Introduction:Barletta's Fine Foods (BFF) Ltd operates from King's Norton in south Birmingham and supply food products to various retail outlets and restaurants. The company has performed well in the past and has ambitious growth plans for the near future, however there are problems in various functional departments of the company that have hindered its growth. Top management is determined to enhance the performance as well as the efficacy of the business by adapting a strategic decision support system (DSS) that exploits recent advances in the Information technology.
This paper makes an attempt to formulate various strategies for BFF Ltd aimed at enhancing the organisational efficiency and performance. The paper first dwells on the concept of Business organisation in context of BFF Ltd and moves on management decision-making process across the organisations in general and in BFF ltd in particular. The role of information in decision-making is discussed at length. The paper moves on to different kinds of Information System (IS) and how they affect decision-making and how using these information systems might benefit BFF LTD in pursuit of their strategic objectives. The paper ends with logical conclusions and recommendation for BFF Ltd.
The Business OrganisationBusiness Organisations may be visualized as organised groups or communities that specialise in manufacturing various types of products or provide, services of various kinds. The free dictionary (2006) defines business organisations as, "an area of law that covers the broad array of rules governing the formation and operation of different kinds of entities by which individuals can organize to do business". Carter McNamara (2006) defines Organisations as," a group of people intentionally organized to accomplish an overall, common goal or set of goals. Business organizations can range in size from two people to tens of thousands".
These organisations differ based on the goals and objectives that they aim to achieve. Some organisations may be for profit while others may be not for profit while some others may be charitable organisations.
Various characteristics of an organisation include a cohesive group of mostly like-minded people working together to achieve certain goals and objectives. Typically, business organisations work towards achieving a vision, which is often directed by a mission statement. Various strategies are formulated in order to achieve various objectives within constrains of environment in which the business operates. The process is defined as strategic management and may be spread across all functional levels.
Andrews (1971) defines corporate strategy as "a pattern of major objectives, purpose or goals and essential policies or plans for achieving those goals, stated in such a way as to define what business the company is in or is to be in and the kind of company it is or is to be".
The Managing Director of BF F Alphonsus de Marco is a forward-looking ambitious man keen to improve the performance of his company. He is quality conscious and wants the company to adapt to various quality practices and is therefore vying for prestigious BS5750 accreditation. The company's organisational structure is shown in figure No 1.
The functional organisation of the company consists of Operations, Sales and Marketing, Finance, Human resources and Information technology. A departmental head looks after day-to-day activities of all these functional departments. It appears Information technology has limited or negligible role in functional strategy of the organisation.
Problems faced by BFF:Company has some problems encountered in all its functional area and have been outlined in Table No 1.
Table No 1 Problems faced by BFF ltd:Department èSales & MarketingOperationsFinanceHuman ResourcesInformation TechnologyHeadGnio BourPaul McMillanMark TownsendSonia LeeGordon McKenzieProblems: qDelivery of wrong productqLate Deliveries.qIncomplete...
References: Andrews, K.R., (1971), The Concept of Corporate Strategy (Homewood, Illinois, Dow Jones-Irwin).
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Kenneth C. Laudon & Jane P. Laudon, 2002, Management Information Systems, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458,America.
Larry Long, Computers and Information Systems, 4th Ed., 1994, Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0-13-497884-6, chapter. 12, pages 365 - 397Mitchell, Volking, Yan E. Management Decision. Analysing the quality of management information: A suggested framework, London, 1993, Vol. 31, Iss. 8; pg. 12,O 'Brien, J., 1997, Introduction to information, IRWIN, America.
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