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Management Information Systems in HR

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Introduction

As the Human Resource (HR) manager of the Coca-Cola Company, I will analyze the role and importance of the management information systems to the department as well as their impact on other functionalities of the corporation. The definition of the information systems can vary depending on the viewpoint. From the perspective of their functionalities concerning HR operations, the information system can be defined as the technologically installed channels with the aim of recording, storing, and circulating verbal expressions as well as supporting the making of inferences.

On the other hand, from the structural viewpoint, the information system is a system that consists of the staff of HR department, the procedures of the HR operations, the data used in the department, strategic models, individual skills, and formalized language that will form an interconnected structure, which serves the objectives, purpose, and goals of the department (Curry, Flett, & Hollingsworth, 2006). The general components of an information system include hardware resources, software resources, data resources, network resources, and human resources (Karikari, Boateng, & Ocansey, 2015). The hardware resources are the physical machines in the offices, for example, the personal computers and printers while the software ones include the information processing instructions embedded in computers.

Coca-Cola Company is an American manufacturer, retailer, and marketer of soft drinks. The company was incorporated by Asa Griggs Candler in 1892. He bought the Coca-Cola formula from its inventor John Smith. By the end of 1990, the red and white trademark of the company was one of the most popular brands in the market. The Coca-Cola product line has numerous soft drinks, which include Coca-Cola (its flagship product), Diet Coke, Barq’s, Fanta, and Sprite; over 400 soft drink brands are being sold in more than 200 nations, which results in over $21 billion income (Puravankara, 2007). The company has its current headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, where it was first incorporated. Currently, it is presented in different regions of the world including Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Africa. Being involved in the soft drink industry, the Coca-Cola Company mostly competes with Pepsi Company, Nestle SA, and Cadbury Schweppes Company. However, Coca-Cola is a leading actor in the soft drink market and brags a global market share of around 50% while PepsiCo with around 20% and Cadbury Schweppes owning around 10% follow it (Coca Cola Company, 2016).

Activity and Ownership

The company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1920 and has been trading publicly ever since. Its shares are traded to the public although the majority of the shareholders are Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Vanguard Group, and Capital World Investors. Moreover, Coca-Cola manages seven major operating segments, namely Eurasia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, Asia Pacific, and corporate Bottling Investments. The company makes most of the revenue from the sales of concentrated soft drink syrup, which it sells to bottlers who dilute the liquid and distribute it to the retailers (Puravankara, 2007). However, the Coca-Cola Company has also invested in several bottling companies and distribution centers, markets, and sells the finished products. The establishment has exposed a strategy of marketing and selling goods online. The company has also invested in e-commerce, due to which the clients can place their orders online.

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Financial Performance and Advertising

According to the annual report of the company of 2015, it reported sales of more than 50 million gallons of drinks, which resulted in more than $32 billion in revenue. The main part of this sum (47%) comes from the US with the Coke soft drink being the best-selling product In 2015, the company had the total assets base of $80 billion, total equity of $20 billion and operating activity of $10 billion (Coca Cola Company, 2016). The Coca-Cola Company has created a world-known product through several initiatives. Mostly, the company has invested a significant amount of money in advertising and promotional services (Coca Cola Company, 2016). It has also sponsored many public events. The FIFA Football World Cup tournament is among the most famous of them.

Data in the HR Department

Databases Needed in HR

In order to develop an efficient MIS in the HR department, there is the need to have the databases with the information used in the department centralized. This data may involve budgeting information concerning the cost of benefits and the selection cost per employee, staff management information, which includes staff personal data and identification, salary planning, absence analysis, the examination of the staff turnover, and working schedule of the company (Poutanen, 2010). A database of HR development factors is also a necessary thing. It includes the management of training and development, succession planning, recruitment qualifications, and the planning of the labor force. Finally, the staff and labor relation tracking, which includes information about employees’ unions, contributions, and expected payouts, would be another important database.

Since the Coca-Cola Company is a global enterprise with an employee base of around 50,000 people, the efficient work of the human resource department is vital for the overall success of the company. It is the capability of the HR manager to allocate all the manpower resources effectively in order to maximize their output fully (Karikari et al., 2015). Manager’s main tasks are partition, harmonization, and control of assignments completion as well as information flow within a company. In addition, a manager is also responsible for performance handling, development of careers, retention of skilled employees, and planning of succession (Puravankara, 2007).

Information Systems Needed in HR

Since the HR department requires a massive volume of data, management information systems like the human resource information system (HRIS) give an HR manager an added advantage for the effective implementation of the assigned responsibilities. HRIS allows automating the HR operations. The department is required to keep records of the information about the employees, their salaries, training programs, employees’ disciplinary history, and staff leave management (Curry et al., 2006).

In order to utilize the personnel’s output efficiently, it is important to have a management information system that is specifically designed to address HR challenges within the company and interlinked with the employees as well as the jobs, which they partake. Such a system will allow provide reports on current performance, based on data gathered, address common requests of the employees quickly due to predetermined procedure. It will allow controlling both the excess and scarcity of employees, which directly affects the company’s performance (Curry et al., 2006). HR planning, which can be significantly simplified with the assistance of the management information system, helps the business overcome challenges by tracking the number of employees and their jobs description. They also are tracking performance appraisal, being one of the most encouraging factors in the organizations. HR planning done through the management information system helps to do it by analyzing employees’ devotion to work and their consistency in the company.

Interaction Between the HR Department and Other Company Functions

The development of a management information system for the HR department requires input from the other functions of the company since it will not help the department alone (Curry et al., 2006). The reason for it is the fact that the HR department is connected with all the other departments and branches of the company. With a generalized HR information system, the interaction between the HR department and other functions within the company will be eased.

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The managers of other departments including manufacturing, marketing, and supply chain ones among others will be incorporated in the systems and be able to input or retrieve information about their subordinates when it is necessary (Curry et al., 2006). For instance, a manager can contact the HR department through the system in order to determine the work performance of the staff and notify the HR manager about the training.

The human resource department will also need to interact with other departments during salary appraisal and bonus review. The information, which other departments possess, is necessary for the HR manager; due to it, he or she can allocate bonuses effectively. The attendance data and succession plan, which the respective departments keep, are needed.

Hardware, Software, Analysis, and Reporting Required

In order to develop and implement the information system completely, several things are required. Hardware resources or physical machines are vital for the partaking of the tasks. Obviously, computers or laptops to access the installed systems are necessary. They enable the users to issue instructions in order to get the desired output (Poutanen, 2010). Nevertheless, they are supposed to be powerful enough to store voluminous information and sustain analysis processed.

However, to prevent negatives repercussions of hardware failures, cloud computing should be used. It is is, possibly, the most cost-efficient system to utilize, sustain, and upgrade. In addition, the licensing fees for users can be very high. Therefore, the department may not be able to pay for it. Cloud computing, however, is available for a lower price and, therefore, can significantly minimize the information systems expenses of the company. What is more, there are variants including several one-time payments, pay-as-you-go system, and other mountable options that make it rational for the Coca-Cola Company. Cloud computing also offers automatic software integration. In the cloud, software integration occurs automatically, which means that the cloud users do not need to put the need to additionally integrate or customize and their applications as per their preferences. This aspect usually is done automatically (Apostu, Puican, Ularu, Suciu, & Todoran, 2014). Lastly, cloud computing offers the advantage of quick distribution. By opting for this method of operation, one can be sure that the entire system will be fully functional within a short period. Once the users sign in the cloud, they are able to access the information from anywhere, which is provided through the Internet connection. It is a feature, which lets the users move beyond time zone and geographic location issues.

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By adopting these technologies, the company will outstand from its competitors –Pepsi Inc. and Cadbury Company, which still use the traditional computer systems to manage their operations. The advantages the company will get by implementing cloud computing technology are the efficiency of data manipulation, removal of redundancy activities, and time-saving in the retrieval of data stored in the databases.

Finally, the analysis and reporting of the HR information are necessary since the data in the databases is not conclusive. An IS provides a platform mostly for analysis and generation of reports. For example, the employees’ personal information and identification can be analyzed to give a report on the age brackets of the staff. A report on employees’ development and training can also be generated by analyzing staff management data. It allows providing an overview of those employees who attended a given training and those who have not done it yet. Lastly, a management report on the cost of the company human resources can be obtained from analyzing the cost per employee data, which shows how much the members of staff earn with respect to their labor input.

Communication Technology Needed in the HR Department

Communication is important for every department of the company. There are specific technologies, which ease the flow of information from one person to another, and due to the adoption of these techniques, the communication within a department can run properly. First, there is the web-based communication technology, which includes communication systems that integrate database and web-based technologies. They are considered advantageous for the communication process. The simple architecture of the proposed system can consist of a source database, central computer, web application, and end-user terminals, for example, monitors and keyboards (Karikari et al., 2015). End-users can access information in the database through the Internet using a browser. The electronic data interchange is permitted among the department members through a set of correctly designed web applications.

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Second, there is the mobile computing and wireless communication technology. It offers convenient access to the centrally saved data and takes centrally placed decision-makers to monitor the location as well as gather information in real-time remotely. Unlike the past years, when the companies have been using numerous telecommunication tools and techniques to deliver essential data to their on-site personnel outside the main office. Besides, the swift growth and advancements in the telecommunications allow always improve the ways the staff communicates (Karikari et al., 2015). There are several portable devices that can be used for assisting information management and wireless communication in construction. These devices include mobile phones and desktop phone extensions.

Finally, there is information standardization technology. The lack of data standardization is an obstacle for computer-integrated projects. The acknowledgment of this obstacle has led to the development of certain common standards. There is the Standard for the Exchange of Product model data, which the International Organization for Standards created. It is a benchmark measure of providing human and computer interpretable depiction and exchange of data, which aims to establish an unbiased mechanism to describe data independent of any given system or software (Karikari et al., 2015).

Information Technology to Support Internally and Outsource

In the implementation of HRIS, particular technologies can be purchased while others are outsourced. It is advisable for the company to purchase most of them since owning these techniques will ensure the accountability and security of its inner data. However, certain technologies are too expensive to be bought at once, and some of them require expertise, which cannot be conducted at the company level. For these reasons, the company can decide to outsource technology technique; it will be cheaper and time-saving (Poutanen, 2010).

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During the implementation of the web-based communication technologies, the need to purchase the hardware resources arises. They form the platform, upon which the system is installed. Resources like supercomputers can be acquired for the creation of an internal information cloud. They can be expensive and require more sophisticated skills to operate since one has to conduct the installation of cloud computing software and the construction of data centers, which will house the supercomputers. It is beneficial since owning these hardware resources, the company can regulate and monitor the access to the cloud through password only entrance as well as install anti-virus software that will restrict the transfer of data, which the online hackers may steal (Apostu et al., 2014). On the other hand, technologies like Internet services have to be outsourced since the cost of purchasing and operating the platforms is fairly expensive as compared to contracting a vendor. They can be outsourced from the service vendors whose sole purpose is to supply the technologies to those who cannot afford to run their own ones.

Owing to the rapid growth of the Internet, several professional information technology companies created a viable web-based system for the HRIS, which can be outsourced. Systems like Review Snap Web-based performance management system and Ascentis Solutions systems can be outsourced from the service providers or bought since the software is available through the web. With the assistance of service providers, the difficulties and dedicated software expenses can be lowered (Karikari et al., 2015). In addition, the concerns about upgrading are eliminated through making the service providers responsible for maintaining updated services and quality technical support, keeping the security of the physical and electronic assets as well as providing inherent sustenance of business steadiness and working flexibility. Since the data is stored in the cloud, its saving and restoration with this technology are much easier than storing the information on a physical device. Furthermore, the end-users can synchronize their personal emails, files, and calendars between various devices (Apostu et al., 2014). Due to it, they can access the documents anywhere, cooperate far more efficiently, and contact the customers easier.

Strategies and Differentiation from Competitors

The information in the HR department is highly strategic and, if properly managed, enables the company to have a competitive advantage. To benefit from this fact, the organization implements the web-based applications in HR management, which allows creating the joint computer environment, which will enable the communication of conceptions, approximation, planning, and stipulation of information (Poutanen, 2010). The technology is designed and applied as an intranet-based on the cost minimization system that will allow providing the automated creation of specified costing reports. This technology will provide an information model for facing the challenge of incompatibility of data and reduce the standard workload of retrieving information during analysis. It will also act as a monitoring system, which functions include detecting unauthorized access to information and login credentials resetting.

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Similarly, mobile computing and wireless communication create a conceptual model of an information system, which is based on the exchange of information among Internet-connected devices. The included wearable computers, which are the ones that can be worn on the body, will present unique innovation since most competitors of the company have not adopted this technology yet. This method eases the data analysis procedures making the department operation efficient. The input and output of data is done through touch screens with touchpads or they can be combined with the microphones and earpieces for vocal data handling. It will also include the implementation of the mobile wireless local area network that allows real-time data collection and storage in the central server of all the branches of the company (Karikari et al., 2015). The use of the wireless local area network for sharing information is strategic since it helps to support the management of the department by improving information flow throughout the company, lowering the redundancy expense, and enhancing contract performance. It will give the company added advantage over its competitors.

Although the implementation of the HRIS is common to all companies in the industry, it brings significant business improvement. However, adequate training and retraining on information handling for eliminating the redundant job functions through the system usage will make the data analysis of the company outstanding from its competitors’ one (Al-Mamary, Shamsuddin, & Aziati, 2014). The introduction of the HRIS will transform the nature of labor and the working environment since it will accompany the decrease in the size of the workforce. For the branches in the developing countries, the connection between organizational changes and the adoption of the new system as well as approaches to education will become necessary (Karikari et al., 2015) even though the national priorities for education would differ depending on the prevailing competencies and structural peculiarities of their working environment.

Conclusion

The introduction of the information system to the Human Resources department will greatly improve the operation of the office. It will reduce the data redundancy and time needed for retrieving information. The system will be accessible to all members of the company creating a community where the flow of data is efficient. The system considers different types of planning connected with scarcity or excess of employees, equal employment, leave-takings, and applicants’ qualifications, promotions, training programs, salary prediction, payment budgets, and staff relations, contracts, and employee support needs. By automating HR tasks with the assistance of management information systems and adopting cloud computing for the sake of security and accessibility, the HR department will have the time required for shifting their attention towards more important business and strategic tasks including leadership development and talent management among others.

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