Chapter I Business Information Systems in Your Career Student Objectives 1. How are information systems transforming business and what is their relationship to globalization? 2. Why are information systems so essential for running and managing a business today? 3. What exactly is an information system? HOW does it work? What are its people, organization, and technology components? 4. How will a four-step method for business problem solving help you solve information system-relations problems? 5. How will information systems affect business careers and what information systems skills and knowledge are essential?
Chapter Outline 1. 1 The Role of Intimation Systems in Business Today How Information Systems Are Transforming Business Globalization Challenges and Opportunities: A Flattened World Business Drivers of Information Systems 2. Perspectives on Information Systems and Information Technology What Is an Information System? It Isn’t Simply Technology: The Role of People and Organizations Dimensions of Information Systems 3. Understanding Information Systems: A Business Problem-solving Approach The Problem-solving Approach A Model Of the Problem-solving Process The Role of Critical Thinking in Problem Solving
The Connection Between Business Objectives, Problems, and Solutions Information Systems and Your Career How Information Systems Will Affect Business Careers Information Systems and Your Career: Wrap-up How This Book Prepares You for the Future 1. Unhands-on MIS Key Terms 4. The following alphabetical list identifies the key terms discussed in this chapter. The page number tort each key term is provided. I Business model, 8 limitation system, 11 I I Business processes, 14 Information systems literacy, I Change management, 20 Information technology (it), 10 I Computer hardware, I Information technology (IT) infrastructure,
I I Computer literacy, 13 Input, 11 ‘Internet, 15 lanterns, 15 I Management information systems (MIS), 13 I Computer software, 15 ‘Critical thinking, 21 I Culture, 14 I 11 I Data management Network, 15 technology, 15 Output, 11 Processing, 11 Roll Wide web, 15 Teaching Suggestions Networking and telecommunications I Extranets, 15 I Feedback, 12 I I Information, 11 You are probably meeting on the first class session to introduce yourself, the course, and to meet the students, It is good to get to the classroom early and meet the students as they come in. Learn a few names as the students enter.
After going over any requirements you may have for the course, try to give an overview of the course stressing that this is not a technical course. You can usually not do enough to put non-technical types at ease. The opening case, NAB Teams Make a Slam-dunk vivid Information Technology, shows students that even the professional sports industry has embraced technology as a way to enhance their employees’ performance and increase their competitive advantage. Students Will Start to become familiar With the idea that many different kinds of businesses have had to change the way they operate, even the National Basketball Association (NAB).
Their new emphasis is on using the Internet and information technology to mine statistical data and turn it into useful information. The challenges facing the NAB show why information systems are so essential today. The NAB is a business as well as a sport, and it needs to help its member teams stay in business and increase their revenues. Section 1. 1, “The Role of Information Systems in Business Today”, gives students a feel for the importance of information systems in business today and how they have transformed businesses on the world stage.
A good discussion of the six important business objectives outlined in this section allows the instructor and students to openly discuss why businesses have become so dependent on information systems today and the importance of these systems for the survival of a firm. Stress to students that information systems are not a luxury. In most businesses they are the core to survival This would be a good time to ask students to discuss how their own schools are using information systems to enhance their product offering. Globalization is affecting virtually every country in the world.
The most striking evidence of this trend is the increasing presence of cell phones in the very small villages Of Africa. As technology becomes more pervasive and, in some cases, easier, globalization will continue its steady march. China, Singapore, and Russia are good examples Of how globalization has flattened the world since they are leading exporters to other countries, especially ones as industrialized and advanced as the U. S. And many European countries. Emerging countries, like Poland, the Ukraine, and Ireland, are excellent examples of increasing globalization.
Section 1. 2, “Perspectives on Information Systems and Information Technology”, ivies students the facts and definitions that underpin information systems and allow students to knowledgeably discuss information systems. Students do not need the knowledge of a technical person, but they do need enough knowledge and definitions to understand the role of intimation technology and how it must support the organization’s business strategy, They must also understand how information technology can be used to help transform the business.
Note that the chapter’s definitions and terms help prepare students to discuss information systems as they are a part of business systems. Students should be made aware of the formal descriptions of computer-based information systems (CBS), the functional classification of the organization, and standard operating procedures. Encourage students to see that technology is subordinate to the organization and its purposes. After contrasting the technical and behavioral approaches, you should stress to your students that the esoterically approach does not ignore the technical, but considers it as a part of the organization.
This is also a good place to reinforce the differences between information systems literacy and computer iterate. When asked to describe company information systems, students often describe the information systems in terms biotechnology. It is important to stress to students that information systems are more than just technology, and that they have people, organization, and technology dimensions. Figure 1-3 and the diagram at the beginning of the chapter (page 5) can be used to illustrate this point.
Interactive Session: Technology: LIPS Competes Globally with Information Technology Case Study Questions I _ What are the inputs, processing, and outputs of Pup’s package tracking system? Inputs: The inputs include package information, customer signature, pickup, delivery, time-card data, current location (while en route), and billing and customer clearance documentation. Processing: The data are transmitted to a central computer and stored for retrieval. Data are also reorganized so that they can be tracked by customer account, date, driver, and other criteria.
Outputs: The outputs include pickup and delivery times, location while en route, and package recipient. The outputs also include various reports, such as all packages for a specific account or a specific driver or route, as well as summary ports for management. 2. What technologies are used by LIPS? How are these technologies related to Pup’s business model and business objectives? Technologies include handheld computers (Adds), barded scanning systems, wired and wireless communications networks, desktop computers, Pup’s central computer (large mainframe computers), and storage technology for the package delivery data.
Telecommunications for transmitting data, pagers, cellular phone networks, and many different pieces of in-house package tracing software for tracking packages, calculating fees, maintaining customer accounts and managing logistics, as well as software to access the World Wide Web, UPS has used the same strategy for over 90 years. Its strategy is to provide the test service and lowest rates. ” One of the most visible aspects of technology is the customer’s ability to track his/her package via the UPS Web site. However, technology also enables data to seamlessly flow throughout LIPS and helps streamline the workflow at LIPS.
Thus, the technology described in the scenario enables LIPS to be more competitive, efficient, and profitable. The result is an information system solution to the business challenge Of providing a high level arrive with low prices in the face of mounting competition. 3. What would happen if these technologies were not available? Arguably, UPS might not be able to compete effectively without technology. If the technology were not available, then LIPS would, as it has through most of its history, attempt to provide that information to its customers, but at higher prices.
From the customers’ perspective, these technologies provide value because they help customers complete their tasks more efficiently. Customers view Lip’s technology as valuated services as opposed to increasing the cost of sending packages, MIS In Action Explore the UPS Web site (mm. W. Ups. Com) and answer the following questions: I _ What kind of information and services does the Web site provide for individuals, small businesses, and large businesses? List these services and write several paragraphs describing one of them, such as UPS Trade Direct or Automated Shipment Processing.
Explain how you or your business would benefit from the service. Answers Will vary by the type of service students select. It’s important that they incorporate principles from this chapter in their answers. Make sure they organize their answers according to how the technology focuses on people, genealogy, and organizations. Many of the questions in the remaining chapters will ask for that kind of organization. 2. Explain how the Web site helps LIPS achieve some or all of the strategic business objectives we described earlier in this chapter. What would be the impact on Pup’s businesses this Web site were not available.
LIPS invests heavily in intimation systems technology to make its business more efficient and customer oriented. It uses an array of information technologies including barded scanning systems, wireless networks, large mainframe computers, handheld computers, the Internet, and many different pieces of footwear for tracking packages, calculating fees, maintaining customer accounts, and managing logistics. You may want to highlight how has had to change and adapt to new technologies to remain competitive. Section 1. 3, “understanding Information Systems: A Business Problem-solving Approach”.
Many students do not immediately recognize that the problem- solving model illustrated in this chapter avgas taken from the old scientific problem-solving model that has been around for years. Ask students to use this model and apply it to their decision-making processes that they unconsciously o through when they first awake in the morning. For a warm up to this model ask students to use Figure 1-4 and apply it to processes required when they are assigned a school project or case study. What is important to stress is that the process is continuous.
There is no direct path from one process to the next and that most problem-solving processes require you to circle back to a previous step in order to reevaluate the situation. Interactive Session: People: How Can Asks Know Its Customers: I. What is the problem affecting the performance of Asks? The Interactive Session: people provides an example of an outstanding manager ho knows how to use information technology wisely. Stephen Saddle, the new CEO at Asks, realized the answer to Asks’ problems was not to open more stores but to increase profits at the existing facilities.
Asks’ suffers from a lack of inventory and misguided inventory that didn’t appeal to local customers. These problems can be directly attributed to a lack of information about customer buying preferences, customer demographics, individualized store performance, and supply chain management. 2. What information does Asks need to solve this problem? What other pieces of data does Asks need in addition to those in its 9-box grid? The nine-box grid developed by Saddle and his team was a good Start to understanding which items sold best in each individual location.
The grid helped them categorize the styles and prices of their inventory so they could better understand how each item fit into each store. The grid provided a tool for the team to customize each stores inventory and ensure appropriate stock levels were maintained, Saddle and his team also need demographic data regarding each store’s typical customers. Its best to obtain this type to information trot external sources such as the Census Bureau and local government databases. That ensures he data isn’t skewed to company biases.
Other data that would be helpful to Asks includes supply chain information such as back-orders, shipping times, and shipping costs. The data could provide corporate decision-makers with information they need to reduce costs, ensure inventories are available at each store, and increase sales and profits. 3. Where can Asks acquire this information? The data for Asks’ nine-box grid obviously would come from internal sources such as store sales, inventory management systems, back-order requests, and customer surveys. These data can be obtained from point-of-sale technologies implemented in each store.
Since Asks’ Web site is the second largest source of revenue, it could provide intricate levels of detail about customer behavior without being intrusive. The company could also use the Web site to offer customer satisfaction surveys that would be much easier to process with truer answers than perhaps in-store surveys. External data can be obtained from the U. S. Government’s Census Bureau and local government databases. Information about back-orders and shipping costs and times can be obtained from supply chain information systems or from the company’5 supply partners.
For example, ups could provide Asks with data about all its shipments to individual stores over the last year. Asks could pair the data with its own sales data to determine which items sold quickly and which ones didn’t. 4. What role should managers and employees have in designing the solution? Each store manager should be allowed to provide input into a solution that best fits each store locale and the overall company. Purportedly, local managers know their customers best. Therefore, they should be given an opportunity to customize inventories and marketing campaigns for their customers.
It’s obvious hat a one-size-fits-all strategy has not Worked for Asks in the past. Employees could also be included in designing inventories and marketing strategies that appeal to those they interface With everyday. 5. Design a report that represents the information Asks needs to implement its merchandising strategy. Appropriate customer-related data elements include customer age, marital status, income levels, type of career field, and geographical area of employment. Appropriate inventory-related data elements include styles, prices, date received, date sold, shipping costs, and whether the item sold at full price or reduced rice. Sing Excel or Access, the data can be manipulated for one store only, a region, or all stores. 6. How might a better understanding of customer preferences support Asks’ strategy of improving existing facilities? Using customer survey data, Asks can design in-store displays that target its largest customer demographic. Carrying appropriate inventory for each store’s targeted customer base frees up sales floor space for items most desired by the largest demographic group rather than trying to carry inventory that is spread out over every customer group.
Storage facilities could be maximized to ensure only those items that will sell quickly in the local store are kept on hand. Doing so Will minimize costs and increase profits. WAS In Action 1 Explore the Asks Fifth Avenue Web site (M. ;. Hawks. Com). What are some of the features of the Web site that make it useful for selling luxury goods? Answers Will vary by student. They should focus on how easy the site is to navigate, how easy it is to place orders and use the online payment system.
Ask students what kinds of information they don’t want Web sites to collect about them. Section 14, “Information Systems and Your Career”. As an exercise, instructors may wish to have their students surf the Internet for job opportunities at Monster Job (WON_monster. Com) or another employment application site. Divide your class into groups to represent the major functional areas such as finance, accounting, marketing human resource management, production and operations, information systems, and others. Ask each group to find five jobs being advertised in each Of the functional areas.
Have them list the required qualifications being requested as they relate to the field of information systems. Since your students should have access to e-mail, you may want to send them an “MIS Word of the Day. ” Check out http://www. What’s. Com, http://What’s. Technocrat. Com or one of the many other online computer terminology dictionaries to locate words and definitions that supplement the Lauded text, Students often enjoy the electronic interactions with their instructor, and the words are yet another way to reinforce learning.
Section 1. 5, “Hands-on MIS” This section gives students an opportunity to analyze real world inform-nation systems needs and requirements, It provides several exercises you can use to determine if students are grasping the material in the chapter, Understanding Information System Requirements: Preparing a Management Overview of the Company: Dirt Bikes USA Software skills: Presentation software Business skills: Management analysis and information system recommendations I. What are the company’s goals and culture?
Dirt Bikes appears to have a very democratic, employee-friendly culture, emphasizing ongoing learning, quality, attention to detail, and employee contributions. 2. What products and services does Dirt Bikes U. S. A. Provide? How many types of products and services are available to customers? How does Dirt Bikes sell its products? Dirt Bikes specializes in off-road and motocross motorcycles that emphasize acing performance, styling, and best quality parts sourced from all over the world. It is a small company producing only four models. Dirt Bikes sells through a network of authorized dealers.
Its sales department is responsible for working with these distributors and finding ways to promote Dirt Bikes. 3. How many employees are managers, production workers, or knowledge or information workers? Are there levels of management? The company is very small and not very hierarchical. Most of the employees are in production. Many of its departments have less than ten people. Production s probably the only department that warrants more than one manager _ One might expect to see separate managers for Service, Shipping and Receiving, Parts, and Design and Engineering and perhaps several additional managers for Manufacturing. . What kinds of information systems and technologies would be the most important for a company such as Dirt Bikes? One would expect to see information systems supporting manufacturing and production and sales and marketing being the most important for this company. Such systems would help the company monitor work on the assembly line, obtain parts from suppliers, monitor orders from distributors, and provide parts and servicing intimation. A company Web site to publicize the unique features of this brand and its connection to motorcycle racing events would also be very valuable. . (Optional) use electronic presentation software to summarize your analysis for management, Improving Decision Making: Using Databases to Analyze Sales Trends: Software skills: Database querying and reporting Business Skills: Sales Trend Analysis This exercise helps students understand how a raw file of sales transactions an be analyzed using database software to produce valuable information for managers. The solutions provided here were created using the query wizard and report wizard capabilities of Microsoft Access.
Students can, of course, create more sophisticated reports if they wish, but much valuable information can be obtained from simple query and reporting functions. The main challenge is to get students to ask the right questions about the information. ; Which products should be restocked? ; Which stores and sales regions would benefit trot a promotional campaign and additional marketing? When (what time of year) should products be offered at dull price, and when should discounts be used?
The answers to the questions can be found in the Microsoft Access File named: Mismatch _solutions, mad Improving Decision Making: Using the Internet to Locate Jobs Requiring Information Systems Knowledge Software skills: Internet-based software Business skills: Job searching In addition to having students research jobs in their chosen career field, it may be quite interesting to have them research jobs in Other career fields so they can see that virtually every job and/or career requires information systems skills. Review Questions relationship to globalization?
Describe how information systems have changed the way businesses operate and their products and services, Wireless communications, including computers, cell phones, and Pads, are keeping managers, employees, customers, suppliers, and business partners connected in every way possible. Email, online conferencing, the Web, and the Internet, are providing new and diverse lines of communication for all businesses, large and small, Through increased communication channels and decreased costs of the communications, customers are demanding more of genuineness in terms of service and product, at lower costs.