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Course Title: Management Information Systems
Background of the Enterprise
Mediterranean Shipping Company was started in 1970 in Brussels as a tramp operator with only one second-hand ship carrying containers, the Patricia. The following year Rafaela, a much bigger and more modern vessel was added, eventually inaugurating a link Italy-East Africa that has remained a part of the MSC service ever since.
Similarly the next years MSC continue the growth with more ships and at the end of 1978, MSC moved from Brussels to Geneva and became a Swiss company.
The worldwide network of MC services were added slowly and quietly, but judiciously; with strategically placed hubs. Most of the worldwide success-story of MSC can be traced at this junction because Mr. Aponte the founder of the company was quicker than most to appreciate the benefits of containerization and hubbing.
Mediterranean Shipping Company Greece S.A. was founded in 1994 with main shareholders the liner shipping MSC Geneva S.A. and the shipping agent Dimitri Theodorikas.
Within a short period of time MSC Greece S.A. attained a leading position in the liner shipping sector in Greece as a result of the gradual connection of Greek ports with the world network of MSC and the continuous upgrade of services of MSC Greece to its customers.
In 1997 on the initiative of Dimitris Theodorikas MSC Geneva signed a contract with the Piraeus Port Authority deciding to use the port of Piraeus as its main hub port in the Mediterranean area. This vanguard action opened the door for the globalization of Greek ports. Very soon Piraeus climbed in the world's top 50 list of container ports with multiple benefits for a wide spectrum of local port related services providers
The weekly connection of the basic Hellenic ports (PIRAEUS, THESSALONIKI, HERAKLION, VOLOS) with the globalnetwork of MSC, the continuous upgrade of the fleet of MSC through the incorporation of modern units, and the high quality services provided by our 200 specialized executives, guarantees the high level of qualitative transport services that Hellenic Import and Export enterprises seek to receive .
Security has always been a priority concern of IT professionals, especially the Information Officers of Mediterranean Shipping Company who hold ultimate responsibility for their company's computer and internet security. In the years since the internet first came on the scene, the security scenario has undergone rapid changes and developments as threat and counter-threats have been developed and deployed. Recent surveys tend to confirm this perception. While IT security threats continue, the form and nature of these threats may not be what most people expect - or even suspect.
© SANS Institute 2003, as part of the Information Security Reading Room6
2. Global MIS/Risks
Global Information Management is a new class of enterprise solution that provides the essential business strategy and tools for enabling a corporation to manage the escalating requirements for local language delivery. Many companies have invested in content management and web management solutions to manage the content creation, approval and publishing processes. Whilst these systems can manage and deliver localized content once it has been created they do not have the capability needed to manage the localization process. Global Information Management solutions augment a company's existing solutions to provide the capability needed to manage the process of taking approved content and localizing it appropriately fora global audience. Effective GIM can dramatically reduce processing time whilst reducing localization costs.
3. Ethics/Social Issues
In business today there are many instances of corporations that act from an ethical standard, including the company that I work for. Ethics and Social Responsibility are very important for modern businesses to possess to function productively and profitably. In a world that has been rocked my multiple corporate scandals and environmental disasters, it is essential that companies put forth the effort to regain and maintain the trust of their customers and the public in general hopefully the efforts of organizations.
Lucas, H. C.; Jr. Implementation: The Key to Successful Information Systems. New York: Columbia University Press, 1981 .
4. Project Failures
A project is usually a one-time effort composed of many interrelated activities, costing a substantial amount of money, and lasting for weeks or years. The management of a project is complicated by the following characteristics.
- Most projects are unique undertakings, and participants have little prior experience in the area.
- Uncertainty exists due to the generally long completion times.
- There can be significant participation of outsiders, which is difficult to control.
- Extensive interaction may occur among participants.
- The many interrelated activities make changes in planning and scheduling difficult.
- Projects often carry high risk but also high profit potential.
5. New Technology
Given the right locale and purpose these shipping containers of MSC can provide a viable option for housing people and businesses and the strategy of implementing these shipping containers should not be limited to the finite size of the container itself.
The process of threat identification begins with an understanding of the financial institution's environment, including its business strategy, information systems, policies and procedures, human stakeholders (management, employees, customers), and physical resources (facilities, equipment) of the MSC company.
Each of these factors will impact potential threat sources, their motivation, method, and consequences. An understanding of threats can best be achieved by grouping them into categories. Three intuitive categories include human, non-human, and mixed threats.
Some examples include the following:
- Human - People-based threats can include individuals from inside and outside the shipping company.
Hackers - These individuals are characterized by their strong interest in computer technology and desire to learn more by playing with systems and testing their capabilities. Often this involves testing systems they do not own.
Crackers - This group is distinguished from hackers by their more malicious intentions. While claiming a strong interest in technology, their goals tend to be criminal in nature (e.g., theft, destruction, or denial of service to data or systems).
In the other part Mediterranean Shipping Company are turning into global concerns. Information technology is an important tool in making this transformation and in designing the international organization. As tariffs fall, you can expect to see firms rapidly moving operations to different parts of the world to take advantage of special competencies and disparities in wage rates. Even a one-person company can have worldwide sales through the Internet. The General Manager of MSC Greece said that information technology is the glue that can hold an international organization together and help coordinate its operations. All of our IT design variables that focus on communications, such as electronic links, technological matrixing, electronic customer/supplier relationships, and virtual components, are available to help manage and coordinate the global firm. Also MSC managers are exposed to new, complex risks more and more frequently and they often can only understand their financial implications when it's already too late to react. Additionally, regulatory changes and regional legislations are forcing MSC to rethink their approach to risk management.
Equally important for the MSC as a worldwide transportation company of goods are the ethical issues as safety and security that concerns the overloading of the vessel, the theft of the goods, the maritime accidents and all the terrorist activities that happening now days. More can be included the air and water pollution of the ships, the excessive consumption of fuels and several times the oil slicks of the shipping industry.
MSC Secretary-General, who exchanged Memoranda of Understanding with all companies, said he would like to see the GIA serving as a model for more such alliances, "all embracing the goals of corporate social responsibility and addressing the many safety, security and environmental protection issues that characterize today's shipping industry". MSC headquarters aware that the overall purposes of the United Nations are to maintain international peace and security, to develop friendly relations among nations, to co-operate in solving international economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems and in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in attaining these ends.
As a reminder, here's the list of The Top 10 Reasons Projects Fail:
- Inadequately trained and/or inexperienced project shipping managers
- Failure to set and manage expectations
- Poor leadership at any and all levels
- Failure to adequately identify, document and track requirements
- Poor plans and planning processes
- Poor effort estimation
- Cultural and ethical misalignment
- Misalignment between the project team and the business or other organization it serves
- Inadequate or misused methods
- Inadequate communication, including progress trackingand reporting
Parsons, G. "Infonnation Technology: A New Competitive Weapon," Sloan Management Review. (Fall 1983), pp. 55-85.
Garud, R.; and H,. C. Lucas, Jr., "Virtual Organizations: What You See May Not Be What You Get." New York: Stem School, NYU working paper, 1997.
Differently Options to considerate as a Manager
In Shipping industry a different option to considerate is selecting proper partners in the current time is a big concern for corporate with other shipping companies. In the container shipping management on the issue of carrier selection, we have to be able to look for information that we might not have been looking for so much in the past. In these circumstances one of the considerations for shippers like managers is to try and anticipate what is going to happen and be sure we select the proper partners. We of course take more interest in the financial situation of the company for whatever information we can obtain to avoid exposure. Financial viability especially has become such a big concern that when shippers and carriers meet to negotiate freight rates and other transportation terms, shipping line representatives themselves volunteer to highlight their financial strength and ability to sustain through the trying times. When we meet with carriers on a face to face basis without asking them first, their opening is to describe what makes them able to survive the crisis as opposed to their competitors. We hear arguments that their activities are much diversified and that containers are only part of it. So after hearing all of this it's up to us within a strategic management to make a judgment on it and to see what is more likely to happen. It's not always easy to do but that's what we have to do at this point in time. Shippers fretting over the financial strength of carriers and its collateral impact on their own business may however draw consolation from the recent move by many national governments to bail out companies on the verge of bankruptcy. Recent financial bailouts of shipping companies can be attributed to their corporate or government linkages and affiliations. For example, the Korean shipping industry has benefited from its government's bailout package. Likewise state-backed carriers in China like COSCO and CSCL and Singapore like the APL have received automatic financial assistance. In Hong Kong, OOCL reportedly gained US$2 billion by selling off some of its terminal operations just before the crisis began. A great move was when Piraeus Port Authority and MSC Greece renewed a contract for the movement of containers through the country's biggest port. The contract was signed by the Piraeus Port Authority's general director, Hairless Psaraftis, and MSC Greece's chairman, Dimitris Theodorikas. Under the terms of the deal, MSC Greece wills double its annual minimum transit container movement through Piraeus from 100,000 to 200,000 per year. The new five-year contract offers an option for renegotiation of prices, which are charged in euro, after the first two years. The deal with one of the world's largest shipping companies shows the confidence in the quality of services offered by the port of Piraeus, and is expected to boost the port's growth plans in a time of increasing competition among ports in the Mediterranean seas.
Good performance in ships management translates into high standards in health, safety, quality, and operational efficiency. Extraordinary performance is about outperforming ourselves, by a wide margin and in every respect, and maximizing the benefits for all our company in a fair and balanced way. It means being recognized by our best customers and our principals as a preferred service provider and strategic partner. Extraordinary performance also implies covering longer distances with less energy: increasing the quality while decreasing the cost. Overcoming the ordinary requires innovation and breakthroughs, as well as cohesiveness to the principles in developing the ways that we have to work. Mediterranean shipping company's responsibilities towards society must to incorporate a wide range of commitments: protection for the environment, rewarding workplace and opportunities to their people (both shore-based and seafarers), ethical way of business conduct, and respect for the communities in which we deliver our services.
- (http://www.mscgreece.com/index.html )
- © SANS Institute 2003, as part of the Information Security Reading Room6
- Lucas, H. C.; Jr. Implementation: The Key to Successful Information Systems. New York: Columbia University Press, 1981 (http://www.gantthead.com/article.cfm?ID=187449)
- Parsons, G. "Infonnation Technology: A New Competitive Weapon," Sloan Management Review. (Fall 1983), pp. 3-14.
- Garud, R.; and H,. C. Lucas, Jr., "Virtual Organizations: What You See May Not Be What You Get." New York: Stem School, NYU working paper, 1997.