ITECH1100 Understanding the Digital Revolution
Assignment - Pants Frenzy
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.
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: Refer to Course Description
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.
For this assignment, you will complete the following set of tasks using Excel, and create a report to describe your work.
Ensure you submit Excel files created for ALL tasks, along with your report.
Pants Frenzy is a small clothing manufacturer, specializing in creating custom, one-of-a-kind pants. They exclusively sell their product through their online store.
Pants Frenzy is run by a team of three staff members: Andrea, Boris, and Cynthia.
Andrea and Boris work together to manufacture pants. Cynthia manages orders, sales and delivery.
Most of the time, team members work the following shifts:
Andrea works 6.5 hours on Mondays, Tuesdays;
Boris works 6.5 hours on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; and Cynthia works 2.5 hours every weekday.
Additionally, Andrea and Cynthia share responsibility for managing the Pants Frenzy social media presence, with Andrea working one extra hour in the evenings on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and Cynthia doing the same on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Andrea and Boris, as skilled manufacturing staff, cost $24 per hour to employ. Cynthia, a part-time employee, costs $32 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 $36 per hour.
Fixed costs such as rent and insurance are $18000 per year, and utilities costs are $460 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 Pants Frenzy.
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 report (approximately 100 words).
Pants Frenzy receive requests through their online store, and Cynthia responds with a quote, after consulting with a member of the manufacturing team. If the customer confirms their order, Andrea and Boris manufacture the ordered products, and Cynthia organizes delivery.
Currently, the process for generating a quote is entirely subjective, based on the requested material and pants size. Staff members quote an amount based on their personal experience.
For several months, staff have been keeping track of the quote date, material, size, quote 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 report (approximately 250-400 words).
Task 3 - Price consistency
Using Excel, analyse the historical data you have available, and create a spreadsheet that allows a member of the Pants Frenzy team to enter the pants 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 Pants Frenzy team (or by a University lecturer).
You may base your quote amount either on historical averages, or to ensure that Pants Frenzy makes a profit.
Validate your quoting approach by applying your formula to historical data. Justify your approach in your report (approximately 150 words).
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:
Unpopular item process e E
C Quote unacceptable
Send quote Manufacture
Item Deliver item
Popular item process
m Review quote
quote Deliver item
o Item is
S popular in stock
Check InventoryItem Not in
Task 4 - Process improvement
Extend your spreadsheet page from task 3 to automate the above processes, allowing a member of the team to enter the pants material and size, and in addition to the quote amount indicate whether to start manufacturing immediately.
It is up to you do determine how to determine which items are popular. Justify your approach in your report (approximately 150 words).
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 submission.
There are no partial marks awarded for this bonus task - you must complete all features to attain the bonus marks.
It is possible to attain full marks for this assignment without completing this challenge task.
Further details Assignment support
This assignment is supported by the first 6 lectures and labs. Work on the assignment should be spread over several weeks after the relevant lab has been mastered.
All files should be submitted to Moodle by the due date and time. Check with your tutor as to whether a hard copy is required in addition to the electronic submission.
Refer to the attached marking guide.
Feedback will be supplied through Moodle. Authoritative marks will be published through fdlMarks
Plagiarism is the presentation of the expressed thought or work of another person as though it is one's own without properly acknowledging that person. You must not allow other students to copy your work and must take care to safeguard against this happening. More information about the plagiarism policy and procedure for the university can be found at http://federation.edu.au/students/learning-and-study/online-help-with/plagiarism.
Marking Guide: Processes and Automation
Feature Criteria Maximum Obtained
Operating costs Appropriate projection calculation 2
Configurable hours, rates, fixed annual and monthly costs 2
Description of findings 1
Uses hand-calculated values (-1)
Visualization Visualization of changes over time 2
Visualization of staff member differences 2
Description of approach and findings 1
Price consistency Spreadsheet interface for pricing 1
Validation of approach based on historical data 2
Justification of automation 2
Unclear instructions (-1)
improvement Appropriate identification of popular item combinations 2
Use of formula to indicate whether to start manufacturing 2
Justification of strategy 1
Miscellaneous penalties Poor grammar or written English (-2)
Indecipherable file naming scheme (-1)