Maria’s Aquariums was set up by Maria Piscatore some 25 years ago

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INFT6500 – Accounng
Informaon
Systems
Semester 2 2018
Assessment Narrave
“Maria’s Aquariums”
A brief summary of the firm and it’s current situaon
appears below. This may not be
complete, and may even be inaccurate. If you wish to find out more or clarify any
aspects relang
to the job you seek more informaon
from your instructor.
Overview – Maria’s Aquariums
Maria’s Aquariums was set up by Maria Piscatore some 25 years ago. Maria was very
interested in fish (both cold water and tropical) and she set up breeding facilies
to
pursue that interest. Inially
she saw the work more as a hobby than as a business.
However as me
passed Maria began to produce many more and larger variees
of
aquarium fish and, somewhat to her surprise, people were interested in purchasing
them. Inially
she sold her fish direct from the hatchery on the Central Coast in NSW,
but over me
the business just grew and eventually it became not just the hatchery but
also 3 retail outlets selling fish bred in the hatchery (as well a full range of aquarium
supplies that she sourced from other wholesale outlets). The retail outlets are located in
Gosford, Chatswood and Wollongong. The hatchery site now also includes the head
office and a large warehouse to which the retail aquarium supplies (which are eventually
be sold from the retail outlets) are delivered and stored.
Maria rered
in 2012, the business is now run by her eldest son, Raymond. The business
is relavely
profitable but Raymond has come to realise that unless he takes steps to
improve the efficiency of the current operaons
that situaon
will not connue.
Raymond also hopes to expand the business. He has done some market research and
believes that there would be good demand for addional
retail outlets in Goulburn,
Coffs Harbour and Canberra. (The hatchery could easily produce sufficient stock to
supply the addional
demand). In the medium term Raymond hopes to expand the
business along the east coast of NSW and in the longer term naonally.
BUT Raymond
knows that his expansion plans will not work unl
he first improves the way the
business funcons
at present.
The me
is right to look at how IT can support the exisng
business AND enable his
future business plans. This is why he wants your assistance!
Currently, Raymond spends a poron
of each week at each retail outlet (he needs to do
this to monitor their operaons),
some me
‘on the road’ vising
the firms that supply
the products sold in the shops and the remainder at the head office. Of course this
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involves a great deal of travel and is leaving lile
me
to connue
developing his
business. He realises he will not be able to spend the same sort of me
in the Goulburn,
Coffs Harbour and Canberra stores when they are opened.
Exisng
System
Each store operates as semi-independent businesses, with several salespeople, who in
addion
to selling also care for the fish in the store, a storeman who processes
deliveries of stock (both fish and other aquarium supplies such as fish-food, tanks,
pumps and so on) and the Store Manager who records details of sales, orders new stock
from the head office as needed, rosters the sales staff throughout the week and
forwards the payroll details to the head office each Friday. All systems except for the
head office Payroll System are manual.
The price of all product sold in the stores is shown in a “Price Book” that is prepared at
the central office and copies distributed to each of the retail outlets. Of course the Price
Book must be re-printed regularly since product prices are quite volale.
Raymond is
unhappy with the me
being taken to update the Price Book. The Office Manager at
head office is oen
too busy to update the prices from the supplier invoices as new
product arrives. The out of date prices shown on the price book copies in the stores
oen
result in either lost sales (if the price has gone down) or lost income (if the price
has gone up).
When a customer makes a purchase from a store the price for each item is manually
copied by the sales person from the “Price Book” onto the customer invoice. Mistakes
are oen
made in the transcripon
process – oen
expensive errors. The sales people
also prepare detailed quotes for large orders using the prices from the Price Book,
incorrect prices here are a real problem.
When they make a sale the Salesperson, as well as creang
the invoice and collecng
the payment, enters the sale details (including product code, price charged and quanty
sold) onto the Daily Sales Register. For every product in the store there is an individual
Stock Card showing all deliveries of that product received, sales of the product (by date)
and balance in stock. The Store Manager updates the sale details from the Daily Sales
Register of the previous day onto these cards at the beginning of the next day (if he/she
has the me).
When a shipment of a product is received from the head office the details
of the shipment are updated onto the stock cards by the storeman.
Not surprisingly the balances shown on the Stock Cards are oen
inaccurate. Since
requests for new stock are placed when the balance shown for an item is below a
predetermined re-order point (stored on the stock card) orders for replenishment stock
are oen
made too soon, or worse, too late.
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Once per week, the Store Manager adds together the sales of each product on the Daily
Sales Register. She then aempts
to reconcile these totals with the amounts recorded
on the customer invoices. They are usually not the same – but mostly they are close!
Each fortnight the store manager checks the hours worked by staff at each store
transfers the details onto “me-sheets”
and sends these to the head office for
processing. At head office the Office Manager enters the details into the computer
system and produces the payroll. Raymond tells you that this process is very slow and
error-prone – there is much “double entering” of informaon.
Each day, the Store Manager banks the day’s takings. Raymond picks up the bank
receipts when he makes his roune
visits. Raymond regularly does a reconciliaon
of
money banked with previous days’ takings as recorded on the Daily Sales Register.
Head Office operaons
are split into three clear secons
(so far as Raymond is
concerned), these are Stock Management, Office and the Hatchery.
The Office systems are fairly standard for a business such as Maria’s, they include
Accounts Payable, Payroll and the various Ledger systems.
What Raymond calls Stock Management are those systems (all manual) used to record
the stock requested by the retail stores, pack and send the stock. Raymond calls this
part Stock Distribuon.
The other component of Stock Management Raymond refers to
as Stock Ordering, this entails all of the placing of orders for aquarium supplies from the
wholesale distributors. When stock is ordered a copy of the order is sent to The Main
Office. When the stock is received from the supplier the warehouse staff sand a copy of
the invoice to the main office aer
they have stored it in the warehouse. It is the office
manager’s job to pay the distributors based on these invoices.
Raymond has decided that the Hatchery is to be treated just as a normal wholesale
distributor, so will be outside the scope of your work.
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Changes Hoped for:
Apart from addressing any issues you have idenfied
above, Raymond would like to
achieve the following:
– Ensuring repeat business from customers.
– Improved control over stock ordering and replenishment.
The ability to order combined stock from the head office rather than from
individual stores is seen as essenal.
– Ability to quickly determine if a required item is in stock at any branch. And if
necessary transfer that item to another store.
– Ability to generate an invoice completely from data held within the system.
– Improved payroll processing. Raymond would prefer a system that recorded the
working hours daily and also supported staff being paid directly through his bank
system.
– Price Book Fixed.
– Technology to support these changes.
– AND of course the systems must be “scalable” so that Raymond can expand his
business consistent with his plans outlined above.
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