As part of the formal assessment for the HNC/D programme you are required to submit an assignment for each module. Please refer to your Student Handbook for full details of the programme assessment scheme and general information on preparing and submitting assignments.
After completing the module you should be able to:
LO1. understand the structure and aims of business organisations;
LO2. understand the impact of e-Commerce;
LO3. design e-Commerce solutions.
You are part of an IT company specialising in the design and development of computerised business systems. Your consultancy has won a contract from a client. Over the years the client has been a very successful business but is now finding it hard to compete with Internet based stores which can offer a wider range of products at lower prices. The company management has decided that they wish to set up an e-commerce site to complement their current business. The client’s management makes extensive use of the Internet but they do not have technical backgrounds, so they are not in a position to understand the implications of this development for their business.
You have been provided with a description of the client company below.
Handyman’s Hardware is a fictitious DIY wholesaler based in Bedfordshire, United Kingdom. It supplies household hardware for home improvement including: hand tools, power tools, keys & locks, as well as plumbing & electrical supplies, etc. to retailers. These goods are produced by many different manufacturers, and often Handyman’s Hardware will have different manufacturers’ versions of the same item. Details of the stock held by the wholesaler are kept in a stock book.
To purchase products, a retailer must first register with Handyman’s. The company currently takes orders by phone from registered retailers who can order many quantities of many items that Handyman’s have in their current catalogue. Handyman’s pays a local printing firm to create the catalogue but would rather create their own catalogue from the data held in their local database.
They are eager to add further customers to their information system so that they can email their customers with any specials that are currently available as well as the entire catalogue which is currently produced every 6 months. This will act as a spur to encourage sales in the marketplace and keep the public up-to-date about the new ranges of items available for purchase.
Note: This business is fictitious but is representative of similar businesses throughout the world.
Please DO NOT try to contact any company directly about this assignment. They are much more interested in operating their company than they are about student assignments.
Using the details given in the above scenario, you are required to address the following four individual assignment tasks so that you can prepare a final single report for the client. You will need to consider the possible effects of the proposed e-Commerce on the organisation and processes of the company.
You will also need to investigate the wider impact of the Internet on the client’s industry.
Provide an assessment for the client of the potential impact on the organisation’s aims, structure, functions and stakeholders of implementing an e-Commerce system as proposed. The assessment should summarise the key aims of the organisation and describe the structure of the organisation and the organisation’s industry. The assessment should also consider what it would mean for the stakeholders and potential markets, how it would affect current distribution channels and how it would affect the aims, structure and the organisation of the organisation.
In order to describe change you need a baseline to reference against. Relate your work to both the course materials and more importantly, any other appropriate reference material. For example, what type of organisation is it? What are the aims? Who are the stakeholders? Do not just quote back the limited material provided in the original scenario description. Check back to the course materials to see material relevant to these. Use this baseline to describe the changes that might occur due to the implementation of the proposed e-commerce system. You should use referenced material that you have found to support your description of the structure of the organisation’s industry and how it likely to change. Finally, discuss what would be the likely impact on the organisation which should be related back to previously researched material.
(This task allows you to demonstrate Learning Outcomes 1.1 and 1.2)
Provide an assessment for the client of the impact of introducing an e-Commerce function into their organisation. This assessment should explain the global impact of e-Commerce and explain the impact of the development of e-Commerce on both consumers and businesses.
Try to provide a referenced overview of the global impact of e-commerce, and then discuss the impact of the development of e-commerce on both businesses and consumers in general.
(This task allows you to demonstrate Learning Outcomes 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3)
Provide a statement for the owners of the organisation that explains the role of each of the following, for the proposal for an e-Commerce solution – Objectives, Market Research, Target Markets and Market Potential. You need to cover each of these topics.
Evaluate the e-Commerce systems used by the similar organisations in the industry (N.B. Focus on the e-commerce systems – not the website itself!)
Discuss the financial implications of the proposed e-Commerce solution.
Remember to use references in this section – presented in the AU Harvard style.
(This task allows you to demonstrate Learning Outcomes 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3,)
1) Technology requirements e.g. hardware, software, security, maintenance, back-end systems, supply sources, distribution channels.
2) Payment systems e.g. electronic cheque, Paypal, NoChex, credit or debit cards.
3) Security – e.g. prevention of hacking, viruses, identity theft, firewall, impact on site performance, Secure Socket Layer(SSL), secure HTTP (HHTPS), digital certificates, strong passwords, alternative authentication methods.
4) Legislation – e.g. Data Protection Act 1998, Computer Misuse Act 1990, Consumer Credit Act 1974, Trading Standards, Freedom of Information Act 2000, copyright legislation.
The emphasis in this task is on “high-level”, i.e. what are the major components of an e-Commerce solution. You do not need to provide a detailed specification of a suitable server etc., or that a PC is required to access the system – focus on what are the main logical components of an e-commerce system. You must also address each of the points listed, but they do not have to be long. Be aware of your overall word count. Try to be succinct.
Remember to include an evaluation of your design.
(This task allows you to demonstrate Learning Outcomes 3.4 and 3.5)
FORMATIVE FEEDBACK OPPORTUNITY
In order to assist with your learning and to give you some early, formative feedback you are encouraged to submit an outline plan of your assignment and a draft of your response to Task 1 of your assignment to your tutor. If you do decide to complete this DRAFT then, in order to receive feedback, the document must be emailed to the tutor by 12th April 2018. The tutor’s email address can be found on the module front page on iLearn and you will receive feedback within seven days.
Guide to Harvard Referencing
Guide to Harvard Citation
You must use the AU Harvard Referencing method in your assignment.
The word count excludes the title page, reference list and appendices. Where assessment questions have been reprinted from the assessment brief these will also be excluded from the word count. ALL other printed words ARE included in the word count. Printed words include those contained within charts and tables.
Recommended Additional Resources
BTEC, 2011. Computing & Systems Development Study Guide Level 4HNC Level 5 HND. Pearson
EBSCO Business Source Complete – Online ‘library’ resource available via iLearn
Magazines, journals and newspapers
Academic publications from credible sources such as:
Internet based sources and search engines.Order Now