Information systems are channels through which individuals and institutions collect, process, and distribute data. An information system aims to support a firm’s operations, and aids the management in decision-making. The lifecycle of an information system involves five distinct phases: analysis, design, implementation, testing, and evaluation (O'Brien & Marakas, 2006). Implementing a computerized time entry system at the photography-printing store will involve the five steps. All the work performed at each stage will be documented for proper evaluation.
The analysis stage entails a study of the intended system and its integration with the firm’s objectives (O'Brien & Marakas, 2006). A conclusive study will be carried out to establish what needs to be done to ensure that the computerized entry system is in place. The investigation will define all requirements of the new system and highlight its effects on all users. The design stage will outline the desired features of the computerized system and state its operations in detail. Information about the programs and applications the system will need will also be identified in this stage.
Implementation is the actual development of the system; in this stage, the components of the computerized time entry system will be obtained, gathered, and installed. Employees will undergo training to enlighten them on the operations of the system, which help in preparing them for the launch of the system. Testing will follow after implementation is complete; the system will replace punch cards, to check if it works. This will provide an opportunity to the development team to make adjustments, if any, before the system is adopted.
Evaluation will be the final phase for the development of the computerized time entry system. The system will be assessed to ascertain whether it meets the original objectives for its implementation. The system will be evaluated using parameters established during the analysis stage. The system will be deployed after evaluation, and a timestamp for its maintenance set. Maintenance reviews the changes that occur during the life of a system.
Electronic commerce refers to the use of computer-aided programs such as the internet by an organization to market and sell their commodities. Users of E-commerce reap benefits such as reduced transaction costs, access to a variety of information, and increase in market share (Mazzarol, 2012). The local small-scale grocery store does not use e-commerce in the sale of products. The store’s competitors are large stores such as Wal-Mart; therefore, there is a need to develop an internet strategy for the store to promote the use of e-commerce.
An internet-based model defines the category into which a given business’ operations fall. Such categories include the business-to-business category and business to consumer category (Zappala & Gray, 2006). The small-scale local grocery store is one that sells farm products like tomatoes and potatoes to the local consumers. The advertising internet business model is the most appropriate for the grocery store. This model employs text advertisements and user tracking to steer adverts to users as they surf the internet. The store should employ the advertising model to create a website since it promotes the interaction between consumers and the business, which is vital for revenue generation.
There are benefits that the store can reap from the creation of a website: one of them is the connection between the business and its customers. The website will create a platform on which existing and potential customers learn more about the store, and about how and where they can access its products. The store will also incur minimal advertising costs when using a website. Generating updates and advertisements through a website is less expensive as compared to using printed material such as newspapers and magazines. A website creates opportunities for expansion of a business. This is because users around the world can access the firm’s products remotely (Zappala & Gray, 2006). The grocery store will expand its network with the use of a website, due to its interaction with large masses.
Other ways through which the store can use the internet for its own benefit are generating revenue and selling their products online. The store can generate revenue based on the number of people who visit their website. Some websites earn money for their owners every time a person visits them. The store can also easily sell the firm’s products online. The internet provides an avenue for trade, where a business can sell its products to another business or to its customers (Zappala & Gray, 2006).
Functional specifications provide web designers with insight about the behavior of a website. The functional specifications for this design will highlight the store’s goals, the website’s features and security requirements, and its overall functioning. The website will bear the contacts that customers may use to reach the management of the store, and will show the products available at the store. It will also show the store’s hours of operations, and will display a link to consumers when they wish to order for a given product.
Technological specifications required to support this design are a personal computer, an internet connection, free HTML Editors, the Free Online Editor Tool, Notepad ++, a Mac Web Design Software, Free HTML Editors for Macintosh, and a Free Flash Website Builder.
E-commerce is a vital tool in today’s business world. Its use has many benefits such as retaining customers, reaching a wider market, and expanding a business’ market share. E-commerce entails the use of the internet by a business to reach its stakeholders. Websites are efficient, and the local small-scale grocery store requires a website to reap all the benefits associated with E-commerce.
Mazzarol, T. (2012). Developing an e-commerce strategy for small firms. The Conversation. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/developing-an-e-commerce-strategy-for-small-firms-10116
O'Brien, J. A., & Marakas, G. M. (2006). Management information systems. Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
Zappalà, S., & Gray, C. (2006). Impact of e-commerce on consumers and small firms. Aldershot, England: Ashgate.