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APPLICATION OF MIS IN APPAREL INDUSTRY

Submitted ByMohit Pan a! DFT-III

Ab"t!a#t$ The paper presents an attempt for analysis of the theory in the sphere of the Management Information System (MIS). The information needs of the various managerial levels are pointed out and the stages in the development of MIS are defined. The growing importance of the application of MIS in tailoring industry is shown. %ey o!d"$ Information Technology (IT)& Management Information System (MIS), tailoring industry INTRODUCTION We are living in a time of great change and working in an Information ge. Managers have to assimilate masses of data, convert that data into information, form conclusions a!out that information and make decisions leading to the achievement of !usiness o!"ectives. #or an organisation, information is as important resource as money, machinery and manpower. It is essential for the survival of the enterprise. $efore the widespread use of computers, many organisations found difficulties in gathering, storing, organising and distri!uting large amounts of data and information. %evelopments in computer technology made possi!le for managers to select the information they re&uire, in the form !est suited for their needs and in time they want. This information must !e current and in many cases is needed !y many people at the same time. So it has to !e accurate, concise, timely, complete, well presented and stora!le. Most firms nowadays depend on IT. $ut personal computers ('(s) themselves will not improve organisational productivity) this only comes a!out if they are used efficiently and effectively. The information system is the mechanism to ensure that information is availa!le to the managers in the form they want it and when they need it. It is designed to support their work through providing relevant information for their decision*making. (omputer systems can clearly aid organisations in the processing of data into accurate, well presented, up*to*date and costeffective information. Weather that information is also concise, relevant, timely and complete will depend largely on the capa!ilities of the people involved in its processing and selection. De'inin( the te!m" Technology is a general term for the processes !y which human !eings fashion tools and machines to increase their control and understanding of the material environment. The term is derived from the +reek words tekhne, which refers to an art or craft, and logia, meaning an area of study, thus technology means, the study, or the science of crafting.

Information technology (IT) and computers can !e viewed as tools ena!ling the rapid capture, manipulation, storage and communication of information. They may help the managers to administrate and control, to make decisions !ut not to lead. IT is a term that covers the hardware and software used for storing, processing or communicating information. It is through IT that companies can define, gather, store, manipulate, and communicate data to smooth the flow of information. lthough the terms data and information tend to !e used interchangea!ly, there is a real distinction !etween the two concepts. %ata are row, unanaly-ed num!ers and facts a!out events. Information, in contrast, results when data are organised and analy-ed in some meaningful way. Strategy concerning computer technology application may !e viewed as IS strategy and IT strategy. IS strategy is concerned with ascertaining an organisation.s demand for applications and overall development of organisation systems, whereas IT strategy will concern itself with how those demands are actually satisfied ($arnatt, /001). In other words, company.s re&uirement will determine the means sought to fulfill their technological solution. The informational strategy will provide the foundation for the IT strategy. In a good company, IT strategy should !e linked to the !usiness strategy. The term management information system (MIS) made its first appearance in 2.S. navy report on the use of computers to construct a single integrated system to manage all navy resources. The MIS idea spread rapidly throughout the administrative systems community, encouraged !y a spate of su!se&uent reports and conferences sponsored !y the merican Management ssociation. MIS was an 3information3 system !ecause it informed managers, not !ecause it was full of information in technical sense, though the distinction soon !lurred as the idea of MIS spread. MIS is every system, which provides information for the managerial activities in an organisation. #or a!out a decade, from its introduction in /040 to the end of the /056s, this very !road definition of MIS spread rapidly and was endorsed !y industrial corporations, consultants, academic researchers, management writers, and computer manufacturers. The term 7management information system8 (MIS) is synonymous with computer*!ased systems. 2sed !roadly, it is seen as the system satisfying all the information needs of managers. MIS is the study of providing information to people who make choices a!out the disposition of valua!le resources in a timely, accurate, and complete manner at a minimum of cognitive and economic cost for ac&uisition, processing, storage, and retrieval. nother definition emphasi-es the use to which the information is put, rather than the way it is produced) 7 system to convert data from internal and e9ternal sources into information and communicate that information in an appropriate form, to managers at all levels in all functions to ena!le them to make timely and effective decisions for planning, directing and controlling the activities for which they are responsi!le.8($ee and $ee, /000) :thers, however, give it more limited scope. They see it as a system collecting and analy-ing data and producing reports. Its purpose is to help managers to solve structured pro!lems. $ut it should also fulfill a num!er of other purposes) ; <It should provide a !asis to analy-e warning signals that can originate !oth e9ternally

and internally, this is the main function of data !ase , ; <It should automate routine operations thus avoiding human work in the processing tasks, ; <It should assist management in making routine decisions, ; <It should provide the information necessary to make non*routine decisions, ; <It should serve as a strategic weapon to gain competitive advantages. MIS may !e viewed as a mean for transformation of data, which are used as information in decision*making processes. #igure / shows this understanding a!out information as data processed for a definite purpose. (=ucey, /00>) There are so many definitions of MIS. #or the purpose of this research, MIS can !e defined as a system providing management with accurate and timely information necessary to facilitate the decision*making process and ena!le the organisation.s planning, control, and operational functions to !e carried out effectively. So in this way MISs increase competitiveness of the firm !y reducing cost and improving processing speed. MIS is !y its very nature an eclectic discipline. It is the study of providing information to people who must make choices a!out the disposition of valua!le resources in a timely, accurate, and complete manner at a minimum of cognitive and economic cost for ac&uisition, processing, storage, and retrieval. The !eauty of MIS is that it ties together a whole set of operations that general managers already thought were important (such as reporting, financial controls, and production scheduling) and !ound them to the e9citing !ut disruptive technology of the computer, thus !lurring distinctions !etween the technical and the managerial. Di''e!in( in'o!mation 'o! di''e!ent mana(ement )e*e)" ?fficient MIS ena!les management to plan co*ordinate, organise and control. It provides information needed for strategic planning and for day to day operations. The various levels of management typically re&uire the information they receive to !e formatted in different ways. These different levels of management decision*making can !e descri!ed as follows) strategic, tactical and operational. So the information could !e) @ :perational information A largely internal, mainly historical, detailed information on a daily or weekly !asis, often &uantitative, high precision, narrow in scope. @ Tactical information A internal and e9ternal sources, with concern on the current and future performance, aggregated (summarised), information on products, sales, investment profits etc. @ Strategic information A largely e9ternal (information on economic conditions, technological developments, the actions of competitors), forward looking, &ualitative, information is important, precision is unimportant, wide ranging, incomplete. %ecisions are impossi!le without information and managers are constantly seeking more and !etter information to support their decision making, hence the growth of IS. It is a term that today is often taken to mean networks of computers, !ut strictly speaking should also include noncomputerised channels of communication such as regular meetings or even phones. :f course, neither the word 3information3 nor most of the things to which it was applied were new. s one might e9pect, information was originally the event that took place when a person was informed of something. In the early twentieth century, the term 3information3 was fre&uently associated with communication (especially in the pu!lic relations sense), with intelligence (in the military sense), and with the ac&uisition of knowledge. It continued to imply that a human recipient was !eing informed ("ust as the word 3education3 today implies that a person is !eing educated). The design of the MIS must take into account the information needs of the various managerial

levels, as well as the routine transaction*processing needs of the total organisation. #or e9ample, as shown in ta!le /, the information sources for operation control are found largely within the organisation, while the information sources for strategic planning tend to !e outside the organisation. ). Bowever, the value of information is offset !y the cognitive and economic costs of ac&uiring, processing, storing, and retrieving it. To survive, every organisation collect information, communicate it internally and process it so that managers can make decisions &uickly and effectively in pursuit of organi-ational o!"ectives in a changing, competitive environment. The IS is the nervous system witch allows an organisation to respond to opportunities and avoid threats. It is widely acknowledged that firms with the !est and most effective ISs are those that have clear and well thought out IS strategy. The speed at witch companies gear up to the new market conditions and maintain a responsi!le MIS will play a ma"or role in determining their success or failure in this changing environment. It can give a company sustaina!le competitive advantage !y improving production, sales and administration performance. The a!ility to use computers creatively to collect, organise, distri!ute, and control information is spelling the difference !etween success and mediocrity in industries ranging from !anking to women.s clothing. (omputers are changing the way the !usiness is done. lmost all !usiness organisations normally have some kind of information system for management. ccounting rules, stock control and market monitoring systems are the most traditional and common e9amples. The power of technology has transformed the role of information in !usiness firm. Cow information has !ecome recogni-ed as the life!lood of an organisation (#igure D). Without information, the modern company is dead. ('apows, /00E) %espite the enormous investment in IT during recent years, demonstrating the effects of such investment on organisational performance has proven e9tremely difficult. Bowever, it is possi!le, indeed likely, that in many instances IT has the potential to provide important !enefits within the same year the investment is made. In any event, research reflecting relationships !etween IT investment and organisational performance and productivity might !e more convincing if it were !ased on IT investment in !oth current and earlier periods. There are huge variations across organisations, some have spent vast sums on IT with little !enefit, while others have spent similar amounts with tremendous success.3 They hold that the greatest !enefits of IT appear to !e reali-ed !y organisations when IT investment is coupled with other complementary investments such as organisational reengineering, restructuring, and redesign. Sta(e" in the de*e)o+ment o' Mana(ement In'o!mation Sy"tem" :rganisations have always had some kind of management information systems, even if it was not recogni-ed as such. %evelopments in the use of the new technology have gone through several stages. Stage /) ?%' ) When computers were first introduced into organisations, they were used mainly to process data for a few !usiness functions A usually accounting and !illing. (omputers were located in electronic data processing (?%') departments, !ecause of the speciali-ed skills needed to operate the e9tensive and comple9 system. Stage D) MIS ) The growth of ?%' departments spurred managers to focus more on planning their organisations. information systems. s the ?%' departments. function e9panded !eyond

routine processing of masses of standardised data, they !egan to !e called management information system (MIS) departments. #igure F is a diagram of MIS (Groenke, /0E>). MIS uses data created mainly in the ?%' departments and it can !e developed only when there already e9ists such department. It does not make any changes in these data. MIS could o!tain information from internal and e9ternal sources. Stage F) %%S ) =ater on, when remote terminals were introduced, more than one department !egan to use the same system. t this stage the MIS has grown !eyond a data processing role and included the provision of a num!er of decision support systems (%SSs). While the MIS controls routine operations using data processing methods, the %SS is seen as supporting decisions on 7less routine issues8 and solving 7semistructured8 pro!lems. Stage 1) HTI#I(I = ICT?==I+?C(? and ?I'?HT SJST?MS. ) :ne of the fastest growing areas of information technology, artificial intelligence uses the computer to simulate some of the characteristics of human thought. The term artificial intelligence ( I) means the simulation of human thought process in order to select the !est mode of !ehavior, e. g. taking a decision or responding to a situation. ?9pert systems are a ma"or application of I. They act like a human 7e9pert8 in analy-ing unstructured situations. ?9pert systems are also called 7knowledge* !ased8 systems since they are !uilt on a framework of known facts and responses to situations. It is !elieved that we are moving rapidly from industrial*!ased society to an information !ased one. The application of computer technology to management information and decision support systems has certainly had an effect on how managers perform their tasks and on how organisations !ehave. Im+a#t o' o!(ani"ationa) 'a#to!" on in'o!mation "y"tem" Information systems are seen as a strategic resource within the organisation) that is, they have an important impact on key operations which determine the livelihood of the organi-ation. When the organisation is a small, simple set*up the need for sophisticated information can !e virtually non*e9istent. In a small firm with a manager, a small num!er of staff and customers, that manager will pro!a!ly know every aspect of the !usiness in detail and will pro!a!ly keep hisKher own records of useful information in hisKher informal information system. The situation !ecomes trickier if within this one !usiness there are two different types of activity. The manager might !egin to feel the need for some formal system for managing information in order to allow himKher to prioriti-e the use of time and concentrate on the important indicators of !usiness success. great num!er of small and middle enterprises (SM?) seemed to lag technologically from the !igger firms and might !e e9cluded from the e*markets (figure 1). This may have a negative influence on their future development. The managers of SM? pro!a!ly think that the !usiness processes in their firms are not such complicated and do not re&uire the use of IT (:fficial 'u!lication of the ?(, D666). It is o!vious that the need for management information increases with the comple9ity of the organisation, the comple9ity of the tasks carried out and the rate of change in the environment of the organisation. (ompanies where responsi!ilities are clearly defined and understood will find it much easier to set up effective information systems, as will those where the structure and culture are not in conflict. $y structure is meant the way in which an organisation is physically arranged in departments andKor locations. (ulture is a term for the set of traditional and ha!itual ways of thinking, feeling, reacting to opportunities and pro!lems that confront an organisation ($ee L$ee, /000). $oth structure and culture might influence the way information flows through the organisation. The #han(in( natu!e o' o!(ani"ation" and o!,

The development of the IT offers enormous opportunities to improve the way in which organisations work. Bowever, the introduction of a new technology does not lead automatically to improved performance. It might result in greater "o! insecurity and might cause fear from the process of adapting the workforce to the re&uirements and pressures of implementation of modern MIS. :n the other hand, MIS made it easier to store, process and access information than ever !efore. ?mployment might !e also affected through the changes in demand for more and !roader skills and for fewer unskilled people. More than ever, organisations seamed to !e dependent on highly skilled and motivated workforce. To !enefit from their investment in new IT and MIS, firms pro!a!ly need to address not only the technological environment within they operate, !ut also their relationships with suppliers, customers and other trading partners, systems of productions, the physical configuration of machines, and the development of la!or and skills. :rganisational change in MIS should therefore ideally consist of a set of closely*related developments in the structure of firms, in production and work processes, in la!or and in skill re&uirements, and in technological systems. (ommunication researchers have for many years e9plored how ver!al and nonver!al communication patterns affect a host of phenomena ranging from persuasion to productivity. s the glo!al economy and online communities collide, more and more organisations have come to depend on colla!orative technology to support distri!uted teamwork. #le9i!le working arrangements, such as part*time work, working at or from home, selfemployment and fle9i!le employment contracts might !ecome increasingly prominent in the shift towards the introduction of information society. The implementation of modern MIS might improve the firm.s competitiveness and make them fle9i!le, more responsi!le and more profita!le through decreasing the cost and creating possi!ilities for accessing new markets and customers. Com+ute!" and MIS in tai)o!in( indu"t!y (omputers have !een used in the clothing industry since the earliest introduction of IT. In those days only the very large tailoring companies had the resource to take up this technology. They used them mainly for !usiness data processing. %uring this decade, the te9tile industry has progressively taken up computerisation. The application of computers is wide ranging covering almost all activities necessary to run a te9tile !usiness) accounting and transaction processing, sales and marketing, production planning, computer*aided management, real*time management etc. :ver time the nature of computer systems in their implementation has taken several forms) standalone applications !ased on one computer, an integrated centrali-ed system where one large computer handles a range of applications, applications catered for !y having ones data processing distri!uted over a network of computers. lot of clothing companies continued to invest not only in very latest production technology, !ut also in design technology and computer systems. They use computers complete with Intranet so that a lot of people working on '(.s throughout the group could access and work with data on the main computer. MIS in clothing companies should include the control of the stock, processing of each individual order, accounting etc. Most of the tailoring enterprises have a we! site and in this way e*commerce is widening. ?commerce offers a uni&ue opportunity for economic growth, to

improve industry.s competitiveness and to stimulate investment in innovation and the creation of new "o!s. (ommercial communications are an essential part of most electronic commerce services. ?lectronic commerce is glo!al and re&uires increased international coordination. Its implementation opens not only new markets, !ut it also changes the way in which !usiness is made. ?*commerce over the World Wide We! is growing at an astronomical pace. Many of the top e*commerce sites report revenue growth e9ceeding /66 percent per year. ?lectronic commerce will allow the companies of tailoring industry to compete on the world.s scene, regardless their geographic situation. ?urope is late in developing and implementing of the modern IT (figure 4). small num!er of companies use all possi!ilities of IT. (:fficial pu!lications of the ?(, D666) The effect of the use of modern IT might have many fold) higher efficiency, increased productivity, optimi-ed processes, enhanced &uality control and thus improved products, !etter design, lower cost and shorter lead times. The development of the IT and the process of glo!ali-ation usually has direct influence on the la!or market and leads to the appearance of new fle9i!le tailoring companies. The implementation of modern MIS improves the production process in the enterprise and changes the relationship !etween managers and their su!ordinate. Con#)u"ion (omputers and MISs are one of the important organisational resources for the firms of clothing industry. The tailoring companies should spend a huge amount of money for !uying, development and maintenance of such systems. great num!er of enterprises could not operate properly and successfully without the implementation of MISs in the new changing environment. The modern IT will !ecome the main force determining the pattern of the D/*st century and giving great opportunities in all spheres of our life. MISs have great contri!ution to increased competitiveness and effectiveness of managers in decision*making process and solving of different pro!lems which appeared in managing an organisation.