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Development of an online Sales and Inventory Management System (SIMS)

 

Title of the project

 

Development of an online Sales and Inventory Management System (SIMS)

 

Abstract of the project

 

This project is aimed at developing an online Sales and Inventory Management System (SIMS) for a departmental store. This system 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. This is one integrated system that contains both the user component (used by salespersons, sales managers inventory managers etc) and the admin component (used by the administrators for performing admin level functions such as adding new items to the inventory, changing the price of an item etc).

 

This system runs on multiple terminals, offers a GUI interface to its users and connects to a common database(s).

 

Keywords

 

Generic Technlogy keywords

 

Databases, Network and middleware, Programming

 

Specific Technology keywords

 

MS-SQL server, MS-Access, Visual Basic 6, Java

 

Project type keywords

 

Analysis, Design, Implementation, Testing, User Interface

 

Functional components of the project

 

Following is a list of functionalities of the system. More functionalities that you find appropriate can be added to this list. And, in places where the description of a functionality is not adequate, you can make appropriate assumptions and proceed.

 

There are registered people in the system (sales people working in the shop, inventory managers, admin et al). Each one of them may have some exclusive privileges (admin, for example, could create new users to the system whereas sales people cannot).

 

  1. A sales person should be able to

 

  • login to the system through the initial screen of the system

 

  • change the password after logging into the system

 

  • see the status of the inventory, ie, whether a particular item is available or not etc

 

  • search for a particular item by typing the initial letters (‘app’ for example may bring up the item ‘apple’ in the top) or by category-wise (apple, for example, may be looked up by going through the category ‘fruits’)

 

  • enter the items purchased by a customer and produce a bill for the same (the bill will have a unique sale id, date, time, item/quantity/price details etc)

 

  • cancel the produced bill, in case of error in entering the details, and produce a new one

 

  • take back an already sold item that is not satisfactory to the customer (the shop allows that) and produce a receipt for the same

 

  • inform the inventory manager about the items that are not available, so that they can be stocked

 

  • inform the sales manager about any exceptions (such as an item is being purchased, but it is not available in the system)

 

  • get help about the system on how to use the different features of the system

 

  1. The inventory manager should be able to

 

·         login to the system/change his password after logging in etc

 

·         check the status of the inventory

 

·         see the reports from sales people about items that are not available and need to be kept in the inventory

 

·         validate the inventory against the sales done in the previous day (whether the items that are sold and the change in the inventory for the corresponding items match etc)

 

·         generate inventory reports of the items category-wise, price-wise etc

 

·         generate inventory-trends (like how is coffee powder stock changing over the month)

 

  1. The sales manager should be able to

 

·         login to the system/change his password after logging in etc

 

·         check how many bills have been generated in the day so far

 

·         check how much money is transacted in the day so far

 

·         check how many bills have been cancelled so far in the day(due to wrong entry by the sales persons)

 

·         check how many items have been returned so far in the day

 

·         check for any exception reports from the sales persons and correct it by contacting the inventory manager

 

·         generate sales-trend graphs for each of the item (like how is apple selling in the last one month)

 

  1. The administrator should be able to

 

·         login to the system and change his password after logging in

 

·         add new users to the system

 

·         add new items/categories to the inventory (‘grape’ may be added to the category ‘fruits’ or a new category such as ‘vegetables’ may be added)

 

·         change the price of an item

 

Steps to start-off the project

 

The following steps will be helpful to start off the project.

 

  1. Study and be comfortable with technologies such as Java/Visual Basic, SQL server/MS-Access etc. Some links to these technologies are given in the ‘Guidelines and References’ section of this document

 

  1. Make a database of  items/categories

 

  1. Make a list of sales persons/managers/administrator who would be using the system

 

  1. Create the front-page of the system giving a brief description about the system and a login box

 

  1. Create the help-pages of the system in the form of Q&A. This will help you also when implementing the system

 

  1. Create other sub-systems like error notification, screens for various functions (like purchase, cancellation, return of items, admin pages etc)

 

 

 

Requirements

 

Hardware requirements

 

Number

Description

Alternatives (If available)

1

PC with 2 GB hard-disk and 256 MB RAM

Not-Applicable

2

 

 

 

Software requirements

 

Number

Description

Alternatives (If available)

1

Windows 95/98/XP with MS-office

Not Applicable

2

MS-SQL server

MS-Access

3

 

 

 

Manpower requirements

 

2 to 3 students can complete this in 4 – 6 months if they work fulltime on it.

 

Milestones and Timelines

 

Number

Milestone Name

Milestone Description

 

 

Timeline

 

Week no. 

from the start

of the project

Remarks

 

 

1

Requirements Specification

Complete specification of the system (with appropriate assumptions) including the database design (for storing the items details). A document detailing the same should be written and a presentation on that be made.

1-2

Attempt should be made to add some more relevant functionalities other than those that are listed in this document.

 

And, attempt should be made to present an overall view of the system which makes sense for the users of the system.

2

Technology familiarization

Understanding of the technology needed to implement the project.

3-4

The presentation should be from the point of view of being able to apply it to the project, rather than from a theoretical perspective.

3

High-level and Detailed  Design

Listing down all possible scenarios (like searching for an item, producing a bill, cancelling a bill, notifying about items that are out of stock, adding a new user, adding a new item etc) and then coming up with flow-charts or pseudocode to handle the scenario.

5-7

The scenarios should map to the requirement specification (ie, for each requirement that is specified, a corresponding scenario should be there).

4

Implementation of the front-end of the system

Implementation of the main screen giving the login, screen that follows the login giving various options, screens for sales persons/ sales manager/ inventory manager and the administrator for the various functions etc.

7-9

During this milestone period, it would be a good idea for the team (or one person from the team) to start working on a test-plan for the entire system. This test-plan can be updated as and when new scenarios come to mind.

 

The test scenarios can be grouped under the respective user who would be associated with it (producing a bill, for example, can be grouped under ‘sales persons’ testcases)

5

Integrating the front-end with the database

The front-end developed in the earlier milestone will now be able to update the sales/inventory database. Other features like report generation etc should be functional at this stage. In short, the system should be ready for integration testing.

10-12

 

6

Integration Testing

The system should be thoroughly tested by running all the testcases written for the system (from milestone 5).

13-14

Another 2 weeks should be there to handle any issues found during testing of the system. After that, the final demo can be arranged.

7

Final Review

Issues found during the previous milestone are fixed and the system is ready for the final review.

15-16

During the final review of the project, it should be checked that all the requirements specified during milestone number 1 are fulfilled (or appropriate reasons given for not fulfilling the same)

 

Guidelines and References

 

http://www.functionx.com/sqlserver/ (SQL-server Tutorial)

http://www.vbtutor.net/vbtutor.html (Visual Basic Tutorial)



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