Johnson's PLC Research Paper

Pages: 8 (2195 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business - Management

¶ … Information System Strategy to be rolled out by Johnsons plc, a firm that specializes in the manufacture and supply of furniture. The aim is to improve its profitability through diversified business operations. The developed strategy is meant to improve the corporation's internal operations like the purchase function. The strategy is to be crafted in a manner that it increases the efficiency of the firm's operations. The developed strategy is to include strategic management improvement tactics aimed at improving profitability through the inclusion of a carefully designed decision support system.

IS strategy, TQM, decision support system.

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Information system strategy refers to a strategy that is based on the power of the computer and computer networks enhancing the business objectives of an establishment by means of a deep understanding of information that is crucial for supporting the business aims (Wilson,1999) .This is implemented by means of computer technology that is relevant to the specific business needs. This strategy can therefore be regarded as a plan that is to be employed in the process of developing computer systems that are helpful in enhancing the business functions of the business in question. Another argument postulates that Information system strategy is an important element in the planning of business processes that are otherwise present in the minds of system developers, users and policy makers alike. Several reports are generated by means of this strategy. These reports are coupled with written plans which are necessary for realizing the secondary needs of the business.

Conceptual framework

TOPIC: Research Paper on Johnson's PLC Assignment

Galliers (1993) came up with a conceptual framework that can be used in implicitly define the components of information system strategy. This framework is the one we adopt in this paper. The approach has an inclination towards a more holistic stance. The stance also has element of socio-technicality and is the opposite of the mechanistic and traditional approach that has dominated practice. The four components of an information system strategy as pointed out by Galliers (1993) are; information, information management, change and implementation strategy.

Analysis

Analysis of the current situation at Johnson plc indicates that there are various key business functions that are not fine tuned to ensure maximum productivity. They include;

The purchasing function

The purchasing function is not efficient when it comes to the making of operational decisions. There are various problems that can be seen in this function. The first on is that the firm relies on a manual system in order to store the details of the products that they produce. The same manual system is used for storing their supplier price lists. The major problem with this manual system is that it causes a lot of problems when it comes to the identification of alternative suppliers who can serve the firm. This is as a result of the manual system lacking a cross-referencing system that uses services or inputs as the criteria. This therefore makes their filing system to be deemed poor. The second problem is that the existing system relies on the ability to retain information on specific buyers through experience of individuals at the firm. This approach has demerits associated lack of availability of information at the require juncture. The information could be on a certain product or buyer with an immediate need of access. This problem gets worse in case a particular employee with reference to certain suppliers leave the firm since it relies on the mind as a cross-referencing tool.

The purchasing function aspect of the problem is that the process of decision making is hectic due to a lack of an efficient and less time consuming way of coming to a conclusion or making necessary modifications to original purchase orders. The consequence of this is the difficulty in reconciling supplier invoices based on the initial purchase orders. In order to mitigate this (under the current system),a lot of time consuming research has to be carried out in order to identify the causes of the purchase order-invoice variance.

Purchase function (making of tactical decisions)

Several inefficiencies can be identified to affect the purchasing function. It is therefore not efficient in the timely delivery of products as well as the provision of necessary information needed for initiating tactical actions.

Warehousing/Distribution functions

The warehousing function in conjunction with the function for distribution of finished products lacks a proper system to be used for the monitoring of stocks real-time. This problems lead to a loss of money and time in storage as well as excess manufacture of otherwise under-demanded goods.

The marketing and sales function

This is a very important function since it acts as a link between the organizations and its market base. The existing system is not highly structure and designed in such a way that it can serve all the stakeholders. This is caused by the fact that it relies on very few options like the system for sales order processing that is generated from the telesales team.

Issues related to management.

Johnsons plc is in an eminent lack of an integrative system that can be utilized for the ensuring that quality of products and processes are improved in a continuous basis.

An overview of information systems (internet)

The internet has several benefits and limitations. Management information system for example relies in the power of the information systems. In this context, we see that it helps in the facilitation of project and process planning which helps in improving the quality of good produced by firms by providing them with an update and relevant data and information that assists them in making decisions that are strategic to the operation of the firm. In order to relate these benefits with our case study, we notice that Johnson plc which is a big firm with complex functions needs a system that can aid it in the coordination of its business functions. The second merit associated with the use of information system is that it reduces effectively, the degree of information overload because it converts the gigantic amount of data into a highly summarized form that is easy to comprehend. The result is a reduction in the amount of confusion at the management level. The third merit is that it creates decentralization in terms of organizational authority due to the possibility of information monitoring at the lower organizational levels. This makes it useful in the monitoring of employee performance, a feature that is necessary for organizational planning. The fourth merit is that it helps in coordinating organizational functions and aids in sharing information in the organization. The fifth merit is that it allows the ease of controlling a firm through enhancing the level of managerial control and organizational planning. This enhances the ability of the firm's management communicate with its customers and stakeholders.

Solutions

An analysis of the situation at Johnson plc clearly illustrates that there is a dire need for the adoption of a strategic enterprise information systems (SEIS). This is a coordinated network of information systems that are integrated in design and operation in order to assist in the running of a firms core functions. This is with the aim of giving Johnson plc a competitive advantage.

The IS strategy

The management of an organization's information systems is a very delicate operation that needs to be given a lot of care and emphasis (Porter and Miller,1985).It therefore calls for the employment of information systems at all levels of the firm's operation. This is in order to give a competitive differentiation to the company which is good for elevating its competitive advantage. An effective criteria must be used when deploying an IS infrastructure in any given organization. It was postulated by Earl (1998) that an effective information system strategy can be used as a winning tool for achieving unparalleled competitive edge, improvement of performance, improvement of productivity, development of better businesses and the creation of a highly organized firm. The views do suggest strongly that information strategy can be used for both managerial and strategic aims. Firms such as Johnson plc however, can use information systems strategy in addressing its internal and external functions.

Internal value

Information systems strategy can be used by Johnson plc in creating an effective internal value. This is in order to enhance the efficiency of its internal processes via a process of improved internal organizational operations such as;

Improved purchasing function

Improved warehousing function

Improved management function

Improved distribution function

In order to improve internal functions, techniques like MRP II (Manufacturing Resource Planning Information ) should be used as part of the strategy.

In addition Johnson plc should include Just-in-Time (JIT) so as to enhance its internal functions. There is a need to acquire ERP software such as SAP in order to control and monitor its internal and external functions. When deploying the ERP system, it is important that it can be used to seamlessly monitor the processes within the standard practices for the operation of strategic information system planning platforms.

The creation of external value

Johnson plc should improve its external values by means of information system… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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