a) Management Information System (MIS) is a collection of mixed systems process that generates vital information to help the business’s effectiveness and efficiency. This information provides guidelines and protocols and serves as guide to the management in achieving their goals and objectives. The success of one’s company depends on this information. (Comptroller’s Handbook 1995)
Based on the areas provided in the case study, I choose the following applications in each of the category given:
· Store Operations – Inventory Turnover
Inventory Turnover is one of the most important applications in Store Operations that should be handled by the Inventory and Sales Department personnel. This application provides information of the products flow in the market in a given period. Such information’s are the number of sold and unsold items which helps identifies the most saleable and the most patronized product by the customers. This process will help the management increase the volume of the most saleable and patronize product.
· Category Management – Market Comparison
Performing a market comparison to the company’s direct competitors is very important. It helps determine the company’s position in local and global market – position in terms of sales performance and business status in a given period. The outcome of this process will give the management ideas in enhancing the products quality as well as the services they provided. In doing so, the company will be able to meet the demand of the customers needs. This is a very challenging job that should be handled by the Marketing Department in the organization.
· Merchandise Management – “Hot item” Report
Generating reports of the most saleable items is very important in merchandise management. The result of this report that will be forwarded to the Inventory and Sales Department can be used in analyzing the sales profit of the company. The report will also be the bases for volume order.
b.) Will the development of IT affects the use of MIS? Will it help improve the company’s market share in the future?
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) plays a big role in developing and improving any organizations. There have been various technologies that can be applied to help the company’s growth. If the MIS department in the organization used these proven and tested technologies, a huge potential of positive result can be acquired. And the management can surely receive positive feedbacks from their customers/clients as well as to their suppliers.
There have been many services that IT technologies offered. Primary example is the computer. Computer is a multifunctional technology which can be use to create office networking that will allow easy access of the company’s file by every department in the organization. It can also be use to connect to another services IT technology offers which is the internet. The widespread usage of the internet will help the company to have fast communications to clients and suppliers. They can also generate different information from the company that will help speeding up any transactions. And the managers will have the convenience of discussing the company’s progress thru teleconferencing or web meeting which is proven to be hassle-free and expense-free.
a.) Describe the relevance of these key issues to your company and compare the answers to other well-known organization operating in a different market.
Ø Understanding Product Knowledge
Before any organization starts its business operations, it is vital for the management to know their product/services well before putting them in the market. They should have enough information of the product/services advantages and disadvantages. And the management should test the functionality of product/services and fix the possible defect before delivering to the public consumers. Otherwise, it will be very ironic if the management has no knowledge of the product/services they are offering.
Ø Developing strategies to detect and mitigate fraud
The most common problem that any organization faced is fraud. This problem is unavoidable during business operations. The possibilities of having selfish and greed employees who likes to generate big amount of money using the company, which in any sense already their bread and butter, is huge. This kind of employees should easily be identified and remove from the company. The management should anticipate this kind of behavior and imposed appropriate solution. There should be strategies of preventing this to happen. These strategies should come out from the
brainstorming among the members of the board and top-level management but properly examine.
Ø Analyzing the Effect of Promotions
Promotion is one of the best strategy any organization impose that catch buyer’s attention. It is one of the important aspects that the Marketing Department should give more emphasis when advertising. Seeking ways on how to have good promotional advertisement that will surely attracts new customers and establish strong relationship to loyal customers will be the first priority of the advertising team. Promotions should be enticing, beneficial, economical for customers, and reliable. Satisfaction from the old customers and new customers will be its main objective. And the company’s welfare and integrity should not and will not be put at risk at any given promotional activities.
Ø Alerting Managers of Potential Sales Lost.
Every companies or organization encounters many problems while operating the business. Whether it is big or small, it is possible that the problem can affect the performance of the services the company provided. But the most critical problem an organization or companies encountered were sales lost. Which is unavoidable and possibly led to bankruptcy if taken for granted.
There are many possible reasons of losing sales. It can be internal or external. External sales lost are uncontrollable. Which means the solutions depends on the problems nature. External sales lost on the hand are avoidable and controllable if the manager has keen eye and vigilant to what is happening to every corner of the company he/she is running. He/she should have a zero tolerance attitude and the rules set for this kind of problem should be strictly imposed.
a.1) Model Organization – “Ford Motor Company”
· The Ford Motor Company is one of the largest and leading automobile providers, on which it supplies the widest and broadest global automobile market. Although, Ford Motors was held as a public company, their management systems are still amazingly unified. With the profound policy to keep the family like company, Ford Motors is one of the prime advocates to maintain or sustain a unified management operation system.
· Technically, the Ford Motor Company, which is originally based in the United States, had been one of the major automobile companies to rely on the usage of MIS or the Management Information System.
· Due to the fact, that Ford Motor is a global automobile provider. The company had been using and relying on the beneficial usage of MIS, as an answer to their own company struggle. Since the company had grown bigger and globally, the company starts to use and acquire new technologies to their operation system.
· Just like the same as written above, Ford Motors uses MIS to improve and develop their operation system in able to get the ride of their growing and increasing global management operation.
· Ford Motor Company, uses the MIS or their IT profoundly to effect specific improvement on their operation: To determine their global supply chain: to determine inventory records: to improve and maintain company edge: to enhance centralized internal communication of their subdivisions world wide.
b.) Explain how this information can be useful in training programs for the company’s staff.
Vital information’s on product knowledge, fraud and corruption, company promotions and sales lost should be used in training programs, seminars and workshops that are set by the management for their employees. These kinds of information should be essentially discussed in the program. If the employees were aware of the pros and cons of the company, they will become more effective, more reliable to their job. Rules violators will be lessen, job discrepancies will be minimize and malicious misleading information will not be given to the customers.
b.1) Decision Support Systems
The Decision Support Systems or (DSS) is a computer-based information system, which is primarily use as help or support for the people or higher company official to make organizational decision. As a recorded significant and essential data, the higher company or a business organization can positively use Decision Support Systems or (DSS), to enhance or improve the training program of the company. With the reliable and factual data, the system have, higher company officials can definitely determine the companies advantage, disadvantage, problems and the areas where there is a need of improvement in the operation and with their employee. From here, higher company official can definitely decide accordingly to enhance the employee’s training program in able to address a specific organizational issue of concern. With the proper usage of the Decision Support Systems or (DSS), definitely employee’s training program can be designed more reliable and effective to produced quality company employee. Technically, Decision Support Systems or (DSS) is a multi-functional system, on which its application can be used by the people or the higher company as their factual support or reference, on formulating organization decision. (TechTarget)
b.2) Transaction Processing Systems
The Transaction Processing System or TPS, on the other hand, is another type technology system, on which the company can use to formulate and improved employee’s training program. Just like the primary function of “Decision Support Systems or DSS”, Transaction Processing Systems also provides critical information for the company, on which this specific technology records the daily or actual business transaction of the company. Technically, this system does not only records business, in a specific approach Transaction Processing Systems also records the performance of the employee, since they are the one in charge to process transaction. Any discrepancies in the transaction record, can mean a mistake of the employee, with this the company can determine if their employees are doing well in their job, on which record can clearly show areas of concern to improve their employees performance, through formulation of improved and specifically designed employee’s training program, definitely through referencing the records of “TPS”. (BPC, Articles and Glossary)
c.) By incorporating the above factors, outline an MIS solution for your company and discuss the processes in which it could be implemented.
The following are MIS solutions that will help the company achieve its goal and objectives.
§ Division of Task
Proper division of labor in the company will deliver good results. This can be done by establishing various departments and divide each member into category that will attend the different needs of the company. Let say the Marketing Department is required to conduct a survey to acquire different information such as sales status, top company sellers, most saleable products and competitor’s promotional activities. If all the employees under the Marketing Department will conduct the survey from one company to the other, it will be time consuming. But if the manager or the department head divides the Marketing Department employees into different team and assign each team to different companies, a quick and accurate result will be produce.
§ Conduct evaluation and training to each department.
Employee’s evaluation and trainings will help the company’s growth. The result of the evaluation will help the management in determining which employee has good potential that can be enhanced thru training and workshops. It can also help in determining which employee provides good working performance and which employee becomes a liability to the company. It will also help the management in determining the kinds of trainings and workshops their employee needs. Evaluation and trainings should be conduct regularly. The development of each employee’s skills will definitely benefit the company.
§ Supervise employees
Supervisory is only one of the many functions of a manager. Supervising every department or the employees means monitoring the flow of the company as well as the behavior of every employee. The manager should be and will be strict and has zero tolerance attitudes when it comes to handling and imposing the company policy and giving sanctions to policy violators, and he/she should be humane, friendly and approachable in handling other matters inside and outside the company. A good manager is a good supervisor, which means he/she has the capability to extend and limit his/her supervisory function in every situation.
§ Establish an open communication link
Establishing an open communication among the employees as well as to the top executives is another factor that the management should pay attention. Open communication will help the flow inside the office. It can resolve conflicts within the company and it can foster good relationship that will led to a healthy and peaceful working environment. If the company has approachable and friendly managers or executives, employees can easily contribute ideas that will help the company.
a.) Your company wants to determine the effectiveness of its website. How will you evaluate the following?
§ How can online visitors’ behavior be investigated?
Company websites helps any organizations to advertise their product in millions of users thru the internet. It is accessible to all who have access in the internet and tracking the company’s web visitor can be tough. The company should limit the visitor’s access to its webpage. Only general information should be displayed to the visitors. If the visitor’s wants to access deep information about the company and it’s product, he/she should be required to fill up a registration form which obliged them to give his/her personal information before granting access. And the registration form should consist of username and password to allow the visitor to revisit the company’s website in his/her convenience. By registering the visitor’s information, the company will avoid fraud and hackers to access important information about the company and legitimate visitors will be track. Site administrator should always monitor the company’s website activities and effectiveness.
§ Is sufficient detail available to customers?
As mentioned above, there will be pages in the website that are specifically designed for the member and different pages for the guest visitors. As to the guest visitors, generic pages that consist of product information and company’s profile should be displayed. To the users who already registered in the site, they should be granted full access on the other information of the company as well as the products. They should be able to conduct transactions or buy the company’s product online.
§ How can online analysis be used to determine marketing campaign’s success?
The number of customers who visits the site in a given day can be used as a basis in determining the success of the company’s campaign in promoting the product or making the company known to the public. But this number should not be used as basis to determine the number of visitors who patronize the company’s product. Only the total numbers of visitors who purchased or made transactions to the company should be used in determining success of the company’s campaign.
§ How can customer feedback, via a website email links, be used effectively?
Registered users or customers should be provided with pages where they can post comments and/or suggestions. Listening to the feedbacks from the customers is vital for the enhancement and growth of the company. This can help the management improve its product line and services. The management should scan every comment and/or suggestion send by the customers. The send feedbacks will categorize and count the number of send feedback that has similar content. If the number of feed back that has similar complains or suggestions reaches to 20% from the total number of entry, the management should put action and resolve the problem or enhance the suggested product. But if the number of similar feed is only 1% to 2 % from the total counting of entries, the management can ignore the feedbacks. Feedback consideration should depend on its total number, and the management is not obliged to take actions to each and every comments.
b.) Identify different subsystems within the MIS process. Select at least two that will be useful to your company. Describe the operation and comment on their benefits and limitations.
· Transaction Processing Systems
The Transaction Processing Systems or (TPS) is possibly one of the Management Information System (MIS) subsystem, on which can improved the actual operation or service of the whole company. Transaction Processing Systems or TPS is system, which records the every transaction of the company, compiled it as a data. In every business or company, transaction is a significant concern, as it is the actual act of business operation. Since, Management Information System or MIS is primarily applied to improve the system of the company. Therefore, it is fair enough to say “Transaction Processing Systems or TPS” is efficient to improve the business operation of a company. With its primary application, Transaction Processing Systems or TPS can be use to track daily transaction record and determine if there are any mischief activities done, at early stage to prevent further harmful impact of it to the whole business operation. Nevertheless, these records of daily transaction can be used as a company reference to improved, monitor and enhance the performance of the company. (BPC, Articles and Glossary)
c.) Describe, with diagrams, two different network topologies, identifying clearly their components.
A network is one product of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) which makes devices communicate to one another. The following are two network topologies which, when implemented, delivers good result and fasten accessibility.
The figure above is the diagram of a network configured using the bus topology type. In this type of network, all workstations are connected to a single cable that is connected to the server. This inexpensive type of network uses a twisted pair cable and easy to configure. The drawback of this is that if the cable that connects the workstations to the server fails, the entire network also fails. Bus topology is the most common used network topology by organizations because, as mentioned earlier, it is easy to configure and it costs less compared to all the other topology. For small organizations, it is better to have this type of topology because technicians can easily trace errors, if the need arises.
This type of topology can be configured thru adjacent – this means that the computer is a hop away from the other workstation. The single ring interconnects all the computers that are part of the network. When a computer sends a message to the other computer, those PC which are not the recipient of the messages but part of the network will disregard the message and pass it to the node which is the intended receiver of the message.
Any of this topology when configured properly will surely create a smooth exchange of information among different departments in an organization. Networked computers really improve the communication system and help organize the company’s data.
Tech Terms (2008), Decision Support System: Viewed March 12, 2008 from http://searchcio.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid182_gci213888,00.html
BPC, Articles and Glossary (n.d), TPS: Transaction Processing Systems: Viewed March 12,
2008 from http://www.bestpricecomputers.co.uk/glossary/transaction-processing-systems.htm
Comptroller’s Handbook (1995), Management Information System: Viewed March 12, 2008 from http://www.occ.treas.gov/handbook/mis.pdf