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The Current System - A local shop

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Introduction - The Current System A local shop, which sells primarily diesel and petrol, newspapers, magazines and confectionery to customers, has also been renting out videos as a video club might do. They do not, however, have members but videos are given to a customer that they may know or recognise. Videos come from one main supplier who sends the manager a list of available videos. When a video is added to stock, it is stamped with the shops name and address and a video number is added. A record of this new video is kept on a card along with the video's details, suppliers' details and when the video was purchased. This is then filed in a small filing cabinet according to video number, found on the card. A large logbook contains the name address and telephone number of a customer who has taken a video out along with the name and number of the video. Today's date is recorded at the top of each page to make it easier to retrace records. Past logbooks are all stored in a filing cabinet. The customer receives a date when the video must be returned, it may be returned before this date. When the video is returned, the entry for a rental is updated by adding the date of return and any penalty fine and whether or not the fine has been paid to the logbook.


I then interviewed the manager and sales assistants to identify any other factors relevant. I think that the introduction of IT may be very beneficial to the business, but further analysis will have to take place before I can determine if or how it could be used. Definition of the Scope of the System Details on all customers and all videos available to all staff. The system that I will analyze includes the borrowing of videos, overdrawn videos and ordering videos from the supplier. I do not intend to examine employee records or any other section of the workings of the shop. User Requirements That shop assistants can: * Locate customer details * ¨Record customer details * Locate video details * Access if a video is available or has been taken out * Fines are automatically updated to customers details * Update status of videos * Save updated records * Access what customers have overdue videos and * when they have to be notified i.e. after seven days * Give customers membership cards to avoid any * problems with new staff * ¨ Avoid any cases where stock is lost due to inefficiency * That customers can: * Discover if the video they want is in stock or if it * has been taken out by another customer * Be notified promptly of any fines or overdue videos * Have a membership card to avoid any problems with * taking a video


Some customers may avoid the shop if a shop assistant refuses to rent them out the video, resulting in a drop of sales of groceries, newspapers, etc. It is therefore necessary that the sales assistant can accurately decipher if a customer has a fine or is known to the business in a little time as possible. This can be achieved through using a computerized system as such information is all held together in one database. With records being held on computer, the risk of lost/misplaced records is greatly reduced and records can be backed up. The system could also reduce the possibility of inaccuracy as input data can be validated and verified. It would also be easier to keep track of videos when details are stored on computer as the video number corresponds directly to the customer who last took the video. If the system is computerized, it will reduce the amount of paper used, make it easier to find records and make it easier to record and implement fines. Customers should be given a membership card detailing a membership number, this would make it easy for shop assistants to tell if a person can be given a video. If such a membership card had a bar code, which the sales assistant could scan using OMR (Optical Mark Reader), it would save time and avoid inaccuracy in keying the number into the computer. If the system is automated, the system will be greatly improved.

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