The role of computers and information technology in manufacturing:
Computer based control systems can be combined with manufacturing technology, such as robots, machine tools, automated guided vehicles, to improve manufacturing operations. In this role, the computer can assist integrating these technologies into a lean and efficient factory capable of competing in world markets. Organizations such as Allen-Bradley, black and Decker, and Boeing have used information technology and factory automation to improve manufacturing operations. This combination of information technology and factory automation is often called computer- integrated manufacturing.
Computer- integrated manufacturing (CIM) blends development in manufacturing with information technology to achieve competitive advantage. When properly organized, CIM offers the opportunity to automate design, manufacturing and production planning and control. Each component is described brifly here:
Engineering design through Computer aided design (CAD) allows an organization to make high quality specialized designs rapidly. The design can be tailored to meet individual customer needs.
Flexibility manufacturing systems (FMSs) can quickly produce a variety of high quality product efficiently. An (FMSs) also allow an organization to produce high specialized designs.
Computer based production planning and control systems allow an organization to cope with the complexity of managing facilities that produce a wide variety of specialized products without losing efficiency.
When properly combined, these components can yield synergetic results. An organization can have more flexible and integrated operations, be better equipped to mange complex operations, and exercise better controls then can a company that operates without CIM. To merge these components into one coordinated whole, staff from the information systems functions needs to integrate engineering, manufacturing, and business databases into a cross functional decision support system. Once accomplished, the flexibility to respond to customer demands with low cost, high quality specialized products becomes a powerful competitive advantage.
The role of computer and information technology in service operations:
Service by its definition does not have a physical dimension. However many organization classified as a service providers, actually produced both goods and services. These hybrid operations include restaurants which both sell food (a good) and prepare it (a service), department store which sells products as well as the retailing service, and shops that sell parts and offer repair services.
Mellon bank is using and expert system to successfully battle credit card fraud, which is a multi billion dollar problems in the united stats alone. The computer based expert system examine 1.2 million account each day for many factors, such as an unusual number of transactions, charging large accounts, changing patterns of expenditure. The system usually indicated about hundreds cases that requires more investigation. Mellon paid about $ I million for the software and predicted it will pay for itself in six months.
Merck and co, one of the largest drug companies in the world, decided to completely revamp itself its benefits system. To on roll over fifteen thousand salaried employees the old fashioned way using printed forms would have required Merck to double its person- net stuff. The company spends dollar 1 million to write computer software’s and install two dozen machines to enroll itself its employees. Enrollment took just 5 weeks and not 1 person was aided to the personal staff. Merck is using similar system to allow employees to adjust with holding allowances their investment plan without speaking to anyone in payroll. Merck‘s software prevents employees from selecting options for which they are not eligible or from making obviously wrong decisions.