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Sample Term Paper on: Management Information Systems

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Sample Term Paper on: Management Information Systems

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[Supervisor's Name]

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[Date]

Management Information Systems

The Concerns of E-Commerce

In Internet time the attention span of customer is just 8 seconds. After that a shopper typically moves on. What's more is that the Forrester research reports that 42% of the people leave a site unsatisfied will never return (Forrester, 1999). The cost of business in uncompleted orders is simply staggering- early estimates put the monthly retailing losses at $58 million.

The new research indicates that the figure has grown since then. Zona research estimates that slow web response could result in losses as high as $102 million per month for the consumer market alone. This is serious concern for the thousands of online retailing companies and it will soon be a concern for many more.

E-Commerce and Data Warehousing

Integrated Information

An obligation for victorious trade intellect Business brains is about the management a business by means of and examining a company's most priceless skill, its data. Using business intelligence tools, data can be accessed and examined to provide the decision-maker with important knowledge about the company's processes and financial performance as well as customers and suppliers. This knowledge can then form the foundation for mutually calculated and strategic decision-making in the company. IDC believes that in the future, global enterprises will increasingly use business intelligence to leverage their market position and achieve leadership. However, business decisions will only be as good as the information they are based on. In order for a company to have an efficient and successful business intelligence and reporting system in place, having a unified perspective of the company's data is imperative. Without an overview of the entire business, the ability to make sound judgments is lost. Without a global view of a customer it is not possible to provide the optimal service. Without corporate consolidated spend, negotiations with suppliers are weaker. The bottom-line is that without integrated company-wide information, business decisions are uninformed decisions.

Reasons for the Information Integration Challenge

Providing a united view of the company's information assets to underpin business intelligence is what information integration is all about. IDC has identified a core set of requirements that information should comply with to form an appropriate basis for Business decisions. These are:

Correct : Invalid data must not be permitted.

Complete : All the information relevant to the decision should be available.

Current : The information should be sufficiently up to date for the purpose, and increasingly this means real-time currency.

Consistent : Where information is drawn from different sources, each source should represent the same version of the truth.

While this might seem obvious, the scope of the challenge is considerable. The world of today is characterized by constant change, and getting data that is correct, complete, current and consistent is becoming increasingly difficult. This business reality requires companies to embrace diversity and make the assumption that they and other companies are constantly evolving. It is this reality of continuous change that places the extreme demands of information integration on global organizations today.

Large companies with subsidiaries in many different locations usually operate as a group of local units. Information is stored and managed in databases and packaged applications such as ERP systems that have been bought from multiple vendors or custom-built to meet the specific information management needs of the local subsidiary. These information systems will evolve independently of one another to reflect changes and developments in the local organizations. Trying to get a unified point of view of all systems is the most important confrontation. The result is likely to be inconsistent reporting because of differing terminology or definitions used in the different subsidiaries. Consider the definition of a customer - in one office a company might qualify as a customer as soon as the first contact with the company has been made, but in another office that same company might not be a customer before a contract has been signed. Another issue is that a single customer will have multiple records in a company's information systems - one for each of the subsidiaries and one for each of the ways the company's name is written.

There is probably no such thing as a bad e-commerce customer. But which ones are the best, the most likely to take an e-tailer into the promised land of perpetual profits?

E-commerce and CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

According to analysts, the perfect customer is an ever-moving target. Once, e-tailers thrived by catering to young male customers who bought every new technological gadget and computer accessory as soon as it hit the market.

Times are changing. The perfect customer now is just as likely to be an older female with almost no interest in DVDs, scanners or digital cameras.

But finding and holding on to top customers is still a challenge because, by nature, Web shoppers seem to be less loyal and more willing to spread their spending among various sites. In other words, the perfect consumer is as hard to find and retain, as he or she is to define.

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Bargains Talk

E-commerce benefits from bargain shoppers; they really drove buying in 2001. The main reason a lot of consumers turn to the Web is that they perceive it as a place where they can compare prices easily and find bargains. By definition, that means less loyalty.

Because price is such a concern for the new breed of online shoppers, they are far less likely to be loyal to any given e-tailer. And while customer acquisition costs have declined considerably from the high-flying days when e-tailers spent lavishly to attract eyeballs, such costs are still a major concern for companies that are more focused than ever on the bottom line.

E-tailers have

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