HI5019 Strategic Information Systems

HI5019 Strategic Information Systems

HI5019 Strategic Information Systems

Introduction

Information system is an organizational oriented system that helps management to collect, store, analyze and communicate the information in a fast and efficient manner. In other words, this is a system with a specific reference to information and complementary network of hardware and software. The system is used by the organization to take decision, analysis of gaps in the process and maintain the relation with the customers and supplier. In the current scenario, organizations are looking to implement the software and systems that are technically advance and useful for organization as well as support to control the performance of business.

HI5019 Strategic Information SystemsThe report will analyze the case of Disk4U and Sungate. These organizations are looking for the implementation of information system to overcome the issues and establish the automatic process of handling the customer and business issues. Moreover report will proposed the accounting and resource planning software and system that could be beneficial for both organization to achieve the goals and objectives. Furthermore, report will evaluate the challenges and cost of the implementation of software.

Role of information in Business

Well structured information allows the organization to monitor the financial health of business and breakdown of the expenses, income and sales. In the current scenario, different types of system and software are being used for managing the information and develop a quick book of business practices and activities that helps to make decisions for creating the customized functions considering the strength and weakness. The major role of information in business is to make decision and planning of the business operations considering the feedback, forecasting needs and external opportunities to expand and grow the business. By collecting and analyzing the information the management of organization could gain the understanding about the customer needs, competitor policies and trend in the market to maintain the operational standard and meet the satisfaction level of customers.  

Case 1

Business scenario

According to given scenario, Disk4U is a Sydney based organization which sells CDs and Vinyl Records. They are a small family-owned business with four outlets spread around the Sydney metropolis. Organization is operating the business through online and physical outlets that is helping to expand the areas of sales and base of customers to maintain the growth and sustain the position within industry. However, this kind of approach is beneficial for organization to operate the business but lack of information system is affecting the overall process of business expansion.

The main objectives of organization are to improve the quality of services and maintain the relation with the staff and customers.  For that purpose, management has adopted the online business process to improve the operations.  Currently, their main business is selling to customers via their physical shop front, via mail and phone orders and also a new online channel has been introduced through EBay (Chen and Zhang, 2014). This expansion has made it really necessary to improve on their manual processes of accounting and business reporting. Moreover, the management of Disk4U is looking to expand the business by implementing the accounting information system which will help to improve the manual process as well accuracy of the data sharing and filtering.   

Kind of software should be used

For information system and improvement in the planning and development of data sharing and use of information various kinds of software can be used which are as follows:

Accounting:These are type of application software that helps to maintain the record of financial transactions, accounts payable, account receivable and trial balance. It functions as the accounting information system which involves the third party application that is internet enable.  Different types of accounting software are being used for managing the information and develop a quick book of business accounting that helps to make decisions for creating the customized functions considering the strength and weakness. Disk4U can use accounting software for stock, inventory, develop the purchase order, billing and sales order to keep the record of financial activities (Chung.et.al.2012). Moreover, accounting software helps to offer the electronic payment, taxation report and business report planning.  Majorly accounting software involves the spreadsheets, enterprise accounting software, custom accounting software and commercial accounting that have been utilized according to the needs and requirements of the organization.

CRM:Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is useful for organization to collect and analyzing the data about the customer and craft improvement in the services and products accordingly. This kind of software is used for managing the relation with the customers, retention, drive the sales growth and communicate with them through different online sources. For organization Disk4U this software is essential to expand the business and maintain the positive communication (Akerkar, 2013). There are various type of CRM software are available that could be used for managing the relation with customer that involve Salesforce, Infusionsoft and freshdesk.  By implementing the proposed software of CRM organization could influence the performance of sales teams marketing and track lead generation and resolve the customer complain in less time. Moreover, this software will assist Disk4U to retain the customers by offering the products and services according to needs and providing prior information about the functions.     

ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a category of business management software that would be beneficial for Disk4U to collect, store, analyze and communicate the information with staff and customers. The major activities of organization are product planning according to needs of customers, manufacturing, inventory, shipping, payment and service delivery.  In order to manage the all information and operations ERP system would be beneficial for organization as it integrate the business process and develop the database for real time information (Davenport, 2013). By using the information the top management of Disk4U can make the decisions for implementing the changes in the operational and functional activities that will help to overcome the issue of lacking in information and have error free transactions.        

Selection of software

For managing the business activities and meet the objective, it is essential for Disk4U to select and implement the accounting software that will help to improve the operational functionality. According to current scenario, different types of effective accounting software are available that offering the services to improve the manual handling and record keeping of the transactions and customer order details. By considering the need and process of organization MYOB accounting software would be recommended. MYOB essentials version is good choice for a small business which provides the online and offline interface for business processing. This software would be helpful for collecting the data and proper record of the information about the each customer and order of CD and Vinyl Records for Disk4U. MYOB can also be used for What-If analysis of data which would be helpful further in making the correct decision for the account of growth and benefit of the organization (Davis, 2013). Moreover, it will be helpful for recovery of data and information which will influence the operational process and planning of the management using the sales information.  This also allows showing or presenting the data in form of text, graphic or in numerical form. For long, complicated, statistical and scientific calculations, MYOB accounting software provides formulas which enable user to find the desired outcome in less time and accurately. This software would be useful in decision making and planning of the operational activities.  For CRM system, the organisation would be opting for Salesforce.

MYOB Essentials home screen

Implementation

In order to implement the MYOB and CRM (Salesforce) software, organization need to gain the information and knowledge about the cost and other requirements like hardware and software. According to analysis, the cost of software is approx $70,000 and the other requirements like installation and advice of experts will increase the cost. In addition to this, to maintain the proper utilization and effectiveness of software organization needs to provide the training to employees for that Disk4U needs to hire the experts (Delen and Demirkan, 2013). For that organization need to raise fund for selection and recruitment of the new staff members, purchase of hardware and establishment of infrastructure for using the accounting and CRM software to improve the effectiveness of software.

Table 1: Budget planning

Particulars

Cost

Software Cost

$70,000

Hardware

$20,000

Implementation Cost

$33,000

Training

$10,000

Total

$133,000

According to case the organization is having the budget of $150,000 for the investment on the development and implementation of information software. The expenses for implementing and integrating software for accounting and CRM will be $133,000 which includes the cost of software purchase and installation.   

Benefits

By implementing the MYOB and CRM (Sales force) software the Disk4U will gain the following benefits:

Data accuracy: For large business operation, it is essential to have accuracy in data analysis and planning of other activities and issues that have significant impact. By implementing the MYOB and CRM accounting software, Disk4U management will improve the data accuracy as software will record each transaction details and perform the necessary calculations for analyzing the in-depth details of the each department.

Cost effectiveness: The software’s selected are cost effective in term of other competitive software. It provides cloud services and other useful add-ons at negligible cost for small businesses. Major reason behind the cost effectiveness is to collect the market and to grow the usage of software.

Accessibility: The information system provides online and offline access to system so that users can access the data from anywhere and anytime with web browser. Also it supports all kind of devices those are different in screen size like mobiles, laptops etc. It will be beneficial for organization to maintain the relation with the customer as well they can draft their feedback.

Report: By using the MYOB essentials accounting software, the organization would be able to develop the reports according to needs of clients and supplier. These reports will help to make the changes in the existing operational activities and maintain the flow of activities with existing customers (Fischer.et.al. 2012).  The report will include the information about sales of the particular products and services, demand of specific services, customer details and transaction in the month (Fleischmann.et.al. 2014).  These kinds of information would be beneficial for organization to make decision on the basis of report and apply the changes in working process that will helpful for improving the manual handling of data.         

Case 2

Business scenario

According to the given case, Sungate Foods is a Victoria based rice and wild rice producer, milling up to 80 tons per hour at seasonal peaks. Organization is looking to expand the business by implementing the new information software that provides the link between internal and external business operations. In order to maintain the functions and flow of communication, it is essential for organization to analyze the information and make changes accordingly.  In 2013, Sungate employed a base of 100 staff in three processing/warehouse locations in Western Victoria and a marketing office in Melbourne, Victoria. Its largest milling facility encloses 125,000 square feet, 30,000 metric tons of storage. In addition to this, Sungate buys from 350 farms, then packages, distributes, and sells domestically and internationally. But its patchwork of ISs and data silos required multiple manual re-entries of each order and financial transactions some up to 10 times wasting time and creating errors. In order to maintain the financial activities of the employs and customers details, organization is looking for the implementation of software (Fukuda-Parr and Lopes, 2013). Moreover, staff worked weeks compiling financial and business reports from the patchwork of ISs and formats. In certain situations, some decisions couldn’t wait for adequate information. Inventory is usually kept high to ensure complete orders.   

Issues organization is facing

Sungate Foods is operating its business using the traditional process of collecting and analyzing the information that creating the issues like lack of accuracy, communication gap, manual re-entry of the each transaction, verification of employees details and salary. These are major issues that affecting the business process of organization and influencing the decision making process. In addition to this, lack of management information system is creating issue for organization to maintain the flow of communication with the supplier and have the in-depth information about the employees (Geelen.et.al. 2013). Sungate is basically working on the projects like patchwork of ISs and data silos that required the re-entry of the each order but it wasting the time and creating errors that are affecting the financial transaction of the organization.     

Requirements of software

In order to overcome the issues and errors that influencing the financial and operational work of organization, management requires to implement the software like ERP or MIS that will help to collect, store, analyze and share the information with employees and other shareholder. For product planning, manufacturing, marketing, shipping and payment as well employee information.   ERP system is requires for automatic generation of picking and order list of customers and supplier for rice for Sungate organization. Moreover, it will provide the monthly summary of the transaction and performance of the staff members that will be beneficial for Sungate management to make decision according to issues that organization looking to avoid (Hill, 2013). Apart from that, the proposed ERP software application must also be capable of automatic monitoring of the invoices generated. The proper monitoring of these would help the organization to track the inflow and outflow of the cash taken place in the organization.  

Features of ERP software

By using the ERP software, the management will able to perform and monitor the activities like record of purchase and sale, use of mail direct through the software which consume less time for sharing the information, make communication with the customer and supplier that will help to maintain the inventory of the stock to meet the demand. Moreover, it will help to forecast the demand in future by analyzing the business. Apart from that, software will be useful for analyzing the performance of the staff by monitoring the activities of each day.   

ERP would be appropriate

The major activities of organization are product planning according to needs of customers, manufacturing, inventory, shipping, payment and service delivery.  In order to manage the all information and operations ERP system would be beneficial for organization as it integrate the business process and develop the database for real time information (Schorr.et.al. 2013). Sungate buys from 350 farms, then packages, distributes, and sells domestically and internationally. But its patchwork of ISs and data silos required multiple manual re-entries of each order and financial transactions some up to 10 times wasting time and creating errors. In order to maintain the financial activities of the employs and customers details, organization is looking for the implementation of software. In addition to this, ERP software is integrated software that can be operate in real time without relying on periodic updates. ERP offer the common data base for all types of application used by the organization and collect the information in category. However, it takes time for managing the operations but the consistency look and feel across modules. By using the information the top management of Sungate can make the decisions for implementing the changes in the operational and functional activities that will help to overcome the issue of lacking in information and have error free transactions.

The software would be appropriate for organization as it offers the advance tools for financial accounting, budgeting, cost management, human resources activities and order processing. Sungate management would get the all essential information  through ERP for better supply chain management, customer relationship and data services for creating the interface for supplier, customer and employees. The major components of ERP software are transactional database that provides the facility to manage the data according to easier formant according to requirements of management and offer the management portal for implementing the operation as per the software requirements (Lyons, 2015). The proposed ERP software application must also be capable of automatic monitoring of the invoices generated. The proper monitoring of these would help the organization to track the inflow and outflow of the cash taken place in the organization.          

Selection and implementation

For Sungate organization Oracle ERP software would be appropriate that will be in the budget of the organization and provide the all functions that can overcome the issues that affecting the work. Sungate employed a base of 100 staff in three processing/warehouse locations in Western Victoria and a marketing office in Melbourne, Victoria. Its largest milling facility encloses 125,000 square feet, 30,000 metric tons of storage. In order to maintain the stock details as well the staff member’s activities, Oracle will be useful. The selection of software is being done on the basis of requirements and issues that have significant impact on the operational activities of Sungate. The implementation of ERP software will take time as changes in the server, customization integration of other software and hardware. In addition to this, the cost of software is approx $90,000 and the other requirements like installation, purchase of hardware and hire the experts to operate the ERP (Gebhart.et.al. 2013). Apart from that, to maintain the proper utilization and effectiveness of software organization needs to provide the training to employees for that Sungate needs to hire the experts. Following is the breakdown for cost of Oracle ERP:

Table 2: Cost breakdown for ERP

Particulars

Cost

Software Cost

$90,000

Hardware

$10,000

Implementation Cost

$40,000

Training

$9,000

Total

$149,000

The total cost of implementing the Oracle ERP system within Sungate, management need to invest approx $149,000 as the purchase cost of software is $90000 and to integrate it properly organization required $59000. This is budget of Sungate as management is looking to invest $150000 for establishing the information software.

Benefits of implementing ERP with respect to organization

Following are the major benefits for implementing the ERP software for Sungate:

Efficiency: By implementing the ERP software Sungate organization will able to improve the efficiency of the operations by sharing the information to the staff members in quick manners. In spite of that, ERP system eliminates repetitive process and reduces the manual entry of information. ERP software enable organization to collect the data more efficient manner to improve the level of production and supply.

Customer services: It would be the major benefits for organization to maintain the positive and strong relation with the customer and offer customized information to influence their decision. Additionally, software will sales and customer service people can interact with customers better and improve relationships with them, through faster, more accurate access to customers’ information and history (Rassam.et.al. 2013).   

Security: The software will improve accuracy; consistency and security of the data as it create the limitation for collecting and using the information. This would be the best part of ERP software as only authorizes persons or staff members can access the information about the organizational operations. Moreover, it improves the privacy and protects the data which is important for Sungate.    

Conclusion

From the above study, it is been considered that in the current scenario organizations are relaying on the accounting and information software to maintain the flow of operations. Report has provided the information about the accounting and ERP software for different organizations according to issues and challenges in existing working. Report has proposed the spreadsheet accounting software for Dis4U and Oracle ERP software for Sungate. Additionally, report has discussed about the cost and implementation of software to achieve the organizational objectives.

References

Books and journals

Akerkar, R. ed., 2013. Big data computing. CRC Press.

Chen, C.P. and Zhang, C.Y., 2014. Data-intensive applications, challenges, techniques and technologies: A survey on Big Data. Information Sciences,275, pp.314-347.

Chung, L., Nixon, B.A., Yu, E. and Mylopoulos, J., 2012. Non-functional requirements in software engineering (Vol. 5). Springer Science & Business Media.

Davenport, T.H., 2013. Process innovation: reengineering work through information technology. Harvard Business Press.

Davis, A., 2013. Just enough requirements management: where software development meets marketing. Addison-Wesley.

Delen, D. and Demirkan, H., 2013. Data, information and analytics as services. Decision Support Systems, 55(1), pp.359-363.

Fischer, J., Majumdar, R. and Esmaeilsabzali, S., 2012, June. Engage: a deployment management system. In ACM SIGPLAN Notices (Vol. 47, No. 6, pp. 263-274). ACM.

Fleischmann, A., Schmidt, W., Stary, C., Obermeier, S. and Brger, E., 2014.Subject-oriented business process management. Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated.

Fukuda-Parr, S. and Lopes, C. eds., 2013. Capacity for development: new solutions to old problems. Routledge.

Gebhart, B., Glines, S.M. and Foss Jr, S.H., Norse Corporation, 2013.Systems and methods for integrating accounting software and payment processing systems. U.S. Patent Application 13/803,868.

Geelen, D., Reinders, A. and Keyson, D., 2013. Empowering the end-user in smart grids: Recommendations for the design of products and services.Energy Policy, 61, pp.151-161.

Hill, G.M., 2013. The complete project management office handbook. CRC Press.

Lyons, S.M., 2015. Using Accounting Software for Food Hubs: Processing Traceable Orders.

Rassam, D.W., Peeters, L., Pickett, T., Jolly, I. and Holz, L., 2013. Accounting for surface–groundwater interactions and their uncertainty in river and groundwater models: A case study in the Namoi River, Australia.Environmental modelling & software, 50, pp.108-119.

Schorr, M., Sylvester, M., Dopf, G., Henrich, D., Liebich, G., Conrad, M., Reccius, A., Klein, M., Hohendorf, M., Roesinger, A. and Soltek, R., 2013.Providing accounting software application as enterprise services. U.S. Patent 8,442,850.