In the newsagents that I am studying, there are many users of the present system. There are altogether, 5 employees working in the present system. All the users very the jobs that they do via a rota system in place. i.e. One day, John (a worker), does the stock check on Monday and then does till duty (staying at the till all day) on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he collects money from the bank and forwards any outstanding cheques.
The system caries on with all various jobs involved in the day to day running of a newsagent, which also happens to be a post office. This feature adds an extraneous amount of work, onto the workers. All these jobs are worked around a manual system, which is a long and tedious process. They identify who has worked for how long, by writing in a book when they enter and leave.
I recently interviewed the manager, Mohsin Shahabuddin, about the current system. Mohsin has had the shop for four years and has not made any significant changes, since he became owner of the shop.
Could I please have your personal details, as well as the details of the shop?
I am 45 years of age, and have owned this business for 4 years and have made no changes since then.
Let’s get to the point. In what ways, if any, do you believe your current system is better than a computerized one?
Well, I would say it is much easier to use a manual system, for two reasons. First of all, the system in place is very simple and all my employees, who have been with me since the start, have grown into it, and know there way, in essence, around the system. Also, all the workers would have to undertake basic computer learning.
Yes these are all true, but the computer training would not be needed as all of the actions, can be done with one click of the mouse, anyway, have their ever been problems re-ordering stock?
Well, yes there have been a number of mistakes and difficulties caused by our system. Especially mishearing the amount we wanted over the telephone. This has caused problems with nearly all the products in our store.
Yes, with a computer, it would be quicker and more precise. Have you ever imported goods from abroad, and if so, has their ever been a problem.
Yes, we do import products from abroad, and there have been many problems with ordering especially from India, where we import Bombay mix. There have been many problems with the amount coming. Once we got 10, when we asked for 100. This order was then cancelled and then reordered. Then we got the order we wanted.
Has there ever been a security problem?
Yes, there was once a massive scare, when one of our receipts went missing. This included our bank account name and credit card number. The next day, we had found 4.500 pounds had gone from our shop account. We of course phoned our bank and asked them to cancel our account. Eventually, everything panned out and we got our money back. Once, valuable assets documents were stolen from our safe, and then, the perpetrator, attempted to sell these. He was also prosecuted against, but these two events show us that there is definitely a security problem within our shop.
Has there ever been a stock counting problem?
Yes, once an employee counted the amount of Pepsi cans wrong, and we ran out, right in the middle of summer!!
What is the most favorite product of the consumer, ever?
The most favorite product has definitely been pokemon cards. But yo yos cannot be far behind at all
Thank you for taking the time for this interview.
My pleasure Jawad.
This was the interview I had with the owner of the newsagent, Mohsin Shahabuddin.