B.A.Sc. Thesis Abstracts - Year 1999

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Information Repository for the Audit Division of the Toronto Dominion Bank

Jonathon Wong

In 1997, the Communications Committee of the Audit division of the Toronto Dominion Bank had a mandate to improve and promote open communications within the division. As part of this mandate, the committee, working with the Center for Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship (CMTE), embarked on an project to implement an Intranet Web-site to promote information sharing within the Audit Division. This report documents the analysis, decisions, design and implementation that when into this project.

YUM-YUM Dim Sum - A Product of the YUM YUM Food Company

Hatem Jahshan and Michael Rogers

The average consumer's fast-paced life has demanded a solution to meal preparation. A solution that, for some, entails rejecting meal preparation altogether. This is the spark that has ignited the frozen entrée industry with sales that will reach $2.0 billion in 3 years. With a 7% annual growth rate and a market share equal to more than $250 million open to small companies, the frozen meals business has never been more attractive to small firms [McGrath99]. What used to take individuals 30 minutes to make or even a few steps to get is no longer sufficient. They are searching for meals that are fast, warm, and most important of all, tasty.

The YUM YUM Company plans to take advantage of this excellent opportunity with its flagship product; YUM YUM Dim Sum. The best available solution to a busy lifestyle is a packaged meal consumed on the go. Not only is this Chinese menu becoming ever so popular in large cities, it is also a delicious snack with enough of a variety to satisfy an appetite bored of the everyday fast food. Dim Sum, or "heart's delight" in Cantonese, and its multiple components consist of dumplings, spring rolls, and other popular varieties of Chinese finger foods. The current niche in the market for such a product opens up an opportunity worth exploiting. This is the same kind of ethnic niche available to producers that has left the market with more than a quarter of its share up for grabs.

By focusing on a convenient meal replacement, Yum Yum Dim Sum will attract, impress, and satisfy the consumer, all for around $5. The visually appealing packaging with a curious lunch-box look leaves no question that this meal was meant for the office or anywhere but the home. The complete package inclu4ing utensils and sauces will provide all the necessities of the consumer's kitchen away from home. The state of the art Japanese packaging will leave the perfect impression of high quality, nothing soggy or greasy.

The YUM YUM Company intends to enter this market with an impressive yet cost efficient product and production plan. This business plan presents a carefully researched approach to tap into this frozen entree market. Even at modest levels of production and growth, the outlook for the company is quite positive. The economic ratios express this growth and support this positive outlook. The financials express a doubling in sales over the first three years of operations, this translates to gross sales of over $1 million by the end of 2002. With the size of the market and safety factors that have been built into the costs of the raw materials, the expressed growth can be described as conservative. The strategy for such a feat includes an efficient work force and a well represented market opportunity.

Customer Loyalty to Credit Cards

Mélanie Rogers

Customer loyalty to credit card products is of intense interest to card issuing organizations; however, defining "loyalty" and the components that trigger/impact customer behaviour is a difficult thing to do. Although specific loyalty programs (Air Miles and points) may be involved, other factors such as bank relationships/offers, service levels, product/account usage, branding presence, reputation etc. will also be important. An impartial perspective of this on an ongoing basis provides much benefit to Financial Services Institutions. The Credit Card division of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is seeking further insight to address or define potential concepts, rules, practices and pitfalls around the perceived and actual definition of customer loyalty. The findings of this paper reinforce the notion that sustained value creation is the key to customer loyalty. The success of many 'Loyalty leaders' is founded in strategic business systems that focus on: measuring customer retention, calculating customer lifecycle profits and analyzing the loyalty-based cycle of growth, hence the findings of this thesis suggest that RBC look further into these elements of loyalty creation. By laying out the principles that connect value creation, loyalty, growth and profits, this paper is intended to provoke and stimulate further internal discussions on the notion of customer loyalty.

The Potential of e-Business in Call Centers

Victoria Wong and Duc Do

This report explores the different channels and technologies available to call centers in Canada and the rapidly growing e-business issues as they relate to call centers. The variety of channels in use today include telephone with a live agent; IVR Systems; and Web based technologies such as e-mail messages, request forms, call-back buttons, chat rooms, voice over 'P and real time audio and video. Call center technologies used to handle these channels are ACD, CTI, IVR applications, and various client software packages that either run on a communication enabled server or workstation. Future technology will focus on multimedia systems with a "skills based router" that will be able to route an incoming call, according to the customer's problem, to the person with the skills necessary to solve their problem.

E-business in call centers has great potential as it can change the way call centers interact with customers by adding value to customer service, generating revenues and retaining customers through added features enabling pro-active selling. Hence, e--business channels can satisfy call center drivers. By using the Internet along with Web based multimedia, "skills based routing" and e-business strategies incorporated into the call centers, a win-win situation should result for both the customer and the company. The company will receive increased revenues, increased agent productivity, reduced costs, higher customer loyalty and improved target marketing. The customer will benefit by contact with more knowledgeable agents, greater personal service, quicker response time, easier accessibility, increased availability and more satisfying solutions that meet their specific needs.