Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Actions and Reactive Reactions

The frequency of MIS reporting should be determined by the volatility of the product or service and market in question. Information gathering should then be categorized as periodic and include short, medium and long-term goals or decisions planning. There should be daily weekly and monthly monitoring goals as well. Annual reports market data arrive quarterly and satisfy many investors requirements.

For example, if our business is currency or commodities trading there are few moments which could be considered more important than opening or closing daily bells and information overload would be a preferred method of frequency as many stock traders appear to claim their occupation is one of the most stressful. So would managing a 24 hour store.

Current market reports should coincide with sales reports and as IBM assisted design of computerized EDI systems to report daily to plot sales cycles this would be necessary for retailers such as Walmart who employ extensive automatic shipping, order and delivery systems based on daily data. Real estate markets might rely more heavily on weekly sales reports as sales frequency would be slower.

John R. Jagoe of Export Institute USA recommends not throwing away a single piece of paper or information relevant to past market surveys or comparisons of agents or suppliers either selected or eliminated as our text recommends we should have a long term information repository on all decision-making processes from the past to the present and future to respond to sudden changes in market conditions which an effective MIS will determine. For example certain news feeds at Industry Canada deliver global market updates daily.

Monitoring and info collection should be a collaborative effort in responding to necessary decisions and to answer specific managerial questions. An annual survey would work well in the described general funnel technique of research methodology. However the more specific and detailed our decisions must be the more frequent the search for new current information must also be.

If we are only ever reactive in terms of management information systems we will never anticipate competitor or market conditions. I confuse action and reaction. We consider added new information in the equation to justify further actions and also pre-plan future actions based on possible future scenarios?

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