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Analysis of the Information Systems of a fast moving consumer goods company and the website of the Canberra Institute of Technology

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Introduction

CIS5001 Management Systems for Managers Bar code: 02166052 Assignment one- Analysis of the Information Systems of a fast moving consumer goods company and the website of the Canberra Institute of Technology Due date: 29 December, 2003. Submitted: 2 January, 2004 Executive summary This report analyses the information systems of a subsidiary of a large international fast moving consumer goods company. The business of the subsidiary company is the bottling and selling of mineral water in Vietnam. For reasons of confidentiality, neither the actual name of the company, nor the name of its recently retired Chair, who was interviewed for the report, are disclosed. The report includes an analysis of the company's major types of information systems, including a more detailed assessment of its Decision Support System. The report also explores issues relating to hardware and software technology and telecommunications for the company. The report also includes an analysis of the Canberra Institute of Technology's website. The characteristics of the company's 6 major information systems are generally similar to the characteristics of typical information systems. There is a close interrelationship between the systems due to the company having successfully introduced an Enterprise System. The Enterprise System has played an important role in the company achieving increased profits through efficiencies in its supply chain. This has, in part, been achieved through the development of a close relationship with the wholesalers and retailers of its product through the effective use of Customer Relationship Management practices. Because the company operates in a competitive and mature market with limited potential for growth in market share, the main strategy for the company has been to increase its profitability through improved efficiencies of its supply chain. The introduction of the Enterprise System has played an important role in achieving these efficiencies. The company's Decision Support System (DSS) is based on the effective collection of information through its Transaction Processing Systems (including detailed hand written records collected by field staff) ...read more.

Middle

The effectiveness of the company's Enterprise System has enabled the company to develop a close relationship with its wholesalers and retailers which have a detailed understanding of the mineral water needs of customers. This is then effectively supported by the efficient supply chain. Non-profitable retail outlets were also identified, so that greater support and resources could be allocated to strategically significant clients. Question 1 (c) Describe one of the IS used by your organisation in terms of its inputs, processes, and outputs and in terms of its organisation, management, and technology features, and the importance of the system to the company. The following chart outlines the main inputs, processes and outputs of FMCG Ltd DSS. FMCG Ltd's DSS primary data originates primarily from: * the hand written records of the sales staff and staff involved with the supervision of the warehouses * the hand written records of staff supervising the water source production area and bottling unit * internal accounts Managers request ad hoc reports from technical staff on issues identified by them, as a result of information they receive in their routine reports or otherwise. This system allows managers to drill down into the data to identify issues in order to optimise the efficiency of the supply chain. The key role of the DSS being to drill down into data is supported by Benson (Benson, 2002). The flexibility of the system is critical and is largely achieved by having a well maintained database of information that can be accessed and manipulated to seek and present information concerning a very wide range of potential issues or areas that need exploration. Another feature of the reports generated by the DSS is that managers are normally able to link the results of the reports to the structure of the organisation. This means that when issues are identified, those responsible for managing the issues can easily be identified, and the issues can be promptly and effectively addressed. ...read more.

Conclusion

Due to the fairly poor technological infrastructure in Vietnam, the use of telecommunication technologies for the company, such as broad band, network convergence and videoconferencing, is relatively limited. This is certain to improve in the future. The future use of electronic data exchange, when available, would contribute to the company's competitive advantage. The firm uses a Star network and a private branch exchange. It is likely that technology infrastructure in Vietnam will be improved. This would bring a number of advantages to the company in terms of increasing its use of telecommunications technology, including: * increasing the reliability and speed of the transfer of information throughout the firm * increasing the potential use of intranets to give increased ease of access to information by employees * allowing the establishment of extranets to further strengthen the close existing relationships that exist throughout the supply chain The Chair felt that these factors would strength the company's competitive position. However, he did not consider that they would provide new competitive advantages or opportunities in themselves. I asked him whether he felt that there was a danger for a company to fail to identify new opportunities because of an attitude among managers that technology was there to assist in the existing functions and processes of the organisation. He replied that there was always the danger of managers looking at opportunities too narrowly. But he also said that there was a danger of companies becoming too preoccupied with introducing new technologies that may not necessarily increase the competitiveness or profitability of the organisation. Abdus Sattar Chaudry of Nayang Technical University in Singapore is quoted by Coakes in the context of ensuring that the benefits of IS is measured. Chaudry comments that despite the difficulty of measuring the impact of knowledge management 'companies should not give up on measurement in this area'. He went on to say that the key issue is for managers to understand the real drivers of the company and to ensure they are aware of changes to these drivers and relating IS opportunities in relation to these key drivers. ...read more.

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