Learning Outcomes Assessed
LO1: Apply a structured method to the analysis and design of an information system.
LO3: Analyse an information system defining requirements, problems and solutions.
LO4: Apply analysis and design methods to varied scenarios.
LO5: Appraise the underpinning principles of structured methods.
Case Study: Knott End Marine Engineering
Knott End Marine is owned and run by the Arkwright family. They build and repair a wide variety of small craft, from fishing boats to racing yachts. There are three boat yards:
Knott End Yachts on the Isle of Wight, Durham Trawlers in the North East, Arkwright Barges on the Manchester Ship Canal.
Customer loyalty is important in marine engineering. Knott End’s customers rarely have to depend on a different company in an emergency because there is a Knott End yard within towing distance of most of the busiest waterways in England. If Knott End are to retain this advantage, each of their yards must be able to repair any small craft.
Each yard has a small chandler’s shop supplying bottled gas, rope, life jackets and other necessities. Any chandler is expected to stock a wide range of items as a service to customers, so they tend not to be very profitable.
Each yard employs several skilled craftsmen, each with an apprentice. Most apprentices move on to larger companies, so experienced craftsmen are in short supply. They are well paid, and often treated as part of the Arkwright family. Students and semi-skilled workers are employed on a temporary basis during the summer.
Each yard has a PC and printer. They communicate with each other by phone, sometimes by email using the owners email account. Knott End Yachts use a computer-aided design system, mostly to impress customers. There is a group-wide stock control system for all four chandlers. The last formal stock-take (15 months ago) found that actual stock levels were 28% lower than those in the computer. Golez Financial services keep ledgers and prepare accounts using a standard accountancy package. All three yards use the same basic bill-of-materials package when estimating costs and printing contracts. All employees are paid weekly by hand-written cheque. Their wages are calculated, and payslips printed by Golez Financial Services. Each yard specialises in building a different type of boat.