Analysis – ict cw project – estate agents

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As the estate agent’s system of working is on paper and cards, there would be a number of problems they may have had to deal with. One problem which would occur would be that there would be a great difficulty in updating customer information, this is very important as when the customers change any of their personal details such as addresses, telephone numbers, names, the estate agent will not be able to keep track of these things, leading to no contact with the customer.

This could also result in them loosing business as difficulties could be faced when there are potential buyers of a property are then not able to proceed with their interest due to lack of communication and necessities of a company. The form in which the data is stored is also unreliable as it is stored on paper. The paper can easily be damaged or lost For example, there could be a fire destroying the paper, drink could also be spilt on the papers. In addition, the loss of paper is much easier than the loss of a file.

This is much harder to track down whereas finding a particular file on a computer based system would be much more quicker and more efficient. The solution to this problem is by storing client’s and customer details on a database. It would be easier and much more effective as all information and contact details including types of properties etc can be viewed quicker. Microsoft Access would be the best way of doing this, as it would be the key to the database. Actions such as updating, transferring and adding customer information can easily be done.

Databases also allow searches to be done, allowing the estate agents to search for specific details such as type of property, area and so on. Another problem that may take place is actually finding customer information when it is needed. When a property is available for purchase, the estate agents needs to find contact details of the potential buyers. The paper documents would cause them to loose business, as they would not be able to locate buyers as information is lacking and therefore it would not sell. The customer would be highly unsatisfied as they have not been successful and overall there would be a negative effect.

The estate agents would need to devise a system to allow the company to find information easily and in a short period of time. The system would also need to be able to sort the customers into different groups according to details such as type of property and other areas. It would benefit the company as properties would be sold and everyone would be happy. The loss of data is also a high possibility when there is no computer system. When information is stored on paper it is possible the paper may be misplaced and then hard to trace.

This would cause a lot of inconvenience, as they would be a loss of valuable time as there would be a huge pile of unnecessary work to replace. The paper could also be easily damaged. Events such as natural disasters, floods, and fires can also be a problem. Although the chances of these events taking place are low, there is still a chance and no business should take such costly risks. Precautions need to taken, as the case of paper is hardly an area for protection and cover. If such events would happen, it would lead to the loss of vital information.

There would be no solid backup and the business would suffer severely. There is no way to recover anything on paper but this would be easy in other much different circumstances. To prevent this problem the agency would need to identify a way of storing data, which would not be threatened by the hard-hitting threat of natural disasters. The best solution would be a computer as back-ups and storage is available. Another problem that could be faced because of the lack of a computer system in the estate agency is the fact that it would be hard to send necessities such as mail shots to customers.

The employees would need to type out (using an old fashioned type-writer) a letter; this would need to go through the process of photocopying and enveloping, addressing, stamping etc. This process would be quite lengthy compared to through he use of a computer. I would be very boring and tedious and a waste of vital moneymaking time. This problem could be avoided through the use of a system that allows customer names and addresses to be merged into documents automatically, which would save a lot of money, effort and valuable time.

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