Business Development Sample Assignment


Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), As part of this process, orders were received electronically. However there was no guarantee that the customer used the correct prices on the order.

You have to devise a system for Grocery Distributors, a wholesaling firm that sells to over 800 independent retailers throughout Australia. You want the whole ordering process to be done electronically and ensure that these types of problems do not arise. One option is to have a downloadable data file that each customer must download each week. This file updates inventory details in the customer's computer system.

  1. In the EDI example above, what control would be necessary to ensure that the correct prices are used? (assume that this cannot be done electronically as the company has done a cost benefit analysis and feels that the purchase of software to do this is not justified due to the small number of customers involved)
  2. In the context of the above requirements, what is meant by a downloadable data file?
  3. What fields would you have in the downloadable data file?
  4. What file will the downloadable data file update in the customer's computer system?
  5. Why is it necessary to update this file in the customer's computer system?
  6. Before the customer's order is filled by the warehouse, what do you think must electronically happen when an electronic order is received by Grocery Distributors?
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From your Parmalat video clips on information systems, scope, strategy and implementing a system, choosing the system, project team and transition; the Capilano video clips on setting up data hooks to generate any report; and the IGA Distribution video clips on the use of a data warehouse:

With regards to Parmalat:

  1. What is meant by the term 'right information'?
  2. What is meant by the term 'disparate systems' in this context? What example was used to explain this?
  3. Using specific examples from the video clips, what do you see is the difference between an information system and an accounting system
  4. Give some examples of the size of the operations that had to be considered in choosing the system
  5. How long did it take to set up the requirements of the system
  6. What does the term 'challenging the mindsets' mean?
  7. What is meant by 'play time'. How was this beneficial?
  8. How was transition to the new system implemented?
  9. What approach did they take in setting up the new system? Did they rely on outside consultants? Why did they take this approach? Make sure you use examples to illustrate your view.

With regards to Capilano:

  1. In obtaining data to build reports and collate information, what is meant by the term 'data hooks'? Where do you think this data is being stored? Why are they so important? What is the general data base term that uses data hooks to aid in preparing reports?
  2. What is the meaning of the term 'sub accounts'? What is the sub account number for Richlands?
  3. Cost centres are used in this example. If a manager wanted to know the total $ value of 4CON sales to UK from Jan to June, what data hooks would be used? Hint: there are at least 4.
  4. Give an example of a data hook used at Parmalat. Name the video clip where this is mentioned?

With regards to IGA Distribution:

  1. What are the similarities between the Data Analysis section and the way reports are built in Capilano? What makes the data in the Data Analysis section different to the data mentioned in Capilano?
  2. What are some of the typical 'data hooks' illustrated in this example
  3. would you agree that this tool builds queries based on certain data hooks? What makes this different to a data base like Access?


  • From your viewing of the Parmalat video clips, you should have realised that in this business, in order to help managers make decisions and run the business as well as they can, concepts such as chart of accounts, authorisations, cost centres, access to source documents, drill downs and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are all important. You should also have seen video clips that show key personnel explaining how Parmalat is managed on a weekly basis.
  • In your own words, explain these key concepts and how the computer system aids all managers in running Parmalat. Make sure you use specific examples in Parmalat to justify your answer.
  • Consider what it would be like if this computer system did not have all of these features. Using one example of this technology (cost centres, drill downs, access to source documents), explain what would have to be done if it was a manual process.

IGA Distribution

  • From your viewing of the IGA Distribution video clips, you should have realised that daily and weekly meetings are essential to make decisions and help manage IGA Distribution. A data warehouse also aids this decision making.
  • In your own words, explain the key elements involved in managing IGA Distribution. What data is required to help make decisions? Where does it come from? Make sure you use specific examples in IGA Distribution to justify your answer.


  • From your viewing of the Capilano video clips, you should have realised the global nature of this company, the highest standards of quality honey, the problems of international sales as well as domestic sales, the seasonal nature of honey production, the problems of managing cash in a seasonal business and the use of “data hooks” to obtain information in order to aid decision making.
  • In your own words, explain the above key issues which are essential in managing Capilano. What data is required to help manage the business and aid decision making? Where does this data come from? Make sure you use specific examples in Capilano to justify your answer.

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