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This project aimed to design and develop an inventory management system which would increase organization, improve efficiency, enhance manageability and promote productivity. The system was created after analysis of the problems, brainstorming of ideas to solve the problems, evaluation of ideas, getting feedbacks and improvement. The objectives of the project were successfully achieved; incorporating a more technological system would further enhance and ease the system.
There is currently no fixed inventory management system for the 11 stores under the MICE Technical Service (Electrical) department. The 11 stores are spread out across Basement 1, level 3, 4 and 5. Without a fixed inventory management, Staff in MBS MICE Technical Services (Electrical) department find getting equipment from the stores to be a chore. The stores are disorganized, hard to manage and reduce efficiency in carrying out task. In order to have a more efficient, organized and manageable store, an inventory management was needed. Furthermore, the inventory system would promote productivity and improve business as well as reputation.
This project aimed to design and develop an inventory management system which would increase organization, improve efficiency, enhance manageability and promote productivity. The inventory management system should be able to save time on locating the equipment and remove the need of having stock recounts. The system should be ergonomically designed low cost and reliable. The system must be simple to use.
The Specific technical objectives were to:
Survey staff on the problems and issues faced with regards to the stores
Analyse the problems and issues faced
Resolve the problems and issues through research and brainstorming ideas for different management system
Compare and establish the best system
Review and improve the management system through feedbacks
Examine the results of having the management system
Propose the inventory management system with all benefits, features and results to the department
2. PROJECT DESCRIPTION
2.1 Current Problems of Technical Services (Electrical) Stores
Currently, there is no inventory management system for the Technical Services Electrical (TSE) stores, therefore the stores are disorganized. (See picture 1 and picture 2 below) The disorganized stores make it more time consuming and difficult to locate the required equipment from the stores. This results in a loss of productivity which in turn decreases the service level and increase the number of clients and contractorsââ‚¬â„¢ complaints and unhappiness.
Figure 1: Disorganized store Figure 2: Disorganized store
2.2 Benefits of Implementing an Inventory Management System
Having an inventory management system would increase organization, improve efficiency, enhance manageability and promote productivity. Having organized stores, equipment can be easily located, gathered, replaced and returned, thus reducing the amount of time needed to get and return the equipment. This increases efficiency as staff are about to do more task without having to spend a lot of time gathering the required items for service. With a management system, it is simple to monitor access and evaluate the equipment. Therefore resulting in higher productivity as more task can be done in the same period of time, better service as customers are able to get their event running in a shorter period of time and thus reducing in clients, contractors and guestsââ‚¬â„¢ complaints.
2.3 Description of the Inventory Management System
The inventory management system will consist of a monitoring and control system, labelling and organizing method and a database to monitor and evaluate the equipment. The Monitoring and control system works by utilizing the equipment stock list. The stock list is used to update use and status of the equipment. The labelling and organizing method consist of floor zoning of stores, labelling of equipment, labelling of shelves and areas and Colour coding. There are labels and colour coding on all equipment and it varies according to the different classification. The floor zoning will plan the space of the store for the different classification of equipment. The database is the excel spread sheet which will manage and know equipment stock and in whole department and able to see what equipment is present in the various stores.
3.1 Collection of Data on problems faced
The data were gathered from personal experience and encounter and surveys from all staff from the department. The survey results are shown in chart 1 to 6 below.
Chart 1: Pie Chart on difficulty to locate cables Chart 2: Pie Chart on whether it is more time
Chart 3: Pie Chart on which level is the most Chart 4: Pie chart of awareness of missing equipment
challenging to locate equipment
Chart 5: Pie Chart on unhappiness of external parties Chart 6: Pie Chart of need of new system
3.2 Analysis of Data on problems faced
From experience and encounter:
-Time consuming to locate equipment from the disorganized stores
-There is a loss of Productivity
-There is slower and lower Service
-There are many complaints and unhappiness from guest, client and contractors
From the Survey results:
-Most staff faces problem when searching for items in the stores
-Staff are aware of missing cables (but are not taking any action)
-Most problems occur at Level 3
-There is a need to change the current system
-Guest, Client and contractors are not happy about the delay
3.3 Brainstorming of Ideas to solve the problems and Evaluation
During the brainstorming stage, several ideas were discussed. The ideas were manual system, electronic system and automatic system. Additional ideas of an organizing cupboard (See diagram 2 below) and recycled organizing prototype (see diagram 3 below) were thought of to further enhance the systems.
Diagram 2: Organizing Cupboard Diagram 3: Recycled Organizing Prototype
3.3.1 Description of Manual System
The manual system consisted of excel spread sheet (Database), TSE stores stock list (Monitoring and Control) and the organising cupboard (Organising Method). The excel sheet would be printed out at the start of work and updated on all stores. The excel sheet and stock list would allow the staff to locate the equipment efficiently and be updated by the staff if equipment are taken, replaced or returned. The stock lists would be collated by the store IC whom had to update the database at the end of the day.
3.3.2 Description of Electronic System
The electronic system consisted of a server & database connecting all electrical devices, excel spread sheet (Database), software and iPad/ touch screen controller. The server and electrical devices would provide all the information of the equipment. When equipment were taken, replaced or returned, staff had to update the electrical devices. The database would be reviewed by the store IC at the end of day.
3.3.3 Description of Automatic System
The Automatic system (Car park system) consisted of a data base, software, sensors, LED lights indicator and iPad. The system is similar to electronic except the server would automatically update when there is movement of equipment. There were sensors to detect the equipment and LED to indicate if the equipment is present.
3.3.4 Evaluation of ideas
The ideas were evaluated using the ALoU (Advantages, Limitation, to overcome, Unique Features) and the evaluation matrix. The evaluation concluded that manual system is the best system to be implemented. The evaluation can be referred at chart 7, 8, 9 and10 below.
Chart 7: ALoU for Manual System Chart 8: ALoU for Electronic System
Chart 9: ALoU for Automatic System Chart 10: Evaluation Matrix
3.4 Reviewing, Gathering feedback and improvement on the idea.
The idea was proposed to the supervisors and manager to get some constructive feedback. After hearing the feedbacks, the idea was further reviewed and improved with the addition of a improved labelling and organizing method consisting of floor zoning of stores, labelling of equipment, labelling of shelves and areas and colour coding.
3.5 The Improved Inventory Management System
The improved inventory management system consisted of the manual system with the addition of colour coding, labelling of equipment, floor zoning and labelling of shelves, walls and floors in the store. In conclusion, the system would consist of a monitoring and control system, labelling and organizing method and a database to monitor and evaluate the equipment. The monitoring and control system consisted of the stock list which would update use and status of equipment. The labelling and organizing method consisted of Floor zoning of stores (taped by the various colour codes) to manage equipment, labelling on equipment, shelves and areas (numbering and naming according to classification, type and length) and colour coding (for different classification). The database consist of the excel spread sheet which would manage and know equipment stock in whole department and able to see what equipment is present in the various stores. The stores with the system would look like diagram 4 and 5.
C:\Users\Raymond\Desktop\Major Project\Revit MP\store colour zone.png C:\Users\Raymond\Desktop\Major Project\Revit MP\store with label 1.jpg
Diagram 4: Store with floor zoning Diagram 5: Store with allocated equipment location
The features of the systems are simple process, track and Monitor all equipment in an Excel database, check store stock using store inventory list, clear Labelling and Colour Coding, zoning of storage space, efficient space management and environmental friendly.
The benefits are easy to manage, organize, locate, monitor and control equipment, higher efficiency and productivity, more sustainable and environment friendly and simple to use.
From , the results and benefits of having an inventory management system would be having Inventory Balance (Knowing what is needed, easier to prevent equipment shortages and have sufficient equipment.), High inventory turnover ratio (To ensure equipment are not spoiling, damage, becoming obsolete or taking up your working capital.), Repeat Customers.
(Better service, more satisfaction and needs are met.), Accurate Planning (Keep ahead of the demand curve, keep the right amount of equipment on hand and plan ahead for seasonal changes.), Employee Efficiency (Empower employees to help manage inventory, able to do more in the period of work [no time wasted looking for equipment.]), Inventory Tracking.
(Coordination of equipment at each location), Time Saving (Equipment organised, save time to look for it and save the hassle of doing inventory recounts to make sure the records are accurate.) and Cost Cutting (When inventory is humming along efficiently through your facilities, bet it is able to save a lot of money and helps to avoid wasting money.)
Research has shown that having an inventory management system would be able to increase organization, improve efficiency, enhance manageability and promote productivity. Using the system designed would greatly improve the image of the company. With the addition of training program for staff and budget, the system can be improve technological which would be even a better inventory management system.
The project group successfully developed an inventory management system that will increase organization, improve efficiency, enhance manageability and promote productivity. The system consisted of a monitoring and control system, labelling and organizing method and a database to monitor and evaluate the equipment. Having an inventory management system would definitely improve the operations of the department.
The system designed could be further improved using technology if the staff had a training program to learn the inventory management system and having th budget to purchase the technology required for better, faster and even more efficient management system for inventory,
The author wishes to thank the management and staff of Marina Bay Sands Meeting, Incentives, Convention, Exhibitions (MICE) Technical department for their kind assistance and guidance. The author would also like to thank MP Supervisor (TP) Mr Cheng Ming Chin, lecturer, ENG/GBS/IFM, for his encouraging support and detailed guidance.
 R. Lockard. (May 2, 2011). Top 10 Benefits of Great Inventory Management.[Online]. Available: http://inventorysystemsoftware.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/top-10-benefits-inventory-management/