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Inventory is the quantity of goods and materials on hand that an organization or manufacturer uses to represent those items that are ready, available or in good condition. An inventory management system is a set of hardware and software based tools that automate the process of tracking inventory. The kinds of inventory tracked with an inventory control system can include almost any kind of quantifiable goods such as, computer equipments and other items that are made use of by the organization. Modern inventory management systems are exclusively based on using technology to track and control inventory .
The basis for effectively managing a computer system (or part of one) is having a framework that includes inventories of the system’s components and policies to guide the system’s use. When evaluating options for managing computer systems, computer laboratory managers should determine whether the options they are considering follow the best practices of conducting inventories, adopting computer policies, and communicating policies to staff who use the computers. Managers of the computer laboratory should also consider whether the management options have sufficient technical expertise and provide training and support for users. Finally, they need to assess whether the options provide adequate computer security.
Maintaining an automated inventory management system for computer laboratory is needed for the following reasons:
- The user log is not properly maintained
- Some students do not return certain items. Given adequate user log entries, too often the lab assistants do not detect this problem. Items get missing from the lab as result of this lack of control.
- Security problems ranging from unauthorized network access/ unauthorized software installation and deletion to the disappearance of laboratory items.
Given the large number of documented problems, the conclusion is that the current manual system is inadequate. The paper work is overwhelming, the data are not readily available. A well designed database system should be available to address the inventory management problem of the laboratory.
1.1 Theoretical Background
The technology used to implement the system is database management. The inventory record of the state of the laboratory is capture through a graphical user interface and saved to a database for future retrieval and updating. The source code below shows the details of saving records to database. The control Adodc is used to link the interface to the database and then the source code outline below is implemented.
Private Sub Command1_Click()
‘Code for save command button
Private Sub Command2_Click()
‘code for close button
‘code for add new record button
Private Sub Command3_Click()
Fig 1.1: Laboratory inventory registration form
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Inventory Management is one of the basic problems in almost every company. A survey of the inventory system of a computer science laboratory of Akwa Ibom state polytechnic reveals that:
a. Manually recording and tracking down inventory is cumbersome.
b. Reports cannot be easily presented and it is difficult for the management to ascertain the state of items in the laboratory.
When there is no avenue to properly record the state of equipments in the laboratory, there will be high level of unaccountability. An automated system is therefore needed to aid the easy maintenance of the inventory of items in the laboratory.
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of the study is to develop an inventory management system for laboratory. The specific objectives are:
a) To develop a database application for proper recording of items in the computer laboratory.
b) To provide an updatable inventory
c) To generate daily reports on stock level
1.4 Significance of the Study
The significance of the study are:
1. It will provide an easy way of capturing and managing inventory details of the computer science laboratory of Akwa Ibom state polytechnic.
2. It will also facilitate the easy updating of inventory records.
3. Also, the study will serve as a useful reference material for other scholars seeking for related information on inventory management of computer laboratory.
1.5 Scope of the Study
This study covers an inventory management system for laboratory management, using computer science laboratory, Akwa Ibom state polytechnic as a case study. It strictly focuses on inventory management record for a computer laboratory.
1.6 Organization of the Research
This research work is organized into five chapters. Chapter one is concerned with the introduction of the research study and it presents the preliminaries, theoretical background, statement of the problem, aim and objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope of the study, organization of the research and definition of terms.
Chapter two focuses on the literature review, the contributions of other scholars on the subject matter is discussed.
Chapter three is concerned with the system analysis and design. It presents the research methodology used in the development of the system, it analyzes the present system to identify the problems and provides information on the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed system. The system design is also presented in this chapter.
Chapter four presents the system implementation and documentation, the choice of programming language, analysis of modules, choice of programming language and system requirements for implementation.
Chapter five focuses on the summary, constraints of the study, conclusion and recommendations are provided in this chapter based on the study carried out.
1.7 Definition of Terms
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: The merchandise or stock that a store or company has on hand
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.
Management: The organizing and controlling of the affairs of a business or a sector of a business
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