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Recommendation of a Management Information System to a Company

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Matrix Institute of Information Technology is a private limited company established in the first quarter of 2006. Its main business is providing higher educational services in Information and Communicational Technology sector. At the inception of the company there were four employees but now it has more than 30 employees working in two branches in Colombo & Matara.

Structure of the organization

Matrix Institute has a comparatively flat organization structure.

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Product portfolio
• BIT (Bachelor of information technology)
• BCS (British Computer Society)
• ACS (Australian computer society)
• SCJP (Sun Certified Java Programmer)
• FIT (foundation of Information Technology)
• GIT A/L

Target market segments

• School Children
• School leavers ( after A/L, O/L)
• University Students
• Working professionals

Competitors

• IDM – Market Leader
• ESoft – Market Challenger

Current processes:

As the core activity of Matrix is providing higher educational services, the main process is conducting lectures. Even though the lectures play the top most roles in the organization the marketing team, the front office and student counsellors play a vital role to get new students enrolled in the organization. Currently all other processes of the organization, are carried out effectively and efficiently, but it was found that process of inquiry handling, has some issues due to the inefficiency of process.

All the customer inquiries are first handled by the receptionist and those are further followed by the student counsellors. After handling an inquiry receptionist takes down the contact and other details of the prospect manually, and those details are given to the student counsellors to follow them up. Student counsellors are responsible to keep manual records of their work clearly. Their performance is measured by the number of inquiries handled and registered students.

Also these records are been used by the marketing team in order to measure the effectiveness of their marketing activities and to anticipate and plan their future marketing activities.

Specifications the required information system:

Since Matrix is at a growing stage the amount of student inquires they receive per day is being increased gradually. They don’t maintain a proper Data management system in order to support the decision making at the bottom level, middle level as well as the top level. All the Customer inquiries are being taken down manually. There by it consumes certain amount of time and since matrix has only three student counsellors and the amount of inquires are at a higher level most of the vital information tend to be missing and the inefficiency level of inquiry management increases day by day. When student counsellors follow up the customer inquires they sometimes speak to the same customer leading to customer dissatisfaction.

No individual would want an educational institute calling them over & over to promote their products. Since Matrix is planning on expanding the business they have focused on marketing aspects lately. They have hired couple of marketing executives in order to handle promotions, advertising and other marketing activities and they have allocated a considerable amount of money on them. Since the marketing activities incur higher cost matrix has the requirement of measuring and the evaluation of the effectiveness of marketing activates. Therefore they need a proper information system in order to measure the effectiveness and to evaluate the efforts of student counsellors.

Ex- Matrix is been advertising on radio about their products and total response of this advertising campaign is been measured by the number of inquires that are been received. Therefore without a proper data management system it is difficult to measure the effectiveness of such campaigns and it will make an adverse affect when making marketing decisions. Each month a considerable amount of money is being spent on E-mail campaigns and by having a proper data management system Matrix will not have to pay for E-mail data bases since they have their own data base. Presently there is no proper way in order to evaluate the effectiveness of student counsellors when handling inquires. There should be a proper system in order to measure; out of total inquires how many of the students are being registered for courses.

Therefore human resource executive can evaluate the each counsellor’s effectiveness using the EIS and take corrective actions if the performance is not up to the level. For top management it is required to have proper information in order to support their decisions. Basically to capture the big picture and to analyze the efficiency levels and effectiveness of various marketing strategies and overall business plan. At the moment Matrix doesn’t have a proper management information system in order to handle student inquires and other activities. Top management cannot make decisions such as:

✓ What are the most effective marketing campaigns and the total response and next time how are we going to plan the campaign?

✓ How effectively the total student inquires are being handled changes that should be made(whether to increase staff or providing them with training)

✓ Market segments that matrix has to focus on (Executives, School levers, College students etc.)

✓ When to carry out the advertising campaigns (depending on the time periods that the highest number of inquires occurred in the past year).

✓ How should recourses to be allocated (depending on the effectiveness of previous campaigns)

With proper information system in order to manage the student inquires Matrix can increase the efficiency level of overall operations as well as the effectiveness of the decisions made by the top management and the middle management. In order to fine tune the total operations and to achieve competitive advantage, installation of a proper management information system is a must. In the context of changing external environment Matrix should align their internal processes in order to grow and thrive in the higher education industry.

Characteristics of the Decision Support System (DSS) and Executive Information System (EIS) necessary for Matrix Institute:

Decision Support System
• Decision Support system mostly contains model bases, database and vital resources that help to make decisions in different operational levels of the institute.

• Software components that consist of models used in computational and analytical routines that mathematically express relationship among variables to much more complex relationships. This is especially useful for the top management of different departments such as HR, Finance and Marketing.

• Will help to combine model components to create integrated models that support specific types of decisions.

• Use of analytical models such as what if analysis, sensitive analysis, goal-seeking analysis and optimization analysis

• Use for data mining which is another way of helping to make decisions quickly and accurately.

Executive Support System
• System is design for the executive to make top level management decision that directly influence to the low level operations.

• Include exception reporting and trend analysis to give more accurate information for the need of internal and external parties.

• Enabling use/growth of internet and intranet technologies to support Executive Decision Making.

• System is unable to make decision for any range or any rank people.(People in under pressure that needed to have quick decision)

• Easy to build a system in any working environment and could continue it without any misalignment.

Considerations Taken In Selecting Decision Support System and Executive Supporting System: • Summarizing all details

Matrix is a higher education institute with a very large database of its own. Each year the database increases as employees, to promote their business. Initially the organization had its employees manually take down all relevant details in different locations. Due to this, there were higher number of data duplication and data loss. Using a DSS or EIS we can have one database flexible for all employees minimizing or eliminating the duplication.

• Minimizing customer care problems

Once we have a summarized but detailed database, employees of the organization can go forth promoting business without mistakenly contacting the same customer more than once. Since individuals would not like organizations repeatedly promoting the same product, use of this software will minimize customer relations problem.

• Getting the best return from the campaign

Use of DSS and EIS will promote analyzing the database. Through this, an organization such as matrix can easily identify key factors effecting the organization. Which campaign works best, what type of campaign should be avoided, what are the target markets and which sectors we should focus more on; could be easily recognized.

• Making future decisions of the organization

Since DSS and EIS focuses on analyzing all data, organizations will have diagrams and graphs of their database. Using these, decision makers of the organization can easily identify what needs to be done for the future. They can understand which variables need to be changed in order to achieve desired outcome.

Matrix could have a great opportunity of expanding in near future. It means to have a technology that would enable them to promote the business. The above discussed are some of the reasons why we believe that a decision support system and executive support system in needed within matrix. For sample screen refer Appendix.

The typical users (intended users) of the system:

To succeed, companies need information systems that can support the diverse information and decision-making needs of their managers and business professionals. The type of information required by decision makers is directly related to the level of management and the amount of structure in the decision situations. As the organization we chose is a new but a fast growing player in the industry the decision support system it needs will help the operational staff as well as the top management. It will be dual purpose software used for client relationship management and knowledge management. When a customer calls or walks in to the office to get information about a particular course, while waiting to talk to a student counsellor, the receptionist can get them to fill a form to gather information to feed into the database. Example: NameAgeAddressAcademic qualifications

OccupationCoarse interested inEmail Language medium of study preferred TelephoneHow did you hear about us?

Student Counsellors: when a potential student calls over more than once, student counsellors can retrieve the information they have collected previously regarding the customer. This makes customer feel important and it eases student advisor’s work. As soon as the customer’s name is typed in the system, it will give out all past meetings he/ she has had with the institute. Marketing department: when the institute is to introduce a new course, the marketer can filter the potential students who will find this course interesting. The marketer can easily update the customer regarding the course through en e flyer or a phone call. The marketer can also pick which advertising media is most effective for the various courses available through the data gathered through “How did you hear about us?” Accounts department: the accountant can forecast the expected number of students for the coming year by analyzing the number of inquiries and the number of registrations.

They can also have an understanding as to which advertising media is not effective and which area sucks up finance without generating any benefits. Top management: the top management can use the system to study the current trends in the market to make decisions on which courses have more and less demand. They can use the demand trends to decide on which courses should be introduced to difference markets and which should be removed. If will also help them understand which language of study is preferred for different courses.

The potential user communities of the system:
HR department: as the system gradually develops and additions are made, more users can take advantage of its information and decision support process. The HR department may also be able to track market trends and with the support of the top management they can forecast the category of lecturers they will need in the near future. They can also get an idea of the expansion rate of the institute to forecast the need of administration staff. Current students: limited access can be given to current students of the institute to contact each other, have online discussion sessions with and fellow students and upload questions and answers, etc. Students can also be enabled find out what payments the/ she has already made and the due dates for remaining payments. Examination results, time tables and details of the courses due to start soon can also be fed into the system for students to check.

Appendix:

Sample screen of the information system-

References:

http://www.brothersoft.com/downloads/decision-support-sytem.html

http://www.vanguardsw.com/solutions/application/decision-support/

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