Recently having read a post relating to Joint Application Design (JAD), a method of decision-making which requires a high level of user interaction, I decided to write a post on automatic systems, specifically relating to reordering stock. An automatic reordering system is “A computerized system that combines a perpetual inventory and reorder point calculations and on this basis the orders are placed automatically.” – http://design-marketing-dictionary.blogspot.ie/2010/09/automatic-reordering-system.html This area of IS for decision making seems like the complete and utter opposite to JAD, in that, once it is in place, it involves little to no human interaction whatsoever.
Is it fair to say that JAD is more important than automatic systems simply because it is not so impersonal? Not at all! To me, it seems perfectly clear that automatic systems are just as vital in an organisation as those which are entirely non-automatic. In fact, without automatic systems, a whole range of problems would arise.
The most significant feature of automatic systems is that it frees up people’s time. Prior to the invention of systems which automatically reordered stock once it decreased to a certain point, an employee would have had to manually check whether there were sufficient levels of stock available each day. This type of mindless work seems almost unimaginable to us now, but it is solely as a result of automatic IS that workers can perform more rewarding tasks, rather than wasting their time counting boxes.
Of course, accuracy is also a huge advantage of automatic systems. Using the above example again, it is easily discernible how an employee could easily miscount how much stock was remaining, hence causing immense confusion in an organisation. Through the use of systems which keep track of a firm’s industry, such mistakes can be easily and effectively avoided.
Finally, in relation to the previous paragraph, it is evident that a simple miscalculation could lead to chaos in an organisation. Even in a firm as small as a corner-shop, keeping track of stock is of the utmost importance. If inventory levels were miscalculated, this could lead to an unavailability of the products required by customers on a day-to-day basis. Or, on a larger level, it could lead to a disruption in production if the necessary raw materials were unavailable. Organisations such as “inFlow Inventory” provide firms with systems which prevent all of the above mentioned problems occurring – http://www.inflowinventory.com/.
From the points mentioned above, it’s easy to see how automatic systems play an extremely important, though often unseen, role in a firm’s decision making. Simply put, it does the decision making for them! After all, this isn’t what you want to see when you go into a shop –