Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Computer Information Systems Brief Essay

The currently technology standing of Kudler Fine Foods is lacking greatly. The current limited abilities cause a set-back to the potential that the Kudler Company is capable of reaching. Minimal shoppers are reachable, report preparation is time-consuming, and inventory control is not at its best. After identifying some of the downfalls of the current information system maintained by the company, suggestions will be offered that will help increase productivity as well as customer satisfaction. Current System Kudler Fine Foods appears currently to be a partially manual company. Many tasks that are performed as a manual transaction or entry could be handled through system automation with the right computer hardware and software. Various possible set backs exist because of the lack of an automated system. Manual record keeping can be costly due to the time it takes to manually document and reproduce company data. The need to constantly reproduce data records for different reporting purposes takes time and manpower. Another down-fall of the current manual system in place is the risk of human error. Common errors include calculation mistakes and the transposing of figures. Upgrade Options A few options exist for converting from a manual to a computer based. The lower end of computer automation would be the use of a general purpose software application package. One example would be Microsoft Office which is similar to the current package in place. This package includes word processing, spreadsheet, database management presentation graphics, and personal information management. The high end would be application specific programming. These programs are designed for the specific purposes such as business accounting, transaction processing, customer relationship management and resource planning (O’Brien and Marakas, 2008). Still even more specific would be custom software, prepared for the specific needs and desires of Kudler Foods. Benefits of System Conversion Currently all major business transactions outside of customer sales and training classes are handled by one individual. The fact that this one individual is responsible currently for three locations, with more to come soon, is an even greater reason to look toward full system automation. Using the right software program will allow the activities of all three current locations as well as any future locations to filter into one main database. Information gathered into the one database can then be used for analysis, comparison, and reporting purposes without the need to physically travel to the various locations. There are also financial and accounting benefits of moving forward with system automation. Accounting packages available offer automated reporting of receivables, payable, expenses, and revenue. There is even a useful tool of check printing, recording, and reconciliation. Through computer interfacing with the financial institutions that Kudler maintains its financial accounts reconciling information can be transmitted electronically via secure internet connections. The use of account and product codes would be an asset to the inventory capabilities of an automated system. Sales and other transactions of each individual store location would have a unique identifier code. Merchandise that is supplied by each location would have product codes. Each determined area of the locations would have and identifying department code, for example meat, produce, bakery, etc. Data collection using the various options of coding allow the system to collectively report any pertinent information, or individually report according to location, department, item, and so forth as defined by Kudler Fine Foods. An added benefit of computer hardware and software is mass communication capabilities both internally and externally. The use of groupware allows communicating to one or several individuals without the use of paper, pens, postage or other office supplies. Memorandums, spreadsheets, and other documentation can be distributed through email, thus cutting office supply costs and information delivery time. One example of groupware is Microsoft Outlook. Through the use of the internet information is electronically transmitted to various specified locations and users. Using the internet for some business transactions would allow for product orders and advertising. Internet marketing and advertising allows Kudler to reach a far greater population than local advertising such as school ads. In addition to above mentioned incentives, internet usage for business would open the door for e-commerce. E-commerce gives potential customers outside of the normal driving radius access to products of Kudler Fine Foods. Customers would have the ability to shop via the web, select items of choice, and pay for the merchandise prior to Kudler shipping the product to a customer specified location. Possible Threats of Conversion The use of the internet is a great tool. Some benefits were previously mentioned, but there are also some threats. Threats such as viruses, spyware, sniffing, malware and several more exist whenever the internet is used. Each of the threats mentioned is an attack on the security of the company. There are various defenses that can be used to safeguard against these threats. In conjunction with limiting employee access to the internet, other defenses include firewalls, intrusion detection systems, value-added networks and proxy servers (Bagranoff, 2008). These defense mechanisms help to fight off unwanted attacks and unauthorized access to company data. Security Defenses Security threats can be internal as well as external. This being noted, there are also database management system software. This technology can be used for development, access, and maintenance of the database of Kudler (O’Brien and Marakas, 2008). More specifically this type of software can specify what personnel have access to specific locations within the computer system. It can determine if the access granted is read only or if the specified end-user has update capabilities. Conclusion In conclusion there are various options available to Kudler Fine Foods for the advancement of its business and accounting procedures. Evolving to a more technological computer programming system opens the door to more proficient record keeping, more cost effective communications and financial reporting, and business expansion. Potential security threats exist, as with all types of systems, whether it’s manual, semi-automated or completely high tech automation. There are tools available that make securing data just as strong a force as the posed threats. Kudler’s decision to move forward with total automation would increase time management, information accuracy, consumer population, and customer service.

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