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Management Information System in Woolworths Supermarket

Question:

Discuss about the Management Information System of Woolworths Supermarket in Australia.

The management information system or MIS is an effective system used by the business organisations to maintain a computerised database for storing financial data and information and produce financial reports based on the business operations and processes at various management levels. The organisation selected here as the case study is Woolworths supermarket in Australia, which is a grocery and supermarket chain located in Australia. The managementinformation system or MIS can help to gain the special financial reports from the database system easily and ensure that a stable financial condition of the organisation is maintained with the organising and management of financial assets properly (Flanagin et al., 2014).

One of the major problematic situations related to the management information system is the entire dependence upon the computer science. Though the MIS within Woolworths has helped in managing the resources properly to ensure growth and envelopments of business, still it needs proper computer science support for doing so. The businesses are managed based on judgment, decisions and intuitions made by the leaders or managers of the organisation. They must need the data and computer science related information to make proper decisions, and this can often create cultural conflicts (Galegher, Kraut & Egido, 2014).

The leaders or managers of the organisation must utilise the data and computer science related information to guide the decision-making and make sure that the business can be successful. It is also important to appoint skilled workers who have proper knowledge about the technological components that can drive the business goals and objectives and ensure that the system runs properly and is kept safe from intruders and any unauthorized access is also prevented (Laudon & Laudon, 2016). It is important to include various server administrators, network engineers, security professionals and help desk personnel who have proper knowledge and skills to manage the data base system and bring out positive outcomes using MIS (Woolworths.com, 2017).

The E-commerce is the management of commercial transactions done with the use of the internet by Woolworths Limited for selling its products and services to the customers. The mobile commerce or m-commerce is the management of transactions through purchasing and selling of products and services with the use of wireless handheld devices such as personal digital assistants or PDA and mobile phones (Laudon et al., 2012). It is a major aspect of the electronic commerce, where the mobile users can easily purchase goods and services from Woolworths by using the internet on their mobile phones.

E-commerce and M-commerce in Woolworths Supermarket

Few of the major benefits gained by the organisation by using e-commerce include better convenience, as customers can shop, manage banking activities and get the products delivered at their doorsteps by making secure payments online. The m-commerce allows the retail company to address their striking features by managing smooth synchronisation between the responsive web site and mobile site (Lee & Yu, 2012). The mobile phones are used to gain better accessibility to the company web site and manage the purchase of products with much ease and effectiveness. If a good network signal is obtained, the customers can use their mobile phones to connect as well as manage commercial transactions from mobile to other devices n an effective way (Woolworths.com, 2017). The mobile devices are dedicated to individual users, which creates convenience for purchasing the products and use the mobile payment services quite comprehensively. Woolworths Limited has utilised the digital content with mobile commerce by enhancing the functionality of the mobile phones and allow the sellers to deliver the content, which can be used by the purchasers anytime and anywhere (Peppard & Ward, 2016).

The customers of Australia can buy products online and make payments through cards as well as cash on delivery based on which the products would be delivered at their doorstep within very less time. Woolworths has strengthened the e-commerce position by working in partnership with Australia post for developing parcel lockers to provide convenience to the online buyers with easy parcel collection and returns (Schwalbe, 2015).

Based on the previous networks of distribution, it has been understood that the e-commerce operations managed by the organisation are dependent upon the supply chain management infrastructure to handle a large quantity of orders made by the customers while buying products online. The e-commerce supply chain management is also beneficial for Woolworths Limited to exploit the latest trends of consumers while making online purchases without compromising on the quality of products and services delivered (Sousa & Oz, 2014).

The growth of the retail supermarkets is based on the implementation of e-commerce and its impact on the market share. It is a though a major issue or challenge for many retail organisation owners to manage changes for meeting up the expectations of customers and provide better convenience (Woolworths.com, 2017). Thus, the e-commerce facility has been considered for handing the power to customers and provides them comfort while purchasing a products or service from the company. Woolworths Limited has considered the supply chain management platform for managing e-commerce (Weske, 2012). This is an easy and effective way to optimise the ways of fulfilling the capabilities of E-commerce operations and processes conducted by the organisation.

Benefits and Sub-Processes of E-commerce in Woolworths Supermarket

The sub processes mean the various business operations and processes that are managed by Woolworths Limited within the supply chain management. Few sub-processes are the management of selling in multiple sales channels to ensure that each of the supply chains fulfills the requirements of each of the channels. The network alignment is done to meet the expectations and preferences of the end consumers. The omni-channel and e-commerce are combined to enhance the efficiency of inventory management with the use of supply chain and meet the needs of customers (Woolworths.com, 2017). Other sub-processes include integration of technology by offering better visibility across the whole supply chain. JB Hi-Fi mainly does this to reduce the wastage of time and manage inventory properly to ensure successful and timely delivery of products and services to people all over Australia (Flanagin et al., 2014).

There are various issues and challenges faced by Woolworths while managing the electronic commerce and ensure convenience while delivering products and services to the customers.

Security risks and threats

One of the major risks could be the development of a new web site by the company which can create inconvenience for the users as they have been habituated with the previous web site managed by the company (Galegher, Kraut & Egido, 2014). The new site launched by Woolworths Limited has been difficult to use by the customers, and there have been functionality issues as well such as crashing of the web site on iPad, a longer time taken during management of transactions and even breach of data (Woolworths.com, 2017). There could be other security risks like lack of privacy, which can lead to loss of data and information, alteration of data, inaccurate authentication and non-repudiation. This often creates complexity about whether the receiver has recovered the messages or information sent by the sender or not (Laudon & Laudon, 2016). 

Mitigation techniques

It is important to manage the database by enabling proper management information system or MIS and ensure that systems are kept password protected for preventing any kinds of unauthorised access that might result in loss of important data and information. Woolworths can use the hash or checksum like MD5 or CRC to develop a system that can detect any risks or threats and make sure that data in transit through techniques like phishing are prevented (Laudon et al., 2012).

Conclusions

The topic started with the identification of issues of the management information system and how it could be resolved by the organisation. The benefits of adopting the e-commerce and m-commerce were included here along with the ways by which these two major components had been integrated into the management of business within Woolworths, Australia. The security risks and threats associated with electronic commerce along with the various sub-processes of the e-commerce supply chain management had also been illustrated here to derive a good conclusion in the end.

  • It is recommended to align the financial operations with the key performance indicators for accomplishing the strategic objectives and ensure the smooth running of the business.
  • Skilled professionals are needed to be appointed who have knowledge of dealing with uncertainties and manage the database system properly to prepare financial reports with ease.
  • It is recommended to make investments for creating a pool of talent consisting of employees who have relevant skills, knowledge and expertise to handle the database and MIS properly.
  • The new web site created must be developed with new and advanced features for providing better flexibility, and ease for customers manage purchasing of products and services.
  • Implementation of multi-layered security protocols is recommended for developing strong privacy policies and enables proper authentication and encryption measures. This would ensure the customer to make secure payments, and the risks of compromise could be reduced as well.

References

Flanagin, A. J., Metzger, M. J., Pure, R., Markov, A., & Hartsell, E. (2014). Mitigating risk in ecommerce transactions: perceptions of information credibility and the role of user-generated ratings in product quality and purchase intention. Electronic Commerce Research, 14(1), 1-23.

Galegher, J., Kraut, R. E., & Egido, C. (2014). Intellectual teamwork: Social and technological foundations of cooperative work. Psychology Press.

Laudon, K. C., & Laudon, J. P. (2016). Management information system. Pearson Education India.

Laudon, K. C., Laudon, J. P., Brabston, M. E., Chaney, M., Hawkins, L., & Gaskin, S. (2012). Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm, Seventh Canadian Edition (7th. Pearson.

Lee, S. K., & Yu, J. H. (2012). Success model of project management information system in construction. Automation in construction, 25, 82-93.

Peppard, J., & Ward, J. (2016). The strategic management of information systems: Building a digital strategy. John Wiley & Sons.

Schwalbe, K. (2015). Information technology project management. Cengage Learning.

Sousa, K., & Oz, E. (2014). Management information systems. Nelson Education.

Weske, M. (2012). Business process management architectures. In Business Process Management (pp. 333-371). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Woolworths.com (2017). Woolworths.com. Retrieved 25 August 2017, from https://www.woolworths.com

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