In our time like many organizations manufacturing industry is basically depended of their information systems. Industries which engage in producing and processing items using machines, tools and labors are referred as manufacturing industries. The overall procedure of industry can be divided into three phases namely design, procurement and produce.
Information systems plays a major role to coordinate activities within manufacturing industry, between manufacturing industry along the production chain and between manufacturing industry and outside organizations such as financial organizations. Hence information systems can connect manufacturing industry, their customers, suppliers and service providers. In order to operate better in rapidly changing and competitive market information systems should be integrated.
When considering the procedures of manufacturing industry they should be coordinated at many levels. Engineers should design products according to a standard in which the industry can sell and manufacture the product at competitive price. Marketing department should sell the products that are manufactured in the firm. The production staff builds reliable products using tools and skills. Material staff should make sure that the enough materials are on hand to ensure smooth production. Information systems coordinate these groups increase competitive advantages and workflow.
The framework for information systems in manufacturing industry is shown below.
This framework is applied to many levels of the manufacturing industry. The environment refers external factors such as the level of competition, technical innovation, labor market tightness and continuity of investment which can be affected on managers and technical staff in the selection of the technology. The organization is the manufacturing industry, including the variables of organization size, inter-unit conflict, scope and diversity etc. The technology includes the people, equipment, techniques and management practices that consists variables between organization and its environment. The outcomes are consequences from use of technology, including product delivery times, production delays, innovation frequency, the degree of managerial control over product design and production etc.
Information systems in manufacturing industry
Transactional Processing System (TPS)
These systems are used to collect, store, modifies and retrieves data transactions of manufacturing industry. The success of industry depends on the reliable processing of transactions to ensure that customer orders are met on time, and that partners and suppliers are paid and can make payment.
Executive Support System
These systems help senior managers to make strategic decision by providing analyzed and summarized internal and external information of the industry. ESS typically involves lots of data analysis and modeling tools such as “what-if” analysis to help strategic decision-making.
Material Resource Planning (MRP)
This is an integrated information system used by businesses. Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP II) evolved from early Materials Requirement Planning (MRP) systems by including the integration of additional data, such as employee and financial needs. The system is designed to centralize, integrate and process information for effective decision making in scheduling, design engineering, inventory management and cost control in manufacturing.
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Enterprise Resource Planning System
ERP system refers a particular set of technologies which seep into the whole industry and outline the way business works at many levels. ERP are setting up majority of manufacturing operations. These systems consist of functions such as accounting, customer order fulfillment, manufacturing, materials management, human resources and financial systems and offer close integration among these functions. By using ERP systems industry can increase quality and efficiency, decrease costs, get decision support and get enterprise agility.
The successfulness of manufacturing industry is depended on produce quality products than competitors by combining organizational skills and technological ability. Manufacturing strategy should be implemented to achieve competitive advantages. Manufacturing strategy consists of a pattern of decision relating to the structure and the infrastructure of the industry.
Product scope, process technology, manufacturing alliance and production competence are related with the decision of structure. Product scope refers to the types and range of products such as end product complexity, variety of end products and individual products volume. Process technology consists of equipments and methods which are used for manufacturing. Manufacturing alliances refers to kind of services, materials and systems provide through internal operations. Production competence refers to the strength of the manufacturer which is based on the product scope, process technology and manufacturing alliance.
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Management polices and systems which determine how the structure is managed are referred by infrastructure. Manufacturing administration, process and skills specify infrastructure. Manufacturing administration including organization’s roles, structure and reporting relationships including human resource polices, quality management system, production planning and inventory control systems, new product development process, organization structure and design etc. process refers to the articulation of workflows and related information flows to carry out the manufacturing activities. Information flows coordinate conversion steps, material flows and provide feedback to improve industry procedures, process technology and operating characteristics. Skills refer to the industry’s and individual’s capability to execute the key operations to support a manufacturing strategy. Industry’s operation can be improved by coordinating manufacturing administration, process and skills.
Information System Strategy
Equivalent to manufacturing strategy, information system strategy can also be conceptualized in terms of structure and infrastructure. Structural decision consist of three dimensions namely system competencies, technology scope and information system alliance. System competencies are often emphasized by an industry in designing and operating its information technology by adding values to products and services. The main components are costs of information processing, flexibility to provide different kind of information and capability to provide specified information. The types and range of information systems and capabilities available in the industry such as expert systems, robots, and local area networks are known as technology scope. The choices of structural mechanisms available to industry to gain the required information technology capabilities are referred as information technology alliance.
On the other hand similar to infrastructure of manufacturing strategy, information systems strategy includes information technology architecture which includes computing, communication, data and applications. Process includes system development process, maintenance process, and system monitoring and control process. Skills deal with knowledge and capabilities which require to effectively managing the information systems strategic infrastructure of the industry.
To achieve maximum benefits from information systems, manufacturing strategy should be aligned with Information system strategy. The strategic alignment model can be used to align these strategies. This model is based on strategic integration and functional integration. There are four domains including business strategy, organization infrastructure and process, information technology strategy and information system infrastructure and process.
Manufacturing Information system’s strategic role
When considering manufacturing strategy alone, it can play at least four major roles in the industry’ competitive strategy including minimize manufacturing negative strategy, achieve parity with competitors, provide credible support to the business strategy and follow a manufacturing-based business strategy.
Corresponded with these roles, there are also four roles to influence information technology for better manufacturing performance namely technology defense, technology implementation, strategy implementation and strategy sustenance. Technology defense involves information technology application to the manufacturing industry infrastructure. The purpose of implementing information technology is to reduce or avoid negative elements in industry process and managerial procedures. Information technology is relied upon to provide detailed measurements and ensure that manufacturing is does not get too off track. Technology implementation reflects the usage of information technology strategy structure to influence key dimensions of manufacturing strategy structure.
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