This assignment requires you to design requirement specification models for the following organisation and finally recommend an appropriate solution such as an ERP system that consists of a number of subsystems such as sales, purchases, marketing etc. Remember, a subsystem is a system that is part of a larger system. For example, a sales management system might be one subsystem of a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Another CRM subsystem might enable customers to view past and current orders, track order fulfilment and shipping, and modify their account information. A third CRM subsystem might maintain the product catalogue database and provide Web-based access to product specifications and manuals. A fourth CRM subsystem might provide technical support via telephone and a Web site with detailed tracking of customer support requests and related reporting to improve call centre management and product quality.
How does this assignment work?
In week 3, students need to form groups (possibly in between 2 or 3 members). Then, in week 3, all group members complete the system vision document for the system (i.e. ERP type system) that you are proposing for the case organisation. When building the system vision document, you may have considered system capabilities and benefits for the whole ERP solution (not individual subsystem). This represents the project requirement 1 above.
In week 4, individual group members should decide which subsystem that they are focusing on. When you read the assignment carefully, you should be able to select a specific subsystem. Then from week 4 to the end of week 9, each team member will work on the requirement specification models for their selected subsystem. This represents requirements 2 to 10 above.
Then in week 10 all group members will get together and decide a possible solution (possibly an ERP type solution). This represents requirement 11 above.
The marking rubric included inside the assignment folder describes each requirement, marks allocated and the due week.
1. Sales orders
The sales team raises sales orders as a result of receiving customers' purchase orders (by post twice per day), orders passed in by the travelling sales team and sales calls received or made throughout the day. As and when they are received they are recorded on the sales team's master sales spreadsheet (MSSP), which is used to print out the multi-part sales order.
The multi-part sales order comprises:
The sales order (filed on raising in the customer master file, together with the customer's purchase order if one was received)
A dispatch note (batched and passed to the stock room four times a day for picking and packing)
A delivery note (accompanies the dispatch note and is attached to the parcel, which is then passed to the courier for delivery to the customer)
Priority is given to back-orders (as noted on the dispatch notes received from the stock room), and these are reviewed against the recent deliveries part of the stock levels report from the stock control manager (see below).
At the start of the day, the stock room pass on the previous day's returns notes and one of the sales team update the master sales MSSP with the information before filing them in the customer master file. The stock room also passes on a list of products that are dangerously low on stock and those that have been delivered into stock the previous day. For sales orders that couldn't be filled entirely, the dispatch notes for them are passed back, too, so the sales team can inform the customer and give priority to filling them when new stock arrives.
Again at the start of the day, the Accounting Department send through a list of customers nearing their credit limit. Sales staffs check this as they are raising orders to make sure that each customer stays within their limit.
At the end of the day, the sales team leader prepares a sales and returns report that is passed to the accounts department. It contains details of the sales orders for that day and the details of yesterday's returns, by customer. It includes the order / returns value, taking into account any returns not fit for stock.
Every month, or sooner if requested, the sales team leader prepares a customer sales report from the master sales MSSP for the marketing department. The sales report includes:
A summary of the best and poorest moving stock
On a customer by customer basis, the value of and the products purchased.
Marketing Department keeps sales operations updated with planned campaigns including any product pricing changes, offers and special discounts.
On a monthly basis, or sometimes more frequently, the sales team leader sends emails to all customers with a friendly note and details of any offers etc. A primary purpose is to shift slow-moving or discontinued stock.
Every new customer is credit checked by the accounts department before being allowed to place an order. If their application included an order, the order is put on hold until accounts have completed the checking. Once complete, accounts pass on the customer's details and credit limit to sales operations (accounts will have created a new file in the customer master file), together with the order if included with their application. Major exception - if declined, sales make the call to the customer to explain.
2. Dispatching of goods
The two-part dispatch and delivery note forms that are received from the Sales Team drive the dispatch process. A Goods Out member of staff collects stock from the shelves for a customers parcel and ticks off the items on the dispatch note as s/he goes.
When the parcel is complete, the delivery note is attached. Completed parcels are put in the goods out area for collection by the courier, who calls to collect four times a day.
The dispatch note is used to update the stock master file with the new stock levels; the number filled on each order line is subtracted from the present stock level to give the new. The dispatch note is then put on a stick pin. Once or twice a day, they are handed over to stock control.
3. Stock controls
This area is responsible for maintaining stock at their pre-determined levels. It must take into account targets for marketing campaigns, including any new and discontinued products (notified by the marketing department).
The stock manager is the one who primarily does this, although some cover is provided by other members of the stock team (i.e. Goods In and Out staff).
The stock manager examines stock levels on the stock master file for those that are below or near their minimum stockholding level. For those that are, she raises a purchase order, perhaps phoning the preferred supplier first on important orders, to confirm the order can be met. If not, he will raise the order with one of the alternatives.
She updates the stock master file record with the purchase order number to show that it is in order. If a supplier subsequently puts an ordered product on back order, then the expected delivery date is filled in.
During the day the stock manager uses this information of, Goods In pass over delivery notes from suppliers and returns notes from customers-to update stock holding levels on the stock master file. For each filled order line, the purchase order number against the product on the master file is cleared.
The stock manager is given every dispatch note once the order has been filled. If any stock level anomalies arise, these can be checked. Otherwise, they are filed in the customer master file. The only exception to this is if an order line couldn't be filled. These dispatch notes are passed back to sales operations so the customer can be notified.
At the start of the day, old returns notes are passed back to sales operations, together with a report showing items dangerously low on stock.
4. Goods receipts
Returns from customers and purchases from suppliers are received first thing in the morning and then, intermittently, throughout the day.
Goods In checks the items into stock and updates the stock levels on the stock master file. The returns and the delivery notes are passed to the stock control manager two or three times a day. If returned items are not fit for stock, this is marked on the returns note.
5. Marketing and advertising campaign
The marketing department carries out marketing campaigns on a monthly, seasonal or ad-hoc basis. Campaigns are to:
1. Introduce and push new product ranges
2. Shift product about to be withdrawn
3. Target specific customers with offers and discounts
4. Move poorly performing product
They use the sales reports provided by sales operations to target the customers for 2 and 3, above. 1 and 4 tend to go to the whole customer base.
Marketing keeps a mailing list database in Excel of all customers and manually select those that are to be included in a mail campaign (they use MS Word for this).
Mails by marketing presently are all paper-based as some or all of brochures, vouchers and product catalogues accompany the mails.
From time to time, they trawl through the entire customer master file to bring their MSSP up to date.
When a campaign is planned and during its execution marketing keep the stock manager updated with targets and expected sales volumes (so that demand can be met from stock).
When a new product range is planned, marketing investigate suppliers, negotiate purchase prices and write marketing copy (including product name and description). They then pass these to the stock manager so that they can be entered on the stock master file.