Executive Summary

Sponsor Student Researchers Project Goal and Objectives Executive Summary Final Report

In light of technological advances in the past several decades, many larger organizations have incorporated information management technology to increase their effectiveness.  However, it is sometimes difficult for smaller organizations to take advantage of computer based systems due to the limited availability of human and physical resources.  Information management is critical to a business’ productivity, performance, and ability to properly manage their information.

Wachusett Earthday, Inc. is an organization that promotes recycling and reuse in their local watershed area. This organization would benefit from an increased ability to track information and manage their volunteer staff.  Currently, they are using outdated processes to track inventory.

The goal of this project was to provide Wachusett Earthday with a plan to improve their inventory management.  To meet this goal, we developed the following five objectives.  First, we determined the organization’s requirements for tracking inventory.  Second, we identified the volunteers that would be trained most successfully in using a new system. Third, we identified inventory management systems used by other organizations to accomplish similar tasks.  Fourth, we determined the suitability of identified systems for use by Wachusett Earthday.  Fifth, we created an implementation strategy for Wachusett Earthday’s volunteers so that benefits from our recommendation would be effective and sustainable. These objectives were met by employing specific social science methodologies.

The conclusions that we have made based on our research are as follows:

  1. Wachusett Earthday requires a point of sale system that can export reports and is expandable.
  2. Five volunteers could be trained successfully.
  3. We identified seven inventory management as potential systems to be adopted by Wachusett Earthday.
  4. ThriftCart and ShopKeep were found to be the two most appropriate inventory management systems for Wachusett Earthday and they ultimately chose ThriftCart.

In order to successfully implement ThriftCart, Wachusett Earthday needs to complete the following steps:

  1. Inform Wachusett Earthday visitors and volunteers about the installation of our recommended inventory management system, and any policy changes as a result of the installation.
  2. Rearrange the ReUse building’s layout to address the installation of our recommended inventory management system.
  3. Purchase and install our recommended inventory management system and associated hardware.
  4. Train volunteers to use our recommended inventory management system.
  5. Incorporate our recommended inventory management system into Wachusett Earthday’s workflow.

With the recommendation and implementation plan that we provided, Wachusett Earthday should be able to successfully integrate a point of sale system into their operation. The system will be able to provide data on the items that are leaving the ReUse Building. These data will provide evidence of their impact to potential donors, and could help the organization obtain more funding.  In summary, a proper inventory management system should prove to be immensely beneficial to Wachusett Earthday.