Home Resource Planning and Management System

COVID-19 has touched every life on this planet. One big lesson that we all learnt is that we were not ready for such a catastrophe. In this day and age of technology, modern medicine and artificial intelligence, we all found ourselves helpless. At the end of the day it did not matter how rich and advanced a society is, the pandemic hit everybody equally.

We all saw shut down of workplaces, manufacturing, supply stores, schools, places of worship and everything we could imagine. We all became prisoners in our own home. Some were lucky that they had option of working from home and continued to make ends meet. Some were not so lucky and lost their jobs or had a substantial cut in their earnings.

Well, Life happens. It is a reality we have all have to live with.

All governments around the world are doing their best to manage the impact of this pandemic. Some countries have succeeded in containing it to a reasonable level quickly and some are still struggling with it. I am not going to make any argument about who managed it and who mis-managed it. In politics there is never a right or wrong answer. One person’s truth is another person’s lie. So, I am going to stay away from it.

Impact on Household

I am going to talk about impact of pandemic on household. No matter what part of the world you live in, we all felt the impact on how we run our household. There was a common theme around the globe with regard to impact. Following were questions that we all faced.

  • How long is the pandemic going to last?
  • How long are the stores going to stay closed?
  • How many perishable or non-perishable items should I store in home to ensure that I do not run out of goods to feed the family?
  • Where should I shop for the items?
  • What store can supply the quantities I need for my home?
  • What is minimum level of stock my family needs?
  • How much my family consumes in certain period of time?
  • How much money I am spending on certain items?
  • If certain item is not available, what is the replacement and what store has it?

If you carefully look at the questions and replace the term “household” with “enterprise” or “organization”, you will find yourself looking at questions that an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system will answer.

Enterprise Resource Planner (ERP)

A successful enterprise makes sure that it has an ERP system that has following components.

  • Supply Chain Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Business Intelligence
  • Financial Management
A simple explanation of these components is that an enterprise needs to keep an eye on it current inventory. Somebody must be alerted that some inventory has reached a critical level. At that critical level, it needs to order that item to make sure that its manufacturing or trading pipelines is fluid all the time. For ordering the items, enterprise needs to know about its supply chain of vendors. It needs to make sure that supply chain is optimal in a sense that it can receive the items in shortest possible time and at a low cost. Business intelligence component of ERP is going to analyze data to generate necessary reports for decision makers.

Home Resource Planner (HomeRP)

Earlier I asked to replace term “household” with “enterprise”. Now I am going to ask you to replace “enterprise” with “household” in simple explanation of an ERP system.

If a household has a system similar to ERP, it will be able to manage its resources in an efficient manner. I have come up with a term HomeRP. No, I will not call it HRP. It does not give that feeling of household and family.

To manage resources in my own home, I developed an application, Home Resource Planner, that is similar to an ERP system.

https://www.homeresourceplanner.com

The application has following capabilities:

  • Add all household items (perishable and non-perishable)
  • Know the items that are low in quantity, based on minimum quantity setting for that item
  • Know the perishable items that about to expire in next few days
  • Know the perishable items that have already expired and were not used
  • Create shopping lists based on purchase stores
  • After purchase has been completed, automatically update the stock quantities
  • Send email and SMS alerts about critical events (Low Stock, Expiring Items etc.)
  • Link with on-line stores like Amazon.com

Social Aspect of HomeRP

When you talk about household and family, there is a social aspect. In this age of social media, people share information about their life and exchange views on applications like Facebook, Twitter etc.. For household resources, there is a local social information exchange. In my own home, I see text message exchange that some time look like below.

“Hey Jane, do you a bag of sugar?” “Yes, I have 2. You can borrow 1.” “Joe, how many rolls of paper towels you have in your home?” “Bob, I have 6. How many do you need?”

In the early days of this pandemic, there was lot of panic buying of items. People bought items without knowing how much they need. After that neighbors were asking each other if somebody has any extra that they could borrow.

This social aspect of HomeRP can be expanded to build neighboring communities to exchange information about their household resources. Now imagine an application that will allow building such social information exchange. HomeRP application allows such social information exchange.

Conclusion

This is not the first pandemic on this planet, and this is not the last one as well. You and I cannot predict when this pandemic is going to end or when will we get hit with next one. One thing we all can do is to mange resources of our household in an efficient manner and keep our loved ones happy.

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