Business Skills for E-Commerce:
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.
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.
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.
a) Explain the role of objectives and market analysis (e.g. Market Research, Target markets, Market potential) in the development of e-Commerce;
b) Briefly evaluate the e-Commerce systems of existing competitor e-Commerce sites.
c) Briefly discuss the risks and financial implications of introducing the proposed e-commerce solution into the organisation.
a) Produce a high level design for the proposed e-Commerce solution which covers the following areas:
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.