Information Systems, Organization, and Strategy │ MIS │ Managing the Digital Firm │ Management Decision Problems

Information Systems, Organization, and Strategy

Management Decision Problems

1. Macy’s, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates approximately 800 department stores in the United States. Its retail stores sell a range of merchandise, including adult and children’s apparel, accessories, cosmetics, home furnishings, and housewares. Senior management has decided that Macy’s needs to tailor merchandise more to local tastes, that the colors, sizes, brands, and styles of clothing and other merchandise should be based on the sales patterns in each individual Macy’s store. For example, stores in Texas might stock clothing in larger sizes and brighter colors than those in New York, or the Macy’s on Chicago’s State Street might include a greater variety of makeup shades to attract trendier shoppers. How could information systems help Macy’s management implement this new strategy? What pieces of data should these systems collect to help management make merchandising decisions that support this strategy?

--> It's a fact that the management should concern the taste of maximally purchased products by the locals. So, they must concern about what products are mostly liked by the locals.

To make the highest sales, they must track the likes, dislikes, nature, taste, preference, etc. of a consumer. And then a company can allocate and store its products in a proper way.

Information Systems can help Macy’s management to implement a new strategy by following ways:

  • The management can collect statistical data from the market and analyze them using statistical/analytical software applications.

  • Moreover, the data collection can be done by an online network, a survey, whatever is available.

  • The company can itself collect data from many agencies that perform the tasks of survey and interpretation too.

  • The company may use Facebook, Instagram, and Google-like an online platforms to collect data or advertising its products.

If Macy's Inc. implements such MIS then the number of managers required for day-to-day operations will decline to a great trend and thus the manpower can be used in other sectors too.

Moreover, Macy can use MIS to optimize the workflow process between departments thus several managers and departments can be decreased or the human labor on calculation or analysis tasks can be replaced by automated computer software.

The pieces of data that these systems should collect to help management make merchandising decisions that support the above strategy are as follows:

  • The system should collect data about the current fashion in the market, the age group of people visiting the store.

  • The MIS should collect data about the frequency people visit the store, which day of the week, month, or season of the year the users visit the store, the purpose too.

  • It should collect information about what kind of items they purchase in which frequency, how much are the customers ready to pay for the launched products etc.

  • Further what payment systems the customers feel comfortable using in Macy's Inc. stores.

By getting this type of information the company will know what further systems should the company adapt and improve. This will further help make strategic plans for the long term.

Information Systems, Organization, and Strategy

2. Today’s US Airways is the result of a merger between US Airways and America West Airlines. Before the merger, US Airways dated back to 1939 and had very traditional business processes, a lumbering bureaucracy, and a rigid information systems function that had been outsourced to Electronic Data Systems. America West was formed in 1981 and had a younger workforce, a more freewheeling entrepreneurial culture, and managed its own information systems. The merger was designed to create synergies from US Airways’ experience and strong network on the east coast of the United States with America West’s low-cost structure, information systems, and routes in the western United States. What features of organizations should management have considered as it merged the two companies and their information systems? What decisions need to be made to make sure the strategy works?

--> On December 9th, 2013 the two airlines, US Airways, and American Airlines merged to form the American Airlines Group that turn out to be the major airline in the world.

The merger offered a prospect for both airlines to make use of the benefits of an extensive network that would affect after merging as countered to when each one operates separately.

The features of organizations that management should have considered as it merged the two companies and their information systems are as follows:

  • An organization should align its information technology with its business objectives.

  • Employees and managers in all the functional areas of both companies must be active players in the IT game.

  • Both companies should follow their common goals and develop strategies that would benefit both.

  • There must be a contract between them to work peacefully without any racism among workers of an individual company.

The decisions that are needed to be made to make sure that the strategy works are as follows:

  • Making changes in the information systems to adapt to the change in the corporate world.

  • There must be a clear division of labor.

  • Assign the proper hierarchy of authority and developing abstract rules and procedures.

  • They must collaborate with each other and discuss any work before implementing it.

  • They must have regular meetings among workers and managers and among managers and BOD.

Since merging with another company and handling all the group tasks is not easy at all. They must do their work with more energy and interest.

Hence, collaborating with other organizations can help to become a leader of a corporate world, if both companies can understand each other’s strategies and objectives more clearly.

-- 𓐴𓐴𓐴 --

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Extracted From:

Laudon, K. C., & Laudon, J. P. (2012). Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm (Twelfth). Pearson.

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