Management Information Systems (MIS) include software systems, business processes and resources that are used to pull together information and ideas from functional or tactical systems to achieve the goals of that particular business. Data should be presented in a friendly and timely manner to enhance a good management information system. This in turn reaps the sighted profits to the company or business. A good information system provides a framework for a business organization to evaluate themselves relative to the customers’ needs. Hence, companies can implement the value and impact of information as a strategic corporate asset to gain competitive advantage over other companies. Good management information systems include automated inventory management, invoice generation, receiving processes, requiring customer order fulfillment, and having a Web-based self-services (Allen, Heurtebise & Turnbull, 2010).
MIS will provide Margaret Smith’s business with a comprehensive platform for good decision making. Basically, without the established MIS systems in a business, it would be difficult for it to make the decisions. Those decisions could be lacking the foundation of sufficient data.. This is very important as such data helps to keep businesses balanced and checked, otherwise poor decisions may affect the bookshop’s productivity. It will also improve services and operations in the company.
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Good MIS for record keeping will reduce operating costs in terms of space, maintenance of the staff and purchase of record materials. This in turn will redirect the extra operating costs to boost the business. For example, it costs considerably less to store inactive and unnecessary records in a Data Records Center than in the office. This is an opportunity to instill some considerable financial savings in space and equipment, and an opportunity to utilize staff more productively - just by implementing good MIS (Al-Zhrani, 2010).
Moreover, management information systems are crucial in improving the company’s security. For instance, Margaret Smith can program her MIS to conduct certain sales or purchases at specific times. She can also program the system to perform routine checks on the number of books available at the shop, those that are missing, those on high demand and those that are not (Allen, Heurtebise & Turnbull, 2010). Deficiencies can be solved by her more easily and effectively once she has competent MIS, instead of using manual record keeping techniques that are cumbersome and less efficient.
Most MIS can perform multiple tasks at the same time. This is potentially important in multitasking to increase efficiency in Margaret Smith’s bookshop since several business operations can be conducted simultaneously. In relation to decision making, the capacity to multitask ensures that decisions are made faster as compared to those systems which can only handle one task at a time. Multitasking of MIS helps to save time and resources that can otherwise be in-cooperated into other sections or increase purchases (Al-Zhrani, 2010). Management information systems give managers quick access to crucial information. This can include interaction with other decision support systems, cross-referencing of external information, information inquiries and potential data mining techniques. These systems can also help in comparison of important goals with practical decisions, giving managers, Margaret in this case, a sense of how their decisions fit business strategies.
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In addition, most MIS programs are endowed with the capacity to give real-time updates of activities in the company or system. This simply refers to immediate update of occurrences in a company. These immediate updates help managers to make necessary immediate decisions as soon as is deemed suitable, especially during the discovery and management of crises. This augments progress and improvement in company operations through timely decision-making. This is important for companies to enhance profit-making other than losses.
Good management information system based on businesses acts as a strategy for business owners when making critical decisions about their businesses. For example, Margaret, being the manager and key decision maker in her bookshop is mandated to overstepthe boundaries or exceed the business mandate. This is crucial as it ensures that only proven decisions are considered while the untried ones are dismissed. More importantly, the capacity to utilize the decision-making facilitates progress and improvement of the activities in a business.
Consequently, the manager will be able to use the time and resources that he/she would be otherwise be using to organize the files manually, making transactions and sales by hand and making inventories manually to other key uses (Al-Zhrani, 2010). By routinely programming an MIS, a business, in this case, Margaret’s bookshop business will make positive progress. Her nearby competitors will be forced to lower their costs so that they attract more customers. This will in turn be advantageous to her as her services will be quicker, more efficient and profitable attracting customers to her side.
Management information system also helps in acquisition of trust from the customers. Immediately the customers realize there is transparency in the transaction they make in a company, they automatically develop trust towards the company. Good MIS in addition is an avenue for clear honesty and other virtues that customers will expect from any business. This is a basic but important feature of MIS. Once the trust has been acquired the income from the sales will increase abundantly (Allen, Heurtebise & Turnbull, 2010).
In conclusion, good management information systems are a huge contributing factor in getting viable information from organizations. This information will help to boost the organization’s services, hence increasing output in terms of profits. However, organizations should not entirely rely fully on automated systems as some are bound to fail or develop systematic problems. This needs frequent maintenance and service.