Enterprises Networking Online

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Task 1

Introduction

Objective be provided of Task 1 is to investigate a minimum of 3 companies that sell the books online. That is to find out what information they provided about books and to provide recommendation for the information that should on the Amazing books website.

Book information

The site www.pickabook.co.uk is the first site I researched. It provides large amount information about books. The main page shows the price, how much stock left, percent offer and selection of books by title; For example “editor’s choice”,” hot seller”, “book of the week” etc.

More detail about each book is provided by “format”, “availability”, ” publisher”, “publication date”, ” pages”, ” description”, ” synopsis”, ” imprint” and “returns”.

Other information

Other information provided about books is “customers who purchased this item also bought”, “top seller in this category” and “browse for books in similar categories”.

Information about order

Free UK delivery on orders over £15

When click ‘check out’, it shows ‘sign in’ page for registered customers. New customers must register before making an order.

Book information

The www.penguin.co.uk is the second site. It shows the latest titles, this week’s best sellers, and other useful information. It also shows the author name, format (hardback, paperback), extract, synopsis, ISBN, size, published date, price and publisher.

Other information

It provides a strange type of other information, there is a small form with titled “Related email updates” at the bottom of a clicked book to inform via email. That form contains two check boxes “This book is released in paperback” and “The author releases another book” and a text box to type email address and a submit button.

Information about order

When click ‘check out’, it shows ‘sign in’ page for registered customers. New customers must register before making an order. Delivery is FREE for orders of £25.00 or over in the UK. For other regions, it shows delivery charges and estimated time for orders to reach.

Book information

www.bookstore.co.uk shows the latest titles, best sellers and specialist sections. Detail information is ISBN/Cat.No, ISBN-10, Publisher, Format, Status, Publication Date, Availability, Price, Primary Subject, Secondary Subject, Readership and Summary.

Other information

There is only one other information shown in this site that is “Similar Titles”.

Order information

Books can be added to shopping basket. When click checkout new customers will need to register. Registered customers can make orders. After making order, an e-mail will be sent to confirm order.

Recommendation

Amazing Books website must provide

Book information

Image of Book Cover

Format (Hardback, Paperback)

Price

ISBN

Size of the books in inches

Availability (In stock,

Name of Publisher

Publication date

Number of Pages

Description

Synopsis of the books

Subject

Other information

It must be shown at least three other information “Customers who purchased this item also bought” to show similar interesting books, “Top seller in this category” to describe which books become hit in related category and “Similar categories” to show books from same category.

Order information

It must have a shopping cart to check how must books are added to order and to check total cost. If there any plan for free delivery, it must show the regions offered for free delivery. Estimated time for delivery to reach different region must be shown.

Task 2

The information required from recommendations made in Task 1

To provide buying habit of customer e.g. “Customers who purchased this item also bought”, the Amazing Books must use the stock control system that will use RFID technology. RFID can be also use for tracking the best selling books to provide “Top seller in this category”. To provide “Similar categories” the stock control system will show automatically books from similar categories.

Computerized stock control systems

Computerized stock control systems are similar to manual ones, but are more flexible and information is easier to retrieve. There are many softwares available for stock control systems. Amazing books must choose the software that is suitable for its system.

Computerize stock control system is a set of hardware and software based tools that automate the process of tracking stock. A computerized stock control system can helps to minimize the risk of error. Computerized stock control systems can be developed by using a barcode or RIFD tag. Most stock control systems are based on barcode technology. Barcode scanner is used to read the barcode and RIFD readers is used to read the RFID tag, and the information encoded by the barcode or RFID is read by the appropriate readers. This information is then recorded to central computer system. The stock control system can provide many functions. It can help staffs locate the items on the order list in the warehouse, it can encode shipping information like tracking numbers and delivery addresses, and it can update quantity of stock automatically when a book is purchased. Computerized stock control systems make simple to find and analyze inventory information in real-time with a simple database search. The computerized stock control system for Amazing Books must include at least the following functions,

Stock and pricing data integrating with accounting and invoicing systems. All the systems draw on the same set of data, the data is only needed to input once. Sales Order Processing and Purchase Order Processing must be integrated in the system so that stock balances and statistics are automatically updated as orders are processed.

Must contain automatic stock tracking for reorder, can automatically order books when the re-order level is reached.

It is good for the system, if the software identify the cheapest and best suppliers.

Bar coding systems which speed up processing and recording. The software will print and read bar codes using computer, barcode reader and barcode printer.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) which enables individual products or components to be tracked throughout the supply chain.

Must be able to record dispatched items.

Must be able to record the transfer of packages.

The Available Methods and Hardware for recording new stock item

 

Bar codes

There are two major categories of bar codes, one dimensional (1D), and two dimensional (2D). 1D barcodes are the ones we are most familiar with and consist of many different symbol including UPC, Code 128, Code 39, Interleaved 2 of 5, just to name a few (there may also be variations within a specific symbol). The symbol you use may be dictated by supply chain partners through a standardized compliance label program or, if only used internally, can be chosen based upon specific application. There are many types of barcode readers,
Laser scanners use a laser beam that moves back and forth across the bar code reading the light and dark spaces. Laser scanners have been in use for decades and are capable of scanning bar codes at significant distances.
CCD scanners act like a small digital camera and take a digital image of the bar code which is then decoded. CCD scanners offer a lower cost but are limited to a shorter scan distance.
Fixed Position Scanners scanners are used where a bar code is moved in front of the scanner as opposed to the scanner being moved to the bar code.

Voice Technology

Voice technology has come of age in recent years and is now a very viable and desirable solution in warehouse and shop floor data collection applications. Warehouse workers use a wireless, wearable computer with a headset and microphone to receive instructions by voice, and orally verify their actions to the system. The wearable computer communicates with the Stock Control System by using a wireless local area network.

RFID

Radio Frequency Identification is the devices attached to an item that transmits data wirelessly to an RFID reader. These devices can be as large as the size of a small book like those attached to shipping containers, or very small devices inserted into a label on a package. RFID has many advantages over bar codes such as the ability to hold more data, the ability to change the stored data as processing occurs, does not require line-of-site to transfer data, and is very effective in harsh environments where bar code labels are not suitable. There are many types of RFID tag
Active tags are RFID tags that contain their own power source (battery) and have longer read ranges.
Passive tags are powered by the signal generated from the reader device.
Read/write tags can have their data changed.
Read only tags are programmed once and their data cannot be changed.
EPC (electronic product code) is a set of standards designed to utilize RFID technology for the tracking of individual items as well as cases and pallets. EPC is similar to UPC used for bar code tracking of consumer goods.
GTAG (global tag) is an international RFID standard that can be used for general asset tracking.
RFID Reader is use to reads RFID tags.

Recommendation To record new stock item

Amazing Books must use RFID to record new stock items because RFID tag does not require line of sight to capture data. RFID tags can hold more data than bar codes and a large number of RFID tags can be read almost instantaneously by the reader. Therefore it speeds up the data capture process.

To record the location of the books in warehouse

A database can be use to record location of the stock in the warehouse. It will record stock number, lot number, and number of pallet loads in each storage location. The warehouse must be partitioned to store different subjects of books. Each partition will be sorted by book title. Active RFID can provide constant visibility of inventory by using RFID tags. That can be done by placing active RFID readers in areas or zones wherever inventory needs to be monitored and tracked.
The Methods and Hardware for processing orders
In the Amazing Books website the customers will need to register to place order. After register the customers can choose books and add to shopping cart. The customers can check books in the shopping cart before confirm order. After the customers place the order, the customers will receive e-mail confirmation, which tells them whether or not the order is being placed and provides them with a link so they can track their order.

After an order is placed, the electronic order information will sent to warehouse staffs for fulfillment by the server. The staff will pick the appropriate books and re-packaging with shipping label and invoice included for each destination.

The Methods and Hardware for recording item dispatched
The RIFD readers will be place at the gate of the dispatch to record the item dispatch. The stock control system will automatically update the quantity of books in the inventory.

The process for determining and flagging up stock reorder levels

Reorder level – Amazing Books must set a minimum stock level for each title of books, and re-order when stock reaches that level.

Stock review – Amazing Books site must reviews the sales of books to reset the reorder stock level for books.

Stock control - software will track of how much books is sell and how much remains in the warehouse, giving managers a real-time picture of what's happening. The software can also analyze the data and makes recommendations for re-ordering strategies.

Other hardware for the complete system

Amazing Books will need an ADSL line or other internet connection, wireless router and switches to create local area network. RIFD tags and reader to track the stock, determine reorder level and record item dispatch. A server computer with stock control system software will use to record books inventory. At least a barcode printer to produce shipping label to track transfer of books for courier company. At least a barcode reader to record the transfer of package to courier company. Wireless access points to create wireless network and mobile devices for staff to communicate wirelessly with the server.

Task 3

There are six basic network topologies

Bus topology

Star topology

Ring topology

Mesh topology

Hierarchical or Tree topology

Hybrid topology

Bus and Ring topology are not suitable for Amazing Books site. In bus topology, all nodes are connected to a common link like a central backbone. Therefore if a node fails the whole network fails. In ring topology, the links are loop in and out of each node and form a ring. Like bus topology, if a node fails the whole network fails in ring. Moreover, it needs to wait for free token when sending data and only one node can transmit at a time. All other topologies can be used for Amazing Books site.

Star

There is a central node in the star topology. All others nodes are connected to central node. All data that is transmitted between nodes in the network is transmitted to central node, which then retransmits the data to some or all of the other nodes in the network.

Mesh

All nodes are connected to each other in mesh topology. There is no controlling node and if a node fails there is always an alternative route available.

Hierarchical or Tree

It is a network topology in which a central node is connected to one or more other nodes that are one level lower in the hierarchy with a link between each of the second level nodes and the top level central node, while each of the second level nodes will also have one or more other nodes that are one level lower in the hierarchy connected to it. The top level central node is the only node that has no other node above it in the hierarchy.

Hybrid

Hybrid networks use a combination of any two or more topologies in such a way that the resulting network does not exhibit one of the standard topologies (e.g., bus, star, ring, etc.)

Media

There are four most popular network media that are twisted pair, coaxial, fiber optic and wireless media. Fiber optic is not suitable for local area network use in warehouse. Coaxial is use with the ring and bus topology, therefore it is not suitable for Amazing Books’ warehouse.

Twisted-pair cables

Twisted pair cable has four pair of wires inside the jacket. Each pair is twisted with a different number of twists per inch. UTP cables are classified by six categories.

Wireless media

Wireless LAN uses radio frequencies waves to transmit data between devices on the network.

Recommendation

Among the four possible topologies, star topology is most suitable topology for Amazing Books site. Because it provides good performance, devices are isolated from each other by central node, easy to understand and set up.

Besides, using mesh topology can cost a lot of money because it needs to connect all node each other. Hierarchical or Tree topology is a lot similar to star except it must have at least three levels in the hierarchy, because if only two levels in hierarchy it is star, Amazing Books site doesn’t need to use hierarchical topology. Hybrid networks are very complex and difficult to set up, therefore they are not suitable for Amazing Books site.

For use with star topology, Amazing Books must use Category 5 UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) cable. The star topology will use to connect the peripheral devices such as barcode printer. Amazing Books must also use wireless network that the staff with mobile device will use to communicate with the server and for use with RFID tags and readers to locate stock, stock control and record item dispatch.

Task 4

There are many package tracking technologies available to track record the transfer of books package from Amazing Books to the courier depot, then to courier vehicle and finally to customer. Some of the methods are

Using RFID

For within country, Amazing Book can use a network of RFID tags and readers to monitor the location of books that the courier company delivers. A wireless LAN also would be more suitable. In such a system, each asset would be tagged with an RFID tag, and readers would be placed in strategic locations to be able to accurately read those tags within a matter of inches. This method can be known the location of book package real time and can be shown in Amazing Books site. It can accurately track the packages from amazing books to courier depot, then to courier vehicle, and finally to the customer. If Amazing book use this method, there is no need for waiting the delivery progress information from courier company, but this method is expensive.

Using GPS

If Amazing Books is planned to sell books world wide, GPS is suitable for tracking packages across the world. GPS is the best tracking technology for tracking over large areas but it cannot track packages directly; it can track the vehicle that will deliver packages. To do this, every vehicle needs to be equipped with a GPS receiver. When the vehicle moves around the country, the GPS satellites track the truck's position. Using GPS, the operator can check the position of delivery vehicle at anytime. This can be done by using a combination of GPS (Global Positioning System) technology, the mobile phone network, the internet, digital mapping and specialized tracking software.

Using Barcode

UPC barcode can also use to record the transfer of the packages. But it cannot give real time information, because the packages are only scanned at the checkpoints on the route to destination. This method is simple and the cost is low.

Recommendation

Barcode is suitable for Amazing Books website. When an order is placed Amazing Books must labeled the package with the customer's shipping information and a tracking barcode. Because they are low cost and easy to use. Amazing books must provide a unique tracking number for each parcel to customer via website. The customers will track the packages by entering the tracking number in the website. Amazing Books will provide the completed order and shipping data from the warehouse to the courier company. There must be a network between Amazing Books and courier company. Amazing Books will provide the necessary information to the courier company and courier company will sent the location of the package over the network.

Since tracking barcode is attached to its respective parcel. As each parcel moves to its destination the tracking barcode can be scan at the various check point to give its location. The courier company will get the location of package automatically of each point that the parcels have passed through already and give that information to Amazing Books site. The courier company must use a handheld terminal with barcode scanner will use to scan recipient signature and captured to ensure the delivery and send to the Amazing Books site.

http://www.intellitrack.net/

Task 5

Prevention of theft and the monitoring of staff

Security system for Amazing Books warehouse is important. If there is no security system Amazing Books will loss it business. There are many methods available for prevention of theft and monitoring of staff.

Closed-circuit television (CCTV)

The warehouse might have security staff monitoring store activity on closed-circuit TV as it happens in an effort to prevent stock theft. Nowadays, there are even systems that allow users with several locations to monitor stores and distribution centers from a single location. These remote surveillance systems allow users to send full-frame video image streams over high-speed phone lines to other locations and to electronically store digital video images for review or evidence.

RFID

RIFD chips embedded in ID cards can control locks and prevent unauthorized entry; chips on products, cases, pallets and equipment can control item movement and sound alarms in case of unauthorized removal. Books can be attached with a Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tag. Tag readers located at warehouse entrance and exit points can detect the presence of the RFID tag and can be used to help determine a direction of travel of the RFID tag. When a book is determined to be leaving the warehouse, the transaction of the book can be track to confirm the product has been authorized to leave the warehouse.

Security Keypad

Security Keypad is a kind of access control system that is a system which enables an authority to control access to areas and resources in a given physical facility. Security keypad can be use to protect the main entrance and all doors of the Amazing Books warehouse. Only authorize persons can be enter in to the warehouse. Therefore it is harder for theft to break into the system.

Burglar alarms

They are electronic alarms designed to alert the user to a specific threat. Sensors are connected to a control unit via low-voltage wiring or a narrowband RF signal which is used to interact with a response device. The most common security sensors are used to indicate the opening of a door or window or detect motion via passive infrared.

Recommendation

Amazing books must use combination of CCTV and RFID to prevent theft and monitoring of staff. This can prevent both external and internal (staff) theft. The CCTV camera must be cannot be seen easily. It is better to use dome camera, they are hard to determine which direction they are recording. All cameras must be link with the workstations, where monitoring staffs will check the camera pictures. RFID tag can be used to sound alarm if unauthorized movement of stock is made.

Stock Quantity Adjustments due to theft

Stock quantity adjustments must make when the theft occurs. This adjustment must make at the current cost of the item. The cost for the books must add to the expense of the system. The quantity in the stock control system database must be adjusted to equal with actual quantity in the stock. Most stock control system contains the function of stock adjustment for many reasons. The stock control system will automatically update the related value in database.

Task 6

The information Amazing Books website must provide about books in the website are Image of Book, Cover, Format (Hardback, Paperback),Price ,ISBN, Size of the books in inches ,Availability, Name of Publisher, Publication date, Number of Pages, Description, Synopsis of the books and Subject.

Order information should be provided with a shopping cart to check how must books are added to order and to check total cost. If there any plan for free delivery, it must show the regions offered for free delivery. Estimated time for delivery to reach different region must be shown.

For stock control system Amazing books must use the software with the function of

Sales Order Processing and Purchase Order Processing must be integrated in the system so that stock balances and statistics are automatically updated as orders are processed.

Must contain automatic stock tracking for reorder, can automatically order books when the re-order level is reached.

Bar coding systems which speed up processing and recording. The software will print and read bar codes using computer, barcode reader and barcode printer. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) which enables individual products or components to be tracked throughout the stock control system. Must be able to record dispatched items. Must be able to record the transfer of packages to the customer in database.

For the network topology use within warehouse Amazing Books will use Star topology and Category 5 UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) cable. The star topology will use to connect the peripheral devices such as barcode printer. Amazing Books will also use wireless network that the staff with mobile device will use to communicate with the server and for use with RFID tags and readers to locate stock, stock control and record item dispatch.

For recording the transfer of package from route between Amazing Books to the customer Amazing Books will use barcode. When an order is placed Amazing Books will labeled the book package with the customer's shipping information and a tracking barcode. Amazing books will provide a unique tracking number for each parcel to customer via website. The customers can track the packages by entering the tracking number in the Amazing Books site.

As each parcel moves to its destination the tracking barcode will be scan at the various check point to give its location by the courier company. The courier company will get the location of package automatically of each point that the parcels have passed through already and give that information to Amazing Books site. The courier company must use a handheld terminal with barcode scanner will use to scan recipient signature and captured to ensure the delivery and send to the Amazing Books site to make sure the package is arrived to customer.

Reference

Web Reference

Book Reference

Enterprise Networking

 

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