This is a business report which deals with the applications of information systems in the decision-making process of business organizations in order to get competency and business growth in the industry. This case study deals with a clothing manufacturing company located in Sydney. The company selected for the study is E&M Greenfield Pty Ltd. The use of information systems for the tactical and strategic decision making in the manufacturing company is discussed for finding out its importance in the business competency of the company in the industry. Different types of information systems tools are used by the company for assisting the decision-making process at different functional levels. The information system adopted by the company makes a great contribution to the success and growth of the business in different ways. For the data collection, data processing, and information sharing, IS tools are applied by the company and it provides them quality information for the decision making purpose.
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Nowadays in an organization, the manager depends on the information system for decision making. Information means data that have been retrieved, processed, or else used for information or dispute or as a base for forecasting or decision making. Information systems and decision-making are related to each other. The information system provides very good support for decision-making. A good information system provides for future forecasting. Information system means, data records and activities that process the data and information in an organization. The information systems are of several types. They are transaction processing systems, decision support systems, knowledge management systems, database management systems, and office information systems. “The term information system refers to information technology that is used by people to accomplish a specified organizational or individual objective.” (Information systems 2009).
Information management is essential for the effective functioning of business operations. The success of a business greatly depends on the information processing system adopted by the company in making strategic and tactical decisions. Information systems provide competitive advantages to the business organization in different ways. In this report the information system adopted by the clothing manufacturing company, E&M Greenfield is discussed. In the company, information systems tools are applied for assisting the decision-making process at different functional levels. The company identified the importance of the information system and its application in the decision-making process. Thus it adopts different IS tools for the gathering and processing of business data in order to take adequate and timely decisions. The forecasting tools available in the IS are applied by the company for making an accurate prediction about the market demands and changing customer preferences.
Applications of information system techniques in the E&M Greenfield Pty Ltd
The E&M Green Field is engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of textiles and accessories to the clothing trade. They offer fabric items of a variety of colors to the clothing trade. “Our aim for this new website is to provide you with a comprehensive source about our products. We have already loaded pictures and details about many of our products.” (Welcome to our new website n.d.). In the textile clothing industry market demand is an essential factor that influences the production and marketing decisions of the companies. In the fashion industry in order to meet the market demands, adequate information about the changing trends among the customer base is essential. The following are the different fields in which IS tools are applied by the company.
E&M Greenfield has set up its own website describing the products and services offered by the company to its customers. By applying various techniques available with the information system such as websites development, accurate and reliable data is made possible to be collected by the company within a limited time and meeting the cost requirements. Through the setting up of websites, the data collection relating to the customer views and opinions can be directly captured to the database set up by the company. The website involves direct links with different supplier groups of the business and thus supply chain management of the company is greatly facilitated. Through the application of information system techniques, data collection for decision-making purposes seems to be easier and hassle-free for the company.
Advanced information system techniques are applied by the company for the processing of collected data and it ensures quality information for the decision-making process. Computerized data storage facilitates to carry out of data processing on a real-time basis. It helps the company to have adequate information regarding the production and marketing functions in a timely manner.
Information Storage means a tool for recording or storing information or data. A storage device may grasp or process information. Grasp information means recording the data and information on the basis of medium, whereas process information means recording medium and stable elements to store and recover information. (Data storage device 2009).
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Sharing of information
The E&M Greenfield Company involves different functional departments. In order to assist the decision-making process in different departments, data sharing is an important task. The company has applied information system tools for facilitating the information sharing process in between different functional levels through this; greater coordination among the department is made possible by the company.
Managerial decision making: Strategic and tactical decisions relating to the production and marketing and human resource management functions are effectively carried out by the company through the application of Information System tools.
Flow and management of information within the organization
In the company, information flow is facilitated by advanced information system techniques. Fax, Telephone, email, etc are used for the transferring of information in between the departments and in between different functional levels in the organization. Fax is used for the transferring of published documents between the departments. Email and voice mail is used for the transferring of data between the partners in the supply chain system. In order to transfer the information between the different branches of the organization, web-based applications are used. Ordering, shipping, returns, and other such functions involved in the supply chain can be carried out in a timely manner with the support of advanced information systems. “The system will not only provide only the most basic business management, sales management, inventory management, and other functions but also for business data analysis, enterprise management, and scientific decision-making.” (So do not stop fashion- clothing industry analysis of the application of information systems 2009). Decision support system:
E&M Greenfield has a decision support system in the field of sales management and customer management. A decision support system is a group of physical and computer-based tools that help in a decision-making activity. A decision support system provides considerable help to the business owners and executives and managers of E&M Greenfield Company for problem-solving. In the clothing sector, this information system helps to improve the business through better forecasting, improving the performance of the product, and the allocation of resources. Decision support systems are of two types. They are structured decisions and unstructured decisions. “Business analysts describe a structured decision as one in which all three components of a decision—the data, process, and evaluation—are determined.” (Decision support system 2009).
Examples: In between the production and marketing departments of the E&M Green Field, information sharing is assisted by advanced information system techniques. Through these techniques, up-to-date information regarding the market demands collected by the marketing department is made available to the production department and it facilitates the production department to make decisions about the production targets.
Analysis of the findings
In the marketing of textiles and accessories to the clothing trade, E&M Greenfield attained a good position in the market through tactic business strategies. The adoption of IS tools assists the company in undertaking critical decision-making successfully. For getting competency in the business field information is an essential factor. In order to make an accurate decision on production and marketing, adequate and reliable market information has to be gathered by the business firms. “Marketing information is all the data that can help those involved in production and sales identify and meet clients’ needs. Marketing information is critical to the success of any business since, in order to market goods or services effectively, the seller needs solid information about what the buyer wants.” (Chapter 2- MIS and markets for non-timber forest products n.d.).
The E&M Greenfield Company takes customer surveys with the support of data gathering tools arranged in the websites. In order to ensure the adoption of effective production and distribution methods, adequate information about the different options available in the industry has to be deeply analyzed. For this purpose business link with other firms in the industry is arranged by the company. The accessibility of marketing information on a real-time basis makes possible through the application of marketing information system techniques. Transparency about the market opportunities is of competitive advantage to business firms for adopting strategic and tactical decisions capable of achieving market growth. Through the application of IS tools transparency about the market opportunities is made available for the business. And through the information system tools, E&M Greenfield assures quality data for the various decision-making processes in the business.
The accessibility of the market information system provides a competitive advantage to E&M Greenfield as it helps them to acquire the resources at economy pricing and to market the products profitably. By actively responding to the market demand, greater market acceptance is ensured by the company. In the decision-making process of business, various kinds of marketing information are necessary. The data requirements of a business are dependant on the local needs and priorities in the market and the specific position of the business in the supply chain. In order to make strategic and tactical decisions, the accessibility of quality information is an essential factor. E &M Greenfield is greatly supported by its IS tools for getting quality information and it provides them competency in the market. (E&m greenfield 2009).
The Company can adopt the corporate portal for business forecasting purposes. “The Web-based Planning Portal provides a collaborative, easy-to-use framework through which a company’s forecast and demand planning professionals can capture input from suppliers, customers, operations, sales, marketing, and finance, then aggregate and analyze the data to develop a consensual “one number” sales forecast and optimized production plan.” (John Galt’s new and enhanced planning portal offers enhanced security, analytics, and reporting 2009). The company has to improve its operational efficiency through the adoption of business forecasting tools. To enhance the current decision-making process it can adopt advanced business forecasting techniques.
Future directions that the business can take using the IS
In the future years, the company aims to expand the application of information systems in all of the business functions. Along with the marketing fields, in the human resource and operational control, the company should install advanced information systems techniques. In the operational management field, the company can adopt the decision-making applications available with the IS. It will help them enhance the operational efficiency of the organization together with improved cost advantages.
“Information access is an area of informatics and library science which concerns ensuring free and open access to information. Information access covers many issues such as copyright, open-source, privacy, and security.” (Information access 2009).
ERP techniques can be effectively adopted by the company for taking entrepreneurial managerial decisions. The geographic information system process can be used by the company. It will help foster trust and transparency in the information sharing between the supply chain partners. In future years, the company is aiming to install advanced IS tools for facilitating business meetings on an online basis. The valuable time resources of managers can be saved through this system as it makes possible participation in the meeting at distance online.
Security of information has to be ensured by the company as it is an important element of the information system. Information security can be breached by the intervention of external parties such as hackers. It can be done in the following ways. (1) Interception of messages,(2) theft of stored data, (3) information sabotage (i.e., alteration or destruction of data belonging to another party), (4) spoofing (i.e., using stolen information to pose as somebody else), and (5) denial of service (i.e., the deliberate shutdown of cash machines, electric-supply grids, air-traffic control networks, or the like). (Information security n.d.).
In order to preserve the secrecy and integrity of the storage, the data company has to take adequate precautions.
Information technology has been applied to improve the following major categories of activities. They are governance, growth, and supply, distribution of goods and services, adding value to existing services, and the creation of new products and services. The range of activities that can benefit from information technology appears to be unlimited. The main objective of information technology is to overcome existing barriers in business such as high transaction costs, inefficiencies in production, distribution, and supply, etc. Through the application of information system techniques, the market competency of the company is greatly improved.
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The management information systems in the company help the business in the fields such as synchronized control and integrated processing, information diffusion, capital flow, and information flow. The flow of information between the departments and between the supply chain managers is greatly supported by the MIS of the business. Thus it provides an integrated and comprehensive management system to the company which increases the competency and profitability of the business in the industry ensuring the growth of business in the process.
Chapter 2- MIS and markets for non-timber forest products: Why is marketing information important? n.d., FAO corporate document repository, Web.
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Welcome to our new website: the list is endless n.d., E & M Greenfield Pty. Ltd, Web.