Assignment: Developing Business Information System Solutions
Make an individual report outlining the information systems recommended for the case study business. This report must identify:
a) The key external and internal business requirements that the selected information systems require to address.
b) 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 must also 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: Equip Hire
Equip Hire is a commercial and domestic equipment hire company with 11 branches across 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. Equip Hire recorded turnover of just over $18 million for the financial year ended 2012. About 8 years ago the company invested in a sales and hire system (Hire IT). Unfortunately the Hire IT system is becoming increasingly hard to maintain. The Hire IT system 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 Hire IT 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. Equip Hire has 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 large and long term hires is taken out on an ad hoc basis by using spreadsheets. Managing the company’s inventory of plant for hire is a specific challenge. The company finances most of its large plant with third parties, thus it requires to ensure high equipment utilization rates (that is, sales) to service this financing. The company is struggling to make good decisions around how much plant they ought to 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 ensure good levels of ongoing repeat customer business.
The business employs 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 into Hire IT. 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 Equip Hire’s business information system needs is needed, especially given that the Hire IT system is getting to the end of its useful life. You have been asked by the Equip Hire’s directors to prepare a preliminary report that: (i) Outlines the company’s business information system (BIS) requirements, and (ii) Makes recommendations on the core systems that would meet these BIS requirements.
Key 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 requirements for the:
a) Transaction processing system?
b) Sales and customer relationship management (CRM)?
d) Planning and scheduling?
f) Decision support and management information systems?
problem 5: What are the various types of business information systems could be used to effectively meet such requirements?
problem 6: What core information systems do you recommend the business adopt?
The suggested structure for this report follows. You are of course free to structure the report as you see fit. Your aim must be to produce a report which follows a logical order taking the reader from a situational analysis to your recommendations and the rationale for these.
B) Description of the business.
C) The key information required to successfully operate the business.
D) BIS requirements.
E) Recommended information systems and how these will meet business requirements.
Please use Harvard style referencing.