For our group project, we, the members of TJJL, chose to research the inventory database system of Lowe's. Our initial purpose and focus was to examine the inventory management system and gain an understanding in how it is used at the local level; specifically, the retail store in Barboursville. In the course of our project, we investigated the hardware that Lowe's utilizes, studied the methods used to maintain accuracy and update the database, explored the processes in which the database plays a part, and attempted to model parts of the database to gain a better understanding of its structure. We discovered how the inventory database system plays an integral part of Lowe's business activities. Every associate accesses the database every day as part of their normal operating activities, whether as a manager, a customer service associate, or a cashier. .
Our main point of contact- Christy Smith, the lead receiving associate- was a valuable asset when learning how inventory is received and the database is updated, as well as a great reference in tracing the process of how inventory is handled through it's life in the store. She smoothed the way as we followed the route that merchandise travels as it is received, tracked, and sold, so we could understand when and how the database was used to enable this business process.
Finally, we modeled part of the database in an attempt to discover how it was designed. Although difficult to accomplish without being able to speak with the designers or DBM's, we modeled some entities of one of the most frequently used parts of the inventory database. .
For our project, we chose to study the Lowe's corporation and its store-level inventory database. Lowe's is a national home improvement chain with over 875 stores in 45 states. Lowe's is the world's second-largest home improvement retailer and the nation's fifteenth largest overall retailer.