An information system


An information system is a set of interconnected constituents that collect or retrieve, procedure, shop and distribute information to back up organizational decision-making and control. One of the cardinal issues with ‘information systems ‘ ( IS ) ( these yearss ) is that companies can non mensurate if they are going more profitable or efficient by utilizing the systems that they purchase. In a survey done by KPMG on 200 UK houses, around 17 billion GBP is lost each twelvemonth due to the misdirection and misalignment of information engineering ( IT ) . One manner to measure a houses ‘ IS utility is to utilize the resource-based position “inside-out attack, ” which means that a company should place its nucleus concern values and in bend, align these ends with a suited information system that will carry through these demands. Often times, nevertheless, big transnational houses implement new engineering, irrespective of whether it benefits the company or non and there is no manner to mensurate consequences. Therefore, it is good to look at a house who has implemented a successful IS, for which it receives its competitory advantage.

Inditex is a major keeping company based in La Coruna, Spain, which maintains controls over popular vesture shops such as Zara, Massimo Dutti and Bershka amongst others. For the intent of this study, we will look at Zara in more item, a shop known for its high manner for sensible monetary values, with many vesture shops in premier locations in metropolitan metropoliss around the universe. It competes with other dressing shops such as H & A ; M and Gap but it sets itself apart from them utilizing its understanding information system and rapid production agenda. For the intent of this study, we will analyze Zara ‘s Technological and Socio-Economic Environment along with Zara ‘s cognition concatenation direction to measure its alliance of information engineering as a map of Zara ‘s concern scheme.

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IT in alignment with Business Strategy:

Zara ‘s concern strategyis to supply fast manner for low monetary values. Based on this rule, one of Zara ‘s developed nucleus competences is its effectual and minimalistic attack to using IT for the intent of timely cognition transportation, fast production turnaround and employee authorization. Aspects beyond which are non straight connected to Zara ‘s nucleus competences, the company prefers to outsource, such as its logistics. In order to understand the effects of IT on Zara ‘s concern theoretical account, we must take into consideration the technological and socio-economic factors impacting Zara, such as its direction procedure, employee accomplishments, engineering, construction and scheme.

The direction procedure:

The direction processof Zara is supported by its keeping company Inditex, who manages other popular European trade names such as Massimo Dutti, Pull and Bear, etc. nevertheless, each vesture shop is distinguishable because Inditex supports organizational acquisition, as opposed to keeping house control on these shops. Not merely is each entity separate, but direction encourages employee authorization at Zara by leting its employees the flexibleness to take new vesture designs for its shop on a bi-weekly footing. Therefore, in merely one metropolis entirely, one Zara shop may hold significantly different stock list than another Zara shop up the route. Despite these differences, Inditex is still able to make economic systems of graduated table and range based on the larning curve between its inter-related trade names.

Individual Skills:

Employees and directors at Zara shops are trained to react rapidly to manner tendencies, which they report through a PDA system to in-house interior decorators twice per hebdomad. This system is utile for information aggregation in Zara central office in La Coruna, Spain, and it is besides really user-friendly for shop directors, as it does non necessitate enormous accomplishment to understand how to utilize the engineering. Zara to a great extent relies on the decision-making abilities of its employees. For illustration, shop directors decide which styles to take from and how many points are needed while employees in the central office, called “commercials, ” facilitate ongoing production, volume and allotment picks for each garment.


Opportunity exists within Zara ‘s information systems. Although portion of Zara ‘s strategic program is to keep simple runing systems in each shop, there is room for improved package at the point-of sale ( POS ) terminuss. It would be more helpful if client purchases and returns could be updated outright as opposed to holding each director, at about 1,500 shops worldwide, numbering stock list at the terminal of each twenty-four hours. This system would non take away from employee authorization of calculating demand and new manners ; instead it gives them an chance to concentrate on more important instead than humble undertakings, like numbering. Besides, central offices could implement an enterprise-wide system where upper-management could link to each POS system at any point during the twenty-four hours, which would enable them to pull off economic order measure ( EOQ ) more often and expeditiously, therefore advancing a leaner production agenda.

One obvious execution is that Zara could heighten its web site to let people to purchase vesture online. There is a enormous market for on-line shopping, nevertheless, due to capacity restraints and Zara ‘s pull scheme, it is improbable we will see this outgrowth in old ages to come.


The organisation enables the debut of information systems on an incremental footing. In 1994, Zara directors used facsimile machines and floppy discs to reassign information from shop to central offices each twenty-four hours. This procedure was expensive and decelerate, which is why they installed new runing systems. Staying consistent with Zara ‘s concern scheme, the CEO describes the house as extremely information intensive, but it does non necessitate employ “bloated applications” that contain more faculties than necessary.


Directors account for shop demand in order to reduces stock list costs. With good stock list direction, the company keeps its inefficiency and wastage at less than 1 % yearly. The CEO Jose Maria Castellano estimates that the house spends about 25 million euros per twelvemonth on IT or about.5 % of gross on IT as opposed to its challengers that spend at least 2.5 % on it ‘s IT needs.Cost nest eggs on IT are non Zara ‘s lone formula for success, we must besides look at its competitory advantage as a map of its information system.

Information Systems and Communication

Zara ‘s success and competitory advantage is fostered by its intercrossed information system, which employs both human capital and information engineering ( IT ) to streamline information between Zara shops and central offices in La Coruna, Spain. As noted by Figure B, inputs come from shop directors who record day-to-day gross revenues and topographic point vesture orders twice per hebdomad through a personal digital helper, observing manner tendencies and high demand merchandises. This information is sent to about 200 in-house interior decorators who create computer-aided designs ( CAD ) based upon shop director recommendations and market research. These designs are drawn, processed, allocated to assorted Zara stores, and sent to local mills that cut, finish and imperativeness each garment. They are so delivered within three hebdomads of order arrangement to over 1,500 shops worldwide.

The competitory border that Zara exhibits over Gap and H & A ; M is partly explained by its timely cognition exchange between shop directors and the design squad coupled with its comparatively cheap IT system. Directors instantly report consumer gustatory sensations to interior decorators who so send design demands via Zara ‘s intranet to local subcontractors. Since Zara does non outsource its production to foreign states, goods can be in Zara shops within three hebdomads, as opposed to challengers such as Gap who may take up to 12 times longer.

Conclusion ( DISCUSS ALIGNMENT at the terminal of “Do you have excessively much IT? ” instance. Does IT drive scheme or does scheme drive IT? )

  • Incremental vs. extremist invention
  • The house is extremely information intensive, but Inditex does non use “bloated applications” that contain more faculties than necessary. Their systems are non even connected ( ) and the systems do non account for demand ;
  • Based on this doctrine, “fast manner logistics” is employed in order to acquire clothing orders from shop directors onto shelves within less than three hebdomads of telling.
  • High manner for low monetary values with a speedy turnaround clip
  • Develop a system the requires short lead times, lessening measures produced to diminish stock list hazard, and increase the figure of available manners and/or pick.
  • Concerted scheme with Inditex ; non seeking to reinvent the wheel.

  1. Laudon, K.C & A ; Laudon, J.P. ( 2006 ) , Management Information Systems, Pearson Prentice Hall.
  2. KPMG study 200 UK houses.
  3. Do you hold excessively much IT?
  4. Add beginning
  5. Zara: Spanish Season
  6. McAfee, Andrew. Do You Have Too Much IT? MIT Sloan Management Review. Spring 2004.
  7. Zara: Spanish Season
  8. Fast Fashion.
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