Computer Information Systems Brief
April 25, 2011
Marilyn FisherComputer Information Systems Brief
Kudler Fine Foods is stocked with high end specialty, imported, and domestic products. The specialty foods include fresh meats, produce, packaged foods, bakery goods, cheese, wine, and specialty dairy products. They have invested in and administered the computer system appropriately for business purposes. The company stands out by offering premier goods to their customers in their three gourmet locations. Though each location is money-making, Kudler requires a renovation of the existing computer system to be viable in their niche gourmet food market. A preliminary evaluation of the computer systems, accounting practices and opportunities will be investigated to enhance the company??™s accounting system also. Additionally, dangers that they will face if modifications are not completed to the existing system will be tackled. To consider and propose a valuable computer system, it is essential to appraise and make suggestions based on significant accounting procedures and business needs, record of present systems, clarification of business benefits from technology advancements and ascertaining the strengths and weaknesses with possible technology
The existing computer information system that Kudler employs is an integral part in supplying data for the profitability of the business. The present computer system is grasped by all employees, is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and allows the company to thrive in sales. As the company look to move forward under the prospect of changing the current systems, there must be an established timeline for employees to train and learn the new software or programs. Kudler??™s management and owner Kathy Kudler realize that the benefit of using information technology is to improve their accounting operations and meeting business goals. Kudler??™s computer system integration will expand the communication between networks among their retail stores by linking all point-of-sale terminals, modifying just-in-time process of inventory control and cooperating with employees, customers and suppliers to bring products to the market as rapidly and cost efficient as possible. In addition, by creating a virtual company, they will be able to build a well-organized distribution infrastructure as well as administering a system of people and financial resources by quickly taking advantage of the changing marketplace opportunities.Analysis of Kudler??™s Current Hardware and Software Systems
The current analysis of the hardware system implemented at Kudler includes: network servers, computers, and storage devices are utilized to keep the company data. Each location has a microcomputer system with four point-of-sale (POS) terminals, an Ethernet network, and a server for POS. The software package that is currently being used for Finance and Accounting appears to be working inefficient. With limited processing capabilities, upgraded software will allow these devices to access the company retail sales system to process transactions independently. Sales data and inventory can be synchronized into the in-store computer system in which they are matched with pricing information through pointing devices like touch screens, automated checkout scanners, and digital cash registers. Besides local area networks in each store, Bar Code technology can be employed for all products. According to Kudlers intranet site, the backup systems with adequate storage capacity hard disk, printers, CD and DVD drives as well as two inventory servers have been set up in the Del Mar location should be utilized and analyzed on a daily basis (Apollo Group, Inc., 2010).
Kathy Kudler hired the Smith Systems Consulting Company, an IT professional service, to maintain and review the current Retail Enterprise Management System (REMS). Smith Consulting also monitors all three locations activities such as inventory control and daily sales transactions. Kudlers intranet site states that Kudlers management has been successful in monitoring the company??™s actions through diverse finance and accounting modules (Apollo Group, Inc., 2010). The POS module would be an example of this. The POS module is used to collect and transmit all retail sales transactions and all data, which is transmitted directly to General Ledger accounts, the Electronic Payment Clearing House, and the companies purchasing control. This POS method means that not only electronic payment methods are accepted but also vendors, orders, and inventory are updated timely. Furthermore, by collecting information from the GL, AR, AP, and POS modules, management can evaluate each store??™s real-time inventory and use past data for future projections (O??™Brien, 2008). The current software is capable of accounting for the impact of sales and accounting activities, and also will help increase the company??™s processing efficiently. Kudler human resources uses Quickbooks and has an outsourced payroll processing company to keep track of employee data. (Human Resources, Kudler intranet site, Apollo Group, 2010) The HR manager and assistants handle all job analyses, salary, and individual compensation by using Excel spreadsheets that can be stored on the PC or on the company network server. All the affected figures related to employee information van be defined on the spreadsheet and results are displayed immediately. As a result, utilizing all the collaborative tools such as REMS and Microsoft processing applications can help the company??™s executives in determining direction, developing strategies, and setting clear goals for future growth (Bagranoff, 2008).
Kudler Benefits From Technology Upgrade
To implement change the company must first take steps to increase the use of technological resources. The direct need for a network to assist in the communication between stores and a new system to assist in monitoring is essential to the growth of the company. This will require serious actions by the company to implement and find funding. Money must be set aside and a budget must be created to find new computer software that meets the needs of the company. As operations increase, the upgraded system must facilitate new stores to link up with the network without difficulty and allow management ways to oversee operations remotely, requiring a VPN system to be placed on the network. New written policies must be relative to the security of the finance and accounting systems being changed. One opportunity for Kudler would to invest in some additional hardware for their server room. Kudler would benefit from tower servers that have proven date center technology to ensure carefree and continuous operation. In addition a separate tape drive will be needed for nightly backups because the databases will be kept on the new server. The servers will have the capabilities for multiple users to access the data. The new server should serve as good performance hardware so there is no noticeable system stoppage as users access the data (Bagranoff, 2008).
Another opportunity is for Kathy to have a virtual private network (VPN) network set up. The VPN network is layered on top of an underlying system. The confidential nature of a VPN denotes that the information passing over the VPN is not normally viewable or is encapsulated from the parallel traffic. In fact, it looks to the underlying network as an additional data stream to bypass. In technological language, the link layer protocols of the virtual network are described as being burrowed through the underlying transport network. Kathy Kudler can use this VPN network to access information at all times remotely, enabling the company to market to increase customer satisfaction and profitability.
Kudler Fine Foods has experienced substantial growth and is currently working toward increasing their offerings, enhancing the effectiveness of its operations, growing sales, and the number of locations. In order for Kudler to meet these goals in the most efficient manner there must be close attention paid to there current technology, computer systems, and accounting practices. If careful consideration is paid to the upgrading of the current REM computer system, adding tighter security measures to protect financial information allowing for the monitoring of inventory and sales remotely the goals of Kudler Fine Foods can be achieved.References
Apollo Group, Inc. (2010). Kudler Fine Foods. Retrieved from Virtual Business Portal: http://www.ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/aapd/cits/vop/business/Kudler/Operations/Kudler.html
Bagranoff, N.A., Simkin, M.G., and Strand, N. C. (2008). Core Concepts of Accounting Information Systems (10th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
O??™Brien, J.A. and Marakas, G.M. (2008). Management Information Systems (8th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Computer Information Systems Brief