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History of Carphone Warehouse plc Essay

The Carphone Warehouse Group plc; also known as The Carphone Warehouse (or ‘The Phone House’ in the rest of Europe), is Europe’s largest independent mobile phone retailer, with 2144 retail stores across Europe. They sell both contract mobile phones and pay as you go mobile phones and now tablets, such as the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab and also E-Readers. The head office of The Carphone Warehouse Group plc is based in London, United Kingdom.

At the current moment in time, The Carphone Warehouse is doing an upgrade in most of the retail stores. They are changing the products they sell, to include Laptops and Game Consoles; however these products are still available at other stores but only with contract phones and not to pay outright. These new stores are called ‘Wireless’ stores as they are meant to represent the future of the home with wireless technology such as the Sonos music system.

There are currently only 20 of these stores in the UK and Milton Keynes is one of the 20 stores. In each ‘Wireless’ store there is a 3rd party company called Geek Squad, which in the UK is half owned by CPW plc, which is technical support and insurance used by The Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy UK.

Ethos, House Style and Existing Publications
The Philosophy of Carphone Warehouse is:

As a new generation retailer, we aim to exceed our customer’s expectations by providing an innovative approach to service. To stay at the front of this dynamic and rapidly moving industry, we constantly develop new ideas and services for our customers. These do not always come from the top and we rely on people throughout the business to maintain our high standards. By incorporating new ideas in retailing and new technologies, we have created a stimulating and rewarding environment for all of our employees.

The ethos of The Carphone Warehouse is to provide a friendly customer service
while meeting the technical needs of the customer in regards to mobile phones, tablets and laptops. This is done through the employees of the company who are all friendly and have been on an extensive customer service training course for two days either in London, UK or Preston, UK.

The Carphone Warehouse uses many different ways to communicate to the general public and their staff. The main way in regards with its customers is in the monthly magazines. The company also sends out a report to the shareholders every 6 months and an end of year financial report every year. Also everyone who works in the company has a business card which is personalized to them while meeting the company’s house style.

The monthly magazines are A4 size and consist of 36 pages. In the magazines the logo is always at the top left corner of the page; with the date in the opposite side. On the bottom of most of the pages have the phone number and website, so the customer can find it easily and quickly; and also the page number in the same size and text font.

Most of the other documents, like letters and business cards have the Carphone Warehouse logo in the top right corner of the page. On the top left corner of the page is the Queen’s Coat of Arms. The background of the logo is a Dark Blue which the colour code: red 11, green 40 and blue 80. The light blue underline is made from: red 121, green 209 and blue 206. The white text is made from: red, green and blue at 255. The sizes of the business cards are the same size as a credit/debit card so that they fit into a person wallet easily. On the back of the business cards is writing saying the “5 fundamental rules” of Carphone Warehouse Group plc. This is how things should be done at Carphone Warehouse and every employee MUST stick to the rules.

However in the current database, the house is nonexistent as the house style used in the database doesn’t match the rest of the company’s house style. User Requirements

The current problem with Carphone Warehouse’s database is that the functions the database can do has been changed so much that old functions are still on the database but do nothing. Another problem with the current database is that the system is often slow due to the fact that the computer has to load function that does not work anymore.

Because the database was built over several years, not all parts of the system works together, so the user of the database has to copy data from one database to another which can take time.

Expected Outcomes/ Aims and Objectives
The expected outcomes from the new database is to be able to keep a record of all the customers at Carphone Warehouse with the handsets bought and the member of staff who sold the product. This will enable managers to see which member of staff has been selling the most amount of phones on which network.

The data can be entered manually with a keyboard or a barcode scanner which will save time on entering the IMEI and ESN numbers as these numbers tend to be 16 and 19 digits long. The keyboard will also need to be used to enter other key information such as the customer’s details and the customer consultant’s name. This data input is necessary to be able to capture the information needed by The Carphone Warehouse, which is needed for manufacture’s warranty.

Security is a big part for any database especially in retail and with dealing with such high personal information. To be able to access any part of the database the employee would need to log onto the system with their username and password. Every member of retail staff would be able view, add and amend each customer record to ensure that the company complies with the Data Protection Act (DPA). Managers would have a higher level of access as they would be able to add or remove lost/ stolen products from each stores stock list.

To help improve the company’s performance, the data base will need to be able to print out internal reports about each store and each customer consultant. This will enable managers to see what phones they have been selling and which sales assistant has been selling the most phones. Also the database will need to make invoices for the customers to keep as their record of their purchase.

User Interface Requirements
The user interface of the current database has a dark blue background with a light blue for popup menus. All text shown on the database is shown in ‘Calibri’ with key information in yellow and other text shown in the light blue.

This user interface of the new database needs to be updated and kept with the house style of the company, as the current database (shown in the image to the right0 does not comply with this style. From just looking at the current datbase, it is not clear that the database is for The Carphone Warehouse as there is no logos shown anywhere. The new database would contain the company logo and colours in keeping with the house style of the company.

Currently the way to move around the database is to use the function keys on a special keyboard produced for the company where instead of the standard 12 funcations where is 24 function keys. Each function key will do a different task within the database, and as the name of the keys are rubbed away it become sdifficult to remember which key does what, therefore the new database will not have to use of the function keys but instead use buttogoogns on screen where the user will click the button which the mouse or for future developments, the buttons could also be clicked via a touch screen monitor.


For the database to run on the computers used by The Carphone Warehouse, the computers will need to have the minimum specification of the following: •Processor needs to run at 500 MHz or higher
•RAM 256MB or higher,
•Hard Disk Drive ((HDD) Storage) 2GBs or higher. As the database is used
more and more, the HDD will need to be increased to be able to store the growing in size database. •Monitor display resolution of 1024 × 768

•Operating System (OS) Windows XP or higher

Also the computer monitor could be a touch screen; this will increase the speed of which the user moves around the database. Also needed is a plotter printer, to print out customer’s invoices. The reason for this printer and not a laser printer is because a cheap black and white printer is used just for printing out invoices and nothing more. In the back office a colour printer could be used to print out reports for the managers of the store. Employees will also need a handheld scanner to scan product barcodes such as IMEI’s from the phones.

Entity Relationship Diagram

This is the most basic form of an Entity Relationship Diagram showing that many customers can buy many phones and the same phone model can be bought by many customers.

This Entity Relationship Diagram shows that each customer can have many transactions and each phone model can be in many transactions. However this does not allow a transaction to have many phones.

After some time of thing of changing tables, I believe this would be the best system to record all transactional data including the employee who has sold the product.

This Entity Relationship Diagram shows what I want the new database to hold data about. This shows that many customers, employees, phone models and sim cards can be in many transactions. This Entity Relationship Diagram is in its simple form. The actual database will also include a temporary Customers table where customers details are enter in the temporary table first before being moved to the customers table. Phones will also be broken into two different tables; the first table will be for the IMEI’s of the phones and
the second will be for the Phone Model. This also applies to the Sim Card table, where there will be a table for the ESN and one for the Networks.

Design of Inputs
Data Dictionary and Normalisations
Database Key
is Primary Key
is Foreign Key

Field NameData TypeFormatDescription of the FieldField LengthValidation CheckField Required Table Name: tbl_Transaction / tbl_Transactiontemp
Transaction Number Auto NumberIntegerNumber if the transactionN/APresence CheckY Lead Number NumberIntegerCustomer numberN/AYes against in Customer table, Presence CheckY Staff Username TextN/AEmployee who sold item8Yes against in Employee table, Presence CheckY Phone ID TextN/AMake and model of phone15Yes against in Phone table, Presence CheckY IMEI NumberIntegerSerial number of the phone16Yes against in Phone table, Presence CheckY ESN NumberIntegerSerial number of the sim card16Yes against in SimCard TableY Payment ReceivedCurrencyCurrencyAmount paidN/AFormat check, Presence CheckY Payment TypeText‘LLLL’Payment type – ‘Cash’ or ‘Card’4Format check, Presence CheckY DateDate/ TimeXX/XX/XXDate of purchase8Presence CheckY TimeDate/TimeXX:XXTime of purchaseN/AY

Field NameData TypeFormat / Input maskDescription of the FieldField LengthValidation CheckField Required Table Name: tbl_Customer / tbl_Customertemp
(… means continue until reach length of field)
Lead Number Auto Number
(Number tbl_Customer)IntegerCustomer numberN/APresence Check, Y TitleText>L

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