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Information technology in business and administration

Module by: Siyavula Uploaders. E-mail the author

ECONOMIC AND MANAGEMENT SCIENCES

Grade 7

TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES

Module 18

Information technology in business and administration

1. What is information technology?

Information technology (IT) is applied to manage and process information, particularly in business organisations. It is done by means of electronic computers and computer software that processes, protects, stores and retrieves information.

  1. What is a database?

A database is an organised collection of data and information. Previously all the information of a business undertaking were kept in files in filing cabinets by secretaries. The documents were either arranged alphabetically, according to subjects or dates, etc. A system was necessary to enable speedy retrieval of information.

An electronic database is a collection of records that is stored systematically so that a computer programme can be applied to retrieve the files. In other words, the information of the company is stored on the hard drive of a computer, and is managed by a computer programme.

  1. What is the nature of the information that is stored on the database?

All the records of the company (wholesale and retail) is stored on the database. Amongst others it includes the following:

  • Purchases
  • Stock
  • Manufacturing
  • Orders
  • Staff records
  • Clients
  • Marketing reports
  • Planning
  • Income and expenditure

In other words, the “paper work” of all facets of the business enterprises where records are kept, must be stored electronically.

4. Who are the staff members that benefit from the information stored on the database?

a) On management level they are:

  • The General Manager

It is important that the General Manager has access to all the information with regard to the company.

  • The Marketing and Sales Manager

Sales statistics is the most important source of information to the sales and marketing manager. It determines the sales strategies that are applied to generate sales.

  • The Human Resources Manager

Information on each staff member is stored on the database for retrieval by the human resources manager when needed. It includes progress reports, achievement assessments, salaries, penalties, company perks, etc.

  • The Financial Manager

All the information related to income and expenditure is retrieved from the database to compile the monthly and annual financial statements. The cash flow statement is managed according to information on the database. All the information relating to finances must be available at all times.

Depending on the nature of the business, there will also be other managers in the company, e.g. system managers, section managers, etc. They all need access to the information on the database at all times in order to do their jobs effectively. They also generate information that has to be stored on the database.

b) On administrative level they are the following:

The administrative or clerical staff in the company is responsible for the book-keeping and records of the company. It includes all financial transactions regarding income and expenditure, payment of accounts (creditors) and sending of accounts (debtors). Record must be kept of stock continually. Salaries must be paid. Information regarding these aspects, is stored on the database.

Activity 1:

To perform a task by using information on the computer

[LO 3.3]

The manager has instructed your department urgently to do the following:

“We were informed that the Department of Housing of the government has accepted out tender for 200 steel framed windows. The order must be executed within 30 days otherwise the tender is cancelled. Find out immediately whether it will be possible. I must know within half an hour. You will find all the relevant information on the company database.”

What will you do to perform the task? Answer the questions by using the clue in brackets.

1. What will you do first? (stock)

2. If there are not enough frames at the head office, what then? (branches)

3. If there still are not enough frames, what then? (manufacturing)

Will the price of the new frames be the same as that of the old frames? (price increase)

Will there be enough time?

Assessment

Table 1
Learning Outcomes(LOs)
LO 3
MANAGERIAL, CONSUMER AND FINANCIAL KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLSThe learner will be able to demonstrate knowledge and the ability to apply responsibly a range of managerial, consumer and financial skills.
Assessment Standards(ASs)
We know this when the learner:
3.3 describes the importance of administration in managing a business (record keeping, storing documentation);3.4 discusses the use of technology in telecommunication services (e.g. cell phones) and financial transactions (e.g. ATM, Internet) in improving administration, communication and access to information.

Memorandum

  • Let the learners visit a business enterprise and talk to the manager about tasks that are done electronically with regard to administration and management.
  • Discuss with the learners what a database is and how electronic information is applied in a company.

Activity 1

Obviously all the information of the company will be found on the database.

  1. Stock statistics will be consulted to determine the stock level of the merchandise involved.
  2. Statistics of the stock at the branches will also be available on the database.
  3. If there is still not enough stock to execute the order on tender, an order for new stock will have to be placed urgently. The details of the manufacturer can be retrieved from the database.
  4. A quote will be required from the manufacturer. It will be compared with the previous quote which is stored on the database. The new quote will possibly be higher than the previous quote due to price escalations, etc. Obviously the profit margin will be lower because the tender price must be matched.

5. If the limited time available, is a problem, the manufacturer will have to be asked to work overtime. That involves additional costs. But then again the company will forfeit the tender if the order cannot be executed on time.

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Definition of a lens

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A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

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