A. Review the existing DSS from Daily Grind, and provide a brief report (2 to 4 pages) to Michael and Mary assessing its strengths and weaknesses as a DSS for their new franchise business. Identify any additional problems or changes you could see to improve the DSS (worth 20% of the total mark for this assessment).
Introduction (Point of Reference)
I evaluated the importance DSS for the Daily Grind response. I performed an analysis of the existing decision support systems that could be used for business forecasting responses.
Most evaluations and review of the DSS are critically deficient. This procedure will undertake to evaluate the existing system and this is key to the business at it provides a rough idea of the expected sales, revenues, expenses and the external forces affecting the business.
The concerns for the system were;
The DSS was to provide predictions of business performance for the next three years based on various combinations of these variables.
The DSS was also expected to be able to account for the effects of the input values on variables like market share, selling prices and so on.
The model was to allow the user to play “what-if” with the inputs, see the results and decide what to do achieve through design of an interactive system.
Evaluation procedure and criteria used for reviewing the current system;
The timeliness of information support accessed from the current system describing the adequacy and speed of access.
The sensitivity and specificity described when using the information system and hence the system should be able to be specific in its operations.
The reference standard against which the system can be described and hence production of procedural reports to ascertain the authenticity of the transactions.
The system’s security measures described at this involve the protection of the system with a well defined password following principles for password and also protecting the cell and worksheets.
The evaluation of the system and the populations described for the effective manipulation.
The portability and flexibility of the system to allow for changes that are likely to occur in the business environment.
The weaknesses of the current system;
The lack of an appropriate user defined interface that is in line with the principles;
Substitutivity; the system is able to substitute colour-coded information and other means (e.g., text, sound) to represent some important information. We could turn the argument around and suggest that then the user be able to provide colour input (by selecting from a palette menu) or other forms of input to provide relevant information to the system.
Observability; this principle is all about the system being able to provide the user with enough information about its internal state to assist the user’s task. Relying strictly on colour-coded information, as pointed out above, could reduce the observability of a system for some users.
Synthesis: it is about supporting the user’s ability to detect such significant changes, especially when they are a result of previous user actions. If a change in colour is used to indicate the changing status of some system entity (perhaps a change in temperature above a threshold value is signaled by an icon becoming red), those who cannot detect the change in colour would be deprived of this information.
Challenges to adoption
The system is simplistic in nature in that it does require advanced platforms to run for example software suites that will need a lot of cash. You need only a personal computer and a spreadsheet software like excel that will be used. For your information the PC can be slow speed and this can not affect the operations of the system.
Barriers to implementation
Implementing the DSS not cumbersome as such what you need for the system are the transaction documents that will be fed into the system and this will form the whole back log of the system. Similar to adoption implementing will not require a lot of the café’s resources in order to be implemented. To start you off the system will on need receipts for previous transactions that will be inputted into to the system to form a database that will be very useful for the system.
The current system does not allow the multi comparison of the different aspects of the businesses activities that allows prediction and estimations of the various aspects.
Conditions for evaluation;
The evaluations have to be undertaken in due considerations of the business goals and objectives and hence involvement of whole the stakeholders including the customers, employees and the management and hence the business success.
Strengths of the System;
Flexibility – Allows the user to play” what if” with the inputs, see results and decide what to do.
Allows the user to make predictions on the variable
DSS combines massive amounts of data with sophisticated analytical models and tools, and thus provide managers with a much better source of information to use in the decision-making process.
Daily Grind’s DSS is an interactive computer-based system and subsystems intended to help Michael and Mary use communications technologies, data, documents, knowledge and/or models to successfully complete decision process tasks pertaining to their business.
Provides simple user interface. The DSS has got interactive user interface that allows for easy navigation in the whole system.
The building of an enhanced DSS should provide for a smooth transition from the previous system to the new system as it should necessitate the daily operations and allowing forecast of new opportunities and strengths.
These are the things that need to be included in the new system, the management needs to know the current needs of the business and hence as a consultant major concerns should be;
Enhanced interface design.
Comparison aspects of the various parameters of business.
B. Build an enhanced DSS incorporating the enhancements and user interface changes they have outlined they want (worth 40% of the total mark for this assessment). (See the excel copy attached separately)
C. USER GUIDE FOR THE MODEL
1. Go to start menu, click all programs, select Microsoft office, highlight on ms excel click open.
2. Browse to the exact location of the DSS “espress yourself” then click to open, input password if it was password protected because this is a security measure for authorization and authentication for legitimate users of the system for accountability and confidentiality purposes.
3. The document contains five worksheets where the first is the homepage, inputs, calculations, financial and analysis in that order.
4. Click on the one that you need to view and use.
5. To allow for manipulation enter the data values in this case the points for manipulation should always be left blank.
6. You can format the cell using the Format menu then click on cell.
7. Ensure that names are included in the first row of the spreadsheet. Then details of inputted information should follow suit in the corresponding cell of the spreadsheets use this to add some additional information or for calculation purposes.
8. To save your work under a new location or with a new name travel to the File menu on the window, click Save As.
9. Ensure the following;
No blank rows or columns between different information.
Numerical data that is lacking in our spreadsheet should be coded as blank not with dots or some other literature implying not applicable. This will ensure consistency.
The stratum is not able to read data properly as it views it differently ensure that you remove the commas before you ultimately save your work.
You must uniquely save your work to distinguish it this can be through the use of underscores etc. these is available in the save as menu.
Remember to close your program or window to ensure confidentiality.
D. Write a brief business report (2 to 4 pages) to Michael and Mary describing what you have done and why (worth 20% of the total mark for this assessment).
A BUSINESS REPORT OF DAILY GRINDS
Terms of Reference
Mary and Michael, Directors of Daily Grinds have requested this report on a DSS to support Daily Grinds café operations for daily business operations and increased individual owner satisfaction. Decision support systems are information systems that are mostly used by the top level managers like Michael and Mary. This involves decision that is seriously critical for a business organization and it can break or ultimately make an organization. They ensure the continuous flow of both internal and external information.
Managers require this system to make quality decision on weighing costs and risks both negative and positive and helps explore alternatives to assist on those crucial decisions.
They are meant to provide guidance and not impose judgments on the critical issues of business management decisions.
This is the procedure showing what I have done;
1. Surveyed and analyzed the current DSS and its benefits to the management and users of this particular business organization.
2. Identified problems that were observed in current system that in this case was considered to have poor user interface design.
3. There was suggestions on the improvement on the new system to ensure the accurately considerations of critical issues in the business.
4. Develop an enhanced system that has improved user interface that can allow proper comparison of data formats in the business organization.
1. The management of Daily Grinds was generally satisfied with the current information system.
2. The management of Daily Grinds observed that there were some problems in inputting of relevant data.
3. Update principle is governed and applicable between 2 to 4 years of operations incase of report of problems with the new system.
4. Suggestions that will be appreciated to ensure that the current demands and the complexity of business operations.
1. In the case of increased competition from other businesses the management needs to either reduce the prices or undertake on other promotional strategies.
2. New opportunities need to be identified as this information will be provided by the information system yet to be adopted by the business organization.
3. Improvements need to take place in personnel department as there is need of more employees in the case where the population increases with the peak times.
4. New knowledge generated by the DSS should also be used to enhance the business operations through coming up with systems that are easy to use.
1. Ensure close association with customer’s council to go through the diverse complaints about the coffee and cake provided at Daily Grinds.
2. Use the system to identify manpower requirements i.e. skills, educational level, types of position, no. of positions and costs for meeting the firm’s long term business plans.
3. Evaluate the system periodically to ascertain whether they monitor and analyze the business activities in question.
4. To establish the critical ideas and suggestion in future to incorporate new improvements due to the increased complexity of the business activities.
Introduction/Point of Reference
ICT is having a major impact on various aspects of organizations and people who work on them. There is need to understand this impact in order to know how to manage and implement it. Ready Rural (RR) is a big company that comprises enormous number of employees, suppliers and trade customers. Implementation of ICT in RR will undeniably bring about changes in the organization in very many aspects that pertains to the running of the business. In brief ICT will see number of employees sliced down to probably half and also the general course of process will change in that some of the processes will be automated and also the business will tend to blossom to greener pastures.
Expense incurred in data capture: this undertakes in observing and determining the amount of funds and costs that the organization spends in making available information and also how it can retrieve data from the customers. It undertakes to determine the value that will be achieved with the implemented ICT.
Information timeliness: this undertakes to determine the timeliness of information as information becomes useful when it is provided at the right time. It undertakes to evaluate the amount of time it takes information to reach the customer and time for receiving customer feedback.
Information flexibility: information flexibility is an important element in designing an information system and governs how a customer request can be processed with ease taking in considerations the changes that can be made and at the right time for convenience.
Accuracy and quality of data: accuracy of information in the organization is very important as it can break or make the company. The customer feedback on the operation of the organization needs to be accurate to ensure prompt action. It establishes on the value of data that enter or leave the business organization.
Association and collaboration: this is an important aspect that takes into account the relationship between the business and the surrounding environment especially the community around. It ascertains whether the business is able to give back to the society through support for the disadvantaged for example.
It was found that ICTs are an important element in determining the information needs of the customers, what they want improved and how this information can be used constructively by the management. In this case the Ready Rural steel company can communicate with the customers using email and teleconferencing and hence assisting in management.
Ready Rural Company portrays a tall structure with top level managers followed by middle level managers and consequently operational managers but with implementation of ICT this will change as the middle level managers are eliminated and hence becoming flatter and easy to work with top managers having to observe the workers directly.
It was observed that ICTs systems that have the capabilities of the valuable distributed systems can enable centralization of more crucial decisions and ideas and hence will ensure faster processing of customer requests and hence increased satisfaction.
It was identified that implementation of ICT was an important element because it takes care of the security concepts like authorization, authentication, availability etc and this is able to shape on the management of the organization policies and ideas.
Implementation of information communication telecommunication is an important element in management of critical issues at Ready rural and hence it is a critical ingredient that can stimulate management and ensuring accurate decision making process for the success of the business organization.
Implementation of sound ICT is a critical factor since with the day today complexity in business operations of the Ready rural and there is need for a In today’ highly competitive environment because of external forces from the environment like competition and hence there is the need for the organization to change rapidly.
The implementation of information communication technologies is an important factor and comes hand in hand with new information systems that are designed to meet the current needs and they are developed to go hand in hand with the organizational goals and objectives.
With the implementation of sound ICT’s the management should provide a favorable environment for the professionals to do their work since it comes with other effects like alterations of duties of some individuals and loss of jobs to some and hence they should support the project 100%.
In the implement of ICT in the business organization there should be thorough consultations of all the stakeholders including customers so that they can bring forward what they want improved.
The organization should involve all the stakeholders with a lot of consultations and the business environment at large to ensure they come up with systems that can support objectives of the organization.
Give priority to the key organization areas and categories that are fundamental in the organization success that is, automate areas that are crucial to the organization.
Determine the infrastructure and the personnel available as the program will be feasible in the case where there are supporting resources and take into account on the existing technology.
Take into account the effects that implementation of ICT will come with and check on the appropriate measures that can be used to curb the menace like loss of jobs.
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