Design and Implementation of an Online Inventory System
Inventory is a list for goods and materials, or those goods and materials themselves, held available in stock by a business. Inventory management is the active control program which allows the management of sales, purchases and payments. Modern inventory management systems must have the ability to track sales and available inventory, communicate with suppliers in near real-time and receive and incorporate other data, such as seasonal demand. They also must be flexible, allowing for a merchant’s intuition and, they must tell a store owner when is time to reorder and how much to purchase.
Inventory management is primarily about specifying the size and placement of stocked goods. Inventory management is required at different locations within a facility or within multiple locations of a supply network to protect the regular and planned course of production against the random disturbance of running out of materials or goods. The scope of inventory management also concerns the fine line between replenishment lead time, carrying costs of inventory, asset management, inventory forecasting, inventory valuation, inventory visibility, future inventory price forecasting, physical inventory, available physical space for inventory, quality management, replenishment, returns and defective goods and demand forecasting. Balancing these competing requirements leads to optimal inventory levels, which is an on-going process as the business needs shift and react to the wider environment. (Tim, 1998).
Inventory to many small and medium business owners is one of the more visible and tangible aspects of doing business. Raw materials, goods in process and finished goods all represent various forms of inventory. Each type represents money tied up until the inventory leaves the company as purchased products. Likewise, merchandise stocks in a retail store contribute to profits only when their sale puts money into the cash register (Barnes et al., 2009).
In a literal sense, inventory refers to stocks of anything necessary to do business. These stocks represent a large portion of the business investment and must be well managed in order to maximize profits. In fact, many small and medium businesses cannot absorb the types of losses arising from poor inventory management. Unless inventories are controlled, they are unreliable and inefficient (Frank et al., 2009).
This study covers the design and implementation of an Inventory control for pharmacy system.
Background of the Study
Small retail outlets owners have little or no interest in inventory, this is because most owners feel that getting an up to date management system is usually costly and time consuming and there is usually a tendency for them to avoid talking about such things. Therefore, this project is geared toward providing a cheap inventory control management system for small and medium scale pharmacy outlets.
Statement of the Problem
When customers purchase items, details of the purchase such as item bought, quantity, cost price/selling price, etc. are put down in a notebook. Being a small-scale business, the owner keeps no records of customer identity, neither are receipts prepared after a transaction. At the end of the day, the sales records are assessed to check profit, most items bought, etc. When the shop is close to running out of a particular item, the manager goes to the market to purchase such an item, and this is usually done on a weekly basis. Stock-taking is usually done daily, by comparing quantity of goods bought in the month, with those sold and those remaining. Profits and losses over the day are also calculated.
This study is an attempt to develop a system which will automate this whole process, cutting down on the manual input and processing involved in it. With a database of items linked to a sales module, which carries out Point of Sale activities, the stock is monitored more efficiently, and records over a period can easily be compiled in a few seconds. Also, receipts can be easily generated for the customer, based on the Point of Sale service.
Objectives of the study
This project is aimed at developing an Inventory Control for a pharmacy system for a small scale enterprise. The development is done using MySQL as the DBMS, and Java to create the User Interface. The design has the following objectives:
· Make sales to customer.
· It checks for items that have been sold, the items that are left, and the items that should be bought.
· It lists out the items that have been sold, the item that are left, and the items that would be bought.
Significance of the Study
Inventory control systems are the rules for large enterprises, but smaller businesses and vendors use them. The Inventory control System designed for a small scale and medium scale enterprise can be used to store the details of the inventory, update the inventory based on the sale details, produce receipts for sales, generate sales and inventory reports periodically etc.
Scope of the Study
Although different stores and enterprises have different modes of operation in terms of inventory and sales management, there are certain basic features common to all such stores such as sales, stock keeping and cash management. Such features are identified and implemented in the design, such that the system can only be implemented in small-scale business enterprises.
Limitation of the Study
Constraints are inherent in any effort directed towards providing solution to perceived problem, as such, limitations encountered includes
• Availability of data and information; Every detailed information on how a small scale enterprise (superstore, electronic, stationeries etc) needs to run effectively and efficiently are highly confidential to the store managers. Due to the nature of this study, there was need to visit these store to have an overview of how they operate. But most of these managers approached seemed rather unenthusiastic in providing this information. However, the little gotten proved to be adequate.
• Time also served as a constraint as it was never a friend, the only time had which was my free time was torn between making research and reading for my exams. Internet access also proved to be a problem.
Definition of Terms
- DATABASE: A computerized record keeping system for easy access and retrieval of information.
- DBMS: Database management system is a suite of programs that manages all access to a database.
- MANAGEMENT: This can be defined as the process of strategically putting resources together in other to achieved desired/set objective/goals.
- SALES: This is an act or process of selling something.
- SME: Small and medium scale enterprise ranging from 20-250 workers.
- STOCK: They are basically goods bought and stored in the warehouse as well as product being sold in a superstore.
- PURCHASE: This is the act of buying or the process of making sale.