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Refurbishment without stopping the flow of ordering system during operation

Food supply system for nursing care facilities

This time we ordered "food supply system for nursing care facilities". The user manufactures retort foods for food manufacturing industry, mainly for facilities such as nursing home for the elderly. We requested a total system construction from daily ordering and ordering systems such as quantity to inventory management and sales management. Basically, from the front side it functions as an EC site and from the management side it is an ordering / ordering system.
The purpose of introducing the system is to streamline operations. Prior to system introduction, we received orders by telephone and managed inputs with Excel. Although we were exchanging paper orders from ordering management to billing management, we have decided to decide on systemization as the order volume has increased by 10 times in recent years.
Actually, when we consulted, the system of another company had already been introduced, so at first it was to take over the maintenance of the existing system from the middle.
After that, I was asked to partly refurbish the existing system and build a new system. In order to clarify the problem, we conducted it again from the user's interview.

Build a system that can deal with complicated orders

When a customer orders from the EC site, it has to deal with considerably complicated contents. For example, in a senior citizen's home, if we need 10 meals a day, we will order 10 people for breakfast, lunch and dinner each. In that case, it is necessary to respond to a detailed request. If there are two people who wish to eat out at noon on that day, lunch will be reduced to 8 people, or allergies, changing menus individually according to food preferences, Various demands change with each order placing.
In this way, it is a system that closes the order contents that changes every day on a monthly basis and requests it. To the customer who entered the order, return the confirmation screen of the stock status after returning the order. Shipment instructions are also automatically made from the system. In addition, it is a system that can check from shipping to delivery for each status. In addition, we prepared a function to follow extra order exchange with mail.

Until you convince the proposal contents pass

The work content can be roughly divided into three. "Order receiving" "Inventory management" "Sales management". Initially, the user had been requested a system that comprehensively assembled these three operations.
Existing systems handed over from other companies were also comprehensive systems. However, to modify a comprehensive system, there is a certain risk. Since it is a renovation of the system which is already in operation, it is not possible to interrupt the day-to-day operations such as order reception and order. Because of the repair work, it is necessary to avoid troubles in operation. In the case of a particularly comprehensive system, it is assumed that if you make some modifications, it affects everything. Overall flexibility was impossible, there was a fear that additional extra labor and time would be required.
Therefore, by relational management of independent business systems to each, we suggested to step by step renovation, separate development from new scratch development.
Initially, it was hard for users who wanted comprehensive system operation to convince such development flow.
There was also a hard work on the design side. The front user interface has a lot of items, and when I made it to one screen the letters became small. Customers ordering from the screen are relatively older, so it will be hard to see them if the letters are small. Also, there are also products that we deal with as food, and there was also a desire to prioritize visual images and to use more images than characters. This area is the point that I had an unexpected hard time.
With the aging society, I think that the number of lunch programs in the facilities for the elderly will increase more and more. I hope to make use of this experience and lead to future work.

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