Major activities involved in developing a system solution to a business problem: The major activities involved in developing a system solution to business problems are as follows –
(1) Defining the problem: There are three symptoms make it obvious that a serious problem exists for the business decision.
(i) Sales performance symptoms;
(ii) Selling floor symptoms;
(iii) Management symptoms.
(2) Statement of the problem: Managers, salespeople, and customers are being provided with inferior information products and services. They have to find the problem and make the statement for developing the system.
(3) Statement of business requirements: Long-range planning sessions with the managers and a management, consulting group identified a strategic role information system in the company.
(4) Summary of alternative solutions: There are two alternative solutions. These are –
- Solution 1: Keep the current information system for sales processing and sales analysis. Hire more salespeople to provide better service to customers. Hire more staff assistants to relieve managers of sales information analysis duties.
- Solution 2: Develop a new information system using advance Point-of-sales (POS) technology. POS systems will allow sales transactions to be captured quickly, thus allowing salespeople to provide better customer service.
(5) Evaluation of alternative solution:
Evaluation of Solution 1:
- Low start-up costs for training of new personnel;
- Simple, easy-to-use manual system for salespeople.
- High operating costs increase due to the hiring of new personnel.
- Time-consuming sales transaction processing for salespersons.
Evaluation of Solution 2:
- Relatively low operating costs for operations and maintenance;
- Easy-to-use POS system using widely accepted, current technology.
- High start-up costs for hardware, software, and the development and implementation of the new system.
- Reluctance to use POS technology by some salespeople and managers.
(6) The rationale for the selected solution: the Business decision should develop a POS-based sales information system. It will allow fast processing of sales transaction by salespeople while providing the manager with timely information tailored to their needs.