Definition of

Defining the definition of management information system


Hi there information seeker, welcome to the definition of Management Information Systems and Machine Information Systems (MIS either way) explanation web page.

The purpose of this page is to define management information systems in order to give a good understanding of;

  • What a Machine/Management Information System is.
  • What Machine/Management Information Systems can do and how.
  • Who would use Machine/Management Information Systems.
  • Who can benefit from Machine/Management Information Systems and which ways.

The definition of Information Systems is the application of information technology to organizational and managerial needs. An information system needs to be aware of what information technology can contribute to an organization and how to bring that solution to fruition. The strength of an information system lies in the ability to apply the knowledge of information systems and technology together to help organizations compete more successfully in the marketplace or to streamline current operations.

So the definition of Management/Machine Information Systems (MIS) has to be giving helping organizations compete more successfully in the marketplace or to streamline current operations with view to production machines.

Hmmm OK, so to give a less 'text book' definition of management information system or machine information system. Incidently I use both terms in the definition of management information system. Because I have found machine information systems, which I think should be the correct name is well known as either.

Right then.. Here we go, I’ll try and keep the explanation as simple as possible.

A machine/management information system is a way of connecting a group of production machines to a single viewing point. This allows the ‘viewer’ to see real time information about all the machines in one place, without having to go out onto the workshop floor and scoot around each machine in turn.

This real time information is generally updated at one-minute intervals. So you can already see one advantage there, saving of shoe leather trying to do a one-minute lap of the factory.

Ok yeah, it would be fairly impossible if you’ve got fifty machines on say a four-acre site. But theses systems aren’t trying to compete with people, which is just as well because they do it far quicker.

Their purpose is giving someone the ability to see all the machines activity in their factory in one place at the same time AND in real time. With the added advantage that this could be done from anywhere with a PC, by using LAN and Internet.

There that’s the simple explanation, how did I do?

Ahhh of course, you want to know more than that don’t you! Ok then I’ll continue.

As I said earlier in 'definition of management information system' giving the required information is the trick here. So what type of information?

The type of information given is along the lines of machine speed, production rate, efficiency, waste, running/stopped and downtime just to give some examples. Time and attendance monitoring can also be a useful part of a system, treated normally as an optional extra.

The information supplied is tailored to the viewer’s preferences and their machines of course. It is mostly displayed in numeric form but can be as a bar chart or coloured scale and is more often that not exported in a spreadsheet file format for remote viewing.

They way they work does not vary a great deal from system to system because they are all after doing the same thing essentially. Local modules, called Plc’s, ( what's a PLC? ) gather information about the machine, this constantly updated info is then sent to the host program where it is formatted into a spreadsheet file and saved to hard disk. This file gets collected each time it is updated by the host display program and is used to display what’s happening at the machine on the screen.

The spreadsheet file is also outputted to various specified destinations over LAN and/or Internet, this is so remote display programs can take this information and mimic the host display without even being connected to the system. That’s good isn’t it? Well it does mean the boss can see your machine is stopped when you slip out the back door for a cigarette! Even if he's on holiday!!

Which leads onto whom would use them. I’m sure by now you must have a good idea from this explanation that these systems are targeted at middle and upper management, production planners, sales staff and packing departments.

These categories of people are the ones that need an overview of what’s happening with the production in their company to enable them to do their job. The installation of a system would speed up this process and could even take some of the guesswork out of the way. For example predicting the end time of the job run at the current or average production rate while allowing for machine efficiency.

Charts could show the most and least productive times in the day, this information could be used to improve overall factory efficiency. Improvements in efficiency leads to savings in labour, reducing scrap product, helps in meeting planned deadlines, reduces wear on machines thus saving on down time and maintenance.

Also if the machine figures are logged day by day, this can help predict major faults such as a main motor slowing due worn bearings. Or a main drive problem that’s not bad enough to stop a machine running but results in more scrap being produced.

I’m sure you will now realise within this definition of management information system. A management or machine information system can give up to the minute information about any and all of the machines connected into it.

This information can be displayed virtually anywhere in the world. Yes ok I could have just put that earlier but I’m sure you’re now much better informed by my fuller explantion. Also within the definition of management information systems, the ins and outs of these systems.

You should be able to get a very good pass mark in the following test...
Test for the Definition of management information system

Ha ha only joking don’t panic, it's not really a link!!!
Just seeing if you're paying attention still!

Now you have a good idea about the definition of management information system, look around the whole web site and see what more you can learn, also I trust you have found this explanation useful and informative, have fun.

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