Information Systems Management Plan for Acme Mexico City Store
Acme Mexico City is a retail store, which had 125 stores by the end of 2015 with estimated annual sales of over $5 billion with a net income of over $200 million. A typical retail store has an average of 100,000 square feet with several extra space of an outside garden center. The retail stores run by Acme Mexico City have various products that are supplied by several thousand vendors globally. The company faces competition from several other retail stores such as Ace, Home Depot and Lowe among others, which are already operational in Mexico.
With the main objectives of economic expansion and improved profits as well as facing competition in the United States, the company has greatly expanded its business to Canada and Mexico. In Mexico, the company operates in a joint venture with Acme Home Improvements de Mexico while following the rules set by the Mexican government. The Acme Retail Store operates in several major industries including electrical supplies, hardware materials, garden items, and plumbing tools. The store has several custodians and managers who are in charge of various groups of products as well as employees who assist customers in making their purchases.
Acme Mexico City just like any other functional business entity that operates in a digital world has to have an extensive information system management infrastructure in order to support the business and their management strategies. The ever-increasing amount of data that requires capturing and analyzing necessitates a thoroughly planned and managed infrastructure, which will help when conducting transactions. The company’s management has to look at the most efficient information systems and technologies which support the business. With Acme Home Improvements expanding into Mexico, it will require to institute an ISM to enhance its financial and international growth. The ISM will be necessary for the storage and analysis of information of the company. It will also be effective in securing the company’s data and providing the required information for stakeholders which will enhance the strategic goals of the company.
The Information Systems Management plan for Acme Mexico City will be important in ensuring the assessment of the company’s information as well as the implementation of solutions. The new infrastructure plan shall address strengths and weaknesses of the systems, which are currently in existence. The system shall also look at the type of the departments in the organization as well as its structure, type and complexity of the organization. The management systems also seek to plan an effective resource allocation within different departments in the company in line with the requirements of stakeholders. It shall also be responsible for controlling daily operations of the company such as a comparison of results achieved and those which are planned.
Various stakeholders for the Acme Mexico City will have to be incorporated into the information system management. These stakeholders are either internal or external and are located within and throughout the organization. A stakeholder is any entity that is involved in any manner in the processes within the company. As such, in case with Acme Mexico City, the stakeholders can include customers, employees, and managers. Other stakeholders of the company include company headquarters, both governments of Mexico and the United States as well as the local Mexican community.
Employees who form an important part of the company include those who work in the company cash register and those who are responsible for inventory cataloguing. There are also employees who are tasked with monitoring and surveillance of the company. It is important to mention that one group of managers are in charge of different company’s operations and others keep in touch with the company’s headquarters. Apart from these essential stakeholders, there are also others parties such as customer service, the sales and marketing departments as well as those who are responsible for the company finance. Every stakeholder within the company has to use specific data, which aligns with their needs, and there are cases where some data use overlap.
Information Requirements for Stakeholders
The information that is required by the stakeholders can be varied and can be the same or differ in equal measure. In most cases, the stakeholders might share the same hardware but different software on the basis of needs. The company might require the use of a computer operating system, for instance, Microsoft, which has programs like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Other operational infrastructures, which can be shared within the office, include phones, copiers, and even fax machines. Nevertheless, there are specific departments which have specific requirements such as QuickBooks, which are required by the company’s finance department, or the Customer Relationship Management, which is required by the marketing department of the company. There are also specific requirements of operations, which ensure that the product inventory is well captured and analyzed. SAP is effective software that can be applied for this purpose as well as tracking employee work hours. This can make the SAP software to be used for these two functions rather than adding an extra software.
The ISM shall consist of a cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), which will be able to get automated quarterly upgrades that do not require any physical attachment and, therefore, reduced disruption in the business and decreased costs of maintenance and upgrades (“Built for the Cloud,” n.d.). This system will help in the elimination of costs of hardware as well as heightened security with ready back-ups. It shall also have data recovery systems at a lower cost. The implementation and integration of the ERP into the system is crucial and should be able to connect easily to the financial solutions and other applications within the system. It shall be easy to enter the necessary information on the laptop and even approve transactions on the mobile phone.
Information Systems Management Training and Security
With the primary aim of having an effective and efficient flow of information between its departments, Acme Mexico City has to implement an Information System Management that is robust. Therefore, the company should put strategic measures in place so as to ensure that the system is safe and well-coordinated. As a result, it has to employ effective security measures as well as employee training. The ISM for the store will have various components such as the hardware, software, networks, and staff recommendations. Such an ISM system will be vital in helping the company to collect and analyze the data throughout the organization to enhance a continuous flow of information (Cortesi, 2012). The company has to institute a credible staff to ensure that there is a proper training and support of the ISM system with confidentiality being a great point of emphasis to ensure that there are no breaches in the policies, which are set by the respective environments in which the company operates.
Acme Mexico City management will be responsible for ensuring that all the employees who are associated with the ISM have undergone the appropriate training required regularly. The training should be done within a specific duration, probably, annually or semi-annually. The training should be a course that enlightens the employees on how the system operates and is able to collect and report data. The training of the employees should take place where each employee is given access to the necessary tools so as to have a hands-on approach. As such, the trainers will be able to measure the progress of the employees as they undergo the training. During the training, the employees will gain knowledge about how to use the ISM to present information and also how to develop graphs, data interpretation, and running of queries.
It is important that the staff and employees of Acme Mexico undergo the training within a specific period of time so as to ensure there is complacency during the use of the system within the company. Each employee will be expected to report to his or her manager regarding the progress of the utilization of the system. Apart from the regular trainings, there shall be online classes that will be provided in the company’s intranet so as to keep the employees updated on any new adjustments or introductions (Gou & Lu, 2013). This will help the employees to offer better services and explanations to customers. There shall also be a mandatory test to be undertaken at the end of the training, which will have to be passed by every employee who has undergone the training.
Acme Mexico staff will also be responsible for ensuring that the ISM is safe and secure with no data and information being leaked or released without the approval of the necessary authorities. The security of the system shall be achieved by installing usernames and passwords for every employee that uses the system (Alexander, Finch, Sutton, & Taylor, 2013). Each employee will be responsible for their accounts within the system and will be required to change their passwords at least twice a year. There shall also be specific combinations of passwords and shall not be in any way associated with the names of the company or the employees. At the same time, there shall be a strict maintenance of the ISM integrity with the employees, also being undertaken through security trainings and drills. There supposed to be the company’s policy development, which will help in establishing stringent measures to be undertaken in case of any breaches of the system.
Acme Mexico staff shall require several components for the ISM to appropriately function. Regarding hardware, the company needs several servers, workstations, and backup systems. The file server for the ISM shall be necessary for providing the location of files, which are shared and can be shared by several workstations that have links to the company network (Cortesi, 2012). The Network Interface Cards shall be responsible for the determination of the efficiency and speed of performance of the network that is established by the ISM. It is important as it gives a physical link between a computer and workstations of the employees.
Firewalls should also be installed in relation to security of the system. Firewalls are responsible for the prevention of any unauthorized communications or commands. Firewall will be in form of a physical device or could be installed as an application. There shall also be a backup system for recovering lost data or archiving (Gou & Lu, 2013). The backup of the ISM shall be able to copy all the information and data to another device, where it can be retrieved when required. Other software requirement for the system includes printers, which can produce quality papers and output. Barcode scanners are also devices that would need to be connected to the system. Scanners will be used to capture and interpret the information that is printed on the goods that are being sold by the company. The inventory will have to be coded for the barcode scanners to be used.
There are several considerations to be undertaken when choosing the specific software to be incorporated into the software. It is important to consider the needs of different stakeholders within the company including customers, employees, the government and local community. The store will not only be giving out items to consumers but should also conform to the government policies as well as provide an appropriate environment for its employees (Dinesh & Vetrivel, 2012). Therefore, Acme Mexico City will have to incorporate a software responsible for human resource management, software for tracking the employee’s performance, and payroll that is responsible for the company’s management. Other software needed are the ones for control of inventory and accounting. The software applications shall help the company in tracking the transactions, which are recorded through the system. The accounting software shall be responsible for filing accounts and operations such as taxes while inventory software will help in the management of stocks, customers, and orders.
The ISM will be critical in promoting various goals and business functions of Acme Mexico City. The company will apply the system to make key decisions through the collection and analysis of information and data captured by the ISM. A proper understanding of the ISM will help in the analysis of the company’s culture and the economic environment, which will assist in the identification of effective methods of enhancing its competitive edge and improving its operations.