Assignment - Literature Bonanza
For this individual assignment, you will use skills acquired through practical laboratory exercises to automate a business process, and to visualize the impact of the automation.
You should use Microsoft Excel (or equivalent open-source software) for this assessment task.
The following course learning outcomes are assessed by completing this assessment:
A1. Prepare a basic solution to a business problem;
A2. Select appropriate IT solutions for business functions;
A3. Apply business information software for data visualization and analysis purposes.
S1. Write basic programming logic;
S3. Interpret and construct representations of business data flow and processes;
K8. Outline the basic principles of programming.
Literature Bonanza is a small second-hand book shop, run by a team of three staff members: Andres, Bhaljeet, and Cliff.
For this assignment, you will complete the following set of tasks using Excel, and build an ePortfolio page to describe your work.
Task 0 - Setting up
Create an ePortfolio page for your assignment.
Andres and Bhaljeet are the semi-retired co-owners of the bookshop, and do not take a salary.
Cliff, however, is a part-time employee, with total employment costs of $22 per hour. Cliff is also entitled to
four weeks of paid annual leave, during which a casual replacement is required at a cost of $33 per hour. Fixed costs such as rent and insurance are $2900 per year, and utilities costs are $140 per month.
Task 1 - Costs of operating the business
Using Excel, create a spreadsheet called operating_costs.xlsx that calculates the projected annual outgoing costs of running Literature Bonanza.
Your spreadsheet should be configured such that the working hours, hourly rates, and fixed and utility costs can be varied easily.
Document your findings in your ePortfolio page (approximately 100 words).
Throughout the day, customers come to Literature Bonanza to buy books, and occasionally to sell them.
When people bring in books to sell to Literature Bonanza, the staff member on duty will review the books and make an offer for each one individually.
Currently, the process for determining how much the book shop will pay for a book is entirely subjective. Staff members offer an amount per book based on the quality of the book, and how popular they think it is, and how they are feeling at the time.
The sale amount is always simply double the amount paid and is set at the same time - if Literature Bonanza pays $3.00 for a book, they will put it on sale with a marked price of $6.00.
(Literature Bonanza does not deal in rare or antique books)
For several months, staff have been keeping track of the date and time, quality, publication year and amount paid for each book in a spreadsheet. This spreadsheet is available for download on Moodle.
Task 2 - Sales team offers
Using Excel, process the history of purchases spreadsheet and use appropriate charts to visualize: How the prices paid differed for each staff member; and
How the prices paid have changed over time
Describe your findings in your ePortfolio (approximately 250 words), and attach the Excel file to your page.
Andres and Bhaljeet want to improve the consistency of how they pay for and price books.
They'd like to standardize on three standard price offers, and have designed the following process to determine how to allocate them, including the option of rejecting the book altogether.
The staff have already agreed on how to determine whether a book is terrible, poor, or good.
Task 3 - Automation
Using Excel, create a spreadsheet page that automates the above process, allowing a member of the team to enter whether the book is hardcover, its publication year, and its condition, and receive a price to offer.
Ensure that you include enough text and formatting to make your spreadsheet usable by a member of the Literature Bonanza team, or by a University lecturer.
Your spreadsheet should be configured such that the Low, Medium and High prices can be varied easily. Describe how you automated the process (approx 150 words), and attach your Excel file to your ePortfolio.
Task 4 - Price setting
Using Excel and the historical data you have available, determine sets of prices which meet the objectives of the following scenarios:
Scenario one: Total offer prices are approximately the same as for the historical data
Scenario two: Assuming all books purchased are sold, allow all staff to draw the same wage as Cliff.
Describe the strategy you used to find appropriate prices for each scenario (approximately 150 words).
Ensure that the Low price is less than the Medium price, and both are less than the High price.
Bonus challenge task (optional!)
Disclaimer: This task is 100% optional, and you can receive full marks without attempting or completing it. It is intended to be a challenge if you are interested in such things, and the marks available do not reflect the significant research and effort required to implement it correctly. Tutors will not provide significant assistance for this challenge task.
Optional task 5
Write a brief overview of how to run your solution, and attach a zip file containing your code to your ePortfolio page.
There are no partial marks awarded for this bonus task - you must complete all features to attain the bonus marks.