Critical Success Factors

Critical success factors (CSF) of the business will be of help in defining information needs of the planning task, as the information needs of planning will naturally be related to these factors. By concentrating on them and working out the information needs related to them, the executives in charge of planning can enumerate their information needs. For the MIS to be effective, executives responsible for the task should define their information needs. This rule applies all the more in the case of the strategic planning task.

The MIS must be a Unified System:

The first requisite is that the MIS should be unified system. It must be perceived and managed as a single entity. There will be several information components in any MIS. Also, there will be several activity components in their collection, processing, storing and transmission. All these components must be integrated into a unified system and managed by a single agency. And, the chief of the MIS must as the consultant, coordinator and controller in respect of all the components of the MIS.

Defining Information needs of the Planning task:

Information needs at this level are non-routine as the decisions at this level are non-routine ones. Defining such non-routine information takes a special effort.

External data is as vital as internal data at this level. In fact, external data of many types and from many sources are required.

Unlike decisions at the other two levels decisions at the planning level, especially the strategic planning level occur only occasionally, but far reaching consequences; errors in these decisions turn out to be very costly to the corporation. If errors here have to be avoided, marketing information of the highest quality, reliability and relevance has to be available at the required time.

Information requirements at the control level and operations level are better known to the people in charge of the MIS through their frequent exposure to those levels. The information needs at the strategic planning level are not so readily known to them.

Information needed at the strategic planning level are not usually available as a by product of the organization’s day-to-day transaction processing systems The information segment has to be specially designed and consciously collected from the relevant sources.

Meeting information requirements of this level require coordination of information from multiple data segments.

Selectivity has to be applied with regard to the information that is passed on to this level. Top much information may cloud issues relating planning.

This does not, however, mean that marketing information will not be gathered and processed at any level other than the centralized MIS outfit. The marketing job is handled at different levels and each level processes and uses its segment of marketing information. The centralized outfit has to have comprehensive responsibility for the MIS of the company; the other level levels would be handling segments of information that are relevant to their operations. They will be feeders of information into centralized MIS as well as recipients of information from it.

Requirements which a good MIS should fulfill:

A good MIS

* must be a unified system
* should be conceived and used as a marketing decision support system
* must be compatible with the culture and level of sophistication of the firm and of the marketing organization in particular.
* must be user-oriented and user friendly; must also secure users’ involvement
* must involve the suppliers of the information as well.
* must be economical. Value cost position of the information should be favorable.
* must meet the principle of selectivity.
* must be capable of smoothly absorbing changes that may become necessary.
* must be fast.