Information technology changes the view of world and organization. Information technology is using each and every sector of society. Advancement in this technology is a heart of today's organization. Information technology has an ability to manage information so that organizations can take right decision at right time. SAP, IBM, ORACLE, are mainly use in all organization and they do much more than provide database and hardware system. IT is use in each and every sector from large organization like Tesco, Sainsbury, Apple, and Ikea, to small sectors like off-licence store. For more understanding we take the example of Sainsbury to know the important of IT in retail store.
"It is stated that a business information system is a group of interrelated components that work collectively to carry out input, processing, output, storage and control actions in order to convert data into information products that can be used to support forecasting, planning, control, co-ordination, decision making and operational activities in an organization." (paul bocij & Andrew greasley, simon hickie 2008)1.
Support of it to business objective:
Information system is use to handling day to day transaction of the business. If IT is not exist then e-commerce firm like E-bay, Google, and E*trade simply would not exist.
Specifically, organization invests heavily on IT to achieve six business objectives. They are describing as under.
Information technology is a tool available to manager to achieve higher level of efficiency and productivity in business. If we take the example of wal-mart, the largest retailer on earth, use IT to support management to achieve business goal. Wal-mart achieve higher sale with the use of retaillink system, which digitally link with its suppliers and customers.
New product, services, and business models:
Information technology is use to innovate new product for the market, product which is higher in quality, and to create business models. A business models describe how a company can produce, delivers, and sells a product in the market.
Today we see large range of mobiles in the market, day by day new models of phone is introduce in the market. Today apple is superior in the market. Apple introduces new applications Day by day and transfers mobile phone into mini computer to serve better to customer.
Customer and supplier intimacy:
When a company like Sainsbury really knows its customers need first priority then they serve better. Information technology is useful to record customer's choice at buying, so company can serve better. Likewise with suppliers, IT is help to improve relation with supplier.
The mandarin oriental in manhattan and other hotel use information system to raise customer intimacy. They use computer to keep track of their guest's preferences, such as their likes and dislikes, their preferred room, television program.
Improved decision making:
IT is use as a tool for decision making for management, IT provide current position of company in the market, current production, sales, customer buying style, what they preferred. According to this information manager can make decision about production.
When any firm achieve goal like successful introduction of new product, cover more customer and supplier intimacy, and making effective decision than it will help to raise sales and profit that your competitor can not match. Information technology is help to achieve that objective.
Business invests in IT because this is necessities of doing business. Take example of Citibank is the first bank which introduces ATM, for other bank must have to follow that to survive in the competition. (Kenneth c.laudon and jane p.laudon 11th edition)2
Levels of management:
Top level management:
At top level information technology is use for decision making purpose and maintains financial performance of the company. Information technology is used to make Decision like employ a staff, produce new products, purchase of a new company.
Enterprise resource planning :(ERP)
- ERP is a computer based systems which integrate all aspect of a business functions like planning, inventory control sales marketing of product, accounting.
- ERP is built on a single integrated platform where all information is store. Information that was earlier fragmented in different system can be easily share with other department of the business.
- Retail company like Sainsbury when any customer place an order online the data flow one department to other which will affect by this transaction. Customer service representative track the process of the order. In ERP all information from different department collect and shown by top level management for decision making.
Purpose of ERP in business:
- ERP use for a production planning, it collects data about inventory, raw material, sale forecasting using MRP strategies.
- ERP is use to prepare purchase module, it provide detail about raw materials needed, potential suppliers, suitable price. Purchase module is mainly integrated with inventory control department.
- Profits from sale are a lifeline for a business. ERP is collect data of each sector what is the current order placement, show order scheduling, invoicing of the sales. Sales module is directly integrated with e-commerce websites.
- ERP system collect information from various financial department and formulate them into balance sheet, trail balance, this information is use in report.
- ERP is also use at HR level. ERP collect data about employee's current pay, there position in the organization. (Jagan Nathan vaman 2008)3
Leading vendors of erp system:
- People Soft
- MS windows
- HP-UX system.
Middle level management:
Middle level manager need constant information about production, company's financial position, customer satisfaction, suppliers, current sales, for effective decision making. Their are some method which use by the middle level management.
Management information system (MIS):
Management information system mostly use by middle level management. MIS provides report on organization's current financial position of the company. This information helps managers to predict future condition of the company in market.
Process of MIS:
- All data is transfer from transaction processing systems to MIS. All data collected from each department like account, sales, inventory, and production.
- MIS summarize and present all data into one report.
- MIS provide this report on daily, weekly, monthly basic to the managers.
Suitability for Sainsbury:
MIS system is suitable for retail organization. Like firstly all information from sales department, financial department, production department and inventory is sent to manager through MIS, MIS present that information into a report. It is easy to understand and help manager to make quick decision.
Decision support systems (dss):
DSS focus on the problems that are not routine, unique, and unpredictable for management. Example like what would be effect on production when sale is decease in the next month. DSS collects data from TPS and MIS to reach a decision. DSS is interactive software base system collect data from raw data, documents, personal knowledge to identify and solve problems and make decision.
Purpose of DSS:
- DSS is use to accessing company's current information of assets, cubes, data warehouses, and data marts.
- Collect data about current sales, production, and supply of raw material and present them within one week.
- Calculation of revenue when any new product is introduced in the market, DSS considers all factors that affect on sales.
Supply chain management SYSTEM :( SCM)
SCM is use to maintain relationship with supplier. This system is use for supplier, distributers, and company which are related with order, production, and distribution.
SCM is use to make decision using information about orders, inventory level, delivery of the product.
Purpose of supply chain management:
- Supply chain management is used to collect data about customer orders,
- Use for tracking product into production line.
- It shows currently availability of product in the organization.
- It helps to find out lowest cost delivery plans, shipping charges and help to update daily.
Customer relationship management systems: (CRM)
CRM systems collect information about customer from different communication media like telephone, e-mail, retail outlets or the web. This system is help managers to give more knowledge about customers and their likes, and through that management
Can increase there market share by proving right product to customers and provide high quality customer service and support.
Purpose of customer relationship management system:
- CRM help organization to maintain their relationship with customer.
- It show all information about the department which is related with customers like sales, marketing, customer satisfaction.
- This system use in organization to attract more customer and proving better service to the existing customers.
INFORMATION SYSTEM SUITABLE FOR SAINSBURY:
Supply chain management system is mostly suitable for Sainsbury. Sainsbury is directly related with customer, for effective Woking SCM is suitable for Sainsbury.
For making this system effecting Sainsbury signed a five year agreement with IBM.
IBM provide a solution which is based on the we supply network, and aim to provide a platform to help Sainsbury and its supplier for managing SCM.
Sainsbury provide more than 30,000 products, IBM help to check status of order across entire organization and manage the available of the product in the company. 'Wesupply' service provide by the IBM is provide a high stock control. (http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/2264864)
Sainsbury also using 'manhattan' which runs on sun technology. Sun technology is introduced by oracle to make supply chain more effective.
Sainsbury invest highest on supply chain system and earn customers and million of pounds. So for making business better SCM is suitable for Sainsbury.( http://www.sun.com/solutions/documents/articles/RE_sainsbury_AA.xml)
Security mesures use by the organition:
Business have a different type of security measures to protect there data, some of them is common in all organization, they are describe below.
- Access control:
- Biometric authentication:
- Intrusion detection system:
- Unified threat management systems:
In this system company only allow to an authorized person to search and access the data. Authorise person only access this data by entering a password.
This system interprets individual fingerprints, voices, to identify authorize person and allow him to access data.
This system is securing part of an organization, is there is any suspicious thins happen in the organization it will be shut down system if it receive attacks in progress.
For reducing cost of security management use all security measures like firewall, virtual private networks, intrusion detection system and antispam software. This all product called unified threat management systems. Vendors of this system are crossbeam, fortinent, and secure computing.
In Sainsbury one of the largest food retailers is use blue rock security solution to protect their data. One of the software named irecord use to recoding images from CCTV. Irecord use a new technology to detect video motion and secure interface to the network. (/www.brssuk.com/Sept_06.htm)
Sainsbury now use self scan tills which are connected though network and make work easier fro customers. Sainsbury also use printers that use double side receipts which are quicker and beneficial for environment.
Could computing VENDORS :( /www.cio.co.uk/article/665/eleven-cloud-computing-vendors-to-watch/)
- Areti Internet
- Fortress ITX
- Layered Technologies
In could computing company and individual can purchase there software and hardware from internet rather than purchasing from shop. Hardware firms like IBM, hp, and dell provide data storage and high speed internet in the business. Software firm like oracle, Google, salesforce.com, Microsoft sells their software online.
There is biggest supply chain in Sainsbury to handle day to day work it required
High speed internet, network must be secure. In Sainsbury where customer also purchase online there should be proper internet connection, if connection is lost by a single minute company can loss there reputation and customers. For that company use software provided by reputed company like IBM, HP. With the use of could computing company is able to stand in the market and able to raise there profitability. For retail company, could computing is preferred.