B.A.Sc. Thesis Abstracts - Year 1990

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Creation of an Executive Information System for the Toronto Stock Exchange

Clifford Suld and Chung-Wai Ying


This thesis encompassed the thorough review and study of the information gathering and delivery process used at the senior technical executive level in a Financial Services Information firm. The work resulted in the creation of an Executive Information System ("EIS") for the personal use of the Vice President (Information System Division) at the Toronto Stock Exchange. This EIS consolidates all of the paper based information systems performance reports in a Personal Computer data base. The EIS accomplishes this mission for management by providing means for input, processing, and output of data including creating graphical representations of the data that helps senior management respond to current problems and plan for future change in the internal and external environment of their organization.


The Design and Implementation of an Information System for the Ontario Audio Library Service

Thomas F. Schuck and Fil Tejada

The reading requirements of print-handicapped tie. legally blind, low visioned or learning disabled to a point of not being able to handle a book or journal) students for educational material in audio tape format is steadily increasing in Ontario. The Ontario Audio Library Service ( O.A.L.S. ) has moved to improve in ability to meet this growing need for its service by introducing a computerized information system to aid its production operations. A custom database program, simple and user- friendly, had to be designed to provide the work environment for the efficient management of the O.A.L.S.' daily activities. As part of a Fourth Year Industrial Engineering Thesis at the University of Toronto, two students with appropriate expertise in computer technology proceeded with the undertaking in September 1989 under the guidance of Professor Paradi and Professor Vanderburg. Within an eight month period, the application was designed, tested, and installed on an IBM compatible system in the O.A.L.S. data centre. With personnel training and program upgrading planned in May 1990, O.A.L.S. staff were quite pleased with the results of the project.


Optimal Strategies for Resolving Transaction Delays in the Integrated Payments System at the Toronto Dominion Bank

Cary Marr and Miranda Wong

In order to investigate alternatives for improving the performance of the Integrated Payments System at the Toronto Dominion Bank, a mathematical model has been formulated to represent the real system so that quantitative analysis can be performed on the system. The inter-related performance measures include processing efficiency, customer service, and level of risk exposure of the bank. Two automation strategies to increase processing efficiency and a control system to ensure a guaranteed service time are suggested. A simulation methodology has been adopted to analyze the current system and the impact of the suggested alternatives. Critical parameters of the system were identified, and simulation programs were coded and tested. Analysis of the simulation output shows that no single alternative dominates the others although each new alternative improves the present system with regards to the system measures studied. A detailed study of the cost and benefits of each alternative should be completed before the Toronto Dominion Bank decides on the suitable alternatives for implementation.

Recovery Planning

Har Ying Fong and Paul Spinato

Contingency planning is becoming an increasingly important part of the everyday operations of industry, To ensure that their business is managed properly, organizations must plan for unexpected situations that may impede their effectiveness and efficiency in the market place. The following report provides a general overview on the field of recovery planning with the headquarters of ScotiaMcLeod Inc.

The initial discussion deals with the financial industry on the whole, and how crucial contingency design is to companies who operate in this business. This is turn leads to a closer investigation on the company itself, with an analysis on two key groups: Stock Trading and Data Entry. Current and critical requirements will be identified and possible recovery strategies recommended.

Later sections deal with the evaluation of potential software tools that can be used to aid in the development process. As a final approach, recommendations for furthtr lines of investigation will be presented, in the hope that recovery planning will be implemented accordingly in the near future within ScotiaMcLeod.


Bar Code Technology and its Applications at Teknion Furniture Systems Inc.

Nhu-Hang Do and Thuy-Huong Nguyen-Phuc

The lack of a suitable data collection technology in the manufacturing manufacturing environment required that production. quality control and inventory control collect their data manually, and submit to a computer centre to be keypunched and processed. Turnaround time for receiving data back from this batch processing environment could be two or three days, or longer. In addition, this procedure was expensive and error-prone.

Bar coding technology has been in use for many Years in various environments. The introduction of reliable end low-cost portable scanning devices provided the missing link and created the ability to collect data quickly, easily, and accurately at its source. Thus. bar coded messages provide an efficient means of reducing or eliminating keyboard entry, and, at the same time, allow for a maximum of amount information to be collected with minimum effort.

Because bar coding provide an accurate, easy, and inexpensive method of data capture, it has thousands of potential applications in industry. This study discusses bar coding and its use in furniture - manufacturing firm's production- oriented app1ications .In particular, the operations at Teknion Furniture Systems Inc. is analyzed to determine where and how bar coding may be integrated into their system to improve performance.

Bar coding techniques are described including encoding and decoding techniques. The various equipment used in creating and reading bar codes are also surveyed together with their use and benefits in manufacturing environment. Company background and a detailed analysis of their present operations are included. The existing inventory problem is identified and its cause explored. Bar coding data collection methods and the potential applications of such a system at Teknion are developed. Finally, the selection of a suitable computer system that can support the implementation of bar coding is discussed.

A Skills Inventory Implemented Under Presentation Manager

K. Chan and L. Servos

The OS/2, LAN Competency Centre at IBM Canada wishes to transfer a Skill Assessment Survey onto an OS/2 Presentation Manager platform. Analysis of the existing system revealed that the problem was with a data collection mechanism that encouraged incomplete and inconsistent data collection. The system requirements were to develop a data collection mechanism that was easy to use and maximized data accuracy.

A distributed system with local data bases and batch processing to a central data base was designed. The interface was developed so that demands on user time and memory were kept to a minimum. The application is operational, but uses some ASCII data files. Future versions will link up with a central data base by means of intermediary data bases.

The solution provides several benefits. Individual skill levels as well as group skill requirements are collected. This eliminates duplication of effort, and allows management to identify individuals with desirable skill profiles. Most importantly, the data will be more timely and consistent. Information derived will result in better skills management decision making.

An increasing effort has recently been devoted to incorporate quality in the assessment of efficiency. An empirical investigation at the Bank of Montreal of the relationship between the ware quality and the efficiency of the production process, through the application of aforementioned DEA models, is also presented. The study concentrates on a sample of software maintenance projects from within the bank. The results suggest that substantial efficiency improvements and, hence, savings can be achieved from increased quality of the software products.