Information Management System (IMS) is specialized software designed to help various managers in facilitating storage, organization as well as retrieval of information in the organization. Generally, Information Management Systems assist the managers of the organizations in ensuring and enhancing smooth as well as sufficient management of the organization by effectively storing, organizing, and retrieving relevant information. Additionally, the data collected by the various systems of the organization gets structured effectively to easily allow the managers to do the evaluation process based on the current performance in comparison with the previous output (Bayraktar et al., 2009). Usually, some of the commonly used types of IMS include the Process Control System (PCS), Human Resource Management System (HRMS), Sales and Marketing Systems (SMS), Inventory Control Systems (ICS), Accounting and Finance Systems (AFS), Office Automation Systems (OAS), as well as the Management Reporting Systems (MRS).
Common Parts of the Information Management System
Typically, for an organization to ensure the effective delivery of relevant information required for decision making, IMS should have essential components for collecting, processing, storing, and retrieving the data whenever needed. Hence, to achieve this particular plan, the following are the critical components of the IMS:
Information System (IS): Information System is the grouping of software, hardware, operating personnel as well as the infrastructure. This particular system assists in data collection that is finally get stored in the IMS for future use.
Database Management Systems (DMS): This particular component of the IMS is significant consists of the computer program, which assists in the storage as well as the retrieval of information in the Information Management Systems.
Intelligence Systems: This given system is primarily entitled to processing of information collected as well as presenting the data in a way that facilitates easy comprehension. This system helps the managers to make competent and sufficient decision concerning organizational performance (Gunasekaran, & Ngai, 2014). Lastly, the Research System is an IMS component responsible for determining various problems affecting the management within the organization as well as adopting alternative decisions that can help in solving a given challenge in the organization.
IMS and Its Competitive Advantage Aspects
Through the Information Management System (IMS), the organization is able to gain its competitive advantage over its rivals since it helps the entity in realizing the cost reduction, increasing barriers to entry in the market, adopting high switching costs, creation of new products and services (Verwijmeren, et al., 2016), ensuring differentiation of various products, innovation of products, use of modern technology and formation of alliances with other companies. Concerning the competitive advantages of either suppliers or buyers in any given business or industry venture, it may get achieved when one enterprise has more productivity than others in the same industry. These strategies help a given entity to attain a competitive advantage over its rivals due to its operational efficiency, flexibility, and internal or external coordination of the enterprise.
How IMS Coordinate between the Supply Chain Partners
Generally, the Information System of Supply Chain Management increasingly plays an essential function in ensuring that the organization achieves its plans in cost reduction, as well as the efficiency enhancement of its supply chain. The information system of the supply chain management helps in coordinating the information amongst the various stakeholders of the supply chain management, such as the buyers, suppliers, distributors, the government, and the intermediaries within the supply chain. For instance, various supply chain management information systems such as the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Material Requirements Planning (MRP) and many more others help in ensuring cooperative information sharing, as well as enhancing coordinated planning, the operations and administration of the company's performance through the primary stakeholders of the supply chain.
How IMS helps in Monitoring Order and Inventory Levels
Typically, the information management systems have appropriate hardware, software pieces of equipment that assist various retailers in achieving their success in the dynamic business environment. They play significant roles in planning, inventory management, and control, budget management, achieving sales targets as well as logistics management. Through the Inventory Management Software System (Gunasekaran, & Ngai, 2014), the IMS helps in tracking and recording the levels of the inventory, orders, sales as well as deliveries of the products. Additionally, the software also helps in creating the work order, bills of the material, as well as other documents of production in the manufacturing industry. Various companies apply this particular software system in their daily operations of the supply chain to prevent the overstocking of inventories and orders. The Inventory Management System is major equipment for ensuring the organization of inventory and order data in the supply chain management by tracking inventories' serial number and barcode. Supply chain management achieves customer satisfaction in the supply chain process with the help of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) as well as a wireless tracking technology.
Importance of IMS to the Organization
Overall, there are several benefits that the company enjoys when it applies to IMS. They include the following: All the organization's stakeholders have practical accessibility of one particular single database that stores all the data needed for daily operations. This benefit will enhance transparency in the organization. Secondly, IMS helps in achieving the cost reductions in its day-to-day operations, and timely data processing, which in turn improves productivity. Thirdly, it helps the managers in attaining the best decision through the proper data processing, which refines the data. Lastly, IMS reduces the amount of paperwork within the organization since all the information is stored in the computer system for easy retrieval and minimizes loss of data.
In general, the information management system is a critical aspect for any organization since it helps in enhancing the efficiency of various activities in the organization like the data collection, processing, storage and retrieval, and decision-making process which in turn increases the productivity of the organization and its supply chain processes.
Bayraktar, E., Demirbag, M., Koh, S. L., Tatoglu, E., & Zaim, H. (2009). A causal analysis of the impact of information systems and supply chain management practices on operational performance: evidence from manufacturing SMEs in Turkey. International Journal of Production Economics, 122(1), 133-149.
Gunasekaran, A., & Ngai, E. W. (2014). Information systems in supply chain integration and management. European journal of operational research, 159(2), 269-295.
Verwijmeren, M., van der Vlist, P., & van Donselaar, K. (2016). Networked inventory management information systems: materializing supply chain management. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 26(6), 16-31.
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