Delta Engineering / E-MAIL:
Kitchen Cupboards (KC Ltd) project
TO: Richard Twiss (Project Manager)
FROM: Project Team
- Chris Griffiths (Team Leader)
- Jason Foong
- Kris Trpevski
- Lewis B. Ogundo
- Rolando Suess
DATE: Friday, 12 April 2002
Kitchen Cupboards (KC Ltd) Project
Delta Engineering’s design of a new system
Kitchen Cupboards is a company that builds kitchens for renovated houses. Each kitchen is based on a modular pattern. There are a limited number of components that the customer may choose from but these may be combined in a number of different patterns. The company does not have a computer and is therefore not highly automated. The company relies on several manual processes to conduct it’s business. The company is looking to expand it’s position in the marketplace. We (Delta Engineering) have been asked to examine the business and suggest an overall solution to the company with a view to helping them achieve their objective.
A team was formed and given the task of analysing the current system and designing a new one that will be presented as a solution to KC Ltd. This report shows the team’s progress to date in achieving the said objective.
The Team Proceeded to make a schedule for the various tasks that needed to be completed in order to complete its objective. It was determined that the team needed a time frame in order to properly plan its activities. It was determined that 11 weeks was needed to exhaustively analyse the current system, research possible solutions and design a new system.
A Gantt chart was created to illustrate the tasks, their expected order as well as their planned commencement and completion dates. The chart has been attached as appendix 1.
Description (of Present Situation)
This section details the progress the team has made in the various aspects of the project. To date the team has managed to completely analyse the current system employed by KC limited and has come up with the information presented in this section. The team has undertaken and completed or is in the process of finalising the following tasks.
(Please refer to appendix 1 for more details)
Data flow diagrams (current system)
Problems of current system
Aims/Objectives of new system
Scope of new system and recommendations
Determining limitations or bounds of new system
Researching on possible solutions.
PROBLEMS OF KC Ltd
- There are about 300 forms or items of communication with suppliers with proper organization of the ordering of equipment and amending of orders the amount of communication can be reduced
- The speed of communication between customers and the company and the company and suppliers is extremely slow. May be improved by computerization.
- Getting quotes to customers is slow leading to increased turnover time (for payment) and reduced sales (customers going elsewhere)
- There is no customer relationship control that is no means to gauge customer satisfaction. Measuring satisfaction would lead to improvements and therefore improvement in sales.
- No method is used to obtain feedback and even when feedback is received it is not documented. There is no way to take action o the feedback.
- Time consuming when customers change their minds (partly due to communication issues)
Lack of stock control
- There is no formal means for stock control rather bob the builder sends out stock requests. Making it difficult to budget for purchase or prevent waste.
- Increases production time when production has to cease to await ordered items.
- No indication of fast and slow moving items. Knowing which items move faster would enable bulk buying therefore reducing costs
Labour and employees
- General lack of employees (leading to reduction of speed)
- There is no permanent bookkeeper or accountant.
- An assistant manager is needed as manager does most of the administrative work as well as supervision
- More cabinet makers and salesmen to increase volume and speed of work
- Lack of proper specialization and division of labour decreases efficiency (that is have someone do quotes and stock rather than bob doing both and making the cabinets as well)
- Dividing labour would lead to employees becoming highly skilled in their areas increasing both speed and efficiency.
Marketing and sales
- There are no catalogues of the modular designs. Such catalogues would include prices and enable quick quotes to the customers
- No information available on individual component prices. Such information would improve the giving of estimates to customers who want custom designs.
- No way of contacting salesmen in the field. This means there is no way of ensuring that appointments are kept on time and no time is wasted between them.
- Being unable to contact salesmen in the field means that new requests can not be attended to as soon as possible but have to wait until the sales man gets back to the office. (A salesman may be leaving an area where there is a new request and would have easily attended to it had he got the information)
- The salesmen work on salary basis. There is no motivation to achieve higher sales since earnings are not pegged to number of orders brought in.
Accounts and Bookkeeping
- End of month figures take too long to produce, up to ten days.
- There is a 30-day turnover on payments caused partly by the slow production of invoices. (Ideal for manager is seven days)
- The speed of processing accounts leads to an accumulation of outstanding debt tying up the business capital and a lot of defaults by debtors.
- Errors in accounting have led to loss of some money
- Each unit takes a week to assemble and sometimes longer to if it is a large job. Faster assembly and installation would lead to taking on of more jobs
- Lack of production employees leads to loss of some business at peak periods.
- Having same assembly and installation employees reduces speed and amount of work since while installing the assembly of other jobs stops.
Scope of the solution to be proposed
The team was required to limit the scope of their analysis, research and subsequent recommendations. We were instructed not to consider the aspects below in suggesting an overall solution to the company:
2) Human resources
We were however made aware that our solution should include but not necessarily be limited to the following:
1) Description of current problems
2) Data flow diagrams and decryptions of each phase of the process for both the current and new systems.
3) A full system repository
4) A conversion strategy
5) Security and Data control
6) Testing and training plans
Issues and constraints to be considered
The following are pertinent issues to be considered in the design
How can the creation of quotes be more efficient?
Who will be able to perform new skills for the new system?
What equipment will be necessary for the new system?
How can the business improve their sales?
How can the office contact the salesmen when they are with customers?
How can the end of month figures be produced efficiently?
How will production of cupboards be increased?
Who will handle the aging of debtors?
The following are constraints placed by the ownership of KC Ltd. However it was decided that if the proposed solution necessitates the overstepping of these limitations then the information will be conveyed to KC Ltd prior to finalisation.
No increase in individual workload
Reluctant to hire new employees
Does not want to retire or retrench current employees
In case training is required the company prefers in place training
Some employees may not be interested in computers or automation
CURRENTLY UNDER CONSIDERATION
The team is currently considering computerisation as the chief method of achieving its objective. We are currently researching and analysing the cost benefit of various software applications including spreadsheet, word processing, database, computer aided design and financial.
The team is also considering the use of some electronic devices. The impact and cost effectiveness of these devices is being assessed (as well as their projected benefits and acceptance by employees). They include electronic diaries, organisers, cellular phones, palmtop and laptop computers.
The team holds regular meetings to evaluate progress and assign tasks. During this meetings any problems that may have arisen are discussed and solutions proposed. The meetings also give an overall view of the quality of the work. The minutes of various meetings held have been enclosed as Appendix 2
The group is currently up to date according to the schedule (refer to appendix 1). Please study all enclosed matter to gain a more detailed impression of the current state of the project. Baring unforeseen difficulties the team expects the project to be completed well in time and to the satisfaction of the manger and the company (KC Ltd). Any insights or recommendations are welcome and will no doubt be highly appreciated.
APPENDIX 1 (Gantt Chart)
APPENDIX 2 (Minutes of meetings held)
Minutes for Meeting 1
Where held: Library second floor
Time began: 11:05am Time ended: 11:40am
People present: Zelalem Gilmour, Chris Griffiths, Rolando Suarez, Kris Trpevski, Jason Foong (no one absent)
Tasks Achieved: Worked out what to ask the manager for KC. for the following week. We also went through the actual task to go through any parts of the assignment that we didn’t really understand. Worked out what was to be done for next weeks meeting. Decided upon a leader (Chris Griffiths).
Tasks not achieved: (no tasks set before this meeting)
Who completed tasks: (no tasks set before this meeting)
Tasks for following week:
Ask manager questions about:
JCNo’s: Jason Foong
Communication with suppliers: Chris Griffiths
Cross-referencing on incoming invoices: Jason Foong
Stock Inventory: Zelalem Gilmour
Quotes: Chris Griffiths
Customer relationship control: Chris Griffiths
Purchase orders: Zelalem Gilmour
Goods Received Advices: Kris Trpevski
Accounts Cashbooks: Rolando Suarez
End of meeting
Minutes for meeting 2
Where held: Library second floor
Time began: 11:00am Time ended: 11:30am
People present: Zelalem Gilmour, Chris Griffiths, Rolando Suarez, Kris Trpevski, Jason Foong, Lewis Ogundo (new member) - no one absent
Tasks Achieved: Went through tasks from week before. Introduced Lewis to the group and explained what was happening. Arranged ourselves into groups of 2 to do specific tasks and when to meet up in our own time. Researched data flow diagrams in "The Professional analyst" (by Robert Cross and Tony Watson). Went through notes gathered in the tutorial.
Tasks not achieved: All tasks from week before were completed
Who completed tasks: (Everyone completed their tasks from week before)
Jason Foong researched JCNos and cross referencing on incoming invoices; Chris Griffiths asked about communication with suppliers, quotes and customer relationship control; Zelalem Gilmour researched stock inventory and Purchase orders; Kris Trpevski researched Goods Received advices; and Rolando researched what were in cashbooks.
Tasks for following week:
1. To begin giving a description of the problems in KC (Rolando Suarez and Lewis Ogundo)
2. Beginning Physical Data flow diagrams (Zelalem Gilmour, Chris Griffiths)
3. Beginning Logical Data flow diagrams (Jason Foong, Kris Trpevski)
End of meeting
Minutes of Meeting
Location: Library 2nd Floor. 11:05am
Attended: Kris, Rolando, Lewis, Chris, and Jason
Previous Weeks Tasks: All completed except for Kris, Chris, and Zelalem
-Checked previous weeks work
Tasks for following Monday
Jason- Expansion of number 5 of DFD
Rolando- Expansion of number 1 of DFD
Lewis- Expansion of number 2 of DFD
Kris- Expansion of number 4 of DFD
Chris- Expansion of numbers 6 and 3 of DFD
Objective for Monday- have detailed DFD's complete
Meeting adjourned 11:50am
5th April 2002
11:10am till 12:30pm
Held: 2nd floor, Library
Group: Chris, Rolando, Kris, Jason, Lewis, and Zelalem
Present: Chris, Rolando, Kris, Jason, and Lewis
Completed tasks: Completed levelled data flow diagrams, and research on Attaché, diaries, Excel, and MYOB.
Discussion: Discussed progress report due for next weeks project meeting, Gantt chart for the report, planning of entire project report, how we should present the new system, and the overview of the project.
Completed tasks: Completed planning of Gantt chart.
Tasks to be done:Rolando – write up the use of diaries/mobile for the system
Jason – write up the use of Attaché for the system
Lewis – Collate progress report
Chris – Re-plan data flow diagrams and write up the uses of MYOB for the system.
Kris – Draw Gantt chart, research CAD/CAM and write up the uses