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Edexcel in Applied Information and Communication Technology.

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UG013289 . Portfolio marking guidance . Edexcel GCSE in Applied Information and Communication Technology (Double Award) . Issue 1 . July 2003 14 David.s work . 2(a) The investigation The company I investigated: Marks & Spencer Where I went: Oxford Street, London When I went: 10th and 12th March .03 Who I interviewed: Ms Lillian Evans, Customer Relations Manager General company information Function of the company Marks & Spencer is a high street department store selling clothing, food, homewares and financial services. It runs its own distribution service which delivers products to its stores and to customers who shop on-line. Size (staff/customers) Marks & Spencer employs 68,000 workers and serves roughly 15 million customers per week in the UK alone. There are approx. 650 workers who solely work on the ICT network. Divisions There are many stores, two distribution centres and a Head Office. Aims _ To be the standard against which other high street stores are compared _ To make high-quality goods available to all no matter their age, skin colour, religion or sex, at affordable prices Needs There are many challenges that Marks & Spencer is facing. These include: _ an increase in global buying and selling _ increasing high-street competition _ increasing customer expectations eg internet selling, digital TV, 24/7 shopping. Marks & Spencer is trying to meet these challenges using ICT. ...read more.


For example, by reducing the price or moving them to another store where they are more popular. Customers can use credit cards to pay for goods. Magnetic stripe readers at the terminals read information from the credit card and get authorisation from the customer.s bank to accept the payment. The number of sales improved for Marks & Spencer when it began to put caf�s inside some of its stores. These provide tired customers with an opportunity to rest and, if they.re hungry, a chance to have a quick snack or maybe even a full meal. Also, it can bring in more customers. As they make their way to the caf� (which can be positioned at the back of the store) the customers can see what products are available and on offer. Once they.ve satisfied their hunger, they can then go and buy items they noticed on their way to the caf�. This strategy has increased Marks & Spencer.s sales by mixing architecture and psychology, and has proved to be very effective. Customer can also use the website to purchase products from home. Orders from the website are recorded at the mainframe computer. Credit card payments over the internet are authorised by using the same method as the EPOS terminals, or those delivering the goods will have a record of outstanding payments so that the person can pay upon delivery. ...read more.


shows what time the goods need to be put on the shelves. There are three numbers in the code: 1 = immediately, 2 = at 12:00pm, 3 = at 4:00pm. d Finance Company finances are organised by Head Office. Every year, Marks & Spencer earns �8 billion out of which �1 billion is profit. Sales in the UK provide approximately 90% of this �8 billion (half from food and the other from homeware, clothing, etc. Information from the store computers is used to work out the average income weekly, monthly or annually for each store. Collating the income from stores individually, by county or nation-wide assists in drawing up budgets. This means that strategies that are working can be used elsewhere and others that are less effective can be scrapped. ICT provides managers with up-to-date information about all aspects of the business. The planning of financial strategy is a vital area of the company.s existence. Income from clothing often fluctuates, as clothes that were selling quickly go out of fashion. Money needs to be set aside to buy new products that will balance the loss and bring back the income that clothing gives the company. The same has to be done for the food department, though it is less of a problem as more money needs to be put into developing new meals than replacing failing products as there is a large probability that some people will like a product and continue buying it. ...read more.

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