How it Works
The system compares current inventory levels of a product and the number scheduled for production with the number needed, and determines if the level of production must be changed. If necessary, the system sends a message to the master production schedule to increase production. Also, the inventory monitoring system slows down production when a product’s retail sales levels don’t meet the sales forecast and the company overproduces the product.
Evercom Auto Supply is working under manual method which sometimes causes customer dissatisfaction because of the slow process on how they transact to their customers and the occurrence of some errors that are not expected such as doubling the items purchased by the customers, misplaced of the carbon copy of receipt, mistakes in listing of an items purchased by the customer, sometimes the items purchased by the customer is not listed on a receipt, a wrong computation of the items purchased by the customer and sometimes they forgot to record the damage item.
The occurrence lost and improper recording of some items.
They had difficulties on accessing the item in the inventory due to manual system operation.
2.1.1. Specific Problem
1. How to develop a module that will monitor the fast and slow moving of items, reorder, critical level, safety stock and back order of its inventory? Evercom Auto Supply doesn’t have a computerized system, they do not monitor on their fast and slow moving items, reorder, critical level, safety stock and back order. It is difficult to determine what items are in demand and those are not because their records of sales and inventory are written at one record book.
The owner is not aware in monitoring the stocks, if the stocks are in critical level or re-ordering point and needed to replenish. The owner doesn’t have idea about the safety stock and he doesn’t know if the items have damage or not. 2. How to design, develop, and implement a module that will improve their purchasing order? Evercom Auto Supply purchased their items from their supplier. There will be in-charge person to check their items manually.
After checking all the items, the person in-charge will write down all the items on a piece of paper that is needed to order. Sometimes the supplier will go to the store and ask the owner if what they want to order. There are times that they need to order large quantities of an item. It takes a lot of time to do that because they manually check the items on their store and the record book. 3. How to design, develop, and implement a module that will improve their sales transaction? Evercom Auto Supply is faced with such problems in dealing with their customers on their have made. The problem of that is the manual process of their business transaction it takes a lot of time to consume because of the repeated process of doing a receipt by completing the information include on that.
When the customers buy a large quantity of items, sometimes they do not list all the items buy by the customer. And they have incorrect computation and listing of items in the receipt. In computing the total purchased of the customer, the in-charge person will write down all the items purchased by the customer in a receipt and then sum up the entire total purchased. 4. How to design, develop, and implement a module that will easily generate reports? Evercom Auto Supply is faced with such problems in generating reports because they have difficulty in acquiring supplier reports and inventory reports. They also have problems in improper handling of a receipt had been neglected.
This study relies on information researched by the proponents. Review of related literature and studies are essential for the development of the study, it will help the proponents to understand the topics better because this may clarify unclear points about the problem. It also guides the proponents in making comparisons between these findings with the outcome of other similar studies.
Related Literature Foreign and Local
Sales and Inventory System
Sales is a method of presenting a product in the industry, maintaining control over the sales process and ultimately achieving the highest level of profit together with delivering the highest level of customer satisfaction. (Ashani, 2009) stated that inventory is a list of goods and materials, or those goods and materials themselves, held available in stock by a business. An inventory is simply the list of goods that comprises the stock of a business. This enables you to keep track of the goods, hence maintaining a balance between the supply and demand (Reece Matthew, 2010). Inventory is very important to any business. It is the meter that measures the business flow. Good inventory helps the business to stay strong. Accountants have to understand the inventory cycle in order to be able to track it and evaluate it correctly (Andrews, 2010). (Smith, 2009) said that, when the amount of inventories is huge, it becomes next to impossible to keep record of the number of inventories manually by counting them.
It proves to be demanding for time and resources both. Therefore large numbers of companies are using inventory management software for the respective purpose. The result is effective control and management of inventories saving on time and hard work factor. The software can keep track many details like quantity of goods stored, purchasing date of goods, records maintenance of sales, gives apt product description etc. Such type of services makes the process of inventory management smoother. An inventory system helps management control the inventories, in turn lowering overall operating costs in the areas of labor, facilities and logistics. It also improves customer-service metrics and fulfillment rates (Kenneth, 2009). Maintaining a desired level of inventory has the following benefits; it meets the transaction, precautionary and speculative needs of the operation and it helps reduce cost of operation (Sharan, 2010).
According to (Conrad, 2010) an inventory system can reduce, or even totally eliminate, the need for these costly hand counts. A quality inventory system can pinpoint which departments and which workers are purchasing the share of office supplies, raw materials and other goods. This information can help the management team centralize ordering and reduce costs by negotiating with vendors for better prices. As most every business owner knows, inventory accounts for a most important part of business outlay whether we are talking in relation to raw materials, components or finished goods. A foremost issue in reaching a cost-effective return on outlay is to control it as resourcefully as possible and an essential available means for this is a barcode inventory system. With such information on precisely what you have in inventory and where it is located, on-line real time information regarding stock levels, recorder levels and economic order quantities and tremendously accurate information input and output (Dickson, 2010).
Reliable inventory system can help your company’s purchasing, receiving, and sales department function more smoothly with an organized synergy that will help your business stay on top. Keeping stock of goods in the warehouse, bills of lading, purchase orders, returns and other everyday aspects of running your business can cost hundreds of man hours per month. What can you do to keep it all organized? You need a software system built with your industry in mind. Whether your business is telecommunications, infrastructure or finished goods, software to help you manage you income and outgo of stock will save your company time and money both in the short term and the long term.
The aim of a business software management system is to simplify all of these things. If you need detailed reports on one or all departments within your company, an inventory system will make this possible. Get up to the minute sales reports in place to keep track of sales and expenditures (Cooper, 2009). Before you invest, you are going to have to make an informed decision about how much you think the inventory on the balance sheet is really worth. A major part of this decision should be based on how fast the inventory is turned or sold, (Kennon, 2010).
Investors are trying their best to cut the cost of doing business and are spending money for new, but affordable technologies. An example is a barcode reader that comes in various types and uses. A barcode scanner or reader is an apparatus utilized to trap and read information included in a barcode. This device may be a handheld or fixed stationary type (Urmann, 2009). Barcode provides a unique ID to every item and each product, which upon being scanned can provide all essential information such as weight price and other exact details. When provided in a computer system assists in keeping count of complete sales the item list etc. Barcodes are accurate and assist with saving time and money cut down on mistakes and simultaneously assist the retail item become a portion of the whole system of the item ID. A Barcode may contain each part of essential info necessary in a certain item and this can create the daily stocking as a simple task.
It will then become effortless for the associates to flag items that are expired and also sale items. In sum, the present day retail environment can’t perform competitively without barcodes, (Jones, 2010). Before the inception of barcode scanners, people counted their stocks and supplies manually. The manual tallying of items and products is indeed a dire activity for most retailers. The number of items available in the store should mark the items sold. Barcode scanners are light-emitting devices found in supermarkets and other stores designed to read barcodes. These devices are connected to a computer system where information is stored and to be used for future retrieval of data. Barcode scanners scan the barcodes and transform them to readable information through a computer database. Barcode readers are set up at cash registers with a database that contains the necessary information on the store’s items. When the item is scanned, it is recorded in the system and adjusts automatically the inventory levels (Green, 2011).
These days just about every item you see is touched at some point by barcode technology. From the manufacturing line where products are assembled to the shelf at your favorite store, individual products pass through dozens of check points where they are scanned. When an item is shipped it is scanned, when it is rung up at a cash register, if it is returned to the merchant it is scanned. All along the supply chain some type of barcode scanner feeds information to a computer database that keeps track of the product. As important as this barcode scanner technology is you would think that we would know more about it. Most of us, however, give it very little thought. It is such a part of our everyday life now that we hardly even notice it (Nguyen, 2010). The job of the barcode scanner is to read the codes that are imprinted on the black and white UPC (Universal Product Code) symbols that you see on just about every package and item that your purchase.
They do this job quickly, accurately, and efficiently. Once the code is read it is fed electronically to a computer which matches up the number to an item number in a product database. In doing so a merchant can keep track of inventory, ring up a customer purchase, or count the number of items left in a warehouse. Bar codes are used on everything from mail to medicines. (Guven, 2011) stated that the use of Barcode systems is proved to be efficient in retail industry because of the following facts: Faster Billing Process: Products billed incorrectly and the maximum time needed for billing and checkout is what most consumers hate when they go for shopping today. It’s because the delay in processing and incorrect pricing affects their valuable time and busy work schedule. Barcode automation employed in retail stores provides greater accuracy and makes billing process faster and efficient. Data management and complete business operation is also made simple with reliable barcode systems.
Minimized need of Workforce: Using barcode systems is greatly useful for retailers in the sense that it never involves any hectic processes and so can reduce the labor costs in an effective way. Other than this, unlike calculations made by humans, barcode systems greatly reduces the chance for errors and makes quick and easy processing. Warehouse Management: Most of the retail outlets today use barcode systems for their operation because of its simple and cost-effective management system. Customers can be satisfied with a finest level of service since products are sold at the right price. When compared to skilled workers, barcode systems work many times faster and provide reliable business management system.
Keep track of Product Information: Barcode systems can save you a lot of time needed for tracking product information. Entering the prices of large number of items manually is not an easy task. But with a barcode system, you can record product information easily and accurately. Barcode scanners used in mobile phones are more advantageous since it can be used to retrieve all details about any particular product. This is the reason why most of the retailers today are using mobile barcode systems for promoting events, products and services. Identify Products Easily: Barcode systems are commonly used in retail outlets to identify different ranges of products. Similar products can be ordered easily with unique codes to meet consumer demands. By recording and tracking product information, a retailer can greatly enhance his business operation. The growing demand and other factors of all types of products can be easily recognized with the help of barcode systems.
Short Messaging Service (SMS) Technology
Reaching the potential customers is the first step towards the successful establishment of a product or service. An effective marketing strategy must be utilized to build up the brand awareness and increase the sales volume. SMS business is one such effective marketing strategy to increase the volume of sales as well as build up the brand awareness. Today many business use SMS to reach out their existing customers as well as build a new customer base. Like every technology if used in right proportion and method it increases the volume of sales (Thomas, 2012).
SMS is an acronym standing for Short Message Service. It is commonly referred to as text messaging or ‘texting’ as well. SMS is a method by which messages can be sent to a cell phone via another cell phone, a computer connected to the internet, a regular land line or a hand held device such as Blackberry. The original specifications for SMS were developed in 1985, though real implementation and popularity took nearly a decade to achieve. SMS messages may be sent either from one point to another point, or may be sent to all devices within a specific geographical region. the former known as SMS-PP, is used primarily between individuals communicating with one another, while the latter, known as SMS-CB, may be used to broadcast public announcements such as road or weather conditions, region-specific advertising messages, or messages from cell provider regarding the new coverage area, (McGuigan, 2010).
Short message service is a mechanism of delivery of short messages over the mobile networks. It is a store and forward way of transmitting messages to and from mobiles, (Gupta, 2010). The common text messaging service available on cell phones and other hand held devices. Due to the billions of cell phones in use, SMS is the most ubiquitous messaging system on the planet. Typing text messages (“texting”), which are limited to 160 characters in length, can be done on basic cell phones with only numeric keys, although QWERTY keyboards make the job easier.
Like instant messaging, SMS transmits the sender’s message to the recipient immediately. It also stores and forwards messages later if a recipient’s phone was off when the message was initiated. SMS pricing differs by carrier, which may charge a flat fee per month, a charge per message on include it in a service plan. Traveling over a control channel separate from the voice channel, SMS was introduced in a GSM system in Europe and migrated worldwide to cell phone carriers. Whereas SMS is text only, MMS supports multimedia, (Davis, 2010).
Mobile supply chain management is increasingly recognized as an area offering significant potential for generating improvements and creating competitive advantage to corporations. Obviously, high efficiency mobile chain network needs simultaneous and accurate information about demand, supply, sale, inventory, shipment and operational activities, (Xiaokang and Qiong, 2008). Many business processes can be more intuitive and engaging (and ultimately easier to use) by including SMS, fax, voice and other notifications to their participants throughout the process, (Ruhl, 2010). All the cellular network providers offer SMS with certain SMS level or text messaging capability. The SMS features and costs may vary according to the carriers and package variety that suits to business and individual needs, (Hensley, 2010).
Cell phone text messaging or texting can be used to order merchandise or services, or it can be used for advertisements. Consumers can use SMS technology to purchase tickets to events and have them delivered electronically to their cell phone. Today, these transactions can indeed take place using a small device like a cell phone (Baldauf and Stair, 2009). For messages requiring immediate delivery, only one message delivery attempt is made per service request. For messages not requiring immediate delivery, one or more delivery attempts are made until an acknowledgement is received, (Clements, 2010). Mobile messaging services used in business has its own advantages in building up the brand awareness, customer count as well as increasing its revenue (Thomas, 2012).
Almost all companies are looking for ways on how to increase or maintain their sales performance. SMS marketing is proving just the tool for shrewd businesses look for innovative new media strategies to keep themselves ahead of the game during the economic downturn. It’s now more important than ever for businesses to improve efficiency, reduce waste and produce targeted responsive marketing campaigns and digital mediums such as mobile are proving the ideal solution ensuring much needed return on investment (Liao, 2009).
According to (Francisco, 2009) while some electronic toys and gadgets come with some dumping down effects on their users, most of these devices offer increasing levels of convenience. Take the mobile phone, for example. While too many accidents and mishaps might have been caused by improper (read: stupid) ways of using the cellular phone, it cannot be denied that these wireless contraptions have made it easier by far to keep in touch with other people. Yet, while today’s Smartphone’s might seem like a giant step toward the mobile equivalent of Nirvana, the possibilities for more ease and comfort seem endless. We might have only scratched the surface.
Related Studies Foreign and Local
Inventory proportionality is the goal of demand-driven inventory management. The primary optimal outcome is to have the same number of day’s worth of inventory on hand across all products so that the time of run out of all products would be simultaneous. The secondary goal of inventory proportionality is inventory minimization. By integrating accurate demand forecasting with inventory management, replenishment inventories can be scheduled to arrive just in time to replenish the product destined to run out first, while at the same time balancing out the inventory supply of all products to make their inventories more proportional, and thereby closer to achieving the primary goal. Accurate demand forecasting also allows the desired inventory proportions to be dynamic by determining expected sales out into the future; this allows for inventory to be in proportion to expected short-term sales or consumption rather than to past averages, a much more accurate and optimal outcome.
Integrating demand forecasting into inventory management in this way also allows for the prediction of the “can fit” point when inventory storage is limited on a per-product basis (Sudha, 2011). (Liang, 2010) stated in his study entitled Inventory Management System for SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) that a computerized inventory helps to predict problems in procurement transaction. With formulas that are known to help with inventory planning, the computerized inventory system is capable of assisting companies in their purchasing decision, improving its productivity and efficiency. This often leads to a better procurement decision. This inventory system supports role-based access that mimics users in different departments. Roles can be customized to restrict access to only a certain part of the system and is very configurable.
A built in notification system facilitates communication between these users and their departments. These features create a generic workflow system that is flexible and easy to use. According to (Castro, Catabay, Garde, Ofilan, Ubaldo, 2010), Inventory is merchandise in-stock and on hand, also known as stock. It is a list for goods and materials, or those goods and materials themselves, held available in stock by a business. Inventory are held in order to manage and hide from the customer the fact that manufacture or supply delay is longer than the delivery delay, and also to ease the effect of imperfections in the manufacturing process that lower production efficiencies if production capacity stands idle for the lack of materials. It is also the total amount of goods or materials contained in a store or factory at any given time. In their studies in the sales and inventory of MOJU-DELLI General Merchandise, they found out the problems encountered by the management so they proposed a system that will produce an effective inventory system and generate fast and accurate result for the assets and inventory of the company.
Inventory system is an effective way for monitoring and tracking different materials that are transferred in and out of the company’s warehouse or establishment usually for accounting purposes. It is also important for a company to monitor all the transactions and movement of goods in order to keep an account of all their stocks. However in the same establishments, the inventory of materials is done manually in such a way that an employee writes down the information of different materials every time it is transferred in and out of the room, (Bernabe, Dela Cruz, Jao, 2007). In the study entitled “Inventory & Billing System for ERF Enterprises” (Obispo, 2003) states that in businesses like ERF Enterprises having used to manually handling their sales is hard. And manual computation for billing and business transaction are slow, less accurate & less competitive.
By using their proposed system will speed up the business billing transaction and also provide them with a more accurate, reliable & up-to-date billing information in less tedious task. It would also help them avoid such situations where they have problems regarding their product delivery & sales. In the studies entitled “Osaka Sales and Inventory System” (Laranang, Maaño and Nañola, 2009) states that business nowadays takes the advantage of using modern technology to improve their status & ensuring an efficient & newer way to make their work easier. They states that the main problem of the Osaka Iridology is what modern effective tool must be use in creating & developing a sales and inventory system that will manage efficiently their transaction. So they develop a system that inclusively for the transaction of Osaka Iridology, such as monitoring of their medicine and their daily sales.
In the research entitled the Development and Evaluation of Computerized Sales and Inventory System MBC with SMS Confirmation (Consolacion, Dela Cruz, Dela Pena, Peduche, 2011), stated that manual processes are hard to deal with. It takes a lot of effort, patience and lots of staffing of employees is expected that can slow down the work of company. To avoid this kind of situation, they proposed a new system to the said company to enhance their sales and inventory with SMS confirmation. The system is designed to increase their production, to manage the availability of products easily and to improve their operation. They concluded that having an efficient sales and inventory system the management can improve their operational process and with the help of new technologies today.
According to (Castro, Catabay, Garde, Ofilan, Ubaldo, 2010), Inventory is merchandise in-stock and on hand, also known as stock. It is a list for goods and materials, or those goods and materials themselves, held available in stock by a business. Inventory are held in order to manage and hide from the customer the fact that manufacture or supply delay is longer than the delivery delay, and also to ease the effect of imperfections in the manufacturing process that lower production efficiencies if production capacity stands idle for the lack of materials. It is also the total amount of goods or materials contained in a store or factory at any given time. In their studies in the sales and inventory of MOJU-DELLI General Merchandise, they found out the problems encountered by the management so they proposed a system that will produce an effective inventory system and generate fast and accurate result for the assets and inventory of the company.
Inventory system is an effective way for monitoring and tracking different materials that are transferred in and out of the company’s warehouse or establishment usually for accounting purposes. It is also important for a company to monitor all the transactions and movement of goods in order to keep an account of all their stocks. However in the same establishments, the inventory of materials is done manually in such a way that an employee writes down the information of different materials every time it is transferred in and out of the room, (Bernabe, Dela Cruz, Jao, 2007).
Sales and Inventory System with SMS of Raw Material for Gintong Silangan Merchants, Incorporated
“The purpose of this proposal is to develop a Sales and Inventory System of raw materials for Gintong Silangan Merchants, Incorporated that will speed up their process of transaction and will provide the company with reliable and accurate records of transactions.”
Gintong Silangan Merchants, Incorporated is a distributor of raw materials of different fragrances and cosmetics since 1999. They use a computer for recording and reporting their inventory of their materials but they actually do not have a particular system. The major problems that the company has encountered is the slow processing of transaction activities such as price inquiry and checking the availability of raw materials and too much time is consumed in generating accurate summaries and reports. In this method, a lot of time is spent through the use of calculator and hand counting which leads to inaccurate numbers of tally with the previous inventory. Sales reports are being generated through spreadsheets and all files such as the reports and customers records were stored in a filing cabinet.
The proponents want to propose a Computer Based System using Visual Basic.NET for the development of the system and My SQL for the database. They believed that the proposed system will greatly improve the existing process and will contribute in making the process more efficient and effective.
How Inventory Management Systems Work
“Inventory management systems are the rule for such enterprises, but smaller businesses and vendors use them, too. The systems ensure customers always have enough of what they want and balance that goal against a retailer’s financial need to maintain as little stock as possible. Mismanaged inventory means disappointed customers, too much cash tied up in warehouses and slower sales. Factors such as quicker production cycles, a proliferation of products, multi-national production contracts and the nature of the big-box store make them a necessity.”
Med-Book POINT OF SALE SYSTEM
Med-Book is a turn-key Inventory Management System specifically designed by Matthews to fully meet the many specialized needs of the health science bookstore environment. Matthews developed Med-Book after extensively searching the retail industry and failing to find a system that could adequately provide the inventory management and customer service functions required for a first-class health science bookstore. Med-Book was developed over many years, at a cost of several hundreds of thousands of dollars. The research and development that led to the creation of Med-Book continues today with the enhancement of features and functionality, which addresses the industry’s changing needs. Since its introduction to the marketplace, Med-Book has become the premier Inventory Management System among health science bookstores and the model for all other systems being developed in this industry.
With 50 installations across the United States, Med-Book resides in many health science bookstores. It is designed as more than just an automation tool – it also leads the way in bookstore process redesign and customized business function management. In its fundamental design, Med-Book takes the cumbersome manual tasks of bookstore inventory management, streamlines the processes, incorporates flexibility to meet individual needs of individual stores, and automates inventory management for maximum return and benefit. Med-Book is the most sophisticated and specialized inventory management application for the health science bookstore in North America. Med-Book includes software, hardware, and point of sale.
It provides for the management of reference, course, and multimedia items, as well as instruments; streamlines and automates the order/receive/sell/return process; optimizes the special order process; tracks sales and purchase histories; constantly monitors and analyzes inventory; tracks customers; includes the Matthews Book Company Title and Vendor Database; and incorporates industry standard communications capabilities. The installation of the Med-Book Inventory Control System will benefit the tore by enabling:
* Quicker response, more information and overall better service to customers
* Knowledgeable and informed store personnel
* More informed buying decisions improving title selection * Tightly managed turnover with more titles in stock
* Increased sales with higher product availability and broader selection for improved customer fulfillment
* Optimal management of quantities, inventory capital and inventory turns for greater profitability
* Improved order management saving inventory capital expenditures
* Elimination of steps in the order, receiving and returns processes for increased time savings
* Error reductions improving pricing accuracy and margins
Overall time savings, improved customer service, better informed staff, better buying and management decisions, increased sales and improved profitability. In summary, in order to remain competitive in the rapidly changing health science bookstore industry, stores require more accurate and detailed information, better decision-making capabilities and a broader market opportunity without increasing expenses. Med-Book is the single most valuable tool to ensure that a bookstore can leverage service, operational efficiency, increased incremental sales, and improved profitability to its highest potential.
MED-BOOK APPLICATION OVERVIEW
The Med-Book application consists of five main functions: inventory control and Management, Purchasing, Special Orders, Course Order Entry and Communications. Inventory Control and Management Inventory control and management records sales, receipts, transfers and adjustments. It produces stock status reviews on demand for all books and items. It identifies exceptional conditions such as items approaching the minimum stock level and suggests those books and items that may need ordering. A number of management reports can help identify the store’s bestsellers based on their sales rankings.
Effective inventory control requires that returns must be closely monitored. Med-Book allows store personnel to analyze the need to return products based on criteria the store has specified (such as “last date of sale”, “date of last receipt”, by vendor). The Suggested Returns options presents the books and their associated purchase order allowing store personnel to choose the appropriate product to take action on for return. Chargebacks are automatically generated (or may be entered manually). All chargebacks remain open until store personnel tell Med-Book (through Returns Reconciliation) that a credit was received.
INVENTORY MANAGEMENT Features:
* Track Inventory based on UPC, ISBN, SKU
* Track Inventory by multiple locations within a store
* Sales departments: designate multiple departments by item/ISBN user defined and maintained
* On-hand and On-order quantities tracked by: new, used, course, reference, special order
* Minimum and Maximum Inventory Levels capabilities for course and reference
* Physical Inventory processing
* Inventory analysis
* Bestseller identification
* Item transaction history
* Multiple units of measure for stocking, selling, and purchasing Returns Features:
* Returns via vendor or item
* Suggested return report
* Vendor return policy file
* Automatic/Manual creation of charge-backs
* Return reconciliation process
Bookstore Management System
Team FAGE is proposing the implementation of a Book Store Management System (BSMS). The purpose of this system is to allow customers access to information at home, as well as providing an easy-to-use graphical interface to organize functions within the store. Using this system, customers of a book store would be able to log on to the system via the web and use it to search inventory, reserve books at the store, and place out of stock books on order. A store clerk would use the BSMS to input transactions (sales) with customers and also to search inventory to help customers locate specific books. A stock person would use the system to update the inventory database to reflect new purchases, new locations for books within the store, and damaged or missing books. Finally, a manager would be able to use the BSMS we are proposing to manage employee schedules and pay, manage stock (inventory), adjust inventory prices and plan store promotions.
In Store Sale
When a customer arrives at the front cash indicating that he would like to make a purchase, whomever is at the cash (be it an owner, manager or clerk) responds. For this scenario, let’s say that it’s the manager Paul available. The first thing Paul must do is bring up a new order (called a Point of Sale) using the computer system. Paul then manually inputs the ISBN numbers of all of the books that are being purchased since there is currently no access to a bar code scanner. Once all of the books have been input, the system tells Paul what the total price will be, including all applicable taxes. Before receiving payment, Paul asks the customer for his name so that he can bring up his profile on the computer.
Paul checks if the customer is eligible for the $10 credit available after spending $250 (this is called the Frequent Buyer Program). If required, the credit is applied to the price and if not, Paul simply puts the new purchase amount onto the customer’s account. If this is the customer’s first ever purchase, his name and phone number are recorded so that an account can be set up. In the final steps of the sale, Paul asks the customer how he would like to pay and then completes the transaction accordingly. Once the sale has been finalized, the system automatically updates the store’s inventory levels so all Paul has to do is wish the customer a nice day as he leaves with his newly purchased books.
The initial assumption about users was that we could define them as the customer, clerk, manager, and stock person. In reality, the employees at the store would be more appropriately categorized as owner, manager, and clerk, where each person would have some responsibility surrounding stock. Following are profiles of each of these representative users of our system. Most of the information presented here comes from the interviews conducted at the book store, although all names have been changed for privacy. Note that we were able to speak to the store’s manager and owner, but not any clerks in particular. The clerk’s profile is therefore based on answers given by the other two employees, and on our own assumptions.