Management Information Systems (M.I.S.) help organizations make decisions at all levels, (levels explained in my previous post), by providing information to enable them to manage themselves efficiently and effectively. M.I.S. are usually computer systems used to manage three primary components (1) people (2) data (3) technology.
MIS are different from other information systems. M.I.S. are used to analyze and assist strategic and operational activates. The information system refers to how individuals evaluate, design, implement and manage systems for improve the efficiency and effectiveness of decision making
M.I.S. gives the manager information from data needed to make effective decision for the organization. In the beginning of computer development, M.I.S. informed managers about sales, stock levels, and data for assisting them in controlling the organization. However, computer applications became more complex, grew and more data became linked. Managers needed to construct more substantial reports from the data. Today M.I.S. refers to many types of information systems needed to help manage an organization more efficiently and effectively, such as Decision Support System, Enterprise Resource Planning, Enterprise Performance Management, Supply Chain Management, Customer Relationship Management and many more.
As imagined, M.I.S. provides organization with many benefits. Such benefits include;
- Ease of emphasizing an organization strengths and weaknesses. This can be done through data of revenue and cost reports, employees’ performances etc.. Strengths and weaknesses can improve processes and operations.
- Customer-focused firms can access customer data and feedback, therefore directing the organization processes towards the customers’ needs and wants.
- Provides organizations with data and, thus, information about the competitive market. Buying trends and behaviours can be predicted through information and improve processes.
- Gives an overall depiction and acts as a communication and planning tool for the organization
For a better understanding of the information I will use the example of a distribution unit. Imagine you were the main manager, how would you apply MIS?
Well as mention MIS help organizations make decisions at all levels by providing information to enable them to manage themselves efficiently and effectively. So the size, user understanding, interface with others, of the system will be contingent on the position of the MIS set by the manager.
After the manager establishes this, he/she will focus on the information system structure, formalization and procedures. You would need to make sure that the timing and duration that products enter and leave is the distribution unit is punctual for the entire organization to run smoothly. MIS will outline and state these procedures so that all units in the organization along with the distribution unit are working together and more importantly working together as efficiently as possible. This is very important as it improves stabilization of rules, procedures, decision making and understanding the overall business activity.
Other example questions answered by MIS in your distribution unit include;
- Number of employees in the unit
- Number of dealers and groups we must supply to
- Number of end customers
- Sources involved in the movement of the products
So as we can see, MIS plays a vital role for decision making. The system ultimately confirms that all the units of an organization are running in sync and provides information to managers to enable all units to run effectively and efficiently.