SOLUSI UNIVERSITY THE EFFECTIVENESS OF COMPUTERIZED INVENTORY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS IN THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY

SOLUSI UNIVERSITY

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF COMPUTERIZED INVENTORY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS IN THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY. STUDY FOCUSED ON MEGA PAK ZIMBABWE

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A RESEARCH SUBMITTED TO SOLUSI UNIVERSITY IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE BBA MANAGEMENT
BY
EDITH MUZITE
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1: Introduction————————————————-
Background of the study————————————————–
Origination of the problem————————————————
Past research studies——————————————————–
Statement of the problem————————————————–
Research questions———————————————————
Hypothesis——————————————————————-
Purpose of the study——————————————————–
Significance of the study————————————————–

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CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Background of the study
This research looked at the effectiveness of computerized inventory management in the manufacturing industry throughout the world as well as in Zimbabwean organizations. Just like all organizations world wide Zimbabwean organizations are also striving for excellent performance in order to be globally competitive. Technology has caused transformations in the organizational environments over the past years and computerization is needed to ensure that an organization is operating at maximum capacity to deliver effectiveness and efficiency in the operations and activities Johnson (1995). Thus, organizations in the manufacturing industry mainly use fast moving stock items which need to be distributed to the user departments quickly because they are critical stocks that could hinder productivity so these stocks are vital to ensure continuity in production.
This chapter therefore gives the statement of the problem, research questions, purpose and significance of the study, conceptual framework, assumptions, limitations and delimitations of the study, acronyms and definition of terms and background of the study.

Background Information to the study
Mega Pak Zimbabwe Founded in 1993 as a joint venture between Delta Corporation Zimbabwe and Nampak South Africa, Mega Pak Zimbabwe is now a leading manufacturer of plastic packaging products. Mega Pak produces a diverse range of plastic products, which includes crates, drums, tanks, bottles and closures supplied by two plants in Ruwa. The organizations quality management system and skills in injection molding, stretch blow molding, blow molding and rotational molding, as well as the backing from the Nampak group, keeps them at the forefront of packaging technologies. Megapak is ISO 14001 accredited and Green Band rated by Coca-Cola. Mega Pak serves the following markets:
• Carbonated soft beverages
• Beer and sorghum beer
• Alcoholic beverages
• Edible oils
• Chemicals
• Water
• Detergents
• Bakery
• Meat and poultry
• Cordials
• Paint
Not only do they supply numerous leading local brands, Mega Pak also exports to SADC and COMESA countries such as Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi.
VISION, MISSION STATEMENT AND VALUES
Mission Statement
Our business is to manufacture and market a wide variety of packaging products. Our overriding objective is to grow total shareholder return in real terms on a sustainable basis. By so doing we will seek to enhance the value we create for all our stakeholders.

Vision
In five years, Mega Pak will transform into a highly efficient packaging company, offering total packaging solutions across a wide variety of market segments. We will strive to be number one in all market segments we choose to play.

Values
• Integrity, honesty and discipline
• Fairness, equity and respect for the individual
• Commitment and accountability
• Quality and customer orientation
• Open-mindedness and open-heartedness
Origination of the problem
Employees, mainly from the stores department have been facing major problems and drawbacks due to the present inventory system. Inventory at Mega Pak is managed by use of the computerized system as well as the manual way. The various inventory management activities conducted at Mega Pak are costing of stocks, raising online requisitions, raising GRV’s just to mention a few. A computerized system has been employed to aid in the day to day activities of the organization. The system currently installed at Mega Pak is the SYSPRO system. The system has some challenges and limitations that employees face when using it therefore this research is triggered by these challenges which deprive the SYSPRO system from being used effectively and efficiently.
Past Research Studies
ASIA
A research termed, “Impacts of computerized Management Process of stocks in Building Material Firms” carried out in ASIA (BRASIL) by Vanessa Ramos da Silva and Graciela Dias Coelho Jones {European Scientific Journal May 2013 Edition} pointed out that many organizations in Brazil have sought out solutions to help them stay competitive and market their material. The study focused on analyzing the impacts of computerized inventory management on the effectiveness of inventory movement and this was done using the qualitative approach. The research assessed that manual management of inventory had some advantages such as it did not have to depend on other external factors such as power supply or internet connection for use of recording products in stock. However, the research pointed out noteworthy the benefits of using computerized management systems and these advantages include, stock query to find stock levels was much faster, inventory was controlled through journal reports, close monitoring of products incoming and outgoing among other advantages.
Europe
A research termed “an assessment of the factors influencing Effectiveness of Inventory Control” carried out in Europe {London} by Philip Ranger {international Journal of Business and Commerce} focused on finding the effectiveness of inventory control and the findings revealed that frequent stock outs and delays in procurement of goods were some of the effects of long bureaucratic procurement procedures. According to the study inadequate and untimely dispatch of funds has an effect on inventory control. The study also revealed that unavailability of stationaries and stores records, lack of skilled and well-trained staff hinders effective performance however this research excluded that fact of computerized inventory management systems as a factor contributing to effectiveness of inventory control.
Africa
Another research termed “computerized Inventory Management for a Manufacturing Industry”. A case study carried out in Africa {Nigeria} by Emmanuel Seye Owoeye African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development 2014 Edition reflected that inventory management is the act of keeping track of quantity of material and number of items that should be present in inventory at all times. Over the past years inventory managers have been operating inefficiently and ineffectively because of use of manual systems of control. Questions arose from how to monitor inventory? how much should be ordered and when? Just to mention a few. The research suggested and recommended the implementation of computerized inventory system to help improve effectiveness of all activities performed at the Stores department.
Statement of the problem
The research problem has been triggered by the fact that end users of the SYSPRO system face major drawbacks such as unnecessary time consumption due to the limitations associated with using the SYSPRO system. This also leads to the stores people failing to meet set deadlines, high frequency in stock variances between figures in the SYSPRO system and those physically on the ground. Failure to effectively use the system leads to an increase in the amount of work to be done.
Research Questions
1. Does the organization consider effective inventory management?
2a. Does the SYSPRO system bring advantages and disadvantages to the organization?
2b. to what extent do the limitations affect the effectiveness of the SYSPRO system?
3a. what can be done within the stores department to improve effectiveness of computerized inventory management?
3b. if improvement is not possible what will be the alternative aimed at improving effectiveness.
4 if the alternative is change, will it give a supporting contribution to effective inventory management.
Hypothesis
Ho= there is no significant relationship between the effectiveness of computerized inventory systems and performance of the organization
Purpose of the study
This study aims to analyze the extent to which computerized inventory management contributes to effectiveness of inventory control and determine problems that attribute to it and recommend solutions to deal with the problems.
Significance of the study
This research should highlight benefits and importance of computerized inventory management and will benefit various institutions
1. Significance to the institution: this study will stand to benefit Mega Pak in the sense that inventory control will be made more efficient and effective. This study seeks to highlight the advantages and disadvantages that are acquired by use of computerized inventory systems. Employees will be able to carry out tasks easily and effectively.
2. Significance to the academic world: this research is going to stand as a point of reference in the academic sector not only in Zimbabwe but the world over. It will help other researchers on the issue or maximizing efficiency and effectiveness in the manufacturing industry.

Conceptual framework

• Accurate inventory records
• Employee training
• Performance of the organization
• Resource availability
• Competitiveness of the organization
• Controlling incoming and outgoing products

Assumptions
• the researcher assumes that if there are problems with the Syspro system then other user-friendly systems can be implemented.
• the researcher assumes that the respondents will respond positively.
• the researcher assumes the respondents will be available at the time of the study.
• The researcher assumes that choosing an alternative is the solution
• The population is accessible and will co-operate
• The research instruments are valid and reliable
• The researcher will get bias free information
• The research methodology is ethically acceptable
Limitations of the study
in the process of carrying out the research some constraints where faced and these include:
time factor- the researcher has limited time to focus on the study as she is also pursuing other courses at school and the assignments and lectures demand her time. Though the time was limited the researcher managed to carry out the study by putting in extra hours.
Internet- during the time of the study the researcher faced problems of access to the internet as the internet was shut down because of power-cuts.
Delimitations
The researcher is going to carry out the study at Mega Pak Zimbabwe which is located very close to where the researcher resides.
Acronyms and definition of terms
Inventory management- the formal management of the timing and quantities of goods to be ordered and stocked by an organization so that demand can always be satisfied without excess expenditure Sunil B ; Sameer P. (1998)
Inventory management software- computer based system for tracking inventory levels, orders, sales and deliveries. It can also be used in the manufacturing industry to create a work order, bill of materials and other production related documents Pitman Closs (1989).
Inventory- raw, intermediate or finished items that are physically stocked by an organization, or for which they are financially liable. Classification methods specify the usage, valuation method, degree of control, timing (to order or to stock) and other factors associated with investing company assets in inventoried items Martin Christopher, (2009).
PO- purchase order
Organization of the study
The study is structured in this way, Chapter 1 contains the introduction and background information, Chapter 2 has the literature review, Chapter 3 contains the research methodology, Chapter 4 has the data presentation, interpretation, analysis and findings the lastly Chapter 5 has the summary, conclusion and the recommendations.

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CHAPTER TWO
INTRODUCTION
INTRODUCTION
This chapter details the definitions and theoretical underpinnings of the concept of computerized inventory management concepts. The chapter begins by conceding to the fact that there are various schools of thought and attempts at defining the concept. At face value, the mere mention of the concept brings with it several optional meanings that refer to various activities which will also be defined. It makes a deep evaluation into the development of computerization of inventory management within various organizations. The chapter then establishes a working definition which borrows largely from the context of this particular study and the aims of the author. It goes about defining computerization of inventory processes and activities, as well as the benefits that develop from computerizing inventory per given organization. This chapter also goes on to identify the drawbacks that comes from poor computerization per given organization. Also, a brief swot analysis regarding computerization was taken into consideration in this chapter.
1 LITERATURE REVIEW
Hart (1998) defines literature review as a critical analysis of a segment of published body of knowledge through summary, clarifications, and comparison of prior research studies, reviews of Purpose
To identify gaps in literature
To identify areas of prior scholarship to prevent duplication of effort.
To point the way forward for further researches.
To identify information and ideas that may be relevant to your project.
To provide the intellectual context for your own work, enabling you to position your project relative to other work.
To identify other people working in the same fields (a researcher network is a valuable resource) literature and theoretical articles
COMPUTERISED INVENTORY CONTROL
According to Emmanuel Seye Owoeye African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development 6:4 2014 Edition A Computerized Inventory Control System is the integration of sub-functions involved in the management of inventory into a single cohesive system. It is software installed on the computer systems that enables a firm to keep a check on the inventory levels by performing the automatic counting of inventories, recording withdrawals and revising the stock balance. He pointed out that inventory management is the act of keeping track of the quantity of material and number of items that should be and presently in inventory at any time. Over the years, inventory managers have been faced with inefficiency and ineffectiveness of manual systems of control, questions arising being that of how to monitor inventory, how much should be ordered and when orders should be placed, all these issues on effective and efficient basis. The research then suggested and recommended the implementation of a computerized inventory management system to help improve the effectiveness of the activities involved.
It is very difficult for any firm to maintain a large stock of inventories, and therefore, many firms have adopted the JIT system in terms of Minimum and Maximum limit for the stock. There is an inbuilt system for placing orders in computer systems that automatically generates a PO to the supplier when the minimum level of the stock or the reorder point is reached.
The benefits of a computerized inventory control system can be derived, when the business integrates its inventory control system with the other systems such as accounting and sales that helps in better control of inventory levels.
In practice, when the inventory level reaches to its minimum point, the system automatically generates a purchase order, which is sent to the supplier electronically. Also, the other copy of the PO is sent to the accounting department. Once the material is received from the supplier, an inventory gets updated on the system and at the same time, the notification is sent to the accounting department, which is used against the supplier’s Invoice and the PO copy.
Thus, a computerized inventory control system has made a life of both the manufacturer and the big retailer easy, who can manage their inventories electronically without wasting much time on the manual tracking system. Also, all the documents, such as purchase order, Invoice, account statement gets automatically generated with a use of computerized inventory control system.
But however, too much reliance on the technology may be problematic in the situations of power failure and lost internet connectivity, as it may bring a system to a standstill. Also, the accuracy of inventory items inserted in the system depends on the data entry made by the person. Thus, a proper entry should be made to obtain the correct inventory levels.
DEVELOPMENT OF COMPUTERIZATION IN ORGANIZATIONS
The ability of people to work co-operatively to accomplish tasks and gain satisfaction from their works depends on people ability to communicate information that motivates, instruct and control performance. The pressing need to communicate effectively applies to people at every level of the organization.
The invention of information is very essential to the continued existence of the institution, and this is what Kimberly (2006) said, “Computer based information systems are quickly increasing in numbers and are being functional to more and more areas within our organization and society”. Since its beginning in the early 1950s, as a system from numerical analysis of scientific statistical and military data, they have developed into general information processing systems capable of answering different questions. Information may be generated manually or by computer. Under the manual system, human beings do everything from the data level to information level. However, this system is slow, error prone and limited in its ability to process large data.
The computerized inventory management system has many advantages over the manual inventory management systems. These include speed, accuracy, reliability and timeliness. The above benefit of the computerized inventory management systems does not mean that such systems do not have challenges, for many are the problems that an organization may face in using the system as discovered by the literature. It should be noted that the above advantages would only be possible if the right software is selected. Selecting the right software is a difficult task. This is because there are varieties of software(s) on the market with different characteristics. There are no limits of choice when it comes to the computer hardware itself and more importantly, the software programs.
The main goal of inventory management is to process items and balance the inventory system. Inventory management is a very effective tool for an organization to be efficient in business management. The traditional way of managing inventory is performed by using a pen and a paper to write down the type and quantity of the stock. But errors in inventory records still exist even when the management uses computerized systems and product data capturing technologies to improve the inventory systems. Inventory managers have to face inaccuracy of inventory records either at the store or at the warehouse level. In order to improve accuracy of inventory checking, people started using Auto ID technologies. In EPC global Report, Auto ID technologies are defined as the host of technologies that are used to help machines to identify objects. It is about identifying items, capturing all information about the items, sending and storing those data into a computer with minimal human intervention.
DATA RECORDING SYSTEMS
There are two main ways or systems by which data may be recorded, interpreted and reported to the interested parties. These are the manual and the computerized system. According to Tin Pang Van (1999), there are no differences between the manual and the computerized systems in terms of input and output. There is nothing that the computer does which the computer does which the manual system cannot do, only that the computer is much quicker, less human based and allows a wide variety of analysis to be made. However, the only area of difference is the manner in which data are physically entered into the particular accounting system and how they are processed.
MANUAL INVENTORY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AND ITS SHORTCOMINGS
Briefly, a system is a set of interdependent elements that together achieve exact objectives. Manual inventory management system is an information system. Dobler & Burt. (2006) defined it as a prepared way of collecting, entering, and processing data and storing, managing, controlling, and reporting information so that an organization can accomplish its objectives and goals.
In manual inventory management systems, processing of data is slow and subject to error (Grabski and Marsh, 1994). There is therefore the need to be very careful when processing data using manual inventory systems. Other short coming of the system include:
• Reduces speed,
• Increases workload of stores personnel
• Relatively slower internal control reporting,
• Routine work and some others such as the issue of backups.
The current system at Mega Pak operates on both computerized and manual inventory system, from stocks, products, ordering and purchases. This is faced with errors, incompleteness, and insufficient data for analysis. Information regarding stocks, products, sales and purchases are still in black and white which is not properly organized and managed. As a result, it is difficult in processing, updating and managing. The factors for these difficulties are:

1. Time Consumption
Manual inventory systems are time consuming, as the business owner must keep track of inventory sales on a daily basis, while updating the system manually at the end of the day.
2. Poor Communication
A manual inventory requires employees and managers to write down each time an item is removed from the inventory. If one employee forgets to mention that the last stock product has been removed from the inventory, a manager expects the item to still be available for a user during an issue. Compared with a technical inventory system, a manual inventory system does not help the communication in the workplace.
3. Physical Counts
A manual inventory system does not provide any number, as all numbers from the inventory are gained through physical inventory counts. One of the difficulties of running a manual inventory system is that physical inventory counts must be performed frequently to control the items in the inventory. This is time consuming and can cost the business money, if employees must come in to help out outside of business hours.
4. Daily Purchases
Keeping track of daily purchases is another difficult controlling measure with manual inventory systems. A manual inventory system requires the employees to write down the items issued during a single work day. This can be a difficult task, as one employee may lose the list of items issued or another may forget to write down an issue.

5. Ordering Supplies
A manual inventory system does not update at the end of the day with updated inventory counts. This means you must go through the inventory items each time you need to place an order for new raw materials, products or supplies for the inventory. This can be a time-consuming process, as you will physically have to go through each product box and browse through the items.

Computerized Inventory Management Systems
Pitman & Closs D. J. (1989) defines Computerized Inventory Management System as a computer-based system which combines inventory principles and concepts as well as the concept of information system to record, process, analyze and produce inventory-based information to its users for making economic decisions. The definition of a Computerized Inventory Management System from above shows that it has the following components:
Input: Data inputs are the facts that are collected and processed by the information system. Data input includes capturing data from a source document such as a requisition or purchase order.
Processing: In order to produce useful and meaningful information, the data captured must be processed and organized into a useful form.
Output: Output is the meaningful and useful information produced by the information system. It is usually presented in the form of a report.
Feedback: After the information has been presented in the form of a report, there is the need for responds. Feedback tends to serve as a source of input or a control measure in the information system.
Storage: It serves as the repository of relatively permanent data maintained over an extended period of time.
Many researchers have researched on inventory management systems. Chris (2014) noted that there are several problems faced by organizations that use the manual method of stock balance checks and spare requisition. The researchers noted that the system is highly labor intensive and requires constant monitoring to ensure accountability and appropriate stock levels. The system has difficulties of sharing inventory information. It therefore becomes time consuming to monitor inventory levels. The system is error prone. Data duplication is high. Retrieval of data about customer and spares is slow.
Pitman. Closs (1989) stated that technological innovations brought about high cost of control through centralized procurement processes and the process becomes more complex with fewer employees who need expert knowledge of computerized systems. This has resulted in the automatic elimination of those players who lack electronic capabilities and job losses as processes are being automated. Obogne and Lidasan (2005) highlighted that most companies lack the financial resources to finance the high capital requirements. In developing economies some companies are not informed of the advantages and cost effectiveness of the technology and why it costs a lot for them to acquire it. Deraman et al (2012) stated that failures to effective ICT implementation was due to lack of technical resources and human infrastructure development.
Choudhury et al. (2008) said that an increase in the inventory holding costs will result in an increase on total costs. However, due to the availability of information and communication technology companies are now able to utilize cost saving measures through improved systems. Computerized inventory systems have some benefits. Cachon and Fisher (2000) mentioned that information technology contributes effectively to lead time and batch size reduction. Costs are reduced through information sharing across the supply chain, inventory flows are fastened and ordering processing is improved.
They also reported that lower levels of aggregation, information sharing by coordinating internally within a firm and externally with suppliers and customers is positively associated with operational and financial performance. On the other hand, Russell and Taylor (2011) stated that computer and information technology enables real-time processes, online communication as well as the efficient flow of products and services across the supply chain which leads to a reduction in inventory levels.
Shaprio (2001) reiterated that Information Technology (IT) contributes to the development of effective business processes and brings about innovations to the supply chain. Cachon and Fisher (2000) also stated that information sharing across the supply chain reduces costs, speedily facilitates inventory flows and improves the ordering process. Efficiency in inventory management can be attained by substituting inventory with information through automatic replenishment programs (ARP), where the seller uses information regarding product usage and inventory levels provided by the buyer to determine replenishment quantities (Daugherty et
al. 1999).
ADVANTAGES OF COMPUTERISATION IN INVENTORY MANAGEMENT
Inventory is a very expensive asset that can be replaced with information which is a less expensive asset but to do this, the information has to be accurate, timely, reliable and consistent. When this happens, an organization can carry fewer inventories, reduce cost and get products to customers faster (David, 1996). This therefore implies that inventory management is very important if a company wants to achieve a balance between efficiency and responsiveness.
David (1996) states and defines the following benefits which are associated with computerization of inventory activities within an organization.
2.5.1 Speed and Efficiency
A computerized inventory management system makes everything from inputting information to taking inventory easier. Doing a hand count of inventory can take days, but with a computerized inventory management system, the same process can be done in a matter of hours.
2.5.2 Document Generation
Once the computerized inventory management system is in place, managers and workers can use it to automatically generate all kinds of documents, from purchase orders and checks to invoices and account statements. Managers can also use the system to automatically order products when they run low.
2.5.3 Timely Data
With a manual system, the data is only as accurate and up to date as the last hand count. With a computerized inventory management system, the management team can pull a report and instantly see how many units are on the floor, how many have been issued and which products are critical in terms of consumption.
2.5.4 Time Savings
As the old saying goes, time is money. The amount of time that can be saved by a business is, perhaps, the biggest benefit of using a computerized inventory system. A great example of this benefit is the retail industry. In cases where a shop maintains all data manually, its manager must reconcile each sales receipt with every piece of physical inventory. Depending on the size of the establishment and how many different products are sold, this can be a daunting and time-consuming task. If that same store, however, used a computerized point of sale, POS, system, the master inventory list would be updated electronically each time a sale is made. The only thing a manager would have to do each day is print out the report highlighting the inventory to be restocked.
2.5.5 Accuracy
An additional benefit of using a computerized inventory system is the accuracy it ensures. Eighteenth century English poet Alexander Pope is often quoted as having said, to err is human. When an inventory list is maintained by hand, the margin of error widens with each update. If one mathematical calculation is wrong or one typo is made, disaster may occur. For instance, if a clerk accidentally adds a zero to the end of a purchase order, a business could potentially end up paying for 10,000 units of merchandise as opposed to the 1,000 that is actually needed.
2.5.6 Consistency
A small business operates most efficiently when its processes are executed in a consistent manner. By using a computerized inventory system, a business owner can ensure that all orders, reports and other documents relating to inventory are uniform in their presentation, regardless of who has created them. This will allow ease of reading. In addition, uniformity creates a professional appearance, which can go a long way to impress associates, such as potential investors.
2.6 DISADVANTAGES OF COMPUTERISATION IN INVENTORY MANAGEMENT
2.6.1 Reliance on Technology
With a computerized inventory management system, the company is at the mercy of its technology. Outside factors like a power failure or the loss of Internet or network connectivity can render the system temporarily useless.
2.6.2 Accuracy Issues
A computerized system alone does not ensure accuracy, and the inventory data is only as good as the data entry that created it. Companies that plan to use a computerized inventory management system need to have a system in place to validate their data and check the numbers reported by the system. A select hand count or targeted audit may be necessary to ensure the integrity of the system.
2.6.3 Risk of Fraud
Any computerized system carries the risk of intrusion, and with a computerized inventory management system comes the risk of fraud as well. A dishonest vendor could hack the system to receive payment for products never delivered, or a dishonest employee could redirect checks to themselves.
SYSPRO SYSTEM
According to a journal presented by Gabriel Gheorghiu, Research Analyst, Technology Evaluation Centre (T.E.C), SYSPRO is an international enterprise resource planning (ERP) software developer based in Johannesburg, South Africa, with presence in all continents and in more than 60 countries. Despite its strong global presence, the company remains privately held, which allows it to better focus on building product value and establishing long-term customer relationships. SYSPRO has been in the market for more than 30 years, serving manufacturers and distributors of small to medium size, developing well established products, and gaining a deep understanding of the market segment. As the main SYSPRO product, SYSPRO ERP is used by more than 14,500 small to medium business (SMB) manufacturers and distributors and is supplied through an extensive and strong channel of more than 1,500 partners across the globe. SYSPRO ERP is a ‘single DNA’ continuous software product based on Microsoft .NET technology.
Although designed for smaller-sized clients, the software is quite complex and extensive. SYSPRO offers a wide variety of customized solutions based on certain modules of SYSPRO ERP for SMBs in many industries—from aerospace and automotive manufacturing to FDA-governed batch-based process manufacturing (food and beverage processing), wholesale suppliers and distributors, and for the mining industry. The software capabilities cover all major business needs of such companies, including manufacturing management; customer service; demand management; distribution management; lead time management; product design; and quality, standards, and conformance.
PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS OF SYSPRO VERSION 7
Based on four main principles, here are the product highlights for SYSPRO 7:
1. Ease of Use
• Layout: Having a single DNA, the software’s layout is consistent throughout the product. The user interface is fashioned after Microsoft Office products, facilitating the user’s learning and understanding of the system. Screens and whole user workplaces are highly configurable and flexible. Quick access tabs can be created according to user preferences.
• Task performance: Lots of information is available to a user on the screen in spreadsheet or various types of diagrams views. The user can easily drill down into the record or transaction detail level. However, screens may sometimes seem complex, and congested with lots of information and many types of buttons and tabs.
2 Workflow Design
• Information retrieval: Most of the system’s screens contain multiple separate forms that allow users to navigate quickly from header to detail level, or to the next, previous, last, or first record. Records lists can be customized by grouping columns, filtering, and many other MS Excel–like customary options. Drop-down lists of options are used to prevent users from entering incorrect information.
• Alerts and notifications: The Office Automation and Messaging module of SYSPRO 7 provides users with the ability to create alerts and events based on business logic and workflow requirements.
• Security: Security can be enabled at various levels, allowing security setup options to be varied according to company needs, from relatively simple typical controls like password and configured group access to more sophisticated (and optional) role-based security.
• Reporting capabilities: SYSPRO 7 offers several levels of obtaining information from the system. In addition to standard and modifiable set of reports and a report writer tool, it includes an embedded Crystal Reports–based SYSPRO Analytics Business Intelligence solution with a number of predefined multi-dimensional objects and metrics for visualizing many traditionally numerical reports and data sheets. The system also comprises Executive Dashboards, with visual real-time data presentation and what-if analysis tools. SYSPRO 7 is able to customize and create its own reports, and its able to save these in PDF formats.
3. Innovation
• New features: SYSPRO ERP information can be accessed via an iPhone and iPad using the SYSPRO on the Go application, which is available in the iTunes store. The company is developing a mobile framework based on HTML5, which will be device agnostic to allow any mobile device to access the software; this will also make the mobile user interface customizable and version independent. Further enhancements, as detailed in the product roadmap, will include more sophisticated inventory and warehouse management, enhancements to manufacturing quality management, and improved functionality for product configuration. SYSPRO 7.0 has improved search functionality, thus it is possible for one to search for multiple items at the same time.
COMPARISON BETWEEN VERSION 6.1 AND VERSION 7
BASIS VERSION 6.1 VERSION 7.0
Field size Small and limited Enhanced and larger
Short description for item Has only 30 characters Has up to 50 characters
Long description for item Has only 30 characters Has up to 100 characters
Unit of measure Has 3 characters only Has 10 characters
Number of warehouses Limited to 30 warehouses Has up to 99 warehouses

CONCLUSION
This chapter was mainly focused on the views of different authors regarding the concepts under computerized inventory management in an organization in relation to some of the objectives of the study. In this chapter the researcher focused on the secondary sources of data in order to focus on the objectives of the study. An analysis of different schools of thought was displayed in the chapter in order to establish the effectiveness of computerization development in the manufacturing industry. Abstracted information was presented according to its relevancy and relation to the study. The next chapter will be looking at the research instruments to be used in getting statistics of the population in the case study.