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Information System to make Management efficient and effective Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Yasas Vishuddhi Abeywickrama, Australia Feb 3, 2004
Technology   Opinions
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It can also be used as the communications center of the company because all the reports and other information generated by the system could be mailed to relevant people of the company. Companies that have several branches/factories need to have a networked system, and then managers can perform all the above functions for the entire organization while being located at the head office, which would save time and lot of traveling and ultimately it’s a saving of money. Having sound information system for the management purposes minimizes paper work. It would obviously make the work more efficient while leading to zero percent errors and less space would require for storing files.

How can a company have a good MIS system for them? Buying a system off-the-shelf would be very impractical because it’s advisable to develop your own system according to your requirements. A MIS is different from a traditional accounting package. Therefore, a system should be developed in-house or outsourced after doing a substantial and complete requirements-analysis. Current business world is rapidly changing, so the companies should develop modifiable systems for themselves, which is provided by the architecture of the system.

Finally, as Sri Lankans, it is important to see whether all the above advantages fall within our grasp as well. At the outset, it may seem as a huge initial cost, but it is a well worthy investment which would pay-off with time. To compete at the highest level, management functions should be carried out effectively, efficiently and smoothly, which would add to company’s image. To step in to the international level, a company needs these systems to become essentials. Sri Lankan businesses are mainly focused in the garment industry, where we have aims at the highest international level. Automation would be very productive in the very competitive future.
Information Systems (IS) are being used in various areas in today’s world. In reality, it’s becoming difficult to find instances where they are not involved. An important area in which Information Systems are being used is in the management of organizations. Specific systems for this purpose are called Management Information Systems (MIS). There are many types of MIS. The major types of MIS are: Executive Information Systems (EIS), Decision Support Systems (DSS), Expert Systems Knowledge Based Information Systems (KBIS), Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

An ERP has a wide scope. It attempts to integrate all departments and functions across a company onto a single computer system that can serve different departments' particular needs. Enterprise Resource Planning systems and most Management Information Systems would lead a company to following advantages:
• Integrate financial information
• Integrate customer order information
• Standardize and speed up manufacturing processes
• Reduce inventory
• Standardize HR information

One of the major tasks of the management is to make decisions. These are based on past results and the current environment. Information Systems could be used to analyze this data effectively and forecast future outcomes reliably. Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS) allows all members of management get together and make decisions. It allows you to gather information and ideas from people no matter where they are located and ultimately arrive at decisions. Expert systems could be used to take a decision based on some pre-determined theories and formulas. This will be important for organizations that have to take decisions after critically and sensitively analyzing data.

Monitoring is a management responsibility, which could be facilitated by a good information system. Monitoring could be in the areas of production, employee performance, machinery performance, sales etc. Organizing also comes under the scope of managers. With correct data and forecasting facilities, they could do better organization of activities. A good IS would greatly improve organization. Managing teams for specific projects is also important for managers. For project-based companies such as software developing and building construction, this is critical. Their MIS should definitely have facilities for effective management of teams. This would link to some monitoring facilities such as employee performance measuring. Resource allocation should be done very efficiently, because every business runs on limited resources. Therefore, your IS should have a section for this, which would have links with monitoring functionalities as well. Risk management is crucial in current competitive business world. Good MIS would have facilities for evaluation of risks. Evaluation of risks, which involves complicated statistical methods and calculations could be done better by an IS than by humans. This could be used to take necessary action before the collapsing of a business or a specific function.

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