JSMP a privately held corporation plays a special role in the motor industry in Singapore. It was incorporated in 1985 to import motor space parts from America and sell to local customers. Since then, JSMP has become the biggest motor retailer in Singapore. It has a chain of retailer outlets around Singapore located in Woodland, Jalan Basar, Tampines and Jurong with the head office located at Shenton Way and a warehouse at Pasir Panjang and a total of 75 employees under the company’s payroll.
Since 1985, JSMP core management and operations functions have been handled manually (non-computerized) for functions such as accounting, payroll, stock inventory, budgeting, customers and suppliers data to piles of management reports from four different retailer outlets. PURPOSE The purpose of the report is to provide JSMP with a proposal to replace its existing manual operations system with new computerized systems. It will provide annual requirements of computerized systems (replacement, for new employees, special projects, etc) for all outlets.
This will include warranty and maintenance services as well as trainings will be provided to new employees. Quarterly technology briefings will be conducted as well as telephonic technical support for the JSMP’s employees. INTERVIEWED REPORT In order to determine the different manual operations that can be converted into computerization. Interviews are been conducted with different levels of employees on the tasks performed and individual feedbacks of the current system as indicated:
Shaun Tan, HQ Operations Manager, explained that data (sales transactions, inventory, etc) from different outlets had to be manually complied as piles of management reports and had to be sent periodically to the HQ through a flow of physical documents. He added that in some cases, errors and double entry of data are found in the reports from various outlets and would also take quite a while on an average of at least three days to reach HQ from the point of compiling, depending on the amount of data (sales transactions, etc) daily.
Thus, resulting in a lack of timely information and hindered the top management in the decision making process. The need to link up all databases from the various outlets, improve the systems data integration and have information readily available to the key decision makers. 2. Janice Chin, Accountant, during the interview, she has brought up that issuing cheques and manually calculating all the salaries are very tedious jobs in payroll administration.
It can also be difficult to fully carry out an employee incentive plan using manual procedures because it can take up at least more than two weeks to compile all the incentives from the beginning of the fiscal year on each employee in the company. For Accounts Receivable, even if a properly organized and maintained system, numerous hours of posting the sales and receipts of a large volume of active accounts has also been incurred as well as preparing the statements for customers.
Unfortunately, due to the high volume of information that needed to be handled has tremendously increases, the number of errors made by the employees has increased as well. Not forgetting, if the customers are not billed on time, payment to the company will also be delayed. 3. Sharon Chan, Advertising and Marketing Senior Executive, has mentioned during the interview that the department is in-charge of sales promotions such as launching new products to existing and new customers. The team has been designing the promotion brochure manually such as drawing before sending to the printer for printing.
Sometimes, the team has to make numerous trip to the printer in order to verify the artwork and this is very time consuming, costly and inefficient for her team. Memo with regards to new products to be advertised in the retail outlets are also limited to wording only without any pictures as it will be also additional cost to send out to the printer for printing and also time will be wasted during the process as competitors may at the same time, launches a similar products to the market.
Tan Choon Hock, warehouse Supervisor, has also described that, every week there are at least 2 containers of stocks are sent in from America and a few containers of stocks are also delivered to the customers. Upon having large quantities of stocks delivered to the warehouse, the warehouse team has to manually check on the stock part numbers and recorded down the location and quantities received of the stocks in a logbook. Stocks that are delivered to customers had to be manually located from the logbook and pick up for packing.
With a large quantities of stocks and high volume of turnover, it can cause major errors of the inventory tracking system. It can result in lost sales as wrong information has been passed to the sales and the maintenance of unnecessarily high quantities of slow-moving products due to overlooking. It is also time-consuming when having monthly stock-take in the warehouse as it has to be closed for at least three days especially with such a high volume of stocks and this can result in lost of sales and delay in delivery as well. 5.
Shirley Phang, Administrator, has explained that maintaining files manually (such as customer files and employee files which include items such as time-cards, work orders, receipts, etc) are tedious and time-consuming operations, especially when there are hundreds of customers per year that are organized alphabetically by name. The files such as old customers records, sales, etc and manual of obsolete products that has reached seven years will be scraped away to create more space for new transactions and customers and these works have taken up a lot of time for the administrators who has been maintaining it.
Thus, causing a number of backlogs that has yet to be cleaned out that has not been cleaned up for years. 6. Andrew Tan, Salesman, has also explained that there is also a delay in attending to the enquiries from customers (such as availability of stocks, delivery schedules, costs of item, etc) as information has to be manually retrieved from the piles of handwritten information (such as inventory) updated and sent from HQ on a periodically basis. In some cases, information are not updated in time and errors may happened especially when there are also other outlets selling the same products and updating the files concurrently to HQ.
After evaluating all the interview sessions from the individual employees, a list of documents that include all functions in the business that are currently and need to be produced in which speed and accuracy are needed for handling volumes of information, includes preprinted forms such as cheques, billing statements or vouchers, etc as well as materials used as input into the manual system include items such as time cards, work orders, receipts, invoices, purchase orders, etc are been collected in order to determine the hardware and software requirements for JSMP.
OBSERVATIONS Here, the data had to be manually reported and, unavoidable reporting errors could have happened during the process. After the data are recorded, the flow was reversed as piles of management reports that were written and sent back to the managers in the various outlets, thus, causing a lot of paper work and no backup copy for the reports. RECOMMENDATIONS After reviewing all the facts and findings, the following hardware and software are been recommended for the transformation.
Hardware (Equipment) With the computer’s various capabilities, it can resolve many business problems. Some of the most common applications are preparing accounting statements and reports (such as balance sheet, income statement or inventory status report) as well as keeping accounting records (such as cash receipts journal, receivables ledger and general journal). Other important tasks also include maintaining customer data and supplier data, creating flyers and making salary payment to employees.
It can also help to employee productivity by providing the tools the employees need to find information and products at the right place at the right time. In order for computer to execute these useful works, a three way communication is communicated through a keyboard, used to enter data into the computer and a display monitor and also a printer for output (such as reports, etc).