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E-commerce And Stock Control System For B-Spoke Bikes (Research Paper Sample)

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FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR E-COMMERCE AND STOCK CONTROL SYSTEM FOR B-SPOKE BIKES

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FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR E-COMMERCE AND STOCK CONTROL SYSTEM FOR B-SPOKE BIKES
by James Odhiambo
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Like any other software project, the e-commerce and stock control system will have to follow software development life cycle which involves analysis of the requirements, designing architecture, coding and testing, integration, qualification testing, installation, and maintenance.1 Requirement analysis involves interacting with users by communicating with them in a language that they understand to determine what they need, evaluating and placing the needs in a rank and determining how they can be satisfied, and representing the needs in a way that developers can easily understand and interpret.2 The requirements gathered from users include the functioning of the expected system, the required quality, and available resources.
After identifying what users require, developers considers alternative designs and analyze them to come up with one that can satisfies the needs of users with minimum costs and maximum benefits. Architecture design involves the creation of the detailed component of the system by defining the various components that are required to develop the software including hardware, software, and their organization. Coding and testing involves creating or purchasing hardware and software necessary to provide systems that meet the needs of users. Testing of the system involves unit testing which tests individual components of a code, integration testing which tests the components of code put together, and system testing which tests the entire system.
Installation stage makes the system operational by putting up hardware and software required for the system to operate, and training users on how to use the systems. It also includes continuous maintenance of the system. Effective completion of software development life cycle while developing the e-commerce and stock control system requires input from various stakeholders. The various stakeholders for the project include users and/or clients and developers and/or implementers.
Users and/or Clients
Users and/or clients are within the project team, outside the project team but within the organization, and outside both the project team and the organization. Users and/or clients within the project team include B-Spoke Bikes’ management and information technology technicians. B-Spokes’ management, after identifying the requirement of users, would set objectives of the project and follow it up to ensure its completion. They would work closely with project managers to plan, staff, organize, and direct the operations of the project.3 They will also allocate funds and set deadlines to ensure the project is completed in time. The project would reduce staffing costs, improve efficiency, and provide clients with effective and fast services.
Information technology technicians would provide system developers and implementers with technical information of the organization that would make them develop a system that is usable and fit into the business’ available information technology architecture. The technicians would provide implementers with information regarding the problems they experience with the current stock management system and propose better solutions to improve its services. They would also provide information regarding the current hardware and software available in the organization and future information technology plan for the business. They would expect the system to be easy to use and maintain and compatible with their existing systems. The project will improve efficiency of information technology technicians as it would be easy to use, troubleshoot, and maintain.
Users and/or clients outside the project team but within the organization include technical users of the stock control system, other workers such as Rhy, and occasional casual workers. They would provide information regarding the business’ operations and the difficulties they encounter while serving customers and propose ways that would make them improve their services to customers. Users and/or clients outside both the business and project team are the customers. They would provide the project team with the difficulties they encounter while being served by the current system and propose the kind of system that could serve them better. The project would positively affect customers as they would be served efficiently and effectively and use a system that is user-friendly.
Developers/Implementers
Developers/Implementers are within the project team. Developers/ within the project team would perform feasibility study, analyze requirements, and help in designing and implementing the system. They will also perform maintenance and user training. The project would provide developers/implementers with money to earn their living and enable them improve their expertise.
Estimates of Costs and Benefits of the Project
The costs and benefits estimates looks at the estimated costs which are compared to the benefits that the system will provide when fully in place. The costs are grouped into development costs, effort costs, and operational costs.4 As the size of the project increases the cost per function of the project increases since the functions and tasks increase in size and resource demands. In addition, as the size of the project increases, complexity and staff requirements increase. The customized e-commerce and stock control system would therefore incur more costs compared to the template-based e-commerce system.
Customized E-Commerce and Stock Control System
Development Costs
The development process will consist of the following items of work: Hardware which include 5 computers’ central processing units (CPU), one server, 6 monitors, 6 key boards, 6 optical mice, network equipment including a router, untwisted pair cables, a switch, firewall, and RJ 45s; software which include Windows 7 operating system, Windows exchange server, development tools such as C programming language and MySQL, and database management system. Work station costs include office space, electricity, and water costs while other costs would include licensing and travelling costs, and taxes.
There will be costs related to the restriction of access to data, accessing web services and server, security of data, deployment of the system, presenting the system in graphical user interface, coding, database design and connection to the system, system testing, and acceptance testing put under presentation costs.5 Table 1 below illustrates the development cost estimates for a customized e-commerce and stock control system.
Table 1: Cost estimates for a customized e-commerce and stock control system
DescriptionCode Unit Cost in $QuantityAmount in $Computers’ CPUCCPU30051,500ServerSVR3501350MonitorMNT1006600KeyboardKBD206120MiceMSE10660Network equipment (routers, UTP cables, switch, and Router)
NTEQ
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1,050Windows 7 OS and Windows ServerWOS2-170Development languages (C and My SQL)DLS2-120Database Management SystemDBMS1001100Work station costs (office space, electricity, water, etc.)WSC--200Presentation costs (data access, security, GUI, deployment of the system, etc.)PSC--600Total 4,870
Effort Costs
Effort costs are cost of paying software developers and implementers and that of paying administrators, accountants, manual workers, and information systems technicians. It also involves costs of networking computer infrastructure, and paying for social security fund and health insurance. Table 2 below illustrates the effort costs involved in the customized e-commerce and stock control system.
Table 2: Effort costs for a customized e-commerce and stock control system
DescriptionCode Unit Cost in $QuantityAmount in $Software developers and implementersSDI2502500AdministratorsADM502100Information technology technicianITT50150Manual workersMWK10220AccountantACC1001100Networking computer infrastructureNCI100-100Social security fund and health insuranceSSFH30-50Total 920
Operational Costs
Operational costs are costs of maintaining the software and involve costs associated with corrective maintenance, adaptive maintenance, perfective maintenance, and addition of new features. They include costs of fixing emergencies in the program especially during installation and early operation, performing periodic debugging, taking care of changes to input data or files, taking care of changes in hardware or software, improving the system according to changing user requirements, and improving software documentation. Table 3 shows the estimated operation costs for a customized e-commerce and stock control system.
Table 3: Estimated operation costs for a customized e-commerce and stock control system
Description Code Unit Cost in $Quantity Amount in $Software emergency fixingSEF50-50Periodic debuggingPDB40-40Changes to input data or fileCIDF40-40Changes in hardware or softwareCIHS70-70Accommodating changes in user requirementsACUR60-60Improving software documentationISD30-30Total 290
Total estimated costs for a customized e-commerce and stock control system is equals the sum of development costs, effort costs, and operational costs and is shown below.
Total estimated costs = 4,870 + 920 + 290 = $6,080
Cost Estimates for a Template-Based E-Commerce and Stock Control System
Development Costs
The development process will consist of the following items of work: Hardware which include 5 computers’ central processing units (CPU), one server, 6 monitors, 6 key boards, 6 optical mice, network equipment including a router, untwisted p...
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