Final Evaluation

Calgary Foods
CPSC 451 Customer Group #2

Department of Computer Science
University of Calgary
11 April 1997

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  • Introduction

    The Calgary Foods Supermarket chain asked for a system to manage the ordering of inventory between an unspecified number of supermarkets and a single grocery supplier. SquidSoft Inc. proposed a solution that promised to accomplish all the needs of Calgary Foods Supermarket. The presentation of the prototype of the GUIDO's system (Groceries Utility Information Database Operations system) was presented to Calgary Food Supermarket on May 10, 1997 at The University of Calgary's Earth Science Building at 5:30 p.m.

    This document provides an evaluation of how the GUIDO system prototype accomplished and met the initial requirements and specifications. The overall system accomplished the initial requirements, but there were some important functions missing.


    The demonstration of the GUIDO system was done in a very professional manner. We would like to congratulate our sales representative from SquidSoft Inc. He was very comfortable with his presentation, called upon his experts when required and gave us a sense of confidence about what had been developed to date.

    The scenarios shown gave a good demonstration of the capabilities of the system. They also enabled us to discuss features of the system that needed further improvements so that it might fulfil our requirements as a food supplier company.

    System Features And How They Met Requirements


    GUIDOS has a very easy to use and understandable interface. When a user first logs into the system, a userid and valid password must be entered. Functions available to the user are predetermined by a system administrator, so there is no possibility that a user might perform actions that they are not entitled to perform. The security features implemented in this prototype appear to meet our requirements in a satisfactory manner.


    Products can be entered and updated quite easily by authorized users. A new category feature was not available in the prototype but our sales representative assured us that the system comes delivered with "all the possible categories we would ever want". Even though that might be the case, we felt we might need the ability to add our own in the final product.


    It appeared that orders could be easily tracked and monitored, although it wasn't exactly clear if the price associated with the order while it was in the warehouse was in fact the same as it was being sold for at the store. This might need some further refinements in the final product.


    Our Sales Representative assured us that the total inventory counts were automatically reduced whenever an entry was made by a cashier. We did not get an opportunity to see this during the demo, although we were shown how a manual adjustment could be made. There did not appear to be an audit trail showing these entries and we may not have been completely clear in specifying this requirement to SquidSoft.

    We were pleased with the system's ability to generate automatic reordering and felt this would meet our needs. Job well done.

    System Queries

    The find features seemed to work well and will meet our needs. They are based, among others, on UPC, product descriptions and ordering status.


    Acceptance of shipments appeared to work the way we had expected. SquidSoft appears to have given a lot of thought into how the process would work and has optimized the workflow accordingly.


    We didn't have an opportunity to clearly determine how the invoicing portion would work during the demo, but given the fact that the remainder of GUIDO works well, we think this aspect will too.

    Hardcopy Reports

    We had asked for hardcopy reports such as inventory by category and items currently on order. We believe we might have been able to achieve a listing from the screens we saw but were unclear if the actual hardcopies would be formatted to our expectations. For example, one of the reports we were looking for would give us a summary of the total yearly costs by product, department and for the entire inventory.

    Deleting Employees, Products and Stores

    During the demonstration, our Sales Representative assured us that deleting employees would not be allowed if there were still orders outstanding for that person. We do not know if the integrity of the system is maintained if a store were to be deleted, i.e. are all records in the database related to that store deleted? We would expect that the final version of the system would handle such conditions.

    Evaluation Of Design Process

    The design process was a very good learning experience. From the customer perspective, we had an opportunity to experience the way things that a customer in the real world might view the system development process. Some times this perspective was limited by our computer science paradigms, but even with this "disadvantage" we got some appreciation for what this is all about.

    We now found out how some little things can make a big differnece in the interpretation and future development of a system. Even though we were talking about what was suppposed to be the same thing, both the supplier and the customer group came up with a different interpretation of the system. This is what the real world is all about, trying to get system visualizations compatible between the costumers and the suppliers.

    Suggestions For Improvements On This Learning Experience

    We'd like to make some suggestion about how this learning experience might be improved for others.


    Overall the system was fun to work on from the customer side. There were some dissenting ideas on how the system should work and, as mentioned above, it led to a great appreciation of what actually happens at a customer site in the real world.

    We appreciated the effort that our supplier group, SquidSoft Inc, put into the project and enjoyed doing business with them. They have a great sales team and their marketing approach (bribes consisted of some tasty calamari) was very innovative.