I have a potential client who would like me to build a vendor managed inventory system. (An automated system that manages customer inventory by placing orders automatically when inventory gets low) This is not a typical VMI, they're requesting some functionality that doesn't seem to exist anywhere else.
I've been researching this on my own, but if anyone has ever developed something like this before I could sure use some advice (or even a mentor) going into this.
Some questions I'm wondering about...
When a manufacturer takes an item from inventory to be used, is there an industry standard way that this consumption is recorded? Should this system provide a barcode scanner for this or should I look for ways to work with existing software?
I'm not used to pricing something this big. I hate hourly pricing, and I believe value based pricing is my best choice here. My research shows that successful systems like this typically take 2-2.5 years to fully develop, train everyone, work out the kinks, etc... with an overall cost between $200K-$500K in IT and training. I already know this will benefit the client with millions of dollars in sales if we're successful. I'm leaning towards $80K for a function prototype system and test deployment, with the expectation that there will be further development at that time to refine the system. I'm fairly confident in my price point, but wouldn't mind hearing if I'm GROSSLY under or over-charging. (Wow, it feels so weird talking about pricing on here...)
Also, any experience of things to watch out for, common problems, etc... with a project of this scope would be greatly appreciated.