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Project Management BEN610

Individual Feasibility Study Report


Project Management( BEN610)

Submitted by:

Submitted to:

Harpartap Singh

Madhav Nepal

N8991308

BUSINESS PROPOSAL

Executive summary
This feasibility report is prepared for the Smart electronic executives to evaluate the best
alternative to increase sales for the company, and thereafter recommend on the feasibility and
possible merits of implementing a customized system. Over a couple of years , the company has
not changed its way of operation and thus there is need to look for the current techniques to
improve different activities .The report also caters for the requirements, background and
overview of the proposed system so that the company can doubtfully implement the system.
Smart Electronics is a company in the city which deals with a range of electronic
products and has two branches in the entire city. The electronic accessories available include;
computers, laptops, television, cameras, compact disks among other products. The company
supplies its products throughout the city and in addition provides after sale service to the clients
such as transport and installation support. This company works in collaboration with other
business owners and therefore provides wholesale products to clients and also deals with
individual buyers. The customers normally order for products either via telephone or personally
visiting any of the branches, although most clients prefer calling in order to save on time and
transport.
As a result of the challenges faced by the company and also clients, several feasibility
studies have been carried out and three options have been proposed for adoption:
Alternative 1: It does not advocate for any changes to be implemented.
Alternative 2: There is a proposal to implement a customized system to capture inventory and
help client to make orders.
Alternative 3: There is a proposal to create a company website which will entail most of the
details about the company, help clients order for goods and also provide feedback.
Alternative 4: Use Facebook page to advertise for the goods.

BUSINESS PROPOSAL

Table of content
Executive summary.......................................................................................................... 2
Table of content............................................................................................................... 4
Business proposal............................................................................................................ 5
Background of the proposed system...................................................................................... 5
Strategic business objectives............................................................................................... 8
Key project drivers........................................................................................................... 9
Different alternatives available.......................................................................................... 10
Conclusion and recommendations...................................................................................... 14
REFERENCES............................................................................................................ 15
APPENDIX................................................................................................................. 16

BUSINESS PROPOSAL

Business proposal

Background of the proposed system


Although the company has been successful over the years, the current system entails a lot
of procedure not only to the company but also the clients. An excel worksheet is used to record
all the transactions and an off-the-shelf software which currently is of rare use due to
enlargement of the company. The client is required to call the sales people and make an order
via the phone. The sales people at times may be very busy and this slows the rate of response. In
return, the clients may end up deciding otherwise due to slow service delivery. This system also
involves a lot of paper work; it is tedious and not cost effective. At some point saving the work is
also not easy and occupies a lot of physical space. As a matter of facts, these documents may be
misplaced easily or even destroyed in case of wet condition. Additionally, the distance between
the two work stations make store keeping difficult and controlling inventory is therefore not
consistent. Therefore, the current system is full of challenges and if any improvement has to be
realized within the business a recent technology is required to curb the problems (Asghar, &
Umar, 2010).
In the city there are several business people dealing with electronics and most of them are
just small business setup. Currently there are two great competitors of Smart electronics and thus
need to make some crucial changes in the business. Hope electronics serves almost a quarter of
the clients whereas Skynet electronics serves a quarter also. Smarts electronics also serves a
quarter and the other clients are served by the small businesses. Recent research by (Davenport
1990) shows that change in technology has really helped the small businesses improve their
operations .Most of the businesses are using multiple application software to enable them serve
their clients promptly. As a result, there is great competition even with the big companies and

BUSINESS PROPOSAL

there is worry that they will outdo Smart electronics .Consequently, the company executives are
researching on the best way to deal with the challenges.
As Smart Electronics Company undertakes various improvement ideas, the way
customers are attended to become paramount to the business because it is the source of revenue.
Therefore, a modern system has been suggested to help capture clients details and help settle
various problems that are currently experienced by the business such as communication, order
taking and stock control. The proposed customized system is a way forward to eliminate some of
this difficulties .First and foremost, the system will be designed as per the requirements of the
company thus serving the whole purpose of its existence. Several companies prefer customized
systems because the system is usually developed according to the companys needs and
preferences. This way, the company can have advantages over its competitors in the same
business. Thus, this is one of the effective ways of dealing with business competitors.
The two major types of software commonly used by the businessmen are off-the-shelf
and the tailor-made .The off-the-shelf software is widely developed to cater for the needs of
different businesses. It is easily gotten and cheap to acquire. On the other hand, we have the
tailor-made software which is widely known for its efficiency. This is a software developed
based on the users requirement and is also referred to as the customized software. The
customized software has more benefits than the off-the-shelf software.
To start with, most off-the shelf software are not made as per the user requirements and
therefore no guarantee of the purpose for which it is bought, in contrast to that, the customized
system fits the business requirements and the developers can guarantee 100% functionality as per
the business needs. The off-the shelf systems are developed in large quantities such that any
business can get a system they can incorporate for a certain duration .The system can only help a
small portion or solve very minor problems and not complicated issues.

BUSINESS PROPOSAL

Secondly, the off-the self is usually bought to meet need at a particular time and
therefore in case of further support ,the developers of the software may not be available to help
suit the rising needs of the company, for example if the business has enlarged in size and requires
an advanced software ,the developer of the software may not even be available to support
users .Customized software is developed and maintained by the developers such that in case of
any issues the developer is available and can mold the system as needs arises .The developers
work on contractual basis unlike the off-the shelf where the buyer may not even know the
developer and in case of need for further development of the software additional costs may be
incurred .
Thirdly, the off-the -shelf software is prone to attacks by hackers because most of them
are familiar with such software hence not complicated to crack the codes and maneuver
threatening system security. However, this is not the case with tailor-made because the codes
used might be very new to the hackers and thus complicated to interfere with the system. The
customized software is also easy to use perfectly fits the user unlike the off-the-shelf system.
This serves as perfect way to maintain system security and controlling the overall functionality
of the business.
Additionally, research by (Phan 2003) proved that the customized system may be
integrated with the other software within the business and this makes work easier. This may be
experienced by the business where application software is used for different activities. In
contrast, this is rarely seen in off-the-shelf systems. They are not compatible with other system
already in use by the business. As a result, workers may need more time to familiarize with the
system and learn to work as it is designed. In most case, work done using the system may be full
of mistakes and takes a lot of time for the users to adopt.
Another benefit of the customized system is that the hardware required may be minimal
compared to the off-the shelf. This is because any change in the business will require totally

BUSINESS PROPOSAL

new hardware acquisition to suit the installed software. Therefore, the business must be ready to
support any change that erupts in the business both physically and financially .Therefore, any
intelligent entrepreneur would go for a cost saving technology and which would work better for
the entire organization (Kirchmer 1999).
On the other hand, (Kiong and Kee 1998) discusses the challenges that businesses using
customized systems face as highlighted here. First, funding the project is high because the
system is developed solely for your business. Therefore a lot of money may be required in case
of a customized system as compared to the off-the-shelf. Next, the programmer required for such
a job should be qualified person which in most cases it is very hard to scrutinize unless after the
project is complete. Lastly, the company depends fully on the developer for the source code for
instance when the user gives instruction, he may not provide sufficient information for the
proper development of the system thus the system may still have discrepancies.
Strategic business objectives
When planning for Smart electronics, the key business agenda can only be scrutinized
through use of an analysis tool called SWOT analysis. The four letters stands for Strengths,
Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Based on the SWOT analysis, any business has to focus
on the principle objectives of the business which includes; improved communication among
workers and clients, increased sales, proper use of available resources, invention of new
technology and implementation and the market proportionality. Smarts Electronics has really
expanded for the recent years due to proper planning and allotment of resources. The means of
communication is not fully covered and thus still a challenge for the business. Financially, the
business has increased its share capital and every year profit has always increased apart from last
year which recorded the lowest profit since the company started its operations. This company is

BUSINESS PROPOSAL

among the most competitive companies but the only drawback is use of an off-the shelf system
and some obsolete methods of operations (Valentin 2001).

Key project drivers


The main objective of Smart Electronics is to increase sales through the most recent
technology through minimal costs. Secondly, the company is in great need of reliable services to
the customers as a way of attracting them. It is therefore essential to work out the most effective
ways of communication not only within the company but also to the clients. The company is also
planning on the ways to reduce paper work and improve on the ways of ordering for the good.
The company is also facing stiff competition and is looking for ways of coping in the business
world by making use of the strengths and opportunities and reducing weaknesses and threats
surrounding the business.

Project assumptions, constraints and validity


During the development of the new customized system several assumptions have to be
considered;
1. All the workers are required to support the software development team with any
information required in the course of creating the system.
2. The steering committee will be required to describe the kind of system required by the
company and clearing define the objectives of developing the new system.
3. The current database will be incorporated in the creation of the new system to avoid loss
of data.
4. Internet connectivity is expected to be able to access data from all the customers from
whichever location.
5. The business will be in operation as normal for the rest of the time whereby the process is
approximated to use two months.
6. The system is expected to allow customers to order for goods even without calling and
pay via plastic money and then the product will be delivered to the required destination.

BUSINESS PROPOSAL

7. Some of the systems such as manual way of counting products will be eliminated the
moment the system is developed.
8. The project is approximated to cost $ 1500 and a maintenance fee of $100 every year.
After the development process, the hardware and software required will be installed ready for
use. The team members will ensure that the system has been configured fully and verify
availability of all the parts. Additionally, the two systems have to work concurrently to test the
functionality of the new system until when it will be declared perfect to replace the current
system. Meanwhile feedback will .be corrected concerning the system and it will be fully
analyzed before the system is accepted into the business.
Different alternatives available

According to the feasibility study, the company may also prefer developing a website as a
way of solving its current problems. The website is meant to show all the goods available for sale
and collecting feedback about the services offered by the company. In addition, the website may
also incorporate a chat option where the buyer and the seller can easily interact by use of instant
messaging. The website would also show the prices of different products that are available for
sale and the location of the two working stations. The development price plus the maintenance
fee for the website is approximated to be $ 1000 whereas the revenue for the year first year is
$600 and the following year $700.As a result, the project would take one year and seven months.
The initial step of developing a website is identifying the requirements of the company,
by defining the goals and the objectives of the company. Secondly, consider information which
will be dynamic because the needs of the company can change at any time and this has to be
accounted for, identify some of the unique features to include in the websites making the website
unique and outstanding. Some of the requirements during website development are; computers,

BUSINESS PROPOSAL

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internet, web browser, internet service provider and markup Language for example HTML.
Additionally, ensure the process cost can be accounted for even during the planning process. The
company should also ensure there is a person to update the website every time. This project is
expected to take at least five years for it to be fully successful as indicated in the schedule in
figure 1.
In the modern world, everything is getting online business been inclusive. Research by
(Avison and Fitzgerald 1988) shows that many companies are creating websites and this has
raised to more than 200 million by the end of 2010 and this has given growth to internet sales. As
a result it is important to have a website for a business.one of the benefits is that a website helps
a company advertise its commodities worldwide. Secondly, the clients can easily get business
information such as location, products available, prices of different commodities and the
contacts. Thirdly, a website which is frequently updated provides fresh information about the
products available. In addition, a website can be linked with other social media networks thus
making advertising work very easy.
In contrast, a website may show a very bad image of a company in case of bad feedback
from the client for example if a client has been poorly attended to, there is tendency of posting
negative feedback on the website which is seen by everyone. Secondly, it may be very hard to
reach the right people. Although most of the people will see the advertisement, they may not be
interested with the product and at some point only spam will increase in the inbox which is very
discouraging to the business. For international businesses this might be one of the best ways to
improve sales but for a local business it will be costly and rarely effective.
The last alternative put across during the research was use of Facebook page as a way of
advertising commodities thus increases sales. Facebook is a social media network and thus easily
accessible worldwide. It is easy to monitor feedback through likes, comments and sharing of
information. Another benefit is that Facebook can be linked to other social media such as twitter,

BUSINESS PROPOSAL

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LinkedIn among others just like a website can do. In addition, Facebook is free unless the
business would like to sponsor an ad on Facebook (Lacho and Marinello 2010). Some of the
challenges of using Facebook are lack of the target group, low conversion rate because liking a
post does not necessarily mean you will buy the product ,poor business image in case of poor
feedback among others.
For all the four consideration, use of Facebook is the lowest in terms of cost and also it is
the lowest in terms of returns according to the assumption of Smart Electronics. Use of Website
need huge capital has low returns compared to the amount invested. The current system is no
longer competitive because most of the other companies have similar systems .The system is
tedious, involves a lot of manual work, no proper way of recording transaction from the two
centers a and no proper way of ordering goods by the clients and also ordering for stock from
different vendors.
According to the research done by (Shanks, Seddon et al. 2003), the proposed customized
system is therefore a good consideration for Smart electronic because of the following benefits:
1. It will make work easier.
The system will be created to fit the needs of the company thus easy to use and access
information. The number of clients attended to within a given duration will increase due
to use of an efficient system.
2. Accuracy
The way inventory is handled from manual to systematic way of accounting for the goods
available. It will be easy to note when the stock is low by checking at the reorder level of
the system.
3. Time saving
Clients will easily login to the system and order for goods and pay for the same goods.
This reduces movement and ensures excellent services are offered.
4. Reduction of paper work and physical storage
The system will incorporate a database which will reduce paperwork in the company and
also storage space required to save physical documents.

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5. Improves on communication
All the other systems will be integrated into one system which will allow communication
in all directions within the company.
6. Improved services
When communication process is clear, all the services offered will be promptly done by
the sales people and this will improve feedback from the clients.
7. Increased productivity
The customized system is user friendly and does not require a lot of training, it also
eliminate errors thus increasing productivity level of the company.
8. Save on costs
The costs incurred while calling the clients so many times will be minimized. Also the
cost of calling vendors will be reduced due to the automated order system.
If we were to evaluate the proposed system payback period: The approximate amount
used to fund the system within a year is $1.6m and the revenue in the first year is
$2.8m.Therefore, the project will take less than one year to pay the invested money.

Conclusion and recommendations


In conclusion, I would therefore recommend the customized system to Smart electronics.
This is because the system will increase sales for the company and also help in facing the stiff
competition by the other business people. This system will also improve the working conditions
of the employees thus motivating them. It is therefore paramount to check on all the benefits of
this system although it may face some challenges but it outweighs all the other option available
for evaluation. I therefore recommend adoption of the customized system as a feasible project
based on research and analysis of the feasibility study.

BUSINESS PROPOSAL

13

REFERENCES
Asghar, S., & Umar, M. (2010). Requirement engineering challenges in development
of software applications and selection of customer-off-the-shelf (COTS)
components. International Journal of Software Engineering, 1(1), 32-50.
Avison, D. E. and G. Fitzgerald (1988). Information systems development:
methodologies, techniques, and tools. Boston; Oxford [England], Blackwell Scientific
Publications.
Davenport, T. H. (1990). "The New Industrial Engineering: Information Technology
and Business Process Redesign." Sloan Management Review 31(4): 11.
Kiong, T. C. and Y. P. Kee (1998). "Guanxi Bases, Xinyong and Chinese Business
Networks." The British journal of sociology 49(1): 75-96.
Kirchmer, M. (1999). Business process oriented implementation of standard
software: how to achieve competitive advantage efficiently and effectively. New
York, Springer-Verlag.
Lacho, K. J. and C. Marinello (2010). "How small business owners can use social
networking to promote their business." Entrepreneurial Executive 15: 127.
Phan, D. D. (2003). "E-business development for competitive advantages: a case
study." Information & Management 40(6): 581-590.
Shanks, G., et al. (2003). Second-wave enterprise resource planning systems:
implementing for effectiveness. New York; Cambridge, U.K, Cambridge University
Press.
Valentin, E. K. (2001). "Swot Analysis from a Resource-Based View." Journal of
Marketing Theory and Practice 9(2): 54-69.

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APPENDIX
Fig1: Gannt chant representing tasks and the time required for each activity in creating a website.
Task

Defining project

.
2

requirements
Designing the
website user

interface
Research and
developing

contents
Incorporating
graphic in the

website
Testing of the

links
Uploading content

7
8

to the server
Implementation
Feedback

collection
maintenance

5 years schedule of activities


0.5y 0.5y 0.5y 0.5y 0.5y

0.5y

0.5y

0.5y

0.5y

0.5yr