Computer Science





1.0 Introduction

This chapter on automated products distribution management system presents theoretical background, statement of the problem, aim and objectives of the study, significance of the study , scope of the study, organization of the study and definition of terms.

Distribution refers to the steps taken to move and store a product from the supplier stage to a customer stage in the supply chain. Distribution is a key driver of the overall profitability of a firm because it directly impacts both the supply chain cost and the customer experience. A product distribution monitoring system is a computerized system that enables organizations to monitor the distribution of products to different customers. The information it provides enables the organization to know who has been serviced and who has not been serviced. Good distribution can be used to achieve a variety of supply chain objectives ranging from low cost to high responsiveness. At the highest level, performance of a distribution network should be evaluated along two dimensions: Customer needs that are met, Cost of meeting customer needs. The customer needs that are met influence the company’s revenues, which along with cost decide the profitability of the delivery network. Customer service consists of many components that are influenced by the structure of the distribution network these include: Response time, Product variety, Product availability, Customer experience, Order visibility and Returnability. Response time is the time between when a customer places an order and receives delivery. Product variety is the number of different products / configurations that a customer desires from the distribution network. Availability is the probability of having a product in stock when a customer order arrives. Customer experience includes the ease with which the customer can place and receive their order. Order visibility is the ability of the customer to track their order from placement to delivery. Returnability is the ease with which a customer can return unsatisfactory merchandise and the ability of the network to handle such returns. An automated product distribution system helps in keeping record of products ordered for distribution and also making provision to indicate if it has been delivered or it is pending. This information is vital to management and will aid in identifying customers that has not received the product and those that have. It will serve as a decision support system for product distribution [2].

1.1 Theoretical Background

Most producers use intermediaries to bring their products to market. They use a set of interdependent organizations in the process of making a product or service available for use or consumption by the consumer or business user. This process is what has been known as distribution channel. Distribution describes all the logistics involved in delivering a company’s products or services to the right place, at the right time, for the lowest cost. In the unending efforts to realize these goals, the channel of distribution selected by a business play a vital role in this process. Well-chosen channel constitute a significant competitive advantage, while poorly conceived or chosen channel can doom even a superior product or service to failure in the market. Effective distribution provides customers with convenience in the form of availability (what, where, when – the right product, at the right place, at the right time), access (customers’ awareness of the availability and authorization to purchase), and support (e.g. pre-sales advice, sales promotion and merchandising, post-service repairs). In the world today, manual systems of operations are gradually being replaced by automated or computerized systems [3].

The technology used is database technology, Microsoft Access 2003 was used as the database while Visual BASIC 6.0 was used as the front end. For instance, the source code below shows how adodc1 control is used to update product distribution record to database.

Private Sub Command1_Click()

On Error GoTo AB


MsgBox “DONE”

Exit Sub



End Sub

Private Sub Command2_Click()

On Error GoTo AB



End Sub

Private Sub Command3_Click()

Unload Me

End Sub

Private Sub Form_Load()


End Sub

Fig. 1.1: Product distribution form

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The following problems were identified:

Many organizations that engage in the distribution of goods and services, find it difficult to manage the supply of products ordered.
This absence of a monitoring system brings about losses to the organization as most products may never be delivered to customers that placed order for them, thereby discouraging them to continue business with the organization.
The consequence of this is a drop in patronage which in turn impacts on the financial strength of the organization involved.
It is in view of these problems that this study is set to implement a product distribution monitoring system.

1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of the study is to develop an automated product distribution management system. The objectives are;

To implement a product distribution management system
To develop a database system that will aid easy capturing of customers orders of products
To develop a system that will enable the management of the organization to get needed reports pertaining to product distribution
To develop a system that will aid monitoring of the distribution of products.

1.4 Significance of the Study

The significance of the study are:

it will provide a convenient and effective system for monitoring the distribution of products.
It will enable organizations to maximize their profit and improve daily reports of distributions made.
The study will also be of immense significance to other researchers seeking for information on the subject.

1.5 Scope of the Study

This study covers automated product distribution management system using Siba group of companies in Ikot Ekpene as a case study. The data used in the research work was collected from the same source.

1.6 Organization of the Research

This research work is organized into five chapters. Chapter one is concerned with the introduction of the research study and it consists of, theoretical background, statement of the problem, aim and objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope of the study, organization of the research and definition of terms.

Chapter two focuses on the literature review, the contributions of other scholars on the subject matter is discussed.

Chapter three is concerned with the system analysis and design. It presents the research methodology, analyzes the present system to identify the problems and provides information on the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed system. The system design is also presented in this chapter.

Chapter four presents the system implementation and documentation. The choice of programming language, analysis of modules, choice of programming language and system requirements for implementation.

Chapter five focuses on the summary, conclusion and recommendations are provided in this chapter based on the study carried out.

1.7 Definition of Terms

Automation: A system in which a workplace or process has been converted to one that replaces or minimizes human labor with mechanical or electronic equipment

Product: Something that is made or created by a person, machine, or natural process, especially something that is offered for sale

Distribution: The handing out or delivery of stock to a number of people

Management: The organization or controlling of the affairs of a business.

Monitoring: To check something at regular intervals in order to find out how it is progressing or developing

System: A combination of related parts working together to achieve a particular aim.

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