Systems is a structured system of components which collect, store and convey information,
it is set in place by an organisation through usage of information technology.
Its main objective is to underpin operations of a company through management
and decision making. Before the 1990’s and the rise of information technology,
personal computers and the introduction of the mainstream internet; IS’s focus
was mainly on recording data such as ledger accounts, payrolls, inventory
management etc. In modern times, it focuses on facilitating seamless communication
between internal and external communications such as employees and partners (University
of Scranton Online, 2017). One of its key aspects is to portray the flow of
information in an organisation using information technology systems.
depicts how information reaches its intended outcome from how the information
was initially received by the organisation as an input.
purpose of this assignment is to identify the key work processes within the
manufacturing system of the company IKEA Industry by making use of systems
thinking concepts and applying the general systems theory. (Hussain, 2017.) Moreover,
we’ll be looking at explaining how the manufacturing system interacts with its
own sub systems and the people working inside them; additionally, we’ll be
exploring how it interacts with other systems within the organisation to accomplish
its desired goal. Furthermore, we will also be detailing both in text and in a
diagram on how an output is produced from its initial inception as an input
which is processed and turned into an output which could come in the form of a
product or a service. The usage of information
systems and operation systems will both be integrated into the report itself.
thinking concepts is the understanding of a system through the examination of
how the system is linked and the interactions between the components which
comprise the entirety of the defined system. (Tate, 2009.)
Industry stands as one of the largest producers of wooden furniture in the
world and manufactures wood-based furniture for IKEA customers. (Inter IKEA group,
n.d) Together with external IKEA suppliers, they represent IKEA’s production
capacity. It is part of the Inter IKEA Holding chain which was founded by
Ingvar Kamprad in 1989, and its overall purpose is to create products that have
great customer value, in terms of quality and price. Alongside that, their
ambition is to become a good example in aspects of business and people, which
includes sustainability. (Inter IKEA group, n.d) Below is a diagram which illustrates
the various branches and how each of them link to the Inter IKEA Holding.
Information System’s main purpose is to take requisitions to manufacture, create
and distribute to the IKEA Supply chain who then deliver it to their retail
chains where the furniture is available to customers. That is not, however, its
sole and only purpose as they are also responsible with the research and
development of their products, this is done by analysing for improvement; this
could relate to the materials they used to shape the product and if there’s a
cheaper, more environment friendly alternative to use which adheres to one of
the companies’ aims which is to have a positive impact on the planet, using
sustainable resources and producing more from less. (Inter IKEA group, n.d)
proposed area of work which I will focus on firstly is the manufacturing system.
The diagram below portrays how raw materials are inputted into the
organisational system which is then processed by the manufacturing department
in the form of converting these materials into a product which is furniture. In
the system, we have two types of furniture which are produced, and these are
known as solid-wood or board based wood. These raw materials are collected and
built to meet specific standards which they continuously review, and audit
operations conducted within the system to ensure this.
manufacturing systems, there are also sub-systems which are interrelating
components that interact with one another to form the entire system itself.
IKEA Industry’s manufacturing system has three known sub-systems in place which
are known as divisions; these divisions are solid wood, board-based wood and
testing. Each of these sub-systems are set in place to produce specific types
of wood that are assembled differently, as they each have differing components.
Workers are assigned to each of these systems depending upon their profession.
wood and board-based wood sub-systems are both similar in a way, yet make use
of different types of wood and their workforce consists specialists who have
experience in creating these specific types of wood. On the other hand, the
testing sub-system works with the other sub-systems by analysing the finished
furniture that has been produced by way of testing its quality and if the
furniture is durable, meeting the set requirements and standards expected of
manufacturing system does not only interact with its own sub-systems, but also
other internal systems within the organisational structure itself. It does this
by communicating with other systems, examples of this could include how the finance
and accounting system determines the set budget the system as a whole must work
with while calculating roughly how much raw materials would cost the manufacturing
system which is a cost that varies; while the HR system focuses on recruitment of
specialists and ensuring employees receive their wages, while the marketing
system creates compelling advertisements to attract new employees, specifically
specialists who hold experience in forming their raw materials into furniture
as well as blogs to show off their awareness for the environment (Team Hallam,
2017) through their work.
system uses the budget allocated to them to purchase raw materials from
suppliers which allows the manufacturing system to function. Finally, the research
and development system analyses ways in which the organisation can operate and while
keeping the damage to the environment at a minimal, adhering to one their main aims.
These systems interact together through disseminated information systems to
control and maintain production within the organisation which is eventually
distributed across to IKEA suppliers who finally to their retail stores.
of handheld mobile devices has become a norm over the years ever since its
introduction to the industry. They have been used for many different purposes
and provided individuals with many tools to help them in their everyday life.
The introduction of mobile devices within IKEA Industry could help the
manufacturing system in many ways; this would not only be a benefit to the
system but the workers operating the system whose jobs may become lighter as
the introduction of mobile devices to the system could help in revitalising
their approach to how work is conducted in the organisation – with the focus of
pushing the organisation to be efficient.
manufacturing system in IKEA Industry as it currently stands manually places
orders with their suppliers which leads to the hassle of securing a deal and
negotiating it each time requisition orders must be made. If these deals and
links were to be established only a single time and added into a database which
would allow IKEA Industry to make use of a handheld mobile devices such as
Apple’s iPad to access the database and place a requisition order for raw
materials which searches the database for the lowest price, leading to an order
being placed on it without the need of going through the entire process again.
Orders can also easily be cancelled with a simple press of a button, assuming
it hasn’t been dispatched to its location already.
smartphone device such as a Samsung could bring can be used to control
automated systems, software and devices within the manufacturing system. These
could be used to perhaps correct any issues that may prevent the systems to
function properly by identifying and fixing the problem on the spot rather than
having to go about it manually. Of course, a manual option would still be
available as a last resort and maintenance is something expected so long as the
system operates efficiently. Workers can effectively make use of this software
to reduce routine check-up times as it would be done through the device. It
will also allow supervisors to oversee the systems in use within the entire
module to see if it doesn’t hinder the work of their employees, having access
to a detailed analysis.
device that could be used to improve how stock is managed and kept track of in
the system could be the MC9200 mobile computer which is a tried and tested
product used by various manufacturing systems across the globe to keep track of
inventory and manage assets of the business. This could help IKEA Industry keep
track of their stocks easily, allowing them to remain on alert beforehand if
they lack the assets required to manufacture their goods which in their case
would be raw materials, this can also be used to perhaps meet a requisition
request made by IKEA’s Retailers should stocks run low in the main branch. This
is an efficient way of monitoring stocks so that the organisation is free of
having to count their inventory and assets themselves.
It can be
argued that an MC9200 mobile computer is the better option out of all the
suggested mobile devices. The reason why is because of it’s popularity amongst
organisations which has shown its reliability and accuracy measuring inventory
and assets. This will allow the manufacturing system to be more productive and
feasible in the long run, allowing for faster production as they wouldn’t have
to worry about lacking resources as they would be well-prepared in advance
thanks to the MC9200 mobile computer and therefore being able to meet and
fulfil requisition requests in time by the main IKEA chain.
have covered the general systems theory and applied it to information and
operation systems. It is an integral part of the aforementioned systems and
directly underpins the structure of most organisations of the world. System thinking
concepts have also been applied through the definitions of IS and OPS aspects
within the manufacturing system of IKEA Industry. We have also identified the
three divisions in the manufacturing system which constitute as sub-systems. I
have explained how the system works between the manufacturing system, and how its
subsystems interlink with one another to form the entirety of the system
itself; along with this, we have explained how my chosen discipline disseminates
information with other systems in IKEA Industry. To illustrate my findings further
a diagram has been constructed to help provide a visual representation of information
systems inside IKEA Industry.
have been provided to IKEA Industry on handheld devices which they can make use
of to make their workers more efficient in conducting their operations. These 3
suggestions each focus on improving an aspect of the system; while highlighting
a single one that I believe is the best course of action for IKEA Industry to
take, outlining my reasons why I believe this while providing the benefits it
would bring to the business by linking it in with a potential scenario within
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Hussain, Z. (2017). Lecture
1: The Global Information Age.
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Available at: https://www.hallaminternet.com/content-marketing-manufacturing/
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