Q1 Define operational excellence. How can information systems help achieve it?
Hint Ans .Operational excellence is the achievement of higher levels of productivity, efficiency, and profitability. Information systems can help achieve operational excellence by improving communications to supplier and optimizing the supply chain. Information systems could help managers communicate with workers more efficiently, enable technological innovation in products, minimize warehouse overhead, and streamline distribution.
Q2 You work for an auto manufacturer and distributor. How could you use information systems to achieve greater customer intimacy?
Hint Ans. You could create a Web site that allows customers to customize cars, communicate with support personnel and other car owners. You could create an automated e-mail service reminding car owners to take their car in for periodic checkups. You could have an information system that tracks customer preferences in local areas, so you can provide cars that reflect local customer needs and desires. Q3 What is the difference between information technology and information systems? Describe some of the functions of information systems.
Hint Ans Information technology (IT) consists of all the hardware and software that a firm needs to use to achieve its business objectives. Information systems are more complex. An information system can be defined technically as a set of interrelated components that collect (or retrieve), process, store, and distribute information to support decision making and control in an organization.
An information system:
Supports decision making, coordination, and control
Helps employees analyze problems
Helps employees visualize complex subjects
Helps create new products
Q4 Define business process. What might be a business process used at a hospital?
Hint Ans. A business process is a set of logically related tasks and behaviors for accomplishing work. Hiring a new employee, customer intake, and filing medical records are examples of business processes at a hospital. Q5 You are starting a small bike messenger company. Given your type of services (hand-delivering packages within a small geographical area), could your firm be a digital firm? If so, what would make this a digital firm?
Hint Ans. Being a digital firm doesn’t purely rely on having digital goods and services. A digital firm would have most of its relationships with customers, suppliers, and employees be digitally enabled. Ordering deliveries, assigning deliveries, managing employees and assignments could certainly be digitally enabled; using cell phones, information systems, and handheld devices to connect customers, delivery management, and bike messengers. Q6.You work at the business headquarters for a chain of movie theaters. Describe this firm’s information value chain.
Hint Ans. An information value chain adds value to data at various stages, transforming it into valuable data. At a chain of movie theaters, data would be gathered from ticket sales and concession sales. Information systems would help transform this into meaningful information, such as determining the types of movies popular in certain regions, times and days of the week that people most often saw movies, what snacks were the most popular. This information would be valuable in making decisions, such as offering ticket discounts during less popular time slots, and offering more popular snack items. Further feedback based on the results of these decisions could determine whether these decisions were effective. Q7. In your opinion, what are at least three factors that contribute to the difficulty of integrating systems for different organizational levels and functions within an organization? Support your answer.
Hint Ans. One answer might be similar to this: A business firm is not a simple mechanism, and firms that have been in business any length of time will have highly individualized ways of...
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