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, 2005). Even for businesses that are not regulated, learning management systems can be highly beneficial for the tracking and management of employees (Martin et al., 2005). There are several functions that learning management systems facilitate within businesses these include: the documentation of training requirements for all employees, including requirements that are motivated by local and global policies and standards; the reduction of repetitiveness in the methods used to track training; ensuring that training complies with standards of the business; that there is a consistent following of standards operating procedures across functions; the enablement of venues for online training in order to reach more learners and eliminate unnecessary travel costs; efficient management of rosters for instructor-led training; and the documentation of course completion (Martin et al., 2005).
Although the benefits of learning management systems are significant, there are several challenges to implementation of the system that businesses need to overcome. These challenges include: differing regional requirements in regards to data privacy and protection; a lack of a training department that is centralized; a lack of a single business owner within the organization; diverse training needs across the organization; and the possibility of resistance among employees with regards to the learning management system being the single, unified system for training in the organization (Martin et al., 2005). These types of challenges may stall the implementation of the learning management system within the organization, but these challenges may be overcome through the adaptation of change management principles (Martin et al., 2005). These principles include: stakeholder alignment; knowledge transfer; governance; alignment of individuals as well as teams; as well as the management of performance (Martin et al., 2005). All of these principles aim to motivate the organization towards a common goal of global change toward a single, unified learning management system (Martin et al., 2005).
Implementation of a learning management system in the Aventis corporation resulted in a sense of flexibility, which promoted agility within the organization to efficiently deliver and train employees on diverse processes and procedures (Martin et al., 2005). In any business, implementation of a learning management system helps to ensure regulatory compliance within the organization, and allows the organization to meet demands and maintain competitive advantage (Martin et al., 2005).
Computerized systems are required in businesses to deal with several components of operations management. One area in which computer technology often proves useful is in the production of labor management reports (Kazahaya, 2005). It is optimal that businesses create user-friendly labor cost management reports, and this can be effectively achieved through the use of specially tailored computer programs that factor in all the critical data that is necessary.
Computer technology has also proven very useful in the area of storage virtualization (Lewis, 2005). Programs designed for storage management purposes allow users to monitor their whole storage infrastructure, and to proactively manage its operations and usage (Lewis, 2005). A central goal to researchers working in this area is to develop technological means of eliminating costly downtime. In an attempt to achieve this goal, managers who have networked their storage are aiming to: a) move production data in a non-disruptive manner across the storage infrastructure without ever needing to take down applications; and b) centralize the allocation of capacity, provisioning and the movement of data capabilities in efforts to provide increased flexibility in multi-level storage environments (Lewis, 2005). Overall, there are central principles to which practical technological solutions must adhere to. These principles include: that the solution solves a specific problem; the solution does not create new problems for the organization; and that the solution embraces the existing environment (Lewis, 2005).
Once again, the main goal in the development and implementation of computerized technologies for operations management is to achieve improvements in efficiency and effectiveness. For instance, the Musco Family Olive Company was looking for means to improve inventory management and product traceability, so they implemented management software that boosted the accuracy of inventory to approximately 100% (Albright, 2004). The system implemented by the organization was HighJump Software's Supply Chain Advantage system. This software functions by tracking all materials that enter and leave the facility, and then forwards the information to the enterprise system. This system coordinates and tracks material as it moves to other warehouses (Albright, 2004). The benefits experienced due to the implementation of this system include: nearly 100% inventory accuracy; timely replenishment of packaging materials; real-time inventory data; fewer mispicks; and greatly improved picking times (Albright, 2004).
Computerized technologies designed to provide solutions for operations management within businesses continue to change, evolve, and grow in a positive direction. Technologies are becoming faster, smaller, and more efficient in terms of cost and productivity. The current business climate sees businesses as more reluctant to spend a lot on computer technology (Frost, 2002). Therefore, technology developers must remain competitive in providing solutions to businesses at affordable prices. Overall, technology aids businesses in remaining attentive to close details, and good systems must be great tools for time-management, which allow managers to focus on concepts requiring creative thought rather than routine tasks (Frings, 2004). Furthermore, innovations in technology will inevitably direct operations management into the future.
Albright, B. (2004). Musco Family Olive Company automates distribution: a new software suite helps improve inventory management and product traceability at the company's distribution center. Frontline Solutions, July.
Bolka, E. (2002). Are you being served? Dealer information technology management services. Ward's Dealer Business, October.
Frings, C.S. (2004). Addressing management issues: use systems to manage daily operations. Medical Laboratory Observer, May.
Frost, M. (2002). 'Big Three' converge as technology evolves: new products could boost HR's strategic value, analysts predict. HR Magazine, March.
Higgins, K.T. (2004). No-brainer maintenance tools: technology that's easier to use and new-breed engineers who can sell management on its value are helping reshape the way food companies attend to their machines - operations. Dairy Foods, March.
Kazahaya, G. (2005). Harnessing technology to redesign labor cost management reports: labor costs typically represent over 50% of a hospital's total operating expenses. Can the data management process be harnessed to create meaningful cost management tools? Healthcare Financial Management, April.
Klemens, T. & Reband, P. (2004). Computer-based decision making: current technology provides masonry contractors with powerful, yet affordable, tools. Masonry Construction, February.
Lewis, M. (2005). Storage virtualization: delivering non-disruptive operations, flexibility and simplified management. Computer Technology Review, February.
Martin, K. (2005). Implementing a learning management system globally:…[continue]
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A third real-life example are the pervasive Healthcare Information Systems (HIS) and Patient Information Management Systems (PIMS) that form the backbone of any healthcare facility. These are systems that capture all relevant patient demographic, treatment and health-related data in addition to showing the specific costs of treatment and profits as well (McGurkin, Hart, Millinghausen, 2006). In short, these systems form the basic financial structure of a healthcare systems. There are
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