Define Management Information Systems (MIS). What are the main features of an MIS?
Management Information Systems (MIS) is a system that aids management in making, carrying out and controlling decisions. To understand the concept of management information systems clearly, it is necessary to understand its three elements:
One of the definitions of management is that it is a process, in the sense of operations or functions necessary to achieve certain end results. Management is a human and social continuous process to the extent that the cycle of stages or steps is never ending and is repeated over and over again. It is generally conceptualized that management process consists of a few inter-related elements that are also termed as the functions of management. These are:
Planning is defined as the process of determination of organizational objective and the formulation of strategies, policies and programs for achieving them. Planning is future oriented and is concerned with charting out the desired future direction or organization activities.
Organizing is the process of designing the structure of organization activities, authority responsibility roles and relationships among the personnel organizing entails division and combination of activities and jobs of people.
Staffing is the process of determining the manpower requirements of the organization and of inducting the required manpower both managerial and non-managerial though such steps as recruitment, selection, training and so on. It involves the task of developing the human resources of the orgy ration on a sustained basis.
Directing is the process of activating the plans. structure and group efforts in a desired direction. It is concerned with implementation of the plans and programs by mobilizing individual and group efforts through leadership, motivation and communication, for achieving organizational goals.
Controlling is the process of regulating the on-going activities of the organization to ensure that they are in conformity with pre-determined plans and produce the planned results.
Information: Second most important element in any management information system is the information. It can be defined as the data that has been processed into a form that is meaningful to the recipient and is or real or perceived value in current of prospective decisions. In general the planning information requirements of executives can be categorized into three broad categories.
Government guidelines: Information about concessions, benefits, government guidelines in respect of tax concessions or for any other aspect which may be useful to an organization in the future period.
Factors of production: Information related with source, cost, location, availability, ease of access and output are the major factors of production. Technological environment: Anticipation of any technical and industrial changes in the industry and the possible effects of those changes on the organization.
Economic trends: It includes information relating to economic indicators like consumer income, employment, productivity, capital investment, etc. Such information is valuable for those firms especially whose output is a function of these important variables.
- Industry demand: The demand forecast of the industry in respect of the product manufactured and in the area in which the firm would be operating.
- Firm demand: Assessment of the firm’s product demand in the specified-Market. It also includes an assessment of the firm’s capability to meet firms’ demand.
- The competitive data: Data of competing firms for forecasting and making decision and plans to achieve the forecast.
Internal Information usually includes information concerning about:
- Sales forecast.
- Financial plan/ budget.
- Supply factors Policies.