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Inventory Control and Web Portal for Batterjee Pharmaceutical Warehouse

Presented to the Faculty of Effat University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Science in Information Systems

By: Hanan El-Maghrabi, Information System Department, College of Engineering, Effat University, Jeddah-KSA Sara Abdelsalam, Information System Department, College of Engineering, Effat University, Jeddah-KSA

Supervised By: Dr. Malak Al-Noury 1


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ABSTRACT

Supply chain management (SCM) and Inventory Control systems are widely used now-a-days to help enhance all business activities. Pharmaceutical and healthcare companies make use of such powerful tools to help them achieve business goals. This research is designed to help enhance few modules of the SCM system in Batterjee, KSA.

The research is part of the team’s graduation requirements of the Information Systems department in Effat University. A client was found and a rough analysis of the current workflow was conducted. Problems were identified by the team, and proposed solutions were given. The researchers found solutions including a web portal that will help Batterjee’s customers to place orders online and have them delivered to their place of choice. The portal will act as part of a Supply Chain management software system as it will support some of its modules such as delivery, and reporting…

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT No work would ever be complete without paying respect to the omnipresence of Allah Almighty; hence we are grateful to Allah who gave us knowledge, strength, skills and patience to complete this part of our senior project and guiding us during the difficult and stressed moments of this research.

We would also take this opportunity to thank our families for their love, prayers, patience, and support without which we would never have attained this prestigious status in our lives. They gave us comfort and ease to reach our goals and made us better as people as well. Their motivation and encouragement gave us the strength to bring this project to an end.

We are heartily thankful to our supervisor Dr. Malak Al-Nory, whose encouragement and guidance and vast knowledge helped us in understanding the subject better. In addition, we would like to thank the rest of the members of our department starting with Dr. Azza Abu-Zaid, Dr. Akila, Dr. Nighat Mir, Dr. Daian Igoche and Ms. Hanan Ahmed for all their help and support.

It is our pleasure to also acknowledge the help of Mr. Ahmed Nabil from Bayar who provided us with all the data and help we need to complete this research. We would like to thank all Effat University’s Family for all what they gave us and helped us with throughout our university years.

We offer our warm thanks to our friends for all their understanding, support, care, motivation, and prayers. Without all of the above, none of this would have been possible.

And last but not least, we thank each other for being great team members and for working hand in hand through the bad times before the good to manage and get the best out of each other.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1

Table of Contents..................................................................................................................... 6

2

List of Figures ........................................................................................................................ 12

3

Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 15 3.1

Introduction .................................................................................................................... 15

3.2

Background Information ................................................................................................ 15

3.2.1

Organization Overview ........................................................................................... 15

3.2.2

Bayer in the Middle East......................................................................................... 16

3.2.3

Batterjee Pharmaceutical Warehouse ..................................................................... 16

3.2.4

About Batterjee’s IT department ............................................................................ 16

3.3

Problem statement .......................................................................................................... 17

3.4

Research Scope .............................................................................................................. 18

3.5

Research Objective:........................................................................................................ 18

3.5.1

General Objectives: ................................................................................................. 18

3.5.2

Specific Objectives ................................................................................................. 19

3.5.3

Learning Objectives ................................................................................................ 19

3.6

Research Methodology................................................................................................... 19

3.7

Research procedure ........................................................................................................ 20

3.7.1

Project Selection ..................................................................................................... 22

3.7.2

Reviewing the literature .......................................................................................... 22

3.7.3

Deadlines................................................................................................................. 23

3.7.4

System Development .............................................................................................. 23

3.8

Required tools ................................................................................................................ 24

3.8.1

Adobe Photoshop: ................................................................................................... 24

3.8.2

Microsoft Visio: ...................................................................................................... 25

3.8.3

Pidoco Prototyping Software: ................................................................................. 25

3.8.4

Visual Paradigm : .................................................................................................... 25

3.8.5

MySQL workbench:................................................................................................ 25

3.8.6

Microsoft WebMatrix ............................................................................................. 25 6


3.8.6.1 Internet Information Service IIS7 Express .......................................................... 26 3.8.6.2 PHP Manager for IIS ........................................................................................... 26 3.8.7

OpenCart ................................................................................................................. 26

3.8.8

Joomla!.................................................................................................................... 26

3.8.9

VirtueMart............................................................................................................... 27

3.8.10

cPanel and WHM .................................................................................................... 27

3.8.11

FileZilla ................................................................................................................... 27

3.9

Research Outline ............................................................................................................ 28

3.10 Conclusion...................................................................................................................... 28 4

Literature review.................................................................................................................... 29 4.1

Introduction .................................................................................................................... 29

4.2

Channels of distribution: Intermediaries ........................................................................ 29

4.3

About Supply Chain Management ................................................................................. 30

4.4

Supply Chain Components ............................................................................................. 32

4.5

Benefits of a Supply Chain Management:...................................................................... 32

4.5.1

Lower Costs ............................................................................................................ 33

4.5.2

Improved Collaboration .......................................................................................... 33

4.5.3

Cycle Times ............................................................................................................ 33

4.5.4

Response to Conflict ............................................................................................... 34

4.6

Supply Chain Management Systems .............................................................................. 34

4.6.1

Types of Supply Chain Management Software Systems ........................................ 35

4.6.2

Benefits of Supply Chain Management Software Systems .................................... 36

4.6.3

Difficulties in Implementation of Supply Chain Management Software Systems . 36

4.7

Supply chain management modules ............................................................................... 37

4.8

Supply Chain Management Solutions for Pharmaceutical Companies .......................... 39

4.8.1

UPS ......................................................................................................................... 40

4.8.2

SAP ......................................................................................................................... 42

4.8.3

WIPRO .................................................................................................................... 43

4.9

Inventory Control ........................................................................................................... 44

4.9.1

Computers and Inventory........................................................................................ 46

4.9.2

The Future of Inventory Control Systems .............................................................. 47 7


4.9.3

Warehouse Operation and Layout .......................................................................... 48

4.10 What is an Inventory Control System ............................................................................ 49 4.11 Usage of Inventory Control Systems in Industries ........................................................ 50 4.12 Importance of Inventory Control.................................................................................... 50 4.13 How does an Inventory Control System Work .............................................................. 50 4.14 Implementing Inventory Control System ....................................................................... 51 4.14.1

Advantages .............................................................................................................. 51

4.14.2

Disadvantages ......................................................................................................... 52

4.15 Components of Inventory Control Systems ................................................................... 52 4.15.1

Asset tracking.......................................................................................................... 52

4.15.2

Bar-coding............................................................................................................... 52

4.15.3

Order management .................................................................................................. 52

4.15.4

Service management ............................................................................................... 53

4.16 Order Management Systems .......................................................................................... 53 4.17 What does an Order Management System Do ............................................................... 54 4.18 Advantages of Order Management Systems .................................................................. 54 4.19 Literature Review of Language ...................................................................................... 55 4.19.1

ASP.NET ................................................................................................................ 55

4.19.2

PHP ......................................................................................................................... 55

4.19.3

JavaScript ................................................................................................................ 56

4.20 Literature Review of the software .................................................................................. 56 4.20.1

Image editing software: Adobe Photoshop ............................................................. 57

4.20.2

Microsoft WebMatrix ............................................................................................. 58

4.20.2.1

MySQL Workbench ........................................................................................ 59

4.20.2.2

Internet Information Service IIS7 .................................................................... 60

4.20.2.3

PHP Manager for IIS ....................................................................................... 61

4.20.3

OpenCart ................................................................................................................. 63

4.20.3.1 4.20.4

OpenCart Features ........................................................................................... 63

Joomla!.................................................................................................................... 63

4.20.4.1

Content Management System .......................................................................... 63

4.20.4.2

Examples of what Joomla! Can do .................................................................. 64 8


4.20.4.3

Joomla!! Support ............................................................................................. 64

4.20.4.4

Joomla! Future Support ................................................................................... 64

4.20.4.5

Advanced features in Joomla! ......................................................................... 65

4.20.4.6

Websites that use Joomla! ............................................................................... 65

4.20.5

VirtueMart............................................................................................................... 66

4.20.5.1

General Features .............................................................................................. 66

4.20.5.2

Product Catalog Features ................................................................................. 67

4.20.5.3

Administration Features .................................................................................. 67

4.20.5.4

Payment Modules ............................................................................................ 67

4.20.5.5

Shipping Modules ............................................................................................ 68

4.20.6

cPanel and WHM .................................................................................................... 68

4.20.7

FileZilla ................................................................................................................... 69

4.21 Conclusion:..................................................................................................................... 70 5

Requirement specifications /analysis ..................................................................................... 71 5.1

Introduction: ................................................................................................................... 71

5.2

Work progress: ............................................................................................................... 71

5.2.1

Business Requirements identification: .................................................................... 71

5.2.1.1 User functional requirements: ............................................................................. 72 5.2.1.2 System Non-Functional Requirements: .............................................................. 73 5.2.1.2.1 Project Assumptions: ..................................................................................... 73 5.2.1.2.2 Non-Functional Requirements:...................................................................... 74 5.2.1.3 System functional requirements: ......................................................................... 75

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5.3

Use case diagram:........................................................................................................... 77

5.4

Work Flow...................................................................................................................... 81

5.5

Data Flow Diagram ........................................................................................................ 82

5.6

Conclusion...................................................................................................................... 83

System Design ....................................................................................................................... 84 6.1

Introduction: ................................................................................................................... 84

6.2

User interface design ...................................................................................................... 84

6.2.1

Site Map .................................................................................................................. 84

6.2.2

Story board .............................................................................................................. 86 9


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6.3

Data Model: .................................................................................................................... 96

6.4

Conclusion:..................................................................................................................... 97

Implementation ...................................................................................................................... 98 7.1

Introduction .................................................................................................................... 98

7.2

The Three Tier Architecture ........................................................................................... 98

7.3

Installation ...................................................................................................................... 99

7.3.1

Installing WebMatrix ............................................................................................ 100

7.3.1.1 Configuring IIS ................................................................................................. 102 7.3.2

Installing Open Cart .............................................................................................. 103

7.3.3

Installing Joomla!.................................................................................................. 104

7.3.3.1 Global Configuration......................................................................................... 106 7.3.3.1.1 Site ............................................................................................................... 106 7.3.3.1.2 System ......................................................................................................... 106 7.3.3.1.3 Server ........................................................................................................... 107 7.3.3.1.4 Permissions .................................................................................................. 108 7.3.4

Installing VirtueMart ............................................................................................ 108

7.3.4.1 Installing Modules ............................................................................................. 109 7.4

Management ................................................................................................................. 109

7.4.1

User Management ................................................................................................. 109

7.4.1.1 User Groups....................................................................................................... 110 7.4.1.2 User Access Levels ........................................................................................... 110 7.4.2

VirtueMart Management ....................................................................................... 112

7.4.2.1 Setting up VirtueMart........................................................................................ 112 7.4.3

Front-End Management ........................................................................................ 113

7.4.3.1 Creating Pages ................................................................................................... 113 7.4.3.2 Templates .......................................................................................................... 115 7.4.4

Store Management ................................................................................................ 115

7.4.4.1 Vendor Information ........................................................................................... 115 7.4.4.2 Manufacturers.................................................................................................... 116 7.4.4.3 Categories .......................................................................................................... 117 7.4.4.4 Shopper Groups ................................................................................................. 117 10


7.4.4.5 Calculation Rules .............................................................................................. 118 7.4.4.6 Products ............................................................................................................. 119 7.4.5

Back-End Management ......................................................................................... 120

7.4.5.1 Permissions........................................................................................................ 120 7.4.5.2 Administrator Modules ..................................................................................... 122 7.4.5.3 Templates .......................................................................................................... 126 7.5

Publishing ..................................................................................................................... 126

7.6

Website's Pages ............................................................................................................ 129

7.7

Conclusion.................................................................................................................... 139

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Testing and Validation......................................................................................................... 140 8.1

Introduction .................................................................................................................. 140

8.2

Testing Scenarios ......................................................................................................... 140

8.2.1

Adding a customer: ............................................................................................... 140

8.2.2

Placing an order: ................................................................................................... 140

8.2.3

Checking inventory: .............................................................................................. 141

8.2.4

Confirming an order:............................................................................................. 141

8.2.5

A general case. ...................................................................................................... 141

8.3

Evaluation..................................................................................................................... 143

8.4

Conclusion.................................................................................................................... 144

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Conclusion ........................................................................................................................... 145 9.1

Conclusion:................................................................................................................... 145

9.2

Difficulty faced: ........................................................................................................... 145

9.3

Recommendations: ....................................................................................................... 146

10

Works Cited ..................................................................................................................... 148

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LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1 Five main stages in an SDLC......................................................................................... 20 Figure 2 Waterfall Method ........................................................................................................... 21 Figure 3 Iterative Method ............................................................................................................. 21 Figure 4 Supply chain management ............................................................................................. 31 Figure 5 UPS Supply Chain Solutions .......................................................................................... 40 Figure 6 SAP solutions ................................................................................................................. 42 Figure 7 WIPRO Solutions ........................................................................................................... 43 Figure 8 Photoshop Interface ....................................................................................................... 57 Figure 9 WebMatrix Interface ...................................................................................................... 58 Figure 10 MySQL Workbench ...................................................................................................... 59 Figure 11Turning on IIS Feature ................................................................................................. 60 Figure 12 HomePage of IIS Manager .......................................................................................... 62 Figure 13 PHP Manager HomePage for Joomla!'s Local Site .................................................... 62 Figure 14 cPanel Interface ........................................................................................................... 69 Figure 15 FileZilla's interface: Local host and Web Host ........................................................... 69 Figure 16 Usecase Diagram ......................................................................................................... 77 Figure 17 Work Flow Diagram .................................................................................................... 81 Figure 18 Data Flow Diagram ..................................................................................................... 82 Figure 19 Initially Proposed Site Map ......................................................................................... 85 Figure 20 Refined Sitemap............................................................................................................ 85 Figure 21 Homepage .................................................................................................................... 86 Figure 22 Login Page ................................................................................................................... 87 Figure 23 Confirmation Page ....................................................................................................... 87 Figure 24 Manager's Dashboard.................................................................................................. 88 Figure 25 Pending Order Page .................................................................................................... 89 Figure 26 All Orders Page ........................................................................................................... 89 Figure 27 Inventory Page ............................................................................................................. 90 Figure 28 Customers Page ........................................................................................................... 90 Figure 29 Employees Page ........................................................................................................... 91 Figure 30 Reports Page ................................................................................................................ 91 Figure 31 Organizations Page...................................................................................................... 92 Figure 32 Previous Orders Page .................................................................................................. 92 Figure 33 Customers List page ..................................................................................................... 95 Figure 34 Orders Page ................................................................................................................. 95 Figure 35 Entity Relationship Diagram ....................................................................................... 96 Figure 36 Website's 3-Tier Architecture....................................................................................... 99 Figure 37 Installing WebMatrix Step1 ....................................................................................... 100 12


Figure 38 Installing WebMatrix Step2 ....................................................................................... 101 Figure 39 Installing WebMatrix Part3 ....................................................................................... 101 Figure 40 Installing WebMatrix Part4 ....................................................................................... 102 Figure 41 Turning On IIS ........................................................................................................... 102 Figure 42 Browsing (C:)............................................................................................................. 103 Figure 43 Creating Site Partition ............................................................................................... 103 Figure 44 Joomla! Files.............................................................................................................. 104 Figure 45 Setting Up Joomla!..................................................................................................... 105 Figure 46 Joomla! Dashboard.................................................................................................... 105 Figure 47 Site Configuration ...................................................................................................... 106 Figure 48 System Configuration ................................................................................................. 107 Figure 49 Server Configuration.................................................................................................. 107 Figure 50 Extension Manager .................................................................................................... 108 Figure 51 Module Manager ........................................................................................................ 109 Figure 52 User Manager ............................................................................................................ 110 Figure 53 User Groups ............................................................................................................... 110 Figure 54 Edit Viewing Access Level ......................................................................................... 111 Figure 55 Viewing Access Level ................................................................................................. 111 Figure 56 Users .......................................................................................................................... 112 Figure 57 Store Settings.............................................................................................................. 112 Figure 58 New Menu Item .......................................................................................................... 113 Figure 59 Selecting Menu Type .................................................................................................. 113 Figure 61 Pages Created and their Access Levels ..................................................................... 114 Figure 60 New Menu Item .......................................................................................................... 114 Figure 62 Vendor Information .................................................................................................... 116 Figure 63 Additional Vendor Information .................................................................................. 116 Figure 64 Adding Manufacturers ............................................................................................... 117 Figure 65 Product Categories .................................................................................................... 117 Figure 66 Shopper Groups ......................................................................................................... 118 Figure 67 Calculation Rule ........................................................................................................ 118 Figure 68 Created Rules ............................................................................................................. 119 Figure 69 Product Information ................................................................................................... 119 Figure 70 Product Description ................................................................................................... 119 Figure 71 Product Status ............................................................................................................ 120 Figure 72 Product Images .......................................................................................................... 120 Figure 73 Permission Settings .................................................................................................... 121 Figure 74 Permissions given to Branch Managers .................................................................... 121 Figure 75 Permissions given to Sales Representatives. ............................................................ 121 Figure 76 Creating a dashboard admin module......................................................................... 122 Figure 77 Backend Login Page .................................................................................................. 123 13


Figure 78 Manager's Interface ................................................................................................... 123 Figure 79 Sales Representative's Interface................................................................................. 124 Figure 80 Warehouse Representative Interface ......................................................................... 125 Figure 81 Administrator Modules .............................................................................................. 125 Figure 82 Administrator's Template ........................................................................................... 126 Figure 83 cPanel's Dashboard ................................................................................................... 127 Figure 84 Conneting to host using FileZilla............................................................................... 127 Figure 85 Copying files from local to remote site ...................................................................... 128 Figure 86 phpMyAdmin .............................................................................................................. 129 Figure 87 Baterjee's Home Page ................................................................................................ 130 Figure 88 Login In Page ............................................................................................................. 131 Figure 89 Customers Homepage ................................................................................................ 133 Figure 90 Adding a product to cart ............................................................................................ 133 Figure 91 Checking Out.............................................................................................................. 135 Figure 92 Terms of Services ....................................................................................................... 135 Figure 93 Email Recieved by customer ...................................................................................... 136 Figure 94 Invoice ........................................................................................................................ 136 Figure 95 Previous Orders ......................................................................................................... 137 Figure 96 Order Information ...................................................................................................... 138

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3 INTRODUCTION

3.1

Introduction

Nowadays, companies aim to improve their organizational competitiveness in order to compete in today’s global market. This electronic and dynamic market makes it difficult for companies to improve their strategies and be flexible enough with their objectives to meet the ever changing market requirements. In order for companies to achieve this, they have headed towards the decentralization of their value-adding activities by outsourcing and developing virtual enterprise highlighting the importance of information technology (IT) in integrating suppliers/partnering firms in supply chains. Supply chain management (SCM) is an approach that has been developed out of the integration of these reflections. SCM is defined as “the integration of key business processes from end users through original suppliers that provide products, services, and information hence adds value for customers and other stakeholders.” (A. Gunasekaran, 2003) The purpose of the introductory chapter is to identify a clear problem statement, project scope along with the system objectives, illustrate the research methodology and the work progress required to develop the project, and present a list of required tools to be used in developing the project.

3.2

Background Information

3.2.1 Organization Overview Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. The company’s products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time Bayer creates value through innovation, growth and high earning power. (Bayer, 2009) 15


It is represented around the world by about 300 companies and its headquarters are in Leverkusen, Germany. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its role as a socially and ethically responsible corporate citizen. Economy, ecology and social responsibility are corporate policy objectives of equal rank. (Bayer, 2009)

3.2.2 Bayer in the Middle East The countries of the Middle East link the gap between Europe and the Far East. Bayer has been present with its products in this region since the late 1880s and markets its entire product portfolio there. Bayer Middle East (BME) is subdivided in five sub-regions and has established regional representative and scientific offices in Egypt, Jordan, Cyprus, and Saudi Arabia. (Bayer, 2009)

3.2.3 Batterjee Pharmaceutical Warehouse

In order for Bayer to operate in the Kingdom, Bayer had to find a Saudi Arabian distributor to work according to the business regulations set forth by the Saudi Arabia Government Batterjee is a pharmaceutical company that was first established in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), and under Batterjee comes the Saudi portfolio of Bayer. (Bayer, 2009) In order for Bayer to operate in the Kingdom, Bayer had to find a Saudi Arabian distributor to work according to the business regulations set forth by the Saudi Arabia Government

3.2.4 About Batterjee’s IT department

The IT department handles the technologies used by Batterjee to facilitate their processes in KSA. The project proposed by the team will be considered with this department in particular. The project team arranged a meeting with the IT department’s manager, Mr. Hesham Attallah; afterwards a general discussion about the department’s different activities was held. One of the 16


most important functions of Al-Batterjee Company is to supply pharmacies, companies, and hospitals with medical drugs and devices. This process involves inventory management and management of relationships with suppliers and customers. After the team’s first meeting with the IT Head Manager, certain problems were identified.

3.3

Problem statement

The expectation from students at the end of the bachelor degree is to demonstrate the integrative knowledge acquired throughout the 4 years of study. This is usually demonstrated through the graduation research project. Batterjee’s IT department’s main concern is managing, monitoring and controlling inventory; their current inventory management system was briefly studied. The system lacks the ability to control the online entry of goods as soon as they were delivered to their destinations (customers that range from pharmacies to hospitals). There are three different situations that could occur upon delivery and need to be recorded. They could either be fully shipped (order closed), or fully rejected (order cancelled) or they could be partially shipped (part of the order was returned). This was identified as Problem 1. As the discussion advanced, another problem arose. The company’s customers could be either of type governmental or private. Governmental clients are those that have a fixed monetary balance provided by the government to the company. They are entitled to purchase products from Batterjee up to this balance. Since they should not exceed it, the branch manager is required to check their balance every time they submit a purchase order. Private clients, on the other hand are treated like typical customers of any business. Thus they should not exceed their credit limits and pay their due amounts on time. The branch manager previews their balance before approving their order to ensure that the conditions are met.

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The lack of a portal that would help the company’s customers to place their orders online specifying the details of the shipment required in terms of quantity and delivery date was identified as Problem 2. The team proposed the introduction of a SCM/ Inventory control system to help in eliminating the aforementioned problems. This system will be implemented on a very small scale to fit as a solution for both problems. It will be a web-based portal that takes purchase orders and sends quotes to customers; the portal will also include proof of delivery, reporting, and order management modules. It should support an administrator interface.

3.4

Research Scope

The aim of the research is to develop a web portal that will be implemented within Batterjee to help the various departments in tracing order requests, controlling inventory, and tracking shipments. Various Systems were studied in depth and the knowledge gained was implemented in the project through introducing few of their modules into the portal. These include the delivering and reporting modules. The research covers the planning, analyzing, and designing phases of the portal. A prototype was created to demonstrate the solution of the problems identified in the problem statement.

3.5

Research Objective:

This section illustrates the general, the specific, and the learning objectives required to complete the project.

3.5.1

General Objectives:

The following points are considering the most general and essential objects of this research as a whole and as part of the team’s graduation requirement. 

First and most importantly, how to conduct and research a real life workflow and be able to identify the problems within the workflow. 18


To propose an optimized solution to the problems identified.

To analyze and design the solution.

3.5.2 Specific Objectives The research will then span to cover the following objectives: 

To be able to identify the type of system that acts as the solution.

To study and look at similar systems.

To thoroughly analyze the problem and the proposed system.

To specify the requirements of the system.

To specify the tools needed to build the system and how to use them.

To design an architecture and an interface for the system.

To implement and test the system.

3.5.3 Learning Objectives After conducting this research, the team members are expected to have learned and mastered the following points: 

Explain what systems implemented within the project are and their importance in today’s business world.

3.6

Identify the data, processes and knowledge involved in the problem.

Prepare a requirement analysis.

Design and implement a system into real-life workflow.

Research Methodology In general, research methodology is a set of structured activities required to develop

software. This section will illustrate the research methodology used in developing the senior project as two different divisions; a) The research procedure b) The research tools. 19


3.7

Research procedure

This section identifies the steps that were followed to reach the goal of this research. The system development life cycle (SDLC) categorizes the development of any system into the following: planning, analysis, design, implementation, and testing. This is the division that will be followed throughout this project as. Figure 1 shows the five main stages in an SDLC.

Planning

Analysis

Design

Implementation

Testing

Figure 1 Five main stages in an SDLC The system development team handles all the processes from concept to final completion of the project. Therefore the team is responsible for the whole development life cycle. Depending on the requirements different models of System development Life Cycle (SDLC) are followed, but the most common are waterfall method and the iterative method. In the waterfall method, the project is divided into different stages and the output of each stage becomes the input for another. The process is kept simple and the team remains focused on the goal. However in an iterative method, the project is completed during several iterations in which some planning, some analysis, and some design are made. This method allows the client to be involved in each phase many times. The team can move from one phase to the other without completely finishing it.

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Planning

Design

Analysis

Testing

Implementation

Figure 2 Waterfall Method

Planning

Analysis

Design

Implementation

Testing

Figure 3 Iterative Method The common stages: 

Project planning, feasibility study: In this phase the team establishes a high-level view of the project and determines its goals.

Requirement definition: Refines project goals into defined functions and operation of the intended application.

System analysis: Analyze end-user information needs.

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Systems design: The team describes desired features and operations in detail, including screen layouts, business rules, process diagrams, pseudo-code and other documentation.

Implementation: The real code is written here.

Integration and testing: The team brings all the pieces together into a special testing and maintenance environment then checks for errors, bugs and interoperability.

Acceptance, installation, deployment: This is the final stage of initial development. The team puts the system into production and runs actual business.

Maintenance: What happens through the system’s entire life, the changes, correction, additions, move to a different computing platform or say migration and porting and more. This, the least glamorous and perhaps most important stage of all.

3.7.1 Project Selection

This is the initial step taken by the team during this research. A lot of effort and time were put into it to help decided on what project to undertake. The first main issue faced was finding a client. It took the team a couple of weeks to find the first and last client as described earlier in this chapter. After finding a client, an initial research was made online by the team members to study and understand the nature of the business and what to expect in the first meeting. After that, a number of meetings were conducted with the client and the advisor of this project to help the team reach the final problem and solution mentioned in the problem statement above.

3.7.2 Reviewing the literature

In order to help the team understand and develop an optimized system, this phase was considered as an essential step to enrich the knowledge about what should be required, to study and look through similar systems and to analyze and criticize them. Thus, different available resources were searched, studied and analyzed to get the required information and to have a complete through idea about the project from many perspectives.

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3.7.3 Deadlines

To complete this project, a list of guidelines and deadlines were made available to the team by the departmental chair and advisor. This project is to be completed during the 4th year of the Information System student’s plan. It is divided into 2 semesters in which the following need to be completed: 

The first 3 chapters ( Introduction, Literature review, and Analysis): Done during Fall 2011

The last 4 chapters ( Design and Implementation): Done during Spring 2012

Weekly progress meetings are scheduled with the advisor while the team would meet twice per month with the client.

3.7.4 System Development

The following shows the activities performed to develop the system: 

System requirements and specifications

The system requirements and specifications were made available to the team by the client. That was done through meetings held with the client were the team discussed the project idea and were able to come up with the required system and business specifications. Questionnaires were handed to the client, and observation of the current work flow and certain documents were carried as well all in the process of gathering the requirements. As the team progressed with the analysis and design of the system, the requirements might have been adjusted. 

System analysis

During this phase of the project, the data to be collected, the processes needed, and the knowledge acquired were identified. Diagrams were created to demonstrate the solution/ system 23


proposed. These diagrams present the sequence of the commands in the system, the flow of data, the relationship between the entities, etc... 

System Design

In the design phase, the overall design of the application architecture including the interface of the system should be designed to meet the needed specifications and requirements. Then a prototype will be provided to receive feedback from all users (client) to allow implementation of a satisfactory design. 

System Implementation and Testing

This phase is interested about developing and building the actual portal, and when it is ready, it should be tested to detect any errors and bugs to ensure that the system functions successfully and fulfills the requirements of the client.

3.8

Required tools

This section provides a brief description of the major software tools to be used in developing the application. This includes: Microsoft SQL server, Microsoft visual studio, Microsoft Viso, Adobe Photoshop, Visual Paradigm, MySQL workbench and Pidoco.

3.8.1 Adobe Photoshop:

Adobe Photoshop is a computer application developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated. It is developed to be used for manipulating images and pictures. It’s considered the mostly known and used among graphical applications. Photoshop has various proprieties and features that facilitate the manipulation of images included in the application. (About Photoshop, 2012)

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3.8.2 Microsoft Visio:

Microsoft Visio is a commercial diagramming program for Microsoft Windows that uses vector graphics to create diagrams. It can be used to create all types of diagrams, from simple flowcharts to complex ERDs. (Microsoft Office Visio, 2012)

3.8.3 Pidoco Prototyping Software:

Pidoco is a prototyping software that quickly creates clickable wireframes and UI prototypes for web, mobile and enterprise applications. It’s easy to use with smart sharing and collaboration features, a convenient usability testing module. (About Pidoco, 2012)

3.8.4 Visual Paradigm :

Visual Paradigm is a UML design tool and UML CASE tool designed to aid software development. It supports key industry standards such as Unified Modeling Language (UML), SysML, BPMN, XMI, etc. It offers complete toolset software development need for requirements capturing, software planning, test planning, class modeling, and data modeling. (What is Visual Paradigm., 2012)

3.8.5 MySQL workbench:

MySQL Workbench is a unified visual tool for database architects, developers, and DBAs. It provides data modeling, SQL development, and comprehensive administration tools for server configuration, user administration, and more. MySQL Workbench is available on Windows, Linux and Mac OS. (MySQL Workbench, 2012)

3.8.6 Microsoft WebMatrix

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A free web development tool that permits programmers to build websites with the ability of running on Windows or Linux platforms. Also, programmers are allowed to use free open source web applications coded in PHP or ASP.NET. (Microsoft ASP.NET WebMatrix Project, 2007) 3.8.6.1 Internet Information Service IIS7 Express

IIS 7.5 Express is a lightweight version of IIS that available as a standalone freeware server and may be installed on later versions of Microsoft Windows. IIS 7.5 Express supports only the HTTP and HTTPS protocols. IIS Express can be downloaded separately or as a part of Microsoft WebMatrix. (Fuerst, 2009)

3.8.6.2 PHP Manager for IIS

PHP manager is a tool for managing one or many PHP installations on IIS 7 and IIS 7.5 servers. It is used to:

3.8.7 OpenCart

An open source PHP based online shopping cart system is OpenCart. It is a forceful resolution for internet sellers. It gives them the ability to generate their own online business and have a part in ecommerce at a very low cost. It is designed easy to use, feature rich, search engine friendly and with an appealing interface at sight. (OpenCart, 2010)

3.8.8 Joomla!

Joomla! is an award-winning content management system (CMS), provides the ability of building websites and significant online applications. Various features, from its extensibility to its ease of use, were of great help to making Joomla! the most popular Website software existing.

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The beast thing about Joomla! is than it’s an open source solution that is free to all people. (Joomla! Documentation, 2011)

3.8.9 VirtueMart

VirtueMart is an Open Source E-Commerce solution that has to be used together with a Content Management System (CMS) called Joomla!. They are both written in PHP and can be used in typical PHP/MySQL environments. Various features are offered by VirtueMart. The functionalities of both Joomla! And VirtueMart can be extended using plug-ins, components, templates, and modules to customize the functions needed. Some of the standard features are listed below. (VirtueMart Shopping Cart Software, 2012)

3.8.10 cPanel and WHM The cPanel software package facilitates the usage of web hosts and website owners. It offers easy-to-use, powerful tools that perform essential tasks quickly, easily, and reliably. cPanel provides an intuitive interface to help website owners manage their sites, while WebHost Manager (WHM) automates server management tasks for server administrators. Together, they reduce overhead by simplifying complex tasks and allowing customers to manage their own accounts.

3.8.11 FileZilla A prompt, secure and reliable FTP/SFTP client is FileZilla. It gives the ability of transferring files between websites and computers running windows. It is helpful because the open architecture of the internet facilitates rapidly exchanging information. It is also designed to accumulate many system users simultaneously while still being very stable. (What is FileZilla)

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Programming languages used: ASP.Net, PHP, and Javascripts

3.9

Research Outline

This report consists of seven chapters. 

Chapter one includes introductory information about the research such as the problem statement and research methodology.

Chapter two presents the literature review which includes general information about the supply chain management and the systems used. In addition, a review of the software required to develop the application are introduced.

Chapter three contains a detailed description of the work progress of the research; it also provides a concise idea of the system being developed.

Chapter 4 provides the architectural design of the system to be developed.

Chapter five gives a description of the implementation phase of the system including the application development and the interface.

Chapter six provides the verification and validation details of the software as well as the feedback.

Chapter seven provides a summary and conclusion along with recommendations of the research and future works.

3.10 Conclusion

This chapter clarified an identification of the problem statement charted by the research scope and objectives. In addition, an exemplification of the research methodology and the software tools that will be used to develop the required software is included. It offers a clear understanding of the current problem and the possible solutions of this problem.

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4 LITERATURE REVIEW

4.1

Introduction

As previously discussed this project is to be implemented as a part of a supply chain management system in Batterjee, a distributor for pharmaceutical company. This chapter provides an introduction to Supply Chain Management and states its definition, importance, as well as discussing the existing technologies and systems used to enhance it. It will also include a review of the tools used. The chapter will start of by explaining distributors like Battergee.

4.2

Channels of distribution: Intermediaries

Channels of distribution move products or services from businesses to consumers or even to other businesses. Selling from the manufacturer to the consumer is not always the most efficient way and thus there is a vast need for channels of distribution. Intermediaries are companies that act as distributors between manufacturing companies and customers. They offer a number of benefits to both and they include: 

Improved efficiency: The number of contact lines between manufactures and retailers drop drastically and thus its efficiency increase. (Bianco, 1989)

Better assortment of products: They bridge the gap between the grouping of goods and services produced by producers and those in call from consumers. Intermediaries perform such functions as sorting, accumulation, allocation, and creating assortments. (Bianco, 1989)

Routinization of transactions: They help reduce the cost of distribution by making transactions monotonous. Interchange relationships can be consistent in terms of size, frequency of delivery and payment, and communications. (Bianco, 1989)

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Easier searching for goods: Manufacturers are searching to determine their customers' needs, while customers are searching for certain products and services and usually distributors make that easier. (Bianco, 1989)

4.3

About Supply Chain Management

A Supply Chain involves all activities involved in fulfilling the demands of the customer. Supply Chain Management is a set of coordinated verdicts and actions developed to proficiently integrate suppliers, manufacturers, warehouses, transporters, retailers, and customers so that the right product or service is distributed at the right quantities, to the right locations, and at the right time, in order to minimize system-wide costs while satisfying customer service level requirements. The objective of Supply Chain Management (SCM) is to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. (Li, Enhancing Value Through Collaboration, 2001) A supply chain can be looked at from three perspectives the manufacturing company, the supplier network usually known as the upstream and the distribution network known as the downstream. (Li, Supply Chain Management, 2001) The focal manufacturing company’s internal supply chain includes sourcing, production, and distribution. 

Sourcing or purchasing of the company is responsible for choosing suppliers, negotiating contracts, formulating purchasing process, and processing order.

Production is responsible for transforming raw materials, parts or components to a product.

Distribution is responsible for organizing the flow of material and finished goods inventory from the manufacturer to customer.

Organizations that provide goods or services, either directly or indirectly make up the supplier network. 30


The actual movement of materials from one location to another is controlled by the distribution network. The management of packaging, storing, and handling of materials at receiving port, warehouses, and retail outlets are all duties of the distribution network. Distribution management is highly concerned with transportation management, i.e. the selection, and management of external or internal carriers.

Figure 4 Supply chain management In other words, supply chain management is concerned with managing the flow of physical goods and related information from early sourcing to consumption. A study showed that bestpractice supply chain management companies enjoyed a 45 percent total supply chain cost advantage over their median competitors. Bottom-line benefits included: 1.

Reduced costs involving inventory management, transportation, and warehousing.

2.

Improved services using techniques such as time-based delivery

3.

Enhanced revenues through greater product availability and more customized products.

Some companies contract out the task of supply chain management to a specialized service firm. The supply chain management firm normally offers vertical market proficiency, transaction 31


processing competences, and business consulting services, allowing the company to focus on its core competencies. Or companies choose to tackle their own SCMs. (Bianco, 1989) In addition to reducing costs, effective supply chain management can result in enhanced supplier relations and greater customer satisfaction through timely deliveries and precise responses to customer inquiries.

4.4

Supply Chain Components

A basic supply chain management system has five main components:

1) Strategy (Plan): This is a very important aspect of any SCM. It refers to the over-all strategy of the SCM including the development of the chain itself. 2) Suppliers (Source): The source which will provide the company with goods and services necessary for it to do its operations. 3) Manufacturing (Make): The part that includes the series of processes needed to produce and package a product or service. 4) Delivery (Deliver): The system for receiving orders from customers, developing a network of warehouses; getting the products to the customers; invoicing customers and receiving payment from them is all included in this component. 5) Returns (Return): The system for processing customer returns and/or supporting customers with problems with the products they received. (Wailgum, 2008)

4.5

Benefits of a Supply Chain Management:

As mentioned above, the main focus of a supply chain management is to control the planning, execution, design, monitoring and control of the business activities to create value and improve the overall performance of the company. There are multiple benefits of adding a SCM to a

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business, though, like any system, supply chain management takes time and money to implement.

4.5.1 Lower Costs

The added efficiency that a SCM provides leads to lower costs of raw materials. SCM includes efficient plans for materials to be brought by a company from the lowest cost provider possible and at just the right time to ensure there is no excess or deficiency in the material. An SCM system can also improve a company's relationship with vendors so that there are opportunities to cut costs like through a bulk buying.

4.5.2 Improved Collaboration

If a SCM system is installed in parallel to the latest software, it allows tracking the products progress from and between a company and both its suppliers and distributors. This knowledge can keep relationships between businesses strong. SCM often includes the development of reports on how the chain of goods advances from supplier through distributor. These reports help businesses determine potential areas of improvement.

4.5.3 Cycle Times

Cycle time is defined as the time it takes a business to turn over a product from raw materials, give it to a distributor to sell and then make enough money to buy new raw products to start the cycle over. If at any point it takes too long to obtain these raw materials, production may have to stop which will slow down the organization. A SCM system improves cycle times and guarantees that raw materials are delivered when business needs them so that they never have to halt production.

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4.5.4 Response to Conflict

Businesses rarely run smoothly and there are a number of factors that can lead to problems in the production of a product. If an issue occurs with the suppliers of your company, you may have to change how you produce your product. If the distributor goes out of business, you will have to find another way to sell the product. An SCM system lets the company cope better with problems at either side of the production spectrum. They can quickly and easily figure out a response to the problem instead of being surprised by it at a later time

4.6

Supply Chain Management Systems

Supply chain management systems are is perhaps the most split group of software applications. Each of the five major components previously outlined is encompassed of dozens of specific tasks, many of which have their own specific software sometimes. Some retailers have collected many of these different softwares together but still there is no complete full package that is factual for all business. (Wailgum, 2008) Most businesses wish to track demand, supply, manufacturing status, logistics and distribution. They also need to share data with supply chain partners at an ever increasing rate. While products from large ERP vendors like SAP's Advanced Planner and Optimizer (APO) can perform many or all of these tasks, because each industry's supply chain has a unique set of challenges, many companies decide to go with separate targeted softwares instead, even if some integration is an unavoidable consequence. (Wailgum, 2008) Prior to the internet, the objectives of supply chain systems were limited to improving the ability to predict demand from customers and make their own supply chains run more smoothly. Now and because of the advances in networking, business can associate their supply chain with the supply chains of their suppliers and customers in a broad network that optimizes costs and opportunities for everyone involved. (Wailgum, 2008)

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However not all business agree to share information freely and easily with others because they don't trust anyone else with the information. If they did so, they will all benefit drastically. Suppliers wouldn't have to predict how many raw materials to order, and manufacturers wouldn't have to order more than they need from suppliers to make sure they have enough on hand if demand for their products suddenly increases. And retailers would have fewer empty shelves if they shared the information they had about sales of a manufacturer's product in all their stores with the manufacturer. (Wailgum, 2008) Supply chain automation is exceptionally difficult because its complication extends beyond the business. Employees within the business will need to change the way they work and so will the people from each supplier that the business adds to its network. Only the largest and most powerful manufacturers or retailers can force such fundamental on its suppliers and partners. Various SCM applications are based on open data models that support the sharing of data both inside and outside the enterprise that is known as the extended enterprise which includes key suppliers, manufacturers, and end customers of a specific company. This shared data may be located in in different database systems, or data warehouses, at several different sites and companies. An SCM software system should be able to transfer data upstream (to suppliers) and downstream (to customers or clients) to allow management of the full supply chain under a single system. Large businesses usually go with SCM software systems that are based on open models. Those systems support sharing of data internally and externally across different database systems or data warehouses at various sites. Web-based SCM software systems are becoming more and more popular for this purpose. (Supply Chain Systems, 2005) Most of the SCM-related software systems in the market are actually individual applications that provide the various components of SCM. A complete SCM software package that joins all the essential SCM components together has yet to be seen.

4.6.1 Types of Supply Chain Management Software Systems

There are two main types of supply chain management software: 35


1. Planning applications use advanced algorithms to settle on the best way to fill an order. 2. Execution applications track the physical status of goods, the management of materials, and financial information involving all members.

4.6.2 Benefits of Supply Chain Management Software Systems

Remarkable financial benefits for companies are offered by SCM software. Millions have been saved by businesses only by automating their supply chains although these savings do not often come easily. SCM software in terms of implementation is one of the most difficult systems to put in place effectively. On the other hand, there are ways to prevent those implementation problems. (Supply Chain Software)

4.6.3 Difficulties in Implementation of Supply Chain Management Software Systems

When implementing a supply chain management system, one of the biggest problems that face companies is the resistance from employees and internal stakeholders. They typically do what makes them feel comfortable and resist new technology, particularly when it causes changes to their jobs drastically. In several places where SCM has been used, employees tried hardly to avoid the system and instead continue using their traditional ways to get the job done. Moreover, employees who gave in to using the system are ready to dump it after the first fault or problem they face. (Supply Chain Software) To avoid both of these problems employees have to be fully prepared for the SCM implementation. They will need training on both how to use the software and how it will make their jobs easier and more efficient. (Supply Chain Software) Companies are also faced with the problem that the software is hardly ever 100% compatible with their ERP systems. Mostly, the ERP will have to be modified or at minimum tweaked in order to accommodate the new supply chain management system. Additionally, companies that intend to use supply chain management may find it hard to bring their suppliers involved. Normally, part of the SCM process could entail giving the ownership of 36


a company's inventory over to its suppliers. On the other hand, a lot of suppliers are not ready or keen to make such a change and that leaves the companies with a complex decision: switch vendors or work with them outside the SCM structure. Certainly, businesses can avoid making those decisions simply by being more effectual at persuading suppliers to join their SCM strategy. This may require both communication and salesmanship. (Supply Chain Systems, 2005) Finally, SCM cannot be adopted lightly. It needs careful planning and preparation. Companies must make sure that their employees, their suppliers, and their existing technology is ready if they want a successful implementation.

4.7

Supply chain management modules

All the way through the entire production process, manufacturers use SCM systems. SCM software is at work in planning and execution, forecasting, inventory and asset management, logistics and delivery, reporting, and every stage in between. 1. Planning software: Helps build a demand management strategy and plan the production process. Supply chain planning software can keep up with changes in manufacturing and adjust daily or weekly schedules accordingly. (SCM Modules Guide, 2012) 2. Execution software: Helps run day-to-day business operations. When combined with the planning software, it can manage the entire supply chain, from production to shipping. (SCM Modules Guide, 2012) 3. Visibility software: Businesses rely on supply chain visibility software to stay in advance of modifications and problems in the supply chain. Visibility reduces supply chain risk by helping in meet critical objectives such as on-time delivery and quarterly revenue and production goals. It can also help manufacturers meet global compliance regulations. (SCM Modules Guide, 2012)

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4. Inventory management software: Inventory management software goes beyond tracking of orders, finished goods and materials. It can also optimize inventory levels and locations and tap into demand data to improve forecasts. (SCM Modules Guide, 2012) 5. Planning software: Manufacturers use SCM demand planning software to create accurate demand forecasts. Real-time sales data and secure collaboration ensure timeliness and adaptability. Demand planning software includes demand forecasting and forecast management software, and collaboration software. (SCM Modules Guide, 2012) 6. Value chain software: Value chain is everything that needs to happen to a product within a company that adds value to it. That might include design, procurement, manufacturing and any services on or related to the product. Supply value chain software brings together the supply and demand sides of supply chain planning. Manufacturers can use this software to ensure that products acquire value at each stage of the supply chain. (SCM Modules Guide, 2012) 7. Management transportation and logistics management software: Logistics and transport management systems help users discover duplicate invoices and unnecessary charges with a freight payment check. Vendors are adding Software as a Service (SaaS) options to make these modules simpler and more affordable. (SCM Modules Guide, 2012) 8. Network design software: Companies can locate and analyze their suppliers, customers and transportation options using supply chain network design software. Its primary use is to create a business map of a company's global supply chain network. Network design functionality can also help with supply chain optimization by pinpointing where suppliers and customers are located, where major transportation lanes are and how products will get to market. (SCM Modules Guide, 2012) 9. Event management software: With supply chain event management software, manufacturers are able to identify and react quickly to changes in the supply chain.

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Adapting to unexpected supply chain events is critical to survival in global markets. (SCM Modules Guide, 2012) 10. Proof of delivery software: Guaranteeing that products reach the right customers is a critical need for all manufacturers. SCM proof of delivery software helps manufacturers meet this need from the delivery of final products through customer payment collection. Shipping confirmations, automated customer payments and optimized shipping routes are just a few of the benefits of proof of delivery modules. (SCM Modules Guide, 2012) 11. Forecasting software Businesses can use algorithms to create a forward demand plan. SCM forecasting software also gives a company a view of possible scenarios and provides options for handling specific situations and resulting outcomes. Forecast planning is typically bundled in with other capabilities, often in a demand planning system. (SCM Modules Guide, 2012) 12. Asset management software: Helps manufacturers keep track of physical pieces of equipment inside manufacturing facilities. It is even more powerful when combined with other types of asset management software, such as mobile asset management, used for tracking shipping containers and boxes, and enterprise asset management, used for tracking capital assets. (SCM Modules Guide, 2012) 13. Reporting software Manufacturers can use supply chain reporting software to create an in-depth analysis of their companies. This module looks at a manufacturer's supply chain history and estimates future production needs. A manufacturer might look at cutting back production, or eliminating a particular supplier, and use the software to measure impact. Integration with business intelligence data creates an even more comprehensive picture. (SCM Modules Guide, 2012)

4.8

Supply Chain Management Solutions for Pharmaceutical Companies

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This section will discuss and review the most common solutions available in the market for SCM optimization for pharmaceutical companies.

4.8.1 UPS

Figure 5 UPS Supply Chain Solutions UPS is considered the world's largest package delivery company and a leading global provider of specialized transportation and logistics services. It remains to develop the borderlines of logistics, supply chain management, and e-Commerce while combining the flows of goods, information, and money. (UPS, 2012) They provide different solutions to all types of business. They can help a business startup, or provide solutions to different industries. One of these industries is Healthcare. They partner up with healthcare companies to plan logistics of all types. And pharmaceuticals fall under health care. They’ve built a system that gets medicine where it needs to be, when it needs to be there, while protecting integrity and ensuring compliance from end-to-end. (Pharmaceuticals and Biotech, 2012) .

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At UPS, they understand the critical and complex supply chain needs of the pharmaceutical industry and have designed solutions to meet those needs. With widespread warehousing, they provide distribution capabilities to help pharmaceutical companies meet customer demands for time- and temperature-sensitive product deliveries. UPS have the proficiency, industry knowledge and solutions to help pharmaceutical manufacturers get products to customers when they need to be there. (Healthcare Logistics – Pharmaceuticals, 2012) UPS Services: 

Warehousing: Pharmaceutical products have specific storage and handling needs which UPS Supply Chain Solutions warehouses are specially designed for.

Distribution: UPS can meet temperature-sensitive distribution needs. They have dedicated healthcare distribution space. And for products that must be kept at cold temperatures during distribution, they offer cold chain services including -70 degree Centigrade storage at selected facilities.

Transportation: They created an integrated global small package network and devoted aircraft lift for maximum suppleness and effectiveness in transporting products.

Tracking/Visibility: Visibility is vital in the pharmaceutical industry. UPS has advanced tracking technologies, such as UPS Quantum to ensure that frequent updates regarding the location of products are received.

UPS Order To CashSM: This service manages the entire customer supply chain from point of order entry to cash receipt. With UPS order-to-cash, pharmaceutical manufacturers can focus on their business while UPS handles all supply chain functions, from customer service to warehousing and distribution to accounts receivable.

SampleSure: UPS SampleSure integrates prescription drug sample ordering information with comprehensive activity reporting. With SampleSure, pharmaceutical companies can electronically capture order data, gain on-demand access to order and delivery data.

Trackpad: UPS Trackpad parcel tracking and management system allows businesses process inbound shipments. The system integrates with a company’s internal computer system and ensures proof of delivery of critical products. (Healthcare Logistics – Pharmaceuticals, 2012)

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4.8.2 SAP

Figure 6 SAP solutions The need to deliver a larger portfolio of medicines and products to smaller segments of customers and assure outcomes demands transformation that will change the way healthcare is distributed. To enable this transformation, SAP suggests that there are three strategic essentials: 

institutionalizing compliance across core processes



embracing operational excellence from the supplier to the customer



innovating with partners worldwide to accelerate new product and process development

With the SAP for Life Sciences solution portfolio, pharmaceutical companies can:

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

Institutionalize compliance across financial, operational, environmental, and global trade processes throughout an enterprise, while lowering costs of compliance.



SAP solutions for e-sourcing and procurement, supply chain management (SCM), and compliant manufacturing operations enables companies to embrace operational excellence, improve efficiencies, assure better quality, and drive superior performance across an enterprise from the supplier to the customer.



Improve R&D productivity and scale innovation with business partners worldwide through better collaboration and improved business processes from drug development to commercial operations, product and portfolio management, clinical trial supply management, regulatory submissions and pharmacovigilance, product safety, and complaint management. (SAP FOR LIFE SCIENCES, 2012)

4.8.3 WIPRO

Figure 7 WIPRO Solutions

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The Wipro healthcare drug distribution practice includes well-trained and highly experienced consultants. Wipro applies Lean and Six Sigma productivity enhancing methodologies to offer customized SCM and integration capabilities to address specific enterprise problems. Their wide range of innovative technology and business solutions include: 

e-Pedigree framework

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

Regulatory compliance

SCM consulting

Business Intelligence

The Wipro E-Pedigree framework offers a unique "pedigree fragment on demand" model to deliver reliable market-tested platforms. The solution ensures a reliable and accurate supply chain tracking process, and enhances efficiency and transparency. The Wipro E-Pedigree capabilities offers: (Pharmaceutical Solutions, 2012) 

Authenticity of origin

Clear trail of ownership across the supply chain

Reverse supply chain drug tracking

Linking of physical inventory movements with B2B transactions

Improved returns processing and recall precision

4.9

Inventory Control

Inventory control or inventory management consist of the systems and strategies used by organizations to make sure that they have sufficient provisions of raw materials for production and completed goods for shipment to customers and at the same time, minimizing their inventory carrying costs.

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It is costly to have excess storage in the inventory because the space it consumes and the money that is spent on the goods can be used somewhere else more efficiently. On the other hand, insufficient stores in inventory lead to costly production closure or not being able to fulfill customer orders. Such a system helps in finding equilibrium between minimal and excessive inventory. Ronald Pachura wrote in an article for IIE Solutions "It is nearly impossible to overemphasize the importance of keeping inventory levels under control, whether the problems incurred are caused by carrying too little or too much inventory, manufacturers need to become aware that inventory control is not just a materials management or warehouse department issue. The purchasing, receiving, engineering, manufacturing, and accounting departments all contribute to the accuracy of the inventory methods and records." A checklist was produced by Pachura to help organizations evaluate their inventory controls. He suggested that business managers scrutinize the meticulousness and effectiveness of their: 

Bills of materials (BOM)

Receiving policies

Engineering changes

Scrap reporting

Vendor lead times

Reorder triggers

Warehouse locator systems

A tool that aids organizations to find out whether they are producing and carrying excessive inventory is called Inventory Turnover Ratio. The fundamental measure of inventory turnover is characterized by costs of goods sold divided by average inventory on hand. However, Pachura stated that managers are able to get more information by parting average inventory into: 

Raw materials

Work in process inventory 45




Finished goods

Then uses these subdivisions in working out an individual turn over figure for each. Comparing these figures often disclose opportunities for improving inventory controls. (Inventory Control Systems, 2007-2012)

4.9.1 Computers and Inventory Nowadays, small businesses are also relying on computerized inventory management systems. Of course, many small manufacturers, retail outlets and other businesses still depend on manual ways of inventory tracking. Also, for several businesses like nurseries or convenience stores implementing an electronic inventory tracking system could comprise a lavish use of financial resources. On the other hand, businesses working in industries that mark high volume turnover of raw materials and completed products find that computerized tracking systems an essential component of business plans intending to increasing productivity and sustaining competitiveness. Furthermore, the new development of influential computer programs having the ability to address a vast variety of record keeping needs, together with inventory management, in one integrated system also resulted to the rising popularity of electronic inventory control alternatives. With these developments, it is common that experts in business would mention inventory management as an essential element that can differentiate between success and failure in today’s competitive business world. Writing in Production and Inventory Management Journal, Godwin Udo described telecommunications technology as a serious organizational asset that helps a company recognize important competitive gains in the area of inventory management. As stated by Udo, companies that make good use of this technology are way more likely equipped to succeed than those who rely on old-fashioned or unwieldy methods of inventory control.

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All phases of inventory management are drastically affected by automation, including recording and retrieval of item storage locations, counting and monitoring of inventory items, anticipating inventory needs, including inventory handling requirements, and recording changes to inventory. This is also applicable to stand-alone systems that are not integrated with other business areas. Many analysts however, specify that productivity and therefore profitability gains that are acquired through the employment of automated systems could be improved if a business integrates its inventory control system with other systems. As stated by Dennis Eskow in PC Week, business executives are "increasingly integrating financial data, such as accounts receivable, with sales information that includes customer histories. The goal: to control inventory quarter to quarter, so it doesn't come back to bite the bottom line. Key components of an integrated system ‌ are general ledger, electronic data interchange, database connectivity, and connections to a range of vertical business applications." David Cahn, a director of product strategy for business applications at a firm in New York, approved this standpoint in an interview with Eskow: "What drives business is optimization of working capital. The amount of control you have on inventory equals the optimization of the capital. That's why it's so important to integrate the inventory data with everything else." (Inventory Control Systems, 2007-2012)

4.9.2 The Future of Inventory Control Systems In order to maintain inventories at a least amount and refill stock quickly many businesses were spending a lot in integrated order and inventory systems. This was during the late 1990s. However as Eskow stated, business owners have a selection of system integration options from which to choose based on their needs and financial liquidity. Moreover he proposed "Integrated inventory systems may range in platform and complexity". While these integrated systems were increasing in popularity, business observers have recommended that "stand-alone" systems are falling into being not favored. Tom Andel and Daniel A. Kind, for example, refered to a study by the International Mass Retail Association in Transportation and Distribution: "The study concludes that stand alone Warehouse Management System (WMS) packages acquired today to perform individual functions will 47


probably be abandoned in just a few years because they do not integrate well with other systems. Systems investments must be considered in context of future systems objectives." A further development that business vendors should be attentive to is a new tendency in which influential retailers request their suppliers to implement inventory systems managed by vendors. These measures put the accountability for inventory management directly on the vendors. This way the vendors gain warehouse or point-of-sale information from the retailer and make use of that information to make inventory restocking choices. (Inventory Control Systems, 2007-2012)

4.9.3 Warehouse Operation and Layout The automation in inventory management has also moved into warehousing. Referring to a variety of warehousing experts, Sarah Bergin argued in Transportation and Distribution magazine that "the key to getting productivity gains from inventory management ‌ is placing real-time intelligent information processing in the warehouse. This empowers employees to take actions that achieve immediate results. Real-time processing in the warehouse uses combinations of hardware, including material handling and data collection technologies. But according to these executives, the intelligent part of the system is sophisticated software which automates and controls all aspects of warehouse operations." Creation and maintenance of a rational and effective warehousing design is another important factor of fine inventory management. If business owners are involved in processing large quantities of materials and goods, a well organized and user friendly warehouse layout can be of gigantic benefit. On the contrary, massive costs in terms of efficiency, customer service and hence profitability can result in case of an inefficient warehouse system. Transportation and Distribution magazine quoted a number of steps that businesses using warehouse storage systems can take to ensure that they get the most out of their facilities. It recommended that companies make use of the following tools: 

Stock locator database: "The stock locator database required for proactive decision making will be an adjunct of the inventory file in a state-of-the-art space management system. A running record will be maintained of the stock number, lot number, and 48


number of pallet loads in each storage location. Grid coordinates of the reserve area, including individual rack tier positions, must therefore be established, and the pallet load capacity of all storage locations must be incorporated into the database." 

Grid coordinate numbering system: The warehouse numbering system should be developed in combination with the storage layout, it should also be user-friendly so that workers can promptly locate currently stocked items and open storage spaces alike.

Communication systems: once more, this can be a helpful investment if the business's warehouse requirements are significant. Such facilities often exploit forklift machinery that is more effectively used if their operators are not asked to periodically return to a central assignment area. Present technology, on the other hand, makes it possible for the warehouse computer system to work together with terminal displays on the forklifts themselves. "Task assignment can then be made by visual display or printout, and task completion can be confirmed by scanning, keyboard entry, or voice recognition," observed Transportation and Distribution.

Maximization of storage capacity: Warehouses that hold on to firm "storage by incoming lot size" storage arrangements do not make the best use of their space all the time. Instead, a strategy should be settled on by the businesses that facilitates traffic jamming and lessens problems related to constant turnover in inventory. (Inventory Control Systems, 2007-2012)

4.10 What is an Inventory Control System According to Webster’s Dictionary (1993), the term “inventory” actually means a directory of objects with descriptions and quantities of each. In terms of manufacturing, in addition to manufacturing tools, equipment, raw materials, hardware and measurement instruments inventories as well comprise component parts, work-in-process and finished product or goods (Rehg, 1994).

An inventory control system is a combination of hardware and software based tools that automate the process of tracking inventory. Almost any kind of quantifiable good can track their inventory with an inventory control system. 49


Contemporary inventory control systems are almost solely based on barcode technology. Although barcodes were originally developed to automate the process of grocery store checkout, their capability to encode a large variety of alphabetic and numeric symbols makes them perfect for encoding goods for inventory applications. Inventory control systems work in real-time using wireless technology to send out information to a central computer system while transactions occur. (Inventory Control Systems, 2007-2012)

4.11 Usage of Inventory Control Systems in Industries

Various applications employ inventory control systems but all rotate around tracking delivery of goods to consumers. This system is essential in retail stores, particularly who have large numbers of goods for sale. Also, warehouses use it to track shipments, orders, and for automated order processing. Manufacturing, shipping and receiving are further important applications that implement inventory control systems. (Inventory Control Systems, 2007-2012)

4.12 Importance of Inventory Control

To guarantee quality control in businesses that handle transactions circulating around consumer goods inventory control is important. A large retail store may run out of stock on a vital item if an appropriate inventory control wasn’t implemented. When it is time to reorder, a good inventory control system will alert the retailer. To automatically track large shipments inventory control is an important tool. An automated inventory control system helps to minimize the risk of error. In retail stores, an inventory control system also helps track theft of retail merchandise, providing precious information about store profits and the need for theft-prevention systems. (Inventory Control Systems, 2007-2012)

4.13 How does an Inventory Control System Work

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By scanning a barcode on an item an automated inventory control system works. The barcode is read using a barcode scanner and the encoded information is interpreted by the machine. A central computer system then tracks this information. A variety of functions can be served using inventory control system. It aids workers locate items on the order list in a warehouse, it can encode shipping information like tracking numbers and delivery addresses, and it can remove these purchased items from the inventory count to keep an accurate reckon of in-stock items. This data all together offer businesses with real-time inventory tracking information. Inventory control systems make it effortless to locate and analyze inventory information in real-time with a simple database search. (Inventory Control Systems, 2007-2012)

4.14 Implementing Inventory Control System

To reduce carrying costs, organizations usually utilize inventory management software. This software tracks products and parts during their transportation process from vendor to a warehouse, between warehouses and at last to a retail location or a customer directly. Inventory management software is used for a variety of purposes which include: 

Maintaining a balance between too much and too little inventory.

Tracking inventory as it is transported between locations.

Receiving items into a warehouse or other location.

Picking, packing and shipping items from a warehouse.

Keeping track of product sales and inventory levels.

Cutting down on product obsolescence and spoilage. (Piasecki)

4.14.1 Advantages There are multiple advantages for using inventory control systems in an organization. 

Cost savings

Warehouse organization

Updated data 51


Time savings (J. Tol Brooame, 1999)

4.14.2 Disadvantages The two major disadvantages of employing an inventory control system are: 

Expenses

Complexity (J. Tol Brooame, 1999)

4.15 Components of Inventory Control Systems

Multiple components make up an inventory management system. They all work together in order to generate unified stock and inventory for numerous organization control systems.

4.15.1 Asset tracking A product in a store or warehouse can be tracked using its barcode, serial number, lot number, and/or revision number.

4.15.2 Bar-coding Using barcodes, data on products and orders are inserted into inventory management software. To read barcodes and search information on the products they correspond to, a barcode reader is essential.

4.15.3 Order management An inventory control system can be programmed to alert managers to reorder a product if it reaches a certain low level. This helps organizations regulate their stock level so that they don’t run out of a product or have too much capital in their inventory.

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4.15.4 Service management Primarily service oriented companies may use inventory management software to define the cost of the materials used in providing services, for instance cleaning supplies. Hence prices are attached to their services which resemble the total cost of performing them. (Moskowitz, 2004)

4.16 Order Management Systems Order Management Systems are computer software systems used in a various industries for order processing and management. These systems entail multiple steps in a sequential process: 1. Capture 2. Validation 3. Payment Fraud Check 4. Payment Authorization 5. Sourcing 6. Back Order Management 7. Pick, Pack & Ship 8. Customer Communications The term “Integrated Order Management Systems” results in confusion about what an order management system is. This integrated order management system integrates with other technology modules to make the core of an existing order management platform more efficient, these include: 

Product Information (descriptions, attributes, locations, quantities)

Inventory Availability (ATP) and Sourcing

Vendors, Purchasing, and Receiving

Marketing (Catalogs, promotions, pricing)

Customers and Prospects 53


Order Entry and Customer Service (including Returns and Refunds)

Financial Processing (credit cards, billing, payment on account)

Order Processing (selection, printing, picking, packing, shipping)

Data Analysis and Reporting

Financials (Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, General Ledger)

The diversity of brands of integrated order management systems are differentiated with the addition of some or all of these modules. (Schloth, 2011)

4.17 What does an Order Management System Do

Supports web based order placement or integrated order feeds from a customer's ERP system

Auto-allocates transport carriers to match service requirements

Authenticates inventory/stock levels, product codes, origin and destination details and routing information

Delivers fundamental process information and feeds transaction information to other systems such as stock planning, suppliers and carriers

Produces order documentation including packing list and transport labels

Sends real time information to supply chain organization for improved management of order-to-delivery processes

4.18 Advantages of Order Management Systems

Significant cost reduction through process automation, including billing and document creation

Total track and trace using your own reference identifiers

Implementation of independent partners' business rules

Maximized asset utilization through real time reporting and deviation notification 54


Rapid implementation for faster ROI

Streamlined business intelligence reporting

Tailored support 24x7

Robust order management system functionality (Cloud Processes)

4.19 Literature Review of Language

This section provides review of the language that will be used in developing the system. These are: ASP.NET, PHP and JavaScript.

4.19.1 ASP.NET

Microsoft developed and marketed a web application framework, ASP.NET, to enable developers to build dynamic Web sites, Web applications and Web services. It is the successor to Microsoft's Active Server Pages, ASP technology. Developers are able to write ASP.NET code using any supported .NET language because ASP.NET is built on the Common Language Runtime, CLR. SOAP messages are processed using ASP.NET components through the ASP.NET SOAP extension framework. (Microsoft ASP.NET)

4.19.2 PHP

PHP is a general-purpose server-side scripting language that was initially designed for Web development to create dynamic Web pages. It is one of the first developed server-side scripting languages to be implanted into an HTML source document, instead of using an external file to process data. Eventually, the resulting web page is generated by a Web server with a PHP processor module which interprets the code. It later also progressed to comprise a command-line interface capability and can be used in standalone graphical applications. The installment of PHP can be on most web servers as well as a standalone platform on nearly all operating system for free. It competes with Microsoft's Active Server Pages (ASP) server-side script engine and 55


similar languages. More than 20 million Web sites and 1 million Web servers have PHP installed. While PHP originally stood for "Personal Home Page", it is now said to stand for "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor", a recursive acronym. (About PHP and this tutorial, 2007-2012)

4.19.3 JavaScript JavaScript is a programming language used to make web pages interactive. JavaScript support is built right into all the major web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. JavaScript gives HTML designers a programming tool. HTML authors are normally not programmers, but JavaScript is a scripting language with a very simple syntax! Almost anyone can put small "snippets" of code into their HTML pages. JavaScripts can be set to execute when something happens, like when a page has finished loading or when a user clicks on an HTML element. JavaScript can read and change the content of an HTML element. JavaScript can also be used to validate data and detect the visitor's browser, and - depending on the browser - load another page specifically designed for that browse. They can be used to create cookies. (What is JavaScript and how is it Different from Java Technology)

4.20 Literature Review of the software

This section provides review of the software that will be used in developing the system. These are: Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft WebMatrix, MySQL Workbench, IIS7, PHP Manager, Open Cart, Joomla!!, FileZilla ,cPanel and VirtueMart.

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4.20.1 Image editing software: Adobe Photoshop

Figure 8 Photoshop Interface

Adobe Photoshop is a graphics editing program developed and published by Adobe. It is the current market leader for commercial bitmap and image manipulation soft-ware. Photoshop is a powerful tool for image-editing. It helps professional designers to produce sophisticated graphics for web and print. Also, it allows users to design complex graphics ac-cording to their needs. Adobe Photoshop is the industry-standard tool for digital imaging, which makes Photoshop proficiency a valued service in the workplace. Concepts learned from Photoshop apply to other imaging tools as well, such as Photoshop Elements which has a very similar user interface and features. Photoshop provides a rich workstation when it comes to digital image editing. Like any other application, Photoshop provides the basic editing tools like: 

changing the colors within an image

modifying the size and scale of an image

putting one picture "within" another

adding text to an image

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Alteration also includes technical modifications such as changing the mode of image compression from one type to another, or changing the number of bits used per pixel. But, aside from altering images, Photoshop has a vast array of tools that help "create" images from scratch. Web pages usually require the need to make custom icons, buttons, lines, balls or text art. Photoshop makes all of this extremely easy. During the development of this system, Photoshop will be used in designing the banners to the portal, and any other images or posters required.

4.20.2 Microsoft WebMatrix

Figure 9 WebMatrix Interface In early 2011, Microsoft released a free web development tool called Microsoft WebMatrix. It permits programmers to build websites with the ability of running on Windows or Linux platforms. Also, programmers are allowed to use free open source web applications coded in PHP or ASP.NET. What triggered the development of such an application was the availability of numerous open source projects with PHP, ASP.NET site templates and Content Management Systems usable by non programmers to build and maintain rich web applications. Microsoft WebMatrix provided a development environment to help ease these emerging styles of website creation. (Microsoft ASP.NET WebMatrix Project, 2007) 58


4.20.2.1 MySQL Workbench

Figure 10 MySQL Workbench A visual database design tool that joins together SQL development, administration, database design, creation, and maintenance into a sole joint development environment for the MySQL database system is MySQL Workbench. It is the successor to DBDesigner 4 from fabFORCE.net. MySQL GUI Tools Bundle is the previous package of software replaced by MySQL Workbench. (MySQL Workbench – A Superficial Review, 2009)

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4.20.2.2 Internet Information Service IIS7

Figure 11Turning on IIS Feature IIS is a web server application and features extension modules. It is created by Microsoft for use with Microsoft Windows. IIS 7.5 supports HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, FTPS, SMTP and NNTP. It is an essential part of Windows Server family of products. IIS is not turned on by default when Windows is installed. The IIS Manager is accessed through the Microsoft Management Console or Administrative Tools in the Control Panel and is switched on from there. Hosting counts running IIS 7 are compatible with ASP.NET runtime 3.5 and 4.0 (earlier discussed in this section). IIS 7 offers two pipeline modes. Integrated pipeline mode handles all requests through a unified pipeline because of the integration of ASP.NET's runtime with the Web server. IIS 7's classic 60


mode behaves in the same manner as IIS 6, using two pipelines to process requests--one for native-code application components and the other for managed code application components. IIS 7 supports PHP 5, allowing for the installation of a variety of PHP 5 quick-install applications and the use of PHP 5 scripts and code. IIS 7.5 Express is a lightweight version of IIS that available as a standalone freeware server and may be installed on later versions of Microsoft Windows. IIS 7.5 Express supports only the HTTP and HTTPS protocols. IIS Express can be downloaded separately or as a part of Microsoft WebMatrix. (Fuerst, 2009)

4.20.2.3 PHP Manager for IIS

PHP manager is a tool for managing one or many PHP installations on IIS 7 and IIS 7.5 servers. It is used to: 1. Register PHP with IIS; 2. Validate and properly configure existing PHP installations; 3. Run multiple PHP versions side by side on the same server and even within the same web site; 4. Check PHP runtime configuration and environment (output of phpinfo() function) 5. Configure various PHP settings 6. Enable or disable PHP extensions 7. Remotely manage PHP configuration in php.ini file

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Figure 12 HomePage of IIS Manager

Figure 13 PHP Manager HomePage for Joomla!'s Local Site PHP needs to be enabled. This is done from the IIS PHP Manager. (PHP Manager for IIS, 2011)

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4.20.3 OpenCart

An open source PHP based online shopping cart system is OpenCart. It is a forceful resolution for internet sellers. It gives them the ability to generate their own online business and have a part in ecommerce at a very low cost. It is designed easy to use, feature rich, search engine friendly and with an appealing interface at sight. (OpenCart, 2010) 4.20.3.1 OpenCart Features 

Unlimited Categories

Automatic Image Resize

Open Souce

Multi Language

Unlimited Products

20+ Payment Gateways

Free Documentation

Product Reviews

Unlimited Manufacturers

8+ Shipping Methods

Templatable

Product Ratings

Multi Currency

(OpenCart, 2010)

4.20.4 Joomla!

Joomla!, an award-winning content management system (CMS), provides the ability of building websites and significant online applications. Various features, from its extensibility to its ease of use, were of great help to making Joomla! the most popular Website software existing. The beast thing about Joomla! is than it’s an open source solution that is free to all people. (Joomla! Documentation, 2011)

4.20.4.1 Content Management System

CMS is software that tracks all contents on a Web site. Content can vary from simple text, photos, music, video, documents, to anything else. It necessitates more or less no technical skill 63


or knowledge to manage which is a major advantage to using CMS. (Joomla! Documentation, 2011) 4.20.4.2 Examples of what Joomla! Can do

Corporate Web sites or portals

Corporate intranets and extranets

Online magazines, newspapers, and publications

E-commerce and online reservations

Government applications

Small business Web sites

Non-profit and organizational Web sites

Community-based portals

School and church Web sites

Personal or family homepages (Joomla! Documentation, 2011)

4.20.4.3 Joomla!! Support

Even if you are not an advanced user, Joomla! is designed to be easy to install and setup. A lot of Web hosting services propose a single-click install, getting your new site up and running in little time. Joomla! being easy to use, as a Web designer or developer, building sites for your clients can be a quick process. Afterwards, with little instruction, you can sanction your clients to effortlessly manage their own sites. In case of specialized functionality needed by your client, Joomla! is very much extensible and thousands of extensions that are mostly free are available in its Extensions Directory. (Joomla! Documentation, 2011) 4.20.4.4 Joomla! Future Support

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Joomla! goes back to 2000 and with over 200,000 community users and contributors, the future looks bright for the award-winning Joomla! Project. (Joomla! Documentation, 2011)

4.20.4.5 Advanced features in Joomla! Some requirements go beyond what is available in the basic Joomla! package. Joomla!'s powerful application framework, in those cases, makes it trouble-free for developers to create refined add-ons that extend the power of Joomla! into virtually unlimited directions. The core Joomla! framework enables developers to quickly and easily build: 

Inventory control systems

Data reporting tools

Application bridges

Custom product catalogs

Integrated e-commerce systems

Complex business directories

Reservation systems

Communication tools

Joomla! is based on PHP and MySQL; therefore you are building powerful applications on an open platform anyone can use, share, and support (Joomla! Documentation, 2011) 4.20.4.6 Websites that use Joomla!

MTV Networks Quizilla (Social networking) - http://www.quizilla.com

IHOP (Restaurant chain) - http://www.ihop.com

Harvard University (Educational) - http://gsas.harvard.edu

Citibank (Financial institution intranet) - Not publicly accessible

The Green Maven (Eco-resources) - http://www.greenmaven.com

Outdoor Photographer (Magazine) - http://www.outdoorphotographer.com

PlayShakespeare.com (Cultural) - http://www.playshakespeare.com 65




Senso Interiors (Furniture design) - http://www.sensointeriors.co.za (Joomla! Documentation, 2011)

4.20.5 VirtueMart

VirtueMart is an Open Source E-Commerce solution that has to be used together with a Content Management System (CMS) called Joomla!. They are both written in PHP and can be used in typical PHP/MySQL environments. Various features are offered by VirtueMart. The functionalities of both Joomla! And VirtueMart can be extended using plug-ins, components, templates, and modules to customize the functions needed. Some of the standard features are listed below. (VirtueMart Shopping Cart Software, 2012) 4.20.5.1 General Features VirtueMart is capable of using Secure Sockets Layer (https) Encryption (128-bit). It has three flexible tax models. Model 1 is Ship-To Address-based Tax Calculation, Model 2 is Store Address-based Tax Calculation and Model 3 is EU Mode (Store Owner based Tax Calculation when Customer comes from an EU Country). However since the Saudi Market ignores the tax system, none were implemented within this project. Customers are able to manage their user accounts after registration. Also, customers can enter their own shipping address through Shipping Address Management module. VirtueMart offers an Order History feature which allows customers to view their previous orders and order details. Customizable Order Conformation Mail is sent to the customer and store owner after every order placed. Customers can change the currency and buy using an alternative currency due to the Multiple Currencies feature. Multiple languages are also applicable using the Joomla! Component Joom!Fish or Nooku. (VirtueMart Shopping Cart Software, 2012)

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4.20.5.2 Product Catalog Features VirtueMart provides powerful web-administration interface that is JavaScript-powered. It manages limitless numbers of products and categories. It can be used as a shop or an onlinecatalog or even turn off price display. Quick search for products, categories and manufacturers filtered by features or discounted products is applicable. Specific products can be featured by setting them “on special”. It displays how fast a customer can expect delivery through product availability. Moreover, it handles downloadable products, virtual goods. There is a "Product is back in Stock" notification for subscribed customers. (VirtueMart Shopping Cart Software, 2012) 4.20.5.3 Administration Features Multiple images and files per product such as, spec sheets and flyers are available. Product attributes and types for classification like size or color and "Car", "Motorbike" or "Music Album" respectively can be added to a product. Different price levels and payment options per customer is permitted through shopper groups. There can also be multiple prices per product based on quantity and/or shopper group. The way prices are displayed is also flexible, number and currency formatting/including or excluding tax. On-the-Fly Price i.e. conversion between different currencies using live rates from the ECB or other banks. Available as well is shop statistics/ control panel with a summary of new customers, new orders etc… There is stock level control for products and items. Order management with order history, customer notification and order edit functionality is available. There is order status management and basic reporting features. Finally, it allows managing different currencies, countries and states. (VirtueMart Shopping Cart Software, 2012) 4.20.5.4 Payment Modules It provides the capability of live Credit Card processing. There is predefined payment gateways like authorize.net®, PayPal, 2Checkout, eWay, Worldpay, PayMate, and NoChex. Finally, shops can be extended with other payment modules using the payment module API! (VirtueMart

Shopping Cart Software, 2012) 67


4.20.5.5 Shipping Modules It provides flexible shipping carriers and rates configuration. Using shipping modules it offers live shipping rates, such as InterShipper, UPS, USPS, FedEx, or Canada Post. These modules can use the Shipping Rate API. Again, shops can be extended using the shipping module API! (VirtueMart Shopping Cart Software, 2012)

4.20.6 cPanel and WHM The cPanel software package facilitates the usage of web hosts and website owners. It offers easy-to-use, powerful tools that perform essential tasks quickly, easily, and reliably. cPanel provides an intuitive interface to help website owners manage their sites, while WebHost Manager (WHM) automates server management tasks for server administrators. Together, they reduce overhead by simplifying complex tasks and allowing customers to manage their own accounts. WebHost Manager (WHM) is the interface designed for server administrators and web hosts. It provides them with the following features: 

Set up and modify customer accounts;

Receive alerts if the server goes down;

Install applications and programming language modules;

Create and apply hosting plans;

Block spam;

Integrate new web technologies; and

Brand customers’ cPanel interfaces with custom logos.

cPanel is the interface build for website owners and allows them to: 

Uploading and managing web pages;

Creating email accounts;

Installing web-based applications like blogs, shopping carts, and forums;

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Backing up data;

Protecting a site’s content and bandwidth from abuse;

Generating and viewing statistics about visitors; and

Reviewing error logs to locate broken links and other problems. (cPanel, 2000-2012)

Figure 14 cPanel Interface

4.20.7 FileZilla

Figure 15 FileZilla's interface: Local host and Web Host

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A prompt, secure and reliable FTP/SFTP client is FileZilla. It gives the ability of transferring files between websites and computers running windows. It is helpful because the open architecture of the internet facilitates rapidly exchanging information. It is also designed to accumulate many system users simultaneously while still being very stable. (What is FileZilla)

4.21 Conclusion:

This chapter shows a complete literature review about supply chain management systems and its benefits and importance. Then it discussed software systems that help in SCM design and development, and the main providers in the market for such solutions. After that, inventory control systems and order management systems were discussed thoroughly. Finally to it reviewed the languages and tools the team will use to design the interface for the portal.

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5 REQUIREMENT SPECIFICATIONS /ANALYSIS

5.1

Introduction:

The main objective of this chapter is to provide a concise idea of the system and the work progress activities taken to develop the system. A detailed description of the functional and nonfunctional requirements of the system in addition to the user requirements is included. Also an overall description of the system is included. In short, this chapter focuses on the analysis phase of the system development life cycle.

5.2

Work progress:

This section gives a detailed description of the work progress and activities taken in order to derive the portal. This includes: candidate projects, and business requirements identification. The client’s current inventory management system lacked the ability to control the entering of orders as they were delivered to the customers. The problem existed because there are three possible situations when delivering a product. The currently used system was not able to track that. Also the customers submitted their order requests through different mediums (depending on the customer’s preferences) and this made it impossible for the client to trace and document the requests.

5.2.1 Business Requirements identification:

Obtaining the business requirements of the system is a vital stage of the system development life cycle. Using iterative model as a software development method made it possible for us to mend and enhance the requirements of the system as the project advanced from one phase to another. Interviews and meetings with the client were held to gain the complete understanding of the 71


system specifications. The following illustrates the software requirements, the functional requirements and nonfunctional requirements of the system. 5.2.1.1 User functional requirements: This section illustrates the user requirements of the system. The following requirements are suggested by the system developers themselves to be verified later by the client. There are four types of end users for this system and the system administrator. 1. All Users should: a. Interact with the application using both mouse and keyboard. b.

Be able to login to their accounts using their username and password provided by the admin.

c. Be able to logout from their profiles. 2. Admin should: a. Be able to modify the structure of the web pages. b. Be able to add, delete and modify database. c. Be able to add and remove users and set authority. d. Be able to monitor the system. 3. Customer should: a. Be able to view catalog of products available, place orders online, track his shipment, check his history (previous orders) b. Be notified by email with any change that happens to his shipment or order. 4. Sales Representative should: a. Be able to view the list of customers. b. Add new customers, and then adds them into shopping group.

5. Branch Manager should: a. Be able to view all types of orders. b. Be able to view and edit the inventory. c. Be able to check customer history. d. Be notified by email once and order is placed. e. Be able to approve or reject an order. 72


f. Be able to generate reports regarding orders and revenue. 6. Warehouse representative should: a. Be able to view orders that are in progress. b. Be able to prepare and view invoice. c. Be able to update the order status to allow shipment tracking. d. Be able to close an order and record the transaction in the database once an order is fully sent and the invoice is stamped by the customer for receiving the shipment. 5.2.1.2 System Non-Functional Requirements: This section presents other non-functional requirements to be taken into consideration when implementing the required application. In order to simplify the design, facilitate delivery of a demonstration application the following requirements and assumptions have been defined: 5.2.1.2.1 Project Assumptions: 

The client has exactly six warehouses across the kingdom.

There will be exactly one supplier (Bayer).

The supplier supplies a limited number of products.

All warehouses stock all products.

An order may contain multiple line items, where each line item relates to a specific product and quantity required. A product shall not appear more than once in an order.

There are no minimum order quantities, and quantities express units of one.

Partial shipments of a single product are supported; either the required quantity of a product in a line item can be fulfilled in full or some of it.

The requested quantity of a product must be shipped by a single warehouse, or none are shipped i.e. it is not possible to split the shipment of a product across warehouses.

Back orders are supported; the required quantity of product can be fulfilled in full by a single warehouse or partially.

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The costumer’s information (payment details, address, etc.) are known to the client system via an implicit login.

Payment is not demonstrated, it is assumed that a customer has pre-registered credit card details and billing happens.

The start of each purchase use case assumes state is set back to predefined values i.e. predefined stock levels, min/max levels, etc.

When a purchase request brings a warehouse quantity to below a certain level, the warehouse makes a request to the supplier for more goods.

5.2.1.2.2 Non-Functional Requirements: 

Portability: The system shall be easily and quickly ported to any server

User-Friendly: The system shall include a very user-friendly graphical interface that allows all users to use the system fully and at ease.

Speed: The system shall load the selected page with no more than 30 seconds.

Scalability: The system shall adopt the addition of new chapters and or activities when needed.

Availability: There are two key concepts for availability when it comes to this system: o

Hours of operation: The system should be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Given that 2 hours on Friday will be scheduled for Maintenance.

o 

Reliability. The system should be reliable at all times and by all users.

Capacity: This system should handle the load of data and transactions that will take place through it. It should handle growth in number, and the rush hours of usage

Data currency: The system should always have up to date data. Real time updates, and delays are not acceptable.

Data retention: The system should be able to store only the useful data, and data that will be used later on.

Disaster recovery: The system should be able to recover from an outage.

Error-handling: The system should be able to handle unexpected situations such as purchase orders for unrecognized products 74


Internationalization: The system should be user friendly with people from different backgrounds and languages.

Logging: The system should keep track of its activity. This provides an audit trail that can be used for problem-solving.

Security: The system needs to handle customer privacy as well as user privileges securely and prevent any unauthorized access to the data.

Upgradeability: There should be an ease of replacing a component in a system with another one.

5.2.1.3 System functional requirements: All users: 1. The system should display a welcome message and a login button for the user to get through the portal. 2. The system should provide an interface where users can login using their username and password. 3. The system will logout from their profiles if they click the logout button. Customer: 4. The system should allow the customers to place their orders by providing them an order form. 5. The system should send an email to the customer to notify him of any changes in his shipment or order. 6. The system should allow the client to login and check the status for his order being shipped. Sales Representative: 7. The system will enable sales representatives to create and edit data regarding their customers. Branch Manager 8. The system should notify the branch manager of all pending orders. 75


9. The system should allow the branch manager to view the client history (balance) and the current inventory to check for availability. 10. The system should permit the manager to accept or reject orders providing reasons and notifies the client via email with the manager’s decision. 11. The system should allow the manager to query for these reports: a. Open orders (pending orders to be checked) b. Orders in progress (confirmed orders) c. Closed orders (completed orders) d. Back orders ( orders not completely sent) Warehouse Representative: 12. The system should prepare the order invoice and send. 13. The system should send delivery form to the shipment driver and activate shipment tracking. 14. The system should provide the status of every shipment as it moves and changes from one place to another. 15. The system should allow the warehouse representative to update the delivery status either order is fully shipped (order closed), or order is fully rejected (order cancelled) or order partly shipped (order kept open and a reason provided). Other Requirements: 16. The system should provide a home button that brings the user back to his homepage which is activated when the user clicks the home button. 17. The system should provide an about us button for customers to know more about our organization which will activate as the user clicks the about us button. 18. The system should provide a contact us button for clients who need to contact the organization which will activate when the user clicks the about us button. 19. The system will display user’s account (history activity) if the user clicks on user history button. 76


20. The system will display user’s recent updates if the user clicks on recent updates button.

5.3

Use case diagram:

A use case diagram is one of the behavioral diagrams defined by the Unified Modeling Language (UML) for the purpose of describing the functional behavior of the system from user point of view. A use case diagram shows a graphical overview of the system functions in terms of actors and their goals represented as use cases. In case of the application being develop, there are four main users: customer, sales representative, manager, and the warehouse representative. A use case diagram that combines all users is presented in this section.

Figure 16 Usecase Diagram

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This system will include 21 different use cases shown in the Use Case Diagram above. In addition to the uses cases shown, the super admin can perform all the other use cases of the other users as he is expected to modify and maintain the system when required. The Admin account will be handles by the IT department in Batterjee, while other departments will be given their special user accounts depending on their authority level. The following section will demonstrate briefly some of the key use case in the system: Use case 1: Add Customer Actor: Sales Representative

System

1- Opens admin login page.

2- Displays login page for user admins.

3- Enters username and password.

4- Open user's dashboard.

5-Selects "Add User" option from 6- Displays screen with input fields for dashboard.

data to be filled by user.

7- Enters customers information details and selects user group as "customer" 8- Clicks “Add Customer� button. 10- Adds customer to shopper group.

9- Views added customer details page. 11- Views shopper group with customer added to it.

Use case 2: Place Order Actor: Customer

System

1- Opens website. Selects login page.

2- Displays login page for customers.

3- Enters username and password.

4- Opens e-store.

5-Browses through products and adds

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them to cart. 6- Specifies quantity for each product. 7- Displays shopping cart. Checks out. 7- Confirms product details. 10- Confirms order.

9- Views order. 11- Views order number, details, and sends out an email to the customer and admin with the orders details.

Use case 3: Approve/Reject Order Actor: Branch Manager

System

1- Opens admin login page.

2- Displays login page for user admins.

3- Enters username and password.

4- Open user's dashboard.

5-Selects "Order Management" option 6- Displays screen with all orders. from dashboard. 7- Selects orders with "Pending Status" 9- Clicks on order to view details. Reviews details.

8- Displays a list of pending orders. 11- Views order's new status. Notifies customer.

10- Changes the status of the order from a dropdown menu.( In progress or rejected) Use case 4: Update Order Status/ Location Actor: Warehouse Representative

System

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1- Opens admin login page.

2- Displays login page for user admins.

3- Enters username and password.

4- Open user's dashboard.

5-Selects "Order Management" option 6- Displays screen with all orders. from dashboard. 7- Selects order by number 9- Clicks on order to view details. Reviews details.

8- Displays order. 11- Views order's new status and location. Notifies customer.

10- Changes the status of the order from a dropdown menu while adding the current location of the shipment in the text box.

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5.4

Work Flow

Figure 17 Work Flow Diagram 

A process is usually started physically when the sales representative meets with a potential customer.

After agreement is made concerning the overall deal between the customer and AlBatterjee, the Sales representative will login to his account on the portal and adds the new customer and sets the prices and promotions they previously agreed upon.

Once the customer is added, his username and password are sent to his procurement department by the sales representative.

The customer can then login in to his account and place an order ( or return an existing order in other cases)

The order is added to the transaction table, and the system notifies the manager that there is a pending order.

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The manager logs in and view the order’s details and can either approve (or decline) the order depending on both the customer’s current balance and products availability. The customer will first be identified as governmental or private.

After an order is approved, a pick slip is sent to the warehouse department to be processed.

The Warehouse representative can login to the portal, view the orders and edit the status of each order enabling shipment tracking. o The order can other be fully shipped, partially shipped, or fully rejected.

5.5

Data Flow Diagram

Figure 18 Data Flow Diagram

As shown in the above diagram, the process is initiated when a customer places an order. This customer first needs to be added into the system by the sales representative. Here the data would consist of details like number of items, delivery dates, shipment details etc. Then the inventory is 82


checked where again data is fed from a database. This database keeps a record of historical data. The database also has input from the inventory database which keeps the warehouse records like inventory levels, location etc. The inventory is checked for availability, which is a gate process. If there is availability, then the item is retrieved and the shipment is scheduled. If enough inventory is not available then Reorder placement is done. A lot of factors are to be considered for the reorder placement.

This DFD shows the exact information flow in the system, which can help recognize the individual processes and the data transfer associated with it.

5.6

Conclusion

The current chapter illustrates a concise idea of the system by providing a detailed description of the work progress activities, the functional and non-functional specifications of the system, and the user specifications. The requirements specifications defined in this chapter offer great help in identifying the system design steps which will be described later in the next chapter entitled “System Design�.

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6 SYSTEM DESIGN

6.1

Introduction: The key objective of this chapter is to provide a clear understanding of the system structure,

behavior, and views of a system. In short, the data modeling presented by an ER diagram, and the user interface storyboard are included in this chapter.

6.2

User interface design This section presents a story board for the initially proposed user interface design. It

provides a detailed description of the layout and components of each page. It is important to mention the fact that this story board has been designed based on the user understanding of the system. However, a verification of each page is to be done before the implementation and could be modified during the implementation phase.

6.2.1 Site Map The following site map was suggested by the development team at the beginning of the analysis phase.

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Home Page

Login Page

Login Confirmation

Sales Rep Interface

Customer Interface

Manager Interface

List of Customers Page

Organization Information Page

Dashboard

Previous Orders Page

Promotion Page

New Order

Warehouse Rep Interface

Pending Orders

Order Confirmation

All orders

Place order

Inventory

Customers

Employees

Reports

Figure 19 Initially Proposed Site Map

The site map has been refined to fit the implemented system:

Figure 20 Refined Sitemap

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List of orders


6.2.2 Story board As the user enters the URL for the portal, he is directed to the home page. The home page is divided into a link bar that includes links to the following pages: 

About Us

Contact Us

Feedback

This link bar will appear in all pages of the portal. Then comes the header section of the page. The body is divided into two parts: An introduction to the portal and a welcoming message, and an image. The homepage will include a link to the login page.

Figure 21 Homepage

The login in page will include a login plug-in, in which the user will enter his username and password. Some user convenience options include a “remember me” check box for log in storage, or a link to retrieve lost passwords.

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Figure 22 Login Page

After the user logins in, he will be directed to a confirmation page that will request that he checks his email to enter an automatically generated code that was sent by the system.

Figure 23 Confirmation Page

This system supports 4 types of users: 

Customers

Sales Representatives

Branch Managers 87




Warehouse Representatives

If the user was a branch manager, he will be directed to the following dashboard in which he will have the following options to choose from: 1. View Pending Orders 2. View All Orders 3. View Inventory 4. View List of Customers 5. View List of Employees 6. Generate Reports

Figure 24 Manager's Dashboard The manager can view all the pending orders he still needs to approve or reject. He can do so by clicking on the details link next to each order, view the orders details and customers history and the approve or reject. Whatever action the manager decides to take with the order, both the customer and sales representative will be notified.

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Figure 25 Pending Order Page The manager can also view all the orders in his branch.

Figure 26 All Orders Page The manager can check, and edit the available inventory level. This page will also help the manager in making the decision regarding approving or rejecting an order according to the availability of the product ordered.

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Figure 27 Inventory Page

The manager can also check the customers and the history of a certain customer. This page will help the manager in making the decision regarding approving or rejecting an order according to the balance of the customer.

Figure 28 Customers Page

The manager can view the list of employees (Sales and Warehouse representatives) registered to the system and update them.

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Figure 29 Employees Page

One of the main functions that the system needs to support for a manager is to generate reports. The manager can choose between 4 types of reports, and enter the time period to generate the report for. The types are: 1. Pending Orders 2. In Progress Orders 3. Complete Orders 4. Cancelled Orders

Figure 30 Reports Page 91


If the user logging into the system is a customer, he will be directed to this page that views some of the organization's details as well as links to 3 other pages: 1. Previous Orders 2. New Order 3. Promotions

Figure 31 Organizations Page The previous orders page views all the previous orders placed by the customer and their details.

Figure 32 Previous Orders Page

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When the customer clicks on the "New Order" link, he will first be directed to the following page. Since each organization (customer) is given only one account to log into the system, a list of some of the employees in that organization that can place an order is provided. The employee needs to pick his name from the list before continuing to the order form.

Once the employee chooses his name and submits, he will be directed to the placing order form. The employee needs to fill in the form once for every product he wishes to order. He can click on the "?" button to view the catalog if he forgot the products name or category as well.

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Once an order is completed and submitted, an order number will be given to it and sent to the client and sales representative by email.

If the user logging in is a Sales Representative, he will be directed to his list of customers in which he can either add new customers he got, or edit the details of the existing ones.

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Figure 33 Customers List page

If the user logging in is a Warehouse Representative, he will be directed to the list of orders in which he edit the status to help enable shipment tracking.

Figure 34 Orders Page

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6.3

Data Model:

This section illustrates a detailed description of the data model, ER diagram, and the data dictionary in order to develop the database for the portal. The following figure shows the detailed ER diagram and the data definitions:

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Figure 35 Entity Relationship Diagram


6.4

Conclusion: After identifying the business requirements of the system, the design chapter provides a

brief idea of the system modules and the relationships between them. The ER diagram presented provides an understanding of the type of data to be utilized by different components of the system. Moreover, the story board of the user interface included in this chapter offers an overall understanding of the system appearance. In general, the design chapter is helpful in terms of offering the developer the chance to visualize the system which will simplify the process of implementing the system and integrate different components together.

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7 IMPLEMENTATION

7.1

Introduction

This chapter aims at describing and illustrating the implementation phase of the proposed system. It includes a detailed description of all technical steps which were taken in order to deliver the website and put it into use. The chapter discusses the several stages undertaken during the identification of the implementation and development of the system.

7.2

The Three Tier Architecture

The three tier architecture is the basic underlying architecture of entire Joomla. The entire internal architecture is divided into three layers namely : 

Extension layer

Application layer

Framework layer

Extensions layer is the topmost layer that comprises of extensions to the core Joomla Framework and the application layer and include Components, Modules and Tempalates. Components are the custom independent applications that are developed to provide functionality to the portal. Although it leverages Joomla core and services, it can be rated as an independent application. Modules extend the capabilities of Joomla! component by giving it a new functionality. Templates control the overall user interface of the portal, look and feel as well as the layout. A combination of PHP, HTML & CSS provides extremely flexible yet easy mean to define the user experience of the website. Application layer is the middle layer that consists of applications that extend the Framework JApplication class. The four applications currently included in the Joomla distribution are:

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JInstallation is responsible for installing Joomla on web server and is deleted after the installation procedure has been completed.

JAdministrator is responsible for the back-end Administrator.

JSite is responsible for the front-end of the website.

XML-RPC supports remote administration of the Joomla website.

Framework layer is the bottom layer that consists of Framework, Libraries and Plugins. Framework is the Core; the heart of Joomla! Libraries comprised of a set of core services required by the framework as well as the extension installed by developers. (Singhal)

Interface Layer

VirtueMart cPanel

Joomla! Application Layer WebMatrix

MySQL

IIS PHPManager

WorkBench

FileZilla Framework Layer

Figure 36 Website's 3-Tier Architecture

7.3

Installation

This part covers the installation steps of the various tools and software that were employed in building the portal.

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7.3.1 Installing WebMatrix WebMatrix , as mention earlier in the research, is everything you need to set up a server on a windows machine. WebMatrix helps in building up websites from scratch (using both ASP.NET or PHP). It comes with the option of adding other Microsoft products for web development, or even adding non-commercial modules and extensions to the website. It can also provide you with the PHP Manager and IIS Manager to host any website locally. This is exactly why installing WebMatrix was the first step taken while building Batterjee's website. It has been found that the best practice to build a website, is to build it locally first before uploading it to a server host. This makes the building process much more faster and more reliable as the development occurs locally without being interrupted by an internet connection. The WebMatrix installation file was downloaded from Microsoft's official web site. Once downloaded, the wpilauncher.exe is opened. The following window appears:

Figure 37 Installing WebMatrix Step1

Install WebMatrix is clicked and a new window with products to install pops up:

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Figure 38 Installing WebMatrix Step2

Once accepted, the installer installs webmatrix and directs you to the following window:

Figure 39 Installing WebMatrix Part3

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Once lanched, WebMatrix's quick start window appears:

Figure 40 Installing WebMatrix Part4

Since the website being building is an open source website, no development will be done on WebMatrix itself. It was only used to install the complete Microsoft Web Development Platform that includes IIS Manager, PHP Manager, and MySQL WorkBench or SQL Server. 7.3.1.1 Configuring IIS After installing WebMatrix, the IIS services should be turned on from Windows features in the Control Panel.

Figure 41 Turning On IIS

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The Internet Information Services needs to be select along with everything underneath it. Once the above feature was turned on, a local host is available in the C partition of the hardisk.

Figure 42 Browsing (C:)

A folder named "inetpub" appears in the (C:).

Figure 43 Creating Site Partition

Within the inetpub, a "wwwroot" folder is found. Inside that folder, 2 folders were created: One for Joomla, and one for OpenCart.

7.3.2 Installing Open Cart OpenCart was used for testing purpose at first and hence a folder named " Cart" appears on the localhost. This can be accessed from any web browser on the machine through the URL: localhost/cart .OpenCart was found to lack most of the features and modules required to develop a complete portal as it focused only on the shopping cart feature of an e-store and hence using OpenCart was not a very wise step to take.

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7.3.3 Installing Joomla!

More research was done, and Joomla was finally picked to serve as a content management system software for building the Batterjee's portal. Before installing Joomla, there are a couple prerequisites that need to be met to install successfully. These are: 

Hosting:(This will be done locally and after the website is build it will uploaded to an online host).Regardless of the hosting method used, the host should have PHP and MySQL installed.

Locally, as shown above with WebMatrix, both were installed.

MySQL BenchWork was used to create a database. The following credentials were saved:

DB Name

Host Name

Username

Password

FTP Client: This will be used at the very end of the development process to upload the website from the local host to an online host. Filezilla was used to do that.

The latest Release of Joomla! 1.7 (Downloaded from the official website)

After the .zip file is downloaded from Joomla's offical website, it is extracted and its contents will be placed inside the folder created under 'wwwroot':

Figure 44 Joomla! Files

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On a browser, the following URL was entered to start the installation: 'localhost/joomla' The following screen appears:

Figure 45 Setting Up Joomla!

The installation steps are followed untill Joomla installs successful and the Joomla Dashboard appears:

Figure 46 Joomla! Dashboard

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7.3.3.1 Global Configuration

The first step in setting up a Joomla website is to edit it's global configuration. In this section the following attributes will be filled in preference to the website developed:

7.3.3.1.1 Site

"Batterjee Pharmaceutical Warehouse" is enter as the site's name. This name will be shown as Figure 47 Site Configuration

the title in both the backend and fronted of the site.

7.3.3.1.2 System

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Figure 48 System Configuration

Since the site was first build offline on a local machine, this page was kept to its default settings.

7.3.3.1.3 Server

The database settings are filled in the server tab. The website's database was creating using Figure 49 Server Configuration

MySQL WorkBench locally and hence the host of the database is "localhost" the username and password for the created database "database" is entered. This is Joomla's database and not the estore's database.

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Next the email settings are set. Since this is a local website, the email servers were not functioning yet. To solve this issue, the website was the exported on an online host but after all the development was completed.

7.3.3.1.4 Permissions

This section will be later discussed under User Management.

7.3.4 Installing VirtueMart As mentioned above in the Literature Review section, VirtueMart was the ERP system that best fits the portals functional requirements as it provides a customizable frontend store, and a customizable backend dashboard. Since virtuemart is a non-commercial extension, the .zip file was downloaded off the Extension Directory in Joomla's offical website and installed in Joomla using the Extension Manager (accessed through the dashboard)

Figure 50 Extension Manager

The zip file is extracted file and two zip folders appear. Both are uploaded and installed relatively and a " The installation was successful" message will appear.

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VirtueMart is now installed in Joomla and can be accessed from the components menu in the dashboard.

7.3.4.1 Installing Modules

As VirtueMart is a complete ERP system, its modules will be installed while the initial inslation of the extention takes place. The modules are accessed from the Module manager in the dashboard. The following modules were already installed with VM.

Figure 51 Module Manager

7.4

Management

This section provides details about how each component was managed during the implementation of the system

7.4.1 User Management Before creating any pages, or setting up VM store, it was thought to be extremely handy to start off by creating the different user groups along with their access levels, and create some demo

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users for each. The user management control is available within Joomla! and is applied in VM as well.

7.4.1.1 User Groups

The four main user groups of the site are created. The customer group is created without a parent as it will only access the frontend of the site:

Figure 52 User Manager

The user groups are created as follows:

Figure 53 User Groups

7.4.1.2 User Access Levels

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After creating the user groups, access levels are created and the user groups are assigned to their corresponding access level:

Figure 54 Edit Viewing Access Level

Figure 55 Viewing Access Level

Then some users accounts were created and assigned to different groups:

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Figure 56 Users

7.4.2 VirtueMart Management 7.4.2.1 Setting up VirtueMart VirtueMart can be accessed from the component menu. In the configuration tab, general settings for the store can be entered:

Figure 57 Store Settings

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7.4.3 Front-End Management 7.4.3.1 Creating Pages

Figure 58 New Menu Item

Joomla makes it easy to create new pages through assigning new menu items. In the button next to the menu item type, the type of page created can be picked.

Figure 59 Selecting Menu Type

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VirtueMart has a set of pages to chose from ready. Once the type is picked, the name and permission access is assigned, the menu item is created along with its page. In the following example, the page created is product page and was assigned to its parent page, the category. The status is set to published and the access is given only to customers. Only users under the customers user group can see this page.

Figure 60 New Menu Item

The following of all the list of pages created and their access levels and positions.

Figure 61 Pages Created and their Access Levels

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7.4.3.2 Templates

After creating the pages, the front end is now ready. A search for suitable customizable template took place, and the following one was installed into Joomla for the frontend site:

The template's options were configured to fit the design of the desired front end:

7.4.4 Store Management After the front end is set, and the theme is installed, the products and catergories are added into VirtueMart: 7.4.4.1 Vendor Information

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Figure 62 Vendor Information

Figure 63 Additional Vendor Information

7.4.4.2 Manufacturers This project covers only one of Batterjee's manufacturers.

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Figure 64 Adding Manufacturers

7.4.4.3 Categories

Bayer HealthCare has 3 main categories

Figure 65 Product Categories

7.4.4.4 Shopper Groups

It was one of the requirements of Batterjee to provide different prices to different customers. And hence different shopper groups were created, 3 classes for private customers and one for governmental customers 117


Figure 66 Shopper Groups

7.4.4.5 Calculation Rules After the groups were created, different calculation rules were modified for each group:

Figure 67 Calculation Rule

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Figure 68 Created Rules

7.4.4.6 Products

Figure 69 Product Information

Figure 70 Product Description

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Figure 71 Product Status

Figure 72 Product Images

7.4.5 Back-End Management 7.4.5.1 Permissions

A user group for the backend user was created in the User Manager. All users that are supposed to have access to the backend only were added as children. Users are allowed to login as admins to the administrator interface.

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Figure 73 Permission Settings

The branch manager inherits the permissions of the backend user, in addition to all other permissions to access the administration interface, create, add, delete and edit all components.

Figure 74 Permissions given to Branch Managers

The sales representative inherits the permission of the backend user, in addition to create, add, edit, and delete user components.

Figure 75 Permissions given to Sales Representatives.

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7.4.5.2 Administrator Modules

Three different administrator modules were created. Each one acts as a dashboard for every admin type. For example, when a branch manager logs in, he is not supposed to see the super admin (developer) dashboard. A much simple and easier dashboard should appear including only the functions that the manager would need. The first module created was named: Manager’s Tools. It included 5 different links:

Figure 76 Creating a dashboard admin module

Backend login page:

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Figure 77 Backend Login Page

When a manager logs in, he sees the following interface:

Figure 78 Manager's Interface

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When the sales representation logs in he seen the following interface:

Figure 79 Sales Representative's Interface

When the warehouse representative logs in, he sees the following interface:

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Figure 80 Warehouse Representative Interface

The administrator modules:

Figure 81 Administrator Modules

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7.4.5.3 Templates

The following template was chosen to be the administrator’s backend template as it supports different permission views and adding modules as seen in the section above:

Figure 82 Administrator's Template

7.5

Publishing

After the system was build local and was tested to work properly, a domain was registered and a host was found to host the site online. A cPanel username and password were provided by the host. Once logged in, a dashboard appears:

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Figure 83 cPanel's Dashboard After an account is aquired, the site's local files need to be uploaded on the File Manager of the online host. This is done using FileZilla. The application is launched, and the username, password, and the port of the site to be launched are entered.

Figure 84 Conneting to host using FileZilla Once connected, both the local and online host appear in oppisite windows. The complete Joomla folders is to be located locally and transfered to the online host:

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Figure 85 Copying files from local to remote site

Once the files are all transferred successfully to the public_html folder of the remote site, the local database needs to be exported and imported back into the remote site through cPanel. Using MySQL WorkBench, the database is exported as a .sql dump file. Using cPanel, the phpMyAdmin option is selected:

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Figure 86 phpMyAdmin

The import option is selected and the database is imported:

After importing the database, the FTP on the remote site is accessed, and the configuration file is edited to connect with the new remote database. After that, the website opens and works online.

7.6

Website's Pages

This section shows all the pages of the website and how the user can browse through it. Once a user enters the URL ( www.batterjee.co.nr) of the site in a browser, he is taken to the homepage:

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Figure 87 Baterjee's Home Page

From the homepage, the user can login using the Login option from the main menu:

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Figure 88 Login In Page

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Once logged in,the customer is redirected to the homepage but with more options appearing in the menu.

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Figure 89 Customers Homepage

The customer can either pick one of the featured or top products, search for a product, or browse categories and their products. He can also view the manufactures details, contact Batterjee, and ask questions about products. Once a customer decided on the product he wants, he adds it to the cart with the quantity required:

Figure 90 Adding a product to cart

The customer can add as many products as he wants, and then checks out: 133


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Figure 91 Checking Out

The customer must check the Terms of services before checking out:

Figure 92 Terms of Services

After confirming the order, the customer is given his order number:

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Figure 93 Email Recieved by customer

Figure 94 Invoice

The customer can also check his previous orders:

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Figure 95 Previous Orders

The customer can pick any order to either view its details, status, or invoice:

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Figure 96 Order Information

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7.7

Conclusion

In conclusion, this chapter described the actual work done through this project to build up the portal with a frontend and a backend. The implementation turned out to be different that what the development team had in mind, but it did in fact serve all the requirements set during the analysis phase.

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8 TESTING AND VALIDATION

8.1

Introduction

The aim of this chapter is to test and validate the functions of the application. This occurs after completing the implementation part of the software. The verification process determines whether the application functions correctly and the errors and defects that occur during run-time.

8.2

Testing Scenarios

8.2.1 Adding a customer: The sales representative wishes to add a new customer: 

He logs in

Navigates to user manager

Adds new users.

Fills in their details

Specifies username and default password

Adds user to customer group.

Adds customer to shopper group.

System notifies new employees of their accounts.

8.2.2 Placing an order: The customer wishes to place an order: 

He opens website.

Logs in using username and password given by Sales representative.

Browses through products. 140


Adds products with quantities to cart.

Checks outs.

Agrees to the terms of services, confirms order.

He receives an email with his order details and that it is still pending.

He can print the invoice.

8.2.3 Checking inventory: The warehouse representative wishes to check the inventory level of a product: 

He logs in

Navigates to order management.

Selects inventory from the list.

Selects product.

Views product status.

Checks which customers bought the product.

8.2.4 Confirming an order: The branch manager wishes to check an order to either approve or reject it: 

He logs in

Navigates to order management.

Selects pending orders.

Selects order

Views order details.

Changes the order status after reviewing the order to either confirmed or canceled.

The customer gets a notification email.

8.2.5 A general case.

The branch manager hired two new employees, a sales representative and a warehouse representative. He wishes to add them to the system. 141


1. He logs in 2. Navigates to user manager 3. Adds new users to their user groups 4. Fills in their details 5. Specifies username and default password 6. System notifies new employees of their accounts. The branch manager can later generate reports, review orders and update them (confirm/reject). He can view the inventory, store stats and system stats. He is also given the privileges to add manufactures and print invoices. The sales representative can now log in to the sales representative interface. 1. He adds a customer 2. Specifies customer shopper group 3. Fills in his details 4. Specifies username and default password 5. System notifies the customer of his new account. The sales representative can login at anytime to view his customers, their orders and can also contact them to follow up with making sure he will not lose any of them. Now, the customer can login to through the front end to the customer interface 1. He browses through the products 2. Adds products to the cart 3. Checks his orders 4. Reviews his orders 5. Confirms order 6. View and print his invoice upon request 7. The system notifies the admin. The customer can login at any time to view his order history or order details.

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The admin again logs in to either confirm or reject the order. In this case, the order will be confirmed. At this point, the warehouse representative receives the order and starts preparing the shipment. 1. He logs into his account to the warehouse representative interface 2. He can add, edit or view the inventory/product 3. Views the order 4. Updates order status 5. The system notifies the customer with every order status update. Once the order is fully shipped, the printed invoice should be available. The customer must sign it and return it to the shipment delivery employee. To close the order status is finally updated to “shipped”.

8.3

Evaluation Function

Branch Manager

Sales Representative

Customer

Warehouse Representative

Add user in group

Modify current user

Add product in category

Modify product

Place Order

Confirm/Reject order

Update order status

Print invoice

View order details/history

View products

View inventory

Generate order-base reports

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8.4

Conclusion

The website was tested and evaluated to have met the specified requirements. Test cases were created and used to describe the possible scenarios combining all users and system functions. To sum up, a functionality matrix was created to match functions to their users.

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9 CONCLUSION

9.1

Conclusion:

Supply Chain Management (SCM) Systems, Inventory Control Systems and Order Management Systems are widely used now-a-days to help enhance all business activities. Pharmaceutical and healthcare companies make use of such powerful tools to help them achieve all their goals. This research is designed to help enhance few modules of the these system in Batterjee, KSA. Chapter one presented introductory information about the project to be implemented. Also, the project’s scope, problem statement, and project objective was discussed in this chapter. In chapter two, a literature review of the systems used was made. In addition, the software which will be used in building the application was reviewed. In the third chapter, the business requirements were analyzed and presented to assist the design of the required application. The fourth chapter illustrated the design of the system. This includes the initial site map, the ER Diagram and the storyboard of the system’s interfaces. The system implementation in great details was discussed in chapter 5 as a step by step guide. It showed how the system was exactly built with all the installations and configurations required. Chapter 6 was included a comprehensive test case scenario that viewed how all the previously mentioned requirements were met.

9.2

Difficulty faced:

While working on this project we have faced some difficulties such as:  Selecting a project subject/topic and finding a client.  Analysis the current work flow in the company.  Selecting the modules to be developed to help enhance the SCM. 145


 Finding information about such systems and the databases required.  Working on the relationships between the entities.  Time management  Designing a suitable interface.  Modifying the previously proposed interface into a site with both a back end and front end.  Switching from ASP.NET to PHP due to lack of functionalities in ASP.NET  Switching from developing a PHP based site to utilizing an open source content management system.  Creating different Admins with different authority levels and setting different access permissions.  Designing suitable Admin interfaces.  Designing the front end to with stand an e-store with an integrated shopping cart system.  Setting up both a local and an online host to accumulate the site.  Documenting the system.  Overcoming all the technical issues that arose during the installation and implementation of the system.

9.3

Recommendations:

Nowadays, e-commerce is the new trend for industrial companies. Most industries are now moving towards implementing online portals that permits their employees and/or customers to interact through online transactions. After studying the contents of the previously mentioned systems, their advantages surpassed their drawbacks drastically. Hence, the development of such systems will be of a great benefit to the working field. Batterjee is one of the leading distributors in the pharmaceutical field in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, employing such technology is a must to grow further and compete effectively across international boundaries. Wanting Bayer KSA to be as efficient as other Bayer branches available worldwide, Batterjee could look more into how Bayer is currently executing their functions outside of KSA and 146


propose employing similar technologies. They could also consider joining efforts with other pharmaceutical distributors in the industry. Batterjee should also put into their consideration implementing a complete Supply chain management system which integrates all parties from the supplier to the customer. This system should have proper tracking of shipments and by that they will increase their supplier network. The implemented portal is scalable and could include other manufacturers giving Batterjee the ability to attain more lines from Bayer. Moreover, Batterjee doesn’t have an online identity. For that, they can launch an official website that introduces them to their targeted community. This project can be viewed as a reference for future works.

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Inventory Control and Web Portal for Batterjee Pharmaceutical Warehouse  

Supply chain management (SCM) and Inventory Control systems are widely used now-a-days to help enhance all business activities. Pharmaceutic...

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