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Justification for the Weighing Factors
Robustness = 3:
Robustness pertains to the unlikelihood that the software will crash. This a relevant factor mainly because the end client is a small plumbing supplies business. Once the software is installed, the person who will be left to use it or operate the system is not likely to have extensive know-how in programming. This means that in the event that the software crashes, he would have to rely on what little knowledge he has with the program in order to remedy the problem. The chances are, he would not have much to work with. Therefore, the software should be stable enough to minimize the amount crashing instances. However, it is not the most significant factor because, again, the end client is a small business which means there are relatively few transactions and items that need to be inventoried. It is highly unlikely that the system will be overloaded enough to crash.
Programming Errors = 5
This is a very important factor because the software will be used for inventory. The whole purpose of an inventory system is to expedite the process. The software serves this purpose if it is able to accurately gather information and accurately compute and calculate based on that information. The reason why clients get an inventory system is to eliminate or minimize the human error factor. This is the main purpose of the product and should therefore be flawless.
Programming Errors = 4
I gave this factor a 4 because, while it is not the most important factor, it goes directly into the integrity of the program or system. Moreover, as in the case of the robustness factor the person left handling the system after installment will not be very likely to be able to have enough knowledge to resolve the problem on his own. A glitch in the programming error will directly result in a delay in the oprations.
Documentation = 5
The documentation factor is also one of the most important factors with reference to the inventory system. This goes directly into the product of the system. This is the end result of the entire process. Therefore, the documentation has to be reliable and readily available. If there is always a problem in the documentation by the program the owner of the small plumbing supplies business, considering that the business is still small, might decide to do away with the system and just do the inventory manually since the system is unable to provide good documentation.
Easy Installation = 3
This factor does not rank very high. Given the size of the company getting the software, the software will not have to be installed more than once or twice. One inventory system is most likely going to be enough already. Therefore, even if the system is tedious to install, for as long as it runs fine, there really is no problem.
Flexibility = 2
This factor ranks very slowly because it pertains to the adapting capability of the software. There really is not added value ot the software if it can adapt to new environment because given the size of the business, there is a very small probability that there will be a change in the environment, much less several changes. I think the small plumbing supplier business will do fine even if the system cannot adapt at all.
User-Friendliness = 5
This is another very important factor. The point of a computerized inventory system is to simplify the process. If the system is not user friendly and complicated, this defeats the purpose.
The extended values were computed by multiplying the Raw Scores of the respective alternatives by the weight of each category. For example, alternative 1 had a raw score of 5 for robustness which had a weight of 3. 5 multiplied by 3 is equal to 15 which is the extended score of Alternative 1 for robustness.
For alternative 1 which does not have a raw score for several categories, the values (marked with an asterisk on the side) are estimated by getting the average of the extended scores for the same categories for the other two alternatives. This is done because there is still no way of determining the raw scores since the program is not built yet.
After completing the table and examining the results, I believe that the best choice is to go for alternative no. 1 which is to build in-house. It has the highest total score which means it fits the purpose best among the three. Moreover, building in-house would most likely be the cheaper of the alternatives.