Description: Students are to form a group of four to six people. By using the case study given below you will analyze and describe the business information systems needed for this a small to medium size business. By using knowledge gained in this subject, your group will be needed to analyze the key information system needs required for the business to successfully operate. The information systems identified will need to support the different aspects of the business (ex: inventory, sales, maintenance, delivery and accounts).
Give a brief group presentation to the class. All group members will require contributing equally to the preparation and delivery of the presentation. The presentation must be no longer than 15 minutes in duration.
Make an individual report outlining the information systems recommended for the case study business. This report should identify:
i) The key external and internal business requirements which the selected information systems require to address, and
ii) How the recommended systems provide the core information needed to successfully operate the business. The case study for this assessment is given below. Your report must be no longer than 2,000 words excluding references and appendices. Please make sure you provide a coversheet for your assignment. The coversheet should as well show the word count for your assignment (that is, excluding appendices and references). The report must be written in 12 point font with 1.5 line spacing.
Case Study: EquipHire
EquipHire is a commercial and domestic equipment hire company with 11 branches across the metropolitan Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong. The family owned business was started 18 years ago by two brothers. The company employs 78 staff in a variety of fulltime and part time roles. EquipHire recorded turn-over of just over $18 million for the financial year ended in the year 2012. About 8 years ago the company invested in a sales and hire system (HireIT). Unfortunately the HireIT system is becoming increasingly complex to maintain. The HireITsystem has proved as well difficult to modify for the changing business environment. Furthermore, the business wishes to take equipment hire bookings and payments through the internet and the HireIT system doesn’t readily support online transactions.
Around 70% of the sales are to the commercial sector (that is, construction, engineering and building trades) though home DIY sales are now the fastest growing part of the business. EquipHire hire a range of building and engineering tools (ex: concrete cutters, chainsaws, nail guns, wielding gear and dumpy levels) plant (ex: compressors, mobile platforms, generators, small excavators and trenchers) and other equipment (ex: glassware for party hire, tables and chairs, high capacity heaters and marquee tents).
The costing for big and long term hires is taken out on an ad hoc basis by using spread-sheets. Managing the company’s inventory of plant for hire is a specific challenge. The company finances most of its large plant with third parties, therefore it requires to make sure high equipment utilization rates (that is, sales) to service this financing. The company is struggling to make good decisions around how much plant they should hold (in total and by location) to meet the demand for hire. The demand for plant and equipment hire is seasonal and as well affected by fluctuating construction activity. The company has recognized that the quality of equipment checking and maintenance is not consistent adequate to make sure good levels of ongoing repeat customer business.
The business uses QuickBooks to run their accounts and equipment maintenance is run via an Access database. The delivery and pick up of equipment is taken out manually by using carbon-copy receipt books. This data is then manually transferred to HireIT. For general computing the company operates desktop and laptop computers operating Microsoft XP and Office 2007.
The company directors recognize that a review of the EquipHire’s business information system needs is required, especially given that the HireIT system is getting to the end of its helpful life. You have been asked by the EquipHire’s directors to prepare a preliminary report that: (i) Outlines the company’s business information system (or BIS) requirements and (ii) Makes recommendations on the core systems which would meet such BIS requirements.
Major problems to address:
problem 1: What are the major activities that the business undertakes?
problem 2: Where in the business are the crucial decisions made?
problem 3: What kinds of information does the business need to operate successfully?
problem 4: What are the needs for the:
a) Transaction processing system?
b) Sales and customer relationship management (or CRM)?
d) Planning and scheduling?
f) Decision support and management information systems?
problem 5: What are the different kinds of business information systems could be employed to effectively meet such requirements?
problem 6: What core information systems do you suggest the business adopt?