A Network Enterprise Management System for Shopping Malls
GICEL Shopping Mall, Accra.
GICEL Shopping Mall is just like an advanced supermarket that sells mostly home products such as home appliances and cosmetics. It provides other services like selling ice creams, beverages and most food items used at home. The Mall sells products to customers categorized from children to adults.
A Brief study of an Existing System
During my decision to present this project topic, I surveyed several shopping malls, studied their daily operations and realized there was a need for a more reliable and cost-effective system. Below are a few things I studied:
* GICEL shopping mall is more into selling home products and other items either for eating or wearing. The mall has an automated system that keeps the daily transaction records, employees’ detail, product records i.e. prices, stock level etc. all on a spread sheet (EXCEL). * There are about five or six counters where the employees sit to key in price of products bought. After each day and week the employees make a total amount of product bought with the sum of money they collected. * During a transaction, the customer takes a product he/she wants to purchase to one of the attendant who is sitting behind a computer with Microsoft Excel installed on, keys in the product with its corresponding price the customer pays and a receipt is issued to the customer. * All products in stock are recorded, records are taken for daily transactions on the spread sheet and at the end of the week reports are drawn even when they expected an ad-hoc report. * A special employee has to visit each of the computers in the mall to draw those reports every week.
In the case study, there was a problem of bad record keeping. The spread sheet (Excel) platform finds it difficult to combine records since purchases made by the customer are kept separately on individual sheets and on different computers. This makes it difficult to provide ad-hoc reports to managements of the shopping mall. In situations where a single customer is buying different types of products there is a problem of data redundancy. These makes the total amount that a customer needs to pay miscalculated and this has created loss of income and low productivity. Within four (4) months managements has fired about 3 employees due to incorrect account reports made. Managements of the Mall wanted to create accounts for regular customer but are frighten of bad customer records keeping. The special employee who oversees the other employees behind the counter mostly get fatigue by moving from one computer to the other. He has to copy all excel sheet of the records to his computer tally them and make accounts of it. There is also a problem of system security since data abstraction is not invoked in the system to prevent some unauthorized persons (employee) from making changes to some records. They easily lose their data since there is no backup system in place.
The Proposed System
The proposed system will provide satisfying interfaces to be used basically for keeping records of all employees and regular customers, tracking the daily transactions made, tracking the daily fiscal/monetary issues of the mall and giving GICEL shopping mall the opportunity to get the best out of the system satisfactorily. With the proposed system, services will not change but method of record keepings will change. A special/particular employee (administrator) will use this system to take care of all recordings while other employees provide the actual services. There will be a network between all the computers that will enable the special employee to sit in his office and monitor the other employees. The special employee does not need to move from his desk to draw inferences from the daily and weekly sales. He/she will also provide passwords to the attendants and make sure they are limited to specific...
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