Experienced business in Thatcham

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The estate agency Halletts is an experienced business in Thatcham and have not yet benefited from a computerised system. They are now looking for an efficient database system for all the houses for all the houses they have for sale. Estate agency though is not really that simple. To run the business successfully with a computer you need a minimum of three database systems, but ideally you need four. You need one system for the houses you currently have for sale. You need one for all the houses you have sold. You need another one for all the houses that have been taken off the market or put up for sale with another estate agency (these are called ‘take offs’. You also (if you find it necessary) have a system for all the people on your mailing list.

All this is too complicated for the project that I am doing, so I have decided to use one system for houses the agency have for sale and once they are sold, ideally they should be transferred onto another database but because I do not have another one, I will just take it off the system. The current system works by employees going to the houses for sale and taking down all the details of that particular house and writing it down on a particular form.

Then, the employees go back to their headquarters in Newbury and process the newly obtained information about the house into another form. This form is then put into a filing cabinet which is sorted into towns and villages and then alphabetically by the owners surname. When the house is sold, the previous file is taken and the new name is entered and then filed into a different cabinet alphabetically by the new owner’s surname. This information is used for when customers enquire about a specific house for sale. The manager of Pearce ; co would like to keep the same sort of data for the same sort of reason, but just on a more efficient system.

Seeing as this company is new, they have not had time to buy a computerised database system so it is being run manually at the moment. The manager though, wants to upgrade as soon as possible because: 1. He is concerned about the time the employees spend on looking up information for the few houses they have for sale at present and then entering the information into their system. Business is going well and their market is rapidly increasing therefore employees are going to spend longer looking up information for houses because more and more houses are being put up for sale with their company. 2. He is worried about the presentation of the records seeing as some of the employees’ handwriting is not up to his standard. 3. Another worry for the manager is the possibility of fire or theft. Manual database systems use paper and filing cabinets, which can easily be lost by means of fire or theft. 4. All these unnecessary filing cabinets are very space consuming.

Computerising the system will solve all these problems plus bring a few more benefits to the company. For example: 1. Using a computerised database system, with software like MICROSOFT ACCESS and hardware such as a computer, monitor, printer, and keyboard, the process of obtaining and entering information will become simpler and faster than in a manual system because information can be obtained simply by clicking on a button.

2. Computerising the system will also mean better presentation by using a universal font such as New times Roman or Arial, which is easier to understand than anyone’s writing Backup tapes can be taken for a computer in case the system is stolen or burnt down. That means only the hardware is lost but not the information because it can easily be loaded up to the new hardware, therefore minimum information is lost. 4. A Company can have one computer to store all their information although the more information is added the more computers will be needed. Even though, computers are far less space consuming than filing cabinets, therefor Pearce ; co can use the extra space for larger working spaces or even fit in an extra member of staff.

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