Research in Information System for Anwara Grocery

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Abstract

Anwara grocery is a medium-sized family business located in central London that deals with grocery products and sweets. Although Anwara is a medium-sized business that lacks complicated operation procedures it needs to have a current operating system to make its operations efficient. In addition to the efficiency needed in their operations, Anwara has several problems that are associated with its operations and therefore the business owners hope to find a solution.

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Throughout their ten years of operation, Anwara grocery has been using paper to record all their business transactions and the management has realized that the system is the main cause of the problems being experienced in the business. In order to follow the current trend in many business organizations and to solve the current problem, Anwara grocery has opted to computerize its operation in order to eliminate the current paper-based stock system. The business owners will venture into the new field of information systems with aims and objectives that they hope to achieve. Based on the presented problem this paper presents a proposal on how an appropriate information system will solve the problems currently experienced in the business. The paper will therefore present the objectives of initiating the project and the possible solution that the new system will provide.

Principal aims

According to the presented case study, the problems experienced by the business are linked to the traditional stock keeping records and therefore the objectives of the project will aim at reducing the associated problems. The first objective of the project will be to enhance efficiency through the elimination of the previous system. According to the presented case study, the previous paper-based system had a lot of inefficiencies that made the operation of the business inefficient. The new system will therefore eliminate the inefficiency by reducing the time needed to complete a transaction and the time needed to retrieve a record from the files. The traditional filing system also had an effect on payment and clearance procedures and therefore the new system will enhance prompt payments of orders made by the customers (Greiner 1972).

An efficient filing system will increase speed in the operations of the business and therefore the issue of accuracy will be of concern. The project will therefore have the enhancement of accuracy as the second objective. Lack of accuracy has been a major problem in the business and therefore with the new system the business hopes to find solutions to some of these problems. With the proposed new information system, the business will avoid any unnecessary inconveniences that may result from confusion when taking new orders.

The third objective of the new system is to enhance speed within the operations of the business and its service delivery. With the proposed system the business will increase speed in the delivery of its services to the customers. The proposed system will also increase speed in the retrieval of important information from the records. With a fast and efficient system, the business hopes to cut its operational cost by minimizing its spending on record keeping and cost associated with poor record-keeping.

Business and computer science are two closely related fields although the two fields are further apart due to different scopes. Bridging the gap between the two disciplines is the problem domain of information systems (Sinkov 1996). Anwara grocery is currently experiencing major problems due to its current records system and therefore the new system will be a major boost to the operations of the business. Unsatisfied customers are the main problem resulting from the current filing system that the business hopes to eliminate using the new information system. Issuing of wrong orders is the second problem that the business hopes to eliminate using the new information system. The current system does not assure the business of the required accuracy in its transactions. Lack of accuracy and speed in business transactions leads to the decline of the business due to loss of customers.

Projects background

Anwara grocery information system project is a solution-finding project although it will act as an experimental project. The proposed information system will seek to establish possible solutions to the problems experienced by the client’s business and later it will be applied as an experimental project to establish other possible areas of application (Shaw 1990). After successful application into the business, the new information system will be tested in similar and related problems to find its viability. The new information system will also be recommended to other businesses in order to evaluate the reactions of their business owners (Greiner 1972). After successful application, the business owner will be expected to give us feedback concerning its suitability in business application.

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The new information system was designed following a detailed analysis of the problems experienced in my client’s business. In order to develop a competitive information system, the project design considered other rival businesses operating in the same region and industry. The proposed information system will therefore be expected to solve the current problems experienced by the client in their daily grocery business. In addition, the new information system will be expected to provide solutions to operational problems that may arise in the future. The field of information technology is a constantly changing field and the new system should be flexible enough to respond to any future changes with minimal adjustments.

Although the new information system has been designed with the consideration of any future changes, the system has put emphasis on the current requirements of the business and therefore the main objective of the information system will be to provide solutions to immediate problems. The system has also been designed with the consideration of the current business environment in which the business operates. The business in consideration operates in a competitive market that is characterized by rivalry among competing businesses and therefore the business hopes that the project will give it a competitive advantage over its rivals. From the information given it is evident that the grocery industry has limited innovations and therefore the project will contribute a lot to the development of the client’s business.

The client’s business operates in an industry with high power of buyers due to the availability of substitutes and a variety of products from other competing businesses. In order for a business to excel in such an industry then it needs to have a high degree of influence on the available and potential buyers. From the stated problem the buyers in the industry have high expectations from the business and therefore they will avoid businesses that do not meet their requirements. Grocery customers are strict on businesses that do not meet their specifications and operation requirements and therefore the client’s business needs to put measures that will eliminate inconveniencing the customers. The customers of the business are also very sensitive to any inconvenience suffered as a result of the poor operation of the business. The client, therefore, needs a system that will guarantee their customers reliable services and business procedures (Moeller 2009).

Although Anwara is a growing business it has a well-established customer base as well as large-scale operations. The business has many orders and deliveries to handle throughout its daily business operations. The business also deals with customers who are conversant with business procedures and documentation and therefore they require correct documentation for all purchases made from the business. In addition, the business deals with perishable consumer products whose stock needs to be replenished regularly creating another need for documentation and proper recordings. Due to its large-scale operations, the business operates on an order system where the customers make orders before the goods are delivered. After making an order the customers expect timely delivery according to their order specification and they do not accept delays and any other unnecessary inconveniences. The proposed project, therefore, aims at enhancing a proper and efficient record system in all business procedures

Stock control is a major issue in businesses that deal with perishable consumer goods and this factor creates the next need for the new system. Stock control is a major issue for the business since the clients need to know when to make new orders and when to dispose of the existing stock. This requirement implies that the business needs to have appropriate records on new and old stock to be able to determine the duration within which it should withhold its stock (Triandis 1995).

Finally, the business in focus is a partnership business and therefore the concerned partners need proper records to enhance sharing of profits and losses within the business. Being a partnership requires that the business should be conducted formally and this requires good records and procedures for conducting business. The proposed information system will provide a good basis through which the clients can conduct their business with good recording and formality.

Project objectives

The main objective of the project is to develop solutions to the problems currently experienced in the running of the client’s business. The section on possible solutions will tackle the issue of current record-keeping by making proposals that should be adopted in the business. The proposed solutions will cover the issue of inefficiency, accuracy, speed, and accountability. The possible solutions will also consider the problem of customer satisfaction by proposing new measures that should be applied to the business to ensure customer satisfaction.

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The second objective of the project will be the design of an appropriate and viable information system. This objective will provide the possible components of the proposed information system and the procedure that would be applied to ensure that the system works properly. The components of this objective will be the definition of the required components of the new information system as follows.

  • Hardware; the project will define the necessary hardware required to run the new information system; this will include the input devices (mouse, keyboard) required to handle data entry. The project will also define the necessary output devices that will be required to link the system and the users.
  • Software; the software required to run the new system will basically be the newly developed information system
  • Procedure; the section will also provide the guidelines that will govern the new system by defining the input requirements and the expected results.
  • People; the project will also identify the role played by people in the entry and sorting of data.

The project will define whether the new system will require a network for its operation or it can work offline.

Finally, this section will provide the functionality required in the new system, the functions will include basic functions such as total functions, average, product, minimum and maximum functions required to run the system. The section will also provide the “if” statements and functions required to run the system.

The next objective of the project is to define possible threats of the project. This objective will identify possible security threats and the possible solutions or methods that the company should use. This section will therefore analyze the possible threat that the system may suffer due to unauthorized access. The section will also consider the possible measures that the company should apply to protect critical and sensitive business information. This section will therefore touch on the possible antivirus software and firewalls that need to be developed to cater to the security needs of the new system. The section on security will also cover the possible risk that may arise from a natural disaster. Due to the unavoidability and unpredictability of natural disasters the section will provide the appropriate recovery plan for the company. The recovery plan proposed in this section will therefore include detective measures aimed at predicting the possible occurrence of risk (Cegielski & Rainer 2009). The plan will also include preventive and the necessary corrective measures that are aimed at ensuring that the business resumes operation within minimal time.

The third objective of the project is to test the suitability of the new information system in the business sector. The project will therefore be aimed at establishing whether the new system is suitable for business operations and if it can be applied in another sector.

Project context

The new project is designed to meet the requirements of end-users and therefore it has been designed to meet their requirements. The new information system is a user-friendly system that allows usage by people who have little experience in the IS field. The new system has been designed with the future in mind since its design accommodates any future changes that may take place in the dynamic information systems world. Security is a major concern in the information sector and therefore the new system has been designed to withstand all the possible security threats that might result in the information system sector (Elliott, Rundle-Thiele & Waller 2010).

Although the new system has wide applications and uses it has limitations that limit its application in the information system sector. The new system lacks the variety of applications and uses in the business sector making it unattractive to customers who require systems that can perform multiple tasks. Due to this limitation, most of the potential clients will consider having other information systems instead of the new system. The enterprise system and expert system are some of the substitute systems that most clients would consider.

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Although there are other similar products in the market I highly recommend the new information system to the existing and new clients of the sector (Peppard & Ward 2002). Unlike other competitive products, the new information system has been designed to meet the requirements of the end-users. The new system is a user-friendly system that meets the requirements and standards required in the information system world.

Although the information sector is a developing field of study it has a wide variety of literature that is either developed or at its development stage. Examples of this literature are the European journal for an information system (EJIS), journal of management systems (JMIS) and journal of management information systems (JMIS) (Reilly & Smither 2005). Although these literature are not related they provide a link between the management field and the information sector as their main objective (O’Leary 2008).

Methodology

For this project to be successful, it requires the application of the correct methodology that will provide the appropriate technology and software to be applied. The basic approach of the project is to tackle management problems currently associated with the current filing system. The project will begin by looking at the main problem experienced by the client. In order to accomplish this task, we will require collecting market information as the first part of the project. Finding the market information will need the application of data collection and analysis tools to compile and analyze the required data. The project will use the feedback from the customers as the basic source of the initial data required to run it. The required data will be collected through first-hand techniques such as interviews and observations.

The new system requires software to conduct its operations although there are other important components required. The developed system comprising of functions, people, procedures, data and network will form the appropriate software required to run the system. In order for the system to run properly each part will be required to pay the required role appropriately.

Project planning approach

In order to complete this project successfully, we have considered the application of well-established project management tools and techniques. Brainstorming is the first important stage in the development of this project. This stage will involve the initiation of new and innovative ideas required to create the new system. It will be concerned with the establishment of the possible business problem currently experienced by the client and the possible solution. This stage will require independent and analytic thinking in order to establish the possible solutions to the problems currently experienced in the business and any possible future problems.

The second process will be the design of fishbone diagrams to establish the necessary stages that will be applied to accomplish the project. The drawing of fishbone diagrams will also be essential in establishing other factors that may not be visible at the beginning of the project. The diagrams will also be effective in the planning of the project according to the available resources such as finances, time, and management personnel.

The next important step in the project will be the establishment of the critical path analysis diagrams or charts. This stage will involve the design of flow diagrams that will relate the project with the available resources and the allocated time. This stage will also seek to establish other possible projects that the new information system can be applied. The stage will also seek to identify other related problems that can be solved using the new information system.

Design and analysis of the Gantt charts will be the fourth important stage in the project. This stage will mainly be concerned with the recourses available to the project and the timeline of spending the resources. Designing these charts will therefore facilitate an efficient application of the available time and financial resources. The charts will also establish other possible projects that can apply the new information system.

Summary

Although I will design the new information system with a possible future application, the new system will provide solutions to the problems currently experienced by the client. The new information system will therefore aim at eliminating the current problems while establishing a long-term solution to the current problems. The design of the new system will be flexible to allow for any future application into the solution of possible future problems.

The current recording and filing system is the main cause of the problems currently experienced by the client. The new system will therefore be designed with features that effectively substitute the new current filing system. By providing the appropriate solution the new system seeks to enhance the competency of the business by improving customer satisfaction. The new project will address the issue of inefficiency currently experienced in the running of the business (Kerr 2004). The new system will enhance efficiency in the running of the business by eliminating the current filing system. An efficient system will ensure that the output or benefits of running a system are equivalent or more than the initial efforts applied in the business. An efficient system will also ensure that the business spends fewer finances while maximizing the associated benefits.

The current filling and recording system applied by the business has a low degree of accuracy and therefore the new system will aim at the improvement of accuracy in the business operating system. The current paper-based filing system does not meet the accuracy requirements of the business due to the nature of its operations. This project, therefore, aims at eliminating this current filing system by replacing it with a system that is more accurate according to the needs of the client’s business.

The project will also address the problem of speed when serving customers and retrieving important information from the business records. The current recording system does not meet the requirements of the business in terms of speed in service delivery and performance of important business tasks that require recorded information. The new system will therefore reduce the time needed in the business to clear a business transaction. The system will also reduce the time required to search for information from past business records.

Finally, the project will provide a solution to the problem of insecurity that is currently experienced by the business. The current filing system lacks adequate security to cater to the security requirements in the business. The current paper-based system lacks security since it exposes essential business information to unauthorized parties. The paper-based filing system does not offer enough security to the business documents for possible risks that may arise from natural calamities. The new system will address these problems by providing a system that provides adequate security to the business information and documents.

References

Cegielski, G & Rainer, R 2009, Introduction to information systems: Enabling and transforming business, 3rd Edition, Auburn University, Alabama.

Elliott, G, Rundle-Thiele, S & Waller, D 2010, Marketing, John Wiley & Sons, Milton.

Greiner, E 1972, Evolution and revolution as organizations grow, Harvard Business Review, pp. 37-47

Greiner, L 1972, Evolution and revolution as organizations grow, Harvard Business Review. pp. 37-47.

Kerr, S 2004, Introduction: Preparing people to lead, Academy of Management Executive, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 118-120.

Moeller, R 2009, Brink’s modern internal auditing: A common body of knowledge, John Wiley & Sons, New York.

O’Leary, T 2008, Computing essentials introductory 2008, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Peppard, J & Ward, J 2002, Strategic planning for information system 3rd Ed, John Wiley & Sons, West Sussex.

Reilly, R & Smither, J 2005, Does performance improve following multisource feedback Personnel? Psychology, vol. 58, pp. 33-66.

Shaw, J 1990, A cognitive categorization model for the study of intercultural management, Academy of Management Review, vol. 15 no.4, pp. 626-645.

Sinkov, 1996, Elementary cryptanalysis: A mathematical approach, Mathematical Association of America, New York.

Triandis, H 1995, Individualism and collectivism, Westview Press, Boulder.

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