Assignment: Developing Business Information System Solutions
Make an individual report outlining the information systems proposed for the case study business. This report should recognize:
a) The key external and internal business requirements which the selected information systems need to address.
b) How the recommended systems give the core information required to successfully operate the business.
The case study for this assessment is given below. Your report should be no longer than 2,000 words excluding references and appendices. Please make sure you give a coversheet for your assignment. The coversheet should too show the word count for your assignment (that is, excluding appendices and references). The report should 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 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 full-time 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. Additionally, the business wishes to take equipment hire bookings and payments via 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), although home DIY sales are now the fastest growing part of the business. Equip Hire has a range of building and engineering tools (illustration: concrete cutters, chainsaws, nail guns, wielding gear and dumpy levels), plant (illustration: compressors, mobile platforms, generators, small excavators and trenchers) and other equipment (illustration: 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 employing 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, thus it needs 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 through fluctuating construction activity. The company has recognized that the quality of equipment checking and maintenance is not consistent sufficient to ensure good levels of ongoing repeat customer business.
The business employs QuickBooks to run their accounts and equipment maintenance is run through 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 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 Equip Hire’s business information system needs is required, especially given that the Hire IT system is getting to the end of its helpful life. You have been asked by the Equip Hire’s directors to prepare a preliminary report that: (a) Outlines the company’s business information system (or BIS) requirements and (b) Makes recommendations on the core systems which would meet such BIS needs.
Key problems to address:
The suggested structure for this report follows. You are of course free to structure the report as you see fit. Your aim should be to produce a report that follows a logical order taking the reader from a situational analysis to your recommendations and the rationale for these.
B) Explanation of the business.
C) The key information needed to successfully operate the business.
D) BIS requirements.
E) Recommended information systems and how such will meet business requirements.
Please use the Harvard style referencing.