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Management Information Technologies

Essay by   •  December 30, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  3,049 Words (13 Pages)  •  1,681 Views

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We had a great opportunity to meet with a network manager from a local business that is located right here in Defiance, Ohio. He has been employed by Defiance Metal Products for fifteen years and has seen many positive changes. He mostly is in control over Defiance Metal Products information systems and was generous enough to lend us his time for an informational interview. This interview covered his job position, the kind of work he conducts under this position, and data about DMP's information system.

The main headquarters of Defiance Metal Products is located at 21 Seneca Street Defiance, Ohio 43512. In order to contact Defiance Metal Products you can call 419-784-5332. The chief executives are Dennis Weaver who is the chief operating officer, and Sam Strausbaugh who is the chief financial officer. Both Mr. Weaver and Mr. Strausbaugh now are co-owners of the business. DMP is a steel and aluminum manufacturing company. Defiance Metal Products is a manufacturing company that fabricates metal parts and assemblies such as brackets, cases, chassis, enclosures, framing, housings, panels, and racks. The company produces these parts using CNC laser cutting, robotic welding, and heavy stamping. The annual revenues are approximately $181.7 million. There are about 1100 employees that work at Defiance Metal Products. There are 822 employees in Ohio, 242 in Arkansas, and 36 in Pennsylvania. The main customers of DMP are class eight heavy trucking consumers. There are literally hundreds of customers. The electrical industry, John Deer, MAC Trucks, and AM General to name a few.

IS technology has affected the daily events of DMP. Everything has become dependent

on the IS. The tracking of an order is done with computer software, ordering of products; even how the product is made has been effected by IS. CNC, Plasma, and laser cutting machines, which cut the products are computerized for greater quality.

Cliff Mast is the network manager at DMP. He makes sure all servers and applications on the network are running smoothly. He is also responsible for Defiance Metal Products local and area wide networks. He is involved in systems design aimed at the end users. He handles all internal use for customers. Cliff isn't active in the external consulting for outside users.

The information system is based in Defiance at the Seneca Street location. There is a T1 connection to the Defiance north side location. This connection is made so either plant can use the paging system at both locations simultaneously. The Seneca Street location is also connected to Pennsylvania and Arkansas by virtual private network. The Pennsylvania location is far more dependent on Seneca Street because they connect directly to Seneca's servers in order to run their network. Pennsylvania has their own servers at that plant and they are all intra connected.

It was guessed that annually 2.5 -3% of the revenue is spent on information systems. There are eight IS employees. The Arkansas location is planning on hiring another IS employee. There are about 350 PC users. This number does not account for the people on the floor that use computer programs. There is one IS staff member to every 43.75 PC users. The average wait time for IT assistance depends on the nature of the issue at hand and the priority of the problem. If it is vital to the person's job performance, that time moves up. Also it will depend on what else the IS staff is currently fixing; bad timing could make for a longer wait period.

About 15% of the employees actively use the internet. The people who use the internet are all tracked. This is so the network administrator can be sure they are not abusing the rights to use the internet. Engineers can use the internet to receive customer request, they can also do research on the internet, and the employees can do purchasing online. Also all of the users that have access to internet have email access. There are no dial up services used, and currently there is no video conferencing that takes place.

DMP has a home page www.defiancemetal.com. The web page needs updated, it was created about six years ago. The company also has a web page for the company www.D_flight.com. This company makes pooper scoopers for dog shows. Customer satisfaction is measured by surveys that are sent out to the customer. The performance is measured in the quality department. There are different programs to measure employee performance. One program is called SPARC.

They conduct cost benefit analysis only if the item to be purchased is over two thousand dollars. If the item is less than that, and is questionable if the product will help job performance, DMP requires the employee to do their own cost benefit analysis. Usually the employee decides they do not need the product based on not wanting to do the cost benefit analysis.

The most commonly used data source for Defiance Metal Products is an application known as fabritrack. Fabritrack is a data application that is used by the company to keep track of parts produced, parts scrapped, and orders that have and haven't been fulfilled. Every employee has an account number or identification number that grants them access into the fabritrack system. Employees can log into fabritrack and scan the work order that they are working in, as well as the sequence they are on. This will allow the application to keep track of who is on what job, how long they were working on a specific work order, and what their efficiency was. Source codes are also another primary data source used to collect valuable data. The source codes are displayed on the work order and allow the system to register the work order and sequence. This will allow the end user to see what has been completed. It also assists in locating inventory of unfinished and finished goods. The code source is usually completed via a scanner or entered manually.

There is a back up plan in place for the IS system. It is a daily tape backup. The daily backup only covers the items that are new for the day. There is also a complete backup that is done weekly. This tape is taken off site just incase of a disaster at the Seneca street location. DMP has never tested this plan to date. They have restored files, but never the whole system.

The selection process for the software used depends on the application. If it is something small then the item is just purchased with out much thought. However, some items are so rigorously selected that it requires a task force that is composed of many departments to get the different opinions of the employees.

The request for different IS materials can be acquired in a few ways. There is an online form for the employees to fill out. The employee can also call or email the IS people

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