A Supermarket Business System - Information Management and ...


Nov 20, 2013 (4 years and 7 months ago)


Caulfield School of IT

IMS1805 Systems Analysis

Tute 4

nalysing a

Business System


To give you practice at analyzing the information elements of a typical business


Supermarkets are large and complex business systems which depend on

management of information. The following is a simple summary of some of the main
related tasks which have to be done in a supermarket.

Working in groups, you will be allocated one of the supermarket’s main functions. You
must ana
lyse your part of this system and identify:

(i) Data focus:

The things which you need to store information about, and the specific details of
the information you need to store about each thing;

The connections/relationships between these things;

(ii) Proc
ess focus

The information processing which you need to do to carry out your function;

The hierarchy in which these information processes sit;

The data/information flows which are needed to make these processes work


You may find it easy to start by

doing a non
based model of the
system (for example, using people’s roles/actions) and then examine each role/action to
try to identify data and process elements

Business Description

The supermarket business can be divided up into five main
functions, each of which
performs its own group of tasks, as follows:

Stock Control:
The Stock Control Department is responsible for the following tasks:

Take delivery of new stock

All stock items are delivered with a supplier invoice. Stock control s
taff record the
delivery on the relevant purchase orders, and send the supplier invoices to the Finance
Department to arrange payment.

Dispose of unsold stock

All stock items have a use
by date. Stock control staff m
ust m
all goods from their
e of delivery, and ensure that out
date stock is disposed of, and not left on the
shelves. They try to ensure that there is minimum wastage of stock, which means they
must monitor sales care
fully and advise Marketing and P
ricing on the need for
ting to encourage purchase of stock which is approaching its use
by date.

Monitor stock levels

Stock levels are monitored daily from the Stock Level Changes Reports provided by the
Sales Department so that the Purchasing Department can be informed of the

need to order
new stock.

Provide management reports

A Weekly Stock Level Progress Report detailing the stock levels of all stock items is sent
to Management to enable them to make better marketing and discount decisions.

The Finance Departmen
t is responsible for the following tasks:

Make supplier payments

Invoices from suppliers for goods which have been delivered are received from the Stock
Control Department. Payments are sent to suppliers according to their payment

Accept c
ustomer payments

Details of the daily cash sales provided by the Sales Department are recorded. The cash
is sent to the bank.

Manage customer accounts

Account sales details are used daily to update customer accounts. Invoices are sent to
customers at
the end of each month and must be paid in 14 days. Problem customers are
followed up and are placed on the cancelled accounts list if necessary.

Prepare financial reports

A monthly Financial Report based on sales and invoices paid during the month is
epared for Management.

The Purchasing Department is responsible for the following tasks:

Order new stock items

When the Stock Control Department sends details of the need to purchase additional
stock, the Purchasing Department sends a purch
ase order to one of the suppliers of the
specified stock items. Before a purchase order is placed, Item/Supplier details are
checked to get the best possible deal for the current purchasing requirements. Sometimes
a quick delivery is more important than t
he best price.

date stock item/supplier details

Information kept on each stock item is updated whenever a supplier provides the
supermarket with new or changed information.

Purchasing use this information to help
them decide which supplier can offe
r them the best deal on each stock item.

Monitor deliveries

The Stock Control Department update purchase orders with delivery information as
deliveries are made. At the end of each day the Purchasing Department check the
relevant purchase orders to see

if expected deliveries have been made. Suppliers are
contacted and asked about overdue items.

Management reporting

The Department provides Finance with Daily Purchasing Summary Reports and
Management with Fortnightly Purchasing Summary Reports.

The Sales Department is responsible for the following tasks:

Record cash sales

When a customer purchases goods for cash, details of the sale are recorded using the cash
register, and the customer is provided with a receipt giving the details of the sa
le and the

Record account sales

When a customer with an account at the store purchases goods and charges it to their
account, details of the sale together with the customer account number are recorded using
the cash register. The customer accou
nt card and a list of cancelled accounts must be
checked before the sale can be made.

Record orders and make deliveries

The Sales Department provides a service where customers can order goods by filling out
an order form on the store web site. S
ales s
ff monito
r orders submitted this way,
order, which is then collected by the customer and paid for either by cash or account.

Sales reporting

On a daily basis a Sales Summary Report is provided to Management, a Stock Level
Changes Report is provided t
o Stock Control, and a Cash and Accounts Sales summary
report is provided to the Finance Department together with customers

cash payments.

The M
rries out these tasks:

Decide what stock to sell

a regular basis

decisions ab
out which goods to stock in the
. These decisions involve deciding what
products are available and what the
market is likely to want. They are

based on the following information:


marketing info
rmation about new stock items from


sales information about
patterns and
seasonal variations in product demand;


stock c
ontrol information about slow
moving stock

Setting prices

M/P sets the normal price of all products. The superma
rket’s price is based on the
original purchase price from the supplier, the cost of transport and storage, the volume
and rate of sales, and the desired profit margin for that product. M/P monitors all these
and adjusts product prices accordingly

nting prices

On a daily/weekly basis, M/P make decisions about offering discounted pric
es on
particular stock items. Existing stock levels and rate

of sales
are key factors in these
decisions. M/P must keep
Sales i
nformed of which items need to be


Advertising campaigns

On a fortnight
ly basis, M/P advise the
advertising agency of the
focus for the next set of radio, TV and newspaper advertisements. This focus may be on
product groups (eg dairy, meat, fresh fruit, etc)
or specific products (this week’s
discounted specials). Decisions about which products or product groups will be based on
stock availability, current sales levels and external factors which are likely to affect
demand (eg ice cream in hot weather)