Use of ICT in Sainsbury’s Essay Sample

Use of ICT in Sainsbury’s Pages
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Sainsbury’s is a very successful company that uses ICT for very different purposes, it is mainly known for its quality eating and drinking products but also has many great items such as top-class digital cameras, flowers and gifts, kitchen appliances, electrical and books. Sainsbury’s also sells Computer made products such as Music CD’s and DVD’S.

The main purpose of Sainsbury’s is to make life taste better as the slogan states and to make sure their customers are 100% happy with the product they have bought.

Five ways Sainsbury’s use ICT:

* CCTV(Closed-circuit Television)

* Barcode scanning system

* Security Sensors

* Sainsbury’s Website

* Electronic Price Guns

1) CCTV (Closed-circuit Television)

Top Business’s such as Sainsbury use CCTV mainly for the reason that it is safe and secure, it is also cheap and reliable, instead of paying a security guard �16,000-�22,000 a year, the company can instead spend it on its own goods and make the company more successful and attractive.

CCTV is also a major use for evidence, for e.g., if you have someone claiming that they have been given the wrong change or any thing to do with someone being accused of something, you can find out by simply checking the video in the CCTV, it will show what happened and no-one would disagree with the footage..

CCTV are used in such a way that sometimes you can’t even tell where they are, in the early days Shop owners use to use security guards, observation mirrors (that allow store clerks to see throughout the store) and even fake CCTV to scare people, but it’s the 21st century and top shop owners don’t want to use these facilities anymore so they use CCTV, which is installed simply and you can maybe buy a TV which is shown publicly to warn shoppers that they are being watched or you can maintain it privately so you can find out who is stealing from your beloved shop! Video cameras used for security purposes don’t look anything like the video camera your family has at home, they’re becoming smaller and more specialized. A standard surveillance camera might be in the neighbourhood of 4 inches long by 2 and half inches wide with a lens on the end, some fortunate shop owners can even afford a board camera (special type of a hidden camera), which basically is a 1 inch by 1 inch square computer board with a tiny lens, perhaps 1/4 inch in size. These cameras are designed to two specifications: they must be small and easy to hide.

Advantages

* CCTV cameras have a good and clean record, they have never missed anything going on in the store during the working hours or after the shop has been closed, but if you have a security guard he can’t keep staring at someone like a hawk and maybe offending them or be trusted to stay in the shop after it is closed.

* It was estimated that retail stores in England who didn’t have CCTV lost �18 billion last year due to shoplifting, on the other hand retail stores with CCTV only lost �1.1 billion last year- this proves that it is worth having a CCTV.

Disadvantages

* Some people suggest that CCTV exposes their privacy; for e.g. sometimes people are shown on TV caught doing stupid or accidental things in supermarkets. Some people even believe that CCTV Cameras are in some toilets or such discreet places in stores and so they can be exposed.

* Opponents of CCTV believe that Security Camers displaces crime, rather than reducing it, for e.g. some shops hide their CCTV so the thief thinks that he won’t get caught so goes ahead and steals something but gets caught like a mouse in a trap. Instead of preventing people from sinning(stealing) by displaying clearly that the shop has CCTV, some stores are making troubled victimss caught in their trap.

2) Barcode Scanning system

Barcode scanning system is used for fast and secure product scanning, before Barcode Scanning systems were introduced to big stores employees use to add up the products by adding them up on the tills (like how you add on a calculator), this is still used in smaller stores like ‘happy shoppers’, ‘off licenses’ and pubs, But mostly all of the big supermarkets use Barcode Scanning systems now. Barcode Scanning systems are not only used at the tills they are also used if someone wants to know the price of something or if you want to know if a product is from your supermarket, furthermore if someone tries to steal a product he will be caught via security sensors because the product hasn’t been scanned onto the system yet.

Barcode scanning systems are used very easily. For example, say you have got a typical Barcode scanning system after you have connected it to the computer and have installed all the products barcodes, you simply get the scanner in your hand and start to scan the products the customer wants in a simple manner by touching the infra-red face of the product on the barcode. Here is an example to how you use it:

Advantages

* Barcode scanning systems are very accurate and save the workers a lot of time instead of going through all hassle of adding products prices at the till and asking other workers ‘How much is this product?’

* Instant mark-down and special sale processing- For example, if a product is ‘buy one get one free’ you do not have to use the barcode scanner any differently all you do is install the sale in the computers system.

Disadvantages

* Many customers now require that distributors apply barcode labels to material they have purchased. This requires that the distributor has a barcode compatible printer and the necessary computer software to produce the labels required by the customer. This service is expensive.

* The bar code computer software necessary to process bar coded shipping and receiving transactions is usually far more complex and expensive than the software used to count on-hand quantities. Furthermore you can get a virus which can corrupt you system.

3) Security Sensors

Security sensors are mostly used in top businesses to prevent thieves from stealing. Sainsbury uses Security sensors mainly on Electrical products to reduce the risk of loss of products which are expensive. If security sensors are not used and the products are being stolen, this will result in the shop making the product more costly because of the rarity of the stock, by doing this other rival shops will be alerted and may decrease the price of the same product which will cause increase in customers and more profit.

Security sensors are used in a simple manner, you first get a sensor that has its barcode Registered and connected to the Sensor detectors in front of the shop (Where the person walks through when he leaves), next you attach the sensor to a product by adding another protective layer with the sensor on it, this sensor cannot be removed however hard someone tries unless they use strong physical force on it e.g. by smashing it on the floor. If someone is doing this, they will be most likely caught by a security guard and arrested. Subsequently if you take the product to the till the cashier will remove it for you by using the security sensor removers and the product returns to its normal status like how the store bought it. If you try to steal it and avoid the security guards, when you get to the doors and walk out the electromagnetic interference of the sensor will make the alarm go off as well as you being caught on CCTV.

Advantages

* Security sensors hugely reduce the risk of having a product stolen, resulting in money being loss for Sainsbury’s.

* Security guards can be assured that a person will get caught so they can concentrate 100% on other security related jobs.

Disadvantages

* Thieves might find out a way of how to remove the sensor without seeking the attention of other people.

* The system might get a problem and not work properly; also some Security sensors can be vulnerable to electromagnetic interference (EMI) in some locations.

4) Sainsbury’s Website

Sainsbury’s own brilliant website is a top facility which Sainsbury’s have; it attracts many people and is very useful. The website which is www.sainsbury.co.uk is an easy site to remember considering the name of the company and also it is advertised in many leading search engines such as ‘Google’, ‘Yahoo’, ‘MSN’ and so on. The website was also one of the first supermarkets in the UK to offer on-line shopping and delivery for most of the items they sells. You are free to have a look around the food and other things Sainsbury’s sells and des online such as drinks, flowers, things for entertainment, Banking, Insurance, Kitchen Appliances, Gas, Electricity and etc. The website also gives food recipes and tips on specific things e.g. wine, Fruit, daily diet… Majority of Sainsbury’s customers are people who are disabled, Old, ill and people who dislike going through all the trouble of going to a supermarket.

Sainsbury’s website is used to make the company more commercial and attractive to people around the world, that’s why Sainsbury’s even have their own marketing face in the form of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver who is also a major feature on the website. Furthermore Sainsbury’s make a lot of money through their website because every time someone orders the delivery charge can be up to �5 and they are over a million people registered to the website, so you can get an idea of just how much profit the On-line shopping service makes. Even if a customer is registered but isn’t buying from the website, Sainsbury’s send voucher and gifts to tempt the person! It is very easy to navigate the website; it is clear and helpful to make you aware of what you want to do, with a few clicks you could go where you wish to be.

Advantages

* Sainsbury’s website is an ideal place for people who prefer to shop online rather than wasting their time or any other reason for not going to a shop.

* The website also promotes the business further with its advertising through top search engines

Disadvantages

* The website has a high chance of being ‘hacked’, suggesting that internet viruses are spreading in huge numbers there is a high risk of your website attracting a virus.

* for the on-line ordering system, after you have registered all you need to do is buy products without re-entering your card number so someone like your child can have your password and order products which you don’t have a clue about.

5) Electronic price guns

Electronic price guns are used to ensure that all products have got their correct prices on them and also to not make the customer confused about the price of something. Furthermore Price Guns are used to make the process of producing prices faster and accurate.

Mostly all price guns have buttons on them from 0-9. As soon as you switch on the price gun, it will give you different options such as: ‘Price check’, ‘New price print’ and ‘Check Previous prices’ (the first and latter ones will only appear if you have already installed the software on your computer or any other ICT system.

When you choose the option ‘Price check’, another screen will come up which will indicate to you to scan the serial or barcode of an item with your Price gun via the laser. When the serial or barcode is successfully registered, it will ask you to enter a price for the product and select enter, after you have done this the items price is stored in the gun. When you have stored all of the items, you are ready to connect your price gun to a computer or any other ICT systems. A software CD comes with the Price gun which has to be installed on to the system in order for the Price gun to be identified and useful. After it is installed, you open the program and transfer the prices from the gun to the computer through USB or any other resource such as: Bluetooth, Memory card, etc. Then you are ready to print or configure the prices along with other options for example: Change font, size, price and so on.

Advantages

* Electronic Price Guns make the process of pricing items more quicker

* Electronic price guns connect to your computer, allowing you to store prices so it is very easy to go back and correct the mistakes you have made.

Disadvantages

* The price guns are battery operated so they need to charged regularly

* They are also very fragile and they can get problems very easily. For example, if one or two buttons are pressed very often then they could get weak and stick inside (hard to press).

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