Studying a cmpany and its uses of ICT

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The following report is about how Boots uses ICT in the four main functional areas of the company: sales, purchasing, finance and operations and how ICT helps the business. I will be looking in detail at how ICT is used by Boots Retail to manage the operation of its stores in the UK. I have visited the Boots manufacturer in Beeston and the Boots store in Nottingham to collect this information. I have also visited the Boots website. Boots is one of the best known retailers in the UK. It dispenses medicines and sells healthcare products such as toiletries and drugs.

Recently it has started to offer health and beauty services such as laser eye treatment, dentistry and nail bars. The Boots Advantage Card scheme has almost 14 million members and gives Boots useful information about what customers buy. Boots has a very wide range of customers because of all the different products it sells, although women are particularly attracted to Boots. products and services. It also has some products which target certain groups of people such as teenagers and young people, men, elderly people etc. There are 1400 Boots stores in the UK.

The biggest one is in Manchester. As well as manufacturing its own brand of products such as No 7 and Botanics, Boots also makes products with other brand names eg Nurofen, Strepsils and Clearasil. The original creator of Boots was John Boots who was born in Radcliff-on-Trent in Nottingham. His mother produced home made remedies to sell in the shop. When John Boot died in 1860 at the age of 45 his wife took over the business. It was their son Jesse and his wife Florence who were responsible for the rapid expansion of the business.

Boots now employs around 80 000 people and operates in 130 countries. Its main markets are in the UK and Ireland, although it also has customers in South East Asia, Europe and Japan. Its headquarters are in Beeston, near Nottingham. Boots is proud of its long and successful business history and has had experience of trading in the 19th, 20th and now the 21st century. The different functional areas at Boots Boots uses ICT in every functional area of the business. Finance manages the control of money and the money flow, costs/payments, payroll and profitability.

This function is vital to the company because it keeps track of all that is bought and sold and monitors the amount of profit being made. It also keeps track of bills paid into the bank. If Boots did not keep records of all this information then the company could go bankrupt and would have to shut down.

ICT is used for _ financial modelling and forecasting using spreadsheet software _ presenting reports and financial documents using word processing and spreadsheet software _ producing trial balances, profit and loss accounts and balance sheets using an accounting package _ communicating internally and externally using email and faxes _ calculating and paying salaries using a payroll package _ paying suppliers for goods and services using financial management software.

Purchasing buys in items such as raw materials and machinery parts needed to manufacture the products Boots sells. This function is important to Boots because without it the company would not be able to produce any products to put in its stores in the first place and so would not be able to make a profit.

Purchasing uses ICT to: _ produce and track orders for items they want to buy _ send orders and payments to suppliers using EDI _ keep records of how long they have had their machines so that they know when to replace or service them. Sales is responsible for selling and marketing Boots. products. The sales function is very important to Boots because it is what the company is all about . selling goods and creating sales revenue. Marketing is needed to regularly research what customers want and to advertise the company. s products.

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