Kudler Fine Foods is one of the food stores which have always worked towards satisfaction of its customers in every level. With the coming technology it has not been left out and has considered technology investment strategy that will see its customer feel a sense of satisfaction. The paper will analyze the business case for investment of Frequent Shopper Program in Kudler Fine Food.
Describing what is to be included within the project and vise-versa is an essential way of ensuring that every contributor has to come to an agreement with the coming task. Having three locations and new e-commerce segment to consider, Kudler Fine Foods will have to understand the way it will interact and the effect the coming project will have, (David, C. J, 2006). Investing in Frequent Shopper Program starts with scanning the membership card for the customers at a point-of-sale (POS) system and stops at redemption of those points using a third-party vendor. The following will form the major part of the system POS systems, database applications, database servers, web servers.
Frequent Shopper Program must increase customer loyalty. Since there will be tracking of purchase behavior at the individual consumer level, Kudler Fine Foods will be in a position to identify patterns of purchase, thereby giving the company an opportunity to refine their processes and offerings that can serve their customers' needs, (Competitive Intelligence Program, 2008).
Operational: This system should be able to fit into the ones in operation, (University of Phoenix. (2003). The changes in operation that will take place is adding new members as well as scanning membership cards. There will be little need to modify much the operations which will be done by hired programming team; they will help also in facility coding skills.
Technical: Programming must be done to the POS software for it to be able to recognize membership cards, show whether purchases done are by members or not, or transfer information of the new members to the database through server. The programming can be done in Visual Basic. Much attention is important when coding. Software that can process what to do with information of the purchases is to be developed. Such software includes the ones that identify and add point per item, determine place of information storage, and send to the receipt the correct information. Importantly, the server should always maintain the Website with real-time information coming from the customer database.
Economically: This new Frequent Shopper Program give the management the opportunity to increase sales through determining the pattern of purchases and come up with effective marketing plans, (Gomez-Meija, L.R., & Balkin, D.B.,2002). There will also increase in repeated customers, hence increasing sales.
New Requirement of the System
The current hardware and software in Kudler Fine Foods are able to accommodate Frequent Shopper Program, in spite of that, there will be need for much programming for compatibility. Using the in-house programmers, the programming software needed will be: POS systems, programming software for the database, networking, websites, and servers.
POS Software: Has to be upgraded to capture the membership processing. There will be need for UI to make cashiers to add customers to the database via POS. Every membership card will be made up of a magnetic strip that contains a serial number which the card reader will read while the POS computer processes. The way the computer is to be programmed, it should be able to search the database of a customer and determine whether that customer is a member as per the card's serial. If it fails to find, the member will sign up and UI goes ahead to ask cashier for the customer information. Upon finding the POS software will transfer the current purchase data to the server. The server processes the loyalty points then transfer the same to the POS. Effective POS should be in a position to finally process the total membership points to be included on the receipt.
Database: For every item that is sold by Kudler Fine Foods it is updated in order to store membership points, or frequent shopper value. In every added customer database there will be customers' name, membership serial number, contact, hobbies, items purchased, and accumulated membership points. The purchased items will be having the entire basic information of the item in addition to the date of purchase and specifying which store purchases was made.
Server Software: Every store must undergo server programming that enables them to process the entire current purchase orders as well as update the database. Such programmed server must be able to take the current data purchase, request each item membership points from the inventory database, request data purchases of the past, provide addition or subtraction in membership points, forward to the POS the total points, and lastly carry out updates in customer database in terms of purchase information and loyalty points.
Websites: Kudler Fine Foods will have to establish a frequent shopper section within their website that can inform customers regarding their memberships. This will capture technical support contact, FAQ, redeemable prizes, and total loyalty points. The programming of the website server must be in such a way that it will request information of the customer from the database in real time.
Network Software: There will a single location for customer database; server included will be able to process data transferred from the rest of the locations. Using internet the server from other locations the customer data will be able to be viewed through the internet to the central location, (Pearce, J.A., & Robinson, R.B., 2009).The programming of the central server makes it possible for database update. The central server should be also in a position to transfer data upon request by other servers.
Determination of Requirements
These processes are an essential part of the software development life cycle (SDLC) and have been always considered as a very sensitive activity in producing a functional end product, (Porter, Michael E., 1985). Among the major factors that have been suggested to contribute to the failure of 90% of large software projects is the encountered difficulties in accurately capturing system requirements. In this Frequent Shopper Program, various methods will be implemented to ensure that most of the requirements are captured: There will be surveys that will be handed out to the customers while entering the stores in an attempt to find out the benefits they have seen in using Frequent Shopper Program; Observation will be done by the store manager to the existing interaction with customers at the POS system in determining the possibility of working it in to the Frequent Shopper Program, as well as probably carry out follow up interviews with different employees; Every employee who is operating a POS system will be provided with the questionnaire to determine any need to properly sign up a new customer on the Frequent Shopper Program.
Functional Allocation Modeling
Adding Members: It involves activation of the human-computer interface (HCI) for input of membership information, membership cards, as well as the transfer of data to the customer database. Programming of the POS software will make it able to display the add member user interface (UI) in case a scanning has been done to unused new membership card through the card reader. The UI will display the add member form and the cashier asks this member for a name, contact, in case of cancelation password, and optional email or address for the purposes of advertisement just if the customer is willing to provide the information, (Laudon, K.C., & Laudon, J.P.,2012). These software functions will use Visual Basic.
Membership Processing: The server receives the unique member number from the POS, that is to be programmed mainly to identify the number as used or not used. If that does not happens, the server has to be programmed in such a way that it can order the POS to display the add member UI then the add member function continue from there. Where that happens, then there will be a start by the membership purchases function. In case the customer is not willing to be a member there will be a start to default purchases function.
Default and Membership Purchases: This involves retrieving cost of items from the inventory database, adding and removing item costs from the inventory database. Upon completion the receipt is printed and the customer may leave. Once the membership processing identifies that the customer in action is a member, the items to be purchased are transferred to the server where it is processed by the determine shopper points function.
Determine Shopper Points: The item purchased is processed by shopper points. It is made up of server software that is to collect every cost of purchased item as well as shopper point value from the inventory database. The purchased item total cost is sent back to the POS to be requested from the customer. The purchased items' total shopper points and information is then transferred to the add points…