Inventory Control Management System

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Abstract

Today it is eminent that the role of computers has a huge impact on every person. Computerization has taken over a majority of societal roles and has greatly improved lives. The most advanced machines include intelligent systems that have the ability to control and manage stock by taking over the manual or human-managed systems. These days’ systems in use at various businesses and the software in these computer structures use procedures and information fed to their processing systems to give desired output that enables the owners to manage stock at the least cost possible.

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These computer systems are all designed differently and yet the experts are not in a position to be acquainted with all the involved details. The battle with technology is dynamic and a continuous process expected to bring about new challenges every day. This mainly influences the inventory department in a very vibrant manner due to the stable anticipated creativity to match the ever-increasing and dynamic type of goods. Society is equally dependent on technology today and having computers in the workplace, homes and through mobile technology enables effectiveness, and efficiency required for the betterment of all well-up businesses. The computers cut down on the production costs and trading time since there is elimination on the majority of the manual tasks.

Introduction

Today’s technology has advanced to a point where the graphical user interfaces are the key screens on use. Unlike the earlier days when people had to practically type out everything, the computation skills have amazingly incorporated the touch, voice, or click commands. The key point is to embrace technological skills as much as possible, as long as they make human tasks easier to undertake without taking over their lives. Arguably, it is equally hard for intelligent systems to take over all human tasks since human beings formulate and control them with the aim of improving on their quality of life. The vice of laziness might be the only factor that can cause over-throwing of human intelligence and creativity else, today’s technology enables resourceful communication and sharing of information. The tasks involving computation in the business sectors might be expensive, especially the initial start up cost, the advancement involved, the output as well as the input requirements, but finally the system becomes cheaper and much easier or appreciative due to the quality and quantity of output and the profit marginal gains.

Thesis statement

“The technology of inventory management system is the key factor to the success of small-sized businesses” This paper examines the real situational effects of computer technology on inventory especially its impact on the profitability of the firm. The analysis also focuses on the stock management systems that are in use today by analyzing their impacts, strengths and weaknesses. The analysis finally focuses on the existing arguments and debates concerning the inventory software in existence and the future expectations.

Objective/significance of the study

The main objective of the paper focuses on business production whose main determinant is stock acquisition and management and the developmental problems associated with this type of stock management styles. Another significance of the study focuses on the global approach towards inventory, management systems over their usage on computer systems and recently embraced mobile telephony technology. The paper also forms an analysis over issue of consistency in the subject matter. Are people utilizing these systems appropriately? This calls for an analysis of what determines business marketing and actions. Lastly, it addresses the issue of utilizing the new and anticipated computerized knowledge or electronic skills in stock management.

The procedure of the study

The literature reviews will enable better understanding of the topic. Preparation of the research proposal over the chosen topic enhances and quantifies the research as a study topic and prepares for respondents.

Information collected tabulates and ranks the findings to broad areas and helps to narrow the scope to the objectives of the study analysis. The analysis then draws the conclusion from generally analyzed data in the literature review.

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Purpose of the study

The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the issue of technology in businesses specifically in the department of stock.

Literature review

According to Fleisch and Tellkamp (13), an individual has a great impact on the business and is parts of inaccuracies or errors associated with the inventory. The errors vary from theft, poor processing and other factors leading to void goods. To counter on the monetary or social losses, there ought to be a supply chain having a direct real-time link to the consumers’ demands for all involved echelons of the business to respond. The physical inventory and the system’s records must be in alignment in real transaction time, to avoid low-quality processes that cause inaccuracy. This can highly trim down the costs involved and equally avoid out-of-stock situations.

The biggest question many people would ask is the effect of technology on the just-in-time stock control systems. In line with Atali, et al, (16) in a rare study that provides procedures, which overrules errors of an inventory system such as misplacements, the demand clusters are grouped under four categories namely, customers’ payment, shrinkage, misapplication or misplacements and errors linked to transactions. A technology such as implementation of the RFID to track these errors; otherwise, they accumulate overtime until a physical inventory recording is done. These audits are common in systems that lack computerization in the aim of getting back the misplaced inventory on track and the accumulated errors are set back to normal. The inventory system requires governing policies that assist the management in assessing the preventive value and enough visibility as a counter measure to aligning records for instance before the beginning of a trading period. According to Atali, et al, (16) beside the inventory detection system, the system also is worthy of policies of that provide partial compensation over the stock discrepancies.

Is the implementation of a system for capturing inventory data such as the RFID quantifiable for its cost? The system is strongly supported by Sahin, et al, (6) who indicate in their writing the ease of deriving analytical and most advantageous policies linked to inventory for capturing errors. “The expression for… optimal quantity to order is not simple and for reasonable error parameter values, can be deviate from being linear”

According to Lee and Ozer (3), the inventory management systems have lead to more benefits for instance the acquisition of advanced and better knowledge-based systems that are in position to deal with the current harsh economic disparities, supply chain problems associated with more sophisticated inventory and the system security measures to curb common errors.

Just-In-Time Inventory (JIT) Management System

This is a production system in which monitoring and reducing of firm product occurs to allow for utilization of inputs required for production as well as strategies for minimizing or avoiding the costs of holding produced goods in anticipation of prospective customers. According to De Kok (12), although the management system is quite utilized for the function it is considered a double-edged sword whose advantages are comprehend when majority of the inventory management systems risks are alleviated.

The main aim of the system is to reduce the holding costs of finished goods radically. Some goods such as the computer hardware continue depreciating and even loose their needs overtime due to the advancement in technology. The other advantage it offers is on the storage costs such as the car manufacturing industries. They would need huge warehouses to maintain finished cars as they await potential customers. Lastly is on the reduced delivery costs and decreased holding costs. It enables the suppliers to fulfil the requirements for huge orders without having to increase the produce due to proper planning and analysis with regard to demand.

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Standards for stock taking software

Considering the commonly featured inventory management Microsoft software, “Microsoft Access”, its ease of use, common development and wide range of support among other software enables it to be widely utilized especially in the fields of production. The key features of the software include:

  • The searching functions and provisions for creation of reports regarding inventory
  • The adoption of the barcode stock taking facilities
  • The ability to forecast the capital required for production of ordered inventory
  • Provision for a wide range of users at real-time
  • Ability to calculate and process appreciation and depreciation of goods in five different cost amount at a time for instance, depreciation due to main production cost, the diminishing charge of a product, the life span of stock, write-offs or the costs incurred.
  • Ms Access enables the users to export, query outputs or reports to other application software such as excel, word documents, HTML documents and equally import data from some of these programs like Microsoft Excel.
  • It also allows usage on majority of platforms as per the requirements for assets management prerequisites.

The users of the system have ease in utilizing the quick and efficient way of moving assets. The flexibility of the system also allows them to have the ability of altering orders to suite the business for maximum profits. The options of processing reports, queries, and sorting, selecting or filtering criteria enable the business to meet the consumer requirements. According to Tahtinen and Salo, (17), “current inventory systems utilizes the barcode system of taking and controlling stock, user training and installation procedures, supports mobile phones controls such as alerts and enable constant upgrades to ensure continuity.

The barcode stocktaking facility

The barcodes attached to the products ensures automation of the system to stock assets by location, time and quantity. The stock case recording occurs in a master file where updates evaluation indicates availability. To take the stock, the barcode reader can be portable to various locations and the stock taken easily and recorded in the memory. The attachment of the reader to the computer system occurs and the data down-loader to compare with the master files in the main systems.

The barcode can therefore find use in finding the correctness of assets location, the misplaced assets and identify extra assets or over-productions. Corrections can occur consequently and easily and reports generated.

The critical review of barcode

The bar containing the code is a symbol representing the technical details of the inventory such as the length of the code, location of the goods, type of goods, the method used in the encoding and the specifications for amount. The type of barcode depends on the amount and type of data that it can hold and the common uses other than the technicality of the excruciating details.

Common barcodes code consists of 0 to 9 digits, a matching pair of the start/stop characters, and a number of symbolic characters such as $,*,-, + or: and equally a number of letters. An example of a simple barcode execution may entail:

  • The first digit showing the type of the barcode
  • The next four digits (2 to 5) showing the firm/ organization or institution in which the item belongs
  • The other six digits (6 to 11) showing the individual good or item
  • And the end digit indicating the checksum
  • The algorithm for finding the execution of the checksum takes place depending on the type of barcode.

Benefits and detriments of Barcode

The most general disadvantage is the new extended technology used to code for them. This makes barcodes software sophisticated to program and hard to implement in curriculum. Most users of the technological tools fear new technology thus its low usage. The use of barcode technology thus requires experts to repair and manage. The initial setup costs are quite high but the facilities eventually cover the running costs. The technological world today causes the hardware and software to become obsolete or outdated within a short lifespan of usage due to upgrades and this is evident with the barcodes. However calculating the marginal gain indicates good growth and thus the need for change or upgrade when required.

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The barcodes are inventory management equipments that are have small but use efficient recording expertises, have special and specific skills required for practical tasks, provide room for creativity thus promoting cooperating and group work among user and lastly they require practical lessons for potential careers. However, these facilities can be costly and dangerous if misused. Barcodes provides an easy way of referencing inventory but expensive way because most of the systems utilizing them are not user friendly especially during their initial stages.

Off-the shelf stock inventory management system

One main set back that comes about because of off-the-shelf software is lack of customizing abilities. Moreover, the main advantage is reliability where the users remain assured of functionality. This inventory management system has to comprise of the central control unit or the master file system for recording the inventory and a job file for records of tasks regarding the inventory. The system must also have a strategy for displaying stored inventory jobs specifications such as a catalogue and provide means of updating or editing the information stored in the master files specifically by the administrator.

Majority of the software in use today are the off-the-shelf mainly due to the costs involved in customizing. Millions of users run them especially the well-known software such as those produced by Microsoft or Adobe who have a wide range of products for different purposes and clientele needs and are in a position to provide speedy upgrades as per the user needs.

The pros of the off-the shelf software

First, it is much cheaper in comparison to the bespoke applications. These software are reliable due to their wide usage meaning that majority of the programs are equipped with a wide range of technical assistance inform of help literature appended to the software. Their availability means that it is easy to share file with others because of the high probability that they own the software. Lastly, the customized software requires the owner to dedicate time for the development to assist with specifications, the testing procedures, installation and monitoring by the programmers.

The Cons of Off-The-Shelf Software

The software consists of complex and large segments. These parts are probably never required, used, or are less productive for their costs when used. They in most instances fail to meet the need of various users because its development might be for the aim of meeting the needs of various users and thus bypassing the basic requirements. Some of the programs are wide thus taking the user a lot of time to learn and find the sections meeting their needs. Some of the situations call for some alterations to fit requirements since an individuals request is too shallow to have much impact for the needed changes. Lastly, the off-the-shelf software reduces the competitive advantage an entrepreneur may be aiming at. The same program is available for the competitors and thus no hidden facilities.

Comparison between the customized and off-the-shelf software

The customized applications are too sophisticated to support a wide range of common user needs compared to the ready-made software, made to fit exactly with the common user needs. The software utilizes many resources for its development and implementation than the off-the-shelf. On the other hand, the ready-made software lacks programming to interface with other existing software as opposed to the customized. This fits exactly with operability of the business tasks as well as other software. Customizing enables the user to enjoy the user-friendliness nature, flexibility and better support that hardly come by with the off-shelf software. The users also have the opportunity to get involved in the production by suggesting solutions that may add value for the business advantage and thus providing a competitive advantage. Lastly, the owner of customized software owns the full rights to resell edit or share as opposed to the off-shelf where the investor has no access to the code. They remain dependent of the producers’ goodwill and governments support for protection. Nevertheless, customizing may be risky considering that there are a good number of quack programmers in the market. The support services have to come from the programmers as well.

Entrepreneurs prefer customized software to gain the competitive advantage to potential entrants. It might be more expensive, but customized software provides easiness for the user as well as the ability to own the program solely and fully.

Reasoned arguments and debates concerning inventory

Reasonable arguments have been the advancement of technology. The future expectation entails the mobility of the systems and the technicality in terms of data possession. The mobile telephony industry is a constantly growing and effective method of management that enables wireless technology to include transmission of audio data, the short messaging texts (SMS), e-mails, the multimedia messages texts, picture messages and broadcasting services. (Tahtinen and Salo, 17)

Mobile government in businesses involves the extension of concepts of governing deliverance of information, goods or services to the clients in a civilized and personalised manner. (Tahtinen and Salo, 17) The advancement of the technology influences the way information such as stock details are accesses as well as alerting on misappropriations. The mobile commerce is a concept that has improved widely in reference to distribution of text or multimedia messages in the aim of enhancing business activities. (Barnes and Scornavacca, 129)

Strengths and weaknesses of stock control software such as Microsoft Access

The future of electronic inventory management has its basis on the mobile devices, such as phones, which is currently not incorporable in majority of the software such as the Microsoft Access database management tools. This is an opposition to the current static networked technology and use of the mobile devices such as laptops, palmtops, or the mobile telephony especially by management. The aim is on making the geographical contextual information easy and possible through the electronic working that overcomes the geographical context. Every manager would wish to manage their firms from the comfort of their houses, offices or through their mobile devices.

In future, the inventory management systems standard of content delivery through the internet or intranet of the company will probably take over as the main information transfer mechanism, whereby users subscribe to receive specific information online. This is a great advancement on management and the way of distributing goods. It is an immense advantage over the stand-alone traditional systems venerable to common users’ errors and ability to filter information for malicious reasons without immediate notice.

The level of delivery also changes from a single point to an online delivery where the users have access to most recent orders in real-time. Future challenge is on the adoption of rules restricting the amount of power the consumers have over content. Consumers want a trading environment with less prohibitions and more ease in modification to suit their needs or expectations.

Conclusion

Although dependent on the political decisions regarding privacy issues, the inventory management systems developers and users anticipates a state where the future endeavours will have a strong geographical and technological awareness. The expectations are systems allowing people to read and have reviews instantly, concerning the business they wish to venture into before the actual engagement.

The technology has already reached the mobile devices today but their higher technological aspects need further implementation. The expectations, which are already experienced, are outnumbering the general personal computers. There are high renewal rates of the mobile technology compared to the traditional computers and thus the high and constant triggers on the new technologies. The current phenomenon indicates that huge masses have access to the mobile technology and the population is eager over further and wider growths. The production firms have to adoption the inventory management systems with the ability to indicate orders and deliveries through the intranet or on the web especially for the internet broadcasting scenes. This paper poses the chance for further research into the current technological advancement regarding the inventory systems.

Works cited

Atali, A., Lee, H., and Ozer, O., “if the inventory manager knew: Value of RFID under Imperfect inventory information; Technical Report, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. 2005. Print

Barnes, S.J. and Scornavacca E. Mobile marketing: the role of permission and Acceptance. International Journal of Mobile Communication. 2004. Vol. 2. No. 2, 128-139.

De Kok, A.G., Van Donselaar, K.H., Van Woensel, T., A Break-even Analysis of Technology for Inventory. Technical Report, Eindhoven University of Technology. 2006. Print

Fleisch, E. and Tellkamp, C., Inventory inaccuracy and supply chain performance: a simulation study of a retail supply chain. International Journal of Production Economics, 2005, 95/3

Lee, H. L. and Ozer, O., Unlocking the value of inventory technology. Technical Report, Stanford University. 2005. Print

Sahin, E., Buzacott, J. and Dallery Y., The Impact of Inventory Record Inaccuracies on the Newsvendor with Uniformly Distributed Demands; Technical Report; Ecole Centrale Paris. 2005. Print

Tahtinen, J. and Salo, J. “Special features of Mobile Advertising and their Utilization”. Proceedings of the 33rd EMAC Conference. 2004.

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