Every person who wants to start a business has difficulties managing the business.
Despite having knowledge in the area of administration and financial management, it is difficult to apply theory in practice and day-to-day situations exceed the knowledge one has.
So, what to do to have more efficiency and effectiveness in the management of your company? It is best to understand what an information system is.
This system has information as a fundamental element and, therefore, its purpose is to manage, store and provide data and information that can support the processes and functions carried out in the company, in addition to also subsidizing decision-making.
To understand more, keep reading.
What is an information system?
The first thing we have to think about in this regard is that an information system is not restricted to hardware or software.
This is a fairly common concept and one that scares some people, but one that needs to be demystified, as these systems are much broader in scope.
Actually, the objective of information systems is to understand and analyze how the impact of the adoption of information technologies occurs in the managerial and administrative decision processes of companies.
For this reason, as we have already stated, its main element is information, since this is what will guide decision-making. But where does this information come from?
Basically, from the interaction that occurs between procedures, people and technologies, which work together with the information systems to achieve the goals defined by the company.
In this sense, we need to emphasize that the system is divided into subsystems.
One of them is social (including people, information, processes and documents) and the other is automated (made up of machines, communication networks and computers).
This shows that people are really essential for this tool.
What are the characteristics of this system?
The information system can work with various elements. Among them are software, hardware, databases, specialist systems, management support systems, among others.
In other words, all computerized processes are included, which can make the correct information available and make the company function properly.
However, there are some inherent characteristics of this system that must be taken into consideration. See what they are.
The system must generate relevant and necessary information for the company, which must be generated on time and be reliable.
Thus, this information has a cost close to that estimated by the organization and meets the management and operation requirements of the company.
It is necessary to have an integration between the information system and the structure of the company.
In this way, it is easier to coordinate departments, sectors, divisions and other types of organizational units.
In addition, this integration process facilitates and speeds up decision making.
This characteristic is quite differentiated, because, at the same time that there is a flow of data processing, which occurs internally and externally, there is also an independent flow of information systems.
It is integrated into existing subsystems and therefore acts faster and with less cost.
It is not mandatory, but the information systems may contain internal control tools, whose purpose is to ensure that the information generated is reliable and to act in a way to protect the controlled data.
They serve to guarantee that the company’s objectives will be achieved objectively, efficiently and directly.
What are the types of information systems?
As there are different types of information and they are categorized in level, there are also different types of systems.
Each one of them has specificities and particularities, aimed at supplying a certain type of information.
These various types of systems work in an integrated manner, serving diversified business interests. They act at the strategic, operational, knowledge and tactical levels.
To simplify, there are 4 main information systems. They are quite well known and used in organizations all over the world. See what they are.
Enterprise Resource Planning systems (or Company Resource Planning) are software that integrate different company processes and data, bringing them together in one place.
In this way, data from all departments of the organization are integrated and stored.
The data provided by ERP software helps to bring more agility to processes and allows compliance with production on demand, also called just in time.
The objective is to reduce stocks until they are eliminated, avoiding storage costs.
An example of ERP software operation is at the time of the sale of a merchandise.
While the sale is made, the production and purchasing departments are automatically alerted.
Thus, it is possible to verify if there are all the products or if it will be necessary to acquire something. In addition, it is possible to identify the need to replenish stocks.
Customer Relationship Management (or Customer Relationship Management) software automates all the functions related to contact with customers, allowing organizations to collect and store contact data, customer preferences, their purchase history, among others.
Thus, the company can contact customers for specific strategies, with the main objective of meeting the needs of consumers in advance.
The Supply Chain Management (or Supply Chain Administration) systems already integrate the different processes related to the providers of services, products and information.
The purpose is to create value for the consumer, satisfying him when he acquires a product or service.
Thus, this type of software integrates the data related to manufacturers, suppliers and points of sale, guaranteeing that the products are delivered in the necessary quantities and within the correct period, avoiding the lack of merchandise or excess stock.
Thus, a good level of service is achieved while costs are reduced.
It is important to highlight that this software is made up of the supply and component management systems, the supply chain, the product structure, the tracking of origin and use, and the control of the supply chain.
In this way, it is possible to do from the forecast of sales, inventory and classification of products to reduce the cost of handling and creating parts.
Management Information Systems are aimed at supporting decision making and act at the strategic, operational and tactical levels.
The information can be reported through graphs, spreadsheets or the usual reports.
In the case of reports, they can be categorized into 4 types, as you will see now.
They are one of the most traditional forms for displaying information. As the name itself states, they are programmed, that is, they are generated according to a schedule.
Some examples of scheduled reports are daily and weekly sales and monthly financial statements, for example.
They are generated in exceptional situations in order to obtain specific information.
For example, a report focused on the list of debts receivable or one that presents customers who exceed the credit limit offered.
Reports and responses by request
They present the information according to the request of the entrepreneur. For this reason, they do not report specific data, but rather an overview so that the manager can quickly analyze the data and find immediate solutions.
Reports in stacks
The information is placed in stacks in the network area of the manager or entrepreneur. Thus, he can access the report whenever he wants or needs.
How does the information system help the operation of the company?
As we have seen, information systems have different levels and functionalities. Therefore, it is evident that these softwares help the company to function more adequately.
Through the adoption of these systems, the manager manages to gather a series of important information, which can impact both customer service and internal processes.
In addition, obtaining this data allows the manager or entrepreneur to analyze the data and interpret it.
In this way, the information can be used for strategic decision-making, controlling information and data and ensuring that the company is operating with maximum efficiency.
With this, the result is a gain in competitiveness, since the entrepreneur manages to identify failures and opportunities, attending to unsatisfied demands and specific market niches and differentiating himself from the competition.
Considering everything that was seen in this publication, we can understand that information systems, regardless of their type or characteristics, are essential for any company, from the smallest to the largest corporations.
In the case of small and medium-sized companies, it serves as a guide for decision-making. For large companies, it helps to organize data, gather information and organize decision-making, which becomes more strategic.
Now that you know what the information system is, how about knowing a little more about the world of management? Download our ebook on Tools and Applications to achieve effectiveness in content production.