Design And Implementation Of An Automated Inventory Control System For A Manufacturing Organisation

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ABSTRACT

This research work is concise and generally summarizes the activities duly
carried out in the design and implementation of an automated inventory
control system for a manufacturing organization. The system is designed to
efficiently  handle  the  movement  and  tracking  of  goods  through  the
replacement  of  human  workers  by  technology.  The  manual  method  or
intervention is labour intensive, costly, and error prone and cannot ensure
the inventory remains up-to-date due to oversight and internal shrinkage.
With the proposed new system, inventory can be updated in real time
without  product  movement,  scanning,  or  human  involvement.  The
automated system allows inventory status to be determined and shipping and
receiving  documents  to  be generated  automatically triggering  automatic
orders for products that are low in inventory. The study outlines the main
concepts of the analysis and design methodology of the proposed system,
compares it to the existing and goes further to explain  the design and
implementation of the system using Visual Basic 6.0 for the database. The
fact  finding  techniques  employed  is  interview,  observation,  online  and
library research.


 

CHAPTER ONE

 

1.0    INTRODUCTION

An inventory control system contains a list of orders to be filled and then prompts  workers  to  pick  the  necessary  items,  and  provides  them  with packaging  and shipping  information. Inventory control may be used  to automate sales order fulfilment process and also manage in and outward material of hardware. Automation is the replacement of human workers by technology. For optimal sales and inventory management process, robust functionality  is  needed  for  managing  logistics  facilities.  Warehouse management  functions  for  inventory  control  cover  internal  warehouse movements and storage and its support helps in the recording and tracking of materials on basis of both quantity and value.

This  application  takes  care  of  all  supply  orders  reducing  cost  for
warehousing,   transportation   while   improving   customer   service.   It
significantly improves inventory turns, optimizes flow of goods. It also
improves  cash  flow,  visibility  and  decision  making  providing  efficient
execution of tasks using this fast and reliable computerised method

 

1.1     BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The Nigerian Breweries PLC was established in the year 1946. It aims at providing satisfaction and nourishment to the Nigerian population through the distribution of drinks like beer, coca-cola, fanta, sprite etc. It is second to none and for this reason, the demand is high and the company responds to the increasing demand by stabilizing supply to strike a balance.

Justifiably, the company has the problem of keeping adequate record of goods  transfer  and  since  it  is  done  manually,  associated  problems  of insecurity, high cost of operation and delay in supply arise. Data processing in Nigerian Breweries PLC is presently carried out using people, pens, and paper to control stock and inventory.

The design and development of an automated inventory control system for the Nigerian Breweries PLC will no doubt bring immeasurable relief from the problems associated with the manual system.

 

1.2     STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The Nigerian Breweries PLC is to an extent manually operated and reveals a number of problems.

v   The recording of sales and cash received are done manually on a book
        that appears rough. Thus, the books are exposed to physical damage,
        information can be lost and dust particles are accumulated.

 

v   The long list of supply orders waiting to be attended to on daily basis.

v   The control system is time consuming, less accurate and less efficient,
        and the environment is not user friendly.

 

v   Inaccuracies often ensue from human error.

The manual system is quite tedious and can be reduced or eliminated with the introduction of the proposed system.

 

1.3     PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of this study is to improve current operational process in the
Nigerian  Breweries  PLC  to  its  full  capacity  by  developing  efficient
computer software that can handle inventory in a computerised fashion.

 

1.4     SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study is primarily aimed at increasing efficiency in operations, reducing maintenance and  running cost, monitoring the supply of goods  and its distribution  and  increase  profit  in  the  Nigerian  Breweries  PLC  by introducing an automated inventory control system.

 

1.5     OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

 

The main objective of this study is to develop a computerised inventory

control management system. Others include;

 

i.     It provides total asset visibility.

 

ii.     It  allows  reduced  inventory  stocking  levels  giving  full  inventory

history.

 

iii.     It reduces lead time, shelf space, and errors due to damage, fatigue of

staff and overall cost of operations.

 

iv.     It facilitates “just in time” deliveries.

 

v.   It provides full process control for products.

 

vi.     It provides higher level security as the system would be passworded

 

to prevent unauthorised access.

 

vii.     It shortens cross docking time and speeds up sort/pick up rate.

 

viii.     It  helps  the  management  plan,  monitor,  optimize  resources  and

ascertain their financial position at any time.

 

1.6     SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The scope of this study covers the Nigerian Breweries PLC as a whole, and its customers which include retailers, distributors and the general public.

 

1.7     LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

 

This project was constrained by the following factors:

 

(a) Financial Constraints

Bearing in mind the economic state of the nation, it was found difficult in making both ends meet, because of the exorbitant nature of things nowadays in travelling for the collection of data needed for the project.

 

(b) Time Constraints

Looking at the interval between the resumption and vacation of the final semester for the project to be completed, the time given seemed to be short for the collection of required information for better work to be done.

 

(c) Non-Availability of Material

During this project, it was noticed that the required materials needed for the project are not documented.   Those that were documented lacked storage facilities where they can be reached.

 

1.8     DEFINITION OF BASIC CONCEPTS

Automation: This is the use of technology or computers to control and process data reducing the need for human intervention.

 

Database: This refers to a large store of related data on a computer that a user can access and modify.

Password: This is a secret code that must be entered into a computer to enable access to its applications. It is made up of numbers, letters, special characters or a combination of any of the above categories.

Inventory Control System: A list of orders to be filled, and prompts workers to pick the necessary items and provides them with packaging and shipping information.

Computerization: This is the conversion of a manually operated system to a controlled, organized and automated system.

Research: A careful study of a subject to discover facts, establish a theory or develop a plan of action based on the facts discovered.

 

System: A set of computer components functioning together.

Technology:  The  study  of  techniques  of  mobilizing  resources  such  as information  for  accomplishing  objectives  that  benefit  man  and  his environment.

 

Software: A computer program or set of instructions that direct a computer to perform processing functions.

Information System: A collection of procedures, people, instructions and equipment to produce information in a useful form.

Processing: This is dealing with something according to an established procedure.

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