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The problem that I have chosen to pursue is the Mail-order Company that sells 6 different products. A computerised system has to be designed to record orders, create invoices and letters for overdue payments.

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I.T Coursework Write-up Choice of Problem The problem that I have chosen to pursue is the Mail-order Company that sells 6 different products. A computerised system has to be designed to record orders, create invoices and letters for overdue payments. From the database, regular reports will have to be produced for management purposes. My problem will involve me handling a database about the customers and information about them. The database will indicate whether any customer's payments are overdue. Searching and sorting will be such tasks that I will perform in the database, which will fulfil the handling information element. I will fulfil the communicating information element through my reports, like the invoices, the order form, and the letters through mail merge. Also reports for the manager will be made, for example the number of people who bought a certain product. My solution came from a number of possible solutions. An example is that I had to choose the software and the hardware for the computer system, in the most economical way in the highest quality. My database also required me to choose fields, fill them in and design reports for the manager, in which I had choose the layout. A catalogue of products also had to be made (which will have the order form on), as well as the invoices and letters, requiring me to design them. The information also had to be collected. The information has come from a large range of sources. Such sources are the customers of the mail-order customers, which is a vast amount of data. Also, the present system was compared to other company's systems. The problem therefore is a large and complicated one, requiring a lot of initiative and effort. Description of Problem A Company, by the name of 'MailSport' has hired me to fix a problem. MailSport is a company that distributes sports products of famous brands to customers, through mail. ...read more.


The questions were spilt into 2 categories; personal and order details. The personal details included name, address, county, postcode, date and telephone number. The order details consisted of the code (of the product), the description (of the product), the colour, the size, the quantity and the price. Enough customer information was obtained so that they could be contacted in case of shortage of stock or any problems. The data was keyed into the computer, as it was the most accurate form of input. There were other options for inputting the data, such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR) via the scanner. However, I didn't choose this method as some orders would be on the phone and also the number of errors is quite high. The operator would obtain the details from the customer on the phone and repeat all the details at the end, which would act as verification. iii) Data Verification and Validation Verification Verification, the manual operation to check that data is correct was performed by cross checking. After receiving the customer details, the operator would repeat all the details to the customer and he/she would confirm the details. That would be the case if the order were by phone. If the order were by mail, email or fax, the customer would be phoned a working day after receiving the order. I could have performed proof-reading or double inputting, but I felt that these methods would be inaccurate. This is because to obtain the most accurate data, the customer has to be contacted - you have to directly speak to the customer. Also, these other methods are expensive. Validation Validation, the check to make sure that data is realistic, was performed in ClarisWorks database and Microsoft Word. Many checks were performed in order for the data to be as accurate as possible. A character type check was used for the fields, such as customer number. ...read more.


The invoices were made very well, so I have fulfilled my aims for the criteria. 4. The letters of overdue payments were successfully made and they functioned by mail merge. The wording of the letter was good, with no spelling or grammatical errors. The letter did patronise the customer into paying the overdue bills. I did fulfil my aims for creating this letter. I fulfilled the company objectives. However, I did also set some personal aims: * I completed the 4 items that I had to make for the company. I fulfilled this aim. * The items were concisely structured as well as neatly presented and accurate. I fulfilled this aim. * I tried to keep within my limit of a 2-week period. Eventually, I did keep within this constraint. I did fulfil this aim. * I aimed to spend no more than the �25,000 budget. I did so, leaving �1501. The company was pleased that I hadn't used more resources. So I did fulfil my aims for this criteria. * However, the one thing that I failed to do, was to publish this system to another company, adjusting it to their needs, provided that they were a mail order company. I found that most of my time was spent on working on the MailSport products, while another company called Sohsys had shown some interest. I had no choice but to reject this offer due to the time constraint. I therefore failed on this criterion. On the whole, my project was a success. If I could do this project again, I would use my time more willingly and more qualitatively. I find that for the first few days of my project, I barely do any work, but then all this has to be changed when I have to work very hard through the end of the time period. So in future, I will use my time more efficiently and concisely. On the whole, my project was a success. By Sohaib Nazir Sohaib Nazir 1 GCSE I.T Coursework: Mail Order Company ...read more.

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