Information Systems Are Essential to Kudler Fine Foods
There is not a business today that could be competitive without information systems and Kudler Fine Foods is no exception. Kudler Fine Foods uses a Retail Enterprise Management System (REMS) to handle the various financial, accounting and inventory management processes of the business. Without this REMS, Kudler Fine Foods’ availability of needed data would be very limited. “Managers and other decision makers need rapid access to correct, comprehensive, and consistent data across the enterprise if they are to improve their business processes and performance” (Turban & Volonino, 2010, p. 0).
The goal of this paper is to demonstrate how Kudler Fine Foods uses their REMS and why it is essential to their business processes. REMS Modules and Their Functionality The REMS that Kudler Fine Foods uses is broken up into modules that each handles a different aspect of the business. These modules consist of the general ledger (GL) module, accounts payable (AP) module, point of service (POS) module, bank reconciliation module, and a security module (Apollo Group, Inc. , 2009).
Although each module has specific functions distinct to their business process the data across all of the modules is housed in a central database that is accessible from any module. This allows for easy transitions of data for instances such as when one module requires information that is gathered by another module. Point Of Service Module The POS module handles the collection of sales data and its distribution to other modules. The POS module records all retail sales then transmits this data to the GL module, electronic payment clearing house and the purchasing manager (Apollo Group, Inc. , 2009).
Once the GL has received data from the POS it does several functions automatically; adds the sale to the cash account, credits sales figures, removes items sold from the merchandise inventory accounts and reports the net profit of the sale (Apollo Group, Inc. , 2009). The data sent to the electronic payment clearing house is solely for credit or debit card transaction processing (Apollo Group, Inc. , 2009). The sales data recorded by the POS module is sent to the purchasing manager at the end of each day (Apollo Group, Inc. , 2009). The purchasing manager then determines based on business rules of inventory such as uantity on hand, quantity discount purchases and number of days since the last order whether or not to generate a purchase order (Apollo Group, Inc. , 2009).
General Ledger Module The GL module has numerous reporting tools and is responsible for updating various accounts information. All inventory information is sorted into individual item accounts which are stored and updated through the GL module (Apollo Group, Inc. , 2009). All financial reporting such as income statements, balance sheets and trend analysis with ways of making comparisons such as by department or time period are incorporated into the GL module (Apollo Group, Inc. 2009).
Another function incorporated into the GL module is the ability to create budgets by department as well as departments are able to report on their budget spending (Apollo Group, Inc. , 2009). Finally all transactions received from the POS module can be referenced through the GL module viewing all details of the transaction (Apollo Group, Inc. , 2009). Accounts Payable Module Vendor, bank account, tax, freight and purchase order information is handled by the AP module (Apollo Group, Inc. , 2009). All vendor codes and addresses including international is stored in the AP module (Apollo Group, Inc. , 2009).
Purchase orders are recorded through the AP module (Apollo Group, Inc. , 2009). Tax and freight allocations are also handled by the AP module (Apollo Group, Inc. , 2009). Lastly the bank account information of all of the company’s accounts is stored in the AP module. Bank Reconciliation Module The bank reconciliation module serves two simple functions however these are very important to the business. One function of the bank reconciliation module is to reconcile checks, account deposits and account balances between what Kudler Fine Foods’ databases have stored and what the bank transactions reflect (Apollo Group, Inc. 2009).
The other function of the bank reconciliation module is to assemble data from the AP and GL modules for the purpose of aiding the analysis of cash flow (Apollo Group, Inc. , 2009). Security Module The last module to be discussed is the security module which has several functions to safeguard the data stored in all of the other modules of the REMS. One of the methods the security module used to secure the REMS is passwords for individual user access (Apollo Group, Inc. , 2009). Then each user can have their individual accessibility to the functions of the REMS limited (Apollo Group, Inc. 2009). Last of all there are cash or check disbursement limits set that can only be approved by the CFO or president (Apollo Group, Inc. , 2009).
REMS Modules Effect On Business Functions The modules of the REMS are essential to the business functions of Kudler Fine Foods for several reasons. Many decisions are made based on the information collected and processed by the REMS at Kudler Fine Foods. The purchasing manager makes decisions based on the sales information collected by the POS module each day whether or not to generate a purchase order (Apollo Group, Inc. 2009). The executive management decides on what items to carry and how much to carry based sales data collected and formatted into trend analysis reports (Apollo Group, Inc. , 2009).
Another reason that the REMS is indispensable to the way that Kudler Fine Foods does business is that there is very little need for data management personnel. By making the sales transactions easier the REMS also reduces the amount of cashiers that are needed. Kudler Fine Foods would need more clerical personnel to handle all of the information that is handled automatically by the REMS.
Conclusion Information systems are not only the backbone of business today but define how business is done. The information systems in Kudler Fine Foods don’t just support the business but by reducing the amount of personnel needed it shapes how the business functions. By processing and presenting the data accumulated in each of the Kudler Fine Foods’ stores each day into useful information; the REMS gives the managers the ability to effectively and efficiently make decisions to benefit their business.