Managers need information to assist them in making important timely decisions and predictions for future plans. Management information system is a computer based business information system designed to produce information needed for the successful management of a department or business (Before MIS managers had to rely on manually prepared reports at intervals). However, with increased global competition firms must be more proactive in the market place. Information must therefore be at the manager’s disposal at any point in time when needed.
The manager of a retail store may require at any point in time information on sales volume for particular items so that decisions on future purchases can be made. A computer programme is then designed to meet the specifications of the report which the manager will need. The format and the content of each report required will be used to design the programme. The manager will then be able to receive the information required by requesting the specific report. The necessary data will be retrieved from the data base, processed and automatically presented in the format specified.
MIS is very cost effective as it reduces the need for labour to compile and analyze data. Once information enters a company’s database, MIS will compile and analyze the data to give managers meaningful information to make decisions. Data e.g. items sold or stock entering the stock room will be inputted by the various department staff. MIS will have required reports available in a much shorter time than manual preparation of reports.
MIS is a decision support system used to analyze business activities. MIS at anytime can provide information required for decision making. This can be used to assess present performance and therefore assist managers to improve the company’s performance so that the firm is more competitive.
Although very beneficial and is therefore desirable for businesses MIS is an expensive venture and small firms will be challenged to set up this system. In addition to the set up cost for MIS business will have to consider the continuous maintenance costs. The cost of training present employees to interact with the new system must also be factored in to the total cost.