Organizations that produce and sell durable goods need the correct information to facilitate decision making on organizational processes and products. Since durable goods have a long shelf life and slow movement in the market, the business needs information in keeping inventory and innovation to meet the market’s demands, which bridges the gap between consumer needs and supply. Consequently, the company needs a system for decision making in operation and production to ensure maximum utilization of resources and balancing the production cost and sales to ensure sustainability. Thus, this study’s scope aims to understand the need for Management information systems (MIS) infrastructure in companies that produce and sell durable products.
Definition and Components of Management Information Systems Infrastructure
MIS are an organizational structure made up of human resources, machines, operations, data storage systems, and various components. An MIS infrastructure is an organized plan for building, deploying, and sharing data across the MIS (Baltzan, 2019). The information is efficient in decision-making by various managers and departments in an organization. The infrastructure consists of hardware and software materials that enable the installation of systems and programs for storage and accessibility.
The hardware is made of the physical devices of a computer, while software’s are installed programs that carry out various operations in the communication and networking process. The software and hardware are responsible for data input, processing, storage, and generating required data, such as reports. MIS infrastructures support decision-making, monitoring, and functional support in an organization (Koutsikouri et al., 2018). The functional role of MIS infrastructure includes collection, storage, analysis, and data processing. The decision-making role includes an analysis of the organization’s operations, input and outputs to determine changes and adjustments through innovation. Lastly, the monitoring roles include sending alerts on schedules, budgets, reports, and sales deviations across all organizational and managerial levels.
Sustainable MIS infrastructure enhances a company’s productivity by providing solutions on resource utilization while reducing energy use and hardware. The infrastructures ensure cost reduction, profit increase and optimized operations in a company. The distinct characteristics of a sustainable MIS infrastructure include usability, accessibility, availability, portability, maintainability, reliability and scalability (Baltzan, 2019). A sustainable MIS infrastructure comprises three fundamental components. The first component is grid computing, where an organization coordinates from a central point regardless of differences in the department or geographical areas for effective decision making in shared ideas. Secondly, cloud computing applies to remote internet connectivity in a broad area, and lastly, virtualized computing involves the creation of many virtual tools in one device (Koutsikouri et al., 2018). Thus, the components of the MIS structure ensure effective collection, storage, processing, and retrieval of data for the smooth running of the business. Consequently, the system has practical data recovery tools that protect and retrieve the organization’s information when lost.
MIS provides accurate information about the company and has cross-checking tools that reduce and highlight errors to ensure decision-making accuracy. Additionally, MIS allows managers from different departments and locations to share data, facilitating accessibility and comparison while making decisions (Baltzan, 2019). Thus, MIS assists in having all information in one place for easy access and decision-making regarding production and sales. Manufacturing companies for durable products coordinate at many operational levels. Starting with the marketing department, the staff is responsible for proposing trending designs that are cost-effective to produce (Raut et al., 2019). The department considers the cost of raw materials, operational cost and selling price when drafting the proposed designs. The designers should also consider the available tools, materials, workers’ skills, and available production time to create an economically sustainable environment for production (Raut et al., 2019). The process requires effective decision-making and stock inventory to avoid overstocking and ensure smooth operation once the production begins.
MIS technology helps strategize and examine market scenarios if a company wishes to change a product with the evolving market. Given the durability of the goods, consumers’ purchases are minimal daily, and organizations need to evaluate other production options to ensure the sustainability of the business (Raut et al., 2019). The company can create effective sales strategies by examining market scenarios since the MIS calculates daily and cumulatively, indicating the market trends. Thus, the organization can view past and present patterns of production and sales to determine the innovation which guarantees maximum sales in the competitive market. Additionally, organizations that produce and sell durable goods require an adequate inventory that tracks sales and stock availability (Raut et al., 2019). Since the goods are slow moving and used for long, tracking and monitoring sales is necessary for after sale services and replacements during wear and tear.
The integrated management information system offers the most practical and effective solution for decision-making, inventory and planning in organizations selling durable goods. An integrated management information system consists of a broader scope of features that assist in management and planning (Haseeb et al., 2019). The program generates special reports according to the circumstances, which decreases the overload of information for managers during decision making (Gao et al., 2020). The integrated features allow easy accessibility of data from different departments and geographical locations, which is vital in taking inventories and monitoring sales and market trends.
The companies can adopt web connectivity to allow the flow of information internally and externally. Nowadays, the internet is essential in all aspects of life, and the organization can install connectivity in the hardware programs to exchange material and monitor operations. Web connectivity makes it easy to adopt e-commerce sales (Koutsikouri et al., 2018). Durable goods demand extensive advertising for sustainable sales, after sales services and replacements (Haseeb et al., 2019). Therefore, web connectivity necessitates the flow of information with minimum data and human resources, leading to a socially, economically and physically sustainable environment.
Table 1: Proposed Project Schedule
|Designing the system||2 months||Construct database for integrated MIS system||Database system consisting of multiple User Interfaces and End-to end server encryption.|
|Testing||1 month||Test the system’s accessibility, flexibility, compatibility adaptability with the organization’s needs and human resources’ skills.||Practical demonstration.|
|Final presentation||2 weeks||Deliver the final product.||Oral presentation. |
Question and answer session.
|Training||2 weeks||Train human resources personnel||Ensure managers are familiar with the system and have operational knowledge.|
Table 2: Proposed Budget
|Function||Required time||Amount in $|
|Server for installation||8-month lease||15,2000|
|Software installation||5 months||97,000|
The human resource team will constitute three programmers, two internet engineers, and three hardware and electronic engineers. The hired team will work for eight hours on weekdays, which is the standard working time professionally. Each employee will earn $100 per hour, which amounts to $16,000 per month and $96,000 for the contract duration, totalling $768,000. Managers from the finance, production, stores and marketing will oversee the whole project.
- Integrated MIS streamlines operations, ensuring continuous improvement, which boosts the business by providing better quality assessment and productivity of durable goods (Gao et al., 2020).
- Due to the shared resources and tasks, integrated MIS reduces the cost and time of implementing and integrating business ideas and models into the organization (Veera Pandiyan et al., 2018). Having all information central enables the organization to save time by having an all-encompassing review and management audit for managers.
- Web connectivity ensures data transmission to different departments leading to a mutual sharing of data and information regardless of the geographical locations (Haseeb et al., 2019). The production department can use the system to track products, supervise the production process and observe quality control.
- The integrated MIS ensures consistency and simplifies the complexities of management by making operations more coherent and practical (Gao et al., 2020). For instance, the integrated MIS enables accessibility to transaction processes that collect details from the finance department to support the organization’s performance and smooth running of the business.
- The system generates information in bulk or specific data such as yearly reports, project costs, budgets, and archived data.
- Simultaneously, the integrated MIS enables quick data recovery due to storage and web connectivity, allowing quick processing and obtaining data from different departments and regions.
A company needs a practical and accurate source and storage of information to make good and effective decisions. The competitive growth in the global market has led to considerable pressure on most manufacturing companies for durable products to have effective and efficient operational processes. MIS plays a significant role in synchronizing the flow of information in an organization, increasing the company’s growth and performance. The infrastructure enhances decision making, which is a very crucial factor in running any organization. Hence, a stable MIS infrastructure helps the company reduce costs, boost productivity, and increase the profits on sales of durable products.
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