CMU-R Students Develop Reporting System for RWACOF
A group of Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda (CMU-R) students have worked together to support RWACOF Exports Ltd, a Rwandan coffee exporter and processor, to develop an efficient and effective reporting system as part of their practicum last term.
Previously when RWACOF Exports Ltd bought coffee, all the data related to the operation was hand written before being input into a spreadsheet that was subsequently sent to headquarters. The company’s only access to this data was via email or phone, which was time-consuming and lacked efficiency.
The student team developed software to produce timely and accurate reports on coffee purchases, expenses, cash management, stock updates and cost to production analysis. The web based application was developed to work remotely and can be used by multiple users on numerous platforms such as mobiles, computers and tablets.
A USSD version was also developed for use in times of sporadic and unstable Internet connection. While the web-based application has numerous features and functions most of which are not used regularly, the USSD version was designed to record coffee purchases alone.
Deliverables from the project included: a statement of work, technical specifications, user manuals, the source codes of the entire project as well as a compiled running program ready for use.
Team members that included Phizer Dusabuwere, Richard Ishimwe and Sildio Mbonyumuhire concurred that working in a group was very challenging and that they quickly learnt that task distribution and perseverance throughout the project were crucial for success. “We were especially challenged by the fact that our client did not have a technical person on site, but we were able to dig enough to find out their needs and create a solution they were appreciative of,” explained Rafiki Ntamuhanga also on the team.