Decision Support and Expert Systems|Assignment #1

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Decision Support and Expert Systems|Assignment #1 |
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Introduction
The following are responses to the questions for assignment #1: Review Question 6: Why is management often equated with decision-making? Management is described as “a process by which organizational goals are achieved using resources” such as people (labor), capital, and equipment (technology); these resources must be allocated to achieve organizational goals. The degree to which management is successful is dependent on how effective the manager is performing the functions of planning, organizing, directing, and controlling (Turban, Aronson, and Liang, 2005, p. 7). Because these functions revolve around decision making, it is reasonable to equate management with decision-making as managers are continuously making decisions that will help the organization achieve its goals. This view is further supported in a survey of 6500 managers from over 100 companies including many large blue-chip corporations, wherein managers overwhelmingly felt that “the ability to make clear-cut decisions when needed” is a characteristic of good management (as cited in Turban, et al., 2005, p. 7) Review Question 7: Discuss the major trends that affect managerial decision-making. The major trends that affect managerial decision-making involve: (1) the changing environment in which organizations operate—technological advances and improved communication systems such as the Web/Internet and search engines have necessitated change because they result in more alternatives to choose from, and as always each alternative must be analyzed. (2) The large size of organizations, their complexity, and the growth in competition affect the costs of making errors. (3) Continuous changes are occurring in the business environment; this has resulted in more uncertainty about the future in several impacting elements such as international markets, political stability, consumerism, and government intervention. Finally, decisions must be made quickly to respond to changes and fluctuations occurring in the market. The improvements in technology, in particular the Web/Internet, have raised the expectations that managers must respond instantly to changes in the environment (Turban, Aronson, and Liang, 2005, p. 8). These trends imply that managers cannot operate as usual; they must become more sophisticated in their use of new tools and techniques such as those used by George Muller of Imperial Sugar to directly impact its customers’ supply chains where customers were given direct access to order-status information via the Web, thereby adding value to its customers (as cited in Turban, et al., 2005, p. 9).

Review Question 15: List the major benefits of ES.
Turban, Aronson, and Liang (2005), listed eighteen (18) major benefits of expert systems (ES), these include (pp. 561-563): 1)Increased output and productivity—ES works faster than humans for example, DEC was able to use ES to increase the throughput of VAX configuring orders fourfold. They achieved savings for the organization because fewer human experts were needed. 2)Decreased decision-making time—the recommendations from an ES enable humans to make decisions faster. For example, American Express representatives were able to make charge-approval decisions in less than five seconds, compared with about three minutes before the implementation of an ES. 3)Increased process and product quality—ES provide for improved quality of decisions and or solutions because they are more consistent, and fewer mistakes are made. 4)Reduced downtime—ES can derive significant savings for a company by significantly reducing downtime. 5)Capture of scarce expertise—in situations such as experts retiring or leaving the job, or required to cover a wide geographic area; an ES such as “Archimedes” that capture, manage, and automate the installation and maintenance of the 35,000 workstations at KPN Telecom has resulted in substantial decrease in...
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