You are on page 1of 4

ASCF Car Rentals Page 1

A N ETWORK FOR THE C AR R ENTAL C OMPANY

T HE C AR R ENTERS B USINESS
“ACME Sure Fire Car Rentals” (ASFC Rentals for short) is a small but growing national
car rental company. They compete in niche markets where renters want cars with a
difference, for example, a prestigious car for a special occasion, a off-road vehicles, 7 seat
Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV’s) for transporting larger numbers of people and a number of
standard vehicles at low prices. ASFC Rentals has found that the business in standard
rentals makes a good profit but the business is actually growing in the rental of the more
‘non-standard’ vehicles like the prestige cars and SUV’s.
The company has now outgrown its small time rental and communications systems and
needs a more integrated company-wide vehicle booking and car management system if it
is to compete. Also, there have been concerns about enforcing standard business rules
about upgrading vehicles across the organization and some very embarrassing situations
where different customers have booked the same vehicle at the same time. The
management also want to ensure a consistent level of service across the organization and
have put in place business rules and standards of practice for its staff to try and achieve
this.
ACSF Rentals currently operates the following numbers of offices:

Location No. of Offices


Adelaide 4
Albury/Wodonga 1
Ballarat 1
Bendigo 1
Brisbane 6
Cairns 1
Canberra 6
Dubbo 1
Hervey Bay 1
Mackay 1
Melbourne 8
Newcastle 2
Perth 4
Sydney 8
Wollongong 2
ASCF Car Rentals Page 2

Regrettably, Darwin and Tasmania are not on the map – YET!


Each office has a customer service centre, a maintenance department, fuelling station,
cleaning station, secure garage facilities, and a coffee and lounge area. ACSF Rentals
pride themselves on looking after their customers. The fleet is not large, like the more
popular rental companies, but ASFC Rentals has some specialty vehicles like the
‘Stretch Hum m ers’ that it rents for about $1200 a day and are very, very, very popular!
Speciality vehicles like the ‘Stretch Humm ers’ must be maintained and available as
much as possible. Note that the Stretch Humm ers only operate out of Sydney and
Melbourne and there are only four of these. Occasionally they are transported on a train
from Melbourne to Sydney or the reverse for special occasions.

T HE P ROBLEM S TATEM ENT


ASFC Rentals executives believe that they have a problem with the booking, tracking
and maintenance of their growing rental of vehicle fleet. The problems occur when cars that
have mechanical problems are rented, vehicles that have been double booked and there
have been cases when the wrong vehicle has been rented when it has been returned and
not serviced or cleaned.
ASFC Rentals intends to increase staff at its Melbourne HQ to include an operations
centre. It requires a networked computer based system to track bookings, track vehicles,
help with accounting and help to manage operations.
Doing this will help ASFC Rentals executives plan better, make strategic decisions about
future fleet composition and management and hopefully improve customer service and
satisfaction.

T HE C ONCEPT
ASFC Rentals has employed consultants to provide an up front conceptual analysis for
the business, determine the feasibility of the project given the cash outlays and expected
returns to the business and to recommend an integrated business and IT strategy to
achieve the goal of managed growth.
Their original concept is to deploy a company wide ‘Intranet’. The central office will host a
cluster of servers and database to which the offices will connect. The ‘business rules’ need
to be built into the system as much as possible. Offices will need to connect to the central
facility to make bookings and access the services and databases. There is no intention at
this stage to host local data-bases at the branch offices, but can change during the actual
requirements analysis if there are compelling and cost effective reasons.
The initial set of stakeholders for the system is:
• The Client – The client is a three-person sub-committee of the executive of
ASCF Rentals consisting of Mr. Albus Dumbledoors (Chief Executive), Ms.
Angelina Pitt (Operations) and Mr. Justin Timberpond (IT Infrastructure).
• The Sponsor – The sponsor is the full executive of ASCF Rentals consisting
of the members of the subcommittee that make up the clients and the
ASCF Car Rentals Page 3

remaining three executives: Donald Notrumps (Fleet Management), The Rev. J.


Howard (Finance) and Harry Potter Jr. (Marketing and Sales).
• End-users – Who at the outset were identified as the booking office staff and
central office staff who need to maintain the system.
A diagram of the concept is given in Figure 1 1 .

Figure 1 – A Concept for the Network

The system will consist of at least the following features.


• Making a booking, tracking bookings, and managing bookings;
• Vehicle maintenance, parts, upgrades and equipment scheduling;
• Profit and loss for each vehicle in the fleet;
• Vehicle location, status, replacement cost, book value, and calendar.

1
Don’t forget that this is just an initial concept taking into account the ideas of the clients, and some
end-users. The full requirements, architectural design, detailed design, coding, stakeholder analysis
and all of the development activities, including quality assurance and testing, still need to be done.
ASCF Car Rentals Page 4

T HE P ROJECT T EAM
The project team consists of you as chief project manager, and the team listed in Table 2.

Name Description
John Crease Has about 9 years experience in a variety of different domains but is
the acknowledged technical leader.
Herman Hassle Has about 6 years of experience in web applications but dreams of
being in charge of building aircraft systems.
Kate Blanching Another recent graduate she has about 1 year experience.
Lucy Lewis 8 years of experience
Jamie Southland Called 24 by his university buddies because he keeps odd hours
and is also recently graduated.
William Shattering Has about 6 years of experience but has even bigger dreams of
Naomi Wotts Recently graduated.