The recent developments and incorporation of technology in business have helped many enterprises by boosting their performance. Technology has been used in major business activities such as data recording, automated business performance analysis, and their use in decision making. Keeping records for every transaction helps the owner to track the business activities that can be later used as a reference for future deliberations.
In mobile sales, the constant movement complicates the records keeping processes, especially if different locations used have different protocols of operation. The ability to differentiate files for every position and still merge them where necessary can be confusing and time-consuming in terms of computerized records; a few commands resolve massive mathematical processes.
The ease of entry into mobile businesses has constrained the survival margin for every business, and, therefore, the only efficiency can save an individual business. The efficiency can only be obtained from timely yet cheap and organized strategic decision-making ability.
Understanding the use of technology in the above technique is paramount. Therefore, this paper will look at the importance of incorporating technology in mobile business, especially the management information system (MIS).
The mobile businesses are among the worlds trendiest forms of business. With the numerous complications that arise from hiring rooms and shops for operations, the use of trucks has been on the rise. In America, there is an increase of mobile business by more than 20% every year (Corvo, 2014). The average cost for setting up a business in a room is way much higher than that of a truck since the cost of renovating traditional retailing space is pricey.
Normally the cost of setting up a mobile shop would be about 20 thousand dollars compared to more than five times as for the cost of hiring a shop or even building one (Bocken et al., 2014). The freedom associated with one locating the business to wherever he/she may wish the mobile business gives an upper hand as the market may be shifted to where there seems to be a greener pasture. The cost of renting which keeps fluctuating at times can be avoided.
On the other hand, this kind of business comes with challenges faced by a newly opened business that has been just set up at a new location every time the former is relocated to a new place. The challenges mentioned include finding new customers, especially when the product on sale is not standard in the region the company has recently moved to. Other payments made to the local governments or the general cost of operating a business at a given location may also be a considerable factor.
Using the MIS, a mobile business owner can determine which locations suits best at a given time with an increased precision of more than 65% depending on the training duration of the MIS system (Lucan, 2013). The business owner is also bound to make a strategic position and location of its activities. It also should determine the regions that have the best performance. This involves a reduced cost of operating the business, more customers that lead to more sales, and reduced cost of producing the stock.
At other times, the business performance records can be used to rearrange the businesses operating time depending on the time range where more sales occur. A competitive advantage can be created when a business uses this information to outdo a threatening business competitor.
The ability of a mobile business owner to outdo other competitors is important. Since these forms of businesses are easy to start, high competition is standard. Since most other constants are equal, the only chance a business may have is improving efficiency to levels above the usually tolerable value of 80% to about 95% (Lucan, 2013). This will range from the planning of strategy to win the customers, product promotion methods, financing, and sourcing or raw material as well as observing legal procedures.
The use of such MIS software can reduce the cost of production by a big and useful extent. The records keeping part of the work in every business is executed with no labor requirement. At times, the records keeping practice done by humans are prone to errors. The erroneous analysis that results in mistakes could eminently affect a business performance. To reduce the possibility of such fatal accidents, there is a need for using software and other application utilities in order to get to accurate results.
Having accurate records, it becomes easy to access the right people and furnish them with information. The ability to communicate promptly with suppliers allows fast operation of the business activity. Equally, prior communication with loyal customers gives them time to get prepared for the day when the mobile business visits their region. Under active communication, the likelihood of success of a business raises by more than 75% (Holtbrugge & Baron, 2013).
Another aspect of communication is that potential customers can be aware of the products offered by mobile enterprises and what they should expect when they visit the shop. Discussion of the business progress with the workers and other people concerned with the policy making process is necessary; so that according to the records indicated by the MIS system, they can determine the appropriate action to take.
How Technology and MIS Improve or Change Business Process or Efficiency
The current increase in the number of businesses has made external business environment similar to numerous competing businesses. Under such a situation, there is a reduced chance of less than 10% of making extra income, which is very attractive (Rosemann & vom Brocke, 2015). Since there are so many sellers; in a deeper look, the selling prices are equal, and the mobile business chooses to relocate to every strategic position. However, there is a high chance that another vendor has spotted the location. The need to be unique is determined by the individual businesses ability to process information and respond quickly.
In some cases, any business that allows the use of MIS business records can be able to determine what product is mostly being sold and what product is receiving the least sales. Other considerations that can be made include the specific days that sales are highest and the ones that have the least sales. Among the active areas that mobile businesses have to be keen on, there is the trend of customers taste.
A mobile shop selling cakes have to keep the record of the kind of cake that is selling most in a given location. In a given street, more coconut cakes may be sold than queen cakes. Determining such performance can help a mobile pie seller decide to add the number of coconut cakes that they will sell in the given location. The more coconut flavored cakes added will help the vendor increase the number of sales and reduce the slow selling of queen cakes. Such strategy contributes to overall efficiency.
The management information system provides detailed information on the businesses trends from both current and former management and gives probable future solutions relevant to the firm within and around its environment. It works as a gathering hub for the businesss data and converts it to easily usable and helpful information to the concerned management or executives.
The primary intention of the management information systems is to provide the right information to the right person at the appropriate time. Management information system enhances planning. Due to businesses mobility and penetration into new markets, planning is necessary, and making sound decisions is mandatory. MIS keeps managers informed on changes within the business environment.
MIS minimizes data burden; breaking down too many data to significant amounts may be confusing to the manager. MIS summarizes the vast quantities of data into manageable and easily understandable form.
Significant amounts of raw data and facts are processed to provide detailed and summarized information. Keeping track of all the information collected from different locations will be useful to a mobile business. Having the information summarized yet fully covered will help the manager keep track of all data.
Successfully processing and evaluation of performance are possible. Depending on the performance, the manager can make the necessary changes to the businesses plans and help to improve future strategies in particular regions. Mobile companies have to adapt to the difference in preferences and reactions to the environment. A complete analysis of performance and the selection of the best strategy or procedure to follow will help boost performance and better serve a region.
MIS eases managerial control. It provides a bridge between administrative planning and oversight. It sharpens the ability of the executives or managers to evaluate and develop strategies of improving performance. It also helps in keeping the information up to date. Having access to the most recent information regarding the business, it will help enhance the management.
At times, this technology cuts down on operation cost. With the advancement of technology, the computers and dozens of file management systems came. Having less paperwork and records saves the business space, time, and money. Management information systems allow quick processing of information, and computers can hold significant amounts of data hence easing the physical filing. With such compact setting off an apparatus, even the precious truck space is saved and used in other meaningful processes. Even the burden of carrying the heavy paper works will be reduced, hence fuel will be saved. In overall, efficiency will be enhanced.
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The Use of Technology to Eliminate Redundancy
The use of technology has seen the access of information from one point instead of having copies of the same information while being at different places. For instance, when one is noting the number of sales made in a day, there is a repetition of details that would have appeared so obvious at times like writing down the date and the easily deliverable figures like the results of calculation.
The use of computers has lessened this workload since simple commands made on a pre-created data sheet will ensure that issues like date and addition mathematics are automatically made. This will reduce the time used to resolve them as well as space used when putting down the calculation, and mathematical errors will also be avoided. According to Rainer et al., the expected losses due to avoiding these human errors are likely to be reduced by more than 75% (Rainer, 2013). Businesspersons who repeat their recordings from the receipt book to the ledgers are bound to waste 30%-40% of business operation hours.
When a mobile shop has receipts giving machine, the entries can be made directly to the sales record of the firm. Should a shop have some selling spots around the city, the sales can be registered under the files for the respective positions and may thus be accessed from any other location. Conventional business papers can be processed at the same time without manual compilation process that would demand a task for each selling location. This will make work easy, the repetition of tasks will be avoided, and a lot of time, often approximately 30%, will be saved (Davis, 2013).
Processing important information before taking a major business step is crucial as it helps the business to determine the best way forward. When the records are to be analyzed by humans through flipping of papers and calculations, it may take ages before the desired game-changing answer is reached.
However, with a little support from the MIS application that is integrated into all business transactions; while arriving at the answer, you could want to be as far as just a button away and as few as five micro seconds of time. It is, therefore, important that all business use these records to derive the direction seeking determinants using software applications and utility. According to Da, more than half of the mobile businesses that failed did not have a consistent record or similar sections at the various locations, and this resulted in erroneous decisions (Da, 2013).
Ignoring the use of the software could make a business lose many potential sales. The company could rely on one record keeping system, which is likely to be hard copies that are prone to so many risks especially when the business location keeps changing; and the records have to accompany the business in every area the business relocates to.
In the mobile market, it is common that every location has unique records. For instance, every location has their customers, bills paid to a person, and even at times when the location is in more than one city, the local authorities are different, and the rules of operation may also vary. Having all this information in ones head is bulky, and errors that may lead to business inefficiency are bound to occur. These could be a result of forgotten bills to be paid and other similar critical issues.
The inventory management can be a real reason for redundancy. These are the cost for every purchase made. For a mobile business, the proper management of funds may see one cater for one item while some other issues are left unattended. For instance, the consideration of the purchase of food stock may leave one with no cash to cater for fueling of the mobile car or money to pay for the waste disposed and water used.
The main idea here is that the use of MIS records helps in general business efficiency, thus making the business profitable. Using the records, proper planning is possible as well as a good strategy of releasing profits. With the mobile businesses end goal of making profit, the operation has to be swift as the companies mostly deal with highly perishable food stuff. Once profits are realizable, the business is no more redundant.
The Use of Technology to Save or Reduce Cost or Turnaround Time
The cost of having a business at a given position is typically high. What is more, some local governments normally have their cost tallied according to the time duration a mobile vendor is out there. It is inefficient of one to stay out there, while the bill to be paid is piling up and there are no sales yet. When MIS systems are incorporated into a business, the consistency of work records is enabled. This will ensure that for every new location that the firm is set up at, there is the acknowledgment of the new place of duty in the records keeping system. At the same time, it continues with the files that ought to be independent of the location.
For instance, a new place of duty has a different water and electricity payment method, while the stock used in operating in all areas will have to be obtained at the same time. In other words, the stock employed in every location does not care for the site, but the amount of water utilized in a particular place will probably be paid to someone in that collation but not elsewhere.
To solve this problem, the use of MIS data will enable one to determine the days that are having more sales and even the particular time of these days. Equally, with too low sales, noting the time periods is important. This data can be used to avoid the unnecessary costs involved in the mobile business operation. The performance records that need to be merged and those that need to be setup differently are considered; thus, there is a reduced conclusion due to the location complexity. Having one single copy of information which is arranged systematically without the need for hiring a worker to do the calculation is a big advantage to mobile businesses.
The time taken to process the information is also short since machines only follow prompted commands to work out a complex analysis. The datum on regions and areas has to be integrated to ensure weighted analysis when managing the information by the managers and other policy makers. The value of a consoled data from various sections which all are linked together in a systematic relationship so that decision makers can use the information to come up with new business plans (Holtbrugge & Baron, 2013).
Using a real information data that categorizes the best value chain path is among the primary business activities that every business must do. For instance, the cost of inventory can be avoided if enough logistics organization is done, and the information is linked together such that there is no need for an invoice for every step. This will reduce the operation cost, therefore creating more value for the product.
Having helpful data regarding business operations for a mobile company will assist in saving time and cost used by the business in its new model before other businesses may follow new methods after a fortnight of a total profit. (Coop, 2013). MIS will assist the business person in gaging on best working days, most profitable regions, and also the products or services that are best suited.
Mobile companies need to be well informed on the firm trends regarding their business to maximize the capital available. Blindly penetrating markets and alien environments may lead to the business running at a loss. Mobile companies run at higher risk of this occurrence since all factors of the environment present uncertainties. The target audience may also change from time to time.
After the incorporation of machines and robots, most of the work meant for entrepreneurs will be reduced, and, thus, it will ease manpower requirement and time used by man to cover these process hence saving money and time. For a mobile business, information and data need to be processed quickly, and this may be costly in case there is no MIS in use since the company might be relying on manpower to do all collecting, analyzing, and processing. In other cases, the manager may be doing so on his or her own, which will lead to a lot of time being spent on paperwork, filing, or data entry; and it will even take more time to analyze.
Management information systems will ease the pressure on management in mobile businesses since most of the data, information, strategies, and planning will be simplified. Planning and strategizing for mobile businesses are critical for the firm. This will save money for the firm since management knows just the right moves for succeeding during a period in a particular environment depending on the products or services.
How Technology Can Be Used to Help Create a Competitive Advantage
The high competition in business has seen many businesses closed since they are kicked out by the stronger ones or those who have a particular advantage over them. One major factor that has to be considered is the rivals performance trend and their products processing cost as well as service delivery. This information is very helpful if a business owner is to outdo another one when there is so significant other external factors similarity. The only difference a company can make has a product good value addition strategy that exceeds the production cost. The overall value chain is what matters for every business.
For every companys value chain, the competitive advantage can be either in a form of cost of the goods production, the provision of services, or the differentiation. The vast scope of factors or environments under which a business operates determines the variation in the interrelationships across geographic areas, related industries, or segments of the market that are alike. When the regional market scope is the issue at hand, wider market regions businesses may have an added advantage over the small or domestic market businesses.
In mobile markets, the area where the mobile business is moved to determines its competitive advantage. Those with a wider scope are likely to withstand extremely harsh business performance compared to those with a little range area. The company that uses the performance information records to determine the pattern of observing when going through the market region is bound to make more sales than one that does not consider past performance of the business.
The simplistic way of venturing into mobile business has seen so many same businesses started. The multiple vendors have no other option but to share customers. As a result, the companies end up making fewer sales and less income as well as barely making sales of 100% above the cost price (Casadesus, Masanell & Zhu, 2013). This can easily lead to closure of business, and strict measures have to be taken that will enable a company to outdo the other competitors or survive along the rest. The making of their services uniquely attractive and irresistible to customers are the methods among them.
For instance, a mobile vendor who sells cakes may have the names of the most frequent customers pasted on the cakes. The customers are likely to get excited, and they will remain loyal to that specific seller. On the other hand, to retain the names of the most frequent buyers, the business owner has to keep a record of every purchase as this is the way he or she will know the most common purchasers of a particular location. The use of MIS utility application comes in handy when such records are needed. Apart from having their names on the cakes, free toasts can be awarded to the most frequent customers as a way of retaining them.
Furthermore, a company may opt for using one market region that based on the MIS records proves to contain the best market. The reduced market area enables the mobile business to invest the best mix of factors into this particular region in order to outdo any other company that visits the region. At times, getting this mix may involve customizing the product according to the preferences of the people of the area. For instance, people of a given place may prefer using chilly; and as a result, a mobile pizza vendor may opt for adding chilly flavored pizzas for this region.
With the right information at hand, there is a better chance of performance as a competitive advantage as it allows for the business. Some of the benefits of accessing to information of performance include a flexible production of goods as one can modify products as per the needs of the customers. The frequency of individual clients can be automated if, after a sound recording, the probability of purchase of a particular group of customers can be determined with appropriate accuracy.
Telemarketing is also made possible if the customers records have been kept. With the information files, a remote operation can be done possibly with computer scheduling and much more. This will offer a given mobile vending business a competitive advantage over others.
With proper information records, a company can easily outdo their counterparts as they can predict the performance and be able to maximize profits where possible from the past, while their competitors remain in the same performance margin. The adjustment effects made on inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, marketing, and sales as well as servicing are enough factors to allow one business to succeed, while the rest fall apart.
According to Bekmezci, the decision-making process in the competitive business environment has to be resultant of critical analysis of all the business climate factors. In other words, for the company to outdo the competitors, it has to perform in all business activities and ensure the optimum placement of every activity in terms of appropriate and accurate value of things. The analysis of information from various departments. The proper use of the derived information can lead to competitive decision making, especially when the planning on the strategic moves is to be taken (Bekmezci, 2013).
This is a systematic analysis of how a mobile business can use information systems to develop more efficiency and the overall competitive advantage.
The company like Apple, though not being a mobile business, uses the market analysis techniques to know what the market wants, and it strives to deliver the desired products in time. The result is that the company has for more than 80% of its new products surprised their customers with the quality (Halal, 2015). Equally, mobile businesses are going to reap benefits once they use the technology analysis tools when dealing with competition and other similar external business environment factors.
How Technology Can Help to Improve Communication
Communication here involves both states within the operation and outside of the organization. It means sharing information that will add value to the productivity of the business. Often, the value added is in the form of accurate communication to customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. The ability to communicate promptly is boosted by the presence of a system that often keeps reminding one of the necessities and how they are ending while being used.
The system can also be set to appreciate past business transactions, therefore predicting the possibility of a need for such a trade. For instance, the payment of electricity bill done in a fortnight for the past three months should be detected by the system such that it indicates the likelihood of the bill payment in three days before the end of a fortnight.
This will reduce charges associated with late bill payment as well as inconveniences due to disconnections. Such avoidable cost will enable the business to run and improve efficiency to more than 40%. Equally timely purchase of stock is important since it allows the company to be ready for a given day that will be possibly busy with many sales.
In mobile businesses, the use of MIS enables the company to keep track of customers from some areas, and, therefore, the business may opt for informing them of a visit to the area. This way, the required B2C relationship is retained. It will also give an ample time to the people who fancy the product of a particular mobile business as they will be ready when the visit day comes (Goldenberg et al., 2015).
Prior communication with the typical and loyal customers will boost the number of sales as they are likely to go with friends, thus widening the market share in the region. The response of clients can also be recorded and used for later decision making. This customer to business relationship (C2B) is paramount (Ploom, 2015).
In another scenario, proper communication to other facilitators of the firm enhances the smooth flow of work. For instance, a mobile vending car will need to be reserved the strategic parking location for the day it visits the region. This planning has to be done, and while humans are prone to forgetting things, records will enable one to remember these simple yet crucial factors such as a parking ticket and paying for waste disposal after the daily operations.
A mobile shop that sells fast food will have to make an efficient communication with customers so as to ensure that their stock does not go bad. Some baked food such as bread cannot last for more than three shelf days, and any stock not bought within the three days will indicate a loss to the shop. The shop owners have to establish a communication model with the customers so that the fastest perishable baked food stuff is sold quickly to avoid losses.
In some instances, the use of social media is helpful as well as the business website so as to keep the world aware of the progress of the firm and the latest news regarding the enterprise. Facebook, for instance, means more than 50% of youths having personal accounts there that can be used in marketing (Kwok & Yu, 2013). Having a MIS incorporated within the firm allows proper presentation of performance and other records. This allows local people to see how the business is going, the planned places of visit, what will be available, and the prices for each item.
At times, using the social media and general product promotion methods allows the public especially potential customers to see what they might like in the series of options presented. Often, these mobile shops, since they do not have a particular store, rely heavily on proper product promotion, which is a form of communication with customers. A road trip type of product awareness can be organized in the target region of visit before the actual sales day just to make the targeted market informed on this kind of selective marketing and product promotion method (Da, 2013).
The use of technology has proven a crucial consideration in the day-to-day operation of businesses. The importance of it is even amplified among the mobile business owners who have to be always up to date due to the harsh kind of environment they are operating in. The development of technologically incorporated techniques for keeping track of sales, raw material purchase, and other expenditures has seen improved business planning possible.
The shrunken profit margin that exists among the mobile shop business demands that keen and accurate business decisions are made because any simple mistake will cause the companys toppling over and collapsing. Only under the assistance of technology, the company can avoid unnecessary expenditures, and the business can plan good marketing strategy according to the structure of the market so as to ensure that it realizes a profit with the minimum possible expenditure.
Typically, the mobile business usualyy entails fast foods and other fast going products. Often, these products have a subtle profit per unit of less than or about 5% (Bocken et al., 2014). Therefore, the businesses have to ensure that they meet their customers by being timely and communicating to them as well as ensuring that the products are enticing to customers.
All of these factors contain added expenditures. Eventually, the profit made is minimal, and high-value benefits can only be realized after a large sale. Such a deal is only possible under perfectly efficient business operation. As per our analysis, such a situation can only happen if the firm incorporates technology in all its activities.