Value of Information to a Manufacturing Company

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Information Management
Analysing and Critiquing Information Needs (ATI2)

Prepared For:
Paul Holland
Australian Institute of Management - Qld & NT

Submitted Date:
March 22, 2012

Prepared By:
Scott Elsom
Site General Manager
Al Morrell Development (AMD)
Baghdad

Executive Summary

Al Morrell Development (Al Morrell) is an American company operating in Iraq. It followed the US Military into Iraq in 2003 and become a key contractor to the US Government supplying drinking water to 500,000 troops, contractors and civilians. In the lead up to the withdrawal of the US Military Al Morrell positioned itself as the country’s largest bottled water manufacturer, supplying bottled drinking water to the Iraqi population. Contractually, the business was required to be operational in six different locations within nine months of the signing of the contract, so the emphasis was on output, not on the documentation and refinement of systems. Over time a paper based reporting process and an informal network of ‘experts’ evolved. These individuals tend to be the longer-term employees and those individuals to whom Davernport refers as “information heat-seekers” (1977, p 182). By analysing the opinions of managers at different levels of the business, a review of information sources personally used and a review of relevant literature it has been determined that Al Morrell does collect a lot of valuable information that serves the business well, however to better meet the current and future needs of the business, information systems that more effectively catalogue, disseminate and control the information are required. It is recommended that a senior manager, with ongoing executive support, be tasked with developing appropriate systems to further develop the systems that company currently has in place to manage its information.

Table of Contents
Executive Summaryi
Table of Figuresii
1.Introduction1
1.1.Background1
1.2.Scope of the Report1
1.3.Method1
1.4.Limitations2
2.Perceived Value of Currently Available Information2
3.Major Forms of Information Sourced in Meeting Business Objectives8
4.Currently Available Information Systems10
4.1.Ownership of Information Systems12
4.2.Adequacy of current Information Systems14
5.Conclusions15
6.Recommendations15
List of References16
Appendices17
Appendix 1 – Collated Results17
Appendix 2 – Raw Survey Data and Questions17

Table of Figures

Figure 1: Manager's perception of information value3
Figure 2: Timeliness of Information3
Figure 3: Access to Historical Information4
Figure 5: Accuracy of Information4
Figure 4: Relevancy of Information4
Figure 6: Representation of Information5
Figure 7: Manager Perceptions of how information is used to add value6
Figure 8: Manager Perception of hose information is used to reduce costs6
Figure 9: Manager Perceptions of how Information is used for Innovation and Process Creation7
Figure 10: Manager Perceptions of how Information is used to Minimise Risk7 1. Introduction
2.1. Background
The Al Morrell business was established in late 2003 when the company was awarded a contract to supply bottled water to the US Military. Contractually, the business was required to be operational in six different locations within nine months of the awarding of the contract, so the emphasis was on output, not the documentation and refinement of systems. Over time a paper based reporting process and an informal network of ‘experts’ evolved. These individuals tend to be the longer-term employees and those individuals that Davernport refers to as the “information heat-seekers” (1977, p. 182). This arrangement forms the basis for the existing information system used within the company. Al Morrell has invested heavily in information technology over the past nine years in an effort to create more robust information management systems but this investment remains...
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