The Original Horizon Electronics is a well-established wholesaler that deals with disco equipment, in car entertainment as well as T.V and video repairs. Mr. R. Sharma, the company director, established the company in 1983, and now has four flagship branches across London.
The company boasts a large range of electrical manufacturers, such as Longmill, Pioneer, Kenwood, JBL, Alpine, Technics, Jamo and many more. The Original Horizon Electronics are especially renowned for their top quality service in the In-Car-Entertainment department. They recommend specific items that will be suitable for the customer and they also professionally install every piece of equipment that they sell.
The end user for the project is Mr. Rana. Sharma. As mentioned before, Mr. Sharma is the director of the company, who has a history in the electronics industry. Mr. Sharma graduated from Southall Technical University with an Electronics degree and quickly established himself with one of the UK’s largest electricity company, Southern Electricity. In 1983 Mr. Sharma decided to go into business for himself and opened a high-street shop that provided customers with commodities such as DJ equipment, TV’s & Videos, as well as TV & Video repairs, called ‘The Original Horizon Electronics’. It was not until about 1990 that Mr. Sharma decided to stock in-car-entertainment (ICE). This included car stereos, speakers, amplifiers and subwoofers. Today, Horizon, as it is commonly referred to as, has expanded to four flagship branches in the London area, namely: Hayes, Alperton, Hounslow and Acton. It is in the Hayes department that Mr. Sharma actually works at.
At present, Mr. Sharma employs five members of staff in the ICE department. Each and every one of these employees is capable of installing ICE into a vehicle. Each employee is also rewarded a bonus each time that they successfully install a piece of equipment. In other words, they are paid a bonus based on price work. However, when a customer purchases an item there is no recognised procedure that books an installation for the equipment, nor is there a computerised receipt produced. Therefore, Mr. Sharma would like for me to produce a system to book installations and to produce receipts for the customer.
The only method that is used to create sales receipts and to book installations is a manual one. When a customer purchases an item they are given a default receipt, which the company purchase from a stationary retailer. If an installation is required then it is booked into a diary, manually.
On the 5th October I interviewed Mr. Sharma. Here is a brief summary of that interview.
Q. What does your company sell?
“Well we sell all sorts of electrical merchandise of the audio kind, like DJ equipment, disco lights, In-Car-Entertainment (ICE) and we also repair TV’s and Videos”.
Q. Do you have a computerised system?
“We do have a computer but it is very basic, and we don’t use it for the ICE department”.
Q. What’s the main use of the system?
“I wanted to use the computer to put all of my customers names and contact details and the items that they bought, but because of a lack of time and other commitments I haven’t been able to set up the computer to what I want it to do. We only really use it to type up letters to send out to customers and suppliers, but apart from that, no other business use is gained from the computer. A lot of the staff use it to go on the Internet to research about new products”.
Q. What would you want me to do then?
“Recently a customer, who I knew, came in with a sub woofer that he bought from the shop. The sub had a fault so we were going to return it to the manufacturer, under its manufacturer’s guarantee. When we return any items, we need a receipt to send with the item to prove that it was actually sold. But in this case, the customer had lost their receipt and I couldn’t find our copy, which made the situation a bit difficult. Fortunately, the manufacturers agreed to fix the sub, but basically I would like a system where I can keep receipts stored and retrieve them if a problem like this occurred again.
Similarly, a customer bought a head unit (car stereo) from us and had agreed an installation with one of my guys. When he came back after a couple of days nobody was aware that the installation was to take place, and on that day nobody was around to install the head unit. The customer booked the installation, which was supposed to be entered into the installations diary, but on this occasion it wasn’t, the customer only had a verbal agreement to install. Many problems could have occurred, such as not having anybody around to do the installation. A system that allows us to book installations through the computer, and then be able to print a sheet that tells us what installation is to be made that particular day, would be much appreciated”.
Q. What is the current procedure for the sales?
“The customer comes in, and chances are they know what they want. We then check the stock and if it is available we complete a receipt, and take a payment. Once the receipt is completed a copy is issued to the customer and we keep a copy ourselves. If an installation is required, we agree a date and the customer returns at that time. We don’t have any electronic form of sales or anything like that, it is all done manually”.