A Relational Database for Inventory Management Help
- Software skills:Database design, querying, and reporting
- Business skills:Inventory management
Businesses today depend on databases to provide reliable information about items in inventory, items that need restocking, and inventory costs. In this exercise, you will use database software to design a database for managing inventory for a small business.
Fictional Sylvester’s Bike Shop, located in Hamilton, Ontario, sells road, mountain, hybrid, leisure, and children’s bicycles. Currently, Sylvester’s purchases bikes from three suppliers but plans to add new suppliers in the near future. This rapidly growing business needs a database system to manage this information.
Initially, the database should house information about suppliers and products. The database will contain two tables: a supplier table and a product table. The reorder level refers to the number of items in inventory that triggers a decision to order more items to prevent a stockout. (In other words, if the number of units of a particular item in inventory falls below the reorder level, the item should be reordered.) The user should be able to perform several queries and produce several managerial reports based on the data contained in the two tables.
Build a simple relational database for Sylvester’s. Once you have built the database, perform the following activities:
- Prepare a report that identifies the five most expensive bicycles. The report should list the bicycles in descending order from most expensive to least expensive, the quantity on hand for each, and the markup percentage for each.
- Prepare a report that lists each supplier, its products, the quantities on hand, and associated reorder levels. The report should be sorted alphabetically by supplier. Within each supplier category, the products should be sorted alphabetically.
- Prepare a report listing only the bicycles that are low in stock and need to be reordered. The report should provide supplier information for the items identified.
- Write a brief description of how the database could be enhanced to further improve management of the business. What tables or fields should be added? What additional reports would be useful?
Improving Decision Making: Searching Online Databases for Overseas Business Resources
- Software skills:Online databases
- Business skills:Researching services for overseas operations
Internet users have access to many thousands of Web-enabled databases with information on services and products in faraway locations. This project develops skills in searching these online databases.
Your company is located in Calgary, Alberta, and manufactures office furniture of various types. You have recently acquired several new customers in Australia, and a study you commissioned indicates that, with a presence there, you could greatly increase your sales. Moreover, your study indicates that you could do even better if you actually manufactured many of your products locally (in Australia). First, you need to set up an office in Melbourne to establish a presence, and then you need to begin importing from Canada. You then can plan to start producing locally.
You will soon be travelling to the area to make plans to actually set up an office, and you want to meet with organizations that can help you with your operation. You will need to engage people or organizations that offer many services necessary for you to open your office, including lawyers, accountants, import–export experts, telecommunications equipment and support, and even trainers who can help you to prepare your future employees to work for you. Start by searching for advice from the Canada Department of Trade and Commerce on doing business in Australia. Then try the following online databases to locate companies that you would like to meet with during your coming trip: Australian Business Register (abr.business.gov.au), Australia Trade Now (Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.), and the Nationwide Business Directory of Australia (Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.). If necessary, you might also try search engines such as Yahoo! and Google. Then perform the following activities:
- List the companies you would contact to interview on your trip to determine whether they can help you with these and any other functions you think vital to establishing your office.
- Rate the databases you used for accuracy of name, completeness, ease of use, and general helpfulness.
- What does this exercise tell you about the design of databases?