Life expectancy in the developed world is improving probably due to the improved living standards over the years. Statistics show that in the year two thousand and eight, France had thirty two percent of its citizens with sixty five years of age and seventeen percent was above seventy five years. United States of America has a large elderly population which continues to grow with time. This population data provides useful clues that one can obtain the information required during the conduction of the research. Conduction of a multivariate research is important as it would enable establishment of the independent factors of elderly patients. This will provide further evidence to support the hypothesis statement by comparing data from both young and old population (Walke & Rosenthal 2011).
Major surgical operations are performed to an ever increasing number of elderly patients. The number of patients in need of major digestive, cardiovascular operations and various bone construction surgery is on the rise. The older group among these is more affected. Most elderly patients that undergo surgery experience high postoperative morbidity and mortality rates despite the constant advancement in medical technology. Preoperative choices worsen the situation since they determine the possible outcome indicators and tend to provide little help eventually. Based on this, the research will base on the various causes of death following major surgery together with the possible solutions. The research will focus on particular operation procedure such as gastrectomy, hepatectomy, pancreatectomy, esophagectomy, colectomy, cardiovascular surgery and bone construction surgery or on a clearly defined age group such as above sixty five years or below. The research will seek to address the solutions to the mortality issue (Chung & Martin 2010).
The hypothesis of this research proposal is there is need of further advancement in medical technology in order to reduce the risk factor associated with postoperative mortality. This has to specifically increase physical and psychological strength to achieve its objective.
There is high mortality and morbidity rate among the elderly cause due to major surgeries. Current medication procedures follow the operative medical assessment. This enables detection of patients with high risk of negative postoperative effects. Intraoperative and postoperative management of anaesthesia is important in minimizing these dangerous and possibly fatal effects.
Among the ever increasing population of the elderly, people aged above sixty five years of age, those above eighty five years have the greatest effect on this growth. It is natural for the human body functions to deteriorate with increase in age. The large number of the elderly only serves to increase number of surgeries among people with pre-existing states of weakened immune systems. Ageing normally weakens the cardiac, pulmonary and blood sugar levels. This increases the chances of death following a major operation especially those on the cardiac and cerebral systems. These operations even though necessary at times, they are often accompanied with side effects which if combined with poor body state, the result is catastrophic. In the recent past, various organizations and people conducted research related to this area. These include occurrence of adverse postoperative effects, predictions of possible negative postoperative effects, preoperative check up on elderly patients with possible high health risk and perioperative management. The research will majorly focus on whether improvement of perioperative anaesthesia management can aid in the reduction of these adverse postoperative results (Cook & Campbell 1979).
Death caused by anaesthesia and surgical operation is defined as loss of life within a month after the operation. Continuous technological advancement in medicine reduces the mortality rate due to anaesthesia management. However, the mortality rate due surgery among the elderly is lower than the average mortality rate of the whole population. This mortality rate increases with each age group. For example, emergency operations on the abdomen cause 9.7 percent mortality for patients above seventy years, 17 percent above eighty years and 19 percent above 90 years (Torbert & Lackman 2011).
There are several factors that one can use in determining the state of the body to know whether one can undergo an operation or not. Ageing reduces the functional capacity of various body organs. This in turn increases their vulnerability as they may succumb to stress very easily. Diseases associated with this do more harm as they reduce the functionality of these organs even further. For instance, hypertension, renal failure and diabetes mellitus contribute 5.1 percent of perioperative myocardial infarction. Elderly people suffering from coronary artery disease have a high chance of suffering from preoperative myocardial infarction. This is so because there is a 4.1 percent incidence for patients above sixty five years and 5.5 percent prevalence in the general population. In addition, ischaemic conditions prove their dominance among patients suffering from coronary artery disease and underwent major non-cardiac operation. This condition combined with preoperative myocardial infarction lead to high mortality rates due to surgical operations among the elderly compared to the young in a similar state. Therefore, age is a crucial factor when it comes to surgery since it gives incite on whether to proceed with the operation or not (Katlic 2001).
Mortality due to respiratory complications ranges between zero and 0.6 percent. This is affected by the surgery site and the occurrence of risk factors associated with the pulmonary system. The mortality rate among the elderly ranges from 0.03 to 0.64 percent for those that undergo hip bone replacement surgery. One of the risk factors for suffering from pulmonary embolism is age. However, research shows that low dose aspirin used as a prophylactic drug or low dose of heparin reduces the mortality rate among the elderly patients suffering from pulmonary embolism. A research group known as PEPTCG (Pulmonary Embolism Trial Collaborative Group) conducted a research and established that aspirin reduces the elderly death rate due to hip bone surgery by thirty percent. However, this increases the prevalence of gastro intestinal bleeding which is less dangerous (Walke & Rosenthal 2011).
Another group known as the BHFSG (The Belgian Hip Fracture Study Group) studied and established that the mortality rate of elderly patients that had hip surgery between 1978 and 1983 was twenty four percent. Age together with gender and pulmonary infection affected this data. Recent research provides slightly different data compared to this. Death rate among patients hip bone break is higher at thirty six percent compared to earlier statistics within first year of hospital discharge. Most of the elderly female patients experienced neuropsychiatric disorders in addition to the hip fracture. Patients above eighty five years of age experienced higher mortality rates compared to their younger counterparts at seventy eight years (Shadish, Cook & Campbell 2002).
There exist more causes of postoperative effects such as cerebrovascular complications that cause mortality rates of up to 0.05 percent. All these conditions are related to old age. The postoperative period is normally physiologically stressful. Major body changes characterize this period which include high body temperature, chest congestion leading to breathing difficulties, high adrenaline in the blood and low perception to pain due to numbness. These conditions lead to hypertension which in turn causes death (Sinclair 2009).
Since the perioperative conditions affect the postoperative ones, it is important to be vigilant in dealing with its assessment. There is need of appropriate control of intraoperative conditions to avert disastrous results in cases where the patient has arterial diseases, hypertension, heart diseases and diabetes. Direct postoperative monitoring that in the process ensures pin management will also help reduce the mortality rate. For instance, analgesics can reduce myocardial ischaemia.
Old age has numerous effects on cardiac operations. These include artery stiffening which causes load on the heart after systole and myocardial stiffening leads to poor diastole operation. This eventually affects the diastolic volume output which is important in ensuring supply of body requirements adequately during exercises. Myocardial infarction and ischaemia are cardiovascular disorders that may occur during the first few days after surgery. MI is usually difficult to detect. This is due to the residual effect of the anaesthesia used during the operation procedure. The anaesthetic effects make the recuperating patient numb to pain, hence, causing difficulties in the detection of the condition. Observation of elderly patients with high risk of myocardial ischaemia during and after the operation process is of the essence. A medical practitioner must perform a postoperative examination for ST segment depression, which is a specific indication of the concerned mortality rate (Sinclair 2009).
There are some special cases when the elderly patients experience postoperative delirium. This is a state in which they exhibit incoherence in speech and thought. Short term or distorted memory may also characterize this state. These elderly patients experience this condition within one day after operation and the condition gets worse at night fall. At times, it may be misdiagnosed as lack of rest or depression. This may lead to death since it impedes the normal body function and causes delayed recovery among the affected patients.
Postoperative mortality in elderly patients (people above sixty five years of age) is an important factor to consider in sustaining a healthy elderly population group. Qualified medical practitioners can prevent these problems through preoperative assessment of these patients. This ensures recognition of patients at intraoperative and high risk postoperative effects through patient history taking, physiological examination, and proper body functional capacity examination. It is also of the essence to carry out anaesthesia management and reduce overall cost by reducing the number of preoperative tests. Specific intraoperative and postoperative anaesthesia management such as haemodynamic stability and normothermia, prevention of hypoxaemia and effective postoperative pain control that strives to eliminate body numbness, will minimize postoperative negative effects in the elderly (Pignolo, Keenan & Hebela 2010).
In summary, the recommendations for intraoperative and postoperative management are: first, preoperative examination to establish whether the elderly patients in question are at high risk of postoperative negative consequences. Second, use of preoperative testing (invasive or non-invasive) to establish whether the test results are likely to determine the course of the surgical procedure or to indicate the need for high risk invasive monitoring system which give real time information on patients condition such as pulmonary artery catheterization. Third, effective perioperative constant observation and control of pre-existing diseases. Fourth, proper maintenance of stable perioperative haemodynamics for all elderly patients, especially those suffering from cardiac, ailments using vasopressor or vasodilator drugs, or beta-adrenoceptor block, or a combination of appropriate therapies. Fifth, use of a less invasive surgical procedure instead of the invasive type which more risky and costly, for example laparoscopy on a mobile basis. Sixth, provision of intensive perioperative monitoring for high risk elderly patients. This applies mainly to those patients with high blood pressure. Seventh, prevention of hypoxaemia, delirium and hypothermia. Finally, effective postoperative pain control through proper anaesthesia management. Through incorporating each of these conditions, many patients on the verge of death due to neglect or unfortunate personal ailments will survive. This will improve the life expectancy of the aged living with pre-existing conditions that prove fatal if combined with surgery (Sessler 2008).
The above data only serve as an example from research carried on by other groups.
Most learning institutions have a very well organized system and protocols to follow when it comes to empirical research. As part of the regulations, the administration requires the student to report to a specially formed committee that deals specifically with this issue. Failure to do so will be breach of the school rules and regulations. These committees aim to provide all the relevant information that pertains to the research together with relevant external terms and conditions of operations. Normally, the committee consists of at least one member with experience in research and is a professor. They are important as they provide the technical knowledge required especially for those students conducting research for the first time.
One’s supervisor also contributes significantly to a research. They play a major role in providing guidance to the student on the necessary issues to prevent or reduce time wasting. They are also a signatory in all those forms in which you are a signatory. If they fail to sign the forms are rejected since it is assumed there is no official guidance for the student (Sinclair 2009).
There are various methods that one can use in research. Sampling will be the method of choice since it is relatively familiar and basic. A sample is a small representation of the whole population. A correct sample should ideally incorporate the general characteristics of each person. The researcher may have a sampling frame which is a theoretical list that constitutes the population. The following five paragraphs describe the major procedures to follow during the sampling process.
First, convenience of the procedure plays a key role. The convenience sample will include those elderly volunteers in the hospitals with various ailments. These ailments are hip bone fracture, cardiovascular complications, pulmonary ailments and gastro intestinal problems, all of which are in line to surgery. This sampling procedure is the most common. Despite this, there arise errors due to biasness. The error arises since not all the elderly patients have an equal chase of selection. This means those patients ready to volunteer may be different from those that are not interested in the procedure yet correct data depends on all these groups (Walke, Byers, Gallo, Endrass & Fried 2007).
There exists another method of sampling known as random sampling. In this type, the elderly patients, who are subjects of study, together with the hospital of operation are sampled out randomly. This means that each of the study elements has an equal chase of selection without bias. This sampling type will be conducted in two main ways. “The first is making use of a random number table and the second is having a computer selected random sample” (Walke, Byers, Gallo, Endrass & Fried 2007, p.59).
Another sampling technique is the systematic sample. “The researcher will randomly select a first element on a post operated elderly population list and proceed every Nth subjects until the selection of a full sample” (Walke, Byers, Gallo, Endrass & Fried 2007, p.59). This technique is helpful especially when the population list is lengthy. For instance, if a population list is available, the researcher picks out a number randomly together with the nth count. If they picked eleven, and forty as the Nth count, the next number will be fifty one. The sample will contain elements having multiples of forty added to eleven (Walke, Byers, Gallo, Endrass & Fried 2007).
In addition to the other three sampling techniques, there exists stratified sampling. In a stratified sample, the researcher samples depending on the characteristics of the strata mostly in terms of size. For instance, since the research will be in the United States, they will make sure that the sample includes elderly people in all the fifty states present. The sample should also include the elderly from both genders. This proves to be an expensive technique but gives data which is reliable (Franco & Verier 2009).
Finally, there is cluster sampling. In this technique, the researcher takes a random sub population and examines individual members in that group. For instance, since this research involves many hospitals within the United States of America, the researcher selects only a few. He then proceeds to survey all the elderly patients operated on and the postoperative effect experience together with possible solutions applied to prevent life loss.
“An important concept relevant to research methodology is research validity” (Panneerselvam 2004, p.21). When one asks whether the data is valid, that means more than one piece of information may be invalid. Statistics generally deals with four types of validity. Therefore, when talking about the validity of data studied, one must one must specify the type. This simply means that validity is completely subjective depending on the type validity selected. This is so because the criteria differ among them.
There is a description of each of the validity types in the paragraphs below. This is a representation of validity in a basic manner without thorough explanations. They can independently pose a several research problems. There are examples that try to explain more on these validity types. For a detailed discussion of the types of validity, one can research further since it is vast topic and can one summarizes it here since due to the topic of discussion (Walke, Byers, Gallo, Endrass & Fried 2007).
Statistical Conclusion Validity: One needs vast knowledge in statistics in order to master this validity type. According to Walke, Byers, Gallo, Endrass and Fried (2007), “statistical conclusion validity refers to inferences about whether it is reasonable to presume covariation given a specified alpha level and the obtained variances” (p. 58). This type seeks to compare and contrast different sets of related data. It the study is conducted well, then the different variables within the data must be related. In this case, the variables that need comparison are the postoperative effects and old age of the patients in question (Walke & Rosenthal 2011).
Internal Validity: “Once established that these two variables, old age and postoperative effects are related, the next problem is to establish which one causes the other” (Walke & Rosenthal 2011, p.268). This determines whether old age leads to these postoperative effects. If the study lacks internal validity, the researcher cannot make statements that give the cause together with the corresponding effect. The study must instead describe the findings without inclusion of this statement. There are quite a number of possible treats to this type of validity. For instance, history affects internal validity in a number of ways. In this research, data retrieved from hospital records will compared to data from elderly patients directly. These pieces of information depend on each other for validity butt they may differ. The differences may be due to advancement in technology over time or implementation of recommended solutions to the patients experiencing postoperative effects (Mulholland & Doherty 2010).
Finally, there is external validity. This type of validity tries to ensure that comparison is possible between the data collected and archived information retrieved from hospital. It also tries to give a general picture of the population in different places. For instance, if one conducted a study to establish that a certain disease associated with old age caused a high death rate after operation; can the researcher compare this with postoperative effects among the youth? If the researcher obtains the result, then he one only satisfy external validity if they can obtain the same results with a different sample within the population or in different environment. This type of validity may receive threats if the sample doesn’t give a true representation of the area under study.
There are various methods that one can use in data collection. These include use of Registration, questionnaires, Interviews and direct observations. The researcher will majorly focus on questionnaires and interviews as methods of choice in collecting necessary data for this research (Voisin, Walke & Jeffery 2009).
One expects to prove that indeed there is high mortality rate among those elderly patients following an operation. The solution to these may lie mostly on how the medical practitioners handle the preoperative effects as the most basic way of avoiding post-operative death among the elderly. The patient must undergo preoperative examination to determine the contraindications already existing. If they exist, the medical practitioner must provide the necessary pre-emptive measures such as determining the most appropriate surgical procedure. They may also decide to introduce a condition monitoring system that provides crucial information that could be lifesaving (Wedin 2001).
Chung, EH & Martin, DT 2010, “Management of postoperative arrhythmias”, in JM O’Donnell & FE Nacul (eds), Surgical Intensive Care Medicine, 2nd edn, Springer, New York, pp.209–227.
Cook, TD & Campbell, DT 1979, Quasi-experimentation: Design and analysis issues for field settings, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.
Franco, K L & Verier, E D 2009, Advanced Therapy in Cardiac Surgery, 2nd edn, PMPH-USA, New York.
Katlic, M 2001 “Principles of Geriatric Surgery”, in Rosenthal RA, Zenilman ME & Katlic MR. (eds), Principles & Practice of Geriatric Surgery, Springer, New York, 2001, pp. 767-779.
Mulholland, MW & Doherty, GM 2010, Complications in Surgery, 2nd edn, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Chicago.
Panneerselvam, R 2004, Research Methodology, PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd, Delhi.
Pignolo, R J, Keenan, MA & Hebela, NM 2010, Fractures in the elderly: A guide to practical management, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, New York.
Sessler, D I 2008, “Perioperative thermoregulation”, in JH Silverstein, GA Rooke, JG Reves & C H McLeskey (eds), Geriatric anaesthesiology, 2nd edn, Springer, New York, pp. 123–36.
Shadish, W R, Cook, T D & Campbell, D T 2002, Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for generalized causal inference, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Sinclair, AJ (ed) 2009, Diabetes in Old Age, 3rd edn, John Wiley & Sons, New York.
Torbert, JT & Lackman, RD 2011, “Pathologic fractures”, in RJ Pignolo, MA Keenan & NM Hebela (eds), Fractures in the Elderly: A Guide to Practical Management, 1st edn,. Springer Science and Business Media, New York, NY, pp. 43-53.
Voisin, JM, Walke, LM & Jeffery, SM 2009, “Home is where the heart is: Living arrangements for older adults”, Consultant Pharmacist, vol. 24, no.2, pp.134-145.
Walke, LM, Byers, AL, Gallo, WT, Endrass, J & Fried, TR 2007, “The Association of Symptoms with Health Outcomes in Chronically Ill Adults”, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, vol.33, pp.58-66.
Walke, LM & Rosenthal RA 2011, “Preoperative Evaluation of the Older Surgical Patient”, in RA Rosenthal, ME Zenilman & MR Katlic (eds), Principles and Practice of Geriatric Surgery, 2nd edn, Springer, New York, NY, 2011, pp. 267-288.
Wedin, R 2001, “Surgical treatment for pathologic fracture”, Acta Orthop Scand Suppl., vol.72, pp.1-29.
System Architecture: The Architectural Framework
The architectural framework of the proposed system draws on an interactive interplay of a variety of system technologies that make up an integral whole of a single unit of a decision support system (DSS) for the retail industry. The DSS is solely a tool for decision-making for retail managers and draws from a variety of sources by capturing information and integrating it into the system. Typically, the system is modeled with a combination of an expert system (ES) with a web-based DSS that is linked to other support system components such as a knowledge base and database systems on the platform of internet hardware and software. Ajax-enabled knowledge object provides web interaction functionality. On the other hand, communication between the users who is the retail manager in this case is enabled through the use of graphical tools such as RIA. Mathematical modeling of the problems inherent in the retail industry due to competition and price optimization, besides the abilities, to make appropriate forecasting and other retail chain activities allow the problems to be expressed in symbols and other algebraic expressions to find the answer and make appropriate decisions. The paper looks at the architectural framework of a retail system that captures the use of software tools typically incorporating intelligence software to enable managers to make competitive decisions in the decision-making process.
The architectural framework of the proposed decision support system (DSS) is an integration of various techniques, technologies and tools to support decision-making at the managerial level. Typically, the proposed system supports retail managers to make pricing decisions with appropriate product management in all aspects of product promotion, development, market analysis, real profit evaluations and projections, forecasting and revenue movement, price modifications, seasonal planning, competition, collaborations, and product price recommendations. The DSS in the retail environment achieves the functionality objectives by drawing on an architectural framework of subsystem components consisting of a model subsystem, a dialogue system, and a data subsystem. The mentioned subsystem components play significant roles with an accumulative approach to influencing the final decision outcomes. Empirical evidence shows that decision-making draws on the cognitive capabilities of the human brain and the interactive use of technology to allow the user to examine the preferences on decisions, available options, and uncertainties inherent in the retail marketing environment. Users interact with the DSS through a graphical user interface (GUI) with an intermediary technology providing the functionality of the communication component. Noteworthy, in theory, and practice, decision DSSs can be modeled on various decision-making models. One of the examples is the decision analytical model which draws on the probabilistic, analytical, and decision-making theories. In practice, decision-making problems will have to be solved through the interactive use of other technologies incorporated into the functionality of the proposed system typical of an e-business computerized architectural framework with artificial intelligence (AI) tools in decision making.
Conceptual framework of the proposed system
The proposed system is three layered architecture with the capability to support concurrent users at once.
The data layers provide data capture and storage facilities in several locations typical of the infrastructure of the whole system. On the other hand, the business domain provides access to the implementation of the rules and procedures that are typical of the retail marketing industry in decision making.
The architectural framework is theoretically and in practice integrated with the view layers incorporating the use of GUI tools. Typical examples include the RIA. RIA is a variant of XML and java technologies which have been developed on the Ajax technology applications.
Software portability and service are provided by the web based services which draw system functionality from web based components. The structure and development of the web based service components follow established standards and protocols and accommodate open standards of communication and other vendor requirements.
Integrated into the whole system is an expert system whose architecture is an inference engine, knowledge base, and working memory. In theory and practice, the expert engine draws on human expert knowledge while the working memory draws on data bases and other tools such as spread sheets (Chau, 1995).
All the information stored and retrieved can be captured using web based tools specific to the retail systems.
The working memory varies dynamically and reflects problems due to pricing, group pricing, forecasting, sales profits, revenue generation, and marketing information. Web based tools provide current and real time information that updates the working memory with the current situation in the market (Sage, 1991).
Other components in the system are graphically displayed and the diagram takes one through the functionalities of each component (Chau, 1995).
To fulfill the architectural framework of the proposed retail system, interactive components of the architectural design of the system are illustrated above.
An agent enables communication between the components which is theoretically exemplified below.
Provides a repository of data and information that can be captured from the internet using web based tools such as OLAP and on the Ajax platform.
DSS Software model
DSS software model incorporate tools such as OLAP and GDS in decision making. To model incorporates knowledge management tool as part of the decision making tool (Sage, 1991).
The relational database is queried to provide information about the status of sales, real time profits, and to provide input data to the appropriate software for forecasting and making other pricing decisions (Sage, 1991).
The RDBMS plays the role of an integral component of the reports, mathematical models, and groupware software.
Report Writing Software
Use to generate reports that are generated due to sales and other retail marketing operations.
Typically, the knowledge used in decision making are expressed in mathematical symbols and expressions and at times expressed in probabilistic terms. Eventually, statistical approaches are used such as the use of reliability analysis and other mathematical approaches to make appropriate decisions on pricing and to solve other retail based problems (Chau, 1995).
Group ware provides user particularly users who are spread on a wide geographic area typical of the retail industry. Several stores are situated and spread widely and the use of group ware software will provide a powerful tool for collaborations over the internet based on web based technologies. Various collaboration software tools are available in the market and a thorough evaluation and selection criteria should be conducted against established benchmarks.
The knowledge base provides a storage of information with gained through continued learning. Typically, the knowledge base allows the retail manager to retrieve data and information for the intelligence software to allow decision making based on the learning curve (Chau, 1995).
The inference engine uses production rules in decision-making and incorporates an intelligence software tool to that end.
Periodic and Special Reports
The reports are presented graphically such as the use of spreadsheets and other graphical tools.
Output from Mathematical Models
Provides mathematical solutions to problems using mathematical methods and allows the use of operational research techniques to perform financial analysis of the operations of the retail outlets. Both decision making environments which include certainty and uncertainties are factored in the process (Li, Daun, Kinman & Edwards, 1999).
Provides access to the RDBMS systems where Linux provides an excellent platform for affecting the system and Windows XP allows for smooth interoperability.
Typical examples include Linux’s Linas Vepsta tools that incorporate middleware that provides the functionality of interfacing with the web based databases and servers. Perl is one of the languages used in the environment (Li, Daun, Kinman & Edwards, 1999).
Output from OLAP
OLAP is one of the data analysis tools used in the analysis of captured data in the retailing business.
Problem identification of decision support systems in the retail industry
An aggregate whole of the functional components of the decision support system (DSS) for the retail outlet are in theory modeled mathematically to run under the full functionality of the system components to allow users in problem identification phases.
Montgomery (2005) emphasizes that decisions making for promotional prices for multiple stores with a multitude of products can only be optimized by the use of the integral components of the DSS to be a typical problem for the retail environment. Typically, the software components have to allow for moving averages to be established using the underlying trends for a number of periods with significant randomness.
In practice, as exemplified in fig 1 above, the knowledge object will incorporate the use of the software tool to search for suitable knowledge objects in a repository. Through the use of an appropriately configured graphical user interface (GUI), the retail manager will enter appropriate data to narrow the search for the right object. Further, closest fitting knowledge objects are then identified and created to fit into the solution space. The problem description and the closest fitting knowledge object are then stored in the repository which is a web enabled DSS, and the learning process for the retail manager continues (Boreisha & Myronovych, n.d).
Requirements of a decision support system for retailing
Montgomery (2005) details typical system requirements for a DSS required to fulfill the object and functionality of a retail supermarket industry. The DSS offers knowledge based decisions based on the integral system and sub-system components.
|Forecast movement, Real time analysis of profits, and revenue evaluations.
|Enable the right price predictions by the retailer.
Incorporate GUI features, and advertising.
|Excel spread sheets. (ForecastX wizard leverages the power of excel to provide real time percentage forecast as shown on the screen shot below).
|Price Decision Support system (PDSS).
|Provide weekly forecast predictions at all sales levels and for all stores in real time.
|Allow for price manipulations throughout the chain to reflect the level of competition and competitiveness.
|To interactively manipulate prices interactively.
|Allow the retailer to factor the “What-if” scenario in decision making.
|Manipulate group product prices.
|Since various products belong to the same group.
|Manage promotional scheduling for several weeks.
|Forecasts manufacturer promotional activities.
|Use incomplete information
|Coordinate categories for different stores and
|Gather information from different sources into an integral whole.
|Allow for the system to be scaled to accommodate varying system demands.
|Typical of simulation
|Tailor and recommend pricing strategies.
|Use of certainty and uncertainty models.
Choices and Justification of decision support
In selecting the appropriate tool to use for the DSS in the retail environment, the following tabulations provide actual functionalities typical of the system in the specific areas of the DSS functionalities.
|A communication component plays the intermediary role of linking the DBMS to MBMS.
|DBMS (database management system) as the data repository.
MBMS for manipulating retrieved data from the DBMS (use datasets,
|Provide methods of capturing and displaying data (GUI).
|Use of DGMS (dialogue management system) that interfaces with the DSS
|Use of analytical tools.
|Examples include excel, among others.
|Use of historical information.
|Judgmental strategies used.
|DBMS as a data repository.
The interactive use of the components in decision making is illustrated in the following diagram.
Problems Solution Based on PBL
The practical approach of identifying the problem in the retail environment is based on a theoretical model illustrated in the diagram below.
The user will have to formulate the problem to the specific requirements of the functionality of the system to enable the system understand the user’s need in the language of the software product in use, using a knowledge object which is an integral component of the system. The underlying theory of problem identification and solution seeking in the retail environment is continued learning by knowledge acquisition through web based agents that capture information, store the information in a repository or database to be manipulated for use in decision making. In theory and practice, all the phases are typical of a learning system (Chau, 1995). A typical example is the interactive role of the Ajax-enabled application which provides the interactive functionality with the web services through a software communication component. Typically, the Ajax enabled application’s interactive role is exemplified below.
In practice, the DSS will allow the retail managers to identify and set appropriate and competitive prices and promotions by managing a whole range of a variety of products in different store locations. Typically, the number of items involved in the retail system will demand millions of decisions. In theory, expert knowledge in decision making draw on the human brain which is sometimes inherently characterized by the weakness and bias of the mind in decision making. Therefore the need to incorporate the use of software technologies to enable real time calculations in making quantitative and qualitative forecasting on product pricing becomes all more important (Li, Daun, Kinman & Edwards, 1999).
The proposed decision support system is a technological approach to solving identifiable problems typical of the retail marketing industry. The decision support system enables retail managers to make decisions on appropriate pricing for the wares that are the sole business functions of the retail outlet. Typically, the functionality of the system is based on software tools that work in collaboration towards achieving the goals in decision making. Typically, the DSS architecture is web based and consists of collaborating software tools that work interactively towards a common goal. Such system components include the knowledge object, DBMS, RDBMS, MDMS, GUI, and expert systems on a web based architecture. The tools are used to capture information draw on a problem learning based on the captured information to enabler retail managers make appropriate decisions for pricing, price predictions, revenue generation, promotions, and marketing strategies.
Boreisha, Y., & Myronovych, O., n.d. Web-Based Decision Support Systems As Knowledge Repositories for Knowledge Management Systems. New York: Las Vegas.
Chau, P. Y. K., 1995. Factors used in the selection of packaged software in small Businesses: Views of owners and managers. Information & Management. 29, 71-78.
Li, S., Daun, Y., Kinman, R., & Edwards J., S., 1999. A framework for a hybrid intelligent system in support of marketing strategy development. Marketing Intelligence & Planning. 17, 209-216.
Montgomery, A.L., 2005. The implementation challenge of pricing decision support systems for retail managers. Applied Stochastic Models in Business & Industry, 21(4/5), pp-367-378.
Sage, A.p.,1991. Decision Support Systems Engineering. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Law Of Contracts: Everything You Need To Know
Contract law is a collection of legitimate directions which oversee the legitimacy, affiliation, and content of any treaty that exists among corporations, entities, and various other organizations. The agreement concerns the exchange of ownership, interests, the provision of services, and the sale of goods. The law of contract always governs the consequences and conclusions of any form of contract. It describes the duties and rights as well as the requirements and basis of the contracting parties.
Furthermore, contract law regulates contract breaches and offers remedies for such breaches (Christie, 1994). Therefore, since contracts aim at formalizing agreements between parties as regards specific subjects, contract law oversees the conclusion of the contractual responsibilities and obligations. This paper critically analyzes the law of contract concerning the legal issues involved, the ethical issues relating to contracts and offers suggestions for perfection in this particular area of law.
Legal aspects of Contract law
Contract law was precisely defined as a collection of assurances or assurance that could be prescribed by the ruling. A marginally contending description is that binding contracts are treaties that produce commitments that are accredited and prescribed by the prevailing Act. The descriptions are inclusive yet they do not entirely take account of the situational domains upon which the rule of the agreement will relate. However, either of these definitions confirms the law’s involvement using enforcement.
This openly submits that as long as there is a violation or an infringement of the contractual terms, then the injured contracting party has the lawful privileges to pursue infringement remedies using the law courts. Regularly, contracts might surface in a surfeit of conditions instigation from ordering biscuits from the junction stalls to retailing assets or stocks. Hence, it is predictable that there must be certain before any law court can arbitrate to enforce a binding agreement (Collins, 2003). This indicates that, notwithstanding the affluence and convolution, the contract laws had traditionally laid the basic underpinning for the binding treaties that ought to be sealed off to permit the contracting parties to have their agreements to be enforced by the bylaws.
In any contract, there should be an accepted offer that would lead to an agreement. Although at first, this might seem self-explanatory, it is deemed imperative that the contracting parties must differentiate between what the law states would amount to a valid offer and those that will not. In an agreement, an offer can be made by way of conduct, in writing, or orally. Notwithstanding the mode of the offer, it is the offeree’s intentions or willingness that is of great essence and this is subjective. For example, if an individual quotes that he or she would want to sell an apple for $ 2.00 but erroneously advertises it for one penny which makes the offer be accepted, it would mean that a binding agreement has been upheld. The contract cannot be invalidated just because the offer had an error. The certainty is that the offeree had some intentions to sell the apple. However, at this point, it becomes significant to distinguish between an invitation to treat and an offer (Christie, 1994).
In the law of contract, is it true that parties might enter into pre-emptive talks or preliminary negotiations before taking up a contract? Any issues covered during such a session are deemed not to be components of the contract. They are regarded as invitations to treat. Typical cases for these relate to the displayed products on the superstore shelves. The underlined charges merely sum to the invitations to treat. Before the products are taken for price confirmation at the counters, the offer will not materialize. Thus, to complete the transaction and formalize the contract, the client must accept the commodities and pay the total sum. In the auction room, a similar situation is always apparent (Richards, 2007). The offers are merely completed when the eventual clients propose their submissions and consent when the auctioneers’ strikes land down.
The legitimacy of any acceptance is corresponding as critical as the offer cited in the contract law. This should be a definite expression of agreement to the offer terms. As soon as the offer becomes approved, it will not proclaim the objective or approval. There has to be a flawless and unambiguous announcement of the offer approval derived from the terms that an individual making the offer has made known. A counteroffer will amount in case there is an attempt to alter the offer terms. In effect, the parties will have to start afresh in situations where counter-offers materialize, except that the offer will have to be wide-open for acceptance with the offeror replacing the offeree (Liuzzo, 2010). In the first instance, the consequence of the contractual law might not be indistinct at this point. Nevertheless, the law of contract does not merely govern what takes place in case a contract is broken down, but it equally creates the contract terms when a dispute occurs.
Whereas the deal might be self-illuminating as regards to what the partaking parties anticipate, for instance, pay $45 and I will give this milling tool, there must be conditions to be accomplished namely period for supply, the state of the supplies, and the recompense time that should be honored. About this, the most crucial citations are the modes of payments and the value/quality of the commodities. Various regulations are subject to introducing conditions into the obligatory treaties devoid of any settlement or acceptance amongst the mutually agreeing parties that such conditions will equally be integrated into their contract. The Sale of Goods Act 1979 serves as a good example.
This Act ensures that in the course of any business, goods sold to consumers must characterize their descriptions, be fit for their purpose, and must be of acceptable quality (Collins, 2003). The contract law is inclined to safeguard the buyer’s or shoppers’ rights without informing them. To illustrate this, there are phrases often exhibited at counters concerning offers and sales. Such implied terms include “these will not affect the consumers’ legal rights”.
Offer in a contract in addition to acceptance generally forms the discernible treaty settings, despite the fact the consideration obligation is even more apparent. Consideration is a term referring to the monetary exchange for commodities or any valuable thing traded among the contracting parties. This makes it to be the prickliest and compound condition for any legitimately binding contract. The contract becomes more of a promise that could be enforced under the English Law provided some forms of consideration do not exist. However, it is not sufficient that the contracting parties must make such an exchange of worth (Liuzzo, 2010).
In reality, it ought not to be a derisory consideration but instead a treasured consideration. The treasured consideration conception denotes something with the capacity of being appraised in terms of fiscal or pecuniary worth. It is not deemed sufficient that such consideration had previously occurred, there should be a concurrent value taking place through the exchange to produce a formalized agreement. Such technicalities have brought about rafts of case laws deriving from the issues appertaining to what adds up to consideration. Thus, it delineates the significance of the law of contract in arbitrating such disputes.
When the agreements amongst individuals are confirmed as agreements containing monetary exchanges, offers as well as acceptances, there still ought to be an obligatory intent to form legitimate or legal relationships. In commercial transactions, it might be apparent that the contracting parties had the intention of creating legal associations (O’Sullivan & Hilliard, 2010). Despite the intentions, in an informal and relaxed situation, they might still be the inquiry on how serious the contracting parties were. This does not necessarily imply that clients can freely return commodities based on claims that they were not cognizant of the intent of establishing such legalities.
Habitually, the judges may obtain interpretations from the collective acquaintance and how the customers are well-versed on the obligatory nature of a treaty and the intent of sellers to have them pay for commodities. In this instance, the point of reference is where a particular contracting party is well acquainted with the prevalent fault yet fails to notify the other contracting party who misguidedly trusts that formal intents were not known. The court of law is hence bound to draw on the unprejudiced tests to consider every fact relating to the individual cases. For instance, a case that involved a novice lawyer who accepted Barrister Chambers’s offer was found to be in a binding agreement (Collins, 2003).
The treaty was amongst the all-inclusive chambers and the apprentice, but not really amid the principal and the apprentice. It was established that any assertion by the attorney chambers that they hardly had any aims was inapt. From the parties involved, it is evident that the intentions were very clear.
On the other hand, an informal agreement that exists amid cohabitants’ who live in quasi-marital affiliations might result in disputes. This may specifically occur when the relationship breaks up. Primarily, it was questioned whether a treaty would be existent if a home-based mom finds herself lacking an option through the matrimonial statute. In a real sense, the contract was assumed to involve an offer to be upheld by the husband for life and this was acceptable (Liuzzo, 2010).
Conversely, the consideration was to forgo the right to provide a house for the household and to make a living. The exclusive problem related to the prescribed intent to form a ratified association and this seemed like a barrier that could not be outdone by different womankind. Although there are different justice recourses to aid in such circumstances, it functions as an essential case of how the pledging entities may disavow what primarily looked like a realistically tying treaty. The best way of ensuring that a binding agreement depicts the contracting parties’ intention is through writing such an agreement down. A sufficing statement would take the form of, “this contract does not reflect a formalized legal agreement”.
Contracts and ethics
Business entails the production, selling, and exchange of commodities. Business and contract always move together and without one the other might fail to exist. Thus, there are various ethical issues relating to contracts. For example, before getting involved in a contract, the contracting parties must confirm the age of the other party to the contract. This implies that it is unethical to enter into a binding agreement with minors.
Besides, consideration must be taken to avoid contracting with people of unsound minds. Only grown-ups of normal capacity and intelligence should be involved in any contract. When entering into a binding agreement or contract, good return policies should be adhered to after the completion of a transaction. The partaking parties must not desire to benefit at the expense of infringing the rights of other contracting parties.
Statement supporting the argument
The law of contract has been applied in every aspect of human life. This varied from transference and occupation to leisure and collective events like obtaining thirst-quenchers in bars and restaurants. All these activities involve the creation of contracts. Even if most of them are momentary and the conditions look modest and rather unpretentious, the treaty promises are being broken. This calls for more serious contract law enforcement (O’Sullivan & Hilliard, 2010).
The view of the societies as regards to contracts materialize to be distorted given that quite a number of them barely get it indispensable to implement the conditions. Since we are residing in an industrial realm where there are scores of selection liberty, the obligations to promise quality normally disavow the shoppers’ requirement to enact their privileges concerning the appropriateness and worth under the trade treaty.
Most standards seem to be upheld by independent organizations and governmental bodies. Consumers hardly have the urge to enforce contract breaches. If they do, the dealers seem to be quite responsive to their rights to an extent that they hardly permit the questioning of the exchanged commodities (Christie, 1994). This means that frequently, the sellers and suppliers enforce the payment terms by defaulting on the agreements.
Furthermore, credit concerns are presently dominant and promises which regulate currency lending under universal treaties such as credit cards alongside rental purchases are frequently breached. This constitutes the other perspective of the law of contract. Conditions and terms always prevail for both the contracting parties and this should form the basis of a legal contract. The consideration must be observed and without it, there could be nothing above unenforceable promises.
The law of contract needs to adjust with any advancement in social, economic, and technological outlooks. The responsibility lies with the parliament because it is always mandated to strongly arbitrate, enact and introduce new laws to govern emerging circumstances.
The parliament must introduce laws that govern specific associations and the contracts arising amidst them. It is practically impossible to enact laws for every eventuality because unforeseen circumstances, relations, issues, or technology might crop up. These might not have been catered for and it might be very difficult for the law to regulate them. The court is therefore left to interpret the governing laws to find solutions to the ensuing disputes. This clearly shows how the 1818 law of contract was depicted and the level at which contract law will remain in the probable future.
Even though the scope and variability of the prescribed agreements incessantly upsurge and advance, the universal doctrines of the contract law will always stand their validity. However, in the future new systems could be introduced to create a standard agreement and this should be derived from the contracting parties’ affiliations and nature. For instance, companies that operate in a similar market might be compelled to have their dealings under an isolated agreement.
Christie, R. H. (1994). The law of contract. Petersburg, VA: Butterworths.
Collins, H. (2003). The law of contract. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Liuzzo, A. L. (2010). Essentials of business law seventh edition. Boston: McGraw Hill.
O’Sullivan, J. & Hilliard, J. (2010). The law of contract. London, UK: Oxford University Press.
Richards, P. (2007). Law of contract. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Longman.