Tutor R Us – Creating an IT system
Tutor R Us is a small business developed by Sarah Thomas and is located in Uxbridge Middlesex. The company is one and a half year old and was run at her home with only herself and secretary. The business is basically about recruiting tutors – particularly university students as well as qualified teachers, and placing them with students at different levels of their education for private tutoring. With the nature of the business the clientele has grown considerably and so a personal assistant had to be hired and an office had to be rented from which the business now has to be run.
At the moment records are kept in an impeccable filing system. Because of the rapid growth of the business, Miss Thomas finds difficult to keep up that filing system. The tutors and client files are kept in a filing cabinet in chronological order while the contact details are kept in a carded system on the secretary’s desk. Miss Thomas approached Mark Jacobs a computer consultant with this problem and asks our help to set up a system to carry out such task as recording clients (students) as well as employees (tutors) details, appointments details and subjects on offer.
The system is to be linked with a word document containing the company’s letterhead to use as a mail merge for correspondence to the clients (students) and employees (tutors). FEASIBILITY STUDY A feasibility study is to be carried out to determine whether or not a computerized system is required to make accessibility move easier for the secretary at Tutor R’US. I will identify the advantages and disadvantages of the new system, present Miss Thomas with three different alternatives and recommend one of those alternatives.
These alternatives can only be prepared and presented after I have a look at the existing manual system, interview the secretary by asking a number of question I will prepare, questionnaire style and taken a look at the documentation the produced by the old system if any. By using the interview technique, it allows me with a more one on one, face to face interaction with those who uses the existing system thus giving me more in right into how the system works.
Fusing the interview and the questionnaire technique allows me to ask the precise questions, observe reaction to the questions ask and also allows me to take my own notes to the questions. It also allows me to maybe ask a question that I might’ve forgotten to put on the questionnaire. Hardware needed: Computers to be organized in a network, including IBM compatible CPUs, VDUs, HUB, cables, printers, scanner and a main server will be needed as well as back-up system. Software needed: because the new system would be networked, software will be shared thus making it cheaper.
Software includes a Microsoft Office package with such applications as MS Access, MS Excel, MS Word, MS Power Point, MS Outlook, MS FrontPage and MS Publisher. SOCIAL/LEGAL The new system required will need trained staff. The company has to obtain software licenses and data obtained about their clients and employees (tutors) will have to be protected by the Data Protection Act. ECONOMICAL Taking into consideration the number of hardware and software needed, one has to realize the cost of the new system is going to be very high.
The initial cost of buying PCs and other hardware devices to be networked varies. Each PC will assumeably cost approximately i?? 700 each, a scanner about 80- 100, printer 150 depending on the brand and the type, cables may vary, a server also varies in price. Please take into consideration when bought in bulk, the price could be considerably lower. Training staff to use the new system is going to be time consuming and very expensive. My estimated cost of a fully implemented system varies between 7000 and 8000.
PARTIAL IMPLEMENTATION TECHNICAL
A partial implementation would be to network the PCs but limit the number of PCs purchase. The recommended number is about 2 or 3 with just one printer, a scanner, a HUB for the network, floppy disks for backup and cabled for the network. Software will include MS Office, preferably the most updated one. SOCIAL/LEGAL Staff is trained. Licenses required and data on clients and employees should be Data Protected. ECONOMICAL The cost of purchasing and maintaining hardware will not be as much as that of the fully implemented system but it will still be a bit much.
Buying the products will help keep the expenses at bay rather than buying individually. The software will be shared through the network and so would be cheap. The initial cost of this partially implemented system is an estimated i?? 3000-i?? 4000. NO IMPLEMENTATION TECHNICAL The current system originally consists of a basic PC with basic application such as MS Works used for correspondence. SOCIAL/LEGAL Copyrights have been bought and there is no need for further training for staff. ECONOMICAL
The cost of the present system is not judged so much on the money saved on not implementing a new system but on the time that can be saved and the mistakes that can be avoided as well the knowledge of being up to date with the rapid growth of technology. ANALYSIS The present system may be impeccably done but problems still arise. These problems include time consuming, lost or misplaced documents or files misplaced appointments etc. These problems are to be solved so as to make things easier for the office employees of Tutors R Us.
Solving these problems will benefit the business by guarantee a smoother running of business. The employees that are to be benefited most from this new and improved system will include the secretary, the personal assistant, the CEO of the company, the clientele and the tutors. Filing the information of the clients and the tutors, typing up letters, dealing with correspondence etc, is done by the secretary. Letters and other correspondence such as memos are done on a basic Word application on a very basic computer system.
The information are stored in a filing system, which we have already mentioned to be unreliable, in that documents and files are misplaced and it can be very time consuming. These problems alone can be known to cause stress which can hinder how employees perform their jobs. All the problems mentioned above are important and are in dire need of being solved straight away, though some take precedence over others. The problem of the filing system has to be sorted first and foremost and everything else shall fall into place. These problems are not such big problems and can be dealt with without being broken down.
I will be trying to solve all of the problems which are not a lot. The main problem to be solved is the manual filing system. I will attempt to solve this problem by devising a database system which will contain tables with clients and tutors information, appointment information and billing/payment information. Forms will be created to make entering this data and accessing information easier. Reports would be created to allow printing and viewing options of information required. These would be feasible through a link to a query which would be created to display a certain amount of specific information.
This computerized database system is the only option as the other option was the manual system which is currently in use and which is also the problem. The reason for this option of solving this particular problem is so that files and documents are easily accessible and very unlikely to lost or misplaced, because files and document will be backed up ever so often. This will prove to be less time consuming thus allowing more leisure time for the secretary who will in turn reduce stress levels and it will also enhance the quality of work done.
The new computerized database system will allow users to enter information into the system through a form which would then store this information into a printable table which is linked to these information may include students and tutors information as well as appointments. The new system will allow the user to search for a student or a tutor of a specific subject and level. Reports on different date appointments, tutors appointment, student appointment, student and tutor details (name, address etc) will be created, ready for printing /viewing at the press of a button.
The system will be backed up every evening using floppy disks and stored off site on different locations so as to avoid total loss in the event of anything happening, for example, a fire at the office or a flood or any other accidental or natural disasters. All in all, easily accessibility, low maintenance, user friendly and time saving are some of the features this system has to offer which will make work more enjoyable as it will almost be stress free, guarantee accuracy and saves time. DESIGN
The application packages that will be used are Microsoft word and Microsoft access. The most suitable application package is Microsoft word, this soft ware is more appropriate because it could be used to write reports and other information that is relevant to the staff and the students at Tutor R’Us. That software can also store documents that are needed by the staff of Tutor R’Us. The hardware the staffs at Tutor R’Us are central processing unit along with input, output and backing storage.
The central processing unit is the part of the computer where the searching and sorting of data, calculating and decision-making goes on. Input, this is the stage of computing is concerned with getting the data needed by the program into the computer. The output, this stage of computing deals with producing the processed data as information in a form that is useful to the user. These devices would be useful at Tutor R’Us in that data and information of any collection of number, characters or other symbols that has been coded into a format that can be input into a computer and processed.