Georgie's Consignment Shop: Inventory and CRM Practices

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Eben, Mariel
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PURPOSE: This case study was written as a tool for students to use in evaluating the place of technology in small businesses. Georgie’s Consignment Shop was used as the focus of this case, which asked for analysis of the current and potential inventory and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. PROCEDURES: Local consignment shop owner Georgie Roth was interviewed in regards to her business, Georgie’s Consignment Shop in Ada, Michigan. This interview, along with industry and local market research, was used to compose an original case study and instructor’s manual to be used in class discussions. The case seeks to analyze whether the implementation of technology, namely an inventory management and CRM system, will be a helpful and profitable investment for Georgie's Consignment Shop. The subsequent instructor's manual addresses suggested teaching approaches, student discussion questions and answers, an instructor's chalkboard diagram, a process flowchart, and a comprehensive SWOT analysis, called a TOWS matrix. CONCLUSIONS: The case study allows students to arrive at their own conclusion; however, it guides them to make a decision not involving technology. As this is counterintuitive for many classrooms and students today, it opens the door for critical discussion of technology implementation with a cost benefit analysis. IMPACT: There are few case studies written in small business management, especially in regards to their IT needs. The Georgie’s Consignment Shop case provides a realistic view of technology adoption and implementation needs for this niche.