16 BIBLIOGRAPHY... 16 PROBLEM STATEMENT We are required to attempt the following questions: Discuss the three levels of information needs found in your organization, which are operational, tactical and strategic. Include the types of information, the needs for such information, their uses and how the different department requires them for their own effectiveness. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT No book is written in a vacuum. Numerous professional and personal relationships contributed to the development of this product. At Olympia College, the encouragement and support of Lecturer Mr. Rajesh is sincerely appreciated.

The assistance and suggestions of many graduate assistants and students provided an important student perspective in the development of the project and supporting package. Finally, a special thank you is given to Ms. Mary Reggie for her efforts assisting on various other aspects of the project. Meeting deadlines is always tough in a long developmental process, and so thanks are in order to those that helped me prepare and deliver manuscript on time. Finally, I could not have accomplished all that was expected without that special patience and understanding that only a family can give. INTRODUCTION The process of management involves planning, organizing, directing and controlling people and activities. At each level of management, the responsibilities for handling these tasks differ.

Top-level managers are responsible for establishing organizational objectives. Middle-level managers organize and control the organization's resources to achieve these objectives, whereas lower-level managers supervise day-to-day activities. Each of these three levels of management has distinct information systems needs. First line supervisors require feedback about day-to-day activities.

Middle level managers need information that will enable them to reallocate resources to achieve objectives. Top-level managers use external information to identify new business opportunities and to establish goals for the firm. This assignment helps us to understand information systems that support management decision-making at the operational, tactical and strategic planning levels. THE ORGANISATION Lafarge Supermix Concrete (M) Sdn Bhd was incorporated in Malaysia in January 1983 as a joint venture between Associated Pan Malaysia Cement Group (APMC) and two Japanese companies; UBE Industries Ltd and Yuasa Trading Co. Ltd. Malayan Cement Berhad (MCB) wholly owns APMC, a company listed on the Main Board of Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.

Since the full acquisition of Kedah Cement Berhad, MCB now controls more than 50% of Malaysia's current cement manufacturing capacity. On July 12, 2001 Blue Circle Industries PLC, were acquired by Lafarge. We are now the number one cement manufacturer in the world and number three in the world in Aggregates & Concrete. With this merger, we have 15 billion euros in annual sales with 85,000 employees in 75 countries. In the Aggregates and Concrete division, Lafarge has over 1,200 sites and 667 aggregates quarries worldwide. This division has 23,000 employees in 30 countries.

PRINCIPLES OF ACTION Our Vision To be the undisputed world leader in building materials Being the bestO Growing fast with the best value creation Achieving global leadership in local businesses through excellence in 'multi-local' management " We want to share our vision with all of our people to make it happen " Our Commitment sO Generating value for our customers Giving our people every opportunity to contribute and develop their talent sO Contributing to building a better world for our communities Delivering the value creation that our shareholders expect " The Lafarge Way " Making our people successful Expecting people to give their bestO Leading by example Achieving greater results through teamwork Focusing on performance improvement Resulting from the actions of allO Making performance a daily commitment Sharing systems and tools With a 'multi-local' organizationO Building on our local and global strength sO Making our Business Units successful by leveraging the resources of a decentralized organizationO Sharing clear processes and a limited number of respected and known rules THE LEVELS OF MANAGEMENT The levels of management consist of top, middle, and first line management. Members of top management are the organization's senior executives. Their most important role is establishing the goals of the organization. They are typically responsible for interacting with representative of the external environment, such as financial institutions, political figures, and important suppliers and customers. Middle-level managers are responsible for allocating resources so that the objectives of top management are accomplished. They do so by implementing plans and by supervising lower level managers under their functional area of responsibility.

A sales manager, for example, organize resources-salespeople's time, training budgets, entertainment budgets- to achieve sales results that are consistent with the growth plans of top management. If these goals are not being met then the sales manager needs to study the existing scope and level of sales force activity and reallocate resources accordingly. Other types of middle level managers are research directors, plant managers, market research directors, and directors of information systems. First line supervisors responsible for supervising day-to-day operations.

They typically supervise functions such as order entry, credit checking, inventory control, and preventive maintenance. If problems such as errors in pricing or frequent breakdowns of equipment on the plant floor occur, first line supervisor's work to solve them. They use information such as quality control reports and inventory turnover reports to supervise the activities for which they are responsible and to make sure that performance is suitable. THE ACTIVITIES OF THE ORGANIZATION The activities of my organization are three kinds: operational, tactical, and strategic planning as shown in Figure 1. Operations are the day to day activities of the firm that involve acquiring and consuming resources. First-line supervisors must identify, collect, and register all transactions that result in acquiring or expanding these resources.

When sales are made or goods are shipped, a department manager needs to record these events. These day-to-day transactions produce data that are the basis for operational systems. The tactical function of an organization is the responsibility of its middle-level managers. They review operational activities to make sure that the organization is meeting its goals and not wasting its resources. The time frame for tactical activities may be month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter, or year-to-year. For example, orders for raw materials might be monitored monthly; productivity might be assessed quarterly, and department budgets might be reviewed annually.

Managers responsible for control have to decide how to allocate resource to achieve business objectives. Data that can be used to predict future trends help managers make these resource allocation decisions. The top management of the organization carries out strategic planning. Though managers responsible for operational and tactical decision-making are primarily involved in reviewing internal data, the managers responsible for planning are also interested in internal information. They need to set the organization's long-range goals, for example, by deciding whether to introduce new products, build new physical plant facilities or invests in technology. To make these decisions they need to know the activities of competing firms, interest rates, and trends in government regulation.

Strategic planners address problems that involve long-range analysis and prediction and often require months and years to resolve. Figure: 1 FRAMEWORK FOR INFORMATION SYSTEM Each level - operational, tactical, and strategic planning - requires specific information systems, as shown in Figure 2. Strategic Planning Special Support for decisions Request Tactical Information Demand reports NeedsOperationalTransactions Scheduled reports Operational Systems At the operational systems level the primary concern is to collect, validate, and record transactional data describing the acquisition or disburse ment of corporate resources. Financial data on accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, and cash receipts must be recorded as they occur. When a sale occurs, data on the items ordered are recorded, the inventory level for these items is adjusted, a shipping label and packing slip are prepared, and an invoice is generated. The original transaction- the sale of the item-creates numerous transactions in order processing, inventory, and billing.

Operational-level information systems often have the following characteristics. Repetitiveness. The information operational-level information systems produce is usually generated repetitively at periodic intervals, such as daily, weekly, or monthly. Predictability.

The information usually does not; contain any surprise or unexpected results for the manager or other users of the system. That is, people are paid what they were expected to be paid, and customers are billed for what they purchased during the month. Emphasis on the past. The information usually describes past activities of the organization. For example, the output of a payroll system describes employees past work. The checks to vendors describe past purchases by the organization Customer invoices describe past sales to them.

Stock report describe past changes in inventory. Detailed nature. The information is very detailed. That is, paychecks provide detailed information on the workweek of each employee and the specifics of each employee's gross and net pay.

Customer's invoices specify details regarding purchases made during the period, the terms under which the purchases must be repaid, and the total amount, including taxes and other charges due. Internal origin. The data for operational systems usually spring entirely from internal sources. That is the data for paychecks come from internal documents such as time cards and employee master records.

The data for customer invoices come from sales orders and shipping documents. Great Accuracy. The accuracy of the data used as input to such systems and of the output produced by such systems is usually very high. The data input and information output are carefully checked. Tactical Systems The second level in the framework consists of tactical systems.

Tactical system provide middle-level managers with the information they need to monitor and control operations and to allocate their resources effectively. In tactical systems, transactions data are summarized, aggregated or analyzed. Tactical systems generate a variety of reports, including summary reports, exception reports, and ad how reports. Summary reports.

It provides the management with important totals, averages, key data and abstracts on the activities of the organization. An example of a summary report might be a list of the total regular and overtime hours earned at each plant for the week job classification. Exception reports. It warns managers when result from a particular operation exceed or do not meet the expected standard for the organization. An example of an exception report is a list of all plants that have logged more overtime hours than expected for the week.

Ad how reports. This are reports that manager's need, usually quickly, that may never be needed again. Ad how reports present information that the managers need to solve a unique problem. An example is this type of report might be a list of the total number of employees absent during the week arranged by plant and by job title along with the hours or days missed.

Summary form. The information is usually not detailed, but in summary form. The credit manager is not interested in a detailed listing of each customer account and its balance. In my organization, it would be enormous quantity of data and would not, be useful information to the manager. Strategic Systems This third level in the framework for information systems is strategic planning.

Strategic planning information systems are designed to provide top managers with information that assists them in making long-range planning decisions for the organization. The distinction between strategic planning information systems and tactical information systems is not always clear because both types of information systems may use some of the same data. Ad how basis. The information may be produced either regularly or periodically. For example, top management uses periodic accounting system reports such as the income statement, balance sheet, statement of sources and uses of funds, and capital statement in its planning function. For example, organization planners may request marketing analysis information pertaining to a new product or to a new cluster of stores when they are considering the a addition of several new stores in a new region.

Unexpected information. The system may produce unexpected information. For instance, economic forecast information may be requested for the economy as a whole and for the industry in particular. The results of the economic forecast may be a surprise to organization planners. Predictive nature. The information is usually predictive of future events rather than descriptive of past events.

Lang range planners try to set a course for an organization through an uncharted future. External data. A large part of the data used for input to the systems may be acquired from sources external to the organization. Unstructured format. The data used for input to the system may contain data that are unstructured in format. For instance, forecast of future market trends may use the opinions of store buyers, salespeople, or market analysts obtained in casual conversations.

INFORMATION SYSTEMS AT Lafarge Supermix Concrete (M) Sdn Bhd At Lafarge Supermix Concrete (M) Sdn Bhd, a company that manufactures, markets, and distributes building materials, the information systems at the operational and tactical levels support marketing, physical distribution, production and administration. The information systems in physical distribution are operational. Order are entered at 1 service center, and order data are used to update accounts receivable and distribution files. Invoices can be printed out either at the originating location or at a service center nearest the customer's location. As a result, payments are received faster, and cash flow improves. An accounts receivable status report provides on-line credit checking so that orders submitted by delinquent accounts will not be filled without prepayment.

Once order data are keyed in, customer service personnel have immediate access to an open order file that can be sued to respond to customer inquiries about deliveries and shipment. When cash payment from customers is received, they are applied almost automatically to customers account. Other operational system is in the production area. A bill of material file containing the list of ingredients and fixed batch sizes fro each product is computerized.

Receipts, or set of instruction on how to make products, are merged with the bills of material to produce the manufacturing orders for each batch of the product. The product specifications file, another operational data files, serves as database of raw materials information for reference and for printing text on purchase orders. After production, finished goods inventories must be transferred to branch warehouse. Forecasting reports guide inventory management personnel in allocating warehouse stock to various field locations, based on anticipated demand.

In finance and administration, an accounts receivable application is updated with customer billings and cash receipts. Aged trial balance reports are generated monthly, producing account collection letters at specified intervals. Tactical information systems enable managers to analyze sales, by product and by territory, so that they can allocate marketing efforts to serve demand. Strategic planning systems provide senior managers with competitive industry data so that they can identify emerging trends in the marketplace. CONCLUSION In this assignment we have learned about the functions of managers and how information systems support these function. The activities of my organization include day-to-day operations, effective allocation of resources, and strategic planning.

Information systems are designed to support decisions at these three levels. Operational information systems process transactions describing the acquisition and disbursement of corporate resources. First line supervisors use operational systems to monitor day-to-day activities. Accounts receivables, accounts payable, and payroll systems are example of operational systems.

Tactical information systems provide middle managers with the information they require to allocate resources needed to achieve organizational goals. Strategic planning systems help senior managers identify organizational goals. Information for strategic planning of ten comes from external sources such as demographic data and competitive industry statistics. My organizations today are building information systems to achieve a competitive edge. Information systems can be used to cut costs, to ass value to products and services, and to expand competitive scope. The information systems opportunities that the management of a firm selects may depend on these competitive plans.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. Management Seventh Edition 2003 by Robbins Coulter, Prentice Hall.