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Prepare a systems analysis report detailing Ace's problem and a systems solution that can be implemented using PC database management software.

Ace Auto Dealers specializes in selling new vehicles from Subaru. The company advertises in local newspapers and is also listed as an authorized dealer on the Subaru Web site and the major Web sites for auto buyers. The company benefits from good local word-of-mouth reputation and name recognition and is a leading source for Subaru vehicles in the Prince Edward Island area.

When a prospective customer enters the showroom, he or she is greeted by an Ace sales representative. The sales representative manually fills out a form with such information as the prospective customer's name, address, telephone number, date of visit, and model and make of vehicle in which he or she is interested. The representative also asks where the prospective buyer heard about Ace?whether it was from a newspaper ad, the Web, or word of mouth and this information is also noted on the form.

If the customer decides to purchase an auto, the dealer fills out a bill of sale form, listing the vehicle identification number, vehicle make and model, colour, options selected, base price, total price, and date of the sale along with the purchaser's name, address, and telephone number. This form also shows the amount of the total purchase price that was financed. Both forms are filed in manual folders?one for sales prospects and another for actual purchases.

Ace does not feel it knows enough about its customers. It cannot easily identify repeat customers at its dealership or customers who have purchased a Subaru in the past from another dealer. It cannot easily determine which prospective buyers have made auto purchases or the percentage of those who have been converted into buyers. Nor can it identify which customer touchpoints have produced the greatest number of sales leads or actual sales so it can focus its advertising and marketing more on the channels that generate the most revenue. Are purchasers coming from newspaper ads, from word of mouth, or from the Web? Additionally, the firm cannot tell whether its customers are more interested in no-frills cars or ones with luxury options. Prepare a systems analysis report detailing Ace's problem and a systems solution that can be implemented using PC database management software.

*** The program doesn't need to be designed.***

Solution Preview

Here are the problems that the case identifies. These problems should be discussed in the analysis and 'solved' in the system solution.

PROBLEMS AT ACE
1. Ace does not feel it knows enough about its customers
2. cannot easily identify repeat customers at its dealership
3. cannot easily identify customers who have purchased a Subaru in the past from another dealer
4. cannot easily determine which prospective buyers have made auto purchases
5. cannot easily determine percentage of those who have been converted into buyers
6. cannot identify which customer touchpoints have produced the greatest number of sales leads or actual sales so it can focus its advertising and marketing more on the channels that generate the most revenue
7. Are purchasers coming from newspaper ads, from word of mouth, or from the Web
8. cannot tell whether its customers are more interested in no-frills cars or ones with luxury options

These are all the problems that exist today as identified by the case and that the system solution has to address all of these. In the meantime, you will want to discuss a short paragraph on each one for your analysis.

SALES AND MARKETING
This is where the case kicks off and this encompasses 1, 6 and 7 above (6 and 7 might be very similar). Discuss how the marketing of the dealership could be better. This is probably an extra area for the case and you could include it in another section at the end like "Additional Considerations". The case is really asking you to address the problem with the customer who has already come into the dealership, not necessarily with the marketing of the dealership - though it does not hurt to toss in a short sentence or two at the end. The case wants: Who are the customers, how did they hear about us, are they repeats buyers etc...

ON SITE CUSTOMER CARE
Think about this event:
"When a prospective customer enters the showroom, he or she is greeted by an Ace sales representative. The sales representative manually fills out a form with such information as the prospective customer's name, address, telephone number, date of visit, and model and make of vehicle in which he or she is interested."

The first problem with this situation is very clear - the whole process is manual and it is obviously paper based. What are the limitations of a paper-based system? This problem should be quite easy to detail. Can you search papers based information easily? Can you share paper based information easily? Can you sort it? Can you update the papers with new information easily? What if you want to change the format of the paper based form? What If suddenly you need a new field on the form? What if you split a line item into two or more distinct items (for example: for many years if you had one line for address and suddenly one day you decided it is better if the ...

Solution Summary

In just under 2000 words, the solution first gives the reader a list of the problems at Ace followed by comprehensive paper with ideas of how to approach and solve the problems.

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