Computer and information processing - Part 2 - Computer Essay Example

MEMORANDUM

I would like to bring to your kind attention the matter that we discussed last December 2006 regarding the assessment of the current situation of the computing capability of our business operations.

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Table 1 shows the results of said assessment focused on six departments of Superior Gas Station: IT, Finance, HR, Purchasing, Logistics, Operations, and Facilities Management.

I would like to emphasize that our computer usage will be 10 years in March 2007, however, our records show that there has been no upgrade on our hardwares and softwares in these departments and practically in the entire company. We have been using relational database management systems (RDBMS) using MS Access application but only two departments—IT and Finance—have intra networks in their respective organizations and the rest are “stand-alone.” I would like to stress that HR is keeping its own list of employees while the Accounting section of the Finance department, likewise, is keeping its own list of employees for payroll purposes—this is obviously a case of redundancy but the emphasis is on the susceptibility to human error and the monetary impact of such errors. There have been many cases of double payments to employees brought by this redundancy in keeping list of employees. Furthermore, Purchasing department is keeping its own list of Suppliers (local and international) as well as the list of its orders, purchases, and inventory; on the one hand, Logistics department, is also keeping its own list of suppliers, materials, and equipment for its own purpose. Purchasing and Logistics departments share the same situation with that of the HR and Finance’s data redundancy. Meanwhile, the Operations department is also keeping its own list of personnel nationwide and inventory of equipment. The Facilities Management department relies on its 10-year manual management information system until now and never had any computer-based information system.

The use of Microsoft Access application has been advantageous only in department levels but not on an enterprise level which is the limitation of MS Access (Microsoft, 1994).

Table 1. Assessment of computer application specifications and usage

Microsoft Access requirements

(Microsoft, 1994)
Computer Network Usage of Superior Gas Station (from 1994 to January 2007)
Currently used

(since 1996)

Department Users
Number/ Quantity

Remarks
·    An IBM-compatible personal computer with an 8036sx, 80386, or higher processor (386/20 or higher is recommended)
An IBM-compatible personal computer with an 80386 processor
IT, Finance, HR, Purchasing, Logistics, Operations
4, 3, 6, 4, 4, 2, respectively

Total = 23

·    A hard disk with 21.5 megabytes of free space for a typical installation. You need 5.5 megabytes for a minimum installation
A hard disk with 21.5 megabytes of free space for a typical installation
IT, Finance, HR, Purchasing, Logistics, Operations
4, 3, 6, 4, 4, 2, respectively

Total = 23
IT has the largest hard disk requirements among the departments, next is Finance, then Operations
·    A Microsoft Mouse or other compatible pointing device
Compatible mouse
IT, Finance, HR, Purchasing, Logistics, Operations
4, 3, 6, 4, 4, 2, respectively

Total = 23

·    An EGA, VGA, or compatible display (VGA or higher is recommended)
EGA
IT, Finance, HR, Purchasing, Logistics, Operations
4, 3, 6, 4, 4, 2, respectively

Total = 23

·    Six megabytes of random-access memory (8 megabytes or more is recommended)
10 MB RAM
IT, Finance, HR, Purchasing, Logistics, Operations
10 MB RAM for each department

·    MS-DOS version 3.1 or later
MS-DOS ver. 3.1
IT, Finance, HR, Purchasing, Logistics, Operations
All computers use MS-DOS ver. 4.0

·    Microsoft Windows, Windows for Workgroups, or Windows NT version 3.1 or later
Microsoft Windows
HR, Purchasing, Logistics, Operations
Stand-alone systems
Each of these departments is keeping its own list of data, like, employees, suppliers, etc.
Windows for Workgroups
IT, Finance
Intra networks
Only these two departments use networks but within their own organizations only, i.e., they do not share their individual data to other departments

In line with the strategic planning session we had last November 2006 in which a decision was made to expand the operations of Superior Gas Station in the Asia Pacific entailing manpower increase of 35%, I would like to propose an overall upgrade of our computing network shown in Exhibit A.

The proposed Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) network for Superior Gas Station concept is derived from the model of Omnex Systems (Omnex, n.d.) which provides a seamless management information system connecting all the functional units of an enterprise—the heart of which is the Information Technology department. The ERP system will eliminate all possible redundancies that will be uncovered during the analysis and implementation phases of an improvement undertaking and will be expected to reduce the commission of errors up to 95%. The proposed structure is self-explanatory and easy to understand. Omnex owns EwQMSTM–the “Enterprise-wide quality management system application, a 100% Web-based software suite on which you can run all of your business quality operations.” One advantage of using EwQMSTM is that it is based on ISO 9001:2000 QMS which can be adopted for Superior Gas Station without necessarily pursuing ISO 9000 certification and the strength of which is that it provides the foundation for an integrated management information system or ERP capability for any company. The operating system requirements are minimal, like: in a “Windows 98, NT, 2000 or XP desktop, what is needed is Explorer 6.0 on an Intel Pentium 500 MHz processor with 128 MB of RAM recommended and 80 MB of hard disk space. On a company web server what is needed is Windows 2000 or NT 4.0, Microsoft Transaction Services, SMTP and Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 or later” (Omnex, n.d.). Part of an improvement idea is adoption of a new computer network facility, like that of EwQMSTM and the scrapping of almost the entire old computer system of Superior Gas Station.

I have contacted Omnex Systems in Michigan and got assurances from them that they will deliver our needs on time with competitive price. A cost/benefit analysis of the proposed new computer network infrastructure will be submitted in a separate memo after discussing the matter with you.

Thank you.

References

1.      Microsoft (1994). User’s Guide Microsoft Access Relational Database Management System for Windows. (Version 2.0). USA: Microsoft Corporation.

2.      Omnex (n.d.). The Enterprise-wide Quality Management Systems Suite EwQMS Web-based Quality Management System Accross the Enterprise. Ann Arbor, MI: Omnex. (See www.omnex.com)

Exhibit A. Proposed Enterprise Resource Planning Network for Superior Gas Station (Concept derived from: Omnex Systems, n.d.)

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