Principles and practice of management question and answer

United Manufacturing Ltd. produces agricultural chemicals and currently has 800 employees stationed in its four branches.

The company has been experiencing very rapid growth in the last few years and the number of employees is expected to increase. To maintain its competitive edge the company has been training the existing employees and improving their benefits.

Recently, a new human resource manager was appointed and he has suggested that the company should invest in a computerized human resource information system to replace the manual system.

(a) Explain how a computerized human resource information system will benefit United Manufacturing Ltd. (10 marks)
(b) Outline the steps the company should follow in the planning, development and implementation of the human resource information system.
Human Resource Information System (HRIS)
Provides managers with the necessary information for making intelligent human resource decisions. Basic human resource decisions are recruitment, selection and placement, training and development, performance appraisal, wage and salary management.


(a) Benefits of a computerized HRIS
(i) It can handle a large volume of staff records. Given that the employees are expanding in number, then this will be very relevant.

(ii) Updates
Using a HRIS updates on staff records can easily and effectively be done. This is because, the computer allow for edit of records.

(iii) Accessibility
Accessibility to records can be done on the click of a button. The disadvantages of numerous files is eliminated.

(iv) Cost effective
A computerized HRIS is a definite cost cut bearing in mind that the staff is large and thus the cost are spread over a large volume.

(v) Accuracy
Accuracy of records is greatly enhanced through use of computers. However, the GIGO concept still applies, that is Garbage in, Garbage out.

Definition of a HRIS
The Human Resource Information System (HRIS) refers to a system where all personnel, benefits and payroll information are processed and stored. The HRIS systems are usually purchased from vendors (such as PeopleSoft) and customized to run in organizations.

Modules supported the HRIS include:
• Base Benefits
• Effort Reporting (interim solution)
• Financial Statement Analysis – with regard to personnel benefits
• Payroll Processing
• Position Management
• Recruitment

b) Steps to follow
(i) Problem definition
We need to define what the current manual system is not meeting adequately, that is the inaccuracy, time consuming retrieval, bulk records, problem in updates.

(ii) Feasibility study
Carry out a study to analyze how the above problem can be handled. The solutions should match with the current internal environmental conditions such as the organization structure, the technology in use.

(iii) System design and analysis
Then the proposed information system is designed to match the requirements of the study. A blue print of the whole program is developed at this level.

(iv) System implementation

This has three stages; testing, training and actual implementation. The program developed is tested, the staff is trained and relevant documentation developed. The program could then be implemented either on a department basis (pilot run). It could be let to run parallel to the existing manual system, or implemented directly.

(v) System evaluation and control
The system is the evaluated to see whether it is meeting the requirements.

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