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Data Analytics for Mobile-based ERP System: A Case in Metalcraft Industry

Salem M. Laylo Jonathan M. Caballero


Technological Institute of the Philippines - Manila Technological Institute of the Philippines - Manila
salemcoe@yahoo.com jonathanmcaballero@gmail.com

Abstract:
This paper attempts to present the implementation of the data analytics on Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERPS) utilizing mobile
based technology. The objective of this particular study is to design and implement a user friendly mobile based ERPS for a metal craft
industry. This would intend to enhance the business operations that involves customer relations, human resource processes and financial
and accounting transactions. As the development of the system, Agile approach was employed where the development team apparently
perceived the method suitable on the development process. By implementing an ERP system, the operations within the company
improved the systematic way of handling its day-to-day transactions. This ERP benefit gives an advantage to the stakeholders especially
the management who has a direct & easy way of using the features of the system such as monitoring of the items on the inventory,
ordering of products, managing customers, payroll of the employees and generating of necessary reports. Based from the test conducted
by the end users, it was proved that the system requirements were able to meet and satisfy the needs of the metalcraft industry. With the
system testing, both usability & reliability acquired the highest mean of 4.78 which indicates that the system delivered the clients’
requirements very satisfactorily. The study also shown that with the application of data analytics, it can dramatically improve the day-
to-day business operations and can work on the data for future reference especially in decision making.

Keywords: Business Intelligence (BI), Data Analytics, ERP system, Mobile-based

1. INTRODUCTION fabrication company. The operations of the business are based on


the manual transactions that leads to redundant processes in
Technological innovations lead companies to transform the performing daily operations. The processes involves employees’
traditional method of doing business to a modern technology attendance monitoring, product quotation, purchase order, clients
oriented processes. Bringing new ideas into business can save monitoring, checking and monitoring of materials & finished
time, money and can create competitive advantage in the products, sales, delivery and payroll of employees. The cited
marketplace. It would lead to a more efficient work process and transactions make the company’s services slow, inefficient and
an enhanced productivity and performance [1]. high operational cost.
The adaptation of the Business Intelligence (BI), Data The researcher believes that the use of Data Analytics for
Analytics and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and Mobile-Based ERP System can improve the day-to-day business
mobile technology are some of the strategic tools being used by operations of the company.
an organization. Collaborating these methods gives most of the
industry an opportunity to make a powerful analysis and a 2. RELATED WORKS
remarkable decision making through the information gathered
and shared [2]. Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence transforms data into useful information Hartley found out that BI is an instrument of change in the
that can be utilize to improve the business processes. The BI tools organisations. It was discovered that when it applied in the public
analyse the data sets and presents analytical findings in forms of sector organisations, it provides information for decision making,
graphs summaries, dashboards, and maps in order to provide and aid in citizen relationship management [6].
relevant information that pertains to business [3]. Moreover, Nofal & Yusof explained that business intelligence is
Moreover, the Data Analytics helps the business to optimize an innovating process that controls customer information in
its performance. It is a way to lessen the cost by determining improving corporate transactions and build relationship with the
efficient ways of undertaking business and storing large amount existing and new prospect customers to improve profitability and
of data [4]. competitive advantage & success [2].
ERP, on the other hand, is a system that automates the Furthermore, Mohammed found out that the utilization of BI in
transactions that includes core business processes like collecting an organization can enhanced the process in the business and can
orders, scheduling operations, and collecting & monitoring of gain viable edge [7].
inventory records and as well as financial data. It is used to record The ideas imparted from the study of Hartley, Nofal & Yusof and
transactions and provide high speed recording while keeping Mohammed are congruent stating that the business intelligence
minimum disk space utilization [5]. can improve the organization and its competitive edge.
The functional importance of the cited processes make the
quality of services more efficient. In a way that the latters can
results to a fast delivery of services to its clientele. Data Analytics
With these global trends in information technology solutions, Lewis et al stated that the data analytics can create
the researcher became interested in conducting a project that business value by improving operational efficiency. The
focused on ERP system development and employing the concept transformation of the operational and strategic processes of an
of BI and Data Analytics to cater the needs of a metal craft
organization are the keys and this can be achieved by creating The Metal craft company operations are based on the manual
analytical algorithm and visualization tools [8]. transactions that leads to redundant processes in performing daily
According to INTEL, companies utilized big data operations. The processes involves employees’ attendance
analytics to remodel the competitive advantage in the industry. monitoring, product quotation, purchase order, clients
They applied capturing, storing and analysing data and extracted monitoring, checking and monitoring of materials & finished
ideas to support the business processes. The advancement in data products, sales, delivery and payroll of employees. The cited
analytics allows the organization to compete, make best decisions transactions make the company’s services slow, inefficient and
based on real – time analysis [9]. high operational cost. The company uses six (6) computer units
The concept of data analytics allows company to to support the various operations especially the clerical tasks.
perform decisions based on the analysis of the available data and These units are interconnected with each other and configured to
make sounds decision that will lead to the competitive edge in the share resources such as printers and files.
market.
3.2 The Proposed System
ERP System The proposed system for metalcraft industry will provide
Mohamed Ali et al, on his research iterated the importance competitive advantage on the process of the ERP from finance
of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. According and accounting to Human Resource Management processes. The
to the study conducted, it provides all-encompassing supports and succeeding figure (Figure 1) describes the process that covered
facilities to the whole company. With this, it can help in sharing, by the system based on the common operational system of the
transferring of data and information within all of the stakeholders company.
involved. In addition, sharing of data and information among all
of the departments helps in various aspects and it supports in
achieving the organizational objectives [10].
Similarly, Raihana, stated that ERP applications provide
opportunities for greater focus on strategic activities. It evolves
to address the needs of the enterprise, and the operations can be
effectively improved. The different resources, internal or
external, like the tangible assets, financial and human resources
are being supported by the platforms [11].
Mohammed Ali et al & Raihana have the same notion Figure 1. Proposed System
that the ERP systems manages the resources of the company. It
combines the business operations into an innovative wide system
environment. 3.3 Structure of the System

Mobile Based Based on Figure 1, the ERP system is made-up of the


different modules to support the operations conducted by the
Armand & Roger, elucidated that the use of mobile based company. With this, the following advantages were able to
technologies contribute to the improvement of the quality of manifest by the system:
service and productivity of the company. It also intensify the
business and customer relationship since mobile technology is the  The system can provide a database that would serve
primary means of communication [12]. as a central hub for the information needed by the
On the research conducted by Cailean and Sharifi, it has different users of the system.
been cited that the notion of the mobile enterprise is that the  The system can be easily accessed by the users using
“databases can be remotely accessed and updated from any web browsers on various platforms and devices.
anywhere in the world, at any time, with any device equipped with  The system is user friendly and easy to manage.
a Web Browser and by anyone with permission to access the  The system can easily gather data and capable of
service” (Al Bar et al. 2011) [13]. displaying statistical data.
The literature presented stated that the use of mobile
technology can enhance the ERP system operational tasks. The 3.3.1 The modules of the system are the following:
activities can be easily monitored. 3.3.1.1 Finance & Accounting Module
This module will be utilized by the finance and
3. METHODOLOGY accounting users of the system and this is consist of
the following:
Data Collection
In order to acquire information about project, the researcher 3.3.1.1.1 Payroll Sub module
utilized the interview method. A face to face survey was This sub module will be used to
conducted and both visual and audio cues are available [14]. compute the payroll of the employees.

3.1 Analysis of the Current Process 3.3.1.1.2 Sales Sub module


This sub module will be used to
record the sales operations indicated by the
client prior to goods delivery or rendering of
services.

3.3.1.1.3 Purchase Order Sub module


This sub module will be used to
record and issue official transactions indicating
types, quantities and agreed amount for
products and services. This is also used to
control the purchasing of items and services
from external suppliers.
3.3.1.1.4 Inventory Sub module Figure 2. Agile Phases
This module will be used in checking
and monitoring of all materials used in The Agile method was used on designing the different
company’s operations including office modules of the system since it is considered as a best tool for
supplies, raw materials and finished products. mobile system development as supported by the study of Flora
3.3.1.1.5 Payment Sub module and Chande [15].
This module will used to record all
payments made by the clients prior to their 3.4.1 Tools and Techniques
order. The following phases was performed based on the
specified system requirements. The figure below shows the
3.3.1.2 HR Management Module Work Breakdown Structure of the different activities in
This will be used for the employees’ developing the system. Work breakdown structure (WBS)
management including applications, attendance summarizes the different project works by decomposing the
monitoring as well as the benefits. work activities into a smaller and more detailed level of tasks.
3.3.1.3 Customers Relationship Management [16]
Module
This will be used to manage the company’s
interaction with current and potential customers.
3.3.1.4 Report Module
This will be used to generate different reports
needed by the users as well as the statistical data of
the various processes.
3.3.1.5 Administrative Module
This module is intended for the administrative
user of the system. This will facilitate the system file
configuration.
3.3.1.6 User Module
This will contain the backend users of the
system. This will enable the users’ login and
registration.
3.3.1.7 Audit Trail Module Figure 3. Work Breakdown Structure
This module allows the system to record all
operations performed by all users of the system. Various tools were selected and used in the system development.
The system was designed and created using the following tools:
3.4 System Development  Pre-processor Hypertext (PHP) web programming
The project employed Agile model. This model and with language along with Angular JS framework. PHP can be
the client’s requirement serve as the basis on setting the coverage easily integrated with the Hypertext Mark-up Language
of the project as presented below. (HTML) tags to create dynamic pages and the
combination of client side and server side scripting
makes the interactivity features of the system more user-
friendly and efficient [17].
 PHP is capable of handling various types of data thru the
implementation of Relational Database Management
System (RDBMS) such as MariaDB or formerly known
as mySQL and the PHP can be easily connected to the
database.[18] This two main core tools are available
from XAMPP, a free and open source cross-platform
web server solution stack package development
tool.[19] The design of the database includes all the efficiency, and satisfaction in a specified context
repositories of data that will be stored within the system. of use.
 The jQuery is one of the available libraries in JavaScript
that can be used in accessing HTML documents, data 3.5.1.4 Reliability – represents an algorithm in which a
manipulation, event handling and animation. It can be system, product or component performs a
also used in designing the user interface. [20] specified function under specified conditions for
 AJAX is a set of web development tools employing a specified period of time.
various web technologies such as asynchronous 3.5.1.5 Security – the degree to which a product or
operations on the client-side. With the use of system protects information and data so that
XMLHttpRequest object, it enables the page to persons or other products or systems have the
communicate with the other server-side scripts. It can degree of data access appropriate to their types
send and can receive information in a variety of formats, and levels of authorization.
including JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), XML,
HTML, and even text files. AJAX’s entrancing aspect,
however, is its “asynchronous” nature, which means it 3.5.2 Evaluation
can do all of this without having to refresh the page.[21] With the on-going evaluation of the various modules
 A bootstrap is an open-source tool that can be used for from the entire system conducted, the team identified the
creating and developing websites and web applications. strengths prior to the various system characteristics. The table
It contains HTML-based, CSS-based, and JavaScript- below shows the result of the evaluation from 25 respondents.
based design templates for various elements of the web
interface [22]. It is a front-end web framework, System Attributes Average
explicitly, an interface for the user.  Functional 4.64
Stability
3.5 Results and Discussion  Performance 4.70
Efficiency
By implementing an ERP system, the operations within  Usability 4.78
the company improved the systematic way of handling its day-to-  Reliability 4.78
day transactions. This ERP benefit gives an advantage to the
 Security 4.73
stakeholders especially the management who has a direct & easy
Average 4.73
way of using the features of the system such as monitoring of the
items on the inventory, ordering of products, managing Table 1. Evaluation Results
customers, payroll of the employees and generating of necessary Likert scale was used to evaluate the attributes of the
reports. Furthermore, the benefits can be earned by an system. The respondents select the desired value from the range
organization for a short period of time and it does not require any of scores from 1 to 5 where 1 – Strongly Disagree; 2 – Disagree,
more repetitions of tedious tasks. With this, the metalcraft 3 – Neutral; 4 – Agree and 5 – Strongly Agree. With the figures
industry improved the performance. Lastly, operational benefit showed in the evaluation, it clearly shown that both Usability and
enabled the integration of data and information among the Reliability acquired the highest mean of 4.78 which indicates that
operations performed. the system delivered the clients’ requirements very satisfactorily.
Testing and evaluation were conducted to verify the 4. CONCLUSIONS
significance and the validity of the output of the ERP system for
the metalcraft industry. As a conclusion, there is a radical improvement on the
day-to-day operations of the manual process conducted to an ERP
3.5.1 System Testing system. As research findings the benefits of ERP system
The development team conducted unit and
implementation is discussed in this study. The proponent
system testing which was adopted on ISO 25010 (Software
Product Quality model) [23]. The team focuses on the determines these ERP benefits from various literature which had
following characteristics: been extracted and employed in the development of the ERP
system for metalcraft industry.
3.5.1.1 Functional Suitability – represents for an
attribute to which a product or system can be Furthermore, the application of data analytics can
measured based on the functions of the system significantly improve the day-to-day business operations and can
presented when used under specified conditions. work on the data for future reference especially in decision
making.
3.5.1.2 Performance Efficiency – represents the
performance in relation to the number of In addition, the research findings or results have been
resources under certain conditions. tested and evaluated with an accordance of ISO 25010 standards
as testing metrics. It was proved that the system requirements
3.5.1.3 Usability – represents on which a product or were able to meet and satisfy the needs of the metalcraft industry.
system can be used by specified users to meet the With the system’s characteristics under test, both usability and
specified requirements with effectiveness, reliability got the highest mean score of 4.78 which indicates that
the system delivered the clients’ requirements very satisfactorily.
It was followed by the security with 4.73 weighted mean, [10] Mohamed Ali, et al , “Benefits and Challenges of Cloud ERP
followed by performance efficiency with 4.70 weighted means, Systems - A Systematic Literature Review”, 2017
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