ICT Sample Work Welcome Centre Requirements Essay

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CLM (Christian Life Ministries) is a church based in Coventry City Centre. Being a registered charity, they wanted to look at ways in which they could raise money to help finance its various activities, many of which benefit the local and international community. In 2000, The Welcome Centre was launched, in which a team of people started using the building venue to provide a catering and hospitality service to paying customers, who were looking for somewhere where they could hold conferences and events, hire equipment and to have food served.

The customers who pay to use the services of the Welcome Centre are either commercial customers, such as Coventry City Council, local schools or colleges, or other charity-based organisations. Charities would be able to use the facilities at a discounted rate compared to commercial customers. Customers hire the services of The Welcome Centre for many different types of events, from large conferences to training days and small meetings.

The Welcome Centre has up to 4 rooms that can be hired (Grace Room, Grace Room 1, The Elegance Suite, The Serenity Suite), and each room has a capacity between 20 and 250 people. As well as hiring a room, customers have the option of hiring additional equipment, such as a data projector, video projector, OHP, PA equipment and Flip Charts. The price for hiring equipment is on a 1/2 day basis. An event may want a variety of catering options too. The Welcome Centre can provide beverages (e.g. tea, coffee, cold drinks), as well as various food options (Finger Buffet, Finger Buffet with Dessert, Hot Buffet with Dessert).

Since opening, the success of the organisation has grown rapidly. This is due to the friendliness of the staff, as well as the level of service offered. As a result, the team has grown from 2 to 7 people. They are looking to expand, and with a future building project underway too, they hope to be able to offer even larger facilities for up to 650 people, as well as to grow their existing customer base.

PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION

As the business is growing, the staff are getting increasingly busier. One of the key problems is that a manual booking system is used. A customer will call or email with a request for a conference. The staff will write down some basic details about the event such as the contacts name, event name and date and time of the conference. They will also ask the customer for the number of delegates, and therefore determine the number and size of rooms required. Catering requirements for food and beverages, as well as the hire of equipment will also be recorded. This information will all be recorded in a central paper-based diary, which can often become messy as customers sometimes phone to cancel or amend their booking, meaning that the handwriting can become unreadable. This could then lead to mistakes being made such as double-bookings, or not getting everyones requirements correct for a conference.

Chris Ruck, one of the team, will sometimes word process the quotation onto a basic blank template produced in Word Processing software (MS Word). After creating the quotation, he will then save it onto his computer. He will sometimes do the same for invoices. The problem with this is that the same information is being entered up to three times; once in the diary, secondly on the quotation, and thirdly onto an invoice. Duplicating the information sometimes leads to small typing mistakes appearing on the documents. Also, it wastes Chris valuable time that could be used for other tasks, such as preparing rooms for conferences.

Invoicing is a very important task for The Welcome Centre, as it is the way it requests payment from a customer once a conference has taken place. Tony will often to have to create 20 to 30 invoices at a time. Unfortunately, Tony Williams has very limited experience with computers. If Chris is not available and invoices have to be sent out, Tony will have to write out an invoice by hand into a blank template. This is very time consuming for him, and as the General Manager, he has many more important jobs that he could be doing. Also, handwritten invoices do not look very professional, and so these really should be created and printed from a computer to give a better corporate image. Tony sometimes has to handwrite quotations too for the same reasons.

Scope

The scope for this task is to find a way of entering booking details for conferences, and to create a quotation for that conference. Creating invoices will not be included in this task. Also, to simplify the task, we will focus on commercial customers only and not charity customers, as the prices are all different.

DETAILS OF CLIENT, USER(S) AND AUDIENCE (IF APPLICABLE)

IDENTIFICATION OF THE CLIENT

The client for this project is Tony Williams, who is the General Manager of the Welcome Centre. Tonys role includes creating the rota of when his team are working, taking booking details from customers for future conferences and negotiating prices if applicable. Tony is also involved in creating quotations for a conference booking to inform the customer how much it will cost. He may also create invoices for a conference that has taken place to request payment. He will also need to keep track of payments for conferences by customers, and chase any outstanding payments. He is also very hands-on in his role, and he will support his staff with serving and room set-up when required. The solution for this task will need to meet Tonys requirements.

IDENTIFICATION OF THE USER(S)

The users of this solution will be the Tony Williams (the client), as well as Anita Fox and Chris Ruck. Anita and Chris are also responsible for entering details of customer bookings into the diary, and producing quotations and invoices for them. Therefore, they will actively use the solution by changing the customer and booking inputs and sending the quotation that is produced (output) to the customer. Anita also takes care of the accounts and organises the monthly payroll for the employees.

IDENTIFICATION OF ANY AUDIENCE

The Audience is anyone who may look at the outputs, but not change the content of the solution. The majority of this solution will be used by The Welcome Centre staff, and therefore these people will be users and not an audience. However, Quotations will be viewed by Customers as these are the target audience of this document.

ASSESSMENT OF SKILLS OF USER(S)

Tony will use the solution, but has very limited ICT skills. He is a complete novice at using computers. He will need introductory training that includes:

* Logging in to the network

* File Management (files and folders creating, renaming, moving, copying)

* Word Processing (Use of word documents, file management opening/ saving, formatting)

* Spreadsheets (Use of spreadsheets, file management opening/ saving, formatting, working with multiple worksheets)

* Using the solution that is created

Anita will also use the solution and is an intermediate user. She can login, organise files and folders, word process, use basic features of spreadsheet software, use a web browser to surf the internet, and can also use her accounts package. She will need training that includes:

* Spreadsheets (Advanced course including the recording, use and management of macros, using formulae and functions)

* Using the solution that is created

Chris is more of an advanced user, and can do all of the above to a more complex level, as well as use graphics and multi-media packages for design work. He will need training that includes:

* Spreadsheets (Advanced course including the recording, use and management of macros, using formulae and functions)

* Using the solution that is created

CLIENT INTERVIEW

An initial interview was held with Tony Williams, and the following is a summary of what he said:

1. What is The Welcome Centre and can you give me some background information to the organisation?

The Welcome Centre was launched in 2000, as a conference centre for commercial and charitable customers, offering them a hospitality service. The service includes room hire, equipment hire as well a catering options. Customers use the services provided by the Welcome Centre for various reasons from large conferences, to small meetings and training days.

2. Who are the staff at the Welcome Centre and what do they do?

Tony Williams is the General Manager, whose role includes creating the rota of when his team are working, taking booking details from customers for future conferences and negotiating prices if applicable. Tony is also involved in creating quotations and invoices by hand. He also keeps track of payments for conferences by customers, and chases any outstanding payments. He is also very hands-on in his role, and he will support his staff with serving and room set-up when required.

There are several other employees. Chris Ruck is the Assistant Manager of the complex, who takes bookings, sets up for conferences, and also types up quotations and invoices. He looks after the technical requirements of a conference such as IT needs and P.A. equipment. Anita Fax is the Administrator, who has responsibility for accounts and organising the monthly payroll for the employees. There are also 4 other part time staff, including a cleaner as well as conference assistants.

3. What are the problems that ICT could help to solve?

One of the key problems is that a manual booking system is used, whereby booking information is recorded in a paper-based diary. The information is therefore not easily sharable and handwriting will become messy as bookings are amended or cancelled.

Also, quotations and invoices are either typed into a blank template document or hand-written. This leads to a duplication of the booking information resulting in mistakes, as well as being time consuming. Hand written documents are not very professional.

4. What do you want the ICT solution to do?

Tony would like the new solution to provide easy to use data entry forms for entering details about each conference. He would like a quotation to be produced immediately based upon the booking information that is entered. He would also like the quotation and booking information to be stored for future use, so that someone can view the information easily.

5. Who will use the solution and what ICT skills do they have?

Tony will use the solution, but has very limited ICT skills. He is a complete novice at using computers. Anita will also use the solution and is an intermediate user. She can login, organise files and folders, word process, use basic features of spreadsheet software, use a web browser to surf the internet, and can also use her accounts package. Chris is more of an advanced user, and can do all of the above to a more complex level, as well as use graphics and multi-media packages for design work.

6. What hardware and software do you have at The Welcome Centre?

In terms of hardware, The Welcome Centre has only just installed a network. Chris and Anita have their own PCs with access to the Network for file sharing. Laptops used for conferences are wireless enabled so that they can access the internet from any room if required. Each computer has Windows XP installed as the operating system, as have the Microsoft Office software suite package, that includes word-processing, spreadsheet, database, web browser, presentation and other software.

7. What data needs to be input into the solution? How?

Customer Information: (Company name and address, contact details for event organiser)

Event Details: (Event name, date, start & finishing time, no. of delegates, room requirements, equipment to be hired, and catering requirements for beverages and food.)

General Info.: (Catering items and prices, Equipment items for hire and 1/2 day charges, Room info. capacity, Full Day and 1/2 Day charges, and a VAT rate, in case legislation changes)

8. What processing (e.g. calculations, searches etc) need to be done?

* Generate a unique 5 digit quotation no.

* Calculate todays date automatically during the booking for the Quotation date

* On different forms automatically look-up and display details previously entered, without having to re-enter

* Calculate the Event Type (Full Day or 1/2 Day), based on the times entered. Used for pricing purposes.

* For each room selected as part of the booking, search for and display the Capacity and the Unit Room Cost. The Unit Room Cost will be based on the Event Type for that room.

* Calculate and display Total Room Costs for all rooms booked

* For each item of equipment required for the booking, search for and display the Unit Equipment Cost. If the event type is a full day, then double the price. Calculate and display the Total Equipment Costs by multiplying the Unit Equipment Cost by the Quantity required.

* Calculate and display the Total Cost of all Equipment

* If beverages are required for the booking, search for and display the Price per Delegate for Beverages. Calculate Beverage Costs per Delegate by multiplying this price by the No. of Servings. Calculate the Total Beverage Costs as Beverage Costs per Delegate multiplied by No. of Delegates.

* If food is required, search for and display the Price per Delegate for the food option. Calculate and display the Total Food Costs by multiplying the Food Costs per Delegate by the No. of Delegates.

* Calculate the Net Quotation amount (the total amount of all the items booked, excluding VAT)

* Look up the current VAT rate and calculate the VAT Amount for the quotation.

* Calculate the Gross Quotation Amount

* Save and store the event and quotation details

9. What output(s) is needed from the solution.

The main output of the solution will be a quotation which is initially displayed on the screen, with an option to print a hard copy available.

10. What data needs to be stored?

Customer Information: (Company name and address, contact details for event organiser)

Event Details: (Event name, date, start & finishing time, no. of delegates, total room costs, total equipment costs, total beverage costs, total food costs, Net Amount, VAT Amount, Gross Amount)

Store in a table that can be easily viewed.

CLIENT REQUIREMENTS

After interviewing Tony, and focussing on the problems that he currently faces with creating quotations, we agreed upon the requirements that the new solution must meet. The new solution must:

* Provide data entry forms for entering details about bookings. These forms must allow entry of Customer details and the Event details

* Provide an additional data entry form to enter general information, including catering items and prices, equipment items for hire and 1/2 day charges, and room charges for full and 1/2 day. Allow the VAT rate to be changeable, in case legislation changes.

* Ensure each data entry form is easy to use, complete with data validation and a graphical user interface to minimise data entry mistakes and reduce typing.

* All data entry screens must show the Welcome Centre logo, and follow the house style of the organisation in terms of using a red and white colour scheme.

* Search for and display information entered automatically, so that the user does not have to keep flicking between different screens to remind themselves of prices or what they have previously entered.

* Automatically calculate certain fields to save time and to reduce data input. These fields are:

o Generate a unique 5 digit quotation no.

o Quotation date

o Event Type (Full Day or 1/2 Day), based on the times entered. Used for pricing purposes.

o For each room selected as part of the booking, search for and display the Capacity and the Unit Room Cost. The Unit Room Cost will be based on the Event Type for that room.

o Total Room Costs for all rooms booked

o For each item of equipment required for the booking, search for and display the Unit Equipment Cost. If the event type is a full day, then double the price. Calculate and display the Total Equipment Costs by multiplying the Unit Equipment Cost by the Quantity required.

o The Total Cost of all Equipment required forth booking.

o Beverage Costs Per Delegate

o Total Beverage Costs

o Food Costs per Delegate

o Total Food Costs

o The Net Amount, VAT Amount and Gross Amount on the Quotation.

* On different data entry forms, automatically look-up and display details previously entered, without having to re-enter

* Ensure all booking information should only be entered once, and the quotation must be produced immediately based upon the booking information being entered,

* Produce a Quotation that is professionally formatted, and looks very similar to the quotations he uses today. It must be displayed on the screen with an option to print a hard-copy.

* Store the quotation and booking information for future use, in a table format that is easy to read.

* Be easy to back-up, and must also be secure, so only authorised users can access the solution.

WHAT THE SOLUTION HAS TO PRODUCE

The solution must produce a quotation based upon the customer and booking information that is entered. The quotation must be professionally formatted, and look very similar to the quotations he uses today. It must be displayed on the screen with an option to print a hard-copy. The solution must also store a copy of the quotation and booking information, in a table format that is easy to read.

HOW THE SOLUTION IS TO WORK

From these requirements, I can see that spreadsheet software would be an appropriate design tool to use to implement the solution. The worksheets can be formatted to give the appearance of data entry screens, and you can use validation techniques and a limited graphical user interface to reduce keying and ultimately mistakes. Also, a worksheet can be formatted to look like a Quotation, and a table could be set up to store details for future use. Macros can also be used to automate features of the solution such as navigation and copying data to the storage table.

INPUT, PROCESSING AND OUTPUT REQUIREMENTS

INPUT REQUIREMENTS

CUSTOMER DETAILS

Fields to be input: Title, First Name, Surname, Email Address, Telephone No., Company Name, Address Line 1, Address Line 2, Town, County, Postcode

* Source of Data: From customers, either face-to-face, email, or telephone

* Input Method: Typed using keyboard

* Type/ Format of Data: All Text fields

EVENT DETAILS

Fields to be input: Event Name, Event Date, Start Time, End Time, No. of Delegates, Grace Room Required?, Grace Room 1 Required?, Elegance Suite Required?, Serenity Suite Required?

Video Projector & Screen Qty, Data Projector & Screen Qty, Flip Chart Qty, OHP Qty, PA Equipment Qty,

Beverage Required?, No. of Servings, Food Option

* Source of Data: From customers, either face-to-face, email, or telephone

* Input Method: Typed using keyboard

* Type/ Format of Data: Dates will be short dates, Room requirements will be tick boxes, No. of Delegates, No. of Servings and Qty fields will be numbers, food option will be a drop down box

GENERAL INFORMATION

Catering Table. Fields to be input: Food Price per Delegate

Equipment Table Fields to be input: Equipment Price per 1/2 Day

Room Table Fields to be input: Max. Capacity, Full Day Commercial Rate,

1/2 Day Commercial Rate

VAT Table Fields to be input: VAT Rate %

* Source of Data: The Welcome Centre, Government (for VAT Rates)

* Input Method: Typed using keyboard

* Type/ Format of Data: All rates and prices will be currency fields, Max. Capacity will be numerical and VAT Rate % will be a percentage field.

PROCESSING REQUIREMENTS

Process

Details

Calculate unique 5 digit Quotation No.

Quotation No. = (Look up highest quotation no. in quotation table) + 1

Calculate Quotation Date

Quotation Date = Todays date

On different forms, automatically look-up and display details previously entered, without having to re-enter

Lookup the following customer fields and redisplay on New Event data entry form:

Quotation Id, Title, First Name, Surname, Company Name

Event Type

If (End Time Start Time) < 3 hours Then

Event Type = Half Day

Else

Event type = Full Day

Look-up and display Capacity and Unit Room Cost for each room required for the booking

Show Capacity: Lookup and show the Max.

Capacity from the Rooms Table

Show Unit Room Cost: Lookup and show the

Commercial Rate for the room from the Rooms

Table, depending on the Event Type (1/2 Day or

Full Day price)

Calculate Total Room Costs

Total Room Costs = Add up the Unit Room Cost for each room selected for the booking

Calculate Unit Equipment Cost for each item of equipment required for the booking

Unit Equipment Cost = Lookup and show the Price per 1/2 Day for item, from the Equipment Table.

If the Event Type is Full Day, then double the figure shown.

Calculate Total Equipment Costs for each item of equipment required for the booking

Total Equipment Costs = Unit Equipment Cost *Qty

Calculate Total Cost of all Equipment

Total Cost of all Equipment = Add up the Total Equipment Costs for each item of equipment selected for the booking.

Calculate Beverage Costs per Delegate

Beverage Costs per Delegate = (Price per Delegate for Beverages from the Catering Table) * No. of Servings

Calculate Total Beverage Costs

Total Beverage Costs = Beverage Costs per Delegate * No. of Delegates

Calculate Food Costs per Delegate

Food Costs per Delegate = Price per Delegate for Food selected, from the Catering Table

Calculate Total Food Costs

Total Food Costs = Food Costs per Delegate * No. of Delegates

VAT Rate

VAT Rate = Search for current VAT Rate from VAT table

Net Total

Net Total = Total Venue Cost + Total Equipment Cost + Total Beverages Cost + Total Food Cost

VAT Amount

VAT Amount = VAT Rate * Net Total

Gross Total

Gross Total = Net Total + VAT Amount

Save and store the event and quotation details

Copy Customer fields to Quotation Table: (Quotation Id, Quotation Date, Title, First Name, Surname, Email Address, Telephone No., Company Name, Address Line 1, Address Line 2, Town, County, Postcode)

Copy Event fields to Quotation Table:

(Event Name, Event Date, Start Time, End Time, No. of Delegates, Total Room Costs, Total Equipment Costs, Total Beverage Costs, Total Food Costs, Net Amount, VAT Amount, Gross Amount)

OUTPUT REQUIREMENTS

QUOTATION

The main output of the solution will be a quotation which is initially displayed on the screen, with an option to print a hard copy available. The quotation will be used by both the Welcome Centre and Customers. The Welcome Centre staff will use it to know what they will charge Customers for a particular booking, and it will therefore serve as the basis of the invoice. Customers will use it to know how much they are likely to pay for an event if nothing changes on the day.

Details:

The quotation must print on A4 paper, landscaped, and display the Welcome Centre logo, company registration no., registered office and contact details, VAT registration no., and VAT rate.

Towards the bottom, it must clearly state: Please make cheques payable to C.L.M. Enterprises Ltd.

The following fields must be shown on the Quotation:

ADDRESS BLOCK: Title, First Name, Surname, Company Name, Address Line 1, Address Line 2, Town, County, Postcode

EVENT DETAILS: Quotation No., Quotation Date, Event Name, Event Date, Start Time, End Time, No. of Delegates

BOOKING DETAILS: Room names, Qty Required, Unit Cost, Subtotal

Equipment, Qty Required, Unit Cost, Subtotal

Beverages, No. of Delegates, Price per Delegate, Subtotal

Food Option, No. of Delegates, Price per Delegate, Subtotal

TOTALS: Net Total, VAT Amount, Gross Total

STORAGE REQUIREMENTS

The following Data needs to be stored in a single table:

CUSTOMER DETAILS:

Quotation No., Quotation Date, Title, First Name, Surname, Email Address, Telephone No., Company Name, Address Line 1, Address Line 2, Town, County, Postcode

EVENT DETAILS:

Event Name, Event Date, Start Time, End Time, No. of Delegates, Total Room Costs, Total Equipment Costs, Total Beverage Costs, Total Food Costs, Net Amount, VAT Amount, Gross Amount

The data can be kept for up to 2 years before being archived.

HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIRMENTS FOR THE USER

HARDWARE

The Welcome Centre has a variety of different hardware available to be used. They have only just installed a network, which has been set-up complete with user accounts and passwords, shared folders, as well as private folders for individual users. The Welcome Centre should save the solution onto the network, as this will certainly meet the requirement of being able to keep the solution secure. The network is also backed up on a daily basis, onto a removable hard disk drive. This is removed from the premises every night, in case of fire. This will meet the requirement of being able to back-up the solution.

Tony currently does not have a PC, but has access to a laptop if needed. Chris and Anita have their own PCs with access to the Network for file sharing and saving work. Laptops used for conferences are wireless enabled so that they can access the internet from any room if required. Each PC and laptop has its own DVD re-writer, which can read both CD and DVD media. They also have plenty of USB ports, and so can also use portable devices such as pen drives. In terms of printers, Anita has a dedicated multi-function printer attached locally to her PC. The printer is both an A4 Flatbed scanner (input device), as well as a colour Ink Jet printer (output device). Anita uses this machine for most of her small printing needs. However, all PCs and laptops have access to a networked, colour photocopier (output device). The photocopier serves both as a printer and a photocopier, and can print in both back and white and full colour. All PCs have keyboard and mice as their main input devices.

SOFTWARE

In terms of software available to be used, each computer has Windows XP installed as the operating system, and has have the Microsoft Office software suite that includes word-processing, spreadsheet, database, web browser, presentation and other software. This applications software is generic software, and is used by the Welcome Centre staff for a variety of business uses. Anita does have some specific software, which is an accounting package called Sage. This is used to manage all accounts as well as to process the employees payroll.

HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIRMENTS FOR THE DEVELOPER

HARDWARE

It makes sense for the solution to be developed on a standard PC, so that it imitates the environment in which the solution will be used. The processing power required to run the solution would be minimal, and so either a stand-alone PC/ laptop could be used to develop the solution or a networked PC. The PC must, however, have a monitor, mouse and keyboard.

SOFTWARE

The solution will be created in spreadsheet software called MS Excel. This software is generic software and can be used to effectively solve this problem. The users also have a good amount of experience in using the software, and so wont need a lot of additional training. Also, Excel is already installed on the end-users computers, and so there would be no further cost of buying more software. This spreadsheet software would be an appropriate design tool to use to implement the solution. The worksheets can be formatted to give the appearance of data entry screens, and you can use validation techniques and a limited graphical user interface to reduce keying and ultimately mistakes. Also, a worksheet can be formatted to look like a Quotation, and a table could be set up to store details for future use. Macros can also be used to automate features of the solution such as navigation and copying data to the storage table.

This approach of using a software suite is more expensive than buying an integrated package. A software suite provides more functionality than an integrated package, such as being able to record macros and other more advanced features that may be needed to create the solution. Looking for a specific package isnt relevant in this case, as the requirements are too simple, but also very specialised. Therefore buying a specific package off the shelf would be an additional expense that the company doesnt really need.

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