ChallengeUK! is a small, independent activity holiday specialist with headquarters in Sheffield. It provides activity holidays and outdoor courses for people of all ages at four activity centres located in the British Isles, in Scotland (Loch Tay), Wales (Bala), Cumbria (Keswick) and Derbyshire (Matlock). Each centre provides courses of varying lengths and levels of difficulty in activities such as canoeing, rock climbing, caving and hill walking. All the courses include accommodation in the price although people may book into a hostel if we have free spaces remaining, without having to book on to a course.
Each activity centre is in a countryside location and the smallest of these is capable of accommodating 160 people. All activity courses are scheduled to take place at specific times of the year and are generally booked by a mixture of companies (for team building exercises), school parties and individuals. Courses run from Monday to Friday and from Friday to Sunday.
At the moment computers are used within departments but there is no real sharing of data as the old manual systems are still used. Typical uses of computing in the company are email, word processing and spreadsheets for general administrative work. An agency hosts the company web site which provides advertising/marketing information but has not been developed for on-line customer booking. The company has experienced a significant increase in business during recent years and feels that there is now a real need to utilise computing technology in a much more effective way. It is well aware that most other activity holiday companies have already done so. There are also a number of problems with the existing systems which can only become worse as business volumes increase.
Project Team - Terms of Reference
Following on from the initial feasibility study, our organisation has been invited to undertake the Analysis and Design of a new system for the areas identified above. As a supplier of IT solutions, your terms of reference are:-
-To examine and document existing course booking, course voucher issue and hostel check in systems
-To ascertain current problems and new requirements
-To specify an appropriate hardware/software design for an IT-based course booking system
-To undertake a feasibility study to ascertain whether or not it is sensible to proceed with this project
-To build a prototype of the system and demonstrate it to management (the agreed prototype will then be developed to a fully operational system by the implementation team).
ChallengeUK! evolved from a family business and the structure and many of the procedures currently used by the company reflect this origin. The company currently uses a mixture of computer and paper-based information systems for handling bookings and these are having difficulty in coping with their expanding volume of business.
The company has a number of clearly defined functional areas involved with course bookings:-
-The Central Booking Office, based in Sheffield, which deals with customer enquiries, takes course reservations and bookings from customers and provides general holiday information.
-Hostel Reception Desks which also deal with course/accommodation queries, take last minute bookings, check in guests, handle course voucher issue, cash payments and issue meal tokens.
-The Issuing Office which checks all payments for course bookings and authorises and issues course vouchers.