Thursday, August 1, 2019

A Network Enterprise Management System for Shopping Malls Essay

Background GICEL Shopping Mall is just like an advanced supermarket that sells mostly home products such as home appliances and cosmetics. It provides other services like selling ice creams, beverages and most food items used at home. The Mall sells products to customers categorized from children to adults. A Brief study of an Existing System During my decision to present this project topic, I surveyed several shopping malls, studied their daily operations and realized there was a need for a more reliable and cost-effective system. Below are a few things I studied: * GICEL shopping mall is more into selling home products and other items either for eating or wearing. The mall has an automated system that keeps the daily transaction records, employees’ detail, product records i.e. prices, stock level etc. all on a spread sheet (EXCEL). * There are about five or six counters where the employees sit to key in price of products bought. After each day and week the employees make a total amount of product bought with the sum of money they collected. * During a transaction, the customer takes a product he/she wants to purchase to one of the attendant who is sitting behind a computer with Microsoft Excel installed on, keys in the product with its corresponding price the customer pays and a receipt is issued to the customer. * All products in stock are recorded, records are taken for daily transactions on the spread sheet and at the end of the week reports are drawn even when they expected an ad-hoc report. * A special employee has to visit each o f the computers in the mall to draw those reports every week. Read more: Essays About Shopping Malls Problem In the case study, there was a problem of bad record keeping. The spread sheet (Excel) platform finds it difficult to combine records since purchases made by the customer are kept separately on individual sheets and on different computers. This makes it difficult to provide ad-hoc reports to managements of the shopping mall. In situations where a single customer is buying different types of products there is a problem of data redundancy. These makes the total amount that a customer needs to pay miscalculated and this has created loss of income and low productivity. Within four (4) months managements has fired about 3 employees due to incorrect account reports made. Managements of the Mall wanted to create accounts for regular customer but are frighten of bad customer records keeping. The special employee who oversees the other employees behind the counter mostly get fatigue by moving from one computer to the other. He has to copy all excel sheet of the records to his computer tally them and make accounts of it. There is also a problem of system security since data abstraction is not invoked in the system to prevent some unauthorized persons (employee) from making changes to some records. They easily lose their data since there is no backup system in place. The Proposed System The proposed system will provide satisfying interfaces to be used basically for keeping records of all employees and regular customers, tracking the daily transactions made, tracking the daily fiscal/monetary issues of the mall and giving GICEL shopping mall the opportunity to get the best out of the system satisfactorily. With the proposed system, services will not change but method of record keepings will change. A special/particular employee (administrator) will use this system to take care of all recordings while other employees provide the actual services. There will be a network between all the computers that will enable the special employee to sit in his office and monitor the other employees. The special employee does not need to move from his desk to draw inferences from the daily and weekly sales. He/she will also provide passwords to the attendants and make sure they are limited to specific forms only. Business Need This project has been identified to better keep record of products, easily update of stock and create accounts for regular customers and provide speedy services, security, reliable and adequate reports at the end of each day. Business Requirements * The system will help cut down the time spent on tracing the Mall’s monetary issues as well as calculations. The system will help keep the records of all purchases made by the management to stock the mall in order to know how much profit the mall is spending. Payments for products sold are also going to be recorded and the system is eventually going to give a supposed picture of how much money the mall is making or losing. The system will take care of the basic accounts of the mall, thus, providing the mall with its cash analysis. * Since there is a network additional counters can be provided to reduce customers queuing to pay for their products thereby satisfying customers which will increase customer population. * The system will help in the preparation and issuing of receipt (after customers have brought product to the counter and charges have been accepted and payments have been made). * The system should be also to keep records of employees, products with their prices, update and preview of stock level and record information on regular customers with their bank details. * The system should have a backup utility. * The system will also provide special features to help GICEL Shopping Mall have an easy access to certain tasks or certain programs found/installed on their operating system, without having to close this system. These will include some various programs that they use frequently such as notepad, calculator, word, etc. * The system will eventually help the mall to operate much faster and more efficiently, thereby improving productivity and customer satisfaction. Project Plan Given thorough supervision, I look forward to completing the development of this system by the end of the academic year. Methodology The methodologies for collecting data for the development of the system include observation, conducting interviews and giving out questionnaires. Special Issues Since this is the first version of such a system, I consider it a prototype which could be built upon in the future. I therefore recommend other students to take up from where we will leave off and improve upon our work. I hope future developments will include; * Smoothly run on web (internet). * Able to use a Barcode reading system. * Ability for customers to use ATM card to pay for products. * Standalone systems at special points in the mall where the customer will search for location of product with its prices to limit customer from asking attendants were to locate products. Conclusion I hope to provide a system suitable to be used by Shopping Malls. The system will be made flexible enough to provide users the ability to use it the way they want it for their desired results.

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