Local General Store

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A local shop, which sells primarily diesel and petrol, newspapers, magazines and confectionery to customers, has also been renting out videos as a video club might do. They do not, however, have members but videos are given to a customer that they may know or recognize. Videos come from one main supplier who sends the manager a list of available videos. When a video is added to stock, it is stamped with the shops name and address and a video number is added. A record of this new video is kept on a card along with the video’s details, suppliers’ details and when the video was purchased.

This is then filed in a small filing cabinet according to video number, found on the card. A large logbook contains the name address and telephone number of a customer who has taken a video out along with the name and number of the video. Today’s date is recorded at the top of each page to make it easier to retrace records. Past logbooks are all stored in a filing cabinet. The customer receives a date when the video must be returned, it may be returned before this date. When the video is returned, the entry for a rental is updated by adding the date of return and any penalty fine and whether or not the fine has been paid to the logbook.

Another notebook records when a penalty has been incurred and not been paid on the return of the video. Any video cannot be rented out to the customer until they pay the fee. The fine is given according to how long the video has been overdue, and is increased every week after the letter is sent out. It can be difficult to find details of a rental in the logbook to update its return, particularly if the video is returned a number of days after it was taken out, as the sales assistant has to look back through past records.

When a customer hires a video, the shop assistant quickly scans the notebook for the customer’s name to see if they owe from a previous rental. Once a week, the manager analyses the logbook for any outstanding videos. If the video has been out for seven days or more then she writes a letter to the customer requesting the return of the video and giving an invoice detailing the amount due. The manager is finding the current system “awkward to use” and has lost stock due to the inefficiency of the system. Fact Finding

I have included the following completed questionnaires, which I gave to the manager, the three sales assistants and six customers. These questionnaires helped me to find out how the system is run, and any problems that the business has incurred with the current system. The results of each set of questionnaires have been converted into graph form and can be found behind the actual completed questionnaires. I found that sales assistants were more critical of the system than the manager, possibly because they actually have to deal with the system themselves on a daily basis.

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