Bell Computer is reaching a crossroads. This PC manufacturer has been growing at a rapid rate,…

Bell Computer is reaching a crossroads. This PC manufacturer has been growing at a rapid rate, causing problems for its operations as it tries to keep up with the surging demand. Bell executives can plainly see that within the next half-year, the systems used to coordinate its supply chain are going to .fall apart because they will not be able to handle the volume of Bell projects they will have. To solve this problem, Bell has brought in two supply chain software companies that have made proposals on systems that could cover the volume and the complexity of tasks Bell needs to
»  Bell Computer is reaching a crossroads. This PC manufacturer has been growing at a rapid rate, causing problems for its operations as it tries to keep up with the surging demand. Bell executives can plainly see that within the next half-year, the systems used to coordinate its supply chain are going to .fall apart because they will not be able to handle the volume of Bell projects they will have. To solve this problem, Bell has brought in two supply chain software companies that have made proposals on systems that could cover the volume and the complexity of tasks Bell needs to have handled. These two software companies are offering very different types of products, however. The first company, SCSoftware, proposes a system for which Bell will purchase a license. This will allow Bell to use the software as long as it wants. However, Bell will be responsible for maintaining this software, which will require significant resources. The second company, SC-ASP, proposes that Bell pay a subscription fee on a monthly basis for SC-ASP to host Bell's supply chain applications on SC-ASP's machines. Bell employees will access information and analysis via a Web browser. Information will be fed automatically from the ASP servers to the Bell servers whenever necessary. Bell will continue to pay the monthly fee for the software, but all maintenance will be performed by SC-ASP. How should Bell go about making a decision regarding which software company to choose? What are the specific pieces of information that Bell needs to know (both about the software and about the future conditions Bell will experience) in order to make a decision? What are some of the qualitative issues Bell must think about when making this decision?

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