Bert's Bonsai sells Bonsai plants, tools and materials to cultivate them, and literature in book and magazine form. An early adopter of electronic records, they are still happily using an Amiga-based picture-and-text database for their plants from which they produce a catalogue they send round to the local gardening and florist shops as well as mailing to the special interest groups. Their mailing list is also maintained on the Amiga. The company was started by a retired CSIRO plant scientist, and has now been bought up by the proprietors of a garden-supplies franchise. They have been advised by their (overworked and unenthusiastic) IT staff that the material currently in electronic form is next to useless, and it would be best to start again; this has led to some legal dispute between the former owners (who point out that conversion between digital formats is always possible) and the purchasers (who have to rely on their staff for opinions). The director of the franchise who organised the deal would like to know why Bert's Bonsai can produce better catalogues and mailing list on a 30 year old Amiga than his staff can with a 2 million dollar IT budget.
The immediate challenge is to incorporate the plants and tools components of the stock into the greater franchise stock-lines with minimal fuss, and convert the mailing list and distribution list into the franchise's own versions. This also includes getting a web-presence for the new (combined) catalogue as well. The director in question wants to improve the current cataloguing and mailing practices to be at least as good as that of Bert's Bonsai. The IT staff are resentful and look to be uncooperative.