Kudler Fine Foods Service sample essay

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Kudler Fine Foods Service sample essay

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Service Request

The manager of Kudler Fine Foods, Kathy Kudler, has requested the development of a system to track customer purchases through a Frequent Shopper Program to award loyalty points for redemption. (Apollo, 2011) Key Stakeholders

The key stakeholders are the individuals that are directly involved with Kudler Fine Foods and will have a direct effect on the overall project. These individuals will be the main source of information in the analysis, design, implementation and testing phase of the systems upgrade. Kathy KudlerProject Manager

The Frequent Shopper Program for Kudler is specific in addressing current and future customers by rewarding them for shopping with the company. Both business and technical functions will be addressed as well as improved communication between the sales and marketing and purchasing departments. The goal is to provide better response to customer demands while rewarding the customer and accomplishing this in an efficiently fast manner.

A marketing plan must be developed to inform current and potential customers of the program and encourage them to participate and take advantage of the benefits offered by the program. In utilizing an outside source for the program, Kudler will be able to provide a good relationship between the IT resources of the outside source and the internal sales and inventory systems. There is also a need to modify the two different databases and the GUI in order to allow for smooth data transfer and communication.

Kudler’s specific goals are to improve customer satisfaction in order to increase brand loyalty, cut costs by increasing supply efficiency, and increase sales which will result in higher revenue and profits for the company. In order to ensure success of this project, certain aspects will be monitored throughout the duration. This will allow Kudler to view what aspects are successful and what aspects are not. The main aspects that will be monitored are: new customer enrollment into the program, tracking of purchases from current and repeat customers, tracking of customer reward points, duration of participation from customers in the program, and total customer redeemed points, and difference in cost of redeemed items versus wholesale/supplier costs.

Supporting Measures and Project Feasibility

In order for Kudler Fine Foods to continue growth and experience profitability, the design and implementation of a Frequent Shopper Program must be accomplished. The program will need to utilize the best available hardware and software to accomplish their goals and to promote growth as well. The chosen system will need to address both short and long term needs and problems that could arise. This is done through a development phase that will combine all aspects and products that Kudler wishes to incorporate into the program. This phase must address the current budget allocated by Kudler for the implementation of the program while incorporating all needed requirements.

Current Business Process Summary

Proposed System Requirements

The proposed new system must be capable of meeting the requirements set forth by the key stakeholders within the company. This list of requirements will be presented, discussed, and then edited based on what is needed, what is within budget constraints, and what is decided on by the stakeholders. This list of functional requirements proposed to Kudler is below.

Functional Requirements

System is capable of new customer enrollment
System is able to track purchases for all customers
System is able to track and store rewards points for individual customers
System allows for rewards points to be redeemed
System allows for viewing of customer rewards points on POS terminals
System allows input changes from POS terminals
System will sync with company website for tracking of rewards points
System allows for data from each location to be stored and accessed in a central location
System must be compatible with current system in place for easy transition.

Determine Requirements

The determination of the requirements for this system is a key part in the development of the Frequent Shopper Program (FSP). There are many methods that can be used to properly determine the requirements needed for an efficient system. These can range from simple observation of current processes and interviews with employees and management, to Joint Application Design (JAD) procedures. The commonly used methods of observation, interviews, etc., can help analysts pinpoint exact requirements based on user input and business processes. According to Charvat (2003), “One of the biggest benefits of a proper user requirements specification is that you’ll be able to plan and estimate your project correctly, decreasing the chance of cost and time overruns.”

The analyst must listen to the employees and gain a thorough understanding of all business processes before establishing the new system requirements. The Joint Application Development (JAD) is a newer and more organized means of gathering information to base requirements on. This process is conducted by holding sessions in which key stakeholders and other key members of management are present and work together in the outline of the possible requirements. This allows for input from all levels within the organization and can yield better results than other commonly used methods. While this process can be lengthy, it keeps all key members involved up to date on the status of progress during the development phase and analysis.

List of Confirmed Requirements

System is capable of new customer enrollment
System is able to track purchases for all customers
System is able to track and store rewards points for individual customers
System allows for rewards points to be redeemed
System allows for viewing of customer rewards points on POS terminals
System allows input changes from POS terminals
System will sync with company website for tracking of rewards points
System allows for data from each location to be stored and accessed in a central location
System must be compatible with current system in place for easy transition

Proposed System Process View

Functional Allocation Modeling

This aspect is very important in ensuring all software and hardware utilized for the new system is up to date and current as of the time of this service request. Since technology advancements are made almost every day, it is important to stay on the cutting edge. This is why the use of computer systems with an Intel core i7 processor is being chosen. The hardware that will be used wil1l be purchase directly from Dell. This will give Kudler piece of mind with all hardware and full technical support with the warranty provided from Dell.

The systems chosen will have 8GB of RAM (memory) and will include 22” LCD monitors, core i7 processors with 4.5GHz speed, and come preloaded with Windows 7.. Each system will also be equipped with 10/100 ethernet capabilities to meet the standards of the current network in place at Kudler. The current server in place at Kudler will be replaced by Unix servers by SPARC Enterprise Software SAP system for retail environments. The POS terminals will be replaced by NCR RealPOS 82XRT terminals which offer scanners, cash drawers, touch screen displays, and built in printing capabilities. VOIP phone systems and HP M521dn and HP 8015 printers will replace the outdated ones currently in use.

Logical Model of System

Preliminary Design Model

Design Trade-off

In order for Kudler Fine Foods to have a successful program, an examination of product roll out methodology must be performed. There will need to be a specific balance in regards to the mixture of cost, schedule and performance. It is understood that a program cannot incorporate all three aspects at once which then leads to deciding what the appropriate trade-offs shall be within the requirements. The following depict possible scenarios of combining two aspects but foregoing a third possible requirement.

Cost and Schedule

By having a program that is inexpensive and keeps to the specified timelines the company will end up with one that is affordable and able to start up right away. If the schedule is large for integration of the system with the current system then the time to capitalize on the customers data would take time. The downside is that cheap is not always best and can result in a low performance record that is fraught with hardware and software failures. If the program cannot function properly there is a decent chance that it will fail outright due to customers not wanting to take part in it.

Schedule and Performance

Creating a program that is scheduled to finish on time and functions to specified standards will allow Kudler customers to enjoy the program’s rewards with little to no problems. In this instance the design trade-off is cost. The cost of the new proposed system would be quite moderate to high. The cost to get the correct and reliable information at every instance of time is the biggest challenge over the cost incurred in the infrastructure. Not keeping up with costs for the creation though will result in a project that has a finishing cost much higher than was originally budgeted for. The result can pull funding from other much needed programs or can cause the program to change such as the customer receiving rewards that are of a lower quality than originally promised.

Cost and Performance

If the project team is able to create the program at manageable costs while maintaining a high quality performance status the customers will be able to enjoy the benefits of the rewards while allowing the company to stay within appropriate budget levels. All the previous customers ‘ data would be inputted and further processed , which would take time The implementation of the new system would reduce costs of data transfer and catering the customers in a suitable manner. The performance of the system would improve with enhanced ability to track information about customers , their preference pattern and any change in their behavior In addition to all the above , the company can reduce the extra cost of hoarding of goods and can only customers preferences. The possible tradeoff is that the program may not be finished as scheduled. This can result in a backlog for future projects. In addition, if the project takes an exceedingly longer amount of time than originally thought, it may become scrapped so a new plan can come in its place.

Detailed Design Process

The prototype will drive the design of the forms and reports. The forms need to document predefined data in a clear and concise manner. Forms are typically based on one database record and have a stylized form. Reports are business documents that contain predefined data and data from many unrelated transactions or records used for reading or reviewing information. The forms and reports need to be end user friendly and clear to understand. They should not have simple rows or columns. The forms and reports can be designed using online graphical tools. This will help standardize them with other organizations. The forms and reports should have a transparent human computer interface.

In designing a form or report there are some fundamental questions that need to be addressed: who will be the form/report user, the purpose, when will they be needed, who should have access to them, and who does it need to be delivered to? Answering these questions will allow the programmer to produce an effective form/report.

The hardware and networks used should be consistent with what is already in use throughout the organization. Kudler Fine Foods uses UNIX operating system, HP blade server system and SAP as their software. The UNIX server needs to be upgraded to UNIX SPARC Enterprise software. The organization should upgrade their current version of SAP Retail SW to SAP for Retail. The HP Blade server should be upgraded to a Dell PowerEdge M620 blade server. The HP blade server is obsolete and this may create problems if future support or maintenance is needed. The CM2320nf printer is obsolete and should be upgraded with the HP M521dn printer.

The HP 3015 printers, VOIP phones, APC Smart UPS, POS terminals, 22” screens, and the NAS 10 TB storage server should all remain. If the organization is going to upgrade their software they should upgrade their hardware as indicated. This will allow the organization the ability to use state of the art hardware with state of the art software and get the most out of the system. They will be able to utilize the most current technological features currently available and extend the life of their infrastructure.

Human Computer Interface

The human computer interface should be designed with Microsoft Visual Basic. Net. Microsoft is a universal program that employees are familiar with. Using Microsoft will allow end users to feel comfortable with the software because the commands for Microsoft can be applied. Training is easier for employees using Microsoft because so many of them are familiar with it. Microsoft reports can also be imported and exported to other mediums making it possible for end users to review the information in detail. They currently use Microsoft Windows 7. Using the most current version of software will extend the life of the system. Using outdated software will hinder the use of the most current applications and can make the program prematurely outdated. The organization should continue using Dell computers but they need to upgrade them to Dell XPS 8700 with an i7 processor, and 4.0 GHz. CD drives are no longer necessary, most information is transferred or stored via a memory stick.

Physical System Model

What are information architecture diagrams? “A diagram architecture is not necessary an architecture produced through diagrams…. Instead, diagram architecture is an architecture that behaves like a diagram, indifferent to the specific means of its realization.” (Par. 13) When it comes to these diagrams you are taking the knowledge of the architecture and molding it into a visual and understandable aid laid out in sequence like patterns that show direction. And when these diagrams are designed of information architecture the process usually ends up back where it started making a loop back to the requirements. Producing this process of creating an information architecture diagrams can be a bit confusing and people end up getting information confused rather easy. Until a man named Philippe Kruchten came up with a brilliant way to look at the diagram. He introduced the concept of viewing the diagram through the eyes of the stakeholders.

This process became known as the 4+1 information view model. The 4 is for the several views in which he describes as the Physical view, Logical view, development view and the process view. And the +1 is added to describe the scenarios. Modeling the architecture of a software system can be presented in two areas known as the High level design and design patterns. High level is the use of the core components who work together for the one mission of fulfilling the requirements.

And depending on if the system is large enough it is possible that each component will sustain its own high level setup that will provide descriptions of its smaller parts. Design patterns are used here and there in the particular designs of each of the components. A pattern is a waypoint that will direct you to the end solution of the program in which it is accommodating. If the same pattern is used through the design of separate programs it will act as a money saver as it saves in the purchase of new software and saves time in the design process. Testing Process Summary

This phase will be somewhat similar to the installation and implementation phase in some ways. The overall functionality of every aspect within the system must be tested to ensure it meets the requirements of the original project plan. All new software and hardware must go through thorough examination and a system of checks to accomplish this. This phase must be continued throughout the life cycle of the system to continuously check for errors and bugs to keep the system performing at optimum capacity. To properly complete this phase there are guidelines to follow for testing that will cover all aspects of the system.

Hardware and Software

Installation Process/Training Plan

In order to accomplish the implementation of the Frequent Shopper Program Successfully Kudler will need to implement the POS Server database flawlessly into the system in order to avoid data loss or corruption of data. The online Cash Registers and the in-store cash registers will be communicating to the same database and a seamless integration of these three components is crucial during the early implementation phase of the installation. The challenge during this phase of the installation is the software that will be used to bring these three components together. Continuous testing of the POS, The CMS, and the store website are needed to ensure that any bugs in the system are pointed out early. Once this is complete the Kudler will be able to focus on the smaller aspects of the program such as ensuring that all merchandise are coded correctly and the scanners are properly transmitting the data.

The timeline for the implementation of this project is 2-3 months. The company should take measures during the implementation and installation regarding marketing to maintain the competitive edge and afford customers needed time to adjust to the idea of this new system. Time will be needed to train staff on the proper procedures for issuing and Frequent Shopper Cards, and the support teams will need training on how to troubleshoot system errors. The cashiers will need training on methods of marketing the programs and procedures for how to use, issue, and reissue cards to customers enrolling or already enrolled in the program. One of the keys to success of the program is ensuring the cashiers have a clear understanding of how to market the program. Failure to ensure marketing or the cards is upheld and train employees on how to properly process cards will be counterproductive to the program and could lower customer value.

Installation Process

Installation is the organizational process of change over from the current information system to the new one. “Managing the change to a new system—whether or not it is computerized — is one of the most difficult tasks in any organization” (George, Hoffer, & Valacich, 2012). After system construction, final acceptance tests performed during systems installation and evaluation ensures the development team has completed all tasks for the project. After determination that system operations are fully functional, the system is ready for installation. During the installation process, the old system becomes disabled and subsequently, the new system activated. The project manager and developers assemble the resources required for installation as the work begins.

Resources required for installation of the system includes development team members and their various programming tools, including software. Project constraints in this instance have a comparatively narrow degree because of the streamlined and limited changes. The installation team begins by changing the modems over to broadband, and activating broadband connections at each store. At this stage, the installed applications including updates to the Point of Sale system software, the database management system, credit card interface software, and printer applications undergo testing for appropriate functionality. The entire system is then tested, and confirmed successful for use (George, Hoffer, & Valacich, 2012). The installation of the Kudler Fine Foods Frequent Shopper Program and related plans for training will correspond with the timeline illustrated.

Training Plan

The training and installation timeline provides a sufficient and organized schedule for installation and system testing, also providing an expedient finish to the system implementation processes. The project team develops training materials and documentation for training classes. The next step in the implementation phase is training system users, managers, and IT staff.

Diagram 1: Installation and Training Timeline

User training and training documentation should include an overview of system features, capabilities and limitations, data entry and menu screen options, contents, and processing instructions, and procedures for requesting changes and reporting problems. Other important inclusions are troubleshooting examples and error situations including resolutions, and a section on frequently asked questions (Cashman, Rosenblatt, & Shelly, 2013). As illustrated, Frequent Shopper Program System Training, the specific details for training specific groups vary according to employee function and extent.

Documentation Plan Summary

Documentation needs to be accurate and will also be a determining factor on the software’s success or failure. Documentation needs to include how to work the system, navigate it, its potential, how to use the data, and reporting methods. This should be done early on so the end user has reference materials. The documentation process should begin when developing the system. This will provide supporting material for developers and help develop future training materials. If the end user does not understand how to use the system or recall information for reporting purposes, the software is not serving its purpose. Most systems in place today are for information gathering and storage. If the end user can’t access the collected information, then the software will be rendered useless.

The system will need to be maintained so a maintenance manual should be available to guide developers on how to make fixes and update the system. An operational manual should be available for the subject material expert, designers and users. This manual will help when they have questions on a process or how to get a certain part of the program to produce or collect the proper data. A technical manual will be necessary so the technical writers can refer to the system structure when they have questions. The technical manual should include drawings, flowcharts, and the database structure.

The system should have a training manual that has step by step instructions that a user can follow. It should also have a list of any codes, available reports, system outputs, a troubleshooting guide, work a rounds, and be current on updates. The Training manual or user manual will help the user by providing a guide for future reference and for training. The training manual will help decrease questions and improve efficiency. The more information that is available for the user the more proficient they will be at using it.

Training end users is very important. This could mean the difference between an efficient and easy flowing system or a cumbersome, difficult to use nightmare. Visuals should be used to make training easier and provide future training material references. If there are inquiries that are not frequently performed, the end user might not recall how to initiate the inquiries and having a visual to refer to, might help the end user be more efficient when conducting these inquires.

Support & Maintenance Plan

It’s not enough to just implement a system and fully integrate it into the new business system. There must be a support system that covers common mistakes and helps people locate answers to their technical questions. And along with the system support there also must be some type of maintenance schedule that keeps the system healthy, like frequent updates to keep the system up to date and as free from bugs as possible.

Software Support

In order for a system to operate at full potential the software must remain up to date with all of the bug fixes and security issues that comes with having software. Having your software up to date could very well be the lifeline of your company. If your software fails, then the work production conducted on that system will also fail.

Hardware Support

Just as important as software support is hardware support. Hardware consists of several critical and physical components of an IT system. These components include but are not limited to; servers, systems used to store data, personal computers (PC) and the networks that tie them all together. When it comes to business communication is the key, and this doesn’t exclude the communication of the IT systems.

Network Support

Like previously mentioned, networks are the communication for IT systems. Keeping your network up and running can be a little difficult to deal with. When a network goes down then every piece of hardware on that network has no communication. Unfortunately network issues usually get dealt with as soon as they happen. What is recommended is to have a preventative maintenance schedule in increments of monthly, bimonthly, semiannually, annually or biannually to periodically check the condition of the network before it fails resulting in a downed network.

When software is merged over into a company system there are user manuals and lists of known and unknown bugs for the system. Each member should have been briefed on the new software and also provided the information included in the user manuals and the known and unknown bug reports. For the hardware and network, preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid a downed asset. And a well maintained support system with frequent updates will ensure your software stays up to date with the latest security and bugs fixes.


This thorough analysis and all aspects carefully and fully examined, the proposed project will not only meet, but exceed the request of Kudler Fine Foods for implementing a rewards program. The use of cutting edge technology in both hardware and software aspects will ensure a smooth running system for years to come. The incorporation of the rewards program and the system upgrades should not only increase profitability, but brand loyalty from customers as well. The system meets all required needs of Kudler Fine Foods to include time scheduling, budget, and both short and long term goals.

Apollo Group Inc. (2011). Kudler Fine Foods. Service Request SR-kf-013. Retrieved from: https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/aapd/CIST/VOP/ServiceRequests/index.asp#Kudler Fine Foods Cashman, G. B., Rosenblatt, H. J., & Shelly, G. B. (2013). Systems Analysis and Design (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Thomson – Course Technology. Charvat, Jason. (June 30, 2013). Determine User Requirements Now to Avoid Problems Later. TechRepublic. Retreived from: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/determine-user-requirements-now-to-avoid-problems-later/ Dennis, A., Wixom, B. H., & Roth, R. M. (2012). Systems analysis & design (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. Federal Bureau of Investigation (2013). The Insider Threat: An introduction to detecting and deterring an insider spy. Retrieved from: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/counterintelligence/the-insider-threat George, J. F., Hoffer, J. A., & Valacich, J. S. (2012). Essentials of Systems Analysis and Design. Retrieved from: http://www.bau.edu.jo/inst/hamza/SAbook.pdf Riordan Manufacturing Intranet Website (2014). Retrieved from https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/aapd/cist/vop/Business/Riordan/ (2010, 05). Diagram Architecture. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 05, 2010, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Diagram-Architecture-63657523.html

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