Information Systems Assignment Query

Date of Submission: 11:59 pm Friday April 7th

A company, Play On Toys, has been in business for five years. It manufactures toys for the European market, with plans to expand its customer base to America, Asia and Africa in the next three years. In the past year, it has grown very rapidly from a company of 16 employees to 60 employees. It is based in Dublin.

This year, it had a turnover of 5 million euro, with a pre-tax profit of 1.4m euro.

One of the difficulties it has experienced with such rapid growth is the inadequacy of its current IT infrastructure. At present, product, customer, sales and financial information is spread across several small databases, electronic files and paper files at the Dublin site.

They currently manage about 3000 sales orders per year, spread across approximately 200 customers. Their reporting and transaction requirements are highly dependent on manual processing. For example, customers can enter sales orders on the Play On Toys website. But at the backend, the sales information is simply emailed to one of the sales administrators who must print it and log in a spreadsheet.

Their manufacturing operation, whilst still simple, has expanded from 2 products to 20 different products over the past two years. These 20 products in turn, consist of 110 different product parts, sourced from 30 suppliers.

The Chief Executive of the company needs to assess the following:

1) Should Play On Toys invest in a Database Management System?
a. If not a DBMS, what is their alternative?
b. Should they consider open source?

2) Should Play On Toys invest in its own fully fledged Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP)? As part of this, the CEO wants to see a high-level Entity Relationship Diagram and description of some of the typical ERP functions, such as sales management or inventory control.

3) Should Play On Toys be looking to outsource some or all their data management to "the cloud"?

The CEO has hired you to prepare the briefing document that the CEO will present to top management in response to the three questions above.

The document should address each of the three questions above, outlining the pros and cons of each option. When considering each option, include indicative costs if possible and indicate possible suppliers. The document should be clearly laid out, with each of the three questions clearly considered.

As a summary, an overall recommendation should be made. The document should not exceed 8 pages (excluding appendices).

References should be included in the appendix.

The ERD plus ERD description requested for ERP functions should also be included in the appendix.