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I plan to do my coursework on a local sports clothing manufacturer and sports equipment retailer called Just Sports. The company was established 18 months ago and sells a wide variety of customised sports clothes and equipment, ranging from footballs to exercise machines. A sophisticated point of sale cash register captures all the sales, however there is currently no way for this data to be accessed for analysis of the business. To compensate, the company uses a manual, paper based system to capture product and customer information on a Sales Form at point of sale.

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Customer details are later transferred from the Sales Form to a card file system and are held in alphabetical order by surname or business name. There is no existing process to transfer product details from the sales forms to any other reports. When the shop first opened, the owner worked full time along with a part time sales assistant. Competitive prices, informed customer service and a willingness on the part of the owner to find specialist sports equipment for customers resulted in dramatic sales growth over the 18 month period.

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The shop has recently won several important contracts with local schools and sports clubs to be the supplier of their official sports kit as well as sports equipment. To meet growing demand, the shop now carries a wider range of products with an increased number and range of items held in stock. Although the owner still works in the shop full time, she now has to spend an increased amount of time each day either with suppliers or on stock related tasks.

In addition, the increased levels of stock require more capital outlay for the owner so it has become more important for her to know what products are fast moving and popular and therefore need to be held on hand. Staffing levels have had to grow to accommodate sales growth and the shop now employs a full time sales assistant, a total of 3 part time sales staff and has two people providing additional sales cover at weekends. As a result of the growth in staffing, the owner is less well informed about her customers than when she transacted most of the sales herself.

She relies more and more on the manual, paper based sales system to understand her customer’s needs and to look for the sales trends in her business. The staff are less conscientious than the owner at capturing all the relevant details on the customer and the sale in the paper sales form. Recently, there have been more frequent occasions when sales forms have not been completed at all. The owner now has the opportunity to expand the business further by opening up a second shop in a major shopping centre 8 miles away.

In addition, sometime in the near future the owner would like to extend the capability of the existing Just Sports Online website to include a catalogue of products for sale with shopping cart and payment processing support. The owner recognises that the manual, paper based system of capturing sales, product and customer details has reached its capacity and is beginning to affect her ability to grow the business further and may even prevent her from being able to take advantage of this opportunity to open a second shop. y store their customer information, sports equipment information and sales information.

This system is no longer appropriate for this growing business, as an increasing quantity of data needs to be stored. There are many disadvantages to this system. For example the filing cabinet in which the files are stored takes up a lot of valuable space in the shop. Also, if a customer changes address or phone number it is very difficult and time consuming to modify this neatly. It is also a very laborious task for the user search through the data that has been stored to find particular pieces of information. In the following section I will attempt to find a suitable solution to these problems.

You need to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of someone in your company using a manual system………. What would happen when a folder gets lost? What are the problems with lots of filing cabinets in the office? What would happen if someone put a folder back in the wrong place? What would happen is someone spells something wrong? What problems occur if someone has poor handwriting? What happens if someone moves house and there address needs to be changed? What happens when the paper gets old? What happens if more than one person needs to use the data in the folder at the same time?

SECTION B: Analysis The owner has recognised that the manual, paper based system of capturing sales, product and customer details has reached its capacity and is beginning to affecting her ability to grow the business further. An analysis of the existing procedures followed by the staff revealed specific problems presented by the existing paper based system include: In order to improve on the manual database, I will gather information using a questionnaire. This is an example of the results: What is your position in the company? Sales Assistant How do you keep your records?

We currently have a filing cabinet in which we keep all of our records including, customer details, sport equipment details and sales details. How often do you use the current database? Not at all Once a week Every day Several times a day What is the most restricting aspect of the current database? With the current system, which is manual, every time a customer changes their details a whole new form must be filled out. Also it takes a lot of time to search through the system for specific information. What is the most important task which the new database should be able to carryout?

The database should be able to carryout searches for specific pieces of data quickly and accurately. Identify Software to be used In my research I discovered that using a database was the ideal application for my system because it enables me to store data easily, to create forms and records, its more efficient, cost effective, saves space and is time effective. It also has the ability to keep my system well organised in tables and under suitable field names, queries can be run to search for data that satisfies certain criteria that are set by the user.

Other applications are not suitable for my system because they are not suitable to sort out data and run queries like the database does. Although some spreadsheets and word processors have the ability to sort out data in alphabetical order, ascending or descending order with bullet points and with numbers these are not sufficient for my system. I need to run queries and have validation checks, which mean that only a database can be used. Package A software package is needed where all the data can be inserted. A very popular and user friendly package is Microsoft Access.

It will enable me to search and amend my database. It is available at school and I have it at home and I know how to use it. There are many other packages available but this is the best and most widely used. To type out my instructions to give to the users I will use Microsoft Word which is also easy to use and is available everywhere. Now I have decided which software I will be using to implement the system, I can begin to design it. To start with, I will create a new database and save it under a suitable name (e. g. Sports Database).

Throughout the implementation of this task, I will save it frequently on a floppy disk so that a crash in the school system means I will not lose my project. Database Questionnaire Name of Company: Position held in company: Size of company: Yes No Q1. Do you use any form of manual system to store data? If yes what data do you store? Q2. Do you use a computer at work? Do you use a database? Did you need training? How often do you use it? Is it easy to use? What data is stored about………..? What is good about the system? What would you change?

Do you need a user guide to help you use it? Is your system on a network or a stand alone PC? Do you find it easy to search for data? Is it better than previous manual systems? Why? SECTION C: Specification The following table shows the features that would expect my database to have. I am going to design a computerised database in Microsoft Access. This database can then be judged accordingly based on my evaluation criteria. Evaluation criteria How it will be judged success The database should enable me to add data I will attempt to add a new client’s details to the database.

I will also attempt to add a new sale. The database should enable me to delete data I will attempt to delete the record of a customer. I will also delete a sale, thus simulating the way in which a sale could be cancelled. The database should enable me to amend data. I will amend to edit the address of a customer. I will also edit the telephone number of a customer. The database should recognise when certain incorrect data is entered into the database. I will deliberately enter incorrect data into fields with validation rules and specified data types.

I should be able to use queries to search through data. I will run queries to search for sales by date. The results of this search will include the customer number and sports equipment number. The database should be user friendly I will create macros and buttons to ensure that members of staff can move from one part of the database to another and perform tasks with ease. The database should enable me to save the database. I will create an ‘Exit’ button which will automatically save all changes before it exits. SECTION D: Specification D Design of the ICT system.

This section will include a ‘database planning sheet’ which shows all the fields in my 3 tables. The 3 tables are Customer details, Sales, and Sports Equipment. Also in this section I have included a ‘Fields of Data and Relationships’ Sheet which shows the structure of the database including the links between the 3 tables. This is a relationships design. I am planning to use a data capture form, a data input screen and output. The database will be set up with search queries, for example to search for male customers. I shall also set up search for individual customers using the on screen prompt of parameter queries.

A search for a customer’s record can be used if that record needs to be edited for example to change the address. Records in the customer table will be stored in alphabetical order and used to locate a customer quickly. To add a new customer, validation of data will automatically occur in the following fields: postcode will be field length check; sex will be “1” or “2”; date of birth will be data type check. Also when adding a new customer I am planning on-screen verification before the information is saved. I chose to use a software package rather than write a depicted program as it is less time consuming.

After considering whether to use Access or Excel, I chose to use Access as it has easy to use search features and tables can be linked in a relationship design. It is a more sophisticated relational database package. I plan to write a user guide so that the staff can read how to use the database efficiently. I also plan to write a technical guide so that a computing technician can make changes to the structure of the database. Before the database is used by the staff I shall test the input of valid and invalid data into the search feature by predicting in advance what my search results should be. Database Planning Sheet.

My database planning sheet shows the data that will be stored in the sports equipment shop’s database. For each piece of data the field length is shown, the type of data needed, And the validation rule of “1” or “2” will make sure the correct data is entered into the sex field. Fields of data and relationships This diagram shows the three tables of data linked together. The first table is called customers. The second table is called sales, storing information about the sale of sports equipment to customers. The third table is sports equipment which will store information about all the sports equipment.

So that it is easier to search for information the tables will be linked together. The customer number in the customer table will be inked to the customer number in the sales tables in a one to many relationship. Sports equipment number in the sales table will be linked to sports equipment number in the sports equipment table in a one to many relationship linking of tables also prevents repetition of data across the tables. Database Planning Sheet Table Name: Customer Details Field Name Field Length Datatype Validation Customer number Auto Auto Number First Name 20 Text Field Length Check Surname 20 Text Field Length Check.

Address 50 Text Field Length Check Postcode 8 Text Field Length Check Date Of Birth Auto Date/Time Datatype Check Sex 1 Text Validation rule “1” or “2” Home Number 15 Text Field Length Check Work Number 15 Text Field Length Check Table Name: Sports Equipment Field Name Field Length Datatype Validation Sports equipment number Auto Auto Number Sport 30 Text Field Length Check Description 30 Text Field Length Check Brand Name 30 Text Field Length Check Size 30 Text Field Length Check Selling Price Currency Currency Data Type Check Table Name: Sales Field Name Field Length Datatype Validation Sales Number Auto Auto Number.

Customer number Auto Number Data Type Check Sports equipment Number Auto Number Data Type Check Date Auto Date/Type Data Type Check Sales Assistant 20 Text Field Length Check System flow chart for adding a new customer SECTION E (i): Hardware ” Go to PC world or another website and find the computer you think would be most appropriate for the company. Copy and paste an image of the PC and its specification into Word. You should also select any other hardware and software that will be useful to your company e. g. a suitable printer (Laser or ink jet? ), will you need a scanner, internet access, anti virus software?

” Explain why the PC you have found is suitable for the company and why you chose it above the alternatives. (e. g. What features does your choice have that the others do not? ) ” Finally explain why the choices you have made are better than the current school system you used to set up your database. (Eg have you chosen a PC with a greater memory or a faster processor? ) The School system: The system I used at school: The hardware available on the network is as follows:-  IBM compatible 400MHz personal computers (speed)  64 Mbytes of RAM, (memory)  15″ super VGA colour monitor 3. 2 Gbyte hard drive.

32 times speed CDROM. Printer  HP LaserJet 1100 laser printer,  HP Deskjet 2000 colour inkjet The system I would recommend to the company would be: Random Access Memory (RAM) is where the computer temporarily stores data on its way to or from the processor. Named for its role, random access memory allows you to perform random acts, such as launching an application or making changes to a file, with the speed you demand. RAM is the juggler, keeping all the balls in the air at once. The more RAM, the faster you work-and play. RAM is a type of storage, not to be confused with your long-term hard drive storage.

Memory modules Upgrading memory is one of the most cost-effective ways to boost system performance. When you add memory you increase system performance as much as – or more than – if you upgrade your processor. Tests show that increasing memory from 128MB to 256MB increases system performance up to 37%. Increasing memory from 128MB to 512MB improves system performance up to 50%! What does this mean in terms of your everyday use? Until your RAM fills up, your processor accesses information quickly. As your RAM gets full, your processor has to go to your hard drive for new, fresh data.

Therefore, the more RAM you have, the less your processor has to look for updated information in your hard drive, and the faster your processor – and your computer – runs. Of course, RAM isn’t the only powerhouse behind the agility of your Dell computer. A proper balance of memory and processor speed is what will really give your Dell computer the lightening quickness you want it to have. The DELL Dimension PC uses Dual Channel DDR RAM and the 4600 series is expandable to 2GB A video card is the part of your computer that transforms video data into the visual display you see on your monitor.

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