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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Information System and Services

Basically, a database is carefully designed and constructed repository of facts. The fact repository is part of larger whole known as an information system. An information system provides for data collection, storage, and retrieval. It also facilitates the transformation of data into information and the management of both data and information. Thus, a complete information system is composed of people, hardware, software, the database, application programs, and procedures. System analysis is the process that establishes the need for and the extent of an information system. The process of creating an information system is known as system development.

The performance of an information system depends on a triad of factors: database design and implementation, application design and implementation, and administrative procedures.

The use of Information Technology provides the following benefits to the company:

  • The Computerized system is always up-to-date
  • There is no data duplication and data inconsistency
  • The computerized system always generates useful information. It’s also useful in generating reports
  • The system does allow ad hoc queries
  • Computerized System is very fast to process data
  • The use of computerized inventory system makes data management very easy. It provides greater control and provide the ability to manage the inventories effectively
  • Ready access to crucial inventory management data is available. For example which item have been ordered, from which vendor were they ordered, which item have been ordered but have not yet been received and so on
  • The organization must need to know the available stock and average use of supplies to effectively manage the supply inventory, to determine optimal order quantities, and to place necessary orders, this information has effectively provided by the Computerized Inventory System
  • The company does not always know the actual location of any item at any given time. The computerized system makes it possible to track inventory by category, by location, or by manufacturer
  • The company can not easily generate a repair and maintenance history for each piece of equipment without computerized system
  • The company cannot determine the status of items currently subject to maintenance procedures with the use of computerized systems.

Problems due to lack of Information System Strategy

The development of Information System strategy proceeds on the basis of domino effects obtained from the study of industry and competition. By the revelation of business strengths and weaknesses, for the growth of a wide range of strategic plans for the successful administration of environmental openings and threats is called the Strategy Formulation. It comprises exploratory or redefining the corporate or project mission by indicating attainable goals, emergent strategies, and setting execution procedure for Information Systems. It should be noted that going to Information Technology in the organization could be done in many ways.

At present, although both the companies AB and CD merged together, but still they are running their independent Management Information System. This is not an ideal situation for both the companies and could be responsible for many problems like:

  • Duplication: As both the companies run their Information system independently there is a chance of duplication. The computerized systems of both the companies control the stock of items by location as well as by inventory type. The system also track consumable items by recording their usage (Schreibfeder). Similarly, The systems also generate information about the total orders placed, total cost of orders by vendor, by order, and by inventory type. It also generates a grand total cost, to be used by the company for budgeting purposes. This sounds an appropriate system for a single company, but after the merger of AB and CD companies they both need a more comprehensive system which avoids the chances of data redundancy and duplication
  • Inefficiency: the maintenance of separate database by both the companies even after the merger may enhance inefficiency. It is possible that data of any client may be available into the database of AB company while now it’s CD company which is going to deal with that particular client and hence client may suffer some inefficiency
  • Failure: it is also possible that as database cannot be maintained at any central point, some of it may be lost for any reason, this will cause the failure of the system

The Proposed System

At present both the companies used an overlapping system for Customers and suppliers files. The proposed system is a centralized system in which inventory items will be updated when:

  • An ordered item is received
  • An item is checked out of inventory or checked in inventory
  • A consumable item is withdrawn from inventory in order to be used
  • If the physical inventory check reveals that an item is missing (Bar Codes).

This centralized system provides many benefits to the companies like:

  • Cost Reduction: it saved the cost of the hardware. As both the companies used centralized Information system they only have to use server at one end and dumb terminals to all departments, this will reduce the cost of maintaining data at two different independent ends. It also reduces the labor cost, as now the data is maintained at a centralized position which would almost cut the labor cost to half.
  • Reduced time for searching: when the system is managed with computer at a centralized position, it is much easy to track any item. With the help of computerized system it is possible to record any movement of the items from one place to another place by just entering its primary key
  • Effective Customer Services: It is much easier to provide the best customer services to the customers by adapting centralized Information management system because
    1. The system produces the accurate results
    2. The system produces consistent results
    3. The system produces reliable results
    4. The system is easy to learn
    5. The system is easy to use
    6. The system is flexible to new or exceptional situations
    7. The system is flexible to change
    8. The system is compatible with other systems
    9. The system is well coordinated with other systems
  • Reduction of Wrong Sale or Purchase: the use of centralized information system reduces or rather eliminating the chances of wrong shipping or any wrong sale or purchase
  • Improved Coordination: the centralized information system break down the barriers among departments and across hierarchical levels.
  • Improved Decision-making: information is the lifeblood of organizations. Managers at different levels use different kind of information. Management information system provides information reports to help managers to make decisions.
  • Financial Control: management information system provides the exact situation of the company in the form of different reports and helps managers to control any resource leakages. This ultimately provides a better financial control to the decision-makers of the company
  • Growth: Management Information System would help to enhance the market growth of the company. By having Salespersons use laptop computers in the field, a quick call can confirm inventory availability and instantly close a deal. The speed and timely service, achieved by an efficient management information system, give an advantage over competitors

Implementing Management Information System

Although management information system provides a bundle of benefits to the companies but still it is not very easy to implement such system. In order to implement centralized management information system to the companies AB and CD, following approaches may be used:

  • Negotiations: managers of different departments are interviewed about their information needs. The problem for using this approach is that it is time consuming
  • Involvement: involve different departmental heads by asking the most important information they need to run their department smoothly. This varies from company to company. It only uses the most important information and hence eliminate the useless data
  • Retraining: in order to run the management information system efficiently, it is necessary that users must be trained in a manner that they can use the system as immaculately as they can. For this purpose training is necessary. Training helps the individual learns skills and more knowledge necessary to meet the requirements of the job. For an experienced worker, training is a process of re-orientation to meet the additional job requirements. The purpose of training is to increase productivity and job performance. Thus retrain the employees is an essential part for implementing management information system
  • Recruitment: recruitment of computer personnel to manage, implement and maintain management information system is also very important

Conclusion

We are living in Information age, and in this Information society it is almost impossible to ignore the importance of computers in any walk of life. Computer has not only reshaping our society but also our business environment locally and worldwide. As we have discussed in this report, use of information technology in the AB and CD companies have many benefits, it reduces the cost, enhances the efficiency, provide better customer support and improved decision-making facilities.

Although management information system have many benefits; but it needs a solid strategy to be implemented. The implementation process may include techniques like negotiations, involvement, retraining, recruitment etc.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Nice BLog Companies who offer training also offer seo training management services. Would they share all their knowledge with you? After all, you will be competing with them one day. Some of these classes are conducted by the CEO of the company -- when did they last personally optimise a site.