The Development of an Information System to Support Inventory Management

Acknowledgments

This study may not be achievable without the cooperation, guidance, and support and of a few people and organizations. University adopted Supervisor Dr. – PQR2, Lecturer, Department of Department of Accounting/ Financial Management, ABC University, was the resource of the inspiration and motivation to this dissertation effort. He has provided vital assistance along the way. His help is immeasurable.

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Department of Financial Management3, ABC University, is another resource to gaining this study. It has provided valuable modulation, books, Journals, Researches and too many efforts for this study. The teacher and staffs of the Department and the Faculty Dean are extremely helpful. Devoid of their assistance, this study could not have reached its conclusion.

Encouragement, love, and caring of my family ensured a working environment for such a project without disturbing the normal family routine.

All the optimistic attributes of this dissertation have been driven by those mentioned above. The conclusions of any other errors, omissions, and mistakes within this dissertation are attributable just to the author.

Abstract

The world of business is in the midst of a revolution in which the key ingredient is control and Management. Every company that wants to move forward must embrace Information technology-based.

The purpose of businesses is the maximization of goals especially in this era of corporate sustainability and to achieve these companies will need to move with technology otherwise the train of existence will leave them. Companies in developing countries like Trinidad and Tobago need to develop a capacity to utilize Information Technology to improve product and services choice among customers in order to give pleasure and satisfaction. This independence, pleasure, and satisfaction will be determined to be measured by individual perception of the chosen product or service and the preference in the choice of the same.

Therefore, to accommodate the rapid changes occurring in the business world, and information technology web-based inventory system should be utilized in the management of stock. This case study describes the role of IT and the implementation of a prototype IT developed by XXX a student at the University of kkk aiming to help TESS to develop technology-based inventory control. Collaborating with the management of TESS, XXX investigated this tool in the context of managing stock control. The main purpose of stock control is to ensure the company has the right quantity of stock. This will be determined by the number of sales made during a period and the customers’ period.

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I conclude that the Information technology system enhances companies managing of stocks and inventory, increases collaboration and sharing sock information among employees, and increased profitability by reducing the cost of stock control and loss due to employees stealing. I have also learned that the management TESS appreciates the system as a tool for successful stock control has described effective methods to be implemented. Finally, I was able to evaluate the usability of the information system and am using this feedback to continue the iterative process of developing the Information technology-based system.

Problem Statement

Introduction

This dissertation describes the perceptions & opinions of The Development of an Information system for Inventory Management Study factors affecting their drives & examination.

Background of the project

Inventory management is the active control program, which allows the management of sales, purchases, and payments. It is involved in maintaining the appropriate level of stock in a warehouse. It also includes a retailer seeking to acquire and maintain a proper merchandise assortment while ordering, shipping, handling, and related costs are kept in check. On the other hand, Information System (IS) is the system of persons, data records, and activities that process the data and information in a given organization, including manual processes or automated processes. Therefore, the application of Information System for Inventory Management Study gives dynamism to a company. Thus, the study along with information systems focused on why and how technology can be put into best use to serve the information flow about the stock level within an organization.4

Background of the Organization Chosen

Trinidad Energy Supplies & Services Limited (TESS) is a medium-sized business located in Southern Main Road, Marabella, Trinidad, and Tobago. It was established in 1994 by owners Mr. Ricardo and Mrs. Jasmine Mohammed, and ever since has been involved in the retail and wholesale of janitorial and industrial chemical and lab equipments to the public. Lab equipments at TESS mainly consist of items to be supplied for a wide range of schools in Trinidad and Tobago. Furthermore, there are over five hundred (500) lab items available at TESS. At present, TESS has a permanent staff of twenty employees and from time to time, a temporary staff is hired on contract to work on-site in the chemical manufacturing department or in the service of boilers/chillers.

The company’s major difficulty of operation deals with the stock inventory management of chemical and lab items. The stock inventory process was based on a traditional and manual process, which was done using stock cards for recording and monitoring stock levels. Sales were used to be recorded in a general bill or stock book. Other types of chemical/lab that consist of larger items were usually observed and reordered by simply monitoring the amount.

Therefore, this situation presented a number of troubles. The manual process of stock-keeping was lingering, and complicated to perform since to carry out the process only one person was assigned. In addition, stock cards that were used to store information about items were sometimes be damaged, distorted, or misplaced.

Another problem was that no computerized database system was present to support the data entry, storage, and referencing of the large volumes of stock items, so as to provide for data timeliness, accuracy, integrity, and security. There was also no network available for more than one user to share data, applications, and hardware to improve the efficiency and productivity of business processes. Lastly, all these matters increased the lack of motivation in employees because of the rising workload.

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Rationale of the Research

In traditional Inventory Management, orders are the only information that the firm exchange, but the information system now allows firms to share demand and inventory data quickly and inexpensively. It has a substantial impact on inventory management. The application of this system, especially in growth-oriented industries, has significantly lowered the time and cost of keeping a record of inventory stock and control over them. Because of this success story, there is now a general belief within industries that capturing and sharing real-time demand information is the key to improved management of inventory. So Trinidad Energy Supplies & Services Limited (TESS) found a need to source for the same.

Therefore, the need stimulated analysis of the impact of the Development of an Information System for Inventory Management Study. The purpose of this dissertation was to test this belief by rigorously measuring the value of information systems in the field of inventory management, which contributes to the reduction of lead times and shipment frequency, by reducing the time and cost to process orders.

Objectives of the Research

Considering these matters in view, my dissertation paper broadly aims to provide a synopsis of the key developments, to reflect on emerging trends, and to address some frequently asked questions about this literature. I attempt to keep the technical aspects of the Information System in check and focus instead on the key implications of this literature for Inventory Management.5

To facilitate achieving the broad objectives as cited above, this study aims to attain the following specific operational objectives:

  1. Clarifying the role of information systems for inventory management in smoothing out variations in operation performances.
  2. Removing stock out or shortage through an information system.
  3. Identify how information systems for inventory management can be treated as a safeguard against price changes and inflation.
  4. To convey how information system for inventory management facilitates advantages of quantity discounts.
  5. Ensuring data integrity6, and a more efficient method of stock control via the creation of a stock inventory database that will provide for data entry, storage, referencing, and production of stock level reports for monitoring.
  6. Integrating access control to offer the security of data.
  7. To design and implement a database7 that will store the information held by the system.
  8. To provide Inventory System access to all necessary personnel (data entry, update, and deletion).
  9. To provide a full range of reports that will satisfy informational requirements.
  10. To provide training to personnel responsible for supporting the Inventory Management System.
  11. To review and implement either stockless, RFID, or online inventory management, or which is the latest technology in inventory management, and to establish the distinct features that are, or can be, applied in the case of inventory management.

Scope and Limitation of the project

My focus is on the Management Information System (MIS), which has been used extensively by both empirical and theoretical researchers.8 My aim is to explain the driving forces for using information systems for inventory management. Here I have discussed major developments with respect to customer requirements, Stock level, shortage or surplus pf stock, and networked inventory management. Reviews some decision systems for inventory management, and compares traditional inventory management to information systems for inventory management. Summarizes the results of the study, and provides an outlook on further research.9

This project will only focus on the design and implementation of a stock inventory database, graphical user interface, and peer-to-peer network for use only by the staff and management at Trinidad Energy Supplies & Services Limited (TESS). Furthermore, such a system would only deal only with the stock inventory process of managing transmission parts for the industrial chemical and lab equipment.

Research Question

Here we have presented some empirical research questions associated with this literature.

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  • How does an information system for inventory management helps in smoothing out variations in operation performances?
  • Can we avoid stock out or shortage by using an information system for inventory management?
  • How information system for inventory management can be treated as a safeguard against price changes and inflation?
  • How information system for inventory management facilitates the advantages of quantity discounts?

Detailed Gantt chart:

ID Task Name Duration Start Finish
1 Development of Proposal 52 Days 20-01-07 15-03-07
2 Target Selected Business 4 Days 22-01-07 25-01-07
3 Investigation of Business 9 Days 26-01-07 09-01-07
4 Documentation of Investigation 4 Days 04-02-07 07-02-07
6 Composition of Project Title 1 Day 08-02-07 08-02-07
7 Acquire Letter of Authorization 1 Day 09-02-07 09-02-07
8 Approval of Project 1 Day 10-02-07 10-02-07
9 Project Introduction 3 Days 11-02-07 13-02-07
10 Document Background of Organization 6 Days 14-02-07 19-02-07
11 Document Key Phrases of Project 1 Day 20-02-07 20-02-07
12 Document Objectives-Activities and Deliverables 8 Days 21-02-07 28-02-07
13 Document Relevance of Other Courses 1 Day 01-03-07 01-03-07
14 Document Required Resources 1 Day 02-03-07 02-03-07
15 Get All Possible References 2 Days 03-03-07 04-03-07
16 Document The Critical Success Factors 3 Days 05-03-07 07-03-07
17 Document Risk Assessment Factors 4 Days 08-03-07 11-03-07
18 Do Gantt Chart 2 Days 12-03-07 13-03-07
19 Do Work Breakdown Structure 1 Day 14-03-07 14-03-07
20 Finish Off Proposal 1 Day 15-03-07 15-03-07
21 Continue Research/Start Literature Review 10 Days 16-03-07 26-03-07
Detailed Gantt chart
Figure: Detailed Gantt chart

If the project proposal is crashed it will take 30 days using the critical path in yellow.

Relevant Literature Review

Overview of the Topic

Inventory is more than a substantial investment; it is usually a company’s largest asset. Smart companies have found that the ability to manage this asset is a key factor in their ultimate success or failure. The major types of Inventory Management solutions are as follows:

  • Barcodes. A barcode is an encoding tag or label that is placed on all merchandise that allows computers to track and ring up products much faster and more accurately than if it were to be performed by hand. Using barcodes can actually reduce the amount of training time needed for employees. A scanner is fairly simple to operate, and automatically does the computation for you.

Max Patel described the use of barcoding and barcode scanners have transformed operational efficiencies of a phenomenal number of businesses both large and small.

John Schreibfeder also states that bar codes can help your business by providing value-added services to customers, also improving inventory accuracy, and making employees more productive. There are many more advantages including operational efficiency, better customer service, and improved visibility of key business information to management.

But there are also disadvantages of using barcodes such as you have to be able to see them, the bar code cannot be written on or defaced, you cannot change the data once they are printed and also they take up space on the object they are printed on.

Barcodes today are becoming outdated as newer technologies exist and there is a lot of fierce competition out there in trying to bring in the customers.

RFID

Radio Frequency Identification allows a business to identify individual products and components, and to track them throughout the supply chain from production to point-of-sale.

As Charles Atkinson as said in his article, instead of using technology to track inventory as it is moved, RFID counts inventory automatically from a remote location. This is superior to perpetual inventory tracking or perpetual inventory for a couple of reasons. Most notably is that RFID accounts for shrinkage. RFID counts what is actually there, and it can tell you exactly where it is.

Mark Henricks and Mark Roberti state that RFID is an innovative technology similar to the Internet and how it has revolutionized and many businesses today are introducing RFID to better solve inventory management solutions.

There are many advantages of RFID, there is inventory efficiency because a line of sight is not required to read RFID tags, return on investment although the cost may be high at first, the total cost of ownership should go down over the years and provide a return on investment, vulnerability to damage minimized barcodes can be damaged in many ways.

But there are also disadvantages to RFID, there are dead areas and orientation problems there may be certain areas that have weaker signals or interference. In addition, poor read rates are sometimes a problem, security concerns because RFID is not a line of sight technology like barcoding, additionally, when RFID is used for high-security operations such as payment methods, fraud is always a possibility and there are many more to name such as proximity issues, high costs, etc.

Online Inventory

By using the internet to store your valuable inventory information, you will realize several significant advantages over traditional paper or home PC-based solutions.

The Internet Advantage: access anytime, anywhere, internet access can now be found in even the farthest reaches of the world, which means you can get to your information from home, work, or even across the continent, if and when you need it, offsite storage of the actual inventory data which means that no matter what happens to your computer, your property, or even the surrounding community, you’ll still have your complete inventory information to assist you, no special software to install or upgrade, all that’s required is a web browser. You can access it from any computer that has a web browser and an Internet connection.

But here are some disadvantages of online inventory as it more relates to drop-shipping. The first is inventory, your supplier may not have an accurate online accounting of inventory and you may end up selling an item your supplier cannot send to your customer, the second disadvantage is timing and control, your supplier may be slow to ship for various reasons and you have little control over the speed of shipping or the accuracy of the shipment itself.

Slow shipping is one of the biggest complaints of customers online, shipment accuracy brings us to the third problem with drop-shipping: returns, making returns of drop-shipped items, for whatever reason, is a huge hassle for the seller – especially if that retailer wants to hide the fact that he/she is drop-shipping to the customer.

The biggest of the disadvantages to drop-shipping is pricing. Drop-shipped items are usually at a higher price-point compared to true wholesale pricing (pricing based on bulk purchases). So many sellers may find themselves out-priced by those who inventory instead of drop-shipping.

While for many retailers online, drop-shipping is the way to do business most effectively, many find that it has too many problems for their particular situation.

Stockless Inventory (Just In Time)

The term “stockless inventory” implies the elimination of inventory. In a stockless system, virtually no space, inventory, or staff members remain in a storeroom because storage service is contracted to a distributor.

Rene T. Domingo talked about the stockless operation and how it is necessary for a competitive environment, also talking about the negativity of inventory.

Too much money is tied up in inventory that is still waiting to be used (LaPlante, 1992).

JIT is every component in the manufacturing system arriving just in time for it to be used. Since the products arrive just in time there is no need for stock holding facilities of any kind.

Since JIT is a stockless production and does not allow room for defects or error having trustworthy reliable suppliers is an important factor.

Just-in-time manufacturing can be a positive influence on a company. However, there are many risks associated with attempting to implement JIT manufacturing techniques. When looked at it appears to be a very simple, quick, and easy thing to do. In reality, it is a very complicated technique that takes long-term commitment and an initial cost with no guarantee of success. If implemented successfully it would eliminate waste, make the company more productive and more efficient.

Advantages of stockless are decreased inventory costs throughout the value chain, rolling out a true build-to-order system will lead to stockless inventory solutions and stockless suppliers, decreased production costs throughout the supply chain with sophisticated collaborative planning and execution processes, and real-time information provided throughout the supply chain, production can be better planned and capacities optimally streamlined and there are many more including increased customer orientation, shortening vehicle production and reliable delivery lead times allows for higher product individualization, quality relationship with suppliers, no downtime, possible increase in profits and increased flexibility for suppliers. (but each will differ in each company).

As with the others, there are disadvantages of stockless, although the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, the disadvantages can have a negative effect on the company. The disadvantages are a long-term commitment, possible large initial cost with no short-term returns, problems with a supplier that can cost the company large amounts of money, and the risk of never successfully implementing JIT.

In this research study, we will try to analyze how inventory management can impact an organization through these major solutions with the help of an Information System. For this purpose, this literature review includes writings, research, and scholarly opinion concerning the description, measurement, and evaluation of “Information Systems for Inventory Management”. It provides the background needed for managing and controlling inventory in a firm through an information system and how its factors most significantly influence organizational success.

The views and opinions of the contemporary business world concerning inventory management, relevant Information technologies, and Models, organizational strategies, and productivity are discussed. Together, the historical theories and modern techniques form a solid basis upon which to design a research study to further refine the causal relationships affecting Inventory Management.

Literature Review

Inventory Management that is based on an information system has brought many scholars to give their valuable opinion about it. Some mentionable quotations about this literature have been discussed below.

“Inventory accuracy starts with an understanding of the conditions under which errors occur and ends with error-resistant processes, intelligent use of information technology, a well-trained and highly motivated workforce, and an ongoing process of continuous improvement. In between, there’s cycle counting, root cause analysis, process evaluation, user interface design, procedures, employee training, accountability, control methods, process checks, audits, exception reporting, transaction techniques, measurement, counting methods, bar codes, RF systems, speech-based technology, light systems, and software.” [David J. Piasecki: Inventory Accuracy: People, Processes, and Technology.]

Inventory control is concerned with minimizing the total cost of inventory. This term is often used as stock control also. The three main factors in the inventory control decision-making process are:

  • The cost of holding the stock (e.g., based on the interest rate).
  • The cost of placing an order (e.g., for row material stocks) or the set-up cost of production.
  • The cost of shortage, i.e., what is lost if the stock is insufficient to meet all demand.

The third element is the most difficult to measure and is often handled by establishing a “service level” policy, e. g, a certain percentage of demand will be met from stock without delay.

The ABC Classification: The ABC classification system is to grouping items according to annual sales volume, in an attempt to identify the small number of items that will account for most of the sales volume and that are the most important ones to control for effective inventory management.

Reorder Point: The inventory level R in which an order is placed where R = D.L, D = demand rate (demand rate period (day, week, etc), and L = lead time.

Safety Stock: Remaining inventory between the times that an order is placed and when new stock is received. If there are not enough inventories then a shortage may occur.

Safety stock is a hedge against running out of inventory. It is an extra inventory to take care of unexpected events. It is often called buffer stock. The absence of inventory is called a shortage.

To have a strong command and control over all these facts of inventory management, an organized Information System (IS) is mandatory. Information systems (IS) make it possible to improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness, which can provide a competitive advantage.

An autonomous information system design for inventory management is proposed for the efficient supply chain management. By using rewritable RF-ID tags instead of popular bar codes as a job ID, which represents a manifest of an item, each processing system directly communicates with the tag information of each item, and autonomous item management can be realized. The following four basic functions are designed, to introduce new items, link each item to processes, update item information, and acquire process records. The prototype systems, which handle RF-ID tags as processed items, selecting correct items and processes according to a production plan, are confirmed. (Itsuki, R.; Shibata, H.; Ikkai, Y.; Komoda, N.: the autonomous information system design for item management using rewritable RF-ID tags in the supply chain).

Inventory control software eliminates the need to individually change prices one inventory item at a time. Through a global price change window, one can set rules and conditions for inventory categories that require price updates. Utilizing pricing methods (like Markup and Margin percentages), one can quickly do mass changes to inventory without the tedious effort of manual data entry.

Discussion on Literature Review

From the above discussion on the literature review, we can spread our analysis highlighting two important issues.

  • Why online inventory is the best choice?
  • How inventory management can impact an organization?

By establishing an online system an organization can maximize its inventory investment to meet its unique business requirements. So it can be termed as the best choice for inventory management, as this online inventory system provides the organization with the following advantages:

  • Identify a wide range of inventoried and non-inventoried items.
  • Define the inventory calendar of their own choice.
  • Set up multiple price lists (in multiple currencies), multiple companies, and multiple warehouses.
  • Cross-reference part numbers with customer part numbers for quick reference during order entry and inventory processing.
  • Define buying authority thresholds for specific buyers.

The Impact that Inventory management has on an organization is stated below:

  • Complete control of inventory.
  • Complete information about the value of the inventory
  • Complete visibility on Quantities on hand, Quantities committed and Quantities sold
  • Response time to demand changes reduced
  • Increased sales
  • Knowledge of the exact size of merchandising inventory
  • Frequent analysis of purchases, sales, and inventory records.
  • Removal of unnecessary use of warehouse space used by unneeded part of the inventory.
  • Reduction in excess merchandise stock.
  • Taxes and insurance premiums paid on excess merchandise inventory avoided.
  • By providing timely accurate information pertaining to inventory location, movement, and valuation, receipt of goods, sale, and return of goods and profits an organization can make sure that its inventory is visible throughout a network.

With inventory management, you can set your product catalog to hide products that are not in stock, or change prices based on the number of products available in the warehouse. The quantity available can be displayed to the shopper and this can prevent unnecessary confusion when the shopper adds items not available to a shopping cart. The store buyer can be automatically notified about low inventory levels.

Methodology

Research Methodology

The main objective of this dissertation is to identify how the chosen research methodology will match the main objective of the dissertation question and how it will be achieved. Essentially there are two types of research methodology; they are qualitative and quantitative research. While quantitative research is carried out through obtaining primary data such as questionnaires, qualitative research is research that is conducted through interviews and observations. Therefore, the method enables a researcher to explore the details of individual perceptions over phenomena.

Research Approach

The research approach that develops the methodology explained below is based on descriptive research theory and inductive reasoning. This is important to develop the foundation by which the research will be designed, conducted, and consequently analyzed.14

Firstly, it is important to establish the research approach in order to create a significant qualitative methodology. The research approach undertakes a specific design that is “the overall strategy chosen to obtain the information required answering the research question” (Ghauri and Gronhaug p 47, 2002). The research approach will review the types of research design and data collection methods. The research approach is built on logical relations and not just beliefs.

Descriptive research is used when the research question is understood (Ghauri and Gronhaug 2002). In the research approach, the data measurements are dependent on the obtainment of the required information and the quality of the information.15 The outcome of the research, therefore, is dependent on the measurement procedures used in the collection of the data, and this in turn is dependent on the types of data collection (Ghauri and Gronhaug p 47 2002).

This is an important concept of qualitative research, where the description is either inductive or deductive. Inductive research begins with a question and seeks to describe it, and deductive research begins with the problem by working backward to the answers. Therefore, this research uses the inductive approach to build the theory from the data gathered to explore possible conclusions towards Information Systems for Inventory management Study.

Research Design

Proper management of chemical inventory is a key component in ensuring that laboratory results are produced as accurately and as efficiently as possible. Being able to track where chemicals are located, accurately monitor stock levels, record quantities used, and check expiry dates are all part of a process that impacts both the efficient operation of the lab and the accuracy of the results that they produce. [Bolton, S.(2007), Labtronics Inc., Take Real Control Over Chemical Inventory Management, W3Markets, Inc.]

Improper management of chemical inventory can have serious consequences for the lab. For example, inaccurate recording of chemical usage can result in unexpected inventory shortages. If a chemical is required for analysis and needs to be ordered or the lab is suddenly out of stock on a particular reagent that requires preparation time, samples that should be analyzed are going to be delayed.

So being in the business retail and wholesale of janitorial and industrial chemical and lab equipment, Trinidad Energy Supplies & Services Limited (TESS), should develop an information System for its inventory management. For this purpose, we have discussed the project under some specific areas.

Results and Analysis

Quality Management

During project design, quality management was taken into consideration. This involved quality planning, product description and is a plan.

Quality Planning

According to Sommerville (2004)17, “Quality planning is the process of developing a quality plan for a project. The quality plan should set out the desired software qualities and describe how these are to be assessed”. A quality plan should therefore offer options and avenues for improving and assessing the quality of the proposed system. The following is the quality plan developed for the project:

Quality Plan for project
Figure 1-6: Quality Plan for project (Adapted by Sommerville 2004)

Product Description

A computerized database inventory system, which will be used by the permanent staff at the company, is termed as stock inventory database. The aim of this product is to offer a faster, accurate and easier method of keeping stock. In addition, the Graphical User Interface (GUI) grants a simple method of navigating through the database whereas the peer-to-peer network should allow for evident concurrent access and manipulation of data.

Product Plan

A critical release date set for the entire proposed system was set since successful implementation would mean allowing time for staff to be trained and become more acquainted with the new system.

Employee Questionnaires

Table 4.1 Working Experience and Respondents (Quest 1)

Working experience No. of staff Those interviewed Percentage (%)
1994-2007 4 1 5
1997-2007 7 4 20
2002-2007 5 3 15
2005-2007 4 4 20
2007( temporary)

Out of twenty employees only eleven were willing to be interviewed and of which the more experienced the employees the unwilling they became to be interviewed. Only 60% of the employees were interviewed.

Table 4.2 Job Functions of the Employees ( Quest 2)

Job function Those interviewed Percentage (%)
Accounts 1 8.5
Sales 5 43
Stores 3 25
Purchasing 2 17
Operations 1 8.5

Most employees interviewed were from sales that is 83% while 25% of them were from accounts.17%,8.5% and 8.5% represented purchasing, accounts and operations respectively. All the employees stated that they were handling stock except one.

Table 4.3 Job Functions of the Employees (Quest 3)

Job function Those interviewed TASKS
Accounts 1 They stated that they were involved in receiving collections, banking, reconciling the books, effecting payments and preparing report.
Sales 5 Marketing, selling and delivering goods to the customers.
Stores 3 Receiving goods, keeping stock records and releasing goods
Purchasing 2 Purchasing the goods and other materials
Operations 1 Day to day running of the office

Table 4.4 Those Employees Who Interact Customers ( Q 4)

Response Average contact daily Frequency Percentage (%)
Yes 5 10 83
No 0 2 17
TOTAL 12 100

Only 17%of the respondent said they never had business transaction with customers. It was one store man and Operations employees. However, the accounts department employees admitted that they at least getting in contact with all customers of the company. By the nature of their job functions, the store men were involved in receiving the goods and releasing them.

Questionnaires 5 & 6

The employees stated that Janitorial products were great demand and black disinfectant ½ litre were in great demand throughout the year.

Table 4.5 Those Employees Who Were Willing to Share Information ( Q 7,8)

Response Frequency Percentage (%)
Yes 11 91
No 1 9
TOTAL 12 100

All the respondent were willing to share information of stock except the operations department employee who felt there was no need as his job did not at any time require to information about stock. They stated that it took them along period to access stock information, which they shared. They attributed this to the slowness of the manual system.

Questionnaires 9, 10 and 11

They stated that there were over 20 huge sale transactions with 100 small transactions and they took an average of 30 min to complete a transactions because of the number of records to be made.

Table 4.5 was there any product that was in high demand but takes long to order

Response Frequency Percentage (%)
Yes 10 83
No 2 17
TOTAL 12 100

From the respondents 83% of confirmed that some products were in high demand but it took long to get them.17percentage of them felt that thing was wrong and the customer were being served well with the system. They further stated that there were many transactions that taking place daily and it took long to record through the system. they also stated that most customers were not happy with the current system.

Table 4.6 do you encounter any problem in getting information and want a quick system. ( Q 12 & 13)

Response Frequency Percentage (%)
Yes 8 67
No 4 33
TOTAL 12 100

Sixty-seven of the employees felt that there was need to have a new system while the other four did not want either due to fear of loosing their jobs or lack of the training. the card system that was in use made it tedious to retrieve information relating stock or customer. The employees felt there was need for change of system in order to keep the customers away from other competitors.

Table 4.7 those employees with knowledge of Information Technology ( Q 14)

Response Frequency Percentage (%)
Yes 11 91
No 1 9
TOTAL 12 100

All the respondents except one had trained on computer use. However, majority of them had not had hand on experience. They felt that the system will assist in the stock management and should introduce with further training.

In their explanations, they said the new computer system will assist in the production of reports, knowing the levels of stock and the most purchased goods. They thought that two computers were not enough to serve the customers adequately but since the company’s capability was two computers, the system will improve the speed of serve.

Questionnaires to manager ( Qs)

The manager explained that current stock control system was not good and it only provided information, which was inadequate manager stock. The system provides stock levels and how much was in store for each item. He further explained that it took long time to ascertain the actual stocks in stock. Apart from stock level reports, the current system was providing reports on obsolete, stock slowing moving stocks and other reports but it failed to give information period, which the stock was being held, in store.

The manager felt that the current system needed to be upgraded to a networked system with software that generates reports daily. He taught of web-based but realized that it was expensive to maintain it.

Questionnaires to Customers

The customers who I interviewed had a long history with the company. I had interviewed 40 customers.

Table 4.8 Length of Time Customer Patronized Tess( Q 1-3)

No. of years No. of staff Percentage (%)
10-13 14 35
7-10 12 30
4-7 9 22.5
0-4 5 12.5
total 40 100

Most of the customers interviewed had stayed with the company for long period. The new customers were not as many as old customers were as they left immediately they realized that the system was not serving them very first. However, the old customers remained loyal.

Those interviewed said they always buy their products because the employees were hospitable and caring of the customers needs. They all of them said that it took long to served and they felt a quick computer system was required to make the service quick. Although the customers did not specifically state the system they had in mind the description I gave them was acceptable.

Q 16-19 for employees

Concisely the proposed system by both the manager and employees indicated that they wanted a system that will as in the following ways:

  1. Enter, edit, and cancel orders; track them. Provide flexible pricing and customer discounts and handle additional miscellaneous charges such as freight, handling, and shipping. Specify order types to control the flow of orders through the IT system.
  2. Generate and track backorders when there is insufficient stock allow to quick purchases. Automatically release backorders when purchases arrive, or release backorders manually. Monitor inventory levels and conduct inventory inquiries. Receiving sales orders and inventory adjustments and reporting. Be able to do inventory costing and valuations. Be able to create relationships between products for selling and offering replacements for obsolete and other out-of-stock items and maintain reports on quantities of all products.
  3. Print transactions summary reports of all products when needed at the shortest time possible.
  4. Summarize all stock activities; account for all stocks, time period stock is held and Graphical reports, analyze financial, production, and performance data comparative Analysis reports. Be able to analyze sales and forecast stock requirements.

From their responses, I visualized a system that has the following diagram.

The following diagram

Adapted

Configuration Management

Configuration management deals with “the development and use of standards and procedures for managing an evolving software system” Sommerville (2004)18. Requirement changes may take place during the development and operation of the system. Therefore, it is important to originate a consistent plan for the inclusion of such new requirements into the new system versions.

There are certain specific items that have to be managed for the development of the stock inventory database, GUI and peer-to-peer network, which are as follows:

  1. Risk Plan.
  2. Project Budget.
  3. Feasibility Report.
  4. Requirements Specification Document.
  5. Logical Systems Design Specification.
  6. Test Plan (White box and Black box).
  7. Implementation Plan.
  8. User Documentation.
  9. Backup Plan.

Risk Management and Plan

To define Risk Management, Sommerville (2004)19 said “the process of identifying risks, assessing their severity, planning measures to put in place if the risks arise and monitoring the software and the software process for risks”. In this sense, risks has to be identified, analyzed and dealt with by putting in place counter measures to deal with any potential threat to the project objectives. This fact of risk management is an essential matter for all projects as they can be vulnerable to potential risks. Therefore, I have tried to identify all the possible threat and plan contingency to avoid and deal with possible risk factors. A risk plan should to be formulated to assist in such management of risks.

The table below is an illustration of the risk plan that is used for the project. As seen, it clearly shows the type, nature, probability and impact of some potential risks together with strategies to deal with all identified threats.

Risk ID # Risk Item Category Probability Impact Avoidance Strategy
1 Staff turnover Human 50% 5 Present document to staff explaining that I am doing project that requires consistent data.
2 Absenteeism of staff Human 50% 4 Consult other staff or continue work on other aspects of project.
3 Budget going over limit Human/Organization 60% 4 Planning, organizing and monitoring accounting schemes for purchasing or items.
4 Management change Human 20% 9 Research and document management history.
5 Existing computer system(s) unavailable Technical 40% 7 Ensure systems secured in safe place. If Damaged, repair or purchase new system.
6 Requirements change Organization 40% 8 Implement change management policies, adapt to new changes.
7 Project size underestimated Human 50% 10 Dedicate more working hours to each remaining day
8 Priority change Human 40% 8 Constant contact with business, continue work on other aspects.

Implementation Plan

A parallel implementation strategy is to be used with single cutover. According to Adams, Powers and Owles (1985)20, “both systems are operated concurrently for some period of time.” Parallel implementation will be used as both current and new systems will be operated concurrently. This will be done to allow all users already trained in the manual system to continue using the current system until the new system has proved itself.

Technical Issues

Technical issues would deal with the necessary elements to be considered in order to develop the proposed systems. Furthermore, technical issues are broken down in hardware and software issues.

Hardware Issues

The following is a list of important hardware to be considered while developing the physical proposed system:

  1. HP Dell Dimension desktop computer.
  2. HP DeskJet Printer.
  3. Crimping tool kit.
  4. Category 5 Cable.
  5. Pack of RJ45 connectors.

Software Issues

The following is list of important software components that were used in the system system:

  1. Microsoft Access 2003.
  2. Microsoft Windows XP Professional.

Project cost

The following was the project cost, clearly outlining the cost of each new component that was purchased:

Component Quantity Cost (TT$)
Dell Dimension Computer 1 5, 000.00
HP DeskJet Printer 1 1, 500.00
Crimping Tool Kit 1 800.00
30ft Category 5 Cable 1 500.00
Pack RJ45 Connectors 1 80.00
TOTAL COST $7, 880

Feasibility Study

According to Kendall & Kendall (2002)21, a “feasibility study is used to gather broad data for the members of management that in turn enables them to make a decision on whether to proceed with a systems study.” In this sense, this section deals with providing management with a clear indication of the nature of the project in terms of business options, costs/benefits and return on investment. This section will form the basis of a feasibility report, which is expected to be used to initiate the project.

Business options

The company’s perception is to recover cost and gain profits by computerizing the system to minimize processes so as to increase efficiency and effectiveness. This should capture the various activities taking place. In this case, the company would provide auto parts (mainly transmission parts) and accessories to public customers. Furthermore, the business would re-order stock when items reaches a certain re-order level. All stock must be reordered when it reaches its specified re-order level. Furthermore, all stock cards must have up-to-date stock level information.

Cost/Benefit Analysis

According to Powers, Adams and Mills (1984), cost/benefit analysis must ensure that “Identifiable benefits must equal (or preferably exceed) identifiable costs”.22 So each cost should be weighted against each benefit received.

Others

We can also carryon the feasibility study through break-even analysis and calculating return on investment.

System Analysis

Few that questions were asked to the permanent employees of TESS, which are as follows:

  • To find out the work experience of employees at the company.
  • Finding out the job function of the employees.
  • Finding out the average amount of customers that each employee would have to deal with on a daily basis.
  • What are the types of information shared?
  • What are the problems encountered while sharing information.
  • How much time is taken to transfer the total number of sales records to the stock cards?
  • What are the problems with the retrieval of stock card information?
  • What may be the benefits to be gained from using the proposed database?

With making questions to employees of TESS, we also have asked some questions to its customers that have been mentioned below:

  • How long were customers shopping at the company.
  • Why the customers prefer to purchase items from the company.
  • How often the customers would purchase goods at the company.
  • What brand of product that customers demand the most.
  • What number of products purchased on one visit to the company?
  • How long they need to purchase the product.
  • Whether or not a computerized system in TESS would be beneficial to customers.

Requirements Specification

This stage deals with the production of a summary of the proposed system. The purpose of the design and implementation of a stock inventory database, graphical user interface and peer to peer network for TESS, was to improve efficiency and increase productivity while managing the stock inventory processes of transmission parts.

The stock inventory database system is projected to support staffs in running their tasks in a convenient and more manageable way by minimizing processes, so that it may increase motivation and lessen work load. It also helps the organization to earn profit and run the business smoothly.

For this purpose, a graphical user interface will be developed in order to assist employees in supervising the new system, thus creating a user-friendly environment to validate the effectiveness of the system. Moreover a peer-to-peer network will be developed to permit two users to access the database, share data and print stock reports and other documents.

  1. Design. The design of a new system for TESS was segmented into following areas.
  2. Logical Systems Specification. The logical systems specification will deal with the identification of three (3) hardware and software combinations, comparison of the three and the selection of the most suitable option.
  3. Logical Design. The logical design will deal with providing textual descriptions followed by a high level functional design and Graphical User Interface Design. Furthermore, such a GUI design will include logical design for screens, forms, and reports.
  4. Physical Design. The physical design will show the design of screens and reports for specific pages. Furthermore it would also show how normalization of data for the stock inventory database will be done.

Test Plan. The test plan will deal with the creation of a Blackbox and Whitebox test plan. In addition, the Blackbox test plan will encompass the creation of a system test plan and an acceptance test plan. Whitebox will deal with creating Unit Module and Integration test plans.

Development

This section is concerned with the actual formation (development) of the Stock Inventory Database, Graphical User Interface and Peer-to-Peer network for TESS. Additionally, development would rely on the requirements in terms of feasibility, analysis, and design. It is important to note that implementation of the system would focus on the actual setup, installation and configuration of the network.

Testing and Implementation

In this stage we need to test the new system and after that we will go for implementing it. The implementation plan consist the following tasks.

Site preparation:

  • Check power outlets availability.
  • Layout office furniture.

Installation of Hardware:

  • Crimping of cables
  • Running of cables
  • Placement of computers and printer
  • Connecting crossover cables to PCs

Installation of Software:

  • Ensure that Microsoft Access was installed.
  • Copy the Stock Inventory Database to the computer.

Testing of Hardware:

  • Test network compatibility using database
  • Test network connections
  • Printer Connection

Training:

  • Role and Purpose of new system.
  • Rules and Regulations of system.
  • Questions and Answers.
  • System Demonstration.
  • User/System interaction.
  • User comments and evaluation.
  • Distribution of User Guide.
  • Conclusion of Training Sessions.

Cut over- Covert to new system:

  • Data entry – old data copied to system.
  • Remove of parallel system.
  • Sign off Stock Inventory Database and Peer to Peer network.

The system designed will be required to assist TESS in controlling stock. By the click of a cursor the sales people will be able to know how stock is available. The system will work as knowledge sharing base of the organization.

Adapted from Heisig
Adapted from Heisig 2000

Sales will be like the business process that will use information technology.

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

Summary

Evaluation

Evaluation of the system will take into account, the initial end user requirements as they relate to the aims and objectives of the project. Furthermore, it will also consider the comments made by users while testing the system.

Strengths

  • The peer to peer network was configured for security, file sharing and printing and proved to be working as planned
  • The stock inventory database was secured and user-level security allowed for a more secure environment for employees to store data.
  • The processes from the old system were minimized allowing for work to be done much faster. The time taken to search, calculate, view, enter and retrieve data was shortened as users now have faster access to data.
  • Workload was decreased due to file sharing on the network.
  • Users responded positively towards the final product in terms of the design, functionality and its Graphical User Interface. They were particularly impressed with the features such as automatic reports and calculations.
  • Users were also impressed with the automatic generation of reports and easy navigation between screens.
  • Accuracy was improved due to fixed calculations and specified rules for data entry.
  • Because of the project, my skills definitely improved for using software applications such as Microsoft Visio, Access, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Project.
  • My time management skills have improved because of the project, since the importance of time was taken into consideration at all stages.
  • As a result of the project, I have a better understanding about the importance of theoretical tools used throughout the project such as Dataflow Diagrams and Entity Life Histories.
  • Working with the project allowed me to clearly understand the importance of communication and research, combined with persistence and hard work.

Weaknesses

  • Due to the deadline time constraints, the new system was not developed with value added features such as pop up alerts for the reorder list. However, more research on using Microsoft Access should have been initially done on my part.
  • There are no restrictions on the amount of goods that are sold since users can enter a quantity greater than the amount in stock. As this mistake would not affect the amount in stock, in terms of going below ‘0’, sales records would not totally affect the actual records if the quantity field is entered incorrectly. From this, I have learned that validation rules should be enforced totally throughout the database and that more in dept testing should have been done in order to produce a higher quality product.
  • The network do not provide for expansion since it uses a direct crossover cable instead of a hub or a switch. Although the current system only requires two computer systems, expansion should have been provided for.

Recommendation

  • The database can be upgraded to allow for pop alerts for the reorder list and more features to be added as any drawbacks occur.
  • Microsoft Access 2003 or later can be used to allow for more restrictions on the database to deal with incorrect entries.
  • The network can be upgraded via the installation of a hub or a switch to allow for future network expansion.
  • Categories of transmission parts can be added in order to allow for an increase in the amount of Toyota transmission parts available.
  • The database can be upgraded in order to allow for the inclusion of all transmission parts for stock inventory.

Conclusion

Information technology systems permeate organizations, supporting almost everything–apart from managing IT items themselves. Although software-configuration-management systems can provide some management assistance, they aren’t designed to handle the totality of a distributed enterprise or to act as a management information resource. Software sources constitute major organization assets, but they can’t be treated as such until they’re inventoried. Software inventorying is one of a set of integrated technologies developed to address problems of managing constantly changing technological and business processes. Those technologies are aspects of an evolving business paradigm called the paradigm of change. Creating an enterprise IT inventory is a complex task requiring large amounts of information, but such an investment can produce considerable payoff.

In this paper have tried to develop an Information system for the Inventory Management of TESS through developing a Stock Inventory Database, Graphical User Interface and Peer-to-Peer network. The new system allowed for the achievement of all objectives set out. This included the creation of a database with functionality providing for data integrity and security, a Graphical User Interface to provide an organized and manageable view of information, and a Peer-to-Peer network, which was configured for security and the provision for simultaneous usage.

The importance and effect of the Information System (IS) in day-to-day operations management, especially in Inventory Management has widen and explored the present dynamic and heterogeneous business environment. However, these are yet to implement, operate and exploit it fully in a formal and professional manner to enable them to derive maximum business gains out of it.

APPENDIX- 1: Questionnaire asked to employees

The rationale behind this questionnaire is to collect data relating to the nature of the business and its processes. All data collected will be analyzed and used in the project entitled, “The Development of an Information System to Support Inventory Management for Trinidad Energy Supplies & Services Limited (TESS).” Furthermore, all data gathered will be kept confidential.

Questions

  1. How long have you been employed at the company?
  2. What is your job function?
  3. What tasks do you perform in carrying out your job function?
  4. On average, how many customers do you interact with on a daily basis?
  5. What type of products do customers usually demand the most throughout the year?
  6. What brand of parts is in most demand from customers throughout the year?
  7. What information do other workers share?
  8. What problems do you encounter when sharing information?
  9. On average, what is the total number of sales transactions you record on a daily basis?
  10. How long do you usually take to transfer sales information onto stock cards?
  11. Why do you usually take so long to transfer the sales information?
  12. Do you encounter any problems in retrieving information from the stock cards then state the nature of such problems?
  13. How long does it normally take to prepare stock reports?
  14. What type of computer user are you?
  15. Which of the following would assist you in viewing the material on the proposed computerized system?
  16. What features would you like to have in the proposed computerized stock inventory database?
  17. What benefits would you gain from using the proposed computerized stock inventory database?
  18. Which of the following benefits would you expect from having the proposed database on two computers?
  19. Do you have any suggestions for improving customer service at TESS? If so, please provide your suggestions.

APPENDIX- 2: Questionnaire asked to the customers of TESS

The rationale behind this questionnaire is to accumulate data relating to the customer of TESS views and opinions. All data collected will be analyzed and used in the project entitled, “The Development of an Information System to Support Inventory Management for Trinidad Energy Supplies & Services Limited (TESS).” Furthermore, all data gathered will be kept confidential.

Questions

  1. How long have you been a customer at TESS?
  2. Why do you prefer to purchase your items from the company?
  3. How often do you purchase goods from Trinidad Energy Supplies & Services Limited (TESS)?
  4. What type of products do you usually purchase?
  5. What brand of products do you demand the most?
  6. How many products do you usually purchase in one visit to the company?
  7. How long does it take you to purchase items?
  8. Why do you take so long to purchase items?
  9. Do you think that a computerized system in TESS would be beneficial to you?
  10. If yes, what benefits would you gain from the company having two computerized sales terminals?

APPENDIX- 3: Questionnaire asked to the manager of TESS

  1. What are the main functions of the current stock inventory system?
  2. What type of information is used in the current system?
  3. Please briefly describe the process of stock inventory within the company?
  4. What are the problems faced within current stock inventory system?
  5. Besides stock level reports, what other reports are prepared?
  6. In what way do you think these problems can be solved?
  7. What features do you want to see in the new system?
  8. Do you think that the transmission part for the chemical and lab should form the basis of the database?
  9. What would you expect for the future maintenance of the database?
  10. In what way(s) should the new system be introduced into the company?
  11. How long would you expect training to carry on for?
  12. What type of computer user are you?
  13. How often do you want backup of information to take place.

Appendix 4- students’ diary

Diary

26/1/07 to 4/2/07 covers the beginning of business investigation.

26/1/07 After completing selecting the business, I was going to conduct investigation, from beginning to end, for a company, which was having trouble stock control.
27/1/07 Being a weekend, I took the day off from my investigation.
28/1/07 I researched on the necessary materials that I was going to use the following day. I made letters to deliver to relevant authorities for the company search.
29/1/07 The delivery of the letters was captivating! I did not know that trying to a search of registration details of a company was so easy. It became exciting to work on a project after that the authorities were cooperating. I visualized the work I was going to do. I had been promised to pick the search the following day. The letters delivered included those asking for the location, directorship, status of registration, the company attorney, core business activity, authority to operate in that area and other details.
I went back to campus and had a chat with my colleagues over the same issues.
30/1/07 I made my lecturer in the morning and we discussed about my progress relating to this assignment. Thereafter I laid down the requirements for my investigation assuming I was going to get those search documents. Then I proceeded to pick the search documents from relevant authorities. I found out that the documents were ready for picking. I left for college to prepare for the following day visit to the company.
1/2/07 I waked up and went to a seminar first and the proceeded to the company headquarters. I carried a letter authorizing to carry out research for my final year project. On arrival to the premises, I asked for the managers’ office. He was a jovial man and welcoming. We discussed my purpose and he accepted my request to use their company. He gave a brief history of company, operations and their products. He took around the company explaining to all operations. He further assisted me with the manual and job specifications for the people in charge of stores, purchasing and sales. I offered to work in the company for two days to familiarize with hers operations
2/2/07 I arrived at the company headquarters for the first day familiarization. Most employees were welcoming and I enjoyed the day with them. I managed to learn a few things, which were going to give me some insights about the company.
3/2/07 Whoa! It was another weekend.I had already partly completed the investigation and assignments modules were many and next week! I felt challenged that morning as I had a lot to do for the day. Everything from Information technology quality management project to programming, it was interesting to have such kind of work accumulated for weekend. It was first time to have a lot in a weekend meaning I was not going out to MacDonald for a burger this time. The stress was much however, to balance college assignments and social activities I assigned the afternoon for a football match that was taking place that day. I began with the assignments. Then later I went to the library for referencing over issues relating to one of my assignment.
4/2/07 As far as assignments go, this weekend has been less demanding than usual. However, the Information management system project for TESS required a lot of time-consuming research so I was grateful for the break from other assignments that day. They were replaced with cleaning chaos. The break from class activities was good has it gave me some time to socialize and get to know the other side of social setting. It was amazing how it was to be free and go out with people from different cultures. In college, there were people different cultures. The real life examples I encountered in the investigation benefit to the learning environment and allowed me to get a feel on how business is being run and the problems they encountered. The issues of business registration amazed and I decided to discuss it with my colleagues during this weekend.
5/2/07 As the previous, I was in the premises for purpose of my project. I collected all the information I required before coming up with the tile of my project.
6/2/07 I was required to get an internship for next summer, therefore this company provided with an opportunity to work with them. I compiled all the information and data I had collected about the company. This marked the end of phase one of the investigation about the company. Which was to enable me do some literature analysis and do chapter one of the project.
16/4/07 This day was beginning of phase. I headed to the company head quarters where I discussed briefly to the manager what I had come up with and my purpose. I booked with him the following day for an interview.
17/4/07 I went to the managers of for a 20-minute interview using predetermined questionnaires. It was fascinating to interview him. We later discussed the manual system and the importance of introducing the electronic system. Then I booked an appointment of 15 minutes with the accounts department for the interview for the following day.
18/4/07 I was at the premises on the agreed time ready to interview them. Unfortunately, one of the staff was not there because of illness. I had a good interview with the rest. I booked an appointment with the store men for the following day.
19/4/07 I was at the premises earlier than agreed for interview. I was served with tea as I waited time for the interview. Unlike the store men, all of them were there but one found a reason for not being interviewed. I had a good interview with the rest. I booked an appointment with the purchasing for the following day.
20/4/07 Unlike the previous days, I was at the premises late than agreed for interview. I had difficulty in convincing them to give time as mine had elapsed. Unlike the accounts, all of them were there but not willing to be interviewed. Eventually they accepted. I booked an appointment with the sales for the following working day.
21/4/07 My interviews did not end yesterday they spilled over to Monday and this weekend I was going home; it was difficult but a relief to hand in. The week ITQM project was to start and with all that I was not be happier. My little Industrial contact I had with TESS was finally going benefit me by putting me in front of the rest while doing the project. I finally felt like I was able to make significant contribution to classmates and relax a little. ITQM isn’t too bad; the lecturer was great at explaining the concepts in simpler manner
22/4/07 Sundays at home, Busy, busy! From kitchen to the laundry, cooking watering the garden, cleaning the house and, of all things, take meals taken! However, once the chaos of those tasks was completed for all of us as family members, the fun began we headed to the nearest zoo. The day was great. The thought of classes came to my mind. I headed to college after the fun.
23/4/07 I was at the premises earlier than agreed for interview. I was served tea as I waited time for the interview. Unlike the other staff members, none of them was there. They came late and were interviewed separately I had a good interview with the rest. At same time, the employee in operation was interviewed.
24/4/07 What a relief all the work of investigating the company of my choice was over! What was remaining is to write the report. I took my dissertation went though it ready to start the process of report writing. After preview, I went to the library to source for materials. The day ended as I was doing my research.
25/4/07 I waked up and went to conference in the college hall on how to a successful research report. Sooner had we finished the meeting than we headed for representation the other project? How did it go? I am not sure – but at this moment, I do not care. However, I did want to make sure that I wrote about a guest speaker we had for the report writing session PROF. NNNN , the KKK DEPARTMENT of ttt university who was recently named 2ndauthoritative in the subject. He came to our college to talk about her experience with other students. His insight was fascinating and there would not have been enough time in the world for us to ask all of the questions we had for him.
26/4/07 The conclusion of our ITQM PROJECT involved a comprehensive written case analysis, which I completed alone today. It was fascinating. Our professor is about the furthest thing from an “academic” as possible. He is an international IT consultant with intriguing, and often scarily amusing, anecdotes to illustrate the theoretical concepts we are learning. As he says, “academics have cases, I have stories”. I also wrapped up a business module. As part of that module, we were required to complete an applied project in which we served as consultants for one of two local organizations. I was specifically given a particular area to focus on and my task was to analyze the current situation and develop recommendations for improvements. I am not sure about this, but I think my project was the craziest projects. My job was to redesign the knowledge sharing system for the company. Until I got into it, I had no idea how much work there was to be done. Nevertheless, our result received a highly complimentary review so I was pleased.
Speaking of which, I have not talked about my new team at all. It is definitely as diverse as my last. We have vastly different perspectives and goals. I do not think he will mind if I tell you this – Army captain man and I struggle quite a bit. As he says, “I don’t think we agree on much of anything”. Overall, we tend to spend a lot of time working through projects, but thus far our end product has been very good most likely due to the fact (at least I think) that we are able to complement each others strengths and compensate for each others weaknesses. I may just have to have Army man come on here and give his side of the story.
27/4/07 I waked up earlier, made the sample tables and charts for responses from the accounts department and sales people. Later I went to my colleague for comparison of notes. The day ended amazing with an invitation from a friend to a small evening part. It was real joy.
28/4/07 As far as writing, the reports go, this weekend will be demanding than usual as time was running out and I had only two weeks. However, the other projects, which required a lot of time, had been finished so I was grateful for the weekend although I had to remain in college for some social activities. There were indoor games that were going on in college so I wake up for a light breakfast before proceeding to the venue of the meeting. This break from class activities was good has it given me some time to socialize and get to know the other things. The venue was amazing and walked around talking to people for fun. Whoa! How it was to be free and go out with people from different cultures and views about life. I learned one or two things about socialization.
29/4/07 Whoa! It was another Sunday.I had already partly completed the Chapter 4 of the report and no assignments from other modules! I felt free that morning as I had to rest; no going this time but I will with friends head to the beach for a walk. As we were walking and talking we discussed everything from Information technology and quality management project to international business finance, it was interesting to have taken such kind of modules administered by interesting characters that made them look like simple things. It was a real theatre while in lecture halls, one among will sleep when the lectures were giving there knowledge. It was first time to have little in a weekend meaning I was not going out to beach was fun. Then later I went to the library for referencing over issues relating to report.
30/4/07 The day began with little stress. Made the tables and charts for responses from the purchasing department and stores people. Mr. Ben joined me in assisting me I making the write up of the work. I t was later at six when I realized that we had not finished and night was approaching. It meant that I wake up for the work the following day.
1/5/07 It was labor day. I waked up and went to seminar in the college hall on how to manage a successful a big company Knowledge Management system. Sooner had we finished the meeting than we headed for a labor day meeting? Interesting speakers spoke and some of us wondered loudly how comes speakers find the way to such meetings! They made meeting look like a political venue speak after speak. Others talk as if they were real political analyst while other economists. However, the last speaker who claimed to a union representative made scenery that was discussed by many. He left us with more questions than answers about these trade union representatives.
2/5/07 I waked up earlier, for the continual of report writing I perused through all the tables and charts I had made and began to write. I made the analysis of the results from the interview. The day ended amazing with a movie on the impact of wildlife on human face.
3/5/07 It is the Thursday completing the chapter ended and guesses what chapter 5 will be like. I headed to library to try to finish the report. Most of the students high tailed it out of here as soon as we were let out on Wednesday (May 2), but a few of us are still around trying to make up hours we weren’t able to fulfill last week.
4/5/07 After completing the report for my selected business, I was going to type set it, from beginning to end, Jane the typist was very helpful as she promised to finish in a days time.
5/5/07 Whoa! It was another weekend. I had already partly completed the report and no assignments from other modules! I felt free that morning as I had to rest; no going this time but I will with friends head to the beach for a walk. As we were walking and talking we discussed everything from Information technology and quality management project to international business finance, it was interesting to have taken such kind of modules administered by interesting characters that made them look like simple things. It was a real theatre while in lecture halls, one among will sleep when the lectures were giving there knowledge. It was first time to have little in a weekend meaning I was not going out to beach was fun. After the walk, I proceeded to my cube to prepare myself for the Sunday. this I had to go home
6/5/07 Sundays at home, are busy days! From kitchen to the laundry, cooking watering the garden, cleaning the house and, of all things, take meals taken! All this things are done always. However, once the chaos of those tasks is completed for all of us as family members, we normally take fun.
7/5/07 I went to the typist to edit the report that she had typeset. I went through the report collecting the mistakes.
8/5/07 The work with Jane was captivating! I did not know that typesetting and editing would be such task that will consume almost the whole day.
I went back to campus and had a chat with my colleagues over the same issues.
9/5/07 I made my lecturer in the morning and we discussed about my progress relating to this report. Thereafter I laid down the requirements for appendix. Then I proceeded to write them down they included the student diary, costs for the project, Gantt for the project and references.
10/5/07 The appendix was not as easy as I thought the diary it self was not even have way. Therefore, I spent the day on the diary relating to this report.
11/5/07 As I waked up I knew me to be successful I had to complete the diary that day. So a buried myself in the library trying to complete it.
12/5/07 Whoa! It was another weekend.I had already completed the report and the diary. I felt relieved that morning, as I had not much do for the day. It was first time I had nothing serious I was doing in this weekend meaning I was going out to MacDonald for a burger and a stroll in the streets. However, to balance college and external social activities I came back in the afternoon for a football match that was taking place that day.
13/5/07 Oh! Sunday morning, this time it was less demanding than usual. However, the Information management system project for TESS required a lot of time consuming reporting writing so I was grateful for the break from other assignments that day. They were replaced with cleaning. The break from class activities was good has it gave me some time to socialize and get to know the other side of social setting. It was amazing how it was to be free and go out with people from different cultures. In college, there were people different cultures.
14/5/07 All done the report was complete ready for presentation when time is due.
15/5/07 Well, I am moving out of college tomorrow to the real world. What a life will I experience; working in new career, I cannot even tell you how excited I am to start to work. I had about one month off between school ending and my internship starting and I am so bored! I have learned a little bit about the work I am going to be doing this summer. The company I am working for TESS creates and administers selection tests mainly for IT employees. The pay is not so great, but the hours are short and the flexibility is great. I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT JOB.

APPENDIX- 5: Final Project Gantt chart

SHELL CHART
(SHELL CHART-not detailed)

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