Create a 4 page essay paper that discusses Information Systems Management.
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In the nineties, Wal-Mart invested in computer technology, in which their employees use bar code readers in all their stores and distribution outlets (Richmond, 2003). These bar code readers make tracking of goods in stores and also stock management efficient, as different products and shelves have different bar codes which provide real time information on the products. Employees in Wal-Mart use hand held computer systems linked with bar code readers, and this makes the stock management of products easier and economical, as it relieves them from massive paperwork for all orders in place. Moreover, these hand held computers enable the packaging department to get accurate information such as packaging, location, quantity and shipping information on orders. Wal-Mart prides itself for providing customers with the lowest prices available, thus, it embarks on eliminating middlemen from their supply chain and sells directly to their customers from their stores. In order to achieve this, Wal-Mart has embarked to developing a satellite communication system which tracks sales and inventory for all their stores (Richmond, 2003). Thus, it can track credit sales on each department in the supply chain as well as control orders made using this system. The satellite system also assists to transmit important communications across the entire supply chain stores and distribution centres (Cisco, n.d.). Furthermore, with the aid of Cisco systems Wal-Mart has developed a comprehensive network system for its supply chain outlets all over the world. In connection to the satellite system, the network provides an overview of the operations in the whole supply chain outlets. This network allows the Wal-Mart keep track of all the orders and stock levels for each system, hence, suppliers can know the products in stock, ones in high demand and consequently they can supply them efficiently. Cisco has also enabled Wal-Mart to collaborate electronically with suppliers all over the world, as compared to the early nineties when Wal-Mart provided suppliers with modems which they used to dial up the Wal-Mart system database. In accessing the database, they can access relevant information on stock levels and inventory work required to place any order (Richmond, 2003). Wal-Mart pays for this service, hence making it reliable and cost effective for the suppliers. Suppliers situated in areas where there is slow internet connectivity, dial up connection which is still available to them for accessing Wal-Mart database. The intranet allows Wal-Mart to deliver company news, new information and policies to all of its stores all over the world and its 950,000 associates (Cisco, n.d.). Wal-Mart has a comprehensive directory of all the suppliers and outlet stores all over the continent, and it is a managerial policy that all employees should be able to communicate with any store at any time. Thus, with this directory, Wal-Mart can contact any store and make orders or take supplies from suppliers, hence it increases the efficiency levels of the store as compared to other suppliers. Wal-Mart has a point of sale system from which they monitor and trail sales and products inventory levels on their shelves in the stores. This POS combined with an algorithm system enables Wal-Mart to forecast and predict market trends and demand for their products.
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