Dazzling DVD’s is a DVD rental shop owned by Nicholas Smith, which many people visit when they want to buy or rent DVD’s. The shop is situated in Ilford outside the exchange. They have many customers who would like to buy DVD’s from there as they have cheap and affordable prices. The shop collects the information of the DVD’s via phone calls, but they also get suppliers who come in person to give the DVD details or they get it on the web via emails. The details of the DVD’s are taken: Name, age rating, release date, the barcode, the genre, the quantity and the description and the DVD. The details are taken down on a paper-based system by the receptionist. The name and age rating are important in any system to know which DVD’s are allowed to be rented to which aged customer; the release date is needed so that the customer can see which DVD’s have been released recently. The barcode, the quantity, the description and the genre are needed so that the suppliers can be contacted for any problems which need to be sorted out such as not the right amount has been delivered.
Unfortunately, mistakes are common such as writing the wrong details because of bad communication on the phone. This can lead to big problems in the future because when the shop try and contact the supplier, they may end up calling a wrong number because of the receptionist’s mistake. Sometimes, the receptionist doesn’t even make a mistake in the details, but could be interpreted wrongly because of the bad handwriting. Another problem the company have faced is buying the wrong amount of DVD’s. Because of the receptionist’s writing the wrong amount of the DVD’s may be ordered, once the details are sent to the suppliers, it cannot be changed.
However, the main problem for the company arises when they are renting. They have a major disadvantage because they are using a paper-based system. This means that all the work has to be done manually including all the details of who rented what DVD? When they are looking at all the possibilities and combinations, they have to look at the price of every DVD that is rented, and how many customers have rented how many DVD’s at a time. And when it comes to giving the details of a customer or editing it you have to take time and make a new customer then when you are editing it you have cross bits out and the paper gets messier.
The most obvious problems in any paper-based system is organisation. The records of individual customer’s are not in any particular order and are kept together by a very loose folder, which is stored in a locked cabinet so no one outside the system can get access to it. There have been many times when a sheet of paper with all the details of a customer falls out. This would probably be the biggest problem of all, because not only do the workers lose all the customer’s details, but the shop can’t ask the customer for the details again, because they have lost the contact information too. I plan on improving this system by making one that is very easy to use for the receptionist as she is the one who gets the information in the first place. It will also be quick, and won’t occupy too much time when writing down all the details of the customers.
My Chosen Method
I think the best method to use would be to use an interview. I would prefer to do this over all the others, because it would definitely give me back the most information compared to any other methods. It allows the interviewer to talk directly to the interviewee, and means that there would be less chance of getting biased results. Although other methods such as a questionnaire would save much more time in comparison to individually interviewing every worker, it wouldn’t get much information, because of the lack of communication. People would like to get the questionnaire out of the way and they wouldn’t really answer it properly.
An interview would also be better than an observation of the system because although you get to see the way the system works, it won’t necessarily show the problem unless it’s obvious. This is because people tend to pay more attention to their work when they know that they are being observed. And it’s hard to observe the system while being anonymous. Another method that could be used is asking the customers. This would be different from the other methods, because you can be quite sure that the customer’s feedback won’t be biased and will be an honest remark about what they think. But on the other hand, the customers tend to talk about the bad service that they get rather than the cause. Overall I think the best method to get the most information about the way the system works is through interviewing. Although this is longer than most of the other processes, it will surely give results which can be used to make improvements.
Interview with Manager of Dazzling DVD
Q) What do you aim to do with your company?
A) The purpose of our company is to satisfy our customers by helping them have a DVD that they like from our shop at low and affordable prices.
Q) What procedures happen when a customer wants to register, or wants to rent a DVD?
A) The receptionist helps the customers make a choice on which DVD to choose and tell them basic services the shop offers, such as how long they can rent a DVD for. The receptionist writes down details of new members.
Q) What information do you collect?
A) Information about who rents what DVD, and customer membership details. We also sometimes give out questionnaires to see what the customers want and how to improve our business.
Q) Where do you store information?
A) We store the information in filing cabinets in the storage room. We have needed to buy more filing cabinets and soon we may need to expand the room as the information we are storing is getting bigger.
Q) How easy is it to sort through the information to find a particular document?
A) It is quite difficult to find a certain piece of information. It is difficult because the information is not stored in a logical order, it takes time to sort through it and find a particular form.
Q) How do you pass out information about new DVD releases in your shop to customers?
A) In the membership form that they fill out, they give us their number or email addresses; they also tick a box about whether or not they want to receive information about DVD releases. We send texts or emails to customers who do want to receive information about new DVD releases.
Q) Do you advertise? If so, then how?
A) Yes, we do advertise. At first, our main form of advertising was by sending pamphlets and posters through the post to different homes, and sticking posters around Ilford. But now, we are able to advertise through the radio and television.
Q) Are you any good with computers?
A) I have taken a course in ICT, but I am not really good with the computer. I can only perform basic actions.
Q) What problems have you faced with your paper based system?
A) I find it difficult to search for a certain document, it is a time consuming task. Also storing the information and the backup files take up a lot of storage space and we may need to expand to hold a lot more information.
Q) How do you change information, for example someone’s credit card number?
A) We cross out previous information and then add in the new, correct information. This method makes already messy handwriting even messier.
Q) How will a computer based system affect your business?
A) It would abandon the problem of reading messy handwriting, and it would also give us extra storage space also we wouldn’t need the paper with information. Protecting it would also be easier and better as we would simply just have to create a password.
Weakness of the system
From the interview, a lot of information came up about the problems that the system currently faces. The system is currently very hard to keep organised because its paper based. There are many problems with paper based systems such as losing the sheets with information on them, or the receptionist writing the wrong data. And the receptionist has too much to do on her own. It would be much easier if she had somebody to work alongside her. Since she handles most of the records and folders too, it means that she is responsible for keeping it all neat and tidy.
Current Manual System
There are many ways of improving the manual system. The most obvious one is to get more workers to work alongside the receptionist. Since it is their job to collect the data for the entire system, its important that all the job is done correctly. And it would definitely make life easier for the receptionist if she could take breaks and have other people to replace her. Another solution is to use a filing cabinet, rather than simply filling a folder with records. A filing cabinet will be much more organised because it means that all the records are kept in alphabetical order. It would make it much easier to look for specific records.
Also, backups should be made of each record so that if the original gets lost, then there would be a spare copy that they can use.
Using a spreadsheet would bring so many advantages to the company. Not only would it be more organised, but it would also mean that there is much less work for the receptionist and the mechanics. Instead of having to write all the details out onto a record and placing it into the folder, all she has to do is type it in, and it will be stored into the system. A spreadsheet would also make it much easier for the mechanics. Instead of having to spend a long time with the calculations, they can simply use the drop down menu to choose all the different options and see which one is the best to use. It would also save a lot of time.
Like a spreadsheet system, a database is also computer based, so it automatically has many advantages over the current paper based system. The database software is excellent for creating tables with all the customers. However, it’s not designed to calculate, which means that it would be very suitable for the system. Although the records would be well maintained, it would still mean that the calculations would have to be made manually. This wouldn’t be much of an advantage to the mechanics.
My chosen solution
I would like to use the database software for my clients. This is because the database software is designed for tables, and it would make the system so much more efficient than it currently is. It would speed up the process a lot, and all the adding or editing of a customer can be done with the click of the mouse. Also, the receptionist wouldn’t have much work to do either, because she just needs to type in the details. There is no need to create a table for every single customer. As for backing up the data, instead of individually backing up every record, you can create a copy of the whole file! And since it’s electronic, it means that a password can be created so that no unauthorised access can get any information from the system.
I will now outline what my database must be able to do for it to be doing well. There is customer related, sweets related, profit related and system related objectives, as well as a few general objectives relating to ease of use.
Customer related Objectives
* The user will be able to insert a new customer to the system in less than 1 minute.
* The user will be able to edit the customer details with ease.
* A list of most popular sweets can be ready and printed for customer use in less than 30 seconds.
* A list of the new sweets can be ready and printed for customer use in less than 30 seconds.
DVD related objectives
* The system will allow the user to put in a new DVD as well as its details to the system in less than 2minutes.
* The system will allow the user to search for and edit details of a DVD or delete it from the system.
* It should take under 30 seconds to create a back up of details of a certain DVD’s, or under 1 minute to create backups for all of the DVD’s on the system.
Rental related objectives
* The user ought to be able to record details of a customer buying or renting DVDs in less than 30 seconds, as a receipt.
* The user should be able to remove details of a purchase or loan if the customer wants to change the DVD, or if he doesn’t have enough to pay for it in less than 20 seconds.
* The user should easily be able to see which DVDs need to be replaced. This will happen as when a certain DVD is nearly overdue it will say in one of the forms. The user should be able to print a list of overdue DVDs which are low of stock in less than 1 minute.
* The system will automatically tell me which DVD’s are overdue.
System related objectives
* The system will be protected by a password, so that only authorised personnel will be able to access customer, DVD’s and Rental details.
General/Ease of Use Objectives
* The system will be easy to find the way through, as the menus will have big, visibly categorized buttons and icons.
* The outputs will be clear, with clear-cut answers or details.
* The different buttons on the main menu will be different colours, to help to refine and differentiate further between the different sections.
After distributing questionnaires and taking a couple interviews with the staff at Dazzling DVDs, I have come up with the end user’s requests for the new database system. I have also come up with a success criteria that I will use to decide the achievement of my solution. I will now show you in the following steps.
I will need to make tables for:
1) Managing my customers
* Adding a new customer
* Editing the details of a customer
* Parent /Guardian’s names (If Teenager)
* Telephone number
* Mobile number
* Date of Birth
* Adding a DVD or game order to a customer
* DVD and Game rental History
2) Managing DVDs and Games
* Adding a new DVD
* Edit details of the DVD or game
* Price range
* DVD or game deal
* Age rating
* Deleting a DVD
3) Managing rentals (loans)
* Creating a loan for a customer
* Editing a loan
* Changing the due back date
* Adding an overdue payment
* Deleting a loan
In my system, there will be three tables altogether: Customers, DVDs and Rentals. All of these tables will have to be kept separately, as they all have different roles in the system. However, some of the tables have common fields. This means that they are linked in some sort of way. In each table. Nearly all of them are linked to together.
Forms are used to make the system easier to work with. It presents all of the customers, DVDs and the rentals in separate forms, therefore if the owner or person at the shop wants to see a specific file, customer, DVD or any loans then he can simple do it using the forms, so it makes the job easy. In each of the forms you can navigate to the last or first one, you can go to the next and previous one. You have options to edit, delete or create files. So it is easy to use to forms.
Reports are a printed version of the forms the forms are then sent to the delivery boy to give to the customers. The forms need to be sent to the customer so that they can be reminded that their DVD is overdue. Another form that would have to be used in my system is the printouts of rentals that are overdue.
Monitor: for the person using this system, it should be visually clear. They should be able to see what’s on the monitor and not have any confusion between the different functions. There are two types of monitors: – LCD monitors and CRT monitors. When using a LCD Monitor, there are many advantages. Apart from looking much better than CRT monitors, they are also much less space consuming. They are not as wide as the CRT monitors, so this makes it possible for the computer to be used in almost any place.
Mouse: there are two types of mouse: roller ball and laser. However, in the case of the mouse, I would recommend using the laser mouse. I prefer a laser mouse to a roller ball mouse because sometimes the ball is not moving properly so u have to take it out and clean the inside, however, with the laser it runs smoothly and efficiently.
Processor: For the processor, the best one to use is something that’s fast. A good one to use is the Intel core i7 975 with a 3.3 GHz speed. This is incredibly fast; it is one of the fastest processors. The price of this processor is approximately between ï¿½800-ï¿½3000. This is very expensive, but if you’re looking to save money on a processor, then it’s very likely that the one you get for lower prices are slow.
Memory: Out of 1GB, and 500MB, I think the best for the system is a 1 GB RAM. This is because it allows the system to have many programs running on at the same time, without slowing down the computer. The 500mb RAM is much cheaper, but it’s not that useful. If multiple browsers were being used, then it may slow down the browsers, or even any other programs that are running at the same time this could lead to the computer freezing, and all the changes being lost. Its best to go with the 1GB RAM because it’s very unlikely that it would freeze.
Printers: There are two main types of printers: Inkjets, and lasers. Inkjets are much less expensive than lasers, and tend to produce better quality on inkjet colours. But the downside of this could be that they take a long time to print out the paper. Also, they only tend to be good on specific inkjet paper. Using bad normal paper could lead to fuzzy edges, or lack clarity on the page. Also, a lot of money will be lost on the ink cartridges, and the inkjet paper.
I will be choosing a software as well. There are a few software that we can use for the system, like excel, access and Paradox. It’s important to choose a software that is easy to work with.
I think that out of the three available softwares, the best one to use is Access. Here are five reasons why I chose access:
Creating queries: It is easy to navigate through the system in each record by the queries. It’s important to make sure that you have queries because without them, you’d have to go through all your records one by one and this could take a very long time.
Printing reports: Also another useful function that’s available when using access. It allows you to print of whatever you want. This includes a single record, or multiple records. Again, all of these required records can be found using a query.
Creating a form: Also another useful function of access is that it’s very easy to create a form. And one you have created a form, it’s added to the entire database. This means that the whole system is actually lots of forms.
The reason why I chose access and not excel was because although excel can handle data to some extent, its main purpose is for business, which is obvious by looking at the wide range of calculations excel can perform. It’s not that useful for keeping data because in this case, all the data would be in the form of letters, and not numbers.
Also, I didn’t choose paradox, because it’s not that common. Some people may not have even heard of it and most people use Microsoft for everything. This would mean that the workers would have to be trained on that software, which could waste valuable time, and money.
Data Collection, data capture and input.
This is a very simple and basic. Even though it has the essential details and the record operations and navigation bar is there the box sizes are not appropriate and that the sizes are really big and not necessary. Also the names of are not aligned and there are slanted this makes the form look unprofessional. In addition the form belongs to the Dazzling DVDs and the form does not have logo.
I have changed the original form to a better one. I have decided that entering the customer details would be where the main data inputs are, which would therefore need a suitable form that would be linked to the data input screen. I created the data input from using Microsoft Access 2007 to enter all the data from. From this I created forms but one that will be used to store the data. I did this by using the switchboard manager icon. I have used a silver colour background because I think that it looks more professional. Also I used the Comic Sans MS font because it looks more bold and clear than the other fonts.
This is a very simple and basic. Even though it has the essential details and the record operations and navigation bar is there the box sizes are not appropriate and that the sizes are really big and not necessary. Also the names of are not aligned and there are slanted this makes the form look unprofessional. In addition the form belongs to the Dazzling DVDs and the form does not have logo. Also the title is add a new DVD but you can delete a DVD and well as edit it so it is a bad title choice.
I have decided that entering the DVD details would be where the main data inputs are, which would therefore need a suitable form that would be linked to the data input screen. I created forms but one that will be used to store the data. I did this by using the switchboard manager icon. I have used a silver colour background because I think that it looks more professional. Also I used the Comic Sans MS font because it looks more bold and clear than the other fonts.
This is a very simple and basic. Even though it has the essential details and the record operations and navigation bar is there the box sizes are not appropriate and that the sizes are really big and not necessary. Also the names of are not aligned and there are slanted this makes the form look unprofessional. In addition the form belongs to the Dazzling DVDs and the form does not have logo. Also the title is add a new DVD but you can delete a DVD and well as edit it so it is a bad title choice. The layout is only one column but it could be in two columns to make it more appealing.
I have decided that entering the Loan details would be where the main data inputs are, which would therefore need a suitable form that would be linked to the data input screen. I created forms but one that will be used to store the data. I did this by using the switchboard manager icon. I have used a silver colour background because I think that it looks more professional. Also I used the Comic Sans MS font because it looks more bold and clear than the other fonts.
Data verification and/or validation
I have checked the database system to see if it can cope with the data and if the data is all correct. I have circled in the screen prints below to show you where the mistakes took place and how it happened. These validations are inputted into the system so that they are no mistakes with it.