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CSC60404 Management Information System

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CSC60404 Management Information System

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Course Code: CSC60404
University: Taylor’s University

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Country: Malaysia

Question

1. Rabatt operates deep-discount stores offering housewares, cleaning supplies, clothing, health and beauty aids, and packaged food throughout Germany, with most items selling for 1 euro. Its business model calls for keeping costs as low as possible. The company has no automated method for keeping track of inventory at each store. Managers know approximately how many cases of a particular product the store is supposed to receive when a delivery truck arrives, but the stores lack of technology for scanning the cases or verifying the item count inside the cases. Merchandise loses from theft or other mishaps have been rising and now represent over 3 percent of total sales. What decision have to be made before investing an information system solution? 
2. Fulbert Timber Merchants in Brixton, UK features a large selection of building supplies, including timber, fencing and decking, mouldings, hardwood flooring, sheet materials, windors and doors. The prices of building materials are constantly changing. When a customer inquires about the price on fixtures, fittings, hangings and other items, sales representatives  consult a manual price sheet and then call the supplier for the most recent price. The supplier in turn  uses a manual price sheet, which has been updated each day. Often the supplier must call back Fulbert’s sales reps because the company does not have the newest pricing information immediately on hand. Assess the business impact of this situation, describe how this process could be improved with information technology, and identify the decisions that would have to be made to implement a solution.  
3. Quincaillerie is a small family hardware store in Paris, France. The owners must use every square foot of store space as profitably as possible. They have never kept detailed inventory or sales records. As soon as a shipment of goods arrives, the items are immediately placed on store shelves. Invoices from suppliers are only kept for tax purposes. When an item is sold, the item number and price are rung up at the case register. The owners use their own judgement in identifying items that need to be recorded. What is the business impact of this situation? How could information systems help the owners run their business? What data should these systems capture? What decisions could the systems improve? 
4. Despite aggressive campaigns to attract customers with lower mobile phone prices, T-mobile has been losing large numbers of its most lucrative two-year contract subscribers. Management wants to know why so many customers are leaving T-mobile and what can be done to entice them back. Are customers deserting because of poor customer service, uneven network coverage, wireless service charges or competition from carriers with Apple iphone service? How can the company use information systems to help find the answer? What management decisions could be made using information from these systems? 
Management should consider these organizational features:

What are the competitive forces at work in the industry, specifically the relative power of suppliers, customers, and substitute services over prices?
Is the basis of competition quality, price, or brand?
How is the industry currently using information technology and is the organization behind or ahead of the industry in its application of information systems?
How is the company creating value for the customer?
What are the organization’s core competencies?

Management should make these decisions to ensure the strategy works:

Has senior management correctly articulated an appropriate business strategy and goals for the organization?
Is the company using the right metrics to measure progress toward those goals?

Answer
Management Information System

1: Information Technology (IT) plays a significant role in managing complex retail operation and IT expenses in retail industry has significantly increased due to increasing globalization both with respect to point of sale (POS) and point of supply. In order to gain competitive advantage in retail sector, the company must have the market knowledge along with data and information control. It is evitable that market will grow and become much more complex in future as compared to present days, hence the company must try to deploy more advanced retail information system to cope and handle all the involved transaction (Paginas.fe.up.pt 2018).
Thus, by accelerating processes the IT can provide benefit of cost saving to the company. In relation to managing information system, the company may face the following challenges.
The company needs to gather and filter out the required customer data from mass data amount and convert it into useful information. The company must maintain and increase transparency among systems and improve its tracking process to incorporate systems from manufacturer through to consumer while gathering sales and customer information. The company must track its inventory levels by using real-time data. Moreover, due to radio frequency identification or electronic product coding tagging the company able to safeguard its shipments through product tracking from manufacturer in total supply chain (RIS | Retail Information Systems 2018). The company needs to follow the compliance of payment card industry (PCI) security. This security compliance addresses and deals with the setup and practices of the company’s internal security in order to diminish the risks of payment security. If the company is involved in any sort of transaction that is related to processing of card payment then the information system of the company must comply with the PCI security standards. If the stored card information is compromised, then the company will lose its ability of card payment acceptance and will face consequences such as lawsuits, government fines, cancelled accounts and insurance claims (Pcisecuritystandards.org 2018).
Selecting and investing into right information system for retail business solution is a time-taking and complex process as different retail software packages are available. Each package has strengths, which can dramatically improve the company’s business, and weaknesses that can bankrupt the company. Retail system consists of several modules where each module perform specific task and generally most of the modules are integrated and each module has data sharing features so that it can work with other modules (Piotrowicz and Cuthbertson 2014). The company must ensure that its retail information system must have the following modules and functions.
The setup and configuration module allows customizing system as per company’s business requirements. The point-of-sale (POS) module handles the transaction sets that are performed on daily basis. The module for purchase order must be user friendly and handle all the business related required functions. Inventory management and merchandising functions are series of on-screen and printed reports that provide decision-making tools. Other required modules and functions of the information system can be customer relationship management (CRM), wholesale capabilities, tracking employee’s sales figure, integrated credit and debit card module, ecommerce and accounting interface (Haustein, Luther and Schuster 2014).
Hence, the company must decide on all the concerned factors as mentioned above before investing in its information system solution.
2. The current business scenario of the Fulbert is as follows. At present, due to suppliers’ regular price change, whenever any customer enquires about price of any material the sales representative of Fulberts calls supplier regarding the recent price. The supplier get in touch with the sales representative about the recent price who then updates the customer about the price. This business process is very lengthy and quite time-consuming as it involves lots of communication and so there must be a possibility or chances that customer can buy product from other venders instead of waiting for the latest prices.
This business process can be improved with the help of IT. In order to successfully run the above business, it have invest in high-quality information system since and an excellent and effective information system can minimise human errors and increases business efficiency. The IT based automated information system can provide following benefits over manual based information system.
Automated information system enable the company to systematically organize and arrange data, which in turn allows the company to quickly make decisions and solve problems. A good information system has feature of management information system (MIS) that allow the company to maintain and organize its past and present information in the database (Willcocks 2013). The MIS feature of information system allows the company to keep track of its all profits and margins in order to foresee and avoid any crisis. Manual saving of data using hard copy method will waste considerable amount of time and searching the required data from that will be hectic task. While an automated information, system makes the process of data searching easy and convenient as the system groups the company’s data as per date and time. The decision making process of the company is time consuming without an automated information system (Laudon, and Laudon 2016). The company’s success level is dictated by the management’s decision-making and strategic planning. The company management can use information system to come up with the best decisions regarding appropriate business steps as per current economy. By integrating and implementing automated information system, the company will have regular updates about its business trends and this will enable the company to develop high-quality services and products (Rainer et al. 2013).
The decision about the following factors needs to be considered for implementing automated information system. Developing guiding principles for building the information system program of the company. Developing a plan for rolling out new processes and new technology. Setting up relationships with marketing, communications, recruiting, training, public relations and other company departments in preparing the company about information management (Mol 2015). The company people needs to update its staffs about information management such as the process of information creation, how and where it is stored, process of information dissemination, information view. The company must design all these things by balancing the needs of company staffs with the company program of information management. In order to facilitate the adoption of information system the company must try its best to the existing business process wherever possible (Varley 2014).
3. The business process of Quincillerie is follows. The business or company owners do not keep or maintain automated, sales records or detailed inventory. Except for tax purpose, invoices are not regularly maintained. Moreover, sales details are recorded and maintained only through cash register. The business impact of the above process may include loss of sales, improper accounting of sales and costly inventory control due to under and over ordering of the products.
In order to run the business successfully, the owners needs to incorporate a quality information system to process all the required data. Besides reducing human errors and expanding work efficiency, the business owner must invest in information system due to the following factors.
The company with arranged data will be well organized which will enable it to come up with easy and quick decision and solution in any circumstance. The MIS feature of the quality information system will provide past, present and predicted information about which will enable the owner to improve the business productivity. The MIS facility of the business information system can combine the current business trends with the organized work activities and information to develop products and services as per future requirements (Pantano 2014). Manual recording and storing of data and information with hard-copy formats in registers will always be costly and time-consuming. As a result, searching or appropriate data or information can also be a lengthy and time-consuming process. The information system stores every valuable piece of information in a comprehensive database and information or data will be at owners’ disposal (Yin et al. 2013). Through the MIS reports the information system forecasts the business crisis and allows owners to prevent the crisis prior to its occurrence. Without an effective information system the owner will not be able to easily make decisions as such process will be time consuming. The information system enables owners to evaluate and analyse information from each source of company and draw the best conclusion (Devi, Singh and Naz 2013). The MIS features of the information system lets owners to all business data and accordingly plan the business goals. The competitive analysis feature of the information system allows owner to improve the business capabilities. In order to maintain safety and stability of the information system the MIS must completely control the data and instantly provide the data for various processes (E. Armstrong 2013).
The information system allow users to capture data, ensure correct accounting of sales, maintaining proper inventories, order products as per requirements needed.
The business decisions that can be improved by the information system are as follows. The MIS feature provides business owners the key data about every department of the business and overall company, which allows the owner to take suitable decisions. The MIS feature ensures the business owners and managers work on same data set and make their decisions on identical information. The MIS provides analytical tools to evaluate relationship among data and compute possible future trends. The MIS allows owners to examine what-if analysis of different scenarios and help them to decide best strategy of the company (Rasheed 2014).
4: In spite of offering lower mobile phone prices, T-mobile was losing large numbers of customers due to late launch 4-G services and poor network coverage (T-mobile.com 2018). However, by collecting feedback from customer regarding, service, wireless service charges and uneven network coverage, the company can find and analyse reasons for losing its customers.
The management needs to develop a business strategy for achieving competitive advantage. This can be done studying and analysing the customer specification and then find the best possible way to satisfy their requirements. The T-mobile needs to implement the following business strategies. The company needs to focus on continuous on continuous support to customers. The company needs to ensure that its staffs should address the customer’s requirements with a strong sense of belonging and significance. For instance, in case of any customer complaints the staff needs to be proactive positive instead of being reactive and negative (Bentley, Omer and Sharp 2013). The company must conduct strategy auditing. The strategy audit generates the required data in order to determine whether any strategic changes are require or not and what changes are exactly must be made (Eden and Ackermann 2013).
The management must consider the following features of T-mobile while conducting strategy auditing. The competitive forces of T-mobile, particularly the relative power of customers, suppliers and substitute services over prices; basis of competition such as price, quality, brand; core competencies of the company; creation of customer values; level or degree of application of information system.
The management must decide to improve the T-mobile information system due to following reasons. The MIS feature of information system allows company to collect, process and store information in order to make it available in required format. Telecom company such as T-mobile will not be able to work out business effectively and comprehensively without an improved quality information system since the company needs to maintain data of millions of subscribers or customers. Telecom company save the subscriber data in a database and subscribers can go to any company outlet in any city for enquiry. MIS assists the company employees in servicing their enquiries by automating tasks, which can save resources, time and money and thereby can enhance company’s workflow in a much smoother way. Moreover, this automation can increase the customer satisfaction (Schaarschmidt and Kilian 2014).
The information system could enable the competitive strategies, which are innovation, growth, cost leadership, alliance and differentiation. Information system allows company to shift business cost or minimise business process cost such as minimising operating costs by using system of online business models. Companies can make use of information systems in identification and creation of new products and/or services along with changing of the business processes through automation. Information system allows company in developing differentiated features and minimises the advantages of competitors’ differentiation. Information system allows company to create, establish and improve its relations with partners through utilities such as inter-organizational information system or building of virtual organizations. Information system enable a company to expand local and international business operations by incorporating them into other services and products (Coursecatalog.syr.edu 2018).
Bibliography:
Bentley, K.A., Omer, T.C. and Sharp, N.Y., 2013. Business strategy, financial reporting irregularities, and audit effort. Contemporary Accounting Research, 30(2), pp.780-817.
Coursecatalog.syr.edu. 2018. Program: Information Systems and Telecommunications Management, CAS – Syracuse University – Acalog ACMS™. [online] Available at: https://coursecatalog.syr.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=4&poid=1522.
Devi, K., Singh, G. and Naz, R., 2013. Marketing Information System (MkIS): Benefits for small and medium enterprises in Fiji. Journal of Information & Knowledge Management, 12(01), p.1350009.
E. Armstrong, C., 2013. Competence or flexibility? Survival and growth implications of competitive strategy preferences among small US businesses. Journal of Strategy and Management, 6(4), pp.377-398.
Eden, C. and Ackermann, F., 2013. Making strategy: The journey of strategic management. Sage.
Haustein, E., Luther, R. and Schuster, P., 2014. Management control systems in innovation companies: A literature based framework. Journal of Management Control, 24(4), pp.343-382.
Laudon, K.C. and Laudon, J.P., 2016. Management information system. Pearson Education India.
Mol, A.P., 2015. Transparency and value chain sustainability. Journal of Cleaner Production, 107, pp.154-161.
Paginas.fe.up.pt. 2018. Chapter-3. [online] Available at: https://paginas.fe.up.pt/~als/mis10e/ch3/chpt3-3bullettext.htm.
Pantano, E., 2014. Innovation drivers in retail industry. International Journal of Information Management, 34(3), pp.344-350.
Pcisecuritystandards.org. 2018. Official PCI Security Standards Council Site – Verify PCI Compliance, Download Data Security and Credit Card Security Standards. [online] Available at: https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/.
Piotrowicz, W. and Cuthbertson, R., 2014. Introduction to the special issue information technology in retail: Toward omnichannel retailing. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 18(4), pp.5-16.
Rainer, R.K., Cegielski, C.G., Splettstoesser-Hogeterp, I. and Sanchez-Rodriguez, C., 2013. Introduction to information systems. John Wiley & Sons.
Rasheed, H., 2014. Data and infrastructure security auditing in cloud computing environments. International Journal of Information Management, 34(3), pp.364-368.
RIS | Retail Information Systems. 2018. Home. [online] Available at: https://ris.com/.
Schaarschmidt, M. and Kilian, T., 2014. Impediments to customer integration into the innovation process: A case study in the telecommunications industry. European Management Journal, 32(2), pp.350-361.
T-mobile.com. 2018. Smartphones & Cell Phones | Compare our Best Cell Phones & Smartphones. [online] Available at: https://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phones.
Varley, R., 2014. Retail product management: buying and merchandising. Routledge.
Willcocks, L., 2013. Information management: the evaluation of information systems investments. Springer.
Yin, S., Ding, S.X., Abandan Sari, A.H. and Hao, H., 2013. Data-driven monitoring for stochastic systems and its application on batch process. International Journal of Systems Science, 44(7), pp.1366-1376.

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