Management information systems (MIS) provide data to inform company decision making, reduce waste and increase profits. MIS in company management provides a broad picture of company performance, acts as a planning tool, emphasizes strengths and weaknesses, helps improve performance and illuminates levels of organizational efficiency. All levels of management, departments and even customers can use the information generated through various MIS data to inform decisions like buying, hiring, reorganizing, pricing, marketing and budgeting.
MIS application in business falls into several different categories that provide information on all forms of functioning within an organization. Executives and departments within an organization could obtain any of the following forms of data:
- Business Intelligence System: In BI, all levels of management and executives can print data and graphs showing information or trends relating to growth, costs, strategic control, efficiency, risk and performance.
- Executive Information System: An EI system provides the same information as a BI system, but with greater attention to detail and more confidential information, designed to help top-level executives make choices that impact the entire organization.
- Marketing Information System: MI systems provide data about past marketing campaigns so that marketing executives can determine what works, what does not work and what they need to change in order to achieve the desired results.
- Transaction Processing System: TPS handles sales transactions and makes it possible for customers to sort search results by size, color or price. This system can also track trends related to sales and search results.
- Customer Relationship Management System: Keeping up with customers is key to overall success, and CRMS helps companies know when and how to follow up with customers in order to encourage an ongoing sales relationship with them.
- Sales Force Automation System: Gone are the days when sales teams must do everything manually. SFA systems automate much of what must be done for orders and to obtain customer information.
- Human Resource Management System: HRM systems track how much employees are paid, when and how they are performing. Companies can use this information to help improve performance or the bottom line.
- Knowledge Management System: Customers with questions want answers right away and knowledge management systems allow them to access frequently asked questions or troubleshoot on their own timetable.
- Financial Accounting System: Financial accounting systems help to track accounts receivable and accounts payable, in order to best manage the cash flow of a company.
- Supply Chain Management System: SCM systems record and manage the supply of finances, goods and data from the point of origin domestically or abroad, all the way to its destination in the hands of a customer.
Whether you recognize it or not, you have probably used an MIS application in your day-to-day life as a customer. When you sort and filter your search on your favorite clothing site, you are actually using MIS. Nearly everyone in an organization uses MIS business applications, whether it is the salesperson using an order screen, the hiring manager choosing a new employee or the CIO making major reorganizational shifts to keep a company in the black. MIS in company operations makes business as we know it faster, more accurate and more profitable.
The better a company's MIS business applications, the easier it is to make key decisions. In order to improve MIS in company decision making, examine what is working or not in your organization. If your MIS reports show increasing sales, but you are still in the red, try adjusting your supply chain management system. If human resources show low productivity, yet increased profit, consider removing parameters from the human resource management system. When in doubt, MIS consultants can audit your current systems to help you get the results you are hoping for.