Air Force Supply System
INF 340 Business Information Systems
Air Force Supply System
During my time in the Air Force while working military police plans and programs, I had the opportunity to work with our S4 section which specializes in logistics, deployments and receiving, tracking and delivering supplies to all members of our squadron. The system used was like oracle or Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing (SAP), which was described as “a software to support many different tasks in an organization rather than only one or two functions” (Valacich, George, & Hoffer, 2015). The software used by our supply section was a very in-depth yet simple accountability system, and user friendly so that anyone could use the system whenever the time called for it.
What is the Input of the System?
The input into this specific system was for accountability and storage purposes. When new supplies arrived, the clerks had to ensure the exact amount was input into the system and stored using serial numbers. Each specific item had a barcode which represent the item stored. When the supplies were issued to troops, the barcode would be scanned and automatically subtracted from the inventory. This tracking system would be updated instantly, providing our supply managers real time accountability of all supplies stored.
What is the Output of the System?
The output of the system came in the form of updated tracking reports and records for our supply managers to view. Each member of our squadron had a profile which showed the list of items obtained and when those items were received. This kept individuals honest and responsible with their equipment, and further provided the supply section with a list of gear that needed to be replaced, or patterns of gear that would become lost. When time would come to order new supplies, the supply managers would then order extra supplies to ensure people had spares in case their items would come up missing, broken or stolen.
What is the Boundary of the System?
Our text describes a boundary, stating “the components (of a system) are contained and that establishes the limits of a system, separating is from other systems” (Valacich, George, & Hoffer, 2015, ch 1.3 para 2). With the system used by our supply section, every personnel assigned to our squadron did not have a requirement to receive primary equipment used for daily security and law enforcement operations. Instead, they were given secondary equipment in case they were called to supplement or augment a response force. This was in place to maintain accountability within the squadron and its members. Furthermore, only certain supply managers can add or delete members and order new supplies. The number of personnel whom have access to the full spectrum of the program are limited to prevent tampering.
What are the Components and their Interrelationships?
Our text describes components as “an irreducible part or an aggregate of parts, also called a subsystem” (Valacich, George, & Hoffer, 2015, ch 1.3 para 2). These are parts that are vital to the completion of a system. For the supply system for my squadron, those parts consisted of the inventory listing, serial reference, personnel roster and manager roster. Personnel cannot be added to the roster without someone from the manager roster’s permission to be added.
What are the Constraints?
Constraints are “the limits (in terms of capacity, speed or capabilities) to what it can do and how it can achieve its purpose within its environment” (Valacich, George, & Hoffer, 2015, ch 1.3 para 3). In other words, constraints are hindrances the system has that prevent the system from operating at its fullest function. While I wasn’t aware of the actual constraints of this specific system, I would assume the constraints would be internal since there are opportunities for input errors by the supply managers.
What are the Interfaces?
Our textbook defines interface as the “point of contact where a system meets its environment or where subsystems meet each other” (Valacich, George, & Hoffer, 2015, ch 1.3 para 2). Comparing this definition to the system, the supply system connects with its environment constantly. Whenever items are scanned to be entered in or taken out, a member is added or subtracted from the personnel roster or supply managers conduct inventory inquiries are great examples. This also counts as the environment in which the system interacts with.
Valacich, J., George, J., & Hoffer, J. (2015). Essentials of systems analysis and design (6th ed.).
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.