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Question:

Case Study: Exquisite Linen Limited

Background:

Exquisite Linen Limited (ELL) is a Brisbane based business which sells linen to retail outlets. ELL has also established a social shopping segment to its business with sales representatives selling linen at parties that people have in their homes (party plan). The business purchases linen from a number of sources in both China and the United States with delivery to the head office.

The business owner is Sarah Masters who initially undertook all the ordering and selling; however, the business has now grown to include both part-time and full-time employees. The business is also looking to expand further into home and decorator items like scented candles and aromatherapy. Currently the business has manual stock control and customer relationship systems. These manual systems have worked well in the past alongside an off-the-shelf accounting system which is used to manage the accounts receivable and accounts payable of the business.

Sales representatives are allocated their own retail stores to work with. This is so that stores who sell ELL goods are not approached by more than one sales person. However, depending on the number of stores, more than one sales representative may be assigned to one geographical sales area. The retail stores are charged for the product at recommended retail price less a discount. The amount of this discount varies according to the volume of stock purchased by the store and is normally assigned by the sales person when they gain a new client.

More than one party plan representative may be assigned to one geographical sales area. The party plan representatives also sell the linen products at recommended retail price less a discount which is the same for all representatives. While party plan representatives sell to private customers rather than businesses, ELL wants to maintain records for both types of customers but report on them separately. Party plan orders must be paid for at the time they are ordered, and head office want to be able to see a total of how much each party plan representative orders each year.

While an off-the-shelf accounting package is used together with email for communication with suppliers and customers, there is currently a low level of computer use in the organisation. Sales staff use a mobile phone supplied by ELL and their own laptops, tablets etc. to enter and keep track of orders. The sales staff (including party plan representatives) phone orders in to head office and later phone to check on the progress of these orders. This means that some staff at head office almost exclusively handle telephone calls from sales people. These phone calls are often lengthy as some sales people only phone their orders in once a week. This concerns Sarah Masters as she does not know the value of the daily sales of each sales person or who they are visiting as the sales people control their own schedule.

Although the manual systems for stock control and customer relationship management have worked in the past, Sarah Masters and the new purchasing manager, Nicci Johnson and customer manager Jake Maguire, feel an information system could offer significant improvements to the work processes currently in place.

Jake Maguire would like the sales people and party plan representatives to order products online as they make the sales. One of Jack’s requirements would be for sales people to "check in" online at every retail outlet regardless of whether they make a sale or not. This will enable Jack to check what sales calls each sales representative makes. The sales people are concerned that this takes away the autonomy that they currently have. In addition, Nicci Johnson would like to run a report once a month that shows stock levels and how long each product line takes to sell. Nicci would also like to make larger orders more often to take advantage of better shipping costs and bulk ordering discounts offered by their suppliers.

Business Processes:

A JAD session with key stakeholders revealed the following information. The business processes described below are the system requirements for this information system solution:

  • It has been decided to focus on building and implementing the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application and run a separate project for the purchasing project later. Therefore, do not model any of the purchasing system (this is where ELL purchase from their suppliers).
  • Before a retail store can become a customer of ELL, that store must fill in an application. Applications are reviewed by the management team and not all applications are approved. ELL records the following details for all retail customers: name, Australian Business Number (ABN), address, telephone, email, application date, discount level, sales area, sales representative and date last visited.
  • The geographical sales areas for the sales people have been defined for the whole of Australia using current population numbers. However, ELL does not yet have enough sales people to cover all of Australia so some sales areas do not yet have a sales person assigned while some sales people are assigned to more than one geographical sales area in cities such as Melbourne.
  • ELL wants to run a sales report on the last day of every month that shows the amount of sales, per sales area and per sales person.
  • ELL also requires that the following information is stored on each retail store visit: the customer, the date of the visit, sales people who visited, and amount of the order. Please note for unsuccessful sales visits to potential customers, it is planned that a customer called "potential customer" be created for each geographical sales area to track these visits.
  • The party plan representatives are expected to manage their own customers and work load so ELL does not store any details of the parties held. However, the following information is stored for each party plan customer: name, address, telephone, email, date of last order, discount level, sales area, and party plan representative.
  • Any payments for salaries or expenses to sales people are outside the scope of this system.

Assignment Requirements:

You are required to write a business report for the ELL management team which is formatted in a professional and meaningful structure.Your business report must include the information specified in Part A and Part B of these assignment instructions.

Part A – Consultation

Question 1: Information Gathering Requirements

Gathering detailed information and defining requirements for a new system are important systems analysis activities. For this project, the ELL management team are considering hiring a consultant to undertake the requirements gathering for their new system. The ELL management team want you to write a report explaining these activities and why they are important.

You are to write a report that identifies and explains information gathering techniques that could be used for this case study. Explain how you would undertake these techniques, what information you would hope to acquire and why these techniques would be effective. In your discussion, you must apply your knowledge to the case study and give examples that will enable the ELL management team to better understand the nature of information gathering.

Your target audience is the ELL management team who have extensive business experience but limited computing knowledge. This part of your report should be at least seven hundred and fifty (750) words and should not exceed one thousand two hundred (1200) words. Harvard style referencing is required, and it is expected that at least five (5) sources will be used in addition to your textbook (Satzinger, Jackson & Burd 2016).

Part B - Modelling and Diagramming

Review the ELL case study and answer the following questions with reference to the information in the case study.

Do NOT extend the scope for any of the following solutions beyond that specifically described in the case study above.

You are permitted to make reasonable assumptions where necessary, but these should be documented.

It is recommended that you review all documentation for this case study before finalising any single solution. Ensure that the required consistency has been included within and between each question solution.

Question 2: Use Case Modelling

a) Event Table

Review the ELL case study and prepare an event table for the information system to support the business processes as described. Use at least the following headings for the Event Table:

 

Event

Event Type

 

Trigger

 

Source

Activity/Use Case

System Response/ Output

 

Destination

b) Use Case Diagram

Review the ELL case study and your event table solution from question 2a and prepare a Use Case diagram for the supporting information system.

Solutions must follow the methodology as outlined in the prescribed textbook (Satzinger, Jackson & Burd 2016). Solutions are expected to align with the components as shown in figures 3-12 and 3-15.

c) Use Case Description

Prepare a fully developed Use Case Description for the 'Create Customer' use case only, as documented in the event table solution and the use case diagram solution.

Solutions must follow the methodology as outlined in the prescribed textbook (Satzinger, Jackson & Burd 2016). Solutions are expected to align with the components as shown in figure 5-2.

Question 3: Domain Modelling

a) Domain Model Class Diagram

Review the ELL case study to prepare a domain model class diagram for the supporting information system.

Solutions must follow the methodology as outlined in the prescribed textbook (Satzinger, Jackson & Burd 2016). Solutions are expected to show:

  • The class name and attributes list for each class and sub-class as required
  • All required associations
  • All attributes as specifically mentioned in the case study must be reflected
  • Other attributes as needed to support the described functionality.

It is not necessary to show methods; however, you may include them if you wish. Solutions are expected to align with the components as shown in figure 4-16 and 4-21.

b) Design Class Diagram

Prepare a Design class diagram for the ‘Customer’ and ‘Order’ classes ONLY. These two classes should be part of the Domain model class diagram solution for the previous question.

Each of these design class diagrams are expected to have a complete attributes list and a comprehensive methods list which supports the specified functionality as described in the case study.

Solutions must follow the methodology as outlined in the prescribed textbook (Satzinger, Jackson & Burd 2016). Solutions are expected to align with the components for the ‘Design class diagram for Student’ as shown on the right-hand side of figure 12-4.

 
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