Deals on Wheels Inc.
Students tend to think they know what a business is - after all, they are avid consumers. This case helps them understand what they do know, and more importantly, what they do not know. The setting is 2009 and is not current, so students must consider whether retail from a process point of view has truly changed, or whether using technology-based interfaces in retail makes it seem to have changed. It also allows students to consider what advances in their retail experiences are the result of technology. This introductory case presents Uncle Joe's bicycle shop, Deals on Wheels. Mike and Mary have relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina, and are thinking of opening a bike shop there. On the way to their college reunion, they stop by Uncle Joe's house to visit and learn about his bicycle shop. Over dinner, the couple learns about how Uncle Joe acquired his business, the basic operations, what products were offered, and how customers' needs have changed over time. Some issues that Uncle Joe brings up in regard to expanding the business are possible advertising methods to produce additional sales, Internet-based parts sales that require more inventory on hand, and the need for more highly skilled workers. The story also mentions how Uncle Joe values human relations through his bike donations. The case may be used for class discussion of the following topics: Foundations of entrepreneurship; What is a business? Creating financial statements - transactions for one month are included as an exhibit to the case. Two follow-on cases offer more practice on these skills; Analyzing financial statements - three years of financials are included as an exhibit in the case. Students are asked to do a horizontal analysis and a vertical analysis of the data; Information systems in a business.