Needs Assessment for Coastal Tool Rental Kathleen Marsh is a recent community college graduate…

Needs Assessment for Coastal Tool Rental

Kathleen Marsh is a recent community college graduate who plans to open an equipment and tool rental store in the next few months. The store will target do-it-yourselfers who need gardening and home improvement implements that may be too expensive to purchase for a limited project

Although this is her first real venture as an entrepreneur, Kathleen worked in a tool rental shop during high school and college. Kathleen’s store, Coastal Tool Rental, will be in a new shopping center. Kathleen chose the location because a sizable community of family homes is nearby and because no major competition is located in the area, which is about 15 miles from the nearest large town. She has arranged to rent 2500 square feet of space in the shopping center. She has located a wholesaler who can provide her with a start-up inventory of common garden and home improvement implements. The wholesaler can also serve as a supplier for new and replacement tools, equipment, and consumables. Kathleen majored in small business management, but she also took a number of computerrelated courses as electives—including some classes on programming and on using word processing, spreadsheet, and database applications. Kathleen plans to purchase a desktop computer for use in her small business venture, but her start-up money and time are limited

Kathleen is considering the following four options to keep track of equipment rentals:

1. A manual system of file cards for each piece of equipment and each customer

2. A computer-based system she would build using a spreadsheet or database application

3. A computer-based option she would program herself

4. An off-the-shelf software package designed for equipment rentals

She has asked for your help to determine the feasibility of each of these options. Complete the following:

·         First, prepare a list of interview questions for Kathleen that would help you make a recommendation to her.

·         After you have a list of potential questions to ask in an interview, compare your questions with those of three classmates or coworkers. Work with your group to create one merged list of questions for Kathleen. Organize the questions under several main categories.

·         When you have completed the list of interview questions, your instructor will provide you with Kathleen’s responses to several questions from an interview with her. Based on her responses, complete the following:

·         Briefly describe the pros and cons of the four options Kathleen is considering.

·         Based on what you know of Kathleen’s situation, which of the four options would you recommend to her? Explain your reasoning.

·         In order to implement one of these options, Coastal Tools Rental would need data on each rental item and each customer. List the fields you think Coastal would need to include in either a record for each rental tool or a record for each customer.

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