Management and Functional Areas

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1. In the light of the system, describe the decisions to be made in the area of strategic planning, managerial control and operational control? What information would you require to make such decisions? Ans. A management information system (MIS) is an organized combination of people, hardware, communication networks and data sources that collects, transforms and distributes information in an organization. An MIS helps decision making by providing timely, relevant and accurate information to managers. The physical components of an MIS include hardware, software, database, personnel and procedures. Management information is an important input for efficient performance of various managerial functions at different organization levels. The information system facilitates decision making. Management functions include planning, controlling and decision making. Decision making is the core of management and aims at selecting the best alternative to achieve an objective. The decisions may be strategic, tactical or technical. Strategic decisions are characterized by uncertainty. They are future oriented and relate directly to planning activity. Tactical decisions cover both planning and controlling. Technical decisions pertain to implementation of specific tasks through appropriate technology. There are 3 areas in the organization. They are strategic, managerial and operational control. Strategic decisions are characterized by uncertainty. The decisions to be made in the area of strategic planning are future oriented and relate directly to planning activity. Here basically planning for future that is budgets, target markets, policies, objectives etc. is done. This is basically a top level where up-to-the minute information on the food items ordered and breaks out percentages showing sales of each item versus total sales is provided. The top level where strategic planning is done compares the weekly sales totals versus food costs, allowing planning for tighter cost controls. The decisions to be made in the area of managerial control are largely dependent upon the information available to the decision makers. It is basically a middle level where planning of menus is done and whenever an order is voided, the reasons for the void are keyed in which later helps in management decisions, especially if the voids are related to food or service. The managerial control that is middle level also gets customer feedback and is responsible for customer satisfaction. The decisions to be made in the area of operational control pertain to implementation of specific tasks through appropriate technology. This is basically a lower level where the waiter takes the order and enters it online via one of the six terminals located in the restaurant dining room and the order is routed to a printer in the appropriate preparation area. The item’s ordered list and the respective prices are automatically generated. The cooks send ‘out of stock’ message when the kitchen runs out of a food item, which is basically displayed on the dining room terminals when waiter tries to order that item. This basically gives the waiters faster feedback, enabling them to give better service to the customers. The information required to make such decision must be such that it highlights the trouble spots and shows the interconnections with the other functions. It must summarize all information relating to the span of control of the manager. The information required to make these decisions can be strategic, tactical or operational information. Advantages of an online computer system:

* Eliminates 3-carbon copies
* Waiters’ handwriting issues
* Out-of-stock message
* Faster feedback, helps waiters to service the customers Advantages to management
* Sales figures and percentages item-wise
* Helps in planning the menu
* Cost accounting details

2. What would make the system a more complete MIS rather than just doing transaction processing?...
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