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8-2 Project Three: Systems Thinking
IT 200
February 25,2022
The existence of system problems in organizations can adversely affect the
performance and productivity of the entity. So, it becomes imperative to carry out a detailed
systems analysis so that issues relating to systems can be identified and they can be
effectively addressed. Systems analysis can be defined as the approach that can help to
determine the performance of a system (Sieniutycz, 2020). A comprehensive systems
analysis of Lost Pines Outfitters (LPO), a local and online clothing retailer has been carried
out and presented. The existing system has been examined and a set of recommendations
have been presented that can help to address the existing issues and improve the systems
performance of the business entity. The systems thinking process has been adopted to ritually
examine the situation and the issues of the business.
The Lost Pines Outfitters (LPO) specializes in affordable outdoor apparel for value-
conscious shoppers. It carries out its business operations in the online platform. It also
maintains a brick-and-mortar store. Some of the key elements of the current system of the
business have been highlighted below:
Online platform – It is the virtual point of contact where customers can purchase the products
of the business entity by the click of a button.
Retail store – Customers also have the option to visit the brick-and-mortar store for
purchasing apparel from Lost Pines Outfitters.
Warehouse – After customers have placed an online order, an associate from the warehouse
is responsible to pull out the specific product from warehouse shelves. The associates use a
single computer system for tracking incoming orders, locating items in the inventory, and
pulling inventory for customer order fulfilment
Inventory tracking system – After warehouse associates have pulled a product from the
inventory, they manually update the inventory tracking system.
Fulfillment Department – In the Fulfillment Department, associates pack the items that need
to be delivered to the customers.
The current system that is adopted at Lost Pines Outfitters is manual in nature. At
various stages the associates carry out processes in a manual manner which increases the
chances of error and mistakes. Torres has argued that in manual processes the possibility of
errors increases (Torres et al., 2021). The severity of the error can give rise to serious
repercussions for an entire business. In the case of LPO, the warehouse associates manually
update the inventory tracking system after they have pulled out the items for customers from
the inventory. Similarly, after the shipment of an order, a Fulfillment Department associate
manually checks the tracking information and updates the order’s delivery status. The high
involvement of manual processes increases the possibility of errors in the existing system of
the business. For capturing the feedback, an associate sends a card to the customers after they
have received the order, thanking them for their purchase and requesting them to give a
review of the item and their overall shopping experience. It is also a lengthy process.
Several issues exist in the current system that is adopted by LPO. One of the key issues
is that there exists variation between the business’ inventory database and its inventory
tracking system, in its retail store. A suitable recommendation to address the issue is to make
sure that all the technology-based elements that are connected to LPO’s inventory are
updated on an ongoing basis. Additionally, the sales team must ensure that all the inventory
items that leave the retail store are accounted for on a real-time basis. Furthermore, there is
also scope for the business to strengthen the current communication network. There is the
need to streamline the flow of information within the business so that all the associates and
staff can know the latest status of the products.
Another major issue that exists in the business setting is that a single computer system
is used by the entire business. Since the warehouse workers have a single computer at their
disposal, there are delays in updating as well as processing orders. In the technology-driven
era, there is a need for businesses to have adequate digital instruments so that they can carry
out their business operations efficiently. The specific issue in LPO can be addressed by
introducing at least one or two more computer systems so that all the departments can use the
systems to carry out their functions on the real-time basis. It will ensure that there is no
unnecessary delay or omission relating to inventory items or products. Such a suggestion will
enable the associates to flexibly use the computer systems and make necessary updates or
On the basis of the conducted systems analysis and recommendation, a model of a
system has been designed and it encompasses the recommended changes. The objective of
the new system that has been designed is to address the current issues that adversely affect
the performance of the Lost Pines Outfitters business.
A total of three computers would be used in the new system model to ensure that
proper flow of communication and information takes place. The process would start with
receiving the order from a customer. After receiving the order, the employees of Lost Pines
Outfitters would focus on inventory tracking system by using the warehouse computer. At
every stage, the employees would use the systems to update the status of the product. For
example, after an item has been pulled out from the shelf, an employee would instantly
update the inventory tracking system. Similarly, after a product has been delivered to a
customer, the employees would ensure that the status of the product has been changed from
‘shipped’ to delivered’. Such an integrated system model can help Lost Pines Outfitters to
address the current issues and keep a track on its inventory items in a real-time basis.
In the case of the Lost Pines Outfitters business, the adoption of systems thinking can
help to address the existing issues and complexities. Some of the main benefits of adopting
the system thinking approach in the business environment include the ability to redesign
broken and inefficient systems and designing better systems (Benefits of systems thinking –
systems thinking benefits. Burge Hughes Walsh - Six Sigma Specialists, 2021). It can also act
as a useful method of visualizing the steps that are adopted by a system. Thus it helps to get a
detailed and exhaustive insight into the areas that need to be fixed. In the specific business
setting system thinking has added high value by creating an opportunity to address the current
issues relating to the inventory management aspects. By adopting the process, suitable
recommendations have been designed that can help the business to have a better control over
its processes and activities.
Benefits of systems thinking – systems thinking benefits. Burge Hughes Walsh - Six Sigma
Specialists. (2021). Retrieved February 25, 2022, from
Sieniutycz, S. (2020). Systems design: Modeling, analysis, synthesis, and
optimization.>Complexity and Complex Thermo-Economic Systems. https://doi.
Torres, Y., Nadeau, S., & Landau, K. (2021). Classification and quantification of human error
in manufacturing: A case study in complex manual assembly.>Applied Sciences,>11(2),
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