Business Information Systems management information systems

How can market management information systems (MIS) be used to support the following services

  1. Managing each format –  CD, DVD, Blu-ray etc
  2. Understanding the business of each retailer
  3. Offering the most suitable products and promotions
  4. Monitoring the effects of marketing and promotional campaigns on the performance of each product and individual retail outlet

 

Introduction

Entertainment UK was a retail supply and distribution company owned by Woolworth’s group of the United Kingdom. When the Woolworth’s group went into administration the company’s top management expected to sail entertainment revealed as it was the most profitable segment of the whole organisation. But these efforts by the managers did not see the light and the company went into administration and final liquidation. Entertainment UK had sales revenue of around £1.5 billion per annum with over 150,000 lines of products. The organisation was functioning in two business segments as a supplier to major retailers like Tesco, HMV and Asda and as a direct supplier of music products through Internet, kiosks, catalogues, digital TV and special stores. Entertainment UK used business information software provided by Micro-strategy incorporation which develops business intelligence and enterprise reporting software products for supply chain organisations. Entertainment UK was a major supplier of CDs, DVDs, games and books to larger and smaller retail organisations in the United Kingdom. The main functions of Information Systems on the operations of an organisation is processing and providing the managers with essential statistics and analysis techniques which can be used to evaluate the sales of the products, the effectiveness of various promotional methods adopted by the organisation, evaluation of the pricing policy etc. In the present report an evaluation is conducted on how an information system used by entertainment UK can support the major business functions of strategy formulation, marketing, supply chain and other operations. Moreover the report will evaluate what are the types of data which can be collected and analysed to provide helpful statistics for decision-making. One of the limitations of the following report is the lack of availability of data regarding the product segments, the main customers, the business format, business strategy etc employed by entertainment UK, as it has gone under administration and no secondary data source is available.

Managing segmentations

From the case study it has been evaluated that entertainment UK was segmenting its product line based on the format or the technology used in its products such as the CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray etc. Entertainment UK was not only a provider of music but also games and books. The major segmentation based on the customers was from the point of view of major retailers and direct customers. It is essential that an organisation evaluate the different product segments and even the types of music or other products sold by the company (Khosrowpour, 2006). Market segmentation is conducted on the recognition that every market consists of potential buyers with different needs and different buying behaviour (Becker, Uhr and Vering, 2001). The similarity into consumer attitudes are grouped into segments and a different marketing approach needs to be undertaken by an organisation. The information system provided by Microstrategy enables the company to evaluate the different segments of product sold through the different retail arms and provides the management about the sales of specific products, which can be utilised in order to create promotions and also to develop the pricing strategy (Kotzab and Bjerre, 2005). Taking an example assuming that a musical album is being sold through different formats through the major retailers, entertainment UK can evaluate through which to format the final product is being sold and which of the retailers are selling the musical album. Supposing that a specific musical album is generating much interest among the consumers and the major sales is through DVDs and through a specific retail chain such as Virgin music, the organisation can analyse and conclude certain aspects from this data. First of all the information system runs on a just-in-time stock control on a sale or return basis and the accurate market information is available to the manager’s to make business decisions. In the above case the managers get the data from the information system about the comparable consumer affinity towards a specific music album which is sold through mainly the DVD format and to a specific retail chain. From this the company can evaluate which segment of the consumer is purchasing more of these music albums. DVDs are considered as the second generation formats and is regularly used by all consumer segments but the specific virgin music store is frequented only by a certain group of consumers possibly the younger generation. From this data analysis the company can select a pricing and promotional strategy for further musical albums which are similar in nature. The company can discontinue the selling of such musical albums which are not being sought to modern retail chains or to generate supermarkets such as Tesco. The promotional strategy can be targeted at the specific consumer segment and through specific channels. The above is only an example of how the information collected can be evaluated and used for decision-making in the present and future.

Understanding the business of retailers

Entertainment UK has essentially two different business approaches. It supplies its product to the major retailers as well as they’ll sell their products directly to consumers. The major retailers are Tesco, HMV, Asda, virgin music etc. which are frequented by different segments of consumers. The consumers who are going to Tesco are not only purchasing music products but also the groceries, but the consumers who are going to HMV are specifically going to purchase entertainment products. Moreover these retailers are a large number of shops in and around the country which are taking catering to different segments of consumers. The Tesco shop in East London is catering to a different segment of consumers than the HMV shop in central London. There are certain products which can be targeted at different segments of consumers and the data collected from the sales of each type of products and categories to different retailers in different geographies can be evaluated by the business managers. This kind of evaluation can produce a promotional strategy intended at the specific consumer segments as well as limiting the supply of products where they are not favoured by the consumers and enhancing the promotional and product supply to the stores and retailers where certain specific segments of consumers favour the products.

Essentially entertainment UK can evaluate the business of each retailer and customise the supply of products so that the maximum sales can be generated from them. The distribution of the products and the supply chain management system can be linked to the integrated Information Systems through which certain decisions about supply of products can be automated. The management information system will also help entertainment UK in developing the supply chain management strategy. Several retail organisations have different needs and requirements when coming to supply chain and the integration of the entire retail management through the MIS will help to minimise the operational cost (Stair and Reynolds, 2011). One of the most important areas where the Information Systems and the associated services can be utilised in developing the customer base is through direct retailing through the Internet. The web-based application which is an integral part of the information system along with the call centres and the automated distribution system is a new channel for retailing (Stair and Reynolds, 2011). The operations through online retailing can only be achieved through the integration of all the arms of the business and this is achieved through the management information system provided by Microstrategy.

Tailoring products and promotions

Entertainment UK is essentially a distributor of products to the retailers and directly to their customers. One of the essential features in the business of entertainment is that consumer behaviour and attitudes keeps on changing with the fashionable trends in society and it is essential for any supplier of entertainment products to understand the pulse of the market. Market knowledge hence is an essential factor to succeed in the business (Khosrowpour, 2006). As a supplier of entertainment products without having detailed data and conducting an analysis of the sales of different varieties of product through different channels and on different formats, Entertainment UK will not be able to get the accurate market information from its retailers. Every retailer will collect data on the types of products sold, the type of formats and all this can be collected, put into a specific database and integrated. But the business intelligence information system used by entertainment UK is able to provide the company with a coherent and integrated system where the data is automatically collected without manual intervention and there are several measures to analyse the data from the library of analytical functions. With the help of the web-based analysis the company will be able to understand the market much better than having independence on the retailer’s data. Moreover the company is having control of its information requirements and is able to tailor the data into management information with the help of the information system (Khurana, 2010). As it is integrated with the call centres and automated distribution system the market intelligence can be used by the company to tailor the products based on the formats to be provided (in either CDs, DVDs or Blue-Rays) and also the promotional methods to be adopted. One of the characteristics of an integrated information system which can target market data from different sources they the company will be able to better analyse the promotional strategies in terms of its effectiveness. Entertainment UK can always collect these data from its retailers independently and separately but may not be able to analyse it to evaluate the effectiveness of the promotional strategies. Taking an example a promotional strategy through Internet alone may reach only a specific segment of the market and the effect of this promotional strategy can be directly analysed from the sales of the products if it is intended to the specific segment. The changes in sales of its specific product based on different promotions can all be analysed based on past data and used to develop the promotional strategies. Moreover the entertainment products as it is sold through different retail outlets require different types of promotional campaigns to reach its target audience. The segment of consumers which frequent different types of retail chains are different and in order to have accurate targeting of the different segment of the consumers, the effectiveness of the promotional strategy can be analysed from the sales of the product to each individual retail outlet.

Conclusion

Entertainment UK was a supplier of entertainment products through major retailers as well as directly to the consumers. The about the report is an evaluation of the effectiveness of the integrated management information system used by the company which helps you to manage the different product segments, evaluate the retail business and analyse the effectiveness of marketing and promotional strategies. Since it is an integrated information system almost all the operations from marketing to supply chain is integrated through the system all the data pertaining to the operations can be evaluated by the decision-makers of the organisation. When the integrated management information system the company can perform different analysis of the data from the products sales and the promotional strategies employed. It is not only for analysing the sales of different retail outlets but also in evaluating the combined effect of the promotion strategy which gave rise to the total sales from all the outputs, which the information system is used.

References and bibliography

  1. Becker, J., Uhr, W. and Vering, O., (2001), Retail Information Systems based on SAP products, Springer publications Ltd
  2. Camp, O., (2004), enterprise Information Systems, Springer publications Ltd
  3. Khosrowpour, M., (2006), Cases on a strategy to Information Systems, Idea group publications
  4. Khurana, (2010), Information technology for retailing, Tata McGraw-Hill education publications Ltd
  5. Kotzab, H. and Bjerre, M., (2005), Retailing in a supply chain management perspective, Copenhagen business School press
  6. Micro strategy (2011), Business Information Systems, available online at www.microstrategy.com
  7. Stair, R. and Reynolds, G., (2011), Principles of Information Systems, 10th edition, Cengage publications

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