Information Systems for Business

Information Systems for Business
Readings: Kroenke et al Text Book (Experiencing MIS), Chapter 2 pp 27 onwards, CE 2 & CE 3). (I wouldn’t expect the answer {excluding references and the question} to part 2 to be more than one A4 page long using 1.15 spacing and size 11 font)
1. Provide screen prints showing a) the revision history of the ‘Collaboration’ document that you and your team (or partner) worked on in Google Docs for Tutorial-lab 2 Q1 and b) one or more ‘revision history’ pages (see the Tutorial-lab 2 Google Docs Instruction Manual page 9) to show the version management elements of the document (i.e. what was changed and who changed it). Note: your tutor will have to see evidence of the collaborators and their contributions
2. Using the answers to Q 2 of Week 2 Tutorial-lab, determine the following:

a. What type of information systems could be used in making the decisions (e.g. automated or augmentation IS or both; hint – also look at whether the decision is structured or unstructured to give you clues)
b. State why you think it can/should be used and provide an example of each (using information from the Internet or elsewhere) of the system software or application (state the name of the application, the vendor and provide the URL or the citation/reference): e.g. {Note: this is an example only, it is not a correct answer} – for the xxx decision in part b which is an operational decision, an augmentation IS could/should be used as the decision making process is structured because…… An example of an application that can be used is the Finance Planning module of Oracle Financial Services software (
Task 2 (Week 3)
Readings: Kroenke et al Text Book (Experiencing MIS), Chapter 3, also have a look around the web site of Premier Inn (, and read the article “The best budget hotels_ Travelodge v Premier Inn, putting them to the test _ Mail Online” on Blackboard for Week 3 under the assignment task 2 section
Whitbread PLC (Whitbreads) is the leading hospitality company in the United Kingdom (UK), with its headquarters in London. The company employs over 40,000 people worldwide and serves more than 11 million customers every month in the UK alone. Whitbreads operates hotels, restaurants and coffee shops with brands that include Premier Inn (budget hotel chain with 600 hotels in the UK, 2 in India and 3 in Dubai), Beefeater Grill (about 130 restaurants across UK offering mainly steaks, grills, burgers and pasta dishes at value prices), Brewers Fayre (about 130 restaurants across the UK offering favourite pub food at great value prices, in a family-friendly environment), Table Table (100 restaurants across the UK that offer different styles of dining spaces, so customers can choose the one that matches their mood or the occasion, also at value prices), Taybarns (7 restaurants across UK offering a 34 metre food counter, with a wide range of quality food of over 100 dishes all freshly prepared as patrons watch), and Costa Coffee (the number one coffee shop chain in the UK with over 1,200 stores in the UK and over 650 in 25 other countries).
Whitbread’s Premier Inn ( has won a number of awards (e.g. ‘Best Business Hotel Brand (over 50 sites)’ in the 2008 Business Travel Awards, ‘Best Family Travel Facilities’ in the 2007 Parent Friendly Awards and ‘Innovation in Sales’ at the 2007 National Sales Awards). In the UK, the Premier Inn’s biggest competitor is Travelodge. A big selling point for both these chains of budget hotels is that families (up to two adults and two children under 16) pay no more to occupy a room than a couple or person on their own, while breakfast is also free for children. Most Premier Inn sites are accompanied by a Whitbread brand chain restaurant of Table Table, Brewers Fayre, Beefeater or Taybarns. The majority of the other hotels provide food and refreshments with an in-house restaurant or an external partner restaurant located nearby. In July, 2011, a journalist with the Daily Mail wrote an article comparing the Premier Inn with Travelodge. Premier Inn was rated higher than Travelodge but it was acknowledged that it was slightly more expensive.

Q1. Analyse the five competitive forces for Premier Inn’s market.
Q2. What appears to be Premier Inn’s competitive strategy? Explain your answer.
Q3. Explain the nature of the five primary value chain activities for Premier Inn (i.e. Inbound logistics, Operations, Outbound logistics, Service & Support, Sales & Marketing). (Note: you have to determine if all 5 activities are applicable to Premier Inn)
Q4. How does (or can) Premier Inn use information systems in its competitive strategy in the value chain activities in question 3 above?

(I wouldn’t expect the answer {excluding references if any and the question} to be more than two A4 pages long using 1.15 spacing and size 11 font)

Task 3 (Week 4)
Readings: Text Book (Experiencing MIS), Chapter 5, Week 4 tutorial-lab material (Week 4 Tutorial-Lab MS Access Manual, ERD etc for guidance)
Q1. Using Week 4 Tutorial-lab for guidance, create an Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) for the following scenario:
Mark runs a family-owned furniture delivery service in the Perth metropolitan area servicing furniture companies like Merry’s, Ikea, Gascoigne Leather, Freedom, Domain, Furniture Spot etc. The furniture companies use his services to deliver furniture to their customers. He has 4 delivery trucks which he uses and apart from Mark, his wife and their two sons who act as drivers, where necessary Mark employs casual help with particularly large or heavy deliveries. While Mark has so far kept paper records of his business, he is now thinking of ways to improve his record-keeping so that he can find an easier way of checking up on deliveries completed for the various companies and some details of each delivery. He has approached you and you decide to use MS Access to create a simple database application for him.

He needs the following information in the database:
• Name of the customer i.e. furniture company (could be more than one branch of the same company, but each is treated as a separate customer), its address, its e-mail address, its phone number, contact person in the furniture company
• Details of the deliveries done for each customer: delivery number, truck registration number, driver, delivery date, pickup address (which could be the customer’s address or that of a third party importer, warehouse, etc. i.e. a different address from that of the customer, delivery address, invoice amount.
The following are his business rules:
• A customer can have many deliveries done for them but each delivery must only be allocated or given to only one customer. Mark may need to keep a record of a customer who currently may not have given him any jobs yet.
Task: (Note that the ERD is worth 3 marks)
Create an ERD for the entities for Mark’s business based on the narrative above showing cardinalities and whether or not the relationship is mandatory/optional. Select suitable attributes for the entities remembering to have unique identifiers (primary keys). Link tables using foreign keys. Show the complete ERD (for entities you need to also indicate attributes [just the name of the headings, not the actual data] and primary/foreign key) in your assignment document. State any assumptions you make about business rules. (You don’t have to show all the steps as in the tutorial-lab, just the final ERD).
This part of task 3 is worth 17 marks; screen prints of tables (both design & data sheet view) are worth 1 mark each i.e. 4 marks in all; Relationship screen print worth 3 marks, Form worth 3 marks, Query screens worth 1 mark each, report worth 5 marks = 20 marks in all including the ERD).
Using the Week 4 Tutorial-Lab MS Access Manual as a guide and Tutorial-lab 4 work (you need to create your own tables and input your own data creating at least 6 records each for any ‘one’ table, and at least 15 records for any ‘many’ table; you also need to ensure you have at least one or two customers with more than one delivery and at least one customer with more than one delivery in the same month) implement the ERD created in Q1 in MS Access 2010. Do screen prints (when you have the proper screen in front of you, press the Print Screen button on your keyboard, go to where you want to put it in your assignment document and click ‘paste’) of the following and paste them in your assignment document :
• Each table in data sheet view (populated) and in design view (showing meta data) i.e. two screen prints for each table
• Create the relationships between the tables and implement referential integrity and show the screen print of the relationships from MS Access in your assignment document
• Create a Form for Mark to input (enter) or change details of customers and deliveries. Do a screen print of the Form in Form view and paste it in your assignment document.
• Create a query where the user will input a customer and the query will return the list of deliveries for that customer. Do screen prints of the query in design view and the result of the query and paste them in your assignment document.
• Create a report of a listing by Customer showing their e-mail address and all the details of the deliveries done for them (think about the design and the levels of grouping used to make a meaningful report for the user e.g. IDs alone would not be informative; apart from the customer, what other grouping level can you use? Can you ‘sum’ any totals). Do a screen print of the report and paste it in your assignment document.
When naming your attributes, they have to be meaningful & distinctive (e.g. CustomerName instead of only Name (in databases sometimes more than one entity will have similar attributes like Address and you need to differentiate which entity that attribute belongs to. Also, some words may be ‘reserved’ or ‘system’ words e.g. Name, Number, Date and cannot be used on their own, instead use CustomerName, EstimatedStartDate etc.)
For data types, if it is a mixture of numbers & text, use ‘text’ data type. Remember also that
– In order to ‘link’ tables (i.e. where the primary key of one table is a foreign key in another table), data types of both fields have to be the same and have the same field size (however the one exception is, If a primary key in the one table has the data type of ‘AutoNumber’ when you create the field in the many table, it will have a data type of ‘Number’)
– In linked tables, you need to create (and populate) the ‘one’ tables first before the ‘many’ tables i.e. you cannot add a field entry as a foreign key in a many table unless it exists as a primary key field entry in the one table first e.g. as per Week 4 Tutorial-lab, when linking SubContractor and Job, if SubContractor is a one table and Job is a many table, a SubContractorID (primary key in the one table) can only be added to the Job table if it already exists first in the SubContractor table, so create the ‘one’ table entries first.
Task 4 (Week 6)
(a & b worth 10 marks each)
Readings: Kroenke Text Book (Experiencing MIS), Chapter 7 (pp. 184-220).
a. As part of a personnel development strategy at ABC Pty Ltd., employees are eligible to be sent for suitable courses/conferences once a year. Employees can find or nominate the courses/conferences themselves or they could be asked by their superiors to attend. Some of the courses or conferences may be in other parts of the UK or overseas and will require travel and accommodation bookings (flight or train/coach and hotel). All costs are borne by Whitbreads and where travel and accommodation are involved, employees are eligible for travel advances, and flights/train/coach and accommodation bookings will be made for them. The process is as follows:

The employee fills in a ‘Request to attend Course/Conference form’ and a ‘Booking Form’ and sends these together with the journey itinerary to the administration clerk in his/her hotel or restaurant. The forms will contain course/conference details (name/cost of course, place to be held), estimated cost of transport (if any), other relevant costs, accommodation costs, meal and other incidental costs (on a per day basis), days to be absent from work etc. The administration clerk logs the request in a register. He/she checks a copy of the employee’s human resource (HR) records to determine eligibility for travel advance and travel class allowed. If the employee is eligible, the forms and related documentation are sent to the supervisor for approval; if not, the request is cancelled and the employee is informed. If the supervisor approves the request, the administration clerk purchases the tickets, makes the accommodation bookings and arranges for the advance. If not, the request is cancelled and the employee is informed. Once the tickets are received, the administration clerk will forward them together with the advance and any other documentation to the employee. The clerk will then update the register.
Q1. Model the process above using BPMN notations and swim lanes. Show activities, data and process flows.

Q2. There have been complaints about delays with the current process. Employees who are frequent travellers have problems with delays in claiming advances and receipt of tickets (sometimes supervisors are not around, or there are last minute changes). Often, employees are made to wait for payment and tickets till the last few hours before their travel. There are cases where hotel bookings are not made for the right dates, especially where the itinerary undergoes changes. Do you think the process can be improved and how could information systems (IS) play a role in the improvement

The ECU FB&L Library staff have prepared a document to help with this task. It is in the Week 6 Folder under the Assignment section titled “2012-MAN1600 Task 4b Help Sheet”
You are a small to medium enterprise and you are researching software packages (applications) for your company. Select any one of the following (it may be a good idea to select one from an area which you are interested in or are choosing to major):
• A Sales and Marketing Application
• An Operations Application (this could be in retail, hospitality & tourism etc.)
• A Manufacturing Application
• A Human Resources Application
• An Accounting Application
• A Customer Relationship Management Application
Using the Internet and/or other sources (you MUST provide referencing i.e. cite URL [i.e. web address] and/or other details of the publications you use) find a vendor of the application you have chosen and do the following:
• State the name of the vendor and the name of the software/application
• Describe the features of the application (you must compare it to what the text says should be the features/functions of these types of applications)
• State the cost if any
• State the advantages and disadvantages of the application or problems/issues associated with it (use the text book to help you, if necessary. In this exercise the 3 marks for discretionary component will be awarded if you can find a journal article to support the advantages/disadvantages or problems/issues of such an application or package {not necessarily the specific package but the generic one for that type of application} )
For this task, I would expect no more than 2 pages (A4, 1.15 line spacing, 11 font size). Remember that you are using TurnitIn to submit your assignments and any plagiarism will be detected (i.e. copying and pasting large chunks of text from other sources). Please paraphrase /use your own words and cite your sources.
Note: If you are a repeating student, you CANNOT use your work from previous semesters in your answer – we have copies of the assignments for previous semesters in TurnitIn and these will show up as plagiarism if repeated & will be treated as such

Readings: Text Book (Experiencing MIS), Chapter 8; a selected academic journal article. The ECU FB&L Library staff have prepared a document to help with this task. It is in the Week 7 Folder under the Assignment section titled “2012-MAN1600 Task 5 Help Sheet” and see also the “TIPS FOR REVIEWING ARTICLES” document prepared by Susan Standing.
For this task, you are to choose one example of WEB 2.0 technology (e.g. any one of the following: Software as a Service [SaaS], Google Adwords, Google Adsense, Social Networking, User Generated Content (UGC), Crowdsourcing). Find one academic journal article and write an essay (minimum 1.5 pages, maximum 2 pages) about the article using the following as a guide (note: if you are not sure about the suitability of the article, speak to your tutor):

Introduction – What is Web 2.0 (also give the various technologies above and say in your own words what they mean e.g. Software as a Service (where companies…..), UGC (this is where….). Why you have selected that particular technology to research (e.g. related to the major you intend to do, it interests you, you use it, etc.)

The body of the essay will be a summary of the article in your own words (2 – 6 paragraphs). This would include things like the purpose of the article (or the research), how the data was gathered, what the authors found.

The conclusion of the essay will be your views on the article (do you agree with the authors – why or why not; do you think it is a good article)

Note: Proper referencing as per ECU guidelines is required.
(The answer {excluding references and the question} should be minimum 1.5 pages and maximum two pages (A4 size) using 1.15 spacing and size 11 font)
Note: If you are a repeating student, you CANNOT use your work from previous semesters in your answer – we have copies of the assignments for previous semesters in TurnitIn and these will show up as plagiarism if repeated & will be treated as such
Each task will be marked out of a total of 20 (100 marks in all and scaled to 30) based on the following general criteria (please refer to your lecturer if you are not sure of what is expected of you):
Marking Guide
Style & Presentation:- Max possible:2 marks
Is the answer well designed/structured? Is the layout professional and uncluttered? Are any diagrams etc. appropriate and clearly labelled and/or acknowledged? Mark Allocated:
Syntax & Grammar:- Max possible:3 marks
Are there spelling errors? Is the punctuation correct? Are the sentences and paragraphs/sections clearly understandable? Does the referencing (if applicable) conform to University standards? Are the sources up to date and relevant? (Not all information is on-line!) Have sufficient references been accessed (where applicable)? Are the sources reputable? Mark Allocated:
Content/Synthesis:- Max possible:12 marks
Is the content correct and relevant? Is the work free from repetition and padding? Does it get to the point quickly? Can it be understood i.e. does it stand alone? If the information is drawn from several sources, is it coherent? This may be broken down to cover either different aspects or different parts of the answer Mark Allocated:
Discretionary Component:- Max possible:3 marks
The lecturer/tutor reserves the right to reward effort and excellence for those students who demonstrate an exceptional level of competence e.g. providing their own examples, their own reading and references other than those provided in the text/unit/readings, providing an alternative argument and supporting it Mark Allocated: