They typically produce fixed, regularly scheduled reports based on data extracted and summarized from these reports is often specified in advance. A typical MIS report (Laudon & Laudon 2002) might show a summary from the organization's underlying transaction processing systems (TPS). The format from these reports is often specified in advance. A typical MIS report might show a summary f monthly sales for each f the major sales territories f a company. Sometimes MIS reports are exception reports, highlighting only exceptional conditions, such as when the sales quotas for a specific territory fall below an anticipated level or employees who have exceeded their spending limit in a dental care plan. Traditional MIS produced primarily hard copy reports. Today these reports might be available on-line through an intranet, and more MIS reports can be generated on-demand.
Examples f MIS Application (Morgan 1998): California Pizza Kitchen - Inventory Express application "remembers" each restaurant's ordering patterns and compares the amount f ingredients used per menu item to predefined portion measurements established by management. The system identifies restaurants with out-of-line portions and notifies their management so that corrective action can be taken.
DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS (DSSs)
An extension f management reports and dealing with exceptions is decision support systems (DSSs). The goal f a DSS (Clifton, Ince & Sutcliffe 2000) is to support the decision-making process although not necessarily to provide sufficient information to make the decision a fait accompli. In fact, by the nature f many business decision situations, it is unlikely that the DSS could do that in any case. DSSs enable managers to retrieve information ad hoc and as straight forwardly as possible in order to facilitate current decision-making.
DSSs are most effective in risk, for example (Marakas 1998): probability, situations where the manager is faced with a number f alternative actions. Ideally the DSS, if given estimates f relevant costs, times, workloads and so on, is capable f assessing all or some f the outcomes f the alternatives. If, for instance, the situation was such that OR techniques could be applied, this would be done automatically by the DSS and the optimum result presented to the manager. In a straightforward case, which would be unusual, the need for management decision might be eliminated as the OR technique had made the decision for him or her.
A DSS is interactive to a much greater extent than most management information systems. This is a vital characteristic owing to the wide nature f user's requirements. The usual arrangement is for the DSS to record the user's requirements and subsequently to analyse the problem with an algorithm or