IntroductionThe Lost River Wind Riders (LRWR) is a unique business in the service industry. The company sells and services equipment necessary for people to have fun in the free flight sport which is practiced in the Idaho region. Some of the pieces of equipment the business sells are hand gliders and the paragliders. Partners own the business. Over the years, LRWR has experienced massive growth forcing the management to consider an improvement of its information system. Customer demand influences the growth due to the increasing awareness of the free-flight sport. Currently, the business is operated on an enormous showroom and a warehouse where the pieces of equipment are stored. The showroom offers a chance for the customer to see the product they intend to purchase. Any customer who wishes to test their equipment can, however, do that at the warehouse which is located near an escarpment. Other than suffering from the challenges caused by rapid growth, the business also lacks efficiency and proper record keeping, to assist in its sales promotion drives.
Operation of the Business
A customer walks into the store and makes an order. The sales person asks them for their preferred mode of payment. A client can choose between cash or credit card payment. They must, however, provide a picture of their identification to be used in making an imprint for the sale. The sales person also seeks to know if the customer is in the organization’s database. They, therefore, ask for their phone number. The phone number is used to search the client list and establish whether the customer has ever purchased another product from the store. If the number does not exist then, the employee creates a new client profile before continuing with the sale. Some of the key customer details captured in the list are the name, address, email and area of residence. The system also captures the salesperson number to assist in the calculation of commission. Once the customer profile is found to exist or has been created, the sales person then enters the details regarding the equipment. The information captured include the price, type, model and serial number and a brief description.
LRWR has a return policy of thirty days for all its products. Products can be returned because of two reasons; either they are defective, or the customer does not like them. On returning the equipment, it must be closely inspected to ensure that it does not bear any signs of damage caused by the customer. The employee ascertains that the thirty day period has not expired. The following details are then entered to indicate that equipment has been returned; the return date, the customer and employee numbers, the reason for return, model and serial number, a short description, and the price. If the equipment is proven to be defective, it is returned to the manufacturer, and if it is found to be in a perfect condition, it is returned to inventory.
Several reports are printed from the system daily or periodically. After every sale, the sales person must print a report which serves as a receipt for the customer. A general sales report is printed daily or when required by the employees or management of the organization to access the progress the business is making in generating revenue. A current inventory list is commonly printed when the company is taking stock or when restocking. The employees intend t know the number of products in the firm and compare them with the projected demand to ensure that customers do not lack their equipment of choice. The commission report is an additional report generated by the system. It indicates the sales made by each salesperson, and they amount they are supposed to receive according to the company regulations. The current system also provides valuable information in the process of ordering new stock. The orders are sent to the suppliers via email after scrutiny to establish that they match the projected demand. On receipt, the new inventory is entered to help track its movement and fasten the selling process. Each transaction in the business is charged a sales tax of 7.75%.
Challenges of the Current and Proposed System
The current information system in the organization lacks the capacity to handle the growing numbers of customers. The business has therefore incurred stock out costs due to low reorder levels. Clients on the other side require an efficient system that can generate their details automatically. A new system would reduce the time needed to purchase a product from the store significantly. The owners of the business also require a system that gives them the ability to monitor their firm more carefully and efficiently.
Previously the business has been seasonal booming during the summer season. However, the owners have chosen to diversify their operations by stocking snow kite and ultra-light aircraft. Due to the increase in capacity, it is expected that the demand for repair and maintenance will increase tremendously. The aviation industry highly regulates some of the products such as the aircraft. They provide a new business line for the company for servicing and maintaining equipment. The firm, therefore, has to develop a new system to capture the data for the new business line. LRWR needs additional facilities in its system to print the service or maintenance agreement it also requires other features to record the general service detailed report, summary report, and the technical service report. Recording activities in the new business line will involve a long process. The customer submits the equipment for servicing to the enterprise premises. The employees will record their details, and the problem experienced. The employee will then quote an approximated amount as a charge for the maintenance process. The client will be given a print out of the service agreement which they will use to retrieve the equipment. The firm hires qualified technicians to service and maintains equipment. During the process, the technicians record the time and parts used in their work. Once the customer returns, they are billed based on the report of the specialist. They are also given the option either to pay using a credit card or cash. The customer is given a service report indicating the time taken and the parts utilized in the servicing of their equipment.
Other reports produced are the general service summary which can be provided daily or over a required period to indicate the trends in the servicing business and to facilitate the purchase f spare parts. The general technician service report shows the performance of individual specialist or the team. It can be used in evaluating the efficiency and productivity. The standard charge for servicing equipment is $45.
The system requirement of LRWR for its new business line might be challenging. The process of servicing equipment is long and involving. It includes various groups of people with different skills which might be conflicting. Technicians might not understand the business nature of the company and therefore, work in a manner that does not increase the firm’s profit margin. It might also be difficult to develop a system that measures the productivity of a particular technician since they often work as a group. An information system is, however, necessary for the firm to assist it to offer efficient services to its customers and to increase its revenue.