Enterprise Systems Development – An international clothes retailer, M&G, has its headquarters in London

An international clothes retailer, M&G, has its headquarters in London. It has shops in many countries all over the world. The stock for the shops is purchased by buyers who are based at headquarters. The retail year is divided into four seasons. At the start of each season a new set of stock is sent to each shop.
Garments (clothes items) are sourced from manufacturing units which are based in various countries. Garments are of various types (e.g. trousers, dress, shirt, skirt) and each garment type has various styles. Each garment style has an identification, a season-code (identifying the season of its introduction), a set of sizes and a set of colours. It also has a pattern and an approved manufacturing procedure. The buyers order garments for shops from manufacturers who manufacture the garments in batches. When a garment is ordered, the buyer needs to state the style identification, the colour, size, quantity and the shop for which it is required. Each batch manufactured has an identification (consisting of a manufacturer identification and a manufacturer’s batch number). A batch will include only one style of garment, in one colour and of one size. Each manufacturer is required to keep a record of its staff (staff-id, position, name, address, date-of-birth, salary-grade, contract-start-date and contract-end-date). The same information is maintained for M&G staff at headquarters. Each manufactured batch is the responsibility of a quality officer who is a member of staff of the manufacturing unit. The quality officer needs to ensure the batch is produced to the correct specification. The manufacturers send the completed garments in batches direct to the shops. At the end of the season, unsold garments are sent to a storage depot which is managed by headquarters. Any garments found to be faulty are returned direct to the manufacturer by the shops.
Currently headquarters, the shops and the various manufacturers have independent computer systems. This means there is overlapping, redundancy and often lack of consistency across the systems. M&G wish to have a more integrated system which brings together the business processes of headquarters, the manufacturing units and the shops. M&G intend to develop an enterprise architecture to realize this aim.

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(a) Explain what you understand by the term “Enterprise Architecture”.

(b) The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) has the following components. Briefly describe each.

  • Architecture Capability Framework
  • Architecture Development Method
  • Architecture Content Framework
  • Enterprise Continuum and Tools
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(c) (i) Provide a data model for the scenario given above. This can take the form of an entity relationship model with a relational schema or a class diagram with variables and methods. State any assumptions you make.
(ii) State where your data model would fit within TOGAF. Give the reason for your answer.

(d) (i) Suggest what applications need to be supported in an enterprise system for M&G.
(ii) Outline how one of the applications you have identified would work and how it would look. You may use a use case diagram and a user interface sketch to aid your description.

(e) M&G has decided to adopt a distributed solution and to make use of service oriented architecture.

(i) Explain what you understand by the term “service oriented architecture”.
(ii) How might an enterprise database for M&G be distributed and what services could be usefully implemented?


2. (a) Discuss the evolution of information systems in an organisation. Explain how the information system can support the information needs of executives, managers, and business professionals.
(b) Identify the problems that might arise from the adoption of an enterprise information system. How can such problems be avoided or overcome?


3. (a) Dell computer strategies are based on direct-sales and built-to-order production. Briefly explain these strategies and compare them with indirect sales. Produce a block diagram showing direct and indirect distribution channels.
(b) Consider and discuss how data collected through Dell’s direct-sales and built-to-order channels may be organised and mined to provide improved business intelligence. Would any additional data be needed?
(c) Discuss any issues with data mining.


4. (a) What is meant by the term data warehousing used in an enterprise? How does it differ from a traditional database?
(b) Your company decides to build a data warehouse and you are designated the project manager. Briefly explain the important factors involved in achieving a successful data warehousing system


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Enterprise Systems Development – An international clothes retailer, M&G, has its headquarters in London