Comfort Quilts Limited is a Sydney based business which at the moment sells imported silk eiderdowns (doonas) such as the ones shown to retail stores, wholesale outlets and through a website. The business purchases home-wares from many sources in China, with delivery through the postal service.
The business was started by the business owner, Alison Williams who undertook all the ordering and selling however the business has now grown to include both part-time and full-time employees. The organisation is also looking to expand further. Currently the business has just completed a project to replace a manual stock control and customer relationship systems with a custom system. They also use an accounting system which is used to manage the accounts receivable and accounts payable of the business. However, Comfort Quilts Limited is now looking to expand their range of goods sold.
Comfort Quilts plan to expand their range of quilts to include other natural materials such as cotton and wool. As part of their strategic planning they are also investigating including bed linens in natural materials such as linen and cotton sheet sets and quilt covers in their range. This expansion in the range of good offered will significantly affect their current purchasing systems.
They currently have online sales for the silk eiderdowns to private people rather than businesses, so this is a straight business to consumer transaction. They also offer a wholesale service for bulk purchases where they organize to have their brand labels sown on the quilts. This is an important part of their business, making up 50% of their sales.
Currently, an off the shelf accounting package is used and email for communication with suppliers and customers plus the new customer relationship management and sales system. There is a recognition that this new system now contains data which would be very useful for supply chain management. For Comfort Quilts the personal relationship they have had with suppliers is very important and they want to maintain this level of trust by sharing some sales data with suppliers.
Currently their suppliers are all in China however they are planning to import from other countries also such as India and Indonesia. They will store name, business number, address, telephone, email, country, currency goods sold in, payment terms. They plan to use a number of customs clearance agents to clear shipments through customs. For goods coming into Australia over the value of $1 000 GST is applied and a duty value ranging from zero to ten percent.
Purchases from suppliers are made in bulk (normally over 500 pieces) and are sent over a number of shipping channels, including couriers like UPS, air freight or shipping dependent on the quantity ordered and the urgency for the order. Sometimes a single purchase might be split between a number of shipping channels, with a smaller quantity being sent by a faster channel like a courier and the rest of the purchase being sent through a cheaper shipping channel. being Each of these shipping methods have a number of different attributes. Comfort Quilts want to be able to associate each purchase with the shipping method and maintain a record of the cost and length of time taken for each shipment. They also need to maintain details of each purchase.
Gary Tallent, would like to know stock levels of each item and how long each shipment of products takes to sell. He would also like to make bigger orders less often to take advantage of smaller shipping costs per piece of silk product and bulk ordering discounts offered by their suppliers.
A JAD session with key stakeholders revealed the following information. The business processes described below are the system requirements for this information system solution:
- The customer relationship management application and sales application has already been completed therefore do not model any of these systems.
- Before Comfort Quilts Limited can buy from suppliers they must fill in an application. Applications are reviewed by the suppliers and not all applications are approved.
- Gary Tallent, the purchasing manager wants to be able to run reports on individual purchases, individual shipments and purchasing/ shipping reports at the end of the month.
- Alison Williams also wants to run a purchasing report showing details of each purchases, shipping method and the expected date of arrival of shipments on the first of every month.
- Any payments for salaries or expenses to purchases people are outside the scope of this system.