CBB is a new television station based in Newcastle but broadcasting around Northern NSW, including these regional centres – Central Coast, Hunter, Tamworth, Taree and North Coast. This company will televise the same schedule of programs in each area but the ads may be different. It needs a system to record the details of which advertisements are going to be shown at which time and who will be paying for it. TV ads have been shrinking in time (to match our attention span), the average ad used to be 60 seconds, now it is 15 or 30 seconds with some as short as 5
This proposed system called Ads On Time (AOT) will allow sales staff to negotiate with clients and sell time on the station. One of the things a TV station can never do is “go to black” – that is not show an image on screen – or viewers will be puzzled and change channel – so even if ad break slots are not all sold – something must be shown during them. There are some aspects of concern by the employees that this may lead to some automation of the current process and jobs may be lost or re-deployed. The directors have been discussing the idea of 2 extra digital channels that will enhance the viewing audience. At the moment the same program is shown in each of the areas with a subtle change in local news etc and actual advertisements.
The Company is a subsidiary of a global corporation and is it expecting a delegation to be arriving 27th February. There has already been some discussion (teleconferencing) that the advertisements in live games should take precedent over the actual game as is the case in the NFL. I wonder what Australian viewers would think of that with rugby league or cricket as an example.
o Sales (4 employees)
o Broadcasting technicians (one staff member for 1-2 locations)
Human Resources and Accounts
o Three staff members
And a number of support staff.
Your Assignment will require you to understand and document the processes within CBB. This will include the identification and description of various problems and opportunities within the company and finally propose options to possible improve the organisation. The work you will be doing will have elements focusing on strategic, tactical and operational aspects of the company. The first task you need to do is to find out as much as you can about CBB, their processes, strengths and weaknesses and possible gaps.
To begin with your supervisor (Sharna) has asked you to produce an overview of the present situation at CBB. Initially you will be focusing on the operational aspects of the company, specifically the current and proposed AOT system. You will be looking at some strategic and tactical elements later but for the moment the focus is on present operations.
Sharna has suggested she would like to see an initial draft set of Activity diagrams, together with Process descriptions in the next few weeks.
CBB, a new television based in Newcastle have proposed an Ads on Time system that will allow its sales staff negotiate with customers and sell time of station. The TV station broadcasts around northern NSW as well as central coast, Hunter, Tamworth, Taree and north coast. It runs similar schedules of programs in the area but the ads may be different.
The proposed system, AOT will record the advertisement details which specify time at which each advert will be shown and who will be responsible for advertisement cost.
Currently CBB corporation company has no automated system in plae and all advertisement details are recorded manual. The clients, who are the owners of the ads to be broadcasted present their ads to sales engineers who they negotiate with on the best available time on air. The average time span on TV was 60 seconds but it has dropped of late to 30 or 15 seconds so as to mathc CBB’s attension plan. On agreement the sales staff sells the time on air for advert to the client. The ads and their time span are sent to the broadcast manager who schedule them. When there are some breakslots that have not been sold the broadcasting manager fills them with other programs to ensure the TV do not go blank. This has been an adopted strategy to ensure the viewers do not switch channel.
Challenges and Gaps
One of the biggest challenges present has been identifying the billing person. Ad requests have been many that need time of air but once clients sent them, they do not indicate who is going to pay for them. As a result few ads are aired thus making huge gaps be left that are increasing the break slots. Most clients have their ads sponsored and they do not indicate the sponsored to be billed.
The advertisement details are recorded manually, a process that is prone to human errors and mistakes. An error to advert can be costly since viewers and clients see it as lack of competency and may result to change of channels. The manual process is slow and tracking of adverts is slow and thus may make some adverts forgotten. Without automated system that bring customers and sales staff into a negotiation room, negotiation is always inconvenient and tiresome.
Scheduling of adverts and programs has been tough since the adverts can be tracked easily. Manual scheduling and search for break slots is slow and costly. sometimes may even let break slots go unnoticed.
The current viewing has been plaqued by the same programs in all regions with only different ads which make viewers bored. This has been the reason behind a proposal to increase user enhancement by introduction of 2 more digital channels.
Strengths of the current processes
The current processes has allowed used of face to face negotiations between clients and sales staff which has been very effective in terms of convincing a client. The method has helped the customers feel listened as opposed when the only deal with a system that only work according to instructions with no flexibility. The TV has been able to cover a wide area, though not very big which has helped reach a higher population. The company has been able to some extend control the viewing of programs and events by having one main TV at Newcastle which has broadcasted similar programs to central coast, Tamworth and Taree and North coast thought the ads may be different between the towns.
Challenges and Gaps
The broadcasting manager has been able to identify the break slots and replaced them with other programs though it has been difficult. To enhance viewing, the company is planning to add 2 digital channels
Aims and Objectives
CBB station needs to have manage its advertisement details. The ad management will involve management of ad allocation time on TV as well as management of its invoicing details. The system will seek to fulfil the following objectives
- To investigate the weakness and deficiencies of the current system
- To propose automated system to undertake the CBB business process
- To design a system gives sales department a platform to negotiate with clients
- To design an efficient ad allocation time system
- To design an automated payment tracking system
System modelling of Ads on Time will details how processes of the TV company takes place from the time and Ad is being negotiated by sales engineers and the owner of adverts to the time the advert has been advertised and paid.
The business processes details all that will be done in every step of the business activities (Bell, 2013) The processes identified are:
- Client request for ad to be aired/ system records advertisement details
- Sales engineer negotiates with the client
- Identify who will be paying for the ads
- Sales engineer sells time of the ad on the station
- The allocation ad time span is recorded
- Invoice the client for the ads
- Request payment
- Make the ad interactive with the media audience to ensure that the station do not go black during ad airing
- Schedule ads
- Identify non sold ad break slots
- Air the ads
- During ads break slots show something to keep audience lively
All these process will be captured for the process analysis to show sequence of activities from one stage to another (Chiang, Siau, & Hardgrave, 2010). Business process for CBB use flowcharts such as activity diagrams that will help global corporation delegation understand, analyze the work flow of the advertisement and other scheduled programs. The flowcharts will help give the delegation a visual mental picture of the business process and their sequence (Dennis, Wixom, & Roth, 2006).
Activity diagram will be used for CBB process modelling. The modelling will capture logic behind the flow of activities in CBB internal workings. Each usage scenario will capture a detailed logic of the business rules.
Activity diagrams model the internal logic of complex operations with flow diagrams which can be created from write operations that need to be arranged in a sequence. Unified Modelling Language (UML) activity diagrams are object oriented which have a lot of similarities with data flow diagrams (DFD) and normal flowcharts for structure development (Dixit & Kumar, 2007).
The following sections of activity diagrams have been identified from the case study.
- Initial node
This is the start point of the diagram. Usually is a circle that has been filled. This will used to show where CBB processes begin
- Final node
It also a filled circle just like initial node that marks the activity diagram ending point. Whereas the starting node can be only one, final node can be one and more. For example, the current processes end when the ad has been shown on TV. The process can also be terminated even before airing if the billing person cannot be identified or when the billing person has not settled the ad allot time payments. During peak season the allotment slots or the ads may be less and thus no time slot to sell. In this case it means the process will terminate at the process of time slot allocation (Dennis, Wixom, & Roth, 2012).
The process activities are indicated using rounded rectangles (Yang, Yu, Sun, & Qian, 2011).. Some of the activities identified are negotiate with the client, identify Ad billing person, sell ad time on station, broadcast the ad, record the advertisement, schedule the ads, broadcast the ads and settle ad invoice
Strengths of the current processes
The flow of activities will be indicated using arrows pointing from one activity to another (Hoffer, George, & Valacich, 2015). The arrow head shows the next activity in the sequence while the tail shows the previous activity
It is black bar showing one flow into it and several other flows leaving it. This indicates a parallel activity
Black bar showing parallel activities flows joining into one flow
Indicated using a diamond with one flow entering and several flows leaving. The leaving flows indicate conditions. Some decisions that will be made will be, is time slot for ad available? Has the billing person paid for ad broadcasting? among others
It is indicated using text on the flow which define a guard that must evaluate true in order to traverse the node. Conditions result from decision which carry text indicating if a certain evaluation was found to be positive or negative
Use case diagram will help show the behaviors (Almendros-Jimenez & Iribarne, 2006), of Ad on Time system using a set of actions show in use case diagram. Use case diagrams generally show system actions and functions that are done the system stakeholders. Every individual who uses the system to perform an action is known as actor. These are system external users.
Use actors is considered as an external system, person or an organization that interact with the system. They are indicated using stick figures. Ad on Time actors have been identified as Client, sales staff, account team and broadcasting manager. The director’s work has not been described in the case study and thus is considered to be out of scope. The CBB support staff will be concerned with the system management and user management (Bittner & Spence, 2013). The use case diagram indicated using an oval provides observable and valuable actions performed the system actors.
- use cases
Use case describes the actions performed the system actors. It is indicated using horizontal ellipse (Lai San, Al-Obaisi, & Daw Sarreb, 2012). AOT use cases include: recording advertisement details, identify the ad time billing person, sell time of station, schedule ads, identify non sold break slots, fill non-break slots, and check ad time slot availability among others
The use case actions are connected to actors using associations. Associations are indicated using solid lines. Whenever an actor is involved with an interaction with interaction as association is connected. Associations identified for AOT include association between selling of as time which is done by sales staff (Zaleski, 2011).
Domain Class Diagram
Class diagrams offers system overview by describing the system objects and the inter-relationships between the classes (Al-Khiaty & Ahmed, 2016). Class diagrams offer a wide variety of usages which range from domain modelling to detailed system design. Class models allow re-use of other related classes in interaction diagram explaining the detailed design of the dynamic system behavior (Sturm, 2011). Class diagrams of AOT will help explore domain concepts in form of a domain model which analyzing the system requirements in form of conceptual model. The classes are linked to each through inheritance, association, aggregation and composition (Priestley., 2004).
Aims and Objectives
CBB stakeholders involves all people and organizations that are either positively or negatively impacted by actions of CBB. The stakeholders includes the viewers (their audience), clients, sales managers, broadcasting managers, directors and normal staff, support staff. Other stakeholders include the Global Corporation
CBB Company is a subsidiary of global corporation which is tasked at regulating the processes of the business. They occasionally sent delegations and have discussions of every step CBB wants to undertake. It is for this reason that Global corporation are sending a delegation to review the current processes as well as the proposed AOT.
Directors are in-charge of the CBB Company who make major decisions about the company. Decisions such as the proposed advertisement in live games should take precedent over actual games are usually made by the board of directors
Managers are usually in charge of their departments. Broadcasting manager is in charge of broadcasting activities such as scheduling of programs and Ads as welling broadcast of the scheduled events. Sales managers determine which time on air will be sold and for how much during their negotiations with clients (Miles & Hamilton, 2010).
Clients are important stakeholders who help the company raise revenue. Clients buy time in air for their ads and pay thus creating a revenue collection point for CBB Company. The viewers or audience are the most important people to the company that needs to be kept entertained. It is for this reason that the company notes that during Advertisement the TV should never go black so as to keep the audience and help the advertisement reach a large population as it is always the wish of the clients.
The TV station has had a number of issues in its current processes though it has huge ambitions in the future. It intends to open more digital broadcasting channels to enhance its viewing audience. Currently the processes make it hard to get more client for advertisement. There is no negotiation platform between the sales staff and client and even identifying the billing person for the ads is always difficult. Details of the adverts are recorded manually as the proposed Ads on Time is yet to be implemented. This makes it difficult during tracking of sold time on air and unsold time. It makes processes of identifying unsold time long and tiresome with scheduling also difficult. This has led to poor scheduling which has stressed the broadcasting manager who wants to ensure the TV never goes black.
With the implementation of Ad on Time system on sight there general resistance to change to employees who feel the automation of the process may make them loose jobs and be deployed. However the company has plans to open more digital channels and may see them re-deployed but the question is, how many are willing to be re-deployed?
The company intent to automate its processes which help improve their sales and audience. Advertisement will be recorded in the systems thus making it possible to track and schedule ads. The sales staff will find it easy to negotiate with clients as the ad details are easily retrieved from the system with free time of air being determined easily with the AOT system. The company also plans to enhance its viewing audience by implementation of two more digital channels. There has also been discussion how to set up ads to ensure that the TV never goes black. Some proposals have been made that advertisements in live games should take precedent over actual game just like in NFL.
All these strategies combine will help attract more viewers which will attract more clients for adverts as clients are always looking for media with large audience. As a result the company is going to witness increased sales and increase in profit.
Implementation of AOT system will greatly help streamline the business processes making them efficient. The system will provide a fast and effective way to run business processes by automating all process involved such as recording and tracking of billing person as well as billing the person. The system will lift the morale of the company staff members and improve the client numbers as they will feel the service is fast and convenient. The broadcasting manager will have easy time while broadcasting and scheduling programs and time and thus able to keep the viewers entertained. Adding of more TV channels will also enhance the viewing audience and allow CBB cover a huge geographical area thus increasing viewers and clients as well. With all these changes expected the company is going to experience rapid growth in the coming years.
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