ICT Coursework

The business, Rewind, is a small independent DVD rental outlet, based in the East-End of London, in Stratford. The owner is facing increased competition from other retailers in the area, as well as online retailers. He has decided that he would like to expand his business into other areas locally. His aim is to increase the business to five outlets, from the current one unit.

The shop currently has a range of different genres of DVDS. The products range in price, and if DVD’s are rented out for longer than a week, then the appropriate late fees will apply. There are approximately 120 customers in the shop per day. The company has been around for 15 years, and although the company name has changed, it has maintained an excellent customer base.

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A description of the current system

* In order to increase the size of the business, the owner has to accept that his workload would increase substancially. With this in mind, it has been decided that the current system to manage the paperwork is inadequate. Stock levels would have to increase and therefore purchase invoices would need to be managed more effectively. They are currently written in a ledger by hand, and would need to be managed by computer. The number of employees would need to be increased as each new store is created. The main problem is the organisation and storage of information such as; customer details, employee details, credit/debit card details, film details, purchases and rental dates.

* In order for the staff to be able to identify the correct price for any given item and length of time rented, they have to find the correct list of DVDs and read this until they find the items code.

* The company currently writes customer details and film details in a ledger by hand, and therefore as the business is looking to expand, this is not a suitable way of managing the business.

* The current process for when a new customer enters the shop is as follows:

o A new customer enters the store. The customer is given a form to fill out of all their details.

o The staff member files the form.

o The customer is given a membership card.

o To view customer records, the manager will have to manually query the database.

o If a customer wants to rent a DVD, then a manually written invoice will be processed.

Identification of Client and Users

* The client is Steven Smith, who is the manager of the company Rewind. He is responsible for the day-to-day running of the business, including stock ordering, looking over the accounts, paying the appropriate wages, and keeping the customers happy.

* There are five members of staff that work in the shop who will be the potential users of the system. Their responsibilities include stock-checking using delivery reports, phoning customers who don’t bring the film back, calculating invoices and late fees, cleaning the cabinets/floors and writing lists of any stock that becomes unavailable.

Reasons for change

* Manual calculations cause numerous mistakes.

* Operations are done manually, for example, a customer will have to manually fill out an application form before a staff member enters the information into the ledger, which results in more time being spent and more mistakes made.

* Paper-based transactions caused substantial delays.

* Customer transactions were often lost due to overload of paperwork in different departments.

* Change in data by one department won’t change automatically in another.

* Tracking rentals is difficult as there is no automatic list on who is late on bringing the film back each day.

* There is no information on all the different DVDs. One has to look on the back of each DVD to try and find the required information.

* Hard to tell what DVDs are available at the time, if a customer was to enquire about one.