DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN AUTOMATED INVENTORY CONTROL SYSTEM FOR A MANUFACTURING ORGANISATION
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.
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.
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.
The long list of supply orders waiting to be attended to on daily basis.
The control system is time consuming, less accurate and less efficient, and the environment is not user friendly.
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.