This paper presents information system development at the Gold Medal Products. Gold Medal Products is a family owned business that has been in operation since 1931(Gold Medal Products Co). Gold Medal is the major popcorn machine producer (Gold Medal Products Co). Their main objective is to develop innovative ideas and equipments that serve market needs. Presently, Gold Medal has over 1000 employees and they are all committed to the sales generating concessions, specialty in food machines and supplies (Gold Medal Products Co).
Gold Medal decided to choose DOS operating system because it was the most viable system at that time. They have been using other operating systems whose reliability has become questionable over time. What is critical of any operating system is its reliability. Reliability is determined on the basis of level of efficiency and effectiveness when it comes to operations.
Effective operating systems are those that deliver on required operations in the right way. Secondly, in the business realm, security is of paramount importance. An effective system should not allow for hackers to access company secrets.
Efficiency of a system is determined by its user friendliness (Post & Anderson 128). A user friendly system is one that is well understood by the operators or users. It should allow flexibility in application in the sense that workers are able to create or adopt it to their purposes without interfering or compromising organizational operations.
The hardware and software has to be replaceable and repairable using resources in the organizations. A system that is heavily expert based i.e. one that can only be understood and operated by experts does not offer efficiency. A small hitch or breakdown and experts have to be brought in. such a system is expensive to maintain and allows for possibility of sabotage when the experts feel aggrieved or choose to become mischievous.
Gold Medal Products has a network of branches, distributors who are all over the globe and thousands of employees (Gold Medal Products Co). Due to its nature or organizational structure, a DOS operating system was an ideal system to use because it is UNIX based thus can easily hook into servers.
A UNIX based system has six run that are independent of each other securely (Shelly & Rosenblatt 77). Therefore, such a system has secure windows. A DOS Unix based system can be used by many people and does not crash easily. The system is user friendly as it takes less time to boot. DOS based system is generally cheap and easily accessible. Finally, the system gives a lot of features that enable multi tasking and support for big memory.
The only disadvantages of such a system are that it requires proper prior training for individuals to be able to use it. Given it allows for customization, different expert users could easily jeopardize operations by developing complicated end use applications. In case they move, new employees may find it hard to adapt to customized applications.
Gold Medal has been growing since it was started and now it cannot be able to cope with certain big needs because the current system is failing. The current system is largely obsolete and unreliable. There is need to develop a new flexible, fast system that can accommodate future expansion.
Based on current status, an upgrade is required. There are a number of challenges associated with the old system. Due to its inefficiencies, it has led to customer’s dissatisfaction, insufficient record keeping as well as delay in reproducing managerial reports such as accounts receivable reports and other reports which are needed for timely decision making by the company’s management.
The advantage of upgrading their system is that it will improve service delivery to customers, managerial reports generation or processing and fast but accurate record keeping (Post & Anderson 83). This will in turn go a long way in ensuring and assuring the company a competitive advantage.
After identifying the problems of the system in place, the company through its steering committee has started the phases of developing a new system. The overriding goal for developing the new system is to help the organization cope with the changing customer related needs, which the old system can not cope with.
The organization aims at developing a system that will contribute towards the attaining of its strategic objectives. As Post and Anderson (122) advice, it is very important to follow the steps and repeat each step so that initial objectives of the organization are met.
Feasibility study is carried out to examine the problems, goals and expected cost of the new system (Post & Anderson 430). It is also carried out to investigate what type of system can be developed. In line with management objectives at Gold Medal, a feasibility study for the new system is of prime importance. The evaluation will aim at establishing whether the system will meet the organization’s needs or not.
Gold Medal had considered different types of Operating systems in terms of advantages and disadvantages. Some of the systems available for consideration include Real Time Operating System, Multi-user and Single-user Operating System and Multi-tasking and Single-tasking Operating System(Shelly & Rosenblatt 203).
Real Time operating system is a multi tasking operating system that executes real time applications. They are fast and predictable. Given they allow for multi tasking, different individuals can perform different operations on the system at the same time or a single user can perform different tasks on a machine at a time. The Dos Unix based operating system is better than any other considered alternatives.
The basic advantages of the system lie in the fact that it is fast, stable; window based, takes less time to boot and has a good desktop interface (Shelly & Rosenblatt 245). Such a system is effective for their growing number of customers and inline with the services they offer. They have many branches as well as businesses internationally and thus need a stable system to rely on. The chosen operating system allows for multi tasking hence enables uses to save time.
Change management is a critical aspect of new system implementation. When a change is introduced people need to be well trained as to acclimatize with new system. Adoption of new technology often results in establishment of new working relationships among employees and management.
Introduction of new systems can sometimes lead to loss of jobs. Due to the possibility that people can be adversely affected due to implementation of a new system, enough preparation is necessary before implementation. The preparation is important to avoid the likelihood of employees resisting the change (Post & Anderson, 433). New technology brings about a lot of changes and people concerned might be afraid of what the new change brings.
They are used to old system. Change in an organization often occurs when a company hires a new employee who comes with new ideas or the top management introduces a new idea. Change can also be instituted in response to a new competitor entering the market or in the extreme case of a natural disaster occurring. Whatsoever the cause or reason for change, management has to bear in mind its effect on the people and thus possibility of resistance.
It is for the aforementioned reasons that Gold Medal has to make considerations aimed at helping employees adapt and acclimatize to new system. Depending on nature of system and branch peculiarities across nations, implementation can be done in phases or all at once (Post & Anderson, 433). Proper training across the organization will be critical towards acclimatization and kind of standardization of processes.
To ensure that the costs are less than the benefits, Gold Medal has to carry out a cost benefits analysis. This includes analyzing the projected performance levels or actual performance of the new system based on pilot in comparison to the old one. The costs of the system will depend on the established development plan and cost of new technology.
A cost benefit analysis is critical to establish whether the development plan for the new system is viable. If the costs are more than projected benefits, it is only proper to abandon the project. According to Shelly and Rosenblatt (602) cost benefit analysis has to be considered for every step in the system development. The step by step analysis of costs and benefits of new system is done in order to compare with other solutions (Shelly & Rosenblatt 603).
It is very important for Gold Medal to upgrade from old operating system to a new operating system in order for them to compete favorably in the market. Much customer management practices, employee management, supplier management and general market monitoring are best automated.
Automation of such like activities enables organizations to deal effectively and efficiently with all stakeholders. A new system that provides for generation of timely reports that improve services delivery is highly welcome. There are new technological changes which are coming up everyday and this will make current information management systems obsolete.
A more modern operating system will increase efficiency because employees will no longer need to call for technical support. It will also improve record keeping thus making it easier to look for a record. Speed and dependability is important in order to compete effectively and a new system will do better than the old operating system. Gold Medal is a big company with 10 domestic branches and does business internationally (Gold Medal Products Co).
For a company of its status, upgrading the system to a more modern operating system will maximize utilization of the company network and ultimately deliver efficient services to both clients and employees of the company, the new system will strive to realize this goal by reducing the cost while increasing the opportunities by having a system which can: maximize productivity, provide strong management control, ensure delivery of high quality services in less time, with less resources in a define manner.
Gold Medal Products Co. About Us. Gold Medal Products Co. 2009. 18th February. 2010
Post V. Gerald and Anderson, David, Lee. Management Information Systems: Solving Business Problems with Information Technology. 4th Ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 2005
Shelly, B., Gary and Rosenblatt, J. Harry. System Analysis and Design. 8th Ed. New York: Cengage Learning, 2009