Change is difficult. When changing to a new AIS system, careful planning as well as support for all those impacted is required. If this is not done well, problems can occur.
Read “Case 20-1: Audio Visual Corporation” at the end of Chapter 20. Answer the questions after the case.
CASE 20-1 Audio
Audio Visual Corporation (AVC) manufactures and sells visual
display equipment. Headquartered in Boston, it has seven sales offices with
nearby warehouses that carry its inventory of new equipment and replacement
parts. AVC has a departmentalized manufacturing plant with assembly,
maintenance, engineering, scheduling, and cost accounting departments as well
as several component parts departments.
When management decided to upgrade its AIS, they installed a
mainframe at headquarters and local area networks at each sales office. The IS
manager and four systems analysts were hired shortly before they integrated the
new computer and the existing AIS. The other IS employees have been with the
company for years.
During its early years, AVC had a centralized decision-making
organization. Top management formulated all plans and directed all operations.
As the company expanded, decision making was decentralized, although data
processing was highly centralized. Departments coordinated their plans with the
corporate office but had the freedom to develop their own sales programs.
However, information problems developed, and the IS department was asked to
improve the company’s information processing system once the new equipment was
Before acquiring the new computer, the systems analysts studied
the existing AIS, identified its weaknesses, and designed applications to solve
them. In the 18 months since the new equipment was acquired, the following
applications were redesigned or developed: payroll, production scheduling,
financial statement preparation, customer billing, raw materials usage, and
finished goods inventory. The departments affected by the changes were rarely
consulted until the system was operational.
Recently the president stated, “The systems people are doing a
good job, and I have complete confidence in their work. I talk to them
frequently, and they have encountered no difficulties in doing their work. We
paid a lot of money for the new equipment, and the systems people certainly
cost enough, but the new equipment and new IS staff should solve all our
Two additional conversations regarding the new AIS took place.
BILL TAYLOR, IS MANAGER, AND JERRY ADAMS, PLANT MANAGER
you’re trying to run my plant for me. I’m the manager, and you keep
interfering. I wish you would mind your own business.
got a job to do, and so do I. As we analyzed the information needed for
production scheduling and by top management, we saw where we could improve the
workflow. Now that the system is operational, you can’t reroute work and change
procedures, because that would destroy the value of the information we’re
processing. And while I’m on that subject, we can’t trust the information we’re
getting from production. The documents we receive from production contain a lot
responsible for the efficient operation of production. I’m the best judge of
production efficiency. The system you installed reduced my workforce and
increased the workload of the remaining employees, but it hasn’t improved
anything. In fact, it might explain the high error rate in the documents.
new computer cost a lot of money, and I’m trying to make sure the company gets
its money’s worth.
JERRY ADAMS, PLANT MANAGER AND TERRY WILLIAMS, HUMAN RESOURCES
best production assistant, the one I’m grooming to be a supervisor, told me he
was thinking of quitting. When I asked why, he said he didn’t enjoy the work
anymore. He’s not the only one who is unhappy. The supervisors and department
heads no longer have a voice in establishing production schedules. This new
computer system took away the contribution we made to company planning and
direction. We’re going back to when top management made all the decisions. I
have more production problems now than I ever had. It boils down to my
management team’s lack of interest. I know the problem is in my area, but I
thought you could help me.
TERRY: I have no recommendations, but I’ve had similar complaints
from purchasing and shipping. We should explore your concerns during tomorrow’s
plant management meeting.
ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:
Identify the problems the new computer system created, and
discuss what caused them.
How could AVC have avoided the problems? How can they prevent them
in the future?
(CMA Examination, adapted)
Please make this paper 1-2 pages and in APA format.
Please include a reference page and site sources within the paper.