0506200 - Principles of MIS Assignment and Solution

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0506200 - Principles of MIS Assignment Help

Students are to from a group of 3 -5 students and has to work collaboratively on one the following two options

A. Case study
Students will write a case that illustrate the use of Information systems in an organization. The three main elements of a case that should be covered are:

Reality: choose an organization that actually uses information systems that you want to highlight where you have a decision maker, a set of problem they faced and how they arrive to the solution. You will also look at the real data and the way it has been used to make a decisions.

Originality: Concept or a context that make the case original worth to be highlighted

Theory: what theory is being used to build the decision making process

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Principles of MIS


In this competitive world, every company wants to gain the competitive advantage and for this, different strategies are been used by the companies. Information systems are the need of today which are making the companies gain profits. Information systems are designed to collected information and distribute information for capturing the task, technology, structure and people("Information system", 2017). The information systems helps organizations in collecting and designing data and catering the needs of customers and clients in a well-organized way. This case study is focusing the usage of Information System in Apple Company which was founded in on April 1st, 1976 in California, U.S. Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. It is an American multinational company that develops, designs software, electronic goods and sells them worldwide. Apple is a renowned company and has many satisfied clients, customers, stake and shareholders, the reason is that the usage of information systems in delivering the best quality of its customers. The rest is briefed in the case study below:

Case Study:

In the case the author is focusing on the company Apple, which is the leader in the technology today due to a lot of hard work and adoption of right strategies. It has gained a better and deserving place in the market by producing flawless products and capturing designing. It has gained the customer attraction in spite of the fact that its products are costlier than the same products of different companies. Apple is famous for producing products that are not only good in their quality but also the best in its technology and entrainment as well as professional uses. Its product ranges from laptops, mobiles, computers, I pod. This case study of Apple Company is focusing on the usage of information system which the company uses for satisfying its customers:
1. iCloud: this information system is provided by the company to its customers for backing up their data and it also helps the customers to relocate their devices if it is stolen or even misplaced
2. Apple support community: this information system given by the Apple Company to its customers helps making a community as through this they can ask any questions related to the working of the Apple Products to other users of same product(Nellore, 2010).
3. Tumblr: this information system helps customers in advertising the color of their Apple Mobile Phones.
4. Database of supplier Information: this information system helps in creating a database of the suppliers, through which the customers can register themselves in the IS and can contact o the best suppliers if needed("Apple Information Systems", 2019).
The Information System: As the main objective of Apple has been that it wants to build itself as an innovative creator in the market and for this it has built a strong information system that build a network of customers, suppliers, production house with the retail stores. It believes in the process of visualization and hence it visualized all is systems to its users. The intranet of the company allows all its customers to have an access to the information they require from their computer systems only. Its extranet helps the company to directly deal with the developing engineers and suppliers and get to know about their applications. It is creating a value chain by adding its suppliers and customers. This is a well-managed information system that the company is using.
The Real Problem: Apple produces and sells its products at higher prices with superior quality and has gained a lead name in the information technology world. It has been focusing on the strategies of porter's generic i.e.:

1. Focus Strategy
2. Cost Leadership
3. Differentiation Strategy

1. Focus Strategy: The company wants to earn the benefits from the Porter's Generic Model but it turn out to be a failure as for talking about gaining the focus strategy it was unable to gather its customers and the suppliers in the starting. The company wants to have a market and gain competitive advantage but was not able to focus on collecting its customers with the suppliers and retail houses. It wanted to collect the two main frames because it could lead the company gain profits in future. It could create a different market if the customers could connect with the suppliers and can visualize the real strategies used by the company for its customer's benefits. The company also wanted to produce low cost computers so that every customer can have an easy access to the Apple Computers and the computers also meet their requirements.

The Real Time Solution: As the company focused on the strategy and hence was able to find a real time solution for this problem also. The solution was founded with the help of the database which was created by the company; the information system of the company is so strong that it made this possible. With the help of the information system, the company was able to dig out the real requirements of its potential customers and with the help of its suppliers it was able to give an access of the Apple computers in a low cost to all who wanted to have an Apple Desktop on their Tables. The information system helped the company collect and design the database and produce low cost computers.

2. Cost Leadership: As the company wants to earn the competitive advantage, so it focused on earning the cost leadership but this was not an easy task for the company. Cost leadership means to produce, products at cost lower than the companies producing the same product. As apple gives the best of the quality, so it was difficult from the part of the company to produce products lower than the same products of other companies. Cost leadership is a strategy to help company winning the competitive advantage over their companies operating in the market, as Apple is a multinational company and so it is operating worldwide. The products of the company whether it is a gadget or mobiles or computer, laptops are well-known among its users and even non-users for the best quality and features("Definition of Cost Leadership | What is Cost Leadership ? Cost Leadership Meaning - The Economic Times", 2019).

The Real Time Solution: When this became a big problem for the company, then it collected its financial data, data of suppliers and customer's data from its database of the information system and the decision was taken by the management to cut the cost of the production. Now the question was that when the company is producing the products featuring the best quality better than any other product, then how to gain the lost leadership strategy? Here the company focused on the strategy of outsourcing the production products from the countries where they can the products at lower cost. After outsourcing the raw materials required for producing the products the company was able to gain the competitive advantage and earn the cost leadership. Here, the information system of the company made it possible for the management to gather the information of the products and the suppliers for getting the products outsourced which helped the company to gain the competitive advantage as now the company is able to give the best quality featured products at a lower cost too. Not only had this had the information system made the company earn a good-will among the users and the non-users, it made possible to have a huge number of customers and so the company was able to invest its earned capital and produce good quality cost effective products("A Review On Apple Inc Systems Information Technology Essay", 2018).

3. Differentiation Strategy: now this was again a task for the company to maintain a differentiation strategy for creating a niche market. The company wanted to earn a name in the market by selling unique products. It was the demand of the management to create a market which no other company was creating. To maintain a differentiation strategy is a difficult work as, as soon as a product is launched in the market, the competitive companies, copy the products features and create same replica of the same at a very lower cost than from the original one. To keep working in the market with differentiation strategies is difficult to maintain.

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The Real Time Solution: The adaptation of this strategy can be considered as the main focused strategy for any company to become successful and earn competitive advantage. As the Apple Company is focusing on the Porter's Strategy, this differentiation strategy helped the company earn the competitive advantage over the other companies dealing in the same products. The information system of the company worked very strong in maintaining the differentiation strategy in the market. As the database and the collection of the data is highly responsible for a company to gain a market, the IS made it possible for company to keep producing products that are different every time("Importance Of Information Management - Analysis Of Apple Inc. Company | Researchomatic", 2019). The decision was taken that every year after considering the data collected regarding the wants of the customers, suppliers, retailers and the financial data of the company, Apple will produce a different product featuring unique qualities. Every September, Apple launches an I phone, which is always different from the previous one, ultimately gaining the differentiation strategy. Apple conducted a research work on what kind of gadgets, computers and phones are needed by the customers for catering their work, and hence they created a strong Information System, the decision maker then took the advantage of this system and brought out the products development according to the customer's needs, so that the customers may not feel that they had been charged high for a product. The quality considered is the best and it's the USP of the company.

The Decision Maker: Ultimately the management is the decision maker, when the company focused on the Porter's Model for gaining the competitive advantage, the information system of the company was the only help. As any company can produce products but it is difficult to produce the products at a lower cost with all the best qualities and as per the need of the customers. The Information system of the company is very well maintained as it is maintained after a lot of research work. For building a value chain it is necessary for a company to make its customers visualize their problems as well as solutions t those problems. The IS firstly gathers all the data and present it in the firm of information after processing the data, it stores all the relevant information for future use. The IS of the company distributed the information and helped the decision maker in taking the decision and hence, maintaining the competitive advantage. The Apple Company maintains a strong information system, where it gathers all the data and after processing gives the result or output as relevant information which is then distributed among the required members. For example: iCloud, Community of Apple support and Database for the Suppliers, these are the information system used by the company, from which the company can directly contact with its suppliers, can make its customers create a community and collect relevant solutions etc. Apple always believe in giving the best and so is maintaining a high quality information systems so that the customers can remain in direct touch of the suppliers and the retailers. In turn, the customers are also building trust on the company and is easily getting attracted towards the products. The attraction of the customers is not only because of the products and its features but also it is because of the services offered by the company. It was the differentiation strategy when the company gave an access to the customers to directly come into the contact of its suppliers and talk to the other users of the company's products. This all happened because the company maintains a good framework of the Information System.


Collection of Data through Research work

Storage of Data

Processing of Data

Designing of Information

Storing the Information

Helping the Management in taking decision

Maintaining the Information

Types of Information System

Executive Support System: The executives deal with this information system, where it helps the executives in taking the decisions from the collected information. To gather the customers at one end was the executive level problem, to tackle this problem the decision was taken to build a customer community in the gadgets of Apple, so that the user's can connect with other users. Now this was not an easy task as to get to know about the customer's wants and demands, here the executive support system helped the management in processing the information that was collected by a conducting a survey. Through the collection of the data regarding the needs and wants of the customers, the executives suggested that a community should be created in the products of Apple so that the users may connect with other users for getting the solutions to the problems.

Decision Support System: The Apple Company uses the DSS by the Senior Managers, in taking the decision from the collected and processed data and information. The DSS was used to by the Senior Managers, when it wanted to earn the competitive advantage in order of producing the producing at lower costs with all the quality features. This DSS system helped the company in processing the collected data and after designing the data it helped in taking the decision. Here, the collected data was the information about the customers and the suppliers; the data collected was also of the various raw material providers from different companies. Then the system processed the data and supported the management in driving the information related to the wants of the customers and the details of the providers and hence it helped the management for tackle the problem by outsourcing the materials and delivering the best features products at a lower cost("Apple's Competitive Advantage", 2018).

Management Information System:The MIS is considered to be the backbone of the company, as it collects the data today and helps the middle managers in the future and so helping them in taking the right decision at the right time before chalking out any strategy. As Apple wants to earn the competitive advantage and so it keeps collecting the feedback of the customers and the analysis of the market. These feedbacks and the trends are been collected so that in future these data could be turned into information after designing and processing, the information could be utilized for taking decisions in developing strategies. The management support systems is helping the company to gain a place in the market because the company totally relies on the MIS, to know what is actually needed and demanded by the customers for their personal and professional use. Apple always produces the products that are in demand, so that the customers should not reject any product. MIS is helping the company in focusing and producing the products that are needed and not waste their valuable time in producing the gadgets or products that could be rejected. Innovation and creation is what Apple always wanted and the MIS is always there to help the managers in digging out the decisions that are the need of the hour(Eassa, 2018).

Transaction Processing System: TPSis the processing system helping the lower level management, in recording the daily transactions of a company; it processes the transactions done and then digs out the information related to it. That how much is earned by a company, what were the debit and the credit in the account of the company etc. These transactions help the company to take further decisions regarding the transactions. Apple is also using the TPS where it has incorporated the use of mobile TPS, readers of credit cards installed in the smart phones of the company. The MIS and the DSS both uses the TPS, the MIS first records the transaction data and then forwards this data to DSS for taking any future decision. The EIS then takes the decision depending upon the MIS and the DSS.

The Decision Making Process:The Apple is the leading innovators in the market and is able to create a niche market for the customer because of the reason that it always focus on their customers. The information system of the company is so build that it manages all the details of the customers that what they want, when they want, what are the market trends etc., and as per the collection of the customer's information it takes decision which are fruitful and beneficial for the customers use. Apple has featured its products as per the demands of its customers, that was collected through the IS of the company. Apple has taken its own innovative path for developing and designing the products, manufacturing its products featuring them with the best features and thus is now a leader in the market(Markman, 2018).

SAP: The decision makers of the company use SAP i.e. Systems Applications Products for processing its data, SAP the software for the planning of the resources, and hence it helps the company for keeping its inventory system and the inventories at a lower level. This also helps the company in managing the sales and manufacturing department. All these decision making tools are helping the company grow and expand. This application is a part of the information system where it is helping the company to gain the competitive advantage as it helps the management in taking the right decision regarding the inventories and the sales and manufacturing department. It helps in saving the money and gaining the profits by managing the inventory section of the company(Bajarin, 2011).

Outsourcing: As suggested by the Information System of the company, the company is outsourcing its products in order to produce product at a low cost effective method and for this the company has started outsourcing. The company outsources India, the software development; more than $1000 million dollars is spent by apple for outsourcing. The Company is managing the outsourcing planning on SAP and thus maintaining its Supply Chain. Because of this reason only the company is able to deliver the latest technology to its customers and is building trust among the customers.

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Suggestions:No doubt that Apple is among one of the leading companies worldwide and understands its customers very effectively. As already the company is planning a lot for delivering low cost products, still some more decisions can be taken depending upon the information system of the company like:

1. Achieving the task and the goals as they come on hands, no delay should be made on taking decisions on the task that are needed to be completed. The reason is this that the data collected and processed is for coming to a solution is time based and delaying taking decision can make that information worthless.
2. Apple, as leading Innovator Company can make the designing of the processes for investing in other companies, so that the companies may produce effective products at low costs and Apple can gain through the investment made. Easily this can be done through the Information System of the company as the system will retrieve the required information and the designing of the process can be done.
3. The company is the best in welcoming its customers, but it should also provide training to the lower level staff in the factory, as this will help the factory workers of the company in producing high quality products with least wastage. The need and the level of the training required among the employees can be derived from the collected information in the IS.
4. As already the company is paying a lot of attention to their suppliers, applications are been developed by the company for helping their suppliers, Apple can incorporate some training sessions to the suppliers also for reducing the waste management. The need of the training among the suppliers can be easily digged out from the information system that the company maintains for its suppliers.
5. The information system of the company should also be developed to know the actual size of the company, so that the strategies could be developed accordingly.

Best Solution:for a company like Apple, which is the leading company and growing day by day, suggesting the best possible solution is a difficult task, but still as per the authors given data, it can be concluded that Apple is focusing on its customers very well and it's catering their demands and needs by carefully observing its information systems. All the decisions at any level is taken under minute observations of TPS, DSS, EIS and MIS but its lacking in creating an information system for the lower level management. The lower level management or the factory workers deals with the production of the products as per the given guidelines. The company also focuses on saving its inventory and outsourcing so that he customers may get the products at a low cost. But what about managing the waste products? If the company will focus on reducing the level of wastage while the production of its products, it will be able to deliver its best featuring products at a low cost than it is delivering now. For this, the company needs to focus on the training and development of the production works also. They should be trained in a way so that the wastage should be as low as possible. If the wastage would be low, the cost would be low and less production material would be required(Mata, 2016). Training of these employees is very much needed to gain a different place in the market. The company should train these employees and should maintain their data on their information system; this will help in knowing the level of training required by individual employee. The training should be given to the suppliers also, as they are the one who supplies the products. As Apple Company believes in visualization and so it connects its customers to the suppliers, and for this reason the suppliers should also be trained that how they should connect with the customers and they should be taught the supplying methods for gaining the competitive advantage.

Implementation:This strategy should be implemented after taking proper decisions and this decision can be taken after considering the Information System("Apple Inc Management Information System Project - 7020 Words | Bartleby", 2018). For implementing the system the following criteria is needed to be filled:
1. Hardware on which the system can run.
2. Software which is needed to run the system
3. Processor on which the software can run.

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All the information should be properly installed in the hardware of the system and should be digged out for taking the decisions at the right time. The training needs of the employees should be gathered by the management and the software after processing the data helps the executives in taking the right decision. The information can be collected after conducting a research work, the management can conduct a study, where the employees need to give their feedback on the kind of training needs they want in order to complete their task and reduce wastage and deliver low cost products. After collecting this information, the management could place this data in the information system, then after processing the data the IS produces the information that which employees needs what kind of training, and hence proper implementation of the system can be done(Alvarez, 2009).

Designing of the Information System for Implementing the Best Solution:

The format of the information system:

The information system consists of 5 parts i.e. Analysis, Requirements, Design, Development and Implementation.


The problem analyzed in this section of implementing IS: the problem was that the lower level management is not getting training in order to reduce waste management for producing products at low costs(Office & Office, 2019).


The requirements are been considered under this section, that what would be required by the company for implementing the IS in the organization for the specific use: here, the data of the lower level employees who needs the training and the type of training needed would be required. In this section only, the research work of collecting data is done.


In this section, the designing of the Information System is done: Blue print of the Information System is designed after collecting the data and then the blue print is checked. Here, after getting to know about the requirements of the employees, the blue of the information system id developed.


Once the blue print is finalized, the development of the Information System is done. Here, in the case of developing the Information System for Apple Company, after checking the blue print of the Information System, the main System is developed. In this section all the data and information is considered and the development of the system takes place.


This is the final step in the preparation of Information System. Here, once the IS is developed, it is implemented for use. The training needs of the employees are been already installed in the system, then the IS gathers the information and takes relevant decision in imparting the right training to fulfill the needs of the employees(Linton, 2018).


This case clearly defines the use of Information System in a leading ad innovative company like Apple, although the company is gaining a competitive advantage in the market but by using the Information system they solved many problems and developed more applications and gained customer trust. The making of right decisions becomes very easy if the data is processed through the Information system("Apple Inc.", 2019).

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