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The company could perhaps set up a system themselves, keeping records on paper in a cabinet. This could prove to be an effective way to store and file customer information. Records could be accessed easily with little effort whilst kept secure, without worry of third parties obtaining customer’s personal information. As helpful as this may be, there are many disadvantages to this method of storing personal details. A container to store the files in securely, could take up a lot of valuable space and be time consuming to set up as assembly of the container would have to be considered as well as the time it takes to write out each file, print and sort for storage in a logical manner such as alphabetically. Also, time would be consumed when new records are created, printed and stored. The loss of a file or record due to a number of factors including misplacement and destruction of data could become a hindrance as money and time would be lost.
Another method would be for the company to perhaps set up their own database system. Again, there are many advantages and disadvantages to this technique. The system would possibly be less efficient compared to a professionally created program and therefore cost the company time and money to update or fix possible errors that may occur upon the system. The creator may also not have the required ICT knowledge in order to set up a fully functioning database. Time, money and effort would have to be sacrificed in order to create the system, which although may not take up a substantial amount of time, may cause a backlog in the company’s schedule. Potential advantages of this method however are that if the business sets up their own system, they know their exact requirements and specifications as well as the set-up being cost-effective.
A third solution would be to ask a software company to set up a bespoke system (a piece of software suited entirely for the individual’s needs). Firstly there is an obvious disadvantage to this solution, as putting this method into practise would cost the given company a substantial amount of money, which the business may not possess. However there are many advantages to a bespoke system which are as follows; exact requirements and specifications met, little possibility of error within the system (which can usually be rectified free of charge by the software company though), the system created is usually almost 100% efficient for its given purpose and also the standard of the system will be high, but this can also cause a disadvantage as the system may be too advanced for the company’s staff to use which would require further training on the staff’s behalf, costing a further amount of money to the business.
Finally, the last solution could be for the company to use a system that has been set up specifically for a home based travel agency. Once again there are advantages and disadvantages to using this method as a solution. The system will like the bespoke system, be created specifically to meet the users needs and specifications, however the enormous price tag is not included with the system, saving the company a lot of money. The system may not be too advanced for the company’s staff but not so primitive so it is not efficient. This is a good idea as yet again It saves the business time and money that could be spent on other things. Also, the system will have the advantage of being created professionally which may add to the appeal of the business choosing to opt for this option.
To conclude, I have decided to select the method, for the company to use a system that has been set up specifically for a home based travel agency as after comparing all possible solutions, I felt that this option suited the needs of the travel agents best. I accept that I may come upon problems when creating this system but I am prepared to work through them to create the best possible system I can, that meets the specifications and given criteria perfectly.