Appropriate IT Solutions for Business Functions

For this individual assignment, you will use skills acquired through practical laboratory exercises to automate a business process, and to visualize the impact of automation.

You should use Microsoft Excel (or equivalent open-source software) for this assessment task.

Important: This assignment specification is generated just for you. Do not distribute this specification. If your personal specification is made publicly available online, academic misconduct charges may be applied.

Timelines and Expectations

Percentage value of task: 20%

Due: Sunday, Week 6, 16:00 (See Course Description for date)

Learning Outcomes Assessed

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.

Assessment Details

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. You will submit this page to Moodle as per the lab tasks.

You may call it whatever you like, for example ITECH1100 Assignment 1 – 30356665.

Scenario details

Hat World is a small clothing manufacturer, specializing in creating custom, one-of-a-kind hats. They exclusively sell their product through their online store.

Hat World is run by a team of three staff members: April, Bhaljeet, and Carl.

April and Bhaljeet work together to manufacture hats. Carl manages orders, sales and delivery.

Team hours

Most of the time, team members work the following shifts:

April works 7.5 hours on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays; Bhaljeet works 7.5 hours on Thursdays and Fridays; and Carl works 4.5 hours every weekday.

Additionally, April and Carl share responsibility for managing the Hat World social media presence, with April working one extra hour in the evenings on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and Carl doing the same on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.


April and Bhaljeet, as skilled manufacturing staff, cost $26 per hour to employ.

Carl, a part-time employee, costs $24 per hour to employ.

All staff are also entitled to four weeks of paid annual leave, during which a casual replacement is required at a cost of $39 per hour.

Fixed costs such as rent and insurance are $9100 per year, and utilities costs are $260 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 Hat World.

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).

Manufacturing hats

Hat World receive requests through their online store, and Carl responds with a quote, after consulting with a member of the manufacturing team. If the customer confirms their order, April and Bhaljeet manufacture the ordered products, and Carl organizes delivery.

Currently, the process for generating a quote is entirely subjective, based on the requested material and hat size. Staff members quote an amount based on their personal experience.

For several months, staff have been keeping track of the quote datematerialsizequote amount, and manufacturing cost for each order in a spreadsheet. As each product is hand-made, the manufacturing cost may vary between similar orders.

If a quote was not accepted by the customer, then manufacturing cost is not included.

This spreadsheet is available for download on Moodle.

Task 2 – Order information

Using Excel, process the history of orders spreadsheet and use appropriate charts to visualize:

How some aspect of quoting or manufacturing has changed over time; and How the quote amount differed for each staff member.

You will need to find a way to use Excel to associate each quote with a staff member.

Describe your approach and your findings in your ePortfolio (approximately 250-400 words), and attach the Excel file to your page.

Task 3 – Price consistency

Using Excel, analyse the historical data you have available, and create a spreadsheet that allows a member of the Hat World team to enter the hat material and size, and gives a quote amount.

Ensure that you include enough text and formatting to make your spreadsheet usable by a member of the Hat World team (or by a University lecturer).

You may base your quote amount either on historical averages, or to ensure that Hat World makes a profit.

Validate your quoting approach by applying your formula to historical data.

Justify your approach in your ePortfolio (approximately 150 words), and attach your Excel file to your ePortfolio.

Process improvement

The team want to improve their quoting process to reduce time spent waiting for customers to approve quotes.

They would like to start manufacturing immediately for orders that they might be able to sell in future, even if the customer does not go ahead with the order.

That is, they would like to change to the processes indicated in the following swimlane diagrams:

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