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"Bull and Bear Books" is a medium sized company who sell special books and videos about business management for the education market.

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Introduction "Bull and Bear Books" is a medium sized company who sell special books and videos about business management for the education market. The company was established in 1985 and is run as a partnership. A partnership is a business involving 2-20 people. All the people involved share the costs, skills and ideas. But each person is responsible for each others debts. From time to time, there may be disagreements between partners. "Bull and Bear Books" got most of their business by sending out catalogues to schools, colleges and universities. These catalogues cost the business a lot of money and they get less than a 10% response. They sometimes buy lists from companies that specialise in the sale of lists but they have found that 25% of them are often inaccurate. The staff at "Bull and Bear Books" are I.T literate and they use a generic commercial packaging for word processing and issuing invoices. The partners want to find a way to develop the existing I.T systems to improve the company's profits and increase their market share. They also want to use I.T in an integrated way to keep records of their stock and monitor scales. I am to produce a report for them about the way in which they could use I.T in the future. Synopsis This report will show how "Bull and Bear Books" could use IT to increase they amount of profit they get and their market share. Using IT can make the business more efficient but it can also cause many problems. IT could make the whole business more efficient by cutting costs on wages and keeping better records so that they can keep control of the business. If "Bull and Bear Books" do decide to introduce IT, there is a possibility that many problems could be caused and this report will look at some of these in detail. ...read more.


> Mail order catalogues. > Press advertisements or magazine inserts with coupons. > Direct telephone calls. > Tele shopping - goods are shown on the television and ordered over the phone. > Internet - goods are shown on the Internet and ordered on the Internet or on the phone. Usually, these direct channels are used for services i.e. insurance, or for complex machines i.e. computers, where only the manufacturer can often solve any problems. Financial Planning, Reporting, Control All businesses need to keep financial records because they need to know how much money they are putting into the company and how much they are earning. They can find out of they are making a profit or just losing money. Businesses can use spreadsheets and databases to help them record the financial details. A business could also predict how much money they will have earned or lost for each financial year. If the company didn't keep good records, they will not know how much capital they are making or losing. Therefore, if they are losing more capital than they have invested, they will be in debt and if they cannot pay off this debt, it may result in the closing of the whole business. And if they were making profit, they wouldn't know how much money they have to spend on other equipment to help the business. Also, as I have seen from the film, lack of financial control can result in arguments between the people in charge. To keep financial records, a business could use many different computer programs. They could use: > Balance Sheets - a financial record of how a business is doing at one moment in time. It shows all the business' liabilities (all it owes) and all of the assets (all it owns). > Profit and Loss Accounts - a financial summary of all the trading activities during the year. ...read more.


Overall, Craven Books had gained new experiences and they now say: 'Never trust salesmen and consultants because they often don't know that much.' They now know what way is best for them. 'Bull and Bear Books' should think carefully about what exactly they want the IT systems to do and decide whether it is appropriate for the company. Recommendations 'Bull and Bear Books' should plan carefully what they want the IT system to do. They should contact other businesses who have already introduced IT (e.g. Craven Books) and they could get some advice. 'Bull and Bear Books' need to take some decisions about things like who is to be in charge of the introduction, training needs of staff and generic software or customised. If 'Bull and Bear Books' do decide to bring IT into the system, this report recommends that they start small and then, if it all goes well, they should gradually increase the use of IT. But before they actually buy the systems, they should consider the following points: > Hardware > Software > Training > Consultants > Responsibility/Accountability This report does not recommend for the business to use IT to weigh books (as Craven Books did) because this would be inaccurate and it may drive away customers. They shouldn't always rely on consultants because as you can see, they are not 100% trustworthy. This report however, recommends that 'Bull and Bear Books' should use IT to record details of staff and customers and maybe to monitor stock. If this all goes well, they should produce balance sheets and profit and loss accounts to help them to see whether the money that was spent on buying these IT systems were worth it. They can also experiment with different figures to help them set a target. Contents Page > Introduction of 'Bull and Bear Books' > Synopsis > Spreadsheets > Profit and Loss/ Trading Accounts > Balance Sheets > Calculating a Loan > Databases > Direct Marketing > Financial Planning, Reporting, Control > Location > Market Research > Staff Issues > The Future E-mail Internet > Conclusions > Recommendations ...read more.

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