Most entrepreneurs will agree that setting up a business is definitely a challenge, but managing it as it grows is equally – if not more – difficult. Every business consists of certain basic activities – manufacture, purchase, sales, distribution, and customer service – and most importantly, the people who work at these tasks. As a business expands, managing all these aspects can get quite complex, and that is where a management information system (MIS) can help.
Any MIS covers three major resources – information, technology and people. By integrating these three, the system allows people to harness the data obtained with the help of technology to make better decisions that improve the efficiency with which the business operates. Some of the common management information systems used include decision support systems, supply chain management, executive information systems, customer relationship management, and enterprise resource planning.
Monitoring Manufacturing Operations
Businesses that involve manufacturing need to constantly monitor the flow of raw materials, people, utilities and finished products in the production areas. This can mean a generation of tremendous amount of data that is difficult to wade through; besides, some of this data may not be of much value retrospectively. The use of a MIS can help you track the manufacturing operations more efficiently, allowing you to get real-time data that is much more valuable.
When a business adopts a financial form of MIS, it becomes very easy to maintain financial records. With such information, it is simpler to find out your company profits and losses, decipher the activities that generate more income or that pull you into loss and track your growth over time. Using a financial management system enables a business to take vital decisions regarding cost control and expenses.
The human resource department plays a vital role in any business. Right from hiring employees and training the workforce to allotting jobs, monitoring performance and rewarding efficiency, you need to streamline all activities in your company. An information systems specializing in human resources help employers to perform all these activities in a more effective manner. Whether it is payroll operations, scheduling and providing training or arranging medical care, such systems can make it easier for you to manage your employee operations.
Improved Planning, Greater Control
With an information system that collects relevant information, monitors quality and performance parameters and improves communication, it is possible to generate a lot of valuable data. This allows you to fully comprehend the nature of problems that are likely to be encountered; and armed with this information, you are in a better position to plan and avoid exigencies. It also allows you to prepare budgets that are more accurate, and which communicate vital details to your employees and clients.
When you have a MIS and trained employees in place, it becomes very easy to decentralize your operations. As staffs at the lower level learn how to monitor operations and use the data generated, there is a valuable saving of the time of higher level employees who no longer need to be constantly available to put out bush fires. Also, such systems can help to keep all related departments in the loop, helping them work with better coordination and communication.
In today’s competitive times, no business can afford to ignore the value of customer feedback. Using a MIS to collect and sort through such feedback is one of the most important applications. By analyzing buying trends, purchase behavior or customer satisfaction, these systems provide the backing data to support any changes you wish to make in the way you run your business for best results.
Author Bio: Joshua Turner is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to business. In this article, he offers a few business tips and aims to encourage further study with an online bachelors in management information systems.