Canteen Management Information System Development

Introduction

Management information systems have 3 important elements which include: people, technology and information that help in the efficient management of organizations. These systems are normally used for analysis of organizational operation activities such as human decision making process.

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It can be also be known as, knowledge management approach, whose definition is “the conscious integration of the people, processes, and technology involved in designing, capturing, and implementing the intellectual infrastructure of an organization (Petrides, 2004, p. 3).”

Earlier on before computers were adopted in businesses and integrated into the organization management structure, internal reporting was done periodically and manually produced. The resultant was a mass of documents that delayed information synthesis and hence limited management performance. Decision making was thus slow. With evolution in technology and hence development of computer technology, information was defined separately from data and therefore the systems associated with each. This thus led to production of organized summaries and relationships based on the collected data.

Management information system is continually evolving due to rapid changes in technology and the impacts they have in the successes of the business. “New businesses and industries appear, old ones decline, and successful firms are those who learn how to use the new technologies (Laudon, 2010, p. 6).” Example of technological development platform include; the mobile digital platform, the online software as a service and the growth in cloud computing.

Organizations using this system can experience such benefits as: easy identification of the organization strength and weakness from revenue reports, employee performance reports and etc.; availability of customer’s information that can be used to the organization advantage, example for marketing purposes; easy prediction of the market trends and behaviors through analysis of data collected from marketing and sales reports; and thus help them improve on those processes and operations.

Management information system can therefore be used in a canteen to focus attention on the three specific areas; people, technology and information or processes, to dig out and address any organizational shortcomings.

Entity relationship diagram

Entity relationship diagram
(Embley, 2006, p. 441- 442, p. 475 – 480 & Hay, 2006, p. 34 – 35)

Roles and responsibilities

Report requestor

Is the person in charge of developing requisition reports. He fills out the request form, and any requests from external sources are channeled through the requestor.

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Management

“Managers play key roles in organization. Their responsibilities range from making decisions, to writing reports, to attending meetings, to arranging birthday parties (Laudon, 2010, p. 458).” Most importantly managers serve the following roles:

Act as the figureheads representing their organization to the world. They perform such duties as giving employees awards, motivate and counsel them, and support the subordinate staff. They also function as a link to the various organizational levels.

Managers also act as the nerve center of the organization receiving the most important and up-to-date information. They then disseminate this information to persons in need.

They also make decisions. They handle disputes and make good of problems arising. They allocate resources to various departments and staff as per their needs. They also determine the organization’s interest and ensure that any key decision made, is in line with those interests.

Therefore, from the above canteen management system, managers are responsible for making decision on the kind of products to be bought, according to the specifications presented to them by the report requestor. Should the report be rejected, it will be taken back to the requestor to revise it, or otherwise, it is approved.

Suppliers

Are responsible for supplying the requested products. The supplier checks the specified specifications against what is available in stock. If found matching, he or she will acknowledge to supply the products. Incase none is found, he or she will notify the management for further decision making.

Canteen attendant

The canteen attendant is in charge of running the canteen. He sells and receives products. He ensures that the received products are as per the specifications approved by the management. Should the specifications differ, he will reject the products which will then be returned to the supplier for cross-checking. He also updates the system regularly to ensure it reflects the most current information on the products.

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Procedure of activities

Initiation of report request: this can be done by the canteen attendant, the sales person or the financing department. A request form is used, which should contain the following information:

  • Name of the organization: this is important since it will distinguish between different organizations.
  • Name of the report: example, request for purchase of products.
  • Date of request.
  • Description of the report: gives brief information why the report is important.
  • Products requested: shows the list of products to be requested.
  • Products specifications
  • Name and signature of the requestor.

This form comes first before any transaction is done.

Approval of the request

The request is then checked for any irregularities by the sales person or the financing department. Every item specified is scrutinized. If the form is satisfactory, it will then be approved. Should it be found wanting, the requestor will be requested to revise the form.

Decision making

This is the function of managers. They will analyze the request put forward keenly in terms of the available resources, look for any conflicts and mediate between them. Their decision is final and binding. Once an agreement has been reached that the request is good and serves the organization’s interest, the requested products would then be ordered from the suppliers. Should they refuse to accept the request, it will be given back to the requestor for revision.

Contacting suppliers

Once the request has been approved, the appropriate suppliers are then identified and requested to supply the specified products. At this stage, suppliers compare what they have against the received specifications. Once confirmed that their stock match the demand, they will then agree to supply the products or otherwise decline the offer.

Receiving the supplied products

This is handled by the canteen attendant, who checks the supplies against the request form and ensures that every product is as specified, or otherwise he or she rejects them.

Generating report on the supplies

This is also handled by the canteen attendant. He or she prepares a report containing information on status of goods both supplied and not supplied. The report is then handed over to the management as a feedback to the request form.

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Tools and software technology to use

The canteen management information system will require tools such as powerful computer systems i.e. desktops and laptops with the following specifications:

  • RAM – more than 2GB
  • 80GB hard disk space or more
  • Processor – core 2 duo and above
  • Operating system – windows XP and above

Extra accounting software is also needed to perform accounting tasks. They include; the Adempiere, BlueErp, Compiere and any other that have incorporated the ERP, CRM and POS systems. Analysis software will also be an important asset to managers to help them generate and analyze reports to be used for decision making. They include; Product information Management (PIM) and Business Performance Management (BPM) systems among others.

References

Embley, David W., Antoni Olive., & Sudha Ram (eds). (2006). Conceptual Modeling – ER 2006: 25th International Conference on Conceptual Modeling Tucson, AZ, USA, November 6-9, 2006 Proceedings. Verlag Berlin Heidelberg: Spring

Hay, David C. (2006). Data Model Patterns: A Metadata Map. San Francisco: Elsevier Inc.

Laudon, Kenneth C., & Jane P. Laudon. (2010). Management Information System: Managing the Digital Firm (12th ed). New Jersey: Pearson Education.

Petrides, Lisa A. (September 28, 2004). Knowledge Management, Information Systems, and Organizations. 2004 ( 20), 3

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