Before Capgemini, as college students, we used to work in the restaurant business. If you ask anyone in the industry, they'll tell you that the worst thing that can happen to a restaurant is running out of food simply because someone forgot to restock, or didn't restock properly. No food means no business, which means down-time and most importantly, no money. What if we could find a way to make that a problem of the past?
What it does
We have created an inventory management system (IMS) that allows restaurant owners to seamlessly monitor and restock inventory via. Alexa. By simply asking Alexa, through your mobile phone, you can check levels of liquids and raw material supplies. If the current amount of a particular item is less than the minimal necessary, Alexa will notify you and give you the option to re-order more while also noting the expected delivery date.
How we built it
First, approached this with a truly agile methodology, finding ourselves pivoting as we iterated over the initial concept. Our goal was to produce an MVP in which any industry which requires stock would benefit substantially. Over many iterations, we built a lambda trigger and RFID generator. Utilizing AWS relational database system, postgres, we spun up a cloud-based relational database, and pre-filled that database with usable content utilizing ruby script. At which point, we pivoted from Python and moved to a node back-end. Upon hitting a blocker in our node back-end logic, we pivoted to an Alexa skill based in node with a cloud-based EC2 VM in AWS.
Challenges we ran into
- blocked ports on Capgemini's internal wifi.
- integration with databases and VM clients.
- Alexa skill configuration
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- Working Alexa skill
- Agile methodology
- Utilized everyone's skillsets to benefit the team
- Splendid musical tastes
What we learned
- Agile is most practical
- Knowledge on databases, vm clients, and AWS integration.
- New programming languages
- Polygot language agnostic development can occur seamlessly
What's next for Inventory Manager Alexa Skill
- We will ensure cross-industry functionality by utilizing best practice normalization techniques in the database level, ensuring each store has its own unique identifier so their Alexa interaction doesn't affect any other user.
- integrate with existing stock-depletion solutions currently utilized industry-wide.
- receive customer feedback as to whether or not a gooey front-end would benefit users and implement said feedback.