The Bead Bar is a small but growing company that offers both products and services to its customers. There are currently three divisions that comprise the company, the Studio division, the Franchise division, and Bead Bar Onboard. The studio division oversees the company’s six studios where customers can make their own beaded jewelry using provided string, wire and beads while sitting at a bar. Studios are located throughout the New England area. The franchise division is responsible for the sales of beading supply packages to five companies that currently run their own studios across the country, and hopes to add more franchises. Bead Bar Onboard is the division responsible for portable bead bars located on cruise ships where passengers make jewelry, and for the sales of supplies to cruise ship employees. The Bead Bar is currently using paper-based forms but is rapidly outgrowing the capacity of this system and would like to switch over to a more efficient method. Management would like to be able to monitor and track sales and inventory, manage employee benefits and personnel records, and perform other administrative functions. Bead Bar Onboard has expressed an interest in connecting to the network from a cruise ship while at sea, and the Franchise division would like to make select company records available to franchise locations. The Studio division would like to be able to track inventory and handle employee scheduling. (Malaga, 2005) This project seeks to find a solution for The Bead Bar using the model for the seven stages Systems Development Life Cycle methodology, illustrated in the following chart.
The first step in this project is the planning phase. Information must be gathered to determine the needs of the company. The current paper-based system is no longer efficient; The Bead Bar must advance to a computer-based system. Factors to consider include the need for a system that is easy to learn and to use due to the inexperience some employees have with computers. Scalability is another issue, as this is a growing company and as with most growing businesses, cost is a factor. The company needs to connect several locations with varying degrees of access to information. Since Bead Bar Onboard conducts business on cruise ships and some employees work outside of the office, remote capabilities are necessary. In addition to the company access, The Bead Bar would like to establish a site that customers can visit to make purchases securely. The company has concerns regarding various input and output devices. Not only is ergonomics an issue, but it has been suggested that bar code scanners might speed up some procedures as well as reduce paperwork and data input errors. Monitors should be compact because of limited space, but they need to have a viewing area that will not cause the user to injure or strain them self. Systems Analysis
The Bead Bar does not currently have a computer network. The company is processing everything on paper and is rapidly outgrowing this method of doing business. A computer network will need to be installed and hardware and software will need to be purchased. A database system will also be necessary and policies established regarding the proper use of the network. An employee-training program should be implemented to cover new policies. Systems Design
A star topology is easily installed and maintained. In this type of configuration each device is connected to a central piece of hardware called a hub that receives data and forwards it to another device on the network. It is easy to troubleshoot, and if one device goes down the entire network is not affected. (Physical vs. Logical Topologies)
A star topology using CAT 6 or similar wiring is an economical solution for the installation and deployment. Maintenance, repair, and changes or additions are easy to configure. Wire can run be through the walls from a centrally located...