One of the most useful systems to implement would be the Decision Support System (DSS) which give direct computer support to managers during the decision-making process. DSS are interactive computer-based systems and subsystems intended to help decision makers use communications technologies, data, documents, knowledge and/or models to identify and solve problems and make decisions. (Goonatilake & Treleaven, 1995). DSS applications include pricing decision for each customer. This would include customers spending pattern recognized by statistical tools used to analyze data collected data.
This provides a competitive advantage as a better package can be tailored for valuable customers, yet realizing huge profit. One of the examples is the introduction of the black card by DBS to target the top 10% of Singapore’s elite population or the travel card by OUB for occasion travelers; with the DSS we can have better market targeting. Another DSS application is forecasting. Each products and services growth pattern is analyzed using forecasting method. The appropriate decisions about termination or expansion of each product and service can then be made.
Customer satisfaction levels are also be analyzed using DSS model from the number of complaints or compliments received and categorized to find out what is the general trend of complaints and thus improvement can be made. The DSS can also answer some of these questions like who are our best customers and where are they located? Which segment respond positively to our marketing campaign? DSS can be used to support short-term and strategic planning for monitoring, analyzing and reporting on the subtle market trends that determine where the computer hub satellite network needs to expand to take advantage of growing market.
For sales support, DSS has to work in conjunction with another system. An Executive Information System (EIS) provides support for top management by generating daily sales summaries and details by the region, division, salesperson, and product. The report identifies lost business, rescued business, and new business, and they can be generated on demand in addition to periodic reports. The special reports are customized, and comparisons and trend analysis can be provided to managers. It is thus useful in identifying problems and opportunities (Turban & Arson, 2001).
The EIS system will be elaborate further in latter part of the report. There is a need to set-up an intranet, extranet as well as internet so as to facilitate data transfer management and to gain effectiveness and efficiency. This could be done by the purchase of an IBM intranet server “zSeries 990” as it allows multiple integration with our existing transaction processing system (TPS) systems as well as the ability to provide flexibility and responsiveness to on demand business load.
The z990 system also provides the latest level of security and furthermore, with the bundling in of z/OS, it relieves us of the need to source for a separate compatible operating system since the z/OS is able to integrate with our existing system as well as other cross-platforms technologies which includes Java and SOAP. The entire hardware package can be outsourced to IBM as they would also have the other hardware requirements that we need as in the router system as well as transmitter for the intranet and also the expertise to meet our requirements. Full specification of the system is available at http://www.ibm. com (IBM, online).
For the database mining and warehousing, as well as database management of existing and future clients, CoSORT would be engaged for this project (http://www. cosort. com, online). CoSORT’s main advantage in this set-up is it is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Other application-orientated (dedicated to a specific application domain) software could be tailored to our needs like “Customer Predict” for data-mining applications, “Data Builder” for marketing and sales forecasting, and “Time Series Predictor” for forecasting financial time services (Fisher & Marinos, 2001).
Most data needed for the DSS/EIS can be interconnected and “mined” from our corporate data warehouse and also extracted from our current TPS. With the use of automated tellers and visa machines, data can be collected rapidly and effectively. Other then the data management software, we also need a model management software which would includes financial, statistical, management science or other quantitative model that provides the system’s analytical capabilities and appropriate software management.
A knowledge-based subsystem can be connected to out organization knowledge base to provide intelligent to augment the decision maker’s own. DSS system can access data from a variety of sources and facilitates the development and evaluation of a model of the choice process. The DSS system should also provides good user interface. The information generated by DSS and EIS is not only helpful to corporate managers but also to customers as they would be able to have direct access online to some corporate information which they can download on demand (Sauter, 1997). An example of the DSS is illustrated below. (Fig 2)