Delivery in day(s): 5
Unit 16 Managing Communications Information and Knowledge Assignment
Decision making is the process or a course of action to select a suitable solution from the available alternatives. It is done by the companies to meet their goals and objectives. Star Printers London being a private company has to maintain relationships with the communities and consumers so that it can meet competition in the market. As a consultant in SPL limited, I have to assess the information and knowledge needs of the company and provide suggestions to the company and prepare a report. The assignment contains four tasks in which the importance of communication, knowledge and information is explained with reference to SPL Ltd. and it also covers the discussion about IT Systems which can be used as a tool for different functions of the company.
Task 1: Demonstrate how you understand how to assess information and knowledge needs.
SPL Ltd. Is a printing company and it is facing the competition in the industry from the online cheap printing companies because of it, the company lost many jobs. It is afraid of losing its share in the market and losing the profits in huge amounts (Vaiman, et. al., 2012). As a consultant, I have to take certain decisions on building or modifying the marketing strategies adopted by the company so that the competition can be met in the market. Also, the decisions have to be taken for making a better business by the use of fulfilling the needs of various departments of SPL Ltd. So that its core business can be improved. The problems are to be identified and then the decisions have to be taken for adopting better methods of communication and better processes (Vaiman, et. al., 2012).
1.1 & 1.2 Discuss the range of decisions to be taken and examine the information and knowledge needed to ensure effective decision taking
A range of decisions which have to be taken in SPL Ltd. are:
Management decisions at senior level: The senior level management includes the board of directors or the chairman who take decisions regarding the investment related activities of the company. They take strategic decisions like whether a new project should be taken up or not or a new company should be acquired or not. They do not function on routine basis but take important decisions for the company. Strategic decisions are those which affect the long term success of the company (Kahraman & Yan?k, 2016).
Management decisions at middle level: At this level, the managers take tactical decisions for the company for meeting its goals and objectives and for better functioning of the organisation. It can be recruitment or selection of new employees, making relationships with different business partners and with the suppliers or implementing the marketing strategies (Kahraman & Yan?k, 2016).
Managers or coordinators: These can be understood as the leaders who guide the team for doing work so that the objectives can be achieved. It facilitates the smooth functioning of different departments like sales, finance, human resources, marketing, etc. and coordinates the activities of all. They take operational decisions which are generally short term and are used to implement the tactical decisions. For e.g. what kind of printing ink should be used (O'Rourke & Barnett, 2008).
Knowledge and Information needed to ensure the effective decision making
In the modern corporate world, information and knowledge plays a major role as these are used to take complex decisions in the organisations both for strategic decision making and for making decisions in day to day business. The markets changes so fast and rapidly nowadays which needs ample amount of knowledge and expertise with the management of the company to cope up with the same (O'Rourke & Barnett, 2008). All the levels of management in the organisations have some responsibilities which are needed to be fulfilled by using the knowledge and information. Decision making differs from person to person as they have different levels of knowledge and information. It can’t be determined that which knowledge is more important for organisation (O'Rourke & Barnett, 2008).
In SPL Ltd., some decisions are to be taken for which the management at all levels need to have sufficient knowledge and information of the related areas so that fast decision making can be done. The top level management will have to take various decisions regarding the shareholders, sourcing the funds for expanding business and more and so, they should have market of industry or knowledge of external and internal environment of business while the middle level managers should have knowledge regarding the current systems and need of the organisation. At last, at operational level, the managers should have the information about different departments like what level of targets are achieved daily by the team, how many hours the workers are being productive, etc. This kind of information is internal and specific (Beebe, et. al., 2016).
The knowledge available should be used to make correct decisions for the SPL Ltd. in future. The knowledge can be related to the working pattern of the printing machines, how the machines are used, who should be responsible, why this decision is important to be taken, etc. Knowledge can be standard which can be used by every worker in a standard format while the tacit knowledge comes from the personal experience of people. Tacit knowledge enables the workers to use the standard knowledge in a different way to achieve more effectiveness (Beebe, et. al., 2016).
1.3 Assess the current operations - internal and external sources of information and understanding
There are two sources of information- Internal and external. The collection of data from internal sources is simpler than from the external information because it is readymade and available data and no extra efforts are to be made on the collection of same. It just need the organisation to imply it’s time for conducting meetings and communication so that the information can be collected from the internal sources and then that information is ready to be evaluated (Miller, 2014).
The other source is external and in SPL Ltd. External sources are used because a consultant has been employed so that the structure of SPL Ltd. can be reviewed and restructured for better business operations.
Internal information was a combination of informal or formal type of communication but external information is more of a formal type and is documented. Internal information incurs lesser cost than the external information. Customer surveys can be conducted to know their requirements and opinions. These surveys are reviewed to plan future operations so that SPL Ltd. can implement the changes and meet the competition (Miller, 2014).
1.4 Explain and justify recommendations for improvement
SPL Ltd. identified that the decline in business is due to the new emerging online cheap printing companies. After this the organization can reduce the prices or rates of its printing like for e.g. by 5% which can bring the prices of competitors almost at the same level. Now it will become easy for SPL Ltd. to fight the competition in the market. SPL should conduct surveys which will let it know that how many customers they have already lost and what improvements can be made for increasing the sales again (Bovée & Thill, 2012).
The company can adopt some marketing strategies like discounts on huge volumes or rate cuts for regular customers so that more customers can be attracted towards the company and prefer it. This will surely improve the business of the company.
It can be concluded that SPL Ltd. have to make range of decisions for which external and internal information is required to be collected and analysed. Some recommendations are given to improve the business of SPL Ltd.
Task 2: Explain how you would create strategies to increase personal networking to widen involvement in the decision making process
This task is focussed on how to identify the stakeholders of SPL Ltd. and how these stakeholders are significant for the business. It will show that how contacts are developed with these stakeholders to develop relationships in business, so that the decisions can be taken appropriately for the business for its improvement (Carter, 2013).
Stakeholders are those who affect the business of the organisation or those who are affected by the activities of the organisation. The Stakeholders of SPL Ltd. are:
Employes: These are the ones who performs the operations of business
Customers: They are the ones who purchase the products from SPL Ltd.
Suppliers: They provide raw material to SPL Ltd. For printing operations
Community: community provides sources like labour or employees to work for the company
Shareholders: these are the ones who provide funds for the smooth operations of the company and have a share of profit in the company (Vieta, et. al., 2011).
For developing business relationships, the identified shareholders are to be contacted by various ways. It can be done through telephones, emails or business meetings. Any issue should be solved as soon as possible so that no issue can hamper the performance of the organisation. These are the ways for making contact with internal stakeholders. With external stakeholders, the contact can be made through meetings, site visits, personal and professional groups, emails, etc. where networking can be made easily.
For developing business relationships, the identified shareholders are to be contacted by various ways. It can be done through telephones, emails or business meetings. Any issue should be solved as soon as possible so that no issue can hamper the performance of the organisation. These are the ways for making contact with internal stakeholders. With external stakeholders, the contact can be made through meetings, site visits, professional groups, emails, etc. where networking can be made easily.The involvement of the stakeholder depends on the situations (Karjalainen, et. al., 2013).
Employees: the employees have little involvement in decision making and t also depends on the style of management.
Customers: The customers play a key role in decision making it is on the basis of their choices, the decisions are made by the organisation.
Suppliers: suppliers do not play such an important role
Community: Community play a minimum role in the decision making (Carter, 2013).
Shareholders: Shareholders play a key role and it depends on their share of investment.
Stakeholder mapping can be used which is a tool for analysing the impact of stakeholders. It depends on the power or influence of each stakeholder and the relationship with the organisation. In this tool stakeholders are classified first for the purpose of analysing that how much they are involved in the decision makingof the company (Karjalainen, et. al., 2013).
SPL Ltd. should connect and communicate with each and every stakeholder separately so that their requirements can be identified. Meetings can be held for delivering the needs and requirements of each and every stakeholder properly. It can be concluded that for SPL Ltd. Identifying stakeholders is very important because the relationships have to be developed with them (Vieta, et. al., 2011).
It can be concluded that every stakeholder has different level of involvement in the decisions of the company which has to be assess with the help of a tool stakeholder analysis so that the decisions can be made for improvement.
Task 3: Explain how you would develop the communication process.
The task will include the ways in which the communication process of SPL Ltd. can be developed. The existing communication process of the company has been discussed and the personal plan has also been discussed so that the appropriateness can be gained in personal communication skills (Nystrup, et. al., 2010).
Communication in SPL Ltd. Flows through a process where there is a sender, a medium and a receiver of information. There is a dual direction flow of information which ensures that the messages are reaching the recipient. SPL Ltd. Has upper management, middle management and lower management stages where effective communication is required for work to be done on time. Normally the managers or the leaders are the mediators between the upper level and lower level of management and vertical communication is used and top to bottom approach is used generally (Ahmeti, 2014).
Sometimes misunderstandings are caused due to wrong choice of medium or any other distortion. This crates wastage of money and time. The communication can be more appropriate in SPL Ltd. SPL ltd. Can adopt horizontal communication as well in which all the managers and workers can communicate among themselves which increases the speed of work and also the misinterpretations will be reduced because they can directly contact each other. There should be bottom up approach of communication which ensures that the lower level of workers can also provide feedbacks which helps in the improvement in the organisations (Carvalho, 2014).
The improvements can be implemented in SPL Ltd. By restructuring the organisation gain and according to the hierarchies the communication is flowed. It reduces the complex conditions and the time is also reduced when communication is properly done. The team leaders can take feedbacks at regular intervals so that the communication process and its effectiveness can be monitored. The team should have freedom to share any problem with the leader and vice versa.
Communication plan can act as blueprint in which I would get help in improving my communication skills for future. In this I would be required to ask certain questions from myself and would rate myself on the basis of the answers. This would help me in focussing on the areas where I need to improve (Carvalho, 2014).
It can be concluded that it is very important to develop communication process in SPL Ltd. To bring more effectiveness in the operations, the existing process is vertical and top bottom approach which should be improved and changed to bottom up approach and also a combination of vertical and horizontal communication should be adopted. A personal improvement plan should be used for bringing improvement in own communication skills. Communication is a very important aspect of any organisation because effective communication brings success to the organisation because the goals and objectives are easily achieved when the flow of communication is smooth and when there are little or no barriers in processing information within different teams and departments. It ensures better coordination and effective results.
Task 4: Explain how you would improve systems relating to information and knowledge
The task is related to the systems in the organisation which are to be improved so that the information and knowledge can be improved in SPL Ltd. It includes collection, formatting, storage and dissemination of information and knowledge.
4.1 A report on existing approaches to the collection, formatting, storage and dissemination of information and knowledge
Managing information is a complex task for the organisations because there is huge data which has to be managed in a best way. It includes collection, formatting, storage and retrieval of data for multiple or single sources and within the target audience (Ahmad, et. al., 2014).
The information which is collected from different sources should be evaluated against the objectives of the organisation. The information once collected and sorted out should be stored in various forms and online storage systems. Theses information or data should be then retrieved whenever they are required The information is disseminated by choosing an appropriate media like digital media, printed media or any other way.
SPL Ltd. Uses hardware based system known as SAP to gather and track the data for all the activities carried on in the organisations. The upper management level of managers uses Executive Information system (EIS) which is used to collect and format the data from internal and external sources and is used for dissemination of information so that the strategies of the organisation can be made (Toledo, et. al., 2016).
SAP stores all the necessary details of the customers and clients and stores it which is then processed and helps in knowing the past trends of shopping, the customer’s likes and dislikes, information of billing, etc. So, in short the sales history can be accessed through the system of SAP. EIS also helps the company to make marketing strategies so that the company can improve its image and sales in the market. In the world of competition, these systems are not enough to gear the competition. There is some scope of improvement so that the relevant information can be collected, stored and used for reaching the potential customers and increasing the sales of the company (WHITE, 2014).
4.2 Explain how you will carry out appropriate changes to improve the collection, formatting, storage and dissemination of information and knowledge
The systems of collection, formatting, storage and dissemination ofinformation can be improved but one has to consider the costs as well. The costs cannot cross the benefits which will be received by the company after adopting the methods for improvement.
A new and upgraded SAP system can be adopted. It will create an opportunity for the SPL Ltd. To restructure it so the operations can be done more effectively. Business Intelligence can be used which helps in more effective collection, formatting, storage and dissemination of data. In this system, all the files can be made in standard format when needed and then they can be stored back to their original format. It will increase the ease for the workers to understand and the work will be done more effectively (Stern, 2010).
There are some other methods which can be adopted for collecting the information and knowledge like upgraded and fast computers should be installed across all the departments which will increase speed of operations. Knowledge management system can also be adopted which ensures the collection and storage of all the data properly. It enables the employees to have direct access to the information, formats and documents so that they can use in their work and work will be done speedily (Zimmerman, 2013).
4.3 Explain how you will implement a strategy to improve access to systems of information and knowledge
Strategy is something through which the people or employees in the organisation can be understood that how new systems can be used and how they can be proved effective for them and to the organisation as well. It is very important that the workers get easy access of the information which would bring more effectiveness, coordination and improvement in knowledge of employees and it will ultimately reflect in the work of the employees (Poulson, 2014).
The senior managers could support the employees for such systems. They should arrange training programs for the workers so that they can be trained to use the new systems and programs easily. The senior management should ensure that the objectives of the organisation are met and they should also gather feedbacks so that the improvements can be made wherever necessary.The organisation can also hire an external consultant who can advise the company to have better marketing strategies and plans which will improve the no. of sales of the company and his will also help the company in meeting the information. The electronic sources should be in access to the employees. The systems should be designed in a user friendly manner so as to help the employees in using the systems for the execution of the operations in a well manner (Enterprise information management and knowledge management solution, 2014).
It can be concluded that for managing the information and its systems properly, SPL ltd. Need to adopt latest and upgraded systems and they can be implemented properly with the help and support of the upper level management of the company.
Conclusion and Recommendations
It is very important in an organisation to have better access to information and to use that information for better decision making. This is the vital necessity of the modern corporates. The information can be collected from the internal and external sources and the stakeholders of the organisation are very important as they influence the decision makingof the organisation. Communication is another aspect which is to be taken care of and proper flow of information should be made with a process of communication in SPL ltd. It can be concluded that managing information and knowledge is a key activity of the organisations many new upgraded systems and methods should be adopted by SPL ltd from time to time to bring better access to knowledge for the employees and to improve the business strategy.
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