This is a key aspect of new product development today. The supply chain has shifted greatly toward a more technological approach with new advances in hand held devises such as PDAs for deliveries as well as orders within a supply chain. The ordering of goods can be done quickly and efficiently on-line, whether it be by an everyday consumer or even a big delivery by a multinational company. Also, all paperwork from the orders does not need to be on paper; it can simply be held safely on a disk and stored efficiently. The most important this about the supply chain is that it is timely and efficient. This has begun with the removal of paper from the system but has still a long way to go. And so, advances continue to be made toward this with a supply chain.
Here we can see the general overview of the supply chain process. Efficient Supply Chain managment systems will be needed here to make this system work as quickly as possible whicle getting the job done correctly. Advances have been made by companies such as Inditex and IBM to make their SCM extremely organised.
Link to IBM supply chain solution.
Here we can see just how many links their may be in order to make a supply chain work.
Cross Functional Expertise
It is very important that there is a cross functional information system within a business for NPD (new product development). The importance of this, stems from the need for a strong communication system within business. There should always be a link between the various departments off a company in order for them to discuss different aspects of the new product.
For example ;
The financial department should always have access to the product management and process management departments and within them, they should hhave access to sales and marketing as well as supply chain management. This is very important as without that connection budgets can be badly broken and products could fail.
This has become more of a growing issue with more and more finance required in order to get a new product on its feet and selling well.
Supply Chain Management
With NPD some say the most important thing is how timely your production is and how efficiently the process is done. This is why an effective supply chain is vital. Orders need to be specific and close attention must always be kept towards delivery times and production deadlines. Without this your whole production line could fail and you may end up over paying employees or other areas of your supply chain may suffer.
Internal and External Knowledge of Markets
A marketing information system (MIS) is intended to bring together different types of data related to a certain product or service and evaluate it to get to know various aspects of your chosen market. This has become a very important part of NPD as it can give companies strategic advantage on their product, the prices they should sell at, place where they could sell and how they should promote their product. Information systems play a vital role here as all areas of the marketing department need to be kept up to date on the research findings.
As promised, for my last blog, I will be focusing on Transaction Processing Systems (TPS). A TPS is a very valuable asset to business because it deals with processing routine transactions efficiently and accurately. It involves collecting, modifying and retrieving all transaction data used in business transactions.
TPS consist of invoicing systems, payroll systems and stock control systems. They support operational level employees in a business. TPS is known for its high performance standards, consistency and reliability. It is also known as transaction processing or real-time processing.
The following image is a simplified explanation of TPS:
This was my last ever blog on trends in I.S so I hope you enjoy reading this blog and that you also appreciated my previous blogs! 🙂
Up to the 1960’s information systems were a simple method of recording data and processing transactions. The primary use of information systems was to register data in a way that made it easy to gain access to in the future. Today, information systems are an essential part of every-day life. The use of information systems extend from areas in business to crisis management to sports management and to crime management.
In the business environment, information systems combine data from all sectors in the business such as production, sales and marketing in order to combine detailed information from all segments of the organization. Information systems are therefore an integral part of the decision making process of contemporary entities as it allows the user to obtain information on a vast array of topics at the touch of a button.
While it’s straightforward to see how information systems can be used in the business environment, the use of systems’ are not confined to this particular situation. The adaptable nature of information systems, ensure that the system can be modelled to suit each requirement. For example information systems used in Haiti were flexible enough to ensure that the system aided in the search and rescue of citizens while the European Union and UN were able to develop the European criminal record information system in order to prevent the movement of criminals from one European country to another.
While there are several advantages of information systems, the break-down of these systems could cause detrimental effects for the organization involved. The case of Ulster Bank clearly highlights this statement. While firms may feel the need to use information systems on a day to day basis, I feel as though some organizations are relying too heavily on information systems and should have a contingency plan in place to ensure that the failure of an information system does not lead to failure in the business.
In my last two blogs I looked at ways in which information systems benefited environments outside the business organization. I explored the use of information systems in crisis management and in helping to prevent crime, however, while thinking of something to research in order to write this blog, I remembered the huge technology failure that hindered the popularity of Ulster Bank and I began to question whether some organizations are relying too heavily on technology.
Over the past number of years, the growing trend of information systems has changed the way in which firms operate; however, the importance of these systems is only highlighted when failure arises. This was certainly the case for Ulster Bank who lost valuable customers due to the huge systems failure.
In June 2012, Ulster bank was faced with enormous problems when their information system crashed leaving 236 branches without functioning systems. Electronic payments made by third parties into customer accounts were not updated by the system, leaving numerous current accounts short money. The accessibility of funds was also inhibited as several ATM’s across the country failed to dispense funds to the customer. 60,000 people had to wait up to two weeks to receive their social welfare payments.
Due to the complexity of the information system, it took a full week to repair. The bank was faced with an unprecedented number of transactions and it therefore took over 2 weeks for the system to be fully restored. The bank had to prioritise credit payments, standing order and direct debit transactions in order to prevent customers from defaulting on payments.
Bank of Ireland was also affected by their reliance on its electronic payments system in December 2010 leading to disruptions to online and internet banking.
The failure of information systems in the banking sector has clearly had severe negative effects on the firms in question. The example of Ulster Bank proves that while information systems may make the organization more efficient, breakdowns in these systems can cause huge disruptions and organizations should perhaps look at strategies to ensure that breakdowns in systems don’t affect the firms operations.
A valuable trend that I have yet to mention is Executive Support Systems (ESS). An ESS is software that allows its user to transform enterprise data into easily accessible information. In basic terms, it is a reporting tool that allows an organisation to turn its data into useful summarised reports. ESS is also known as Executive Information Systems (EIS).
An ESS is a beneficial tool used by senior management to gather, analyse and summarise key data. The reports generated are generally used by senior executives in billing, staffing and accounting departments. ESS presents the summary of information in flexible, easy to read graphs and charts. ESS enhances decision making.
ESS also has analysis capabilities and performance predictors, which firms can avail of. An ESS provides potential outcomes and statistics that are applied to decision making processes.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog! I will be focusing on Transaction Processing Systems (TPS) in my next blog.
The last trend I have to look at in IS in ERP. Enterprise Resource Planning, also known as ERP, is a management tool to integrate all departments and functions across a company onto a single computer system that meets company needs. It is is becoming a business tool more companies are employing to help them manage resources and information.
An integrated enterprise resource planning approach will have a tremendous financial and time savings if the organization installs the ERP software correctly.
Here is an ERP example: Without ERP, a customer places an order, that order begins an order taker creating a mostly paper-based journey from sales to billing to shipping. Frequently, company employees have to re-enter data about that order at the various stops. This inefficiency leads to time delays, input errors and higher labor costs. A fully integrated ERP system allows all departments access to the order and coordinates the process at each step along the way.
The wave of the future is enterprise resource planning – and you can’t afford to not dip your toes in the water. Your competition already has.