A database is an organized collection of data. Databases are used in many applications, spanning virtually the entire range of computer software (Wikipedia). Databases are the ideal system of storage for large multi user applications, where collaboration between many users is needed. Database technology refers collectively to the tools, techniques and methods used every day in practical applications in business, industry, government and science (Miller, 2005).
Even individual users find the use of databases handy, through, and many electronic mail programs and personal organizers are based on customary database knowledge. Database management systems are usually categorized according to the data model that they support. Databases are commonly used to store bodies of data which are too large to be managed on paper or through simple spreadsheets (Robert, 2000). The data model will tend to determine the query languages that are available to access the database.
The Home Depot, an Atlanta based company, is a leading-edge home improvement and electronics national retailer of hard-goods. As an employee of Your Other Warehouse (YOW) which is a division of Home Depot, we operate on software known as AS400. AS400 is Home Depots' main system, where orders or quotes for merchandise are placed via telephone, fax, email or electronic data interchange (EDI). The company's highly developed expertise helps to maintain an important progress in the retailer market place position. The business has managed to tie together its software application (AS400) with the Home Depot stores and systems in real time (Green, 2001). Even though the use of the database management system in due course improves the company's day by day workflow there are things that can be modified in order to amplify the overall strengths of the corporation.
Since there are four warehouses, located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Ponchatoula, Louisiana; Las Vegas, Nevada, and Hagerstown, Maryland, that house millions of pieces of inventory of Home Depot, using the AS400 database software helps to keep a track of the quantity of merchandise, if any. Through the use of the system, customer service representatives have the ability to access precise, comprehensive information from each warehouse locality and make available to the customer the information needed to place an order. This database management software makes it possible to unify the company's supply to offer their customers with up-to-date data and information whenever they phone about a certain piece of merchandise.
The use of the database management software is significant to the company's growth; however, there are certain improvements that could be changed to make the system even more enhanced. Some of the improvements to the system would be to construct the system to be available for all employees in every Home Depot store locations the access to view the necessary information. Currently, if you visited a Home Depot store, a salesperson would not be able to quote any pricing, delivery or specifications about a product without calling a customer service representative in the YOW call center. This may make a customer that is in a rush to merchandise at the last minute unhappy about the sales associate not able to provide him with prompt service.
The system should be upgraded to allow the employees to view the stock status in the warehouse locations, and this will cut down the time the sales associate spends on the phone holding for a YOW customer service representative. By implementing this system in the store the associate could quickly view the information and then in turn help another customer that is in a hurry to purchase or inquiry about product. This upgrade would be a benefit because the improvement of the database management system will help the call center to answer more calls from wholesalers and in addition the customers shopping in the Home Depot locations can be service faster.
Home Depot has some of the best database technology in the industry. Working for a company that utilizes a brilliant database system helps the company to progress in many ways. The business is able to provide tremendous customer service and carry out their duties to the unsurpassed expectations. Even though the database system works fine throughout the Home Depot system, there are things that could be altered to help advance the overall construction of the organization. Changes in data representation will often be needed as a result of changes in query, update, and report traffic and natural growth in the types of stored information (Greenspun, 2003). Keeping up with the every growing computer technology tends to keep a company abreast of its competition.
Green, P. (2001). Using technology for office automation. Retrieved April 10, 2006 from website: http://www.aceproject.org/main/english/et/etg.htm.
Greenspun, P. (2003). Chapter 12: Database Management Systems. Retrieved April 10, 2006 from website: http://philip.greenspun.com/panda/databases-choosing
Miller, J. (2005). Can Group Collaboration Software Meet Business Needs?. Retrieved March 31, 2006 from website: http://searchwarp.com/swa8581.htm
Robert, K. (2000). Uses of databases. Database Programming with Perl. Chapter 2. Retrieved on April 10, 2006 from website: http://www.zoic.org/training/perldb/book1.html
Wikipedia. Database. Retrieved on April 9, 2006 from website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database