Ace Auto Dealers specializes in selling new vehicles from Subaru. The company advertises in local newspapers and also is listed as an authorized dealer on the Subaru Web site and the major Web sites for auto buyers. The company benefits from good local word of mouth reputation and name recognition and is a leading source for Subaru vehicles in the Portland, Oregon area.
When a prospective customer enters the showroom, he or she is greeted by an Ace sales representative. The sales representative manually fills out a form with information such as the prospective customer's name, address, telephone number, date of visit, and model and make of vehicle in which he or she is interested. The representative also asks where the prospect hear about Ace – whether it was from a newspaper ad, the Web, or word of mouth and this information is noted on the form also.
If the customer decides to purchase an auto, the dealer fills out a bill of sale form, listing the vehicle identification number, vehicle make and model, color, options selected, the base (list) price, the total price, and the date of the sale along with the purchaser's name, address, and telephone number. This form also shows the amount of the total purchase price that was financed. Both forms are filed in manual folders –done for sales prospects and another for actual purchases.
Ace does not feel it knows enough about its customers. It cannot easily identify repeat customers at its dealership or customers who have purchased a Subaru in the past from another dealer. It cannot easily determine which prospects have made auto purchases or the percentage of prospects that has been converted into buyers. Nor can it identify which customer touchpoints have produced the greatest number of sales leads or actual sales so it can focus advertising and marketing more on the channels that generate the most revenue. Are purchasers coming from newspaper ads, from word of mouth, or from the Web? Additionally, the firm cannot tell whether its customers are more interested in no-frills cars or ones with luxury options.
Prepare a systems analysis report detailing Ace's problem, and a system solution that can be implemented using PC database management software. Then use database software to develop a simple system solution. Your systems analysis report should include the following:
- Description of the problem and its organizational and business impact.
- Proposed solution, solution objectives, and solution feasibility.
- Costs and benefits of the solution you have selected. The company has a PC with Internet access and the full suite of Microsoft Office desktop productivity tools.
- Information requirements to be addressed by the solution.
- Management, organization and technology issues to be addressed by the solution, including changes in business processes.
On the basis of the requirements you have identified, design the database and populate it with at least 20 records per table. Print out the database design. Then use the system you have created to generate queries and reports that would be of most interest to management. Create several prototype data input forms for the system and review them with your instructor. Then revise the prototypes.