The General Motors information system lacks one centralized hardware and software control system (Laudon & Laudon, 2005). The company invested in several computer frames used to in the information system for different departments. Different divisions have different hardware and software and hence lack instant communication between the various departments. For example, Chevrolet operates with independent information system from Cadillac. The computer frames used for each unit are performed by different personnel as they use different software. The staff members of the organization are not well trained on how to use the existing information system a factor that has led to reduced effectiveness of the high technology invested. The poorly trained staff reduces the competitive advantage that should have risen from the investment (Laudon & Laudon, 2005).
The information system has a weakness of integration between different divisions of various departments (Boler-Davis, 2016). The lack of integration makes inter-departments communication ineffective and affects the ease with which business is carried out. The inadequate information system integration affects the balancing of activities of different departments. For example, the supply unit does not have real time communication with the manufacturing department and sales department and hence there is a challenge in the meeting of customer needs instantly.
Steps to Eliminate Effects of Weaknesses on Competitive Advantage
General Motors inadequate investment in information technology that links all components of the business operation can lead to a competition disadvantage. Before the change of the system, the organization can look for ways of ensuring that they gain competitive advantage with the same system in place. Several steps can be taken and eliminate the effect of the competitive disadvantage created by the existence of the information system weaknesses. First, the management should ensure the establishment of a strong bond between the employees by installing excellent internal communication system. The information technology staff members should update the system immediately a communication is done. Though the work may be manual, instant communication between departments would enhance decision making, and efforts could be made towards fulfilling of customer needs (Babu, Singh, & Sachdeva, 2016). Satisfied customers could create increased level competitive advantage. Since communication is not centralized, it is easy for departments to identify all issued concerning them. An instant solution should be provided in each department to ensure that customer needs are met. The departments should work together to ensure that they improve instant communication between departments and take advantage of the high technology in the manufacturing department to gain competitive advantage. Staff should have a proper training of the existing information system to create a competitive advantage that should come from the high technology investment in manufacturing.
Steps to Enhance Information System
The organization needs to come up with centralized structure and processes for the information system. In the effecting of a centralized information system, they should purchase a new up to date hardware and software. Information system staff members should be hired who can execute the duties of the whole organization. Also, instead of hiring, the company can decide to train the existing information technology staff on how to use integrated system effectively. New software and hardware should allow integration of information system for the divisions to ensure that real-time communication and coordination of activities. The company should also invest in an information system that links the activities of the business operations so that there is an effective internal and external communication between the stakeholders. An automated link would enhance the performance of the company since the high technology already installed would work more efficiently and create competitive advantage.
Babu, R., Singh, P., & Sachdeva, R. (2016). Establishing a Management Information System (1st ed.). New Delhi. Retrieved from <http://www.fao.org/docrep/w5830e/w5830e0k.htm>
Boler-Davis, A. (2016). How GM Uses Social Media to Improve Cars and Customer Service.
Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from <https://hbr.org/2016/02/how-gm-uses-social-media-to-improve-cars-and-customer-service>
Laudon, K. & Laudon, J. (2005). Management Information Systems (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.
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