From the information presented, how might Mike’s database best be designed?
Mike’s database needs to be quite versatile and requires an in-depth design and structure to cater for Mike’s business needs to allow for efficiency of information storage, ease of access to information and the ability to alert Mike of the priorities of the orders that he receives. As such, the following is a description of how Mike’s database should look like to accommodate all of his business’ needs.
The database will be designed using software that is readily available in the market, most preferably Microsoft Access. The data will contain a list of all the items or products that the business offers, i.e. Business Cards, Brochures, Ad Banners and Flyers.
There will be a list of all the clients with their contact details and addresses for delivery of their finished products. Each client will have a unique number assigned to them that will be used to identify the client and this number will appear on the details each and every order they make.
Each order will contain a number and in the case of bulk delivery, each client’s order will be attached a batch number. The batch number will also signify the items that are not only shipped together, but also produced within a given period of time.
What are some additional details that are not provided in the information given which may assist in further enhancing the database based on time-efficiency? Cite some examples.
In order to achieve time efficiency, there is some information that has to be included, i.e.;
- Time deadline for each order
- Delivery addresses for each order
- Client’s contact information
What may be some organizational hindrances Mike could face according to the minimal information provided?
There are some organizational hindrances that Mike may face according to the information provided:
Mike faces the daunting task of creating a database for all the orders for the aforementioned quarter, including the ones that already took place. Retracing and collecting all the required information of all the completed orders may prove to be quite difficult.
In order to ensure time-efficiency, Mike needs to develop a real-time database that is able to input information in real-time while at the same time notifying Mike of the urgency of orders in order to enable Mike to prioritize on the orders. In order to do this, Mike needs to constantly be available to input and track data and information. This is tasking and he may be forced to hire another individual to manage that facet of data management. Since this is a start-up the extra costs generated by wages for the new employee may prove to be difficult to manage.
Data availability may also prove to be a challenge as some of the clients may not be willing to share such sensitive information with Mike.
Under which category of products sold could Mike potentially prosper most from, but also jeopardize his future business-customer relationship? Why?
Mike could potentially prosper from the Flyers category of products sold. This is because these orders are the most popular amongst his clients in addition to the fact that they generate a higher income as compared to all the other categories of products. However, this category of products also has the highest potential of ruining his future business-customer relationship. This is because clients with which the business is associated with flyers can be potentially detrimental to the reputation of Mike’s Business. In addition to this these flyers attract orders that include over 1500 copies of the given flyers. If the master copy of the flyers is messed up, the whole batch may be affected and great loss would be incurred by Mike in addition to losing the given client.
Based on the item descriptions, what decisions will Mike probably need to make in order to maximize his investment and increase productivity via his IS?
In order for Mike to maximize his investment and increase productivity, he is recommended to make the following decisions;
Mike needs to find printing material that will best suit the measurements of each of the given items. This will help him ensure that wastage after printing on materials such as the paper and canvas is mitigated.
All the orders need to be input in real-time as such Mike needs to hire a data manager to help him manage the database. This will help him increase productivity as all orders will be handled according to urgency based on their deadlines.
Mike needs to select his preferred inventory system that will also be employed to ensure time efficiency. He may choose to use the LIFO or the FIFO methods to manage inventory.
What additional factors in the information provided may allow us to visualize a more simplistic system for Mike and which areas may demand a more complex analysis in the overall database construction?
Visualization of modelled and raw data is a vital tool for the interpretation and analysis of interconnected and complex data. There are some additional factors in the information provided may allow us to visualize a more simplistic system for Mike. These additional factors include:
The ability to statistically graph certain facets of the data. This includes trends in sales and the number of sales per client over a given period of time. However there remain certain areas that may require much more complex analysis in the overall database construction. These include:
- Displaying the connections between complex sets of data
- Displaying only the relevant data when the given data is required
In conclusion, it is crucial that Mike develops and institutes a database for the business in order to ensure efficiency and timeliness in handling of the orders and in their delivery.