Computerised Stock Control System

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Introduction

The Enterprise Networking assignment is based on the computerised stock control system. This assignment is about how to implement a new online book company called “Amazing Books”.

“Amazing Books” company is a new online book company that will be selling books via a website. The website represents the books that are in the company’s warehouse. It also contains the information of the books and the information provided to the customers to order the books they want. It is linking with company’s stock control system. The stock will be regularly recorded and updated based upon the sales record.

When a customer fills an order form, he or she has to choose the items and the delivery information. When the company receives the order, it delivered the packaged books to the local depot of a courier company.

The online book company also implements its computerised inventory control system in the warehouse. This system includes order processing, recording new entry of books, despatching books to the courier firm, and flagging stock reorder levels up. So, the company will investigate the websites of stock control system as sample and implement its own one.

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Besides, the company will create a local area network (LAN) for in the warehouse by using appropriate media and topology to carry out its processes well.

The company also has a plan to deliver the ordered stock items from the warehouse to the delivery company successfully by using suitable vehicles which contains hardware and software for security management.

The last plan is to manage a security control system in order to prevent the theft of staff themselves and to regulate the stock reorder level by the time theft occurs.

The network administrator or manager of the “Amazing Books” online book company will be investigating the book websites and computerised stock control system websites of other companies. He or she is also looking forward to finding the delivery management system and security management system on the web. Then he or she will be writing a report (with recommendations) how to implement theirs company in order to successfully set up.

Task 1

Amazing Books Company is one that wants to manage themselves as an online book sales company. They will sell their books via the internet. So, they want to develop a website which will display information about their books. Before it is developed, they examine three websites of the online book companies that sell theirs via the internet.

The first investigated website is www.bookshopofindia.com. In home page, the pictures of some books are presented. When the pictures are doubled-clicked, the summaries of each book are displayed. It contains other information such as authors’ names, ISBN number, price and numbers of pages. On the left-hand side of the home page, the subjects of the books that are sold in this website are listed. The subjects contain religions, arts, commerce, computer technology, children books and so on.

To order the books, customers can send e-mails, but they can only make payment by using bank account of Corporation bank and Punjab bank.

The second examined website is www.boomerangbooks.com. In home page, some pictures of normal books are placed on the right side. In the top, some special ones such as books for Mother’s day are put. In the middle of the page, some are advertised by showing pictures, authors’ names, and short descriptions of them. If the pictures are double-clicked to investigate, the pictures of the books’ covers and summaries of them with authors’ names appear. ISBN, format, number of pages, publishers, publish date and languages are also shown. On the right side, normal price and discount price are compared.

On the left side of the home page, the site arranges some categories to browse for books according to book categories, bestsellers, books from movies, and book awards, etc. It also places book contents. In home page, it ranges a menu called “Boomerang Books Bulletin”. If a user signs up in this form, he or she can get a $5 book voucher and 20% discount when discounts days are on.

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To order the books, the site displays its phone number, e-mail address, and fax number. Thus, customers can order by phone, e-mail or fax but they can pay only Australian dollars.

The third one that is observed to get displaying books information is www.cherrythitsar.org . This website is the one where users can get e-books. On the home page, there is a list that describes the categories that users can download. These categories contain Myanmar free e-books, Myanmar novels, Myanmar newspapers and so on. If a customer wants to get them, he or she has to make an account by entering user name and password. Then he or she can get them.

After investigating these websites that provide information for online book selling, “Amazing Books”, the online book company, is implementing their website. On the top of the home page, the photos of the books that are sold for the memorial days will be presented. They will be sold by gifting suitable discounts. On the left-hand side of the home page, the catalogues of the books will be exhibited in order to search books by the categories the customers want. The catalogues will queue the lists of the books according to book categories, bestsellers, books from movies, and book awards, etc.

If the photos of the books in home page are double-clicked, the summaries of the books with books’ titles, sorts of books, ISBNs, authors’ names, publishers, publishing date, number of editions, and number of pages, etc. will be shown.

Under the every page of site, there will be company’s address and ordering information will situate. Ordering information will include phone numbers, fax numbers and company’s e-mail address. So, customers can order books by ringing a phone call, or making order by fax, or sending an e-mail.

To order by e-mail customers must fill chosen items into the shopping basket that is on the right side of the home page. Then they have to enter their phone numbers and addresses (including postal code). They can enter their bank accounts or credit card accounts to order.

Task 2

There are many stock items that are stored in the warehouse of the “Amazing Books” online book store. The stock control system in warehouse is linked with the company’s website so customers can view the books that are in warehouse via the website. If they want to order books, the will their personal information including delivery addresses, postal codes and bank or credit accounts.

When customers make books order via website, the company will inform the staff of the warehouse. The warehouse staff checks the level of stock items and reply to the main server. And the server keeps the information update and let the customers know information to the website. Then the company will deliver the books to a delivery team. And then the courier company will deliver books according to the customers’ addresses and postal codes.

To carry out these processes successfully, the book store needs a proper inventory control system. So, they gather information for stock control system by exploring the websites which represent their computerised stock control systems.

Required information for recommendations

The first and second investigated websites show their online stock control systems. They show their product information and other associated one. Customers can search and browse they want and they can order them by e-mails. The company that creates the first website is using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) readers for recording the new items for the stock. The company also explains its delivery service for ordered items. The second website uses barcode reader. It describes their control system of balance levels of the stock and alerting the flagging up reorder system by using the stock control management software.

The third and the fourth one are the websites that sell software applications for computerised inventory control management system. They give the detailed information of how to use their software. Both of them are produced to run the functions of recording customers’ order, purchasing, items entry, auditing, receiving, shipping, transferring, reporting and security management, etc. Among them, the former one is used with barcode reader and the latter one with RFID for recording new stock items for the system. Customers can buy their software by entering their e-mail addresses, and bank or credit account numbers in these websites

Methods and hardware for recording stock entry which are in warehouse

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After investigating four websites, “Amazing Books” implements its computerised stock control system. First of all, they make purchasing books from many other sources. Then the books are put in containers which contain RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags and the containers are carried by suitable vehicles.

When they arrived to the warehouse of the company, the RFID tags are checked by RFID readers which transmit the series of digital identities of the books wirelessly. The tag readers detect the packages or containers which contains several book items.

The RFID readers can check each entire container simultaneously and enter data into the server computer using special stock control management software for inventory control. So, the right data in database of the server can keep updating. Being linked the server with the website of the company, the information of the books in web pages is automatically updated.

(c) Methods and hardware for order processing

To order the book items, the customers have to fill the order form. In this form, the customers must fill their information that contains their addresses and postal codes and delivery fees (which price ranges depend on countries) by means of bank or credit account numbers. After that, they can order books via website of the company.

When the company receives orders from customers, they register information of customers and orders in Order file. They check concerned master and transaction files to know how many numbers of which stock items are ordered. They also interrogate stock levels in the warehouse using RFID readers and make records of sending items. These records are entered into the server to update stock information. They then display that information in the website that is linked with server of the company. So, customers can see whether their ordered items are sent to them or not.

(d) Methods and hardware for recording despatched items

Their next procedure is to deliver the ordered books to a local courier company. Before they send, they pick books up from the warehouse and pack them into specific packages or containers which consist of RFID tags which will help the courier firm easy to check them.

Then they deliver them to the delivery firms by appropriate vehicles. When the books arrive, the courier companies check the RFID tags of packages or containers by using RFID readers. Then they start delivering them to the customers around the world by using flights or ships or other appropriate vehicles. The delivery firm company sends the items information in order to update data in database of the server of delivery company. They will update the delivery information whenever the items arrive to their braches in different countries until they reach to the destinations. So, the customers can view the information on the website when and where their ordered items are arrived.

(e) Flagging up and reorder levels of stock items

After sending the ordered item, the website needs to update the item information. To make balance for the reorder level, they use the automatic flagging up system using the stock control software by giving notation on the server of the warehouse. So, the company can check balance level and decide whether they should reorder new books from other sources or not.

(f) Required hardware for system

To complete the system, they also use some kinds of hardware devices. They use Server for the main control processes for the stock. And they also need to use some kinds of not only security devices for the warehouse security but also special software to control the system and to prevent unauthorized access to data. It describes their balance of the stock and alert the flagging up reorder system buy using stock control software.

Task 3

To implement the computerised stock control system used in warehouse the local area network (LAN) is conducted. The major requirements of LAN network are topologies and media.

There are many topologies though only some are widely used. The most popular topologies are ring, bus and star topologies.

In ring topologies, computers are connected by cables in a circle or ring form. Each computer is directly connected to the next, so no termination is required. In this topology, token passing method is used to transmit data in clock-wise direction. So every computer can transmit data fairly. It can prevent high-traffic and time-critical applications. So it is reliable and highly secure. But it uses fiber optic cables so cost is high and finds difficulties to install.

In bus topology all computers are connected via a backbone, a cable segment. In bus topology, signals are sent as electrical parses. When they are sent, they travel along the cable in all directions. So, data collisions can occur when more than one computer transmit data simultaneously. Thus, occupying high-traffic is the major problem; otherwise, cheapness and ease of installation are advantages.

In star topology, all components are connected by cable segments to a central device to communicate each other via it. It can share network resources and send and receive data from the computers in the network simultaneously because it handles multiple connections. So it is useful where high traffic occurs. It supports centralized management and the central server has a complete priority over other computers. But this topology requires a more involved cable installation and high cost. The access of the entire network also loses when the central device fails.

To build a network we also need media. There are two groups of media; bounded and unbounded media.

In bounded media, there are three types of cables; coaxial cable, twisted pair cable, and fiber-optic cable. Coaxial cable consists of two kinds- thin coaxial (10 Base2) and thick coaxial (10 Base5). There are two types of twisted pair cables; unshielded twisted pair cable (UTP) and shielded twisted pair cable (STP). The optical fiber cable contains two kinds; glass and plastic.

The unbounded media or wireless connection technology contains Wi-Fi, and Wi-Max connection. Wi-Fi includes 802.11b and 802.11g at 2.4 GHz frequency and its speeds are between 11 Mbps and 54 Mbps, and 802.11a and 802.11n has 5 GHz frequency and 54 Mbps bandwidth. There are two versions of Wi-Max connection - fixed Wi-Max (802.16-2004) and mobile Wi-Max (802.16e).

The stock levels displayed in the website are based upon the sales figures which are in warehouse. Updating stock control system regularly can help the stock level. To support the stock control system a LAN network will be created in the warehouse.

There are two types of networks; peer-to-peer one and server-based one. The server based LAN network is chosen to implement as it can handle a number of computers, more memory for a large database and extra peripheral devices such as printers; otherwise, peer-to-peer network can handle 10 or fewer workstations.

To configure a server-based network, an appropriate topology and a suitable medium are used. The proper one for this network is star topology. Using central devices such as switches connected with cable segments, it supports centralized management for the entire network. It shares resources and access to clients simultaneously without traffic.

Unshielded twisted pair cable is used as medium. It ranges into seven categories. Among them, category 5 is chosen because it is designed for 10 Mbps Ethernet whose speed is up to 1 gigabit. It can connect even 1024 nodes and can run 100 meters distance. It also provides ease of trouble shooting all nodes of the network.

After configuring topology and medium, a server-based LAN is implemented. Firstly, the OSs is installed in the server computer. Then Active Directory Service (AD) is installed. So, it becomes a domain server which can control client nodes in the workgroup.

There will be a network administrator as the authorized user of the server computer. This administrator will control security, access and user accounts of each client-computer user. Being centralized managed network, only server one can share resources but the client cannot. Data can only be updated, or deleted by the administrator who uses the server computer and not by the client.

Thus the administrator can check and control the database using the information reported by clerks who provide data concerned with sales figures. Therefore, this database can offer up-to-date information for the stock control system because it is based on the sales figures. The computerized stock control system is being linked with the website via internet. So, regularly updating the data of the stock control system means the website shows the information deal with the status of the books items that are in ware-house. This makes customers easy to find the information they want and to order books by filling order form that displayed in company’s website.

Task 4

The company will inform the staff of the warehouse about the information of the ordered books when they received confirmed orders and cost by bank or credit account from customers via their website. They also acknowledge the customers about the confirmation. The voucher numbers of the ordered books and the DNS of the courier’s website are also given.

Processing Order in Warehouse

After receiving the ordered report, the staff members in the warehouse prepare to deliver the stock items. First of all, they check to ensure whether the quantity of the stock level is complete or not. Then they prepare to send them to the local delivery company. They firstly put and pack the books by means of ordered quantity and titles in the packages or containers. Then they fix an RFID tag which contains an electronic serial number on each container. The information of the sent items is marked by means of an RFID reader which can detect the electronic signals of serial numbers of the books. Then the information is transferred into the server computer to update the data in database.

Transferring stock to local courier company

Then they transfer containers of books to the local courier firm by taking suitable vehicles which are fitted GPS (Global Position Service) system to point the routes and time taken of them and to acknowledge the company what time where they are.

When the containers of books arrive to the delivery team, they are checked with RFID readers again to mark what time the delivery items are received. It makes ensure not only the stocks are prevented by theft of staff but also they are safely arrived and whether they are the correct ones or not.

Delivering stocks by Courier Company

The delivery team starts the delivered items entry into their website after checking them. Along the paths of wherever they deliver the stock until they reach to the destination, they regularly update information on their website. So, customers can check the delivery information via the website of the courier company if they want to track about their ordered books’ information.

The delivery company delivers the ordered stock items according to the customers’ addresses and postal codes. If the addresses and postal codes indicate a customer is in local, the company uses cars to transport them. Otherwise, they firstly send by using shipping delivery to the foreign countries where the branches of their company are situated and they send to their destination addresses and postal codes at last.

Updating data

Each branch of the courier firm also reports to their main office and the office also return the information to the “Amazing Books” company until the ordered book items are received by the customers. The online book store company also updated the information in their company’s database in main server.

Being linked with the server of the courier company, the information of the books in their website is also updated. So, the customers can see where the items they have ordered and when they will receive them by entering the voucher numbers of them on the website of the courier company.

After the ordered books are transferred from the delivery company to the customers, the firm also reports to their main office again. The main office of the company also replies to the online book store company. And then the book store renews the data in database of the server in order to check the balance stock levels by means of automatically flagging up system.

Task 5

“Amazing Books” online book company keeps in a large amount of book items in the company’s warehouse. The stock items in the warehouse are kept by staff members of its. To secure the warehouse and the books in it, a security management system is needed. This system is also required to prevent unauthorized access data of the company. The company should also think about the theft or access data without permission done by staff members of the company themselves.

(a) Methods to prevent theft and monitor the staff

To implement the security management system of the warehouse, both hardware and software are needed. At first, the local area network (LAN) will be created using Star topology to control the centralized management of the company’s LAN network. Furthermore, the network administrator should also manage the specific working hours, authorized access, and login passwords, etc of an individual staff. So, unauthorized access that aims getting company’s important data in database of the server dishonestly can be overcome. It can also prevent the fraud of staff.

Moreover, there should be some plans to detect and prevent the theft of stock items in warehouse. The most appropriate thing to monitor inside the warehouse is CCTV cameras. They will let the administrator or manager watch inside the warehouse all the time. He or she can immediately know if theft is occurred.

Besides, there should be some limitations at the entrance and exit of the warehouse. Using retina scanner at the entrance is a proper method. The scanner will sense the retina of each staff to separate if the person has the permission to enter into the warehouse or not. It will make the record of each and it will alarm if something doubtful is happened. An EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance) should be fixed at the exit of the warehouse and everybody must be through when they leave the warehouse. It will detect each person using radio frequency technology and alarm when the staff takes the book items out without registering for despatched processes.

(b) Adjusting the stock levels when theft occurs

Before implementing the security management system of the warehouse, the stock levels of the books should be checked to ensure that the quantity of the stock before they are stored in it. When the books which are bought from different sources arrive to the warehouse, they are checked with RFID readers. Then the information of the books is transferred into the server computer as unique serial numbers of each. This event makes update the data in database. The server then stores the information of the books which includes quantity, books’ titles, and ISBN, etc.

When the books are delivered, they are packed in containers which have an RFID tag and are rechecked with RFID readers again. Then checked data and data in database of the server are compared to confirm. If they are not same, the administrator can know the books are thieved by staff and he or she should review the security records.

Automatic flagging up system also alerts when the quantity of books are less to acknowledge the administrator. So the administrator can check the balance level of the stocks and reorder new books from sources if necessary.

Task 6

The report is produced in order to describe the recommendations of how to set up the computerised stock control system of the “Amazing Books” online books company. The summarising reviews for each procedure are as follows:

Reviewing Task 1

The company investigates three online books websites via internet. They examine the features of the websites in details, i. e, the presentations of the books, selling and order information, delivery information, and discount information, etc. Then they will implement their own by using the facts which are based on the recommendations.

Reviewing Task 2

The company explores four computerised stock control system websites. Then they set up their own computerised inventory control system in the large warehouse of the company.

First of all, they will record the stock information by using RFID readers when the stocks arrive to the warehouse. Then they will transfer that information to the database of the server of the warehouse in order to update the data. The information in website will also keep updating because it is linked with the server of the company.

When customers want to order books via website, they have to fill the order forms which contain the information deal with their addresses, postal codes, and bank or credit card account number.

Then they will transfer the stocks to local courier company by appropriate vehicles. After that, they will update the information of books delivered in database of the server again.

In the warehouse of the company, there will be an automatically flagging up system. They will fix this system to auto check the balance level and quantity of the stock. It will alert the company when the new stocks should be reordered.

Reviewing Task 3

As the third step to implement the company’s stock control system, they will create a local area network (LAN) in the warehouse using suitable media and topology. The LAN will be set up as a server based one in order to centralized manage the whole network. The website of the company will be linked with the server so the information in website will always keep updating.

Reviewing Task 4

After receiving the containers that contain books, the courier company will check stocks’ RFID tags with RFID readers and make records the books information. This information will be transferred into their company’s server computer to update data in database. As it is also linked with the website of their company, the delivery information will also update.

The delivery company will always update the delivery information whenever the stocks arrive to their branches which are in foreign country. They will keep updating until they reach to their destination addresses. Customers can view what time at where their ordered books are via the website of the courier company.

Reviewing Task 5

There will also be a plan to prevent thefts done by staff while the company is setting up their online book selling system and computerised stock control system. To prevent those events, the administrator will monitor the staff by using CCTV cameras. He or she will also use retina scanner at the entrance and EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance) system at the exit of the warehouse. To prevent unauthorized access, the administrator will manage the specific working hours, authorized access, and login passwords, etc of an each staff member.

The stock levels are record by RFID readers when they reached to the warehouse. That information will be transferred into server of the warehouse. When the books are delivered to the deliver firm, they are rechecked with RFID readers again and transferred into server in order to update the data of stock levels. There will be an automatic flagging up system to alarm to acknowledge the administrator. So the administrator can check the balance level of the stocks and reorder new books from sources.

Reference

Websites

http://www.bookshopofindia.com

http://www.boomerangbooks.com

http://www.cherrythirsar.org

http://www.isisasset.com

http://www.trakersystems.com

http://www.controlelectronic.com

http://www.rfid-library.com

http://www.dhl.com

Books

Title Guide to Networking Essentials

ISBN 14188-3718-0

Author Name Greg Tomsho, Ed Tittel, David Johnson