4 ◾ Information Systems: What Every Business Student Needs to Know
As you read this chapter, focus on these key concepts to use on the job:
1. Intelligent use of information can help any type of organization.
2. e value of information depends on its quality. Information quality can be described
by a small number of specic factors.
3. Computers are basic to using information intelligently. A company can’t use infor-
mation intelligently without using computer-based information systems (ISs)
4. You will benet personally in your career if you understand information systems.
VALUE OF INFORMATION
Consider these three business scenarios.
A toy manufacturer gets an order for 5,000 coaster wagons. To produce 5,000 wagons, it needs
20,000 wheels. It has only 4,000 wheels in stock. It must order at least 16,000 more wheels.
Possible Outcome A
e production control manager phones the purchasing agent who handles wheels. She’s out
for the rest of the day, so the production control manager leaves a voice mail. When the pur-
chasing agent returns the call the next morning, the production control manager is on the
factory oor, so she leaves a voice mail. ey talk the day aer that. e purchasing agent
then calls three suppliers from whom the toy manufacturer has bought wheels in the past.
A is no longer in business. B’s sales representative has just le on a three-week vacation. She
leaves a voice mail for C’s salesperson. C’s salesperson senses desperation in the purchasing
agent’s voice and therefore prices the wheels 25% higher than usual. He gets the order anyhow.
Possible Outcome B
e toy company’s production planning system calculates the need and sends an electronic
message to the purchasing department. Workow soware in the purchasing department
routes the request to the purchasing agent, but will reroute it to her manager if she doesn’t pro-
cess it within 24hours. She processes it the next morning, sending electronic request-for-bid
messages to three rms that have supplied wheels in the past. She gets bids back from the two
that are still in business. C quotes standard prices. B, whose sales rep is eager to close some busi-
ness before leaving on a three-week vacation, oers a 20% discount. is time, B gets the order.
A college professor enjoys solving puzzles and oen buys puzzle books online. Two online
bookstores get a new puzzle book edited by Will Shortz, who is known for high-quality