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  • Name: A WEB-BASED GARMENT CONFIGURATION FOR MASS CUSTOMIZATION
  • Type: PDF and MS Word (DOC)
  • Size: [2.77 MB]
  • Length: [129] Pages

 

ABSTRACT

Online shopping is a form of e-commerce which allows customers to directly buy goods from a seller over the internet, using personal computers, smart phones, etc. This project deals with the development of an e-commerce website for an online shopping of different types of female clothing, which provides the user with a catalog or vogue glossary of different types of colours, products, and styles available for purchase in the store. The online shopping project was developed to allow a garment-making business to grow larger and faster and also to reduce the stress of visiting local fashion homes by working-class females. It would allow working class women within Ekpoma locality to view and order (garments) products online at their convenience. The web site displays different types of locally-made Africa clothing and designs, which could be delivered to the costumers in a short duration of time. The online shopping application is designed from a user point-of-view. The user-friendly design helps the users in accomplishing their task with ease. The screens were designed in ADOBE DREAMWAVER and the business logic was written in CSS, JAVA SCRIPT, and PHP, MYSQL. The total lines of code written in this application are Java, CSS AND PHP. The application has been implemented and tested to improve the economy and reduce stress of working class women going to local fashion homes for amendment after shopping of apparel or clothing in Ekpoma locality in Nigeria. It provided a new system that could reduce both the problems and limitations of the existing production processes in the female garment-making industry and it is hoped that the study would open up new vistas of research interfaces between computer science and fashion studies.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page

Certification

Dedication

Acknowledgements

Abstract

Table of Contents

List of Tables

List of Figures

 

CHAPTER ONE               

      INTRODUCTION

1.1   Background to the Study

  • Statement of the Research Problem

1.3   Objectives of the Study

1.4    Research Methods

1.4.1 The Location of Study

1.4.2 Research Design

1.5    Scope and Limitations of the study

1.6   Thesis Organisation

1.7    Definition of Terms

1.8    Significance of the Study

 

 

CHAPTER TWO                   LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1   Introduction

2.2   Conceptual Framework

2.3   Theoretical Framework

2.4   Empirical Framework

2.5   Gaps to be filled

 

CHAPTER THREE         

METHODOLOGY AND SYSTEM ANALYSIS

  • Introduction
  • Object-Oriented Analysis and Design (OOAD)

Methodology Adopted

  • Objectives of Analysis, Design and Implementation of

OOAD

  • Analysis of Existing System
  • Drawbacks in the Existing system
  • Expectations of Proposed System
  • Justification of the New System

                                                                                                           

CHAPTER FOUR                

    SYSTEM DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION

  • Introduction
  • Objective of the Design
  • The Proposed System Architecture
  • The Design
    • Framework for Electronic Garment Mass Configuration

System

  • Application for Electronic Garment Mass Configuration system
  • Main menu
  • Input Specification
  • Output Specification
  • Program Module Specification
  • Database Specification
  • Web Application Interface

 

CHAPTER FIVE                     

   IMPLEMENTATION

5.1       Introduction

  • Feasibility Study
    • Economic Feasibility
    • Technical Feasibility
    • Behavioural Feasibility
  • System Requirement
    • Minimum Hardware Requirement for Application Server
    • Minimum Hardware Requirement for the Client System
    • Minimum Software Requirements
  • Installation Issues
    • System Installation Procedure
    • System Documentation
    • Starting Web Application
  • Conversation Process
  • Training of the End Users
  • Language Justification

 

 

CHAPTER SIX                  

      DOCUMENTATION

 

  • Conclusion
  • Future Work
  • Contribution to knowledge

REFERENCES

APPENDIX 1          

Program Source Code Listing

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

  • Background to the Study

Digitization and the Internet (web) have already transformed existing products and activities in number of ways. Besides the changes in the delivery of existing products, there are also examples of genuinely new approaches that were not available prior to expansion of Internet technologies. One example is adopting “open innovation” (Bellgran and Säfsten, 2010) practices for involving the customers to find solutions or improve product development processes; then supporting the customers in sourcing of specialized products over the Internet. The growing accessibility of information technology, especially Web 2.0 technologies has made the collaboration between people, ideas and economies more available than ever. It accelerates the power of mass-collaboration where new models of production are established, based on community, collaboration, and self-organization rather than on hierarchy and control. The customers are becoming “prosumers” (Tapscott and Williams, 2010) by co-creating goods and services rather than simply consuming the end product, and are engaged in the process of developing a product or service that will satisfy their needs and develop new businesses. Creative communities are built and the boundary between the company and the environment is not firmly set.

Hence, the innovation processes can go in both directions which may be quicker and easier to some extent. And all this happens in networks of partners who work as peers. We have successful examples how peers produce an operating system, an encyclopedia, the media, and even physical products. New developing trends are going towards small unit production of customized products in large total volumes and towards open structures for labour and production, which enables new ways of working in wider collaboration over local and global borders (Bellgran and Säfsten, 2010). The ongoing advances in manufacturing as well as information and communication technology have made mass customization a feasible option for a wide range of products. The power of Internet has already been acknowledged for its opportunities in connecting customers, producers, suppliers and logistics providers in each stage of the manufacturing value chain (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2006). Internet technologies and automated manufacturing systems are enabling consumers to customize practically anything from computers, electronics, jewelry, clothing, to chocolate and cereals. Manufacturing companies are faced with great tendency towards individualization of demand, which compel them to build flexible and agile production systems with a growing number of product variations, right down to the fabrication of units of one (Piller and Kumar, 2006). The purpose of mass customization (MC) is to distribute highly customized products with mass production efficiency. Unlike mass production system, the distinguishing characteristic of mass customization is the great intensity of interactions.

The producer has to interactively engage with each customer individually in order to acquire precise information about their needs and requirements, translated into concrete product specifications. This repetitious action of co-creation and co-design linking the customer and the producer results in high communication costs. However, the advent of Internet technologies provided the information structure to match flexible manufacturing capabilities with customer demands. Its low-cost communication capabilities have made reduction of transaction costs realizable, thus enabled mass customization on a larger scale. Some of the recognized mass producers which gained from adaptation of mass customization approach are companies such as Dell, Hertz, Cemex, Nike, Adidas, Toyota, Proctor and Gamble, Scania, among others. Not only are Internet technologies facilitating one-to-one communication between company and customers, but are also supporting data collection and information processing (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2006). Information gathered during each customer’s interaction can lead to integrated knowledge flow that improves the knowledge base of the company (Pine, Peppers and Rogers, 1995).

Continual learning relationships between a company and its customers can be attained with collaborative filtering and data mining techniques, combined with cookies and online registration. These are plain examples of how an individual can access information collected using Internet or web to assist the learning process, which as a consequence would lead to long-term business achievements. Da Silveira, Borenstein and Fogliatto (2001) addressed the main enabling technologies supporting mass customization as Advanced Manufacturing Technologies (AMT), including computer numeric control (CNC), flexible manufacturing systems (FMS), and Communication and Network Technologies such as computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), computer integrated manufacturing (CIM), as well as electronic data interchange (EDI).

Researchers consider these technologies essential to mass customization implementation, which exploit the benefits of the fundamental mass customization attributes, such as agility and flexibility. Accordingly, the major motivation behind the extensive use of communications and networks based on information technology is to provide direct links between work-groups and to advance the response time to customer requirements. A mass customization (MC) system is extremely reliant on well-designed information systems that provide direct links between internal workgroups, such as manufacturing, design and testing, and between external workgroups, such as suppliers and customers (Da Silveira et al., 2001).

Information systems like product configuration systems are permitting acquisition of the customer’s requirements, while automating the order taking process, and are considered to be the most important enablers of the mass customization strategy (Blecker, 2005). Overall, a configurator is implemented over the Internet at the interface between a supplier and the customers, with the primary task to support customers in the product self-configuration according to their individual requirements. Piller (2004) points out that flexible manufacturing technology for efficient production of high variety products is already obtainable in many industries, for quite some time. He further claims that there was inconsistency between the accessibility of flexible production systems and the availability of appropriate information systems that would be capable of handling the intensive customer-company interactions and reducing the information flows, particularly in consumer markets. This variation in the availability of different technologies could clarify the time lag between the extensive debate of mass customization in the literature and its delayed practical realization.

 

1.2 Statement of the Research Problem

Great foundation for any company is achieving appropriate balance of people and technology. The development of technologies is leading to a major shift towards mass customization (MC) – the possibility to customize products exactly in quantities as small as one, although producing them at mass-production speeds. Mass customization in the information age is replacing the mass-production model of the industrial age (Momany, 1996). Mass customization can take place at different points along the value chain, ranging from simple adaptation of delivered products by customers themselves, up to the total customization of product design, fabrication, assembly and delivery. Da Silveira et al. (2001) argue that the rationale for the development of mass customization systems is based on three main ideas. These are: new flexible manufacturing and information technologies enable production systems to deliver higher variety at lower cost, increasing demand for product variety and customization is obvious and the fact that product life cycles are getting shorter and expanding industrial competition can led to the breakdown of many mass industries, raising the need for production strategies focused on individual customers.

Another problem these co-design activities face as well are the main factor for complexity, difficulty and conceived risk for the customers, which are constraining the accomplishments of a mass customization strategy. The expression ‘mass confusion’ is used to illustrate the difficulties and drawbacks that the customers could possibly experience from interactively engaging in mass customization processes.

 

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The overall aim of this research is to develop a web-based garment configuration for mass customization. This thesis shall be guided by the following specific objectives:

  • to develop an architectural framework for a web-based garment configuration for mass customization;
  • to develop a prototype web-based garment configuration for mass customization;
  • to provide an accessible medium where customers can view and choose from an array of materials and styles online, giving their own measurements with the help of a configurator; and
  • to create a friendly environment where fashion designers can be more flexible in communicating with customers who register on the designers’ websites with the necessary details for reference purpose and delivery of goods.

 

1.4 Research Methods

1.4.1 The Location of Study:

This study concentrates on working class women in Ekpoma locality, where there are many government establishments and private business concerns such as the Ambrose Alli University, Esan West Local Government Secretariat, Zenith Bank, First Bank.

1.4.2 Research Design:

This research shall adopt the object-oriented analysis and design with prototyping. Object-oriented analysis and design (OOAD) is a software engineering approach that models a system as a group of interacting objects. Each object represents some entity of interest in the system being modeled, and is characterized by its class, its state (data elements), and its behavior. In this system, a variety of models can be created to show the static structure, dynamic behavior, and run-time deployment of various collaborating objects. There are a number of different notations for representing these models, such as the Unified Modeling Language (UML).

Object-oriented analysis (OOA) applies object-modeling techniques to analyze the functional requirements for a system. Object-oriented design (OOD) elaborates the analysis models to produce implementation specifications. OOA focuses on what the system does and OOD on how the system does it. Object oriented analysis (OOA) looks at the problem domain, with the aim of producing a conceptual model of the information that exists in the area being analyzed.

Coding this will be implemented as a 3tier architecture model using HTML and PHP programming language. The 3 layers of the application are as follows:

  1. Html client interfaces / Html interface front end
  2. PHP server pages / Script middle end
  3. SQL server as the back-end

Moreover, software architecture intuitively denotes the high level structures of a software system. It can be seen as the set of structures needed to reason about the software system, which comprises the software elements, the relations between them, and the properties of both elements and relations. Figure 1 shows the software architecture of a web-based garment configuration for mass customization system. From the design, two users (admin and client) can be allowed to use the system when the design is translated to reality by developing it, using the right choice of programming language. Both users have customized control panel or dash board for performing their various activities. The architectural design has four major event handlers for handling and processing different activities or tasks. The handlers are registration/login handler, admin event handler, clients’ event handler and the process handler that retrieve data from the clients’ databases, process and forward it to the admin main handler, and also store resolved events to a different database for auditing of past events.

Technically, this software architectural design/framework for web-based garment configuration registers apparel-making changes, assesses manageability of changes, computes the price of the customized product/garment, and records the information in garment production programme and design documentation. The above is consistent with the view of da Silveira, Borenstein and Fogliatto (2001) which states that the information system roles are defining a catalogue of options to be offered to customers, collecting and storing information on customer choices, transferring data from retail to manufacturer, and finally translating customer choices into product design features and manufacturing instructions. A collection of hundred (100) cloth-types and ten (10) different garment styles are used in this research to develop a web-based garment configuration for mass customization.

  • Scope and Limitations of the Study
  • We define the success of mass customization (MC) as the ability to provide a higher customer value products in contrast to mass-produced ones. We understand there are many other avenues to define success, but they are not the focus in this study.
  • Our identified success factors are linked to the existing literature on mass customization. However, we recognize that the success of MC can be influenced by other conditions that are not characteristic to MC. We keep in mind that there are more factors positively affecting overall successes of MC businesses.
  • In MC the line between products and services is blurry. In this study we concentrate on the former, even though in the literature review we discuss both.
  • Our empirical research is limited to mass customization start-ups because we believe it would be more profitable to analyze newly established companies that have not operated in mass production manner. Hence, the success could be more directly attributed to mass customization. In addition, we believe the managerial implications would be more useful for young MC entrepreneurs.
  • Our empirical research is limited to mass customization companies that reach their customers through an online channel. The recent advances in information technologies, the increased speed and availability of the Internet, have changed the way people engage with environment and have created new possibilities for companies to sell their products. Especially for start-ups, these changes have opened the door to a cost-efficient way to start new businesses. A great number of online mass customization companies have emerged during the past few years, offering customers their products exactly the way they want them. The elimination of a retailer is potentially more convenient for the customer, and is more profitable for the company. Thus, resulting in a win-win situation for both. In the light of these arguments, we believe that an online web-based customization platform embodies the progress of mass customization and enables the companies to communicate with their customers in the most advanced manner. There are a number of companies offering offline MC solutions, but for the sake of simplicity and relevance, we will exclude those cases from our empirical research. This does not mean that these examples will not be referred to, or discussed in literature review.

1.6 Thesis Organization

This thesis will consist of six chapters. The first chapter deals with the general overview of the study including background, statement of research problem, objectives, scope, limitation and methodology of the research. The second chapter reviews literature on Internet or web assisted processes of mass customization and products (garment) configuration. Chapter three describes the system analysis of computerized configuration of garment mass customization, and the existing system, specifications overview of proposed system. Chapter four reports the design and implementation of the thesis. It comprises system specification and design, architecture view, database specification, programme module specification, application interfaces, choice and justification of programming language and the system implementation and documentation. The last chapter presents conclusion and recommendation to computerized configuration of garment mass customization.

 

1.7 Definitions of Terms

 Mass Customization (MC): Is a process through which companies can provide customized products or services, through flexible processes in high volumes and at reasonably low costs (with mass production efficiency).

Customer Co-design: Customers are integrated into value creation by defining, configuring, matching, or modifying an individual solution.

Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS): A manufacturing system with certain degree of flexibility that allows the system to respond to changes, either predicted or unpredicted. FMS is highly flexible in managing manufacturing resources such as time and effort in order to manufacture a new product. Great application of FMS is found in the production of small sets of products like those from a mass production.

Reconfigurable Manufacturing System (RMS): A reconfigurable manufacturing system is designed for fast adjustment of production capacity and functionality, in response to new circumstances, by re-arrangement or changing the system components.

Computer Numeric Control (CNC): A control system in which numerical values related to preferred tool or control positions are generated by a computer.

Configurator: An information system that supports the creation and management of configuration knowledge and the specification of individual products. Open innovation: Describes collaboration for innovation within networks of firms and external entities like customers, retailers, suppliers, competitors, universities, and other research labs. The main advantage of open innovation is the ability to capture the large base of information and knowledge about needs, applications, and solution technologies that resides in the domain of the users of a product or service.

1.8      Significance of the Study

The significance or goal of this study is to use the electronic data transmission technologies (e-commerce), such as internet (web) to improve existing business processes and to identify or introduce new fashion business ideas and opportunity that could be of great advantage in developing the society by way of saving time, money and energy. It is in this context that this study examines the development phases in shopping for African (Nigerian) traditional clothing online with a merchandiser/fashion designer who can design the material within a specified period of days to meet the needs of working-class women in Ekpoma locality in Nigeria.

 

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