Management Information Systems In Tesco Information Technology Essay

Now every day, the use of technology is becoming rapid and has been dispersing like a computer virus across the world within seconds. There is absolutely no point in criticizing this technological development because it reduces manual work by which it saves a lot of time. People in several fields have been using these computer systems inserted with special programs and applications to complete a work. In the similar way, a system which was released three decades earlier is driving massive organizations in achieving success. These systems are reported to be "Management Information Systems". There is no point in misunderstanding the difference in information systems and management information systems. Information systems are used at various levels in an organisation however the information systems used at management, tactical levels are said to be management information systems.

This article evaluates the utilization of management information systems in "Tesco Plc" and specifies how the systems have helped in increasing the performance of the business. Generally, optimization ought to be the primary goal of management information systems. An organization also targets to accomplish search engine optimization by using integrated management information systems. In such a framework, "Tesco Plc" is tested on whether they have achieved marketing or not by analysing it on three main functions that are associated within the ideas of integrated management systems. If the company got performed all the three functions, then it is stated that, it acquired achieved search engine optimization with the support of integrated MIS. This report there by concludes giving out the necessary recommendations needed, sources used.

Background of the company- Tesco Plc

Tesco Plc is a United kingdom based company which includes established itself about a century ago and it is the holding the No. 1 position in the retail industry in UK, 3rd largest on the globe. It has different kinds of businesses under its belt enjoy it has joined into banking, telecom, fuel, technology support, club credit cards etc. But the complete operations of computer are primarily based on retail markets, has also opened different types of stores across UK like Tesco Exhibit, Tesco Superstores, Tesco Extra, Tesco Metro etc. It is an extremely popular brand around the world having opened up 2, 482 stores in United Kingdom, 2, 329 around the world. "The earnings of Tesco Plc has crossed 62. 54 billion as the operating income is just around 3. 41 billion. Tesco Plc occupies 30. 5% of the whole retail industry going out of its competitors-ASDA (16. 9%), Sainsbury's (16. 3%), Morrison's (12. 3%) considerably behind its reach" as reported by the Tesco in their Preliminary Results 2009/2010 Additional Information (2010). The corporate strategy which Tesco has opted is simply outstanding and appreciable. It implements vertical integration strategy through which it has inserted into its subsidiary businesses, not relying on the third party for trading. All the customers of Tesco are given an option of starting personal accounts with Tesco loan company which can make them debit the amount of money from their retail provider straight.

Now, this massive company has been leading the retail industry since years as well as for continuing with the same pace requires renovations, advancements, advancements in strategies, proper use of technology. Not think whether Tesco has implemented Management Systems by now? It offers definitely implemented MIS however the statement further evaluates on whether MIS is sensible in Tesco's success or not.

Information Systems

Information systems are those systems which "address the activities involved with gathering, processing, storing, distributing and use of information in operational, managerial and tactical levels within an firm". (Gold et al, 1995)

Fig1: organisational structure

(Source: created by the writer )

"Technology and organisations mutually change to one another until fit is satisfactory". (Liker et al, 1987)

The above pyramid shows us the several levels persisting in an organisation. Information systems are located in all these levels having Deal Control Systems at the operational (lower part) level, Knowledge Based Systems at the data level, Management Information Systems at the managerial level and Exec Information Systems at the strategic (top) level. Aside from these systems, there are tons many systems that happen to be released in the modern times like professionals systems, Data warehouses, Office Automation, Business Systems.

Management Information Systems

According to Philip Kotler "A marketing information system involves people, equipment, and types of procedures to gather, kind, analyze, evaluate, and disperse needed, timely, and appropriate information to marketing decision makers". (2006)

At management level, decision making is the primary functionality of the managers. Decisions can be produced by analysing the info on sales, revenue, customer's choice etc. All this information should be provided to the management in an company. Generally, this data is compiled on the activities at the functional, knowledge levels and are sent to the bigger levels. This process is computerized with the introduction of information systems. Now, as information systems are positioned in each level, it has become the responsibility of the systems to "gather, process" the data that is joined in to the systems at the functional, knowledge levels and the info is sent in to the systems at the management level. The responsibility of the systems at management level is to "analyse" the data that is obtained from the below levels and help the managers in decision making.

Fig2: Overview of Marketing Management Information Systems (Source: Functional Management Information Systems by Ashwin Dedhia)

The management information systems were created in such a way that they are only designed for analysing, handling, gathering data. They don't have any other functionality other than that is required for the organisation. These systems are well securitized as the complete data needs to be confidential at the levels. The analysing process occurs by considering the inputs of the data at functional level and changing the info obtained into graphs, pie graphs, Venn diagrams that actually stand for data in a simple and understandable format that allows the professionals to make quick decisions on the performance of the organisation. The MIS will also play an important role in analysing the decisions of the managers.

For Example: When a decision in used on the costs of a product, the info systems analyse the new price insurance policy with the previous records on the price tag on the product and provides a resultant on the profit/loss the business gains in a specific term period on adopting the new price. These decisions are later moved into into the system and are shown to the executives in the tactical level.

Thus, management information systems help you in doing critical activities, where a lot of time is saved to make decisions. These systems even became productive enough in applying the key decisions with a warranty to be successful. Because of this reason, virtually all the massive organisations on the planet are making use of these systems which finally resulted in counting on machines rather than mind.

Fig3: Performance Management

(Source: Extracted from http://businessmp. com/Documents/whitepapers/)

Application of Management Information Systems in Tesco Plc

Generally, Management information systems have to be set up where managers are involved, to help them out in their work. So, it's important for the business to keep in place all the management information systems atlanta divorce attorneys store across the world. This is an extremely big challenge which involves big money and technology. But, Tesco neglected the pain induced by the challenge and implemented the information systems efficiently. From underneath level to the top level, they have automated the entire organisation with information systems. This was a smart move from the management of Tesco to put information systems throughout the company which helps them finish work quickly.

Coming to the application of the MIS, there are few systems which were implemented just lately and are driving the company effectively. The "One-in-front" camera systems that happen to be implemented at the management level to reduce queuing time of the customers, and inform the managers if to open a supplementary checkout for billing. About a decade back, Tesco was facing criticism on the waiting around time of customers at the checkouts which consumed lots of time for billing the acquisitions and folks used to queue for constantly long time. Checkout personnel also spent a lot of time on recording the info on the queuing time of the clients. This is immediately determined by the management and had come up with a "One-in-front Camera" system. Matching to this system, a checkout lane will be exposed if a customer has more than one customer before him/her in the queue. More till based mostly systems are released to lessen the queuing problem. These systems work in the following way- above the checkout lanes, roof mounted infra-red solutions are used to detect the number and behaviour of customer groups at the checkouts. These camcorders use thermal imaging technology to guage the amount of customers coming to the checkouts, providing the managers to respond in real-time to ensure the right range of tills are exposed. These systems even assess the average queue period, average queue time and efficiency of the store against "One-in-front" systems. These systems do not record images of the customers even though they can be cameras, but are just used in intimating the movement of customers from time to time and alerting the managers for opening a new checkout. This can help the managers to invest less time on the checkout staffing and concentrate on customer's assistance. (As reported by Tesco in their Queue Management in TESCO stores record, 2009)

Apart from "One-in-front" management information systems, the professionals are also given few other information systems like the "Symbol MC50" which was introduced with a concept to increase the work efficiency of the managers and to decrease the time spent by the managers at their office. Tesco faced a predicament in which the managers of the store experienced no time to invest on the sales floor as they need to spend it on their table by analysing data, hooking up to the business IT applications, e-mails etc. So it planned to combine the work of the professionals by introducing cellular devices which is often used from any place. This resulted in the start of Image MC50 devices which incorporate Tesco's Venture business applications and also included support for e-mail, cellphone, scheduling/calendar. This device also combines into other applications like inventory management and has many capacities/features like data record, voice telephony, peer to peer, private bank exchange, smart battery, device level management, cellular, and security options. The unit are also built-in with barcode scanners which check out the products rapidly than expected. Therefore, the utilization of these systems provides store managers the freedom to invest additional time on the sales floor by even simultaneously concentrating on their day to day activities. This improved the success in each store where the systems are put in place and indulged professionals in improving customer's experience. (Tesco case study on Tesco store professionals reclaim 7-8 hours with Symbol MC50, 2006)

All these systems are executed at the management level, but there is a system which is under development for the executives at proper level. This technique was created to solve a predicament which Tesco is currently facing. It really is required to reduce carbon emission from all its stores for safeguarding the climate and environment. The managers of Tesco are given a deadline to bring in software to resolve the problem but have failed in deploying the software within time. There was no appropriate data on the amount of carbon emitted from each store because which it might take further period to be launched but these systems have created a pattern in organizations to implementing systems which eliminate waste products that effect the environment.

It is actually important that all the systems that people have seen till now at top levels are linked with the low levels of the organisation also. This was considered by the organisation long again and experienced centralized all the IT applications.

Critical Evaluation on the performance of Tesco

Tesco is something based mostly industry providing services to the people throughout the world in different sectors. It offers its service through its stores situated in several locations around the world, website. Entire business employs a hierarchical framework in which all the lower level people are handled by their above level people. This framework is implemented in every store of Tesco where the store professionals, area managers become the top level beneath them will be the shift professionals, beneath them will be the employees (staff customers).

The performance of Tesco has been constantly good through years but it has shown good results following the execution of MIS. They have achieved marketing by performing all the three functions which are essential. The systems had helped the business in bettering its performance in different means like the "one-in-front" surveillance cameras systems have reduced queuing time because of which the processing at the checkouts have grown to be more rapidly and gained customers satisfaction. This created a direct effect on the customer in choosing Tesco over other retail retailers.

Providing information across various departments

The execution of centralized IT applications like oracle financials software used for invoicing, peoplesoft HR software and Terradata Management Information Systems used for calculating budget targets helps in providing information on the position of the business in different locations by making use of a single network. The business aims to have a common technology in tandem with common business procedures to remain in the competitive market and to continue steadily to run as an organization but not independently facing the competition. By adapting to the process of deploying centralized purchasing systems and techniques in a country, it offers eliminated the chance and hazards on entering into foreign markets. Over a country wise basis, centralizing all the departments in the organisation helped the Tesco company in bettering its production and competing with the marketplace.

Facilitate decision making at the three tiers of management.

The icon MC50 devices have helped the professionals to step to the sales floor which ultimately allows him to manage the stock present in the store and also to make note of the sales of the merchandise. This will in that way enhance the performance of the store as the director is directly stepping in to investigate the actions in the store. Your choice making is facilitated at all the three levels in the company as the professionals use the systems like sign MC50 to contact the higher level management in the case if of your debacle. These devices are integrated to all or any the applications in the company that allows the managers to hook up to any of the departments in case there is any need.

Serve as effective opportinity for managing business processes

Integrated MIS has also achieved this functionality as the utilization of MIS has been successful in achieving performance in managing the business operations of Tesco. As the business enterprise market of Tesco is huge, it includes many procedures which it needs to carry on consistently. As a part of Tesco, Hindustan Service Centre is made in Banglore, India which is the primary hub of all management information systems. It also has a call centre facility in getting together with the customers across the world. This service centre is accountable for integrating all the techniques happening in all the stores across the world. Club credit cards are a service product of Tesco which are used by the customers during shopping. The MIS has helped the golf club card processing easier because which an incredible number of customers are employing the cards effectively. Among the main processes in Tesco's is taking care of the supply string. Tesco has released an integrated MIS for retail suppliers which helped the supplier to immediately deliver the stock to the stores without providing them through the warehouse. This increased stock control and productive handling of profits.

Unique Corporate Strategy

One of the other areas in which Tesco is not critically evaluated is regarding its mergers and acquisitions. It hasn't merged with some other biggest companies or obtained any bigger businesses while its growth throughout the world. It has expanded on its own in all the countries without support from the related country's retail industry. Wal mart (America's biggest merchant) has occupied ASDA (retail string in UK) to go into the United Kingdom retail market. But Tesco has no such online marketing strategy and has transferred forward as an organization. It has helped it achieve good reputation but required lots of time in settling down in a country as it didn't know about their markets. Though it took lots of time, ultimately it offers achieved income and stood in the third place in the globe. It could be in the first if it has amended its strategies over enlargement across the world.

Conclusion

Not all organisations achieve success for a long period. The expansion of the company gets saturated at a certain point of their time. This has took place with Tesco too. The company has been set up years ago and experienced faced the same saturation situation but from time to time it tried out to escape the problem by utilizing the latest systems and following the latest trends. This is why why it integrated management information systems as they are very helpful in undertaking the business operations. Ultimately, the organisation has achieved marketing by implementing these systems. They have reduced manual electric power, centralized all the systems in all the stores, reduced costs in shelling out for competent labour and incurred revenue. "Considerably from the idea of implementation of MIS, the income of Tesco has been lifted from 1043 million to 2954 million" as reported by the Tesco in their Annual Statement (2008). The success of Tesco should not only be credited to the personnel management but it will also be acknowledged to the management information systems which are used by the management.

Recommendations

Information systems are not 100% efficient. It is important to rectify the faults and accurate them at the earliest opportunity for a better progress of the company. The following are few recommendations that will be considered if needed-

Tesco issued golf club cards to its customers by which customers collect factors on acquisitions made. These things are redeemed as discounts. While they may be redeemed, the points are to be deducted but actually they are not getting deducted for many customers. This might help the customers but brings about a loss to the business. So the software that is used in deducing the collected points needs to be modified and improved.

Tesco needs to be quick and effective in implementing the carbon management software to lessen the emission of carbon from its stores. For this, it should enjoy a contract with top IT companies like Microsoft, IBM alternatively than counting on its Hindustan Service Centre.

Tesco does not use Enterprise Tool Planning model which actually is better and effective than typical models. As Tesco is broadening its services internationally, ERP would fetch profitability through integrated MIS.

The online marketing strategy of Tesco is poor in the overseas countries like India, Japan, Malaysia. Emphasizing on their cultural heritage in those countries will be a suitable way to improve marketing.

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