be made.


All the information collected about client helps Argos to better comprehensibility of its clients. There is Customer Service Department in Argos. Which helps client to bespeak for an point or complain about merchandise or any other issue. It provides valuable information about client demands.

Support Activities:

Technology Development:

The new engineerings like Internet, text service, Order Tracking, Quick Pay now loosely used in Argos and the information system helps Argos in roll uping providers ‘ informations, clients ‘ informations, and in determination devising.

Human Resource Management:

There are different countries that make the Argos human resources section ; all playing an indispensable portion in guaranting and retain enormous working patterns. Areas are:

Avebury HR ( 2 ) Distribution HR ( 3 ) Retail HR ( 4 ) HR Direct

The preparation has been recognized larning demands across the concern and developing suited learning solutions. Training is given for general pattern every bit good as for new systems introduced in a shop.


It includes the buying of stuff and equipment for organisation. IS can give a company a better position, and aid to choose the appropriate supplies.

Firm Infrastructure:

It depicts the construction of organisation, control system and the environment of organisation. IS helped Argos to link all its shop and supply intercommunication between shops.


Information system is basic demand for organisation today. To vie with challengers and to last or to derive competitory advantage IT is indispensable. IT has a critical function in any Organization.

Despite of, information engineering has become more of a basic demand, if IT usage with good concern theoretical account it can supply strategic advantage.