Accounting Information Systems: Zappos example

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Accounting Information Systems: Zappos

For the purposes of defining an innovative accounting information system, we have chosen to consider the example of Zappos, an online store which specializes in shoes and clothing sales, headquarters of which are based in Nevada. The featured part is, specifically, the enterprise’s innovative warehousing system.Within the company’s warehouse, first of all, each unit of the merchandise gets an individual bar code attached to it. Then, after this happens, automated conveyor net recognizes the item and forwards it to the designated place or the respective receiving stations. On the daily basis, Zappo system can handle up to 60 thousand items. Once a return of item by a customer happens, it is then forwarded to the return specialist. The merger system, referred to as a “spider merge”, gives a significant boost to the speed of the conveyers. Previous version of the merger system was associated with the travel time of 35 minutes for any given item.

This was not an acceptable time for the fulfillment of a company’s task to complete orders for shipment within an hour. Spider merge, the novel system, improved the indicator of item travel time to approximately 5 minutes. Subsequently, random inventory placement is utilized which ensures high level of placement accuracy of items in the warehouse. Items are easily found as the computer system recognizes precisely where the item is stored. Therefore, a packer has no need to detect the necessary item basing on the color, producer and alike – this would be a more error prone approach. In general, order cycle time is closely monitored by the warehouse professionals at Zappos. One extraordinary fact about the company’s warehousing system is that it had been developed within the Zappos enterprise, tailored specifically for the needs of the company as the managers saw them. Therefore, it could better serve all kinds of warehousing process needs arising on daily basis.The technologically advanced systems which are present on the warehouses of the Zappos have a significant influence on the efficiency of the company’s business cycle.

Primarily, this happens in the dimensions of decreasing costs and the time of handling merchandise inventories (as mentioned, spider merge alone gave a benefit of shrinking the conveyor travel time by about 86%). Improvements in Accounting Information Systems of this kind go in close alignment with the concepts of lean management optimization, which is frequently discussed in the professional literature of today (e.g. Arnheiter and Maleyeff, 2005). It suggests that manufacturing processes of companies should be organized and optimized in such a way that unnecessary waste is eliminated from them. Waste, in its turn, is defined as a process which does not create any amount of additional value to the consumer, but still consumes some of the enterprise’s resources (Womack, 2006). In Zappo, best kind of manifestation of this principle is revealed in the fact, that since the current warehouse system was implemented, no single item has been lost. That is, quarterly auditing which a …

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